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Writing to Learn About One's Own Culture

Vincent Gérard from Belgium

Vincent Gérard is an EFL teacher at Institut Saint-Berthuin in Malonne, Belgium.

Vincent Gérard
Photo from Vincent Gérard
I
n groups of 4 students they started writing about beliefs and customs that have been passed down from generation to generation in the southern part of the country.


 

I had already been through Topics Online Magazine before and I had noticed that Belgium was outrageously underrepresented.

Come on guys. Let’s be serious, we’re talking about Belgium, B-E-L-G-I-U-M… the land of surrealism, beer drinkers and French – or should I say Belgian – fries!!!

A quick round table discussion with the students (Year 11) and they came up with the following idea: why not write about popular traditions and the superstitions they are rooted in?

In groups of 4 students they started writing about beliefs and customs that have been passed down from generation to generation in the southern part of the country.

For some of the students it was also an opportunity to learn about their own background and better understand celebrations that might have seemed trivial to them. Be that as it may, even if the students killed two birds with one stone, I can assure you that no animal was mistreated in the course of writing.

Students in class
Photo: Vincent Gérard
Student brainstormed ideas. Then, in groups of four, they started writing about beliefs and customs that have been passed down from generation to generation in the southern part of Belgium.

Working on the writing project Photo: Vincent Gérard
For some of the students it was an opportunity to learn about their own background and better understand celebrations that might have seemed trivial to them.
View the student project to read what Vincent's students wrote about the traditional beliefs and customs of their area.

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