World Cup Culture Guide


From June 11 to July 11, the 2010 soccer World Cup will be held in South Africa. This tournament, held every four years, is the world’s most widely-viewed sporting event, bringing together teams from 32 qualifying nations.

To coincide with the World Cup, help students understand differences in behavior patterns between their own culture and those of the competing countries.
Grades 6-8 Learning Activity

To begin, have students use the search feature in CultureGrams – World Edition, using the word “soccer.” Use the long list of results to help students realize how popular the sport of soccer is around the world.

Then have students identify the 32 countries that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup (see www.fifa.com). Then assign each student one of these countries (excluding the United States).

Instruct students to read the CultureGrams World Edition report for the assigned country, looking for behavioral patterns common to people from that country. For example, students could identify how people greet and address one another, how they spend their free time, what gestures are common, etc.

Have students prepare to make a list by dividing their paper in half with a pencil mark. Ask students to list 10 behavioral patterns they discovered in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column, for each of the 10 behavioral patterns listed, have the students briefly write a short response, detailing if the same behavioral pattern is practiced in their own culture.

Then have each student write a short paper as if he or she were the writer of a culture guide designed to help a U.S. soccer fan prepare to attend the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

  • What would the fan need to know in order to interact with fans from the student’s assigned country?
  • Which of the U.S. fan’s native behavioral patterns might lead to misunderstandings with fans from that country?

Publish all of the papers in a World Cup Culture Guide.

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