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Culture Forum

Culture Forum

Date: Oct 26 2013

Topic: Conversational English

Author: englishteacher24/7


A. Forum goals:

  • Provide information on other cultures from the readers.
  • Identify the relationships between culture and language.
  • Provide information on English-speaking cultures to develop an understanding of the English language used in a particular country.

B. Introduction:

  • Cultural influence - Culture has a direct influence on the language(s) used in society. Learning the culture of a society can identify some general characteristics of its people.
  • Cultural factors - Factors such as religion, economics, traditions, customs, natural resources, and politics influences culture.
  • Benefits of learning other cultures - Information about other cultures can help us to understand why people of a society do the things they do, even within the same country. Therefore, let us use this opportunity to learn from each other and seek to improve ourselves.


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United States

Alexander, the fact that President Kennedy was a Catholic is one reason why many on the opposing side didn’t believe he would win the election. It turns out that his Catholicism didn’t negatively influence his decisions during his presidency although some moral restraints would have been beneficial to his legacy.

Slephip thanks for your feedback, yes this information is straight out of American history and hopefully will help enlighten people for exams or increasing personal knowledge.

02:09 PM Mar 04 2015 |

1 person likes this




I really like your stories about American history, because this information he can uses everywhere, especially in the exam history. I am waiting your next part about American history !

04:42 PM Mar 03 2015 |


United Kingdom

Wow,thank you very much.I didn’t know that president Kennedy was Catholic…

04:35 PM Mar 03 2015 |


United States

WobblyJoe, how true, how true, and how! That’s what I’m talking about; your contribution in supplying a better way of saying what I was trying to say is a perfect example of one person sharpening another. Thank you, I went in and changed the wording of that sentence verbatim.

There was so much more I wanted to write but to avoid a lengthy post I kept it shorter than it would have been and I divided the decade of the 1960’s into two parts (Parts 2A & 2B.)

One thing I will add now is the significance of the music from about 1964 on throughout the remainder of the decade. Some of the greatest music from some of the greatest musicians was during this time.

The sentiment of the times was reflected in the lyrics of the songs and it would yield great benefits to the readers to listen to the music of the 1960’s.

Almost all of the songs that I posted in the Relaxation Lounge on my profile page is music I grew up with and each song I personally selected not only for your listening pleasure but to teach English (many with lyrics) and American culture during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Note: To hear the music in the Relaxation Lounge you will have to be able to access Youtube, have Adobe Flashplayer installed, and use a desktop computer or a Windows platform on a cell phone, also, Firefox Browser displays better.

01:25 AM Mar 02 2015 |



United States

This is really good. I grew up in the 60s in the Deep South and had no idea childhood in the projects was so similar to childhood as a redneck. People are the same everywhere I guess.

As a suggestion, you might have rephrased “Although President Kennedy was very popular with many people, he made it a goal to fight against many ills of society” as “Because President Kennedy made it a goal to fight against the many ills of society, he was very popular with many people”. I hope I didn’t step on your toes. I think it will make sense to you why I say that.

04:32 PM Mar 01 2015 |


United States

Growing up in the United States – Part 2A

The 1960’s (1960-1964)

The beginning of the 1960’s in the U.S. was pretty much status quo but it was somewhat “the calm before the storm” and the storms of change would roll in before the end of the decade and things would never be the same, well, at least not as brazen as before.


One thing that did carry over from the 1950’s was the growth of the U.S. economy and the resulting prosperity (for some).

The decade of the 60’s was probably one of the most tumultuous decades in U.S. American history.  There was war, assassinations, civil rights movement, women rights movement, riots, drugs, protests, civil disobedience, and ending up with landing on the moon. Whew, what a decade to grow up in!

There were many good paying jobs in the northern states, therefore, many people, especially blacks, migrated from the southern states to the northern states. Actually, this was the largest migration of people in recent U.S. history. If a person was willing to work and persisted in acquiring a job, you were likely to get a job in one of the auto manufacturing or related companies. My dad worked in an auto plant. It didn’t matter concerning your educational level, many people never completed school.

Personal life – Living in “The Projects”

We moved into a public housing (projects) during the early to mid-60’s. It comprised of families whose income was low enough and other factors to qualify. There were 3 types of building structures, i.e. 3-story, 6-story and 14-story buildings.

The projects were also the home for some married students of Wayne State University (which is a much respected public research university in Detroit) who lived in the 14-story buildings. We lived in the 3-story building on the top floor.

Living in the projects was not something people were proud of but to kids we didn’t know about that type of thing; all we knew was that we had fun playing tag, dodge ball, shooting marbles, hide & seek, rolling old tires, roller skating, yo-yos, spinning tops, jumping rope & hop scotch (girls) and riding a sled in the winter time.

Once President Kennedy’s motorcade rode right past the projects (on the freeway)and many people went to the edge of the freeway to wave at him. President Kennedy was a very popular president (even though he was Catholic).

A typical day during the summer was to wake up, have some cold or hot cereal and go outside to play with my friends. I would stay out all day until lunch time and then return to outside.  However, I’d better come in before the street lights came on or I’d be in trouble, big time!

Certain other restrictions I had, which was not to play in the basement or ride up and down on the elevators in the 6 and 14-story buildings, these two offenses would also get me into trouble. Today these areas would be known as “living in the hood” or “the Ghetto.” Whatever, you’ve got to live somewhere!

National Activities

Meanwhile, in the southern part of the U.S. the Civil Rights Movement were heating up from the 1950’s and protests regarding state-sanctioned racial discrimination was being protested against. When police brutality against peaceful demonstrators began to be televised, the nation conscience was awakened and people became enraged and objected to the brutality in the southern states and injustice in general.

Furthermore, the war in Viet Nam was escalating and young people were drafted into the military to fight a war they were against and would lay the groundwork for anti-war activities in the latter part of the 60’s.

Nevertheless, for whatever reason, President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Many people were saddened by this event and ultimately his brother Robert Kennedy would go on to campaign for the U.S. presidency in the latter part of the decade.

Because of segregation in the south and the refusal of the governor of Mississippi to allow a black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi there was a confrontation between the U.S. government and 2,000 students blocking the entrance to the school resulting in federal marshals being sent there and federalizing the Mississippi National Guard for a total of some 31,000 military troops occupying the area to ensure the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against racial discrimination against the University of Mississippi for a suit filed against the university on behalf of Mr. James Meredith.

Because President Kennedy made it a goal to fight against the many ills of society, he was very popular with many people. He chose his brother Robert Kennedy to be the U.S. Attorney General and used the power of the U.S. presidency to help correct them. 

The U.S. and U.S.S.R came close to nuclear war when it was learned that there was a nuclear missile build-up in Cuba which is less than 100 miles (160km) from the U.S.

I remember in grade school when we had to know where the “Fallout Shelters” were for us to go there in case we were bombed. 

This was a very tense time in U.S. history.

On a more positive note, in response to the successes of the Soviet Union’s space program, President Kennedy pledged the nation to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Unfortunately he would not live to see it happen which was not only for the benefit of the U.S. but for the benefit of the whole planet.

Part 2B (1965-1969) To be continued, please stay tuned.

Peyman and S&W thanks for your contributions.




@Teacher Alson

Thank you for leting me know a propert word that i should used in my sentence. I am looking forward to the next series.

Have a nice weekend!!!!

10:18 AM Feb 28 2015 |




@peyman I felt sorry to hear your experience about growing up with srong hatred which is not healthy for a kid.It’s unfair for everyone living in this country.I mean every citizen deserve a better and peaceful life espeically children.Happiness and smiling are the light of the world shouldn’t be deprived from life.Now,you see the world is much better than you were taught.Why white is a thriller?

10:09 AM Feb 28 2015 |


United States

S&W, thanks to Easypeasy for suggesting this topic. Concerning using your imagination to understand the information, there is a word that adequately describes it and the word is “Vicarious” which is what you mentioned.  The meaning is when you imagine yourself living through the experience of someone else.

For many people who read this series and were not born and/or did not live in the United States during that timeframe they can experience it “vicariously,” that is, through the writers’ experience.

In regards to my college experience, that won’t come until Part Three “Growing up in the U.S. during the 70’s.

The American Dream is very broad and has changed throughout the years, but basically it was owned your own house and the perks that go along with it.

Anyway, currently I’m typing Part Two and hope to post it during this weekend.

Peyman, you’re the man, thanks!

Please stay tuned.

07:04 PM Feb 27 2015 |




Hey teacher Alson.Growing up in the United states was a great topic.You introduced us a country in developing times after world war and how it become stronger step by step.Because at that time i wasn’t born,i imagined things you described while reading and combined them with the movie that i had watched.I am looking forward to the next series in which you start to describe college.When comes to 60’s,i got question about “American Dream”.There was a large number of immigrates and oversea students went to the united states with their great ideal ,What a normal local americans dream at that time?

03:37 PM Feb 26 2015 |


United States

Hello Sourapple, yes, it is interesting to learn of various cultural differences and then relate or compare them to our own.  Western movies were very popular in the 1950’ and 60’s in the U.S. with actors like John Wayne being very popular.

Well, hang on to your seat for a brief ride through the 1960’s coming up!

03:57 PM Feb 25 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

cultural difference between various countries have been always an interesting topic for me, , i lways like to watch western movies , really hope that this discussion be a continued one

09:03 PM Feb 24 2015 |


United States

Alexander, ironically I must agree with you that the 60’s were some golden years! I will explain more when I post the “Growing up in the U.S.” in the 60’s, hopefully this weekend.

02:32 PM Feb 24 2015 |


United Kingdom

Ok thanks.Most of all ‘60 were the golden years…

09:13 PM Feb 23 2015 |


United States

Easypeasy and Alexander, thank you for your feedback on “Growing up in the U.S.” in the 1950’s. The upcoming lesson on “Growing up in the U.S.” in the 1960’s will have a lot of information from history and some of my own personal life experiences during this time, especially college.

Actually the decade of the 60’s for right or wrong was the turning point in American culture that laid the foundation for American culture today. Stay tuned.

04:12 AM Feb 23 2015 |


United Kingdom

Wow,that’s a good idea.Great job

05:02 PM Feb 21 2015 |




Thank you Mr. Alston! It was really cool to have an insight in how it was like to grow up during the 50’s in the U.S.

Looking forward to the next parts

04:01 PM Feb 21 2015 |


United States

Growing up in the United States – Part 1 


This topic was suggested by Easypeasy a member of Englishbaby who is a very thought provoking person among many others who are members here.

It is written to give people an idea of how it was growing up in the U.S. for me personally and in a general sense of many of the people who reside(d) there. Included will be some history of things that happened, some things I experienced while growing up and some miscellaneous things to help you understand American culture from history.

This will be written in a 7-part series with each part devoted to a specific decade starting from the 1950’s thru 2010’s.

Your comments, additions and questions are encouraged.

Well, without any further ado, let’s get started.

Growing up in the 1950’s

I was born during the 1950’s in The Motor City (Detroit).  At the time, the U.S. had already come through WWII and American industry was returning to American consumerism.

Automobile designers were influenced by things related to the military. Automotive military design themes manifested themselves in body fins, torpedo shaped bumpers and taillights, aircraft hood ornaments, cockpit dashboards and military related names such as: “Rocket” “Thunder” “Flight” etc.

Television was a main source of entertainment with common themes such as the good guys verses the bad guys or cops and robbers or aliens from outer space attacking the earth.  One of my favorite outer space movies was “The Day The Earth Stood Still” made in the early 50’s; I like it because it boiled all of humanity’s illogical biases expressed in violence down to an ultimatum of ’straighten up and fly right’ or the earth would be destroyed by the aliens.

Hollywood portrayed the ideal American family as a husband and wife with kids and no problems or problems that couldn’t be easily solved.  Such TV show as “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “Father Knows Best” and other TV shows portrayed this image.

On the other side of the spectrum were many Western TV shows such as: “Gunsmoke” “The Rifleman” “Bonanza” “Have Gun Will Travel” “Bat Matterson” and others in the drama, and science fiction categories.

Last but certainly not least were TV shows devoted to children with the two leading shows being “The Mickey Mouse Club” (of which I was a member) and “Howdy Doody.” When these shows came on there probably wasn’t a kid in America that wasn’t tuned in to these two programs and there were a host of cartoons.

There were no such thing as computers, calculators, video games, internet, cell phones, microwave ovens, or much of what we have today; therefore, our forms of entertainment were playing checkers, chess, card games (Old Maid), shooting marbles or playing with dolls and doll houses for girls.  Reading comic books was very popular with Superman and other heroic characters captured our imagination.

Also there were many programs on the radio that were interesting because you could hear the activity and you use your imagination to visualize the action.

During the 1950’s, many families were able to afford a car and as a result, businesses catered to an automotive mindset.  One example was the popularity of the “Drive-in Theater” where you could watch a movie from your car on a big screen.  Some drive-in movies had some sort of pre-movie entertainment area for children before it got dark and the movie started.  The refreshment building sold popcorn, candy, beverages and other items.  It was a lot of fun to go there and watch a movie, each car parked next to a pole that had a speaker which you hung on your window for the sound.

Owning your own tricycle or bicycle was very enjoyable along with having a red wagon and sledding with your own personal sled during the winter was loads of fun.

Another activity was traveling by car to far away states to visit relatives, this was another activity that was enjoyable viewing unfamiliar sites and playing games in the car.

Probably the most exciting time for many children were the opening of gifts on Christmas day, kids would want to see what gifts they received and what their friends received.  Toy train sets were very popular with boys and dolls/doll houses with girls.

Christmas time was a time of joyfulness throughout the country and many things catered to its promotion.  Today, that is not the case, at least not compared to back during the 50’s.

The U.S. economy was increasing in its prosperity, especially in the Northern States, and many people increased in their family’s prosperity as well; but not all, because minorities were left in the shadows of American society and this reality would provide an environment for the expression of discontent that would follow into the decade of the tumultuous 60’s.

Part Two: Growing up in the U.S. in the 60’s to be continued next time, stay tuned!


United States

Peyman, good to hear your new sentiments and one by one we can make the world a better place. Check in when you can and make the most of your visit.  

Take care!

03:18 PM Feb 18 2015 |


United States

Peyman, I am glad that you discoverd the fact that people are people everywhere.

Concerning people, here is a little secret: Everyone has their own personal agenda and one of the main things on the agenda is the control of another persons mind, thoughts, and opinions.

I resisted this type of control years ago among some of my peers who disliked the fact that I had friends of a different race. I do not receive people telling me who “my friends” are going to be!  I select my own friends and take their opinion of others with a grain of salt (if that).

Well, I’d better stop at this point, I have to complete my “Growing up in the U.S.” article but now that you brought this subject up, I may include a taste of it in the article. Stay tuned!

By the way, my name is Alston

01:33 PM Feb 13 2015 |

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