Culture Shock



section 1

A First Look

A. Background Building

DIRECTIONS: Answer these questions about yourself. The ones on this page are about your first days in the U. S. The ones on the next page are about how you feel now.

My first days in the U. S.

I life in America.

Подпись: с had no strong feelings about с had no strong feelings about с had no strong feelings abouta. loved b. hated

I______ being with Americans.

a. loved b. hated

I___ English.

a. loved b. hated

I___ homesick most of the time.

a. was not b. was

I wanted to spend my time with____

a. Americans b. people from my culture

I wanted to speak_____

a. English b. my language

I thought life in America was_____

a. wonderful b. terrible

I thought Americans were____

a. wonderful b. terrible

I______ to go home after one week.

a. didn’t want b. wanted

Count your "a" answers and your "b" answers, a.___________ b.


I_____ life in America.

a. love b. hate с have no strong

feelings about

I_____ being with Americans.

a. love b. hate с have no strong

feelings about

I_____ English.

a. love b. hate с have no strong

feelings about

I_____ homesick most of the time.

a. am not b. am

I want to spend my time with_____

a. Americans b. people from my culture

I want to speak_____

a. English b. my language

I think life in America is_____

a. wonderful b. terrible

I think Americans are____

a. wonderful b. terrible

I_____ to go home in one week.

a. don’t want b. want

Count your "a" answers and your "b" answers, a.____________ b._______

The title of this chapter is "Culture Shock." What do you think that means?

B. Topic ‘

DIRECTIONS: Before you begin to read, look at these topics. There is one topic for each paragraph. Look quickly at the reading to find these topics. Do not read every word at this point. Write the number of the paragraph next to the topic of that paragraph.

1. ________ the people who experience culture shock

2. the things people say when you leave home

3. three stages of culture shock

4. _______ the feelings of culture shock

5. _______ problems in a new culture

6. _______ definition of culture shock

C. Reading


1 "You’re going to the United States to live? How wonderful! 1

You’re really lucky!" 2

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps your family and friends said 3

similar things to you when you left home. But does it seem true all 4

the time? Is your life in this new country always wonderful and 5

2 exciting? Specialists in counseling and intercultural studies say that 6

it is not easy to adjust to life in a new culture. They call the feelings 7

which people experience when they come to a new environment cul – 8

ture shock. 9

According to these specialists, there are three stages of culture 10 shock. In the first stage, the newcomers like their environment. 11

3 Then, when the newness wears off, they begin to hate the city, the 12

country, the people, the apartment, and everything else in the new 13

culture. In the final stage of culture shock, the newcomers begin to 14

adjust to their surroundings and, as a result, enjoy their life more. 15

Some of the factors in culture shock are obvious. Maybe the 16

weather is unpleasant. Perhaps the customs are different. Perhaps 17

the public service systems such as the telephone, post office, or 18

transportation are difficult to figure out and you make mistakes. 19

The simplest things seem difficult. The language may be difficult. 20

How many times have you just repeated the same thing again and 21

again and hoped to understand the answer eventually? The food 22

may seem strange to you and you may miss the familiar smells of 23

the food you are accustomed to in your own country. If you don’t 24

4 look similar to the natives, you may feel strange. You may feel like 25

everyone is watching you. In fact, you are always watching your – 26

self. You are self-conscious. 27

Who experiences culture shock? Everyone does in some form 28

or another. But culture shock comes as a surprise to most people. 29

A lot of the time, the people with the worst culture shock are the 30

people who never had any difficulties in their own countries. They 31

5 were active and successful in their community. They had hobbies 32

or pastimesrwhich they enjoyed. When they come to a new country, 33

they do not have the same established positions or hobbies. They 34

find themselves without a role, almost without an identity. They 35

have to build a new self-image. 36

Culture shock produces a feeling of disorientation. This dis – | 37

orientation may be homesickness, imagined illness, or even para – 38

noia (unreasonable fear). When people feel the disorientation of cul – 39

ture shock, they sometimes feel like staying inside all the time. They 40

want to protect themselves from the unfamiliar environment. They 41

want to create an escape within their room or apartment to give 42

themselves a sense of security. This escape does solve the problem 43

of culture shock for the short term, but it does nothing to familiar – 44

ize the person more with the culture. Familiarity and experience are 45

the long-term solutions to the problem of culture shock. 46


1. Look at the reading. Underline a sentence you agree with.

2. Underline a sentence you don’t understand.

3. Discuss these sentences with your classmates and teacher.

D. Scanning/Vocabulary PART 1

DIRECTIONS: Write the line number where you find the word(s). Then choose the best meaning for the word as it is used in that sentence.



line number

a. authorities

b. important people





line number

a. place around

b. time you live in






Hne number

a. part of a theater

b. progressive parts





hne number

a. most important

b. most difficult




E. Reading Comprehension

DIRECTIONS: Circle the letter of the choice that best completes each sentence.


1. There are apparently_____ stages of culture shock.

a. two b. three с four

2. People who come to a new environment feel lucky and happy.

a. do not always b. always с never


3. According to the author, it____ easy to adjust to a new culture.

a. is always b. is usually с is not

4. The author gives____ examples of public service systems.

a. two b. three с four

5. Someone who looks___ the natives of a country may feel strange.

a. similar to b. at с different from

6. People in a foreign culture feel____ about themselves and their positions.

a. differently b. the same с happy

7. The author gives____ examples of the disorientation of culture shock.

a. two b. three с four

8. The author thinks that it is____ idea for people feeling culture shock to stay in

their homes as a long-term solution to culture shock.

a. not a good b. a great с not a bad

9. In the final stage of culture shock, people—— the new environment.

a. love b. adjust to с hate

10. People who feel culture shock stay at home because of___

a. insecurity b. solutions с the weather

section 2

Look Again

A. Vocabulary


DIRECTIONS: Circle the letter of the choice that best completes each sentence.

В. Reading Comprehension

Подпись: adjusting different experience familiarity Подпись: hating liking long-term problems Подпись: shock short-term solution sometimes

DIRECTIONS: Complete the reading summary with words from this list. Try to complete it first without looking back at the reading.

Подпись: to a new culture is not easy. The(1)

Подпись: of adjusting to a new environment is called There are three stages of culture(2).

culture (3)

shock: (4) _ the new environment, (5)

it, and adjusting to it. People experience culture shock because of

(6) customs, weather and food, and language

(7) (8)_____________________ the peo­

ple with the worst culture shock are people who never had any dif­ficulties in their own country. The (9) ________________________________________________________

image069 Подпись: solutions are

(10)____________________ to culture shock is to stay at home and

C. Think About It

DIRECTIONS: Discuss the answers to these guestions with your classmates.

1. What was your favorite hobby or pastime when you were in your country? Is it possible to do that in the United States?

2. Is there any activity that you enjoy (or might enjoy) doing in your free time in the United States? What is that? How difficult or expen­sive is it to do?

3. How much time do you spend in your room, house, or apartment?

Answer to 3: Jody was suffering from the fourth stage of culture shock—the readjustment people have when they return to their countries.

Answer to 4: Jody will feel better after a while. She needs time to put her trip into perspective and adjust to her normal life in the United States.

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section 3_____________________________

Contact a Point of View


A. Background Building

1. What do you think the above illustration means?

2. Do you ever feel like the person in the illustration? Why or why not?

B. Timed Reading

DIRECTIONS: Read the following point of view and answer the questions in four minutes.

Nguyen Chau Van Loc came to the United States in 1979 from Viet­nam. His first impression of the United States was very positive. He was

particularly impressed with the way Americans had put technology to work for them. Americans made machines to take them upstairs and downstairs, give them money at the bank, and even open doors for them. He felt that this new environment offered him many exciting opportu­nities.

However, Loc quickly found himself unprepared to take advantage of these opportunities. He knew almost no English. Even when he knew what to say on a bus or in a store, no one understood him and he had to repeat and repeat. In Vietnam, Loc was a technician, but in the United States he did not have enough experience compared with other people. He had trouble finding a job. He felt that he did not have an important role or position in the city and missed the security and friendliness of his town in Vietnam. He felt that he would never learn English or feel happy in the United States. He began to feel very depressed and homesick.

Loc was lucky because there was a counselor in his English pro­gram. This counselor helped Loc to understand that his feelings were normal and that they were only a stage in his adjustment to this new culture. Loc began to look around him and to talk to other Vietnamese. He saw that many others felt the same way he did. Some, in fact, were more disoriented than he was and were afraid to go out into the city.

Eventually, Loc began to feel better about his life in the United States. He developed a position in the Vietnamese American community and adjusted to his new role in American society. He is accustomed to his life in this new country but will always miss Vietnam.


Read each of the following statements carefully to determine whether each is true (Tj, false (F), or impossible to know (ITKj.


Loc came from Vietnam.


Loc is married.


Loc came to the United States in 1977.


Loc had a positive attitude about American technology.


Loc did not have a job in Vietnam.


A counselor helped Loc.


The counselor was a woman.


No one felt the same way that Loc did.


People understood Loc’s English easily.


Loc never thinks about Vietnam now.

C. Vocabulary

DIRECTIONS: Circle the letter of the word(s) with the same meaning as the italicized word(s).

1. My first impression of the teacher was good.

Подпись:a. experience with b. conversation with с

2. American technology surprised the Vietnamese immigrant.

a. scientific development b. machines с

3. There are many opportunities for work in the city.

a. possibilities b. difficulties с

4. I wrote my homework again.

a. very well b. another time с

5. He felt self-conscious when he spoke English.

a. strong b. tired с

6. He was not sure of his role in the group.

a. position b. friend с

7. I am always depressed on rainy days.

a. angry b. tired с

8. The counselor talked to me about my problems.

a. assistant b. advisor с

9. The newcomers felt disoriented in the airport.

a. n " -">d up b. happy с

10. The image on this television is bad.

a. picture b. actor с

D. React

DIRECTIONS: When you entered a new environment or culture, what was the most difficult thing you experienced? What was the easiest? Number these things according to the level of difficulty. Write I for the hardest and 10 for the easiest. Include all the numbers from I to 10.

the bank

the transportation system

the post office

. the living situation (roommates, finding a place to live, neigh­bors)

. making friends the weather

understanding American customs and lifestyles understanding American values and beliefs using the telephone. finding good food to eat

Explain to the other people in your class why you had difficulties with your number 1, the hardest thing. Give examples of your experiences. After you were in this new environment for a while or even now, what was or is the most difficult thing for you? Did the most difficult thing become easier in time or did it stay the same?

E. Word Analysis Part 1

DIRECTIONS: Look at the endings for nouns and adjectives below. Are the italicized words in the sentences nouns or adjectives? Remember that there is never an s on the ends of adjectives in English.


society social

tradition traditional


1. This solution will be beneficial for everyone.

2. Our sense of community is very important.

3. Poverty is a serious social prob­lem.

4. Racial conflict is an issue in the United States.

5. She is always very practical.

6. Downtown is the central busi­ness area.

7. What is a typical name in your country?

8. There is some similarity be­tween you and your brother.

9. Who has control here?______

10. People in certain countries value formality greatly.

Part 2

1. Study the meanings of these: Another example:

inter- between intercultural interpersonal

tele- distance television


vid – vis – to see



phon – sound



self – oneself



auto – self



2. Complete the sentences with one of the above words.

a. The. was wonderful. They played Bach and Hayden.

b. I don’t have to change gears in my car. It’s an_____________________

с I am studying to be a psychologist so_____________________ communication

is very important for me to learn about.

d. He never thinks about himself and he’s always giving to other people. He is


e. Last night was very clear, so I took my_____________________ outside and

looked at the stars.

f. The damage from the earthquake was immediately_________________ .___

Buildings fell down and fires began. It was a terrible sight.

g. I have a friend who collects___________________ s of famous people.

h. He is very intelligent, but he has a negative________________________ He

doesn’t feel secure about himself at all.

Look Back

A. Vocabulary

DIRECTIONS: Circle the letter of the choice that best completes each sentence.

1. The man studied in the field for thirty-five years. He is a____ in the field.

a. counselor b. newcomer с specialist

2. I was certainly surprised when I heard the news. I was______

a. shocked b. bored с accustomed to it

3. Childhood is the first____ of a person’s life. Or is it the second?

a. stage b. image с impression

4. I collect stamps. That is my_____

a. development b. hobby с source

5. My first____ of the airport was terrible.

a. impression b. newness с alternative

6. Some medicine makes people feel tired and___

a. homesick b. familiar с disoriented

7. He was born in Kentucky. He is a____ of Kentucky.

a. native b. newcomer с term

8. There is a good____ feeling in our neighborhood. We all help each other.

a. custom b. self-conscious с community

9. I have to find a____ for this problem.

a. stage b. custom с solution

10. He imagined that people were trying to kill him. He was very_____

a. successful b. paranoid с established

В. Matching

DIRECTIONS: Find the word or phrase in column В which has a similar mean­ing to a word in column A. Write the letter of that word or phrase next to the word in column A.





say again












change a little
















very sad




area around you





С Synthesis Questions

Find someone who has visited another country (your country, if pos­sible). Find out what was the most difficult thing he or she experienced there. Find out if he or she experienced culture shock in that country or when he or she returned to his or her own country.

D. Vocabulary Preview

Подпись: hallway (1) personal (2) interaction (3) reaction (4) lifelong (5)

DIRECTIONS: What shorter words can you see in these words from Chapter 6?











Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:10 pm