Cultural differences roleplay: An American eating in Japan

Here’s a good scene from Mr. Baseball to introduce the topic of cultural differences. I typically have students watch once as they try to list the cultural differences they see. Then we go over the differences as a class and students watch again, looking for all the cultural differences mentioned. Then we do the roleplay (beneath the video).

Students can describe the cultural differences evident in this scene from the movie Mr. Basbeball and can then move on to other activities like listing more cultural differences related to eating or cultural differences they have experienced firsthand or ones they have seen in other movies.


Mr. Baseball – You are Jack Elliot, an American Major League Baseball player. At least you used to be. You’re getting old and no longer good enough to play for your old team, the Yankees. Now you are playing in Japan. You just had dinner with your team’s manager’s family. They seemed upset with you. Speak with Hiroko, the manager’s daughter to find out what went wrong.

Hiroko – You are the manager’s daughter and you’re supposed to show a baseball player who is new to Japan how to handle Japanese culture. He just made a few errors during a family dinner and now your father is upset with both you and the American. Tell him what he can do differently next time.

You can then ask students to bring in their own roleplay based on a movie clip that shows a cultural difference. They should be given a few weeks for this assignment. Students need to submit a link to where the movie clip can be found online (like on Youtube) or be able to bring in the DVD (hopefully the school library or media center has these available).

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