This is a popular lesson I have used many times. It works best for me in China because of the video at the beginning, which is in English and Chinese, and concerns Western and Chinese culture differences, but the lesson is applicable anywhere. (I have another lesson on dating here.)


Start by asking some of the following questions. Edit for class ability and personalities.

· How does dating work in your country?
· How do you decide whom to date? Where do you meet people to date?
· How do you begin dating?
Who asks whom?
Who pays?
· What topics do you think are acceptable to discuss on a first date?
· What kinds of things do you do on a date?
· Describe a typical first date in your culture.
· How does dating change the longer you date?
· How serious is dating in your culture? If you date, does it mean you’re probably going to get married, or is it often just for fun?
· How long do people in your country usually date before they get married?
· Do you spend time alone with your date, or are there other people there? Does this change over time?
· How long do you think you should date before you start holding hands, kissing, etc.?
· Do people in your country use online date matching services?
· Do people in your country go on blind dates?
· If you are single, would you go on a blind date? If you aren’t single, would you have gone on a blind date when you were single? Who would you trust to set you up on a blind date?

The topic of dating is usually popular but can make some students shy. Emphasize when they’re speaking that “you” means people in general, and not that specific student. They’re more likely to speak at ease.

Watch a Video

The video below is an hilarious series of observations about cultural differences in dating between China and the West. The students will – if they speak Chinese or English – find it hilarious. The humour might be lost on students from other countries so maybe replace this with another comparable video.
My advice is to watch this once and have the students talk about the things they found interesting, funny, or surprising. Alternatively, you can watch it a second time with the volume off and have them narrate, act the dialogue, or simply describe what happened – again this depends on class level and enthusiasm.


Students will now mock a “first date” dialogue. Have them work with a partner and talk through a typical first date. Pick some outgoing students to speak aloud in front of the class.
For this to work best, I’d advise mocking up two people. Get the students to describe a man and a women – ages, appearances, hobbies, jobs, etc – and then the dialogue should follow.