• ACTFL goal areas: cultures, comparisons
  • Level: beginner and above
  • Learning objectives: identify and describe food values and practices in multimodal SNS posts; compare food values and practices between the target culture and students’ home culture

Directions

  1. Have students work in pairs with one or more smartphones.
  2. Ask students to search for the Facebook page of a popular fast food or restaurant located both in the target country and students’ home country. To do so, search for the name of the country plus the name of the restaurant. Students will find two pages, one for each country. For example, students can search the following: Burger King Italia and Burger King United States; or Subway France and Subway United States.
  3. Working in pairs, students compare the two pages both from an image and text perspective. Give students some guiding questions:
    • What words and images stand out to you in the two pages?
    • What similarities did you notice between the two pages in terms of values and perspectives? Is the focus on cost, serving size, quality, or ingredients?
    • Do you think that restaurant chains are the same in different countries? Why or why not?
    • How may the differences be related to the target culture?
  4. After the pair discussions, ask students to share their findings and reflections with the rest of the class.

Options and suggestions

  • With beginners you can facilitate this activity by providing translation of keywords found on the Facebook page. Students can also use the “See translation” feature under Facebook posts. In many cases, for the United States the name of the Facebook page is simply the name of the fast food, without the name of the country. More advanced learners may discuss their opinions in the target language.