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DIARY

First week
In the first class, the teacher introduce about Culture Learning which help me know more about the concept of culture and its influences on communications. To begin, the teacher gave us a situation that I found kind of confusing. He asked what I would choose to do, where I would go to and what I would like to eat if I were given 10 days traveling in America. After that, he suggested and introduced to us some places in America. Each of those has their own specific features, many tourist attractions and special dishes that all sounded very exciting. Also, he talked about a situation where a couple broke up and the girl didnt want to see the boy under any circumstances while the boy wanted to remain their friendship. This made the boy feel shocked because they were not from the same culture and they may have misunderstood each other behaviors. So from this we can conclude that culture is very important in communications. Although we use the same language, we may still misread other people gestures.

Second week
In this week, I studied about the differences and similarities between American values and Vietnamese values. We learnt that American live individually and independently. They are ambitious and they live for themselves . On the other hand, Vietnamese are more dependent and they live not only for themselves but they put their family on top of anything.

Third week
This time, I was given an activity. We worked in group and found out the differences between American and Vietnamese work ethics, the Characteristic of protestant work ethics and Confucian work ethics.

Fifth Week
This was the first presentation of our group. We presented about American economy and transportation. My part is American economy. I prepared it by summarizing the reading in the book and made a power point with pictures showing the development of American economy. The presentation went pretty well. I was a little nervous but managed to make it through.

The teacher gave me a question at the end of my presentation. The question is about the current economy status of America. He asked me if I believe that China would overcome Americas economy in my life time. I told him that I wouldnt happen because America is the center of technology. With the best technology, education and many things, China wouldnt be able to overcome Americas economy. My answer was approved and my presentation got an A-. I felt quite good about the result.

Thirteenth week
This week, I had to give a presentation about British attitudes towards privacy and sex. I wasnt well prepared on this presentation because I should have done the presentation the previous week but due to the time I had to do it later. I was thinking I could remember what I previewed the previous week but I forgot most of it actually and it wasnt going very well on the first part. But the sex part seemed to be my audiences interest. This made me feel more confident and I did the part quite well. And I got another A-. It seemed good to me.

REFLEXION
The good thing about this course is that I learnt lots of interesting knowledge about American and British culture which is very different from the environment that Im living in. America was only formed in 1789, but with its great development, it is now the country with the largest economy in the world. Its also nominated as the melting pot, meaning it is the place that many cultures come together. This makes America seem like a small world. The reason why America is called the melting pot is because it is a nation of immigrants. America and British are the two most immigrant countries in the world. People from around the world came to America to live and along with them; they brought their traditions and customs. This made America a multicultural country. Coming to America, you may come across any cultures and if you dont have the right knowledge to understand other people from different cultures, you may misunderstand their gestures and feel really confused. American system of Government is a system designed to bring together different factions around a consensus, which the primary and overriding consensus of the entire system being a dedication to the principles of the U.S Constitution. American government consists of two parts: Congress and Party. There are 100 Senators, two from each state. One third of the Senators are elected every two years for six-year terms of office. The

Senators represent all of people in a state and their interests. The head of a government is called President. He or she is elected every four year term of office with no more than full term allowed by the voters. American citizens who are at least 18 years of age have the right to vote. The difference between America and Vietnam education is at the core concept. That is while America is student centered, Vietnam is teacher centered. In America, everything is focused on the students, their studies, their purposes, their ability, etc. On the other hand, in Vietnam, it happens in an opposite way. The focus it put on the teachers. The teachers are highly respected and it has become a tradition. From this difference, it led to different way of studying in classes. Because in America it is student centered, the students feel more comfortable and confident to directly communicate with the teachers and they become more active, they challenge and argue with the teachers to build their lessons and gain their knowledge. In Vietnam however, because the teacher is highly respect, many students dare not to really talk to their teacher, this make the student become more and more passive. They only come to class, listen to the teacher, do what the teacher says and take note from the board. To me, this is not a good way to study and really need to be changed, especially in university, it will actually kill you. About American lifestyles, they tend to highly value their individualism. They always want to do things their own way that is not like anyone elses. This is why they dont like to be called a typical American, they always aim to be the difference. Look back at

Asian peoples lifestyles; I realize that they are very different from American. Asian people tend to do things together, in group of people. They want to do things that a lot of people would normally do. Theyre afraid to be different from other people. Maybe this is why Americans are more adventurous and more willing to take risks to success in their works, their businesses as well as in their lives while Asians are more hard working and stick to what they learnt. Another American characteristic is that Americans do things for their own good which means they study to get themselves better jobs, to have better lives, for themselves, not for anyone else. But for Asian people, they do things for two purposes, for their own and their family pride. If they are successful, it doesnt only offer them better lives but it also honors their family. This results in the fact that Asian people tend to be more hardworking than American people. The economy of America is the largest economy system in the world. This didnt itself appear to be but it was built up from the ground with great efforts. This difficult progress gave the American the tremendous ingenuity and inventiveness. It could be the reason America become the center of technology, many new inventions and technology were made in America. This advantage will guarantee the number one position that America is holding at the moment. A special feature of American culture is the free of speech and the free of information. With these rights, anyone even not American can express their own ideas in any matter

that they may be interested in without any problems. Also, they can get information from any sources and publish anything they want. These are important rights and traditions of Americans as they mentioned Our liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. Apart from the American culture section, the British culture also provides very useful and interesting information about many things in Britain. Great Britain is the fourth most popular country in Europe. It consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wale, and Northern Ireland. Although they are all referred as British, they have a strong sense of identity and nationalism; they prefer to state their national identity as English, Scottish or Welsh. Actually, the Scots and Welsh will go angry whenever someone use the term English to mean all three. I think this is important to know so that I wont be very confused if I have a chance to go to Great Britain. In the UK, there are also class differences in Britain. Doctors and lawyers and university teachers are given more status than unskilled laborers. This shows the different level of power, influence and money. Besides, the class would also affect the chance of getting an education, jobs, the people one socialize with and marriage. The British society is divided into three main groups of classes that are the upper class, the middle class, and lower or working class. However, it is said that to the majority of the British, the meanings dont seem to matter much these days.

As for the political aspect of the UK, Great Britain is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the State. The two main parties are the Conservative party and the Labor party. The Liberal Democrats is a weaker third party. Both Scotland and Wales have nationalist parties whose goal is the independence of those respective regions. It is interesting to learn about the formality and informality of British people. Many people including me believed that the British are very formal and not very friendly people. However, the lesson showed the opposite. According to the book, it is said that British people are not really formal because they are only formal in their public role, meaning they are at work or on duty of something. In their private role, they live quite openly and pretty much informally. They dont really care about what they wear or what people may say. They only wear smartly when it is required. On vacation or private time, they, even politicians who are demanded high moral standard, enjoy hanging out with informal clothes. More interesting, the British awareness to friendly gestures are sometimes seems unusual. When they consider someone as their friend, they will ignore all rules and formalities as they think those will create distances between people. So to ignore all rules, they tend to refer the person without using his or her title, they wont say please when making request and not shake hands when meeting each other. In some cases, close friends with too many rules and formalities would actually make them feel inconvenient because they cant feel relaxed if there are too many rules to follow.

The British are probably more conservative than other countries. They have the habit of keeping things private in their blood and it would be very rude if someone violate their privacy. They expect others to respect their privacy. This extends to not asking personal questions. Even close friends do not ask pointedly personal questions like financial situation or relationships. They take sex with a positive attitude, however, they still consider it as a very private thing and they wouldnt be willing to talk about it openly. British people also really love nature and animals. They enjoy living in the countryside along with the nature surrounding. This characteristic led them to have a very popular hobby of growing plants and gardening. It doesnt matter how big the garden is, the British always find a lot of things to do in it. The hobby has become an art in Britain which is a very old tradition. They also treat animals and pets with the greatest care and love. Education is an important part of British society. They have three systems of public education one for England and Wales, one for Northern Ireland, and one for Scotland. These three systems are different in many ways. There are hundreds of schools, colleges and universities, including some of the most famous in the world. British children between the ages of 5 and 16 are required by law to go to school. There are several types of high school in Great Britain, which could be grammar schools or a more general, technical, or vocational education. The most attended school is comprehensive schools which provide all type of high school education. Most of the school in the state system care free and 95% of the children attend these schools. Private schools on the other hand,

are supported by fees paid by parents. The leading public schools are the English public schools which prepare for Oxford or Cambridge, 2 oldest and most honored universities in Britain. To end the paper, I would say I enjoyed the course. The knowledge is interesting and helpful. The teacher was very funny and informative making the lessons very exciting and fun to learn. Also, in the course, I was given chances to prepare and give presentations which improve my presentation skills and moreover English skill and teamwork ability. With various information about American and British cultures, I think it will be very useful for me in the future if I have a chance to go to America or Britain or work in such environments as I will be able to understand other people from different culture and avoid potential misleading gestures or conflicts.