View Content #28266

Content Type4
TitleSocial Distance and Textbooks

The purpose of this activity is to introduce Novice and Intermediate language learners to the concept of social distance and to help them draw connections between the L1 and the L2.

Learning Outcomes:
Learners will be able to:

  • Utilize distance-minimizing language strategies in communication.
  • Compare how social distance impacts the delivery of requests and/or apologies in the target language scenario to a scenario in the L1.

Mode(s): Any

Materials: social distance video, textbook

1. Introduce learners to the concept of social distance by utilizing the social distance video
2. Select a language function (e.g., greetings or service encounters) that aligns with curricular needs. Brainstorm distance-creating language and distance-minimizing language as a group. You may consider familiar utterances, formal utterances, the use of plural and singular pronouns, how to address people, and the amount of details that will be offered in certain contexts. 
3. Next, find an example of the targeted function in the textbook. Ask that learners rewrite the example so that distance is either minimized or maximized, depending on what the example is.
4. Ask learners to write a brief exit ticket in which they: 1) identify the strategies they used to adapt the conversation; and 2) explain if they would use the same strategies in the L1 or not.


  • During Step 2, teachers may need to supplement learners’ knowledge of L2 utterances, particularly with colloquialisms.
Inputdate2020-10-08 13:00:14
Lastmodifieddate2020-10-12 04:29:31
ExpdateNot set
Publishdate2020-10-12 02:15:01
Displaydate2020-10-12 00:00:00