Hard Rock Cafe - A Cultural Meeting Place
Currently there are 149 Hard Rock Cafés in 53 countries around the world. One of these cafés is located in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh. Pretend that you have just been seated at one of the tables, are ready for a meal, and your waiter comes up to you. He is very friendly and asks where you come from. It is fairly quiet in the cafe right now, so he spends a few minutes telling you about himself and his background, Edinburgh Hard Rock Café and Scottish culture.
Listen to the waiter at Edinburgh Hard Rock Café (3 -4 min.)
Your waiter walks away to prepare your order. In the meantime, two of your friends have just arrived and joined you at the table. When they came in, they saw that you were talking to the waiter, and they are now curious to know what you were talking about. Here are some of their questions, which you should now be able to answer.
- Why has the waiter moved around a lot?
- Mention some of the places he has lived.
- Why did he choose to return to Edinburgh?
- What does he think about his job at Hard Rock?
- The Hard Rock Cafés are involved in charity projects. What is Edinburgh Hard Rock Café supporting?
- In what way has "your" waiter contributed?
- He recommends that you try a special dish. Which one?
- What is his attitude to Scotch whisky?
- What is your general impression of "your" waiter?
- How would you characterize his language? Is it a typical Scottish variant? Why or why not, do you think?
In your classroom at high school, make an International English Café, where some are waiters and some are guests. Before you start, decide the profile of the café, the layout and the dishes you'd like to serve. The waiters should have different cultural backgrounds, e.g. from the Philippines, Singapore, a Caribbean island, the USA, Australia, South Africa and India and should spend a few minutes preparing for questions from the guests about their background. You can use articles from NDLA as preparation and/or the locations on this link, . The guests prepare questions for the waiters, using the audio recording as a basis.
- Edinburgh (Scotland)
- Guam (the Caribbeans)
- New Orleans (the USA)
- Sydney (Australia)
- Makati (the Philippines)
- Mumbai (India)
- Does the introduction provided about "your" location reflect local culture? If so, what is conveyed?
- What is meant by "memorabilia"? How is this linked to the project idea behind the Hard Rock Café concept? What kind of memorabilia does "your" café offer?
- Take a look at the menus. What do they offer - just American food or do they have local treats? Give examples.
- What is your impression of the Hard Rock Café concept? What characterizes a typical Hard Rock Café?
- To which extent does the Hard Rock Café concept export American culture to the world? Use this link as an approach.
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