Learn English – 3 cultural differences I admire

There are aspects of other cultures that I really like, that are different than how we do things here in the US. In this video, I talk about 3 such differences and why I value them.



Hey there. This is Maria from English without Fear. Are there aspects of other cultures that you admire, that you think are good and different from where you live? Let’s talk about that today.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

There are many things that I enjoy about my country, America. And obviously there are things I don’t like, that I don’t respect, that bother me. But that’s another episode. 

Today I want to tell you one difference from three different countries, that…. a difference, a quality that, that appeals to me. 

The first comes from England. We used to live in England and we enjoy walking and seeing the countryside. What I like about England, what I admire is how walkers have what is called the ‘right of way’ across farmers’ fields. Many walking paths cut right through the fields of active farms. And the government has said: “Walkers have permission, they can use the paths. It doesn’t matter that the field belongs to someone else.” 

I like that! Here in America, if you’re going to walk, you walk on a sidewalk. And a town, or maybe the city has created a, a path just for walkers. But usually people have to go to a park or the woods. They don’t walk, we don’t walk across farmers’ fields, not at all. So I enjoy…… I did enjoy that aspect of England.

The second quality, difference that appeals to me, that I like comes from France. As a French teacher. I have traveled a lot in France and read a lot, talked to French people. I understand how they view food and the role that schools play in teaching children to try new foods. If you, if a child in France eats in the school cafeteria and doesn’t go home for lunch, the school lunches are well prepared, often with fresh vegetables. The menus are varied and children learn to eat new foods, foods that they might not have at home. They also have time to eat and not rush. They learn how to converse, how to have a table conversation with their friends, with their classmates. That is excellent. That is a very good quality.

Here in America, school lunches are often just 25 minutes long, if that.  I know!  I taught in public and private schools for 27 years. It was terrible. Kids rushed. The food wasn’t very good. If there was a cafeteria, it was often, they often offered things like fast food, not healthy, healthy vegetables, and different kinds of meats and ways of cooking.

My third example comes from Germany. I lived many different times in Germany and also speak some German. What I admire about Germany also comes from their education system. It’s how teenagers are encouraged to think about what they like doing and what they’re good at. The assumption is not: “You should go to university because university is good.” That’s the way it seems to be here in America. Many kids in high school and middle school are encouraged to, you’re going to go to college to university.  But that’s not for everyone.

In Germany, the trades, the skills with your hands, hands and mind are also valued and emphasized. And there are very good trade schools where you can learn a valuable craft or skill with different levels of expertise and different levels of respect, as you move on up, just as there are levels in university for studying biology or economics.

But we’re all different. And I think Germany gets that. They do that well. They offer different kinds of school for young people. And oftentimes the trade schools, the skilled workers actually find better jobs and make more money, uh, and have more successful, more satisfying careers. 

Those are just three examples from my travels and where I’ve lived and what I’ve read. But you must know something about another culture. Either, you’ve seen a video, heard about it, visited, maybe even lived somewhere else.

What is one aspect from somewhere different? They might even, this place, might even have the same language, but just do things differently. Tell me about it. Leave me a comment below. 

And remember if you would like the written words, the transcript for today’s episode, go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com And there you can find transcripts to many of these, many of these segments.

(outro: Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you next time.)


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