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I warming up

1. People should be able to express their opinion in any situation.

Read the sentences below and say if you agree or not with these statements. Support your ideas in 2-3 sentences.

1. People feel uncomfortable when meeting someone new.

2. It is better to be a dunce than a genius.

3. It’s rather difficult/ridiculously easy to choose a suitable present to your friend.

II vocabulary

2. While talking about gift giving etiquette it is very important to know words and expressions connected with the topic.

a) Look through the words in the box below and say which of these items suitable gifts in your culture are.

bottle of perfume bottle of whisky bottle of wine box of chocolate

cake calendar clock handkerchief money pen toy

flowers jewelry gift certificate book CD/DVD photo frame

b) Which of these occasions do you give gifts?

New Year Christmas someone’s birthday a dinner party Easter/Paskha a house-warming party a wedding Halloween

c) What gifts do you present to mentioned events?

III listening

3. There is some information about the most popular festivals in the usa.

a) Listen to the statements and match each person with the festival they are talking about.

Speaker 1 Vicky New Year’s Day

Speaker 2 Jeanette Independence Day

Speaker 3 Alex Halloween

Speaker 4 Adam Thanksgiving

*b) Summarize the information you have heard and say what you know about the most popular fests in the USA . Do people give and get gifts for these fests?

IV reading

4. Knowledge of customs and traditions is very important.

Here is the text, which gives some advice for visitors to China.

a) Read it and think which paragraph describes what you can see in pictures A-G.


1 It’s polite to bring a small gift of fruit, candy, or cakes when visiting friends, relatives, colleagues or business partners. You should say that the candy is for children. This is done to show that you do not assume that the person receiving the gift is greedy. We always bring an even number: this is a sign of happiness and good luck. The host may return some of your gifts, so if you bring a bag of oranges, he or she may give two of them back to you as you leave. This is to return some of the good luck.

2 We accept a gift by saying at least three ways, “Oh no, you shouldn’t… no need…”, so as not to appear greedy. The person giving the gift shouldn’t be surprised by this and think that the gift is not appreciated. You need only say, “I’m pleased that you accept it”.

3 It’s a bad manner to open a gift in front of the person giving it. We aren’t offended if it is put aside until after we have left.

4 Some things carry bad luck. We avoid the following when buying gifts:

  • Straw sandals – they are worn at funerals.

  • Clocks- the Cantonese word for clock can also mean “go to funeral”.

  • Colors- white, blue, or black are associated with funerals. Red, pink, and yellow are joyful colors; they are associated with good luck, wealth, and protection from evil.

  • Sharp objects, such as knives and scissors-these symbolize the cutting off of a friendship.

  • Handkerchiefs – we consider these a sign of sadness.

5 Hong bao is a gift of money in a red packet to bring good luck. Parents and grandparents usually give hong bao to their children at the New Year, or to the bride and groom at a wedding. We give an even amount of money, using and even number of new banknotes, as this brings good luck. It’s also usual to give hong bao to employees.




b) Put the headings in the order of mentioning them in the text above.

a) Gifts of money c) Home visits e) Taboo gifts

b) Opening a gift d) Accepting a gift

*c) What do you like in Chinese gift giving traditions? What don’t you like?

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