Teaching Brick Lane

Lesson plan

220px-Brick_Lane_posterBrick Lane is the story of Nazneen, a young Bangladeshi woman given into an arranged marriage to Chanu Ahmed, a man almost twice her age. Chanu takes her to London, where he has lived and worked for almost two decades. Nazneen not only has to learn to live with Chanu, but she has to survive in a whole new culture as well. 

  1. Discuss in groups of 3 the challenge of moving to a new country with a different culture. List 3 you think might be difficult
  2. In your group research online cultural differences in the UK. Write a paragraph about this on your blog.  Include statistics and numbers.

Watch the movie Brick Lane in class.

Find more info about the film here. Discuss the inter-generational conflict between immigrants and their European-born children. What are the root causes of the trouble between them? Write about this on your blog as a continuation of your first paragraph. Include examples from others films you have seen in class, other texts you have read in class. 

Competence aims to cover

  1. Reflect on how cultural differences and dissimilar value systems can affect communication
  2. Analyze, elaborate on and discuss at least one lengthy literary work and one film
  3. Elaborate on and discuss various aspects of multicultural societies in the English-speaking world


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  1. I love this story. It is so rich. Thanks for sharing your work here!
    I gave the following questions to my students and asked them to write texts about the film:
    1. Discuss at least two of the main characters in Brick Lane in relation to some of the human attributes below:
     Courageous
     Able to adapt
     Faithful/loyal
     Independent
     Compassionate
     Weak
     Strong
    (Nazneen, Chanu, Karim, Shahana)
    2. Discuss the importance of at least two of the following elements in the film:
    a. The opening scene with the mother
    b. The sister’s letters
    c. The Bengal Tigers
    d. Chanu’s dream of going “home”
    e. Blue jeans
    f. Different immigrant experiences
    g. British identity

I would love to hear from you