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Culture Forum

Culture Forum

Date: Oct 26 2013

Topic: Conversational English

Author: englishteacher24/7


A. Forum goals:

  • Provide information on other cultures from the readers.
  • Identify the relationships between culture and language.
  • Provide information on English-speaking cultures to develop an understanding of the English language used in a particular country.

B. Introduction:

  • Cultural influence - Culture has a direct influence on the language(s) used in society. Learning the culture of a society can identify some general characteristics of its people.
  • Cultural factors - Factors such as religion, economics, traditions, customs, natural resources, and politics influences culture.
  • Benefits of learning other cultures - Information about other cultures can help us to understand why people of a society do the things they do, even within the same country. Therefore, let us use this opportunity to learn from each other and seek to improve ourselves.


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United States

Anja thanks for your feedback, and yes during my youth it was fun while it lasted but ultimately I was on a destructive path.

The Lord used my uncle (a preacher) and credit counselor (a deacon) to intervene in my life by revealing to me the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Afterwards I revealed my conversion to a neighbor and she said, “Well Alston, I’m glad something happened to you!” She was a very close neighbor and was concerned. 

God is good and because of his goodness to me I am able to enjoy the richness of life you spoke of and write to you guys. Thanks for your continued support! :)  

06:25 AM Mar 13 2016 |




Hi Alston, I am just glad I can take part in following and reading your life story.

Aren’t we all perfectly human in all our imperfections? You enjoyed life to its full potential – or at least that’s what you believed – while you were young and ready to conquer the world! ( A little exaggeration – but this is what we all around that age had in mind back then)

Perhaps you needed a purpose. And I guess finding ‘it’ down south added more value to your life than all the partying and seeking wealth.  

M.Hemingway once said:...if you are aware in anything you do -it changes you. I am happy for you Alston! ...I am sure that turning point added richness to your life and the things you do today.


United States

Samineh, thanks for your comments. To answer your questions about the meaning of the terms “partying friends” and “tripping” is as follows:

“Partying friends” are companions (friends) who seek out parties to have fun.

“Tripping” is a common slang term to describe someone who is over-reacting, acting weird, or being dramatic about something.

A lot of phrases are used in everyday conversation even in business, political, and professional settings.

For example, during the political debates you may hear phrases such as: “being thrown under the bus” or “having someone’s back” or “from the get go.”

If the meaning of these phrases is not known, then the listener will not understand the statement. Native speakers know exactly what the speaker meant when these phrases are used. 

Most English websites promote the teaching of English from an academic perspective; Englishbaby promotes the teaching of words and phrases as used in everyday American society.

I advise you to start a vocabulary list of these words, they are more useful than trying to learn a vocabulary of words you may very seldom use or remember.

11:31 AM Mar 10 2016 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

reading autobiograpy is the best way for knowing the history , the culture and the lives of people ..thanks for sharing yours to us.

i enjoy reading it a lot and also i learn new words and expresions. actually i hv got two questios about the words inn hti text , i can guess the meanings  but to be sure  i wana ask you..thanks

partying friends means the friends who having party and enjoying your time with>?

and your tripping means ?

thank you so much dear teacher

11:43 AM Mar 09 2016 |



Russian Federation


01:27 AM Mar 08 2016 |

1 person likes this


United States

Justina, it’s strange and amazing how people can change, in my case it was a phenomenal change. It is proof that with God all things are possible because it was in direct relation to my new birth experience.

I’m happy for you that you now have your own income, I know the feeling!

Stay tuned for the next part of my life story.

07:22 PM Mar 07 2016 |





I really like your story Alston! It’s strange how people can change… Sometimes I am thinking what people doesn’t change but now I am realizing that people can change if they want. But it’s hart to leave friends because they remain the same and you don’t have nothing common.

I just can imagine how hard it’s to work in two works… I am studying and working and it’s really sometimes very hard. But I am pround of myself that I have my own income. :)

I am waiting your next story !

02:11 PM Mar 06 2016 |


United States

Hello Somy, thanks for your feedback and as can be seen from my “New Life Experience” that was indeed repentance (which is a change of mind or direction) from accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. We all have a life story and this is a part of my story. 

Easypeasy it’s always good to hear from you.

Concerning “The American Dream” it means somewhat different things to different people but basically it means that through hard work, determination, and initiative you can achieve prosperity and success. My thoughts of “The Good Life” was “The American Dream” on steroids.

In the U.S. culture because the economy is credit-based it can be a two-edge sword i.e. on one side it allows regular working people to live a higher standard of living than they could afford on a cash basis.  On the other hand, shrewd to fraudulent people can take advantage of the system; therefore “The Good Life” can become a scary life.

In regards to your question about how my partying friend could determine that I sounded different in only a few words I will demonstrate by the following skit:

Before New-Life Experience:

Neil (Friend): Hey Alston

Alston: What’s the deal Neil, what’s going down?

Neil: Checking with you man to see what’s up for tonight?

Alston: Let’s meet over to Roy’s house and we’ll go from there.

Neil: Cool.

After New-Life Experience:

Friend: Hey Alston

Alston: Hi Neil, how are you? (formal tone)

Neil: Man you sound different!

Alston: I’ve been born again.

Neil: What? Man you’re tripping, later.

I think you can see why Neil made the statement “Man you sound different.”

Yes, face-to-face conversations can be very effective and my uncle planted seeds that came up which the credit counselor watered resulting in my conversion.

Dear Lesya, your thoughts are always welcomed which I have appreciated down through the years. Thanks for tuning in for the next chapter. 

04:12 AM Mar 05 2016 |




Dear, Alston I will stay definitely tuned for your another chapter of life story. 

Good and interesting story with turning points and changing of personality. 

Thank you a lot for this post, dear teacher  :-)

03:42 PM Mar 04 2016 |




Thank you Mr. Alston for posting another part of Growing up in the U.S. Like always it was enjoyable to read it.

The part in which you wrote about how you were working hard for being able to live The Good Life reminded me much of the idea of The American Dream what is a part of the American culture, I guess. 

I found it quite interesting when one of your partying friends said you sounded different (after your new birth experience) and I wonder what kind of differences your friend perceived (voice, use of words…). Also, it is nice to read that you listened to your uncle’s point of views even though you weren’t a religious person at that time. Sometimes little things like a face-to-face conversation can change one’s life, that’s incredible. 

08:54 PM Mar 03 2016 |


United States

Hello Eleanor,

Thanks for writing to communicate to us of your feelings. We live and learn in life and I hope my story can benefit someone out there; hopefully some may not make the same mistake(s) I made.

Having God in our lives can make all the difference in the world, unfortunately, some use God and religion as a means to an end?

May you and all have a nice day as well.

05:33 AM Mar 02 2016 |




Hello Alston

Thank you for the invitation to your songs lesson, and I have received much benefit from the Q&A. Then I turned the page to your autobiography and read Part 3C immediately.

Your story touched my heart. They remind me of the memories about my 20’s. In those days, I also pursued fame, another gold, another love(It’s what men call ”The Good Life”?). However, something bad made my life in a mess. On an occasion I met a friend who worked for a church. She thought me much about God and love. So I know the felling about “ New Birth Experience “ in your article. I believe God would not give up anyone whether he is a religious person or not.

May you have a nice day. : )

08:44 AM Mar 01 2016 |


United States

Part 3C – Growing up in the U.S. – Moving out of my parents house / New Birth Experience / Marriage / Change of Life Style – 1973-1979 – My story

Moving out of my parents house

After graduating from college I lived with my parents and worked two jobs to save enough money to afford to move into my own place. At the time, my best friend and I had dreams of living “The Good Life” if that’s what you want to call it. 

This involved living in a luxurious apartment, romanticism, eating out, carefree living, etc. Well to pull all of this off, you need money; thus the reason for two jobs.  My primary job was working in Research & Development for an automotive company and my second job was working in the lounge of an up-scale hotel.

The hotel lounge provided a guitar musician who sang easy-going folk music at the start of the evening and then a live-band performed during the night. Famous local people frequented this lounge and many beautiful women.

Surprisingly the band was a Caucasian southern band that played some soul music songs. They played pretty good although sometimes after hours I would give them some tips on playing some soul music songs.

Needless to say I witnessed some things (you can read between the lines) working at the lounge, but for me it was a second income.

I must say after a year and a half I was able to accomplish my goal of saving enough money to move out of my parent’s house and into a luxury apartment complex on a lake with a golf course, tennis courts, and clubhouse . I’d just past my 20th birthday.

After I moved into my apartment, I quit my second job at the lounge and used my income and credit to support my new found lifestyle. I felt, “I’ve arrived” so let the parties begin! Begin they did after meeting some neighbors at the apartment complex who was like-minded concerning partying.

Supporting this lifestyle was not cheap, therefore using credit to subsidize my lifestyle lasted about 3 years until I ran into financial troubles and ultimately had to go to a credit counselor for help with my finances.

It was fun, fun, fun until my T-Bird got taken away (certain Baby Boomer Americans and others would know the meaning from an old Beach Boys song.)

What started out as living “The Good Life” turned into “The Financial Imprisonment Life.” I had to return to working another second job to pay all my bills and rarely had any time to enjoy living in my “luxury apartment.”

My New Birth Experience

The stress of working two jobs and commuting to them was taking its toll on me so I decided to take a vacation and drive my Trans Am to Texas from Michigan and visit some relatives. Once in Texas, I stopped at a country store and asked if I could use their phone to get directions to my relative’s house.

I proceeded to give the store clerk some money to use his phone and his response was, “You’re not going to be on there (phone) that long!”  Southerners can be very direct in talking to you.

Once I arrived at my relative’s house we all greeted one another and were glad to see each other. That night my uncle (who was the pastor over a few churches) and I had an opportunity to talk one-on-one about life and spiritual matters. I wasn’t a religious person but I listened and the things we talked about gave me food for thought.

Return to Home from Texas

Not long after returning home from Texas I came across some information concerning prophecies written in the Bible’s Book of Revelation that gave information on the end times and the end of the world as we know it. This information was intriguing and very interesting to me, therefore I pursued reading it.

Nevertheless, my financial situation remained and one of my creditors recommended a credit counselor for me to see. Therefore I made an appointment and met with him. He counseled me concerning my indebtedness and strategies to resolve them and talked about general things and then he asked me if I was reading any books. I replied yes, it was a book entitled: “There’s A New World Coming” which explained verses in the Book of Revelation.

Each visit we talked about these things and other things from the Bible, the main thing being the fact that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” but that Jesus Christ could save us from our sins and give eternal life as found in the verse “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Good News

Each counseling session included some time spent on persuading me to accept Jesus Christ as being able to forgive me of my sins. Well, one thing was for sure, I didn’t have any case to support that I wasn’t a sinner.

As I thought to myself, “Hmm, if I could exchange my sins for God’s righteousness, that sounds like a good deal for me to be able to have everlasting life, so I put my trust in Jesus and was “born again.”

Needless to say this was surprising news to my partying friends. On one occasion I was at my parent’s house and one of my partying friends called to speak to me (not knowing my new experience) and my mom gave me the phone. The first thing my friend said, “Man you sound different!” I explained to him what happened to me and as a result my party days were over.

Because of my new birth experience my partying friends and I no longer had that and other things in common. They wished me well but were not ready to quit the party life style, therefore we grew apart but remained friends.

At this point I will write the remaining part of my story in Part 4 and beyond. Please stay tuned for it.

If you would like to read the previous posts on my autobiography, here are the post dates:

Part 1 – Introduction was posted on February 21, 2015

Part 2 – 1960’s (1960-1964) posted on March 1, 2015 

Part 2B – Personal Life – “Moving from the Projects to the Suburbs” (1965-1969) posted on March 17, 2015

Part 3A – High School Days – (1969-1971) posted on May 25, 2015

Part 3B – National U.S. Life /College Life /First Job (1970-1973) posted on June 27, 2015 

Lina and Joanross, thanks for your thoughts on culture, it has an influence on language.



I love the idea of learning different culture online

11:00 AM Dec 04 2015 |




Hi, I agree with you, Sir. Mabye sometimes culture formed the language.

12:30 PM Nov 04 2015 |


United States

Welcome Lina and thanks for your feedback. I intend to finish the remaining parts of my autobiography. Your patience is appreciated while I fit it in with everything else. Please stay tuned.

08:39 AM Oct 31 2015 |




Hey guys!!

We made a channel in Telegram app.

An international channel for Upper-Intermediate & Advanced English Students. 

We can review all of the lessons we get here together, sooner, easier, and forever!!

Give it a try and invite your friends!

Here is a link:




09:31 AM Oct 30 2015 |




Thanks for providing us your precious autobiology. I admire that you live in a such freedom country.Your colorful experinces and learning spirit in university motivate me to seek my own ideal life. Moreover, I’m looking forward for more about you.

04:26 AM Oct 30 2015 |


United States

Cann, you’re welcome. I hope the cultural information will be helpful.

08:57 PM Sep 30 2015 |

1 person likes this




thanks for your share.

03:54 PM Sep 30 2015 |

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