Canadian Studies Class:



Class curriculum:
Teaching resources:
Class-related internet links:
Final Exam:

In the summer of 1999 I was offered a position of teaching Canadian Studies ("you can teach anything you like!") to a class of of 45 19-year-old female Japanese students in a suburb of Osaka city in Japan.  I jumped at the opportunity and had a lot of fun designing a creative schedule and gathering materials.  It was perhaps one of the first times in many years that I had a reason to think about my home country and all that it entails.  I also had to present it in such a way that language learners could understand.  Class learning was approached in four ways:

In-class assignments
End-of-term assignments

Class Curriculum:

The classes were arranged by topics.

Class 1 - Explanation of course and introduction of subject matter
Class 2 - Canada and Japan
Class 3 - Canada and the U.S.A.
Class 4 - History
Class 5 - Music
Class 6 - Film
Class 7 - Literature
Class 8 - Canadian institutions in Japan Part 1 - introduction
Class 9 - Society
Class 10 - Politics
Class 11 - Quebec and French Canadians
Class 12 - Native peoples
Class 13 - Canadian institutions in Japan Part 2 - presentations

Teaching resources:

My prime resource, given the lack of a useful textbook, was video.  I quickly managed to gather several videos on Canadian themes - both motion pictures and documentaries were useful to the students in learning about Canada.

Feature films:

Canadian Bacon
Indian Summer
Un Zoo La Nuit
The Sweet Hereafter
Map of the Human Heart
the Sweater
Anne of Green Gables


the Parliamentary Video
My Floating World: Miyami Tanobe
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen
Return To Green Gables: the Lucy Maude Montgomery Story

Class-related internet links:

Class 1 - General

the best reference site on Canada I've seen can be found at and  Canada Eh!
Canadian  Dollar Rates

Canada’s National Anthem
General information
Famous Canadians
Statistics Canada
Yahoo Canada
Canada Eh!      

map public domain, courtesy Canada Eh!

Class 2 - Canada and Japan   - October 4, 1999

Kansai Canadian Association (Kobe)., email, or tel. (0720) 85-8274
The Canadian Academy is a Canadian school in Kobe for students of any nationality.  Tel: (078) 857-3250

Class 3 - Canada and America   - October 18, 1999

The best site to explain the Can-Am differences
This site was created lovingly  by an American living in Canada and documents unique elements about Canada from an outsider's point of view.  Good job!

Can-US relations

AP Photo

Atlanta, 1992, Game 2 of the World Series, Toronto-Atlanta.  The flag is raised upside-down by guys who look like they aught to know what they are doing.
No hard feelings, guys.

Class 4 - Canadian History -  November 1, 1999

Class 5 - Canadian Music   - November 8, 1999



An April March
Alanis Morrisette
Cowboy Junkies
Leonard Cohen
Celine Dion
skinny puppy
Sarah McLachlan
Stompin’ Tom Connors
the Tragically Hip
Neil Young


Top albums
Top songs
Top videos
Canada’s MTV

Class 6 - Film

Canadian movies                                     
Canadian TV series in the Internet Movie Database
Canadian movies in the Internet Movie Database
Canadian film production                          
the National Film Board of Canada           

Class 7 - Literature

Leonard Cohen
Margaret Atwood
Robert Service
Irving Layton
Michael Ondaatje  (see also the film “the English Patient”)
Douglas Coupland
William Gibson   (see also the film "Johnny Mnemonic" or “JM”)
Farley Mowat

Class 8 - Canadian Institutions in Japan

Directory of Canadian Businesses in Japan
A Canadian Building Company in Japan
Canadian building companies in Japan
Japanese embassy in Canada     (Japanese citizens under 30 should study the “working holiday" section)
Working Holidays                   
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Japanese)
The Canada Journal (Japanese)

Class 9 - Society

Terry Fox    
Field hockey

Canadian cooking
Toronto Life magazine

Class 10 - Politics

Prime Minister:

Prime Minister Jean Chretien (Liberal)
Canada’s Prime Ministers       

Political parties:

The New Democratic Party (NDP)         Leader is Alexa McDonough
The Liberal Party of Canada                                      Leader is current Prime Minister Jean Chretien
The Progressive Conservative Party (PC)                   Leader Joe Clark
The Reform Party of Canada - gone!                                Leader Preston Manning
The Canadian Alliance - new!   
Bloq Quebecois - no website

Canadian newspapers

Frank Magazine                     
The Toronto Star                   
The Globe and Mail               
The National Post                  

Class 11 - Quebec

the Montreal Jazz Festival - June 29 to July 9, 2000
Quebec tourism (English site)

Class 12 - Native Canadians

Final Exam

This is a copy of the final exam I prepared for my students.  Take the exam yourself to see how you would have done, or visit the questions and answers page.
To view the answers visit the Canadian Studies Exam Question and Answer page.

What is the capital of Canada?

When was Canada's independence day?

Name 5 Canadian provinces.

Name 5 Canadian Cities.

Who is Canada's prime minister?  What is his political party?

Name 3 Canadian prime ministers.

Name 5 Canadian singers or music groups.

Name 3 Canadian movies.

Name 3 Canadian writers.

Compare Canada and Japan.

Compare Canada and the U.S.A.

Tell me about "Japanada."

            (note: "Japanada" is a novelty concept introduced to the students to make them laugh and think "what if...")

What sports are played in Canada.

How do people travel in Canada?

What is special about Quebec?

What happened in Quebec in 1970?

What kind of food is popular in Canada?

What kind of people live in Canada?  What countries do they come from?

What is the weather like in Canada?  What is the temperature in summer and winter?



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email: Peter Höflich
all original text copyright Peter Hoflich
upside down flag copyright AP Photo