Mapping Stereotypes

This task is about stereotypes, and makes use of the online resource &#39 Mapping stereotypes&#39 by the artist Yanko Tsvetkov.

Institution reporting the task:

University of Padova

Language of task instructions:


Target Group:




References and acknowledgements:



Comparison & analysis

Estimated Duration:

1 session


Intercultural, stereotypes





Language Configurations:


Language(s) that the task can be used in:


Dominant language production:

Speaking/listening synchronous

Target Competences:

Language competence
Intercultural skills

Specific pedagogical objectives:

Creation of a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere in the groups
Development of students interest in cultural similarities and differences

Suggested Communication Tools:

Suggested Resources:


Pre-task activity

Before engaging in this activity teachers can have a discussion about stereotypes with their classes. Some definitions are here below.

What is a stereotype? A stereotype can be defined as &quot a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment&quot (Merriam Webster). Another definition is &quot cognitive representations of another group that influence one&#39 s feeling about the group (Gudykunst and Kim). It is argued that stereotyping is a natural and universal information processing strategy that helps us make sense of a complex world. The problem with stereotyping is that they are often used to ascribe characteristics to entire groups of people and lead to ethnocentrism, prejudice and discrimination.

National stereotypes have been mapped in a project by Bulgarian artist
YankoTvetskov who has created
maps of Europe and the world based on common national stereotypes in his Mapping Stereotypes project.

Depending on the classes involved in the exchange teachers can choose different maps for their classes to look at, eg. for an Italy – US exchange,
they could choose &quot Europe according to Italians&quot and &quot the world according to Americans&quot . Classes discuss the two maps with their teachers and prepare questions for students to discuss with their partners – explanations of some of the stereotypes, whether students agreee with them, how they feel about the stereotypes referred to their own culture, feelings about stereotyping in general.


Students engage in a Skype discussion with their partners and ask each other the questions they have prepared. They also discuss stereotypes in general.

Post -task

Read an interview with the artist who created these maps, YankoTvetskov and write your reflections on his project and the maps. Do you find them humorous? Offensive? Controversial? Do they serve to reinforce stereotypes or can they help us to challenge them? What did you learn by discussing the maps with your partners?

Learner Texts:


Document related to the task:


Criteria for Completion:

need to come back to this

Comments and suggestions:



francesca Helm