Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Alex Silverman


This paper is designed as a resource for teachers who wish to teach American culture, and the influence of advertising on this culture, through the use of magazine advertisements. The lessons which can be derived from the materials are planned for advanced students of English who possess a good conversational ability in the language and who wish to learn more about American culture.

Part I presents for the reader a general overview of American advertising, describing how it developed, how it works, and how it mirrors and influences our culture and behavior. Part II describes the various appeals which advertising uses and contains advertisements which illustrate these appeals. For each category of advertisements there is an accompanying description which shows the reader what the trained eye can detect in the advertisements. Part III offers a list of ways in which the materials in Part II can be used in the classroom to generate discussions and lessons on culture. Also included is a look at how the language used in the advertisements can be examined for its cultural meaning.

Magazines were selected as a medium, rather than TV or radio, because of their easy availability and their wide use in America. Correspondingly, the advertisements which magazines contain reach a large portion of our population and have a significant impact on us. Ads were selected from magazines which appeal to young and middle-age readers, who make up the bulk of our population. Care was taken to choose magazines which appeal to both male and female readers, and ads which appeal to both middle-class and upper-class readers. It is hoped that the readers which the advertisements try to appeal to make up a fair representation of the American population.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education