For these exercises, refer to the previous blog (‘Holiday of a Lifetime’). Put class into small groups and assign a city to each one. The groups have to make a presentation, using advertising-style language: hyperbolic adjectives, expressions, phrases. Furthermore, they must really ‘sell’ the holiday, so they can practice their intonation and stress skills.
The blurb contains the selling points, while the practicalities has information. The style should change for these two parts – the teacher can demonstrate.
Class put into groups of three or four. Each team given a name of a European city, such as London, Venice, Barcelona and Paris.
First question – in which countries are your cities ?
Next ‘Screen Test’: The students watch the opening song then have to answer multiple choice questions.
1) What was the road sign at the beginning of the clip ?
London // Berlin // Paris ?
2) What was the number of the bus ?
9 // 19 // 28 ?
3) What colour was the first car behind the bus ?
red // white // blue ?
4) How many children wore a hat ?
1 // 2 // no children
5) How many men were riding bicycles ?
3 // 4 // 6 ?
6) How many women were in the car ?
3 // 4 // 5 ?
BONUS POINTS – Can anyone sing the song – just two lines
“We’re all going on a summer holiday // we’re all going for a week or two.”
Last lesson the subject was future tense and activities. Therefore, I shall board some times – this afternoon / tomorrow / next Monday / next Thursday / next weekend / next month
Under these, I shall write some scrambled nonsense, e.g. ‘who as ees’. The students, placed in teams, have to elect one person to find the corresponding flash card somewhere in the room (‘see a show’) and then say a third-person sentence e.g. “He’s going to see a show this afternoon.’
Information gathering: Class into three or four groups. One member will be going away and the others in the team have to get information from him or her, then present to the class.
Team 1: Going to Phu Quoc island / is going next month / will be staying in a hotel near the beach / will be going swimming / is going with family
Team 2: Going to London / is going next week / is going to see a show / is staying with family / is going with older sister.
Team 3 : Going to Ha Noi / is going next Tuesday / is going on a bus tour / is going to stay in a big hotel / is going with school
Team 4: Going to Dak Lak Province / is going tomorrow / is going to ride an elephant / will stay in a tent / is going with VUS TAs
The selected member will stand at the front of the class with the information sheet. One teammate must run up, ask one question then tell the rest of the team, who will write the information down. Then a different teammate will run up and ask.
Planning a day out
I have a niece and nephew coming to Saigon. The teams have to plan a day for them including what to see and do, how to travel and what to eat. Of course, they need to but some souvenirs, so where are the best places ?
We shall probably have to board many ideas first. Where do tourists go in HCM ? What is traditional food ? How can they travel ? Do the girls want to take the niece and the boys take the nephew only ?
Hopefully, this will encourage a lot of speaking and ideas and I can show a map of HCM to help.
And if the students are still drawing a blank (or being too lazy to think), this could inspire them: It’s spoken in English, with text, but with Viet accent (can start at 0:20 seconds)
As with all ‘real-world’ videos, the film should be stopped and new words or expressions boarded. The students are later made to write the words down (the majority will simply NOT do any kind of writing unless pressured), and then encouraged to use them where appropriate.
That should easily cover the first hour. After the break, we hit the books, do the workbooks and fast-finishers get an activity sheet, while I can spend at least some time checking the pronunciation and grammar.
Songs are a great way to introduce new vocabulary and expressions, as well as how native speaking pronounce and link words together. Early in the song, we have words such as ‘precious‘ and expressions like ‘we have grown‘ and ‘time flies so quickly.’
Warm up: Mind map – Travel
I start by writing the word ‘travel’ on the board, and see how many avenues spread out from it. Start with the grammar; what type of word is it (noun) but it can be made into a verb (to travel, travelling) and the students should remember how to apply it to a person (traveller).
Then we have expressions such as ‘travel broadens the mind.’
We have this quote which introduces metaphor – the world as a book:
Then more pedestrian aspects of travel; how do we travel (transportation), preparation (booking tickets, hotels, visas etc), what do we bring with us (different clothes, sun cream, currency, sun glasses etc). How about culture shock ?
Next, what are the positive aspects of travelling (new cultures, fun, adventure, relaxation) and conversely, the negatives (delays, waiting in soulless airports, getting ripped off, tourist traps, bad hotels etc)
Pair work: students have to write a short passage using ‘although‘ and ‘despite‘ to encapsulate their travel experiences or wishes.
EXAMPLES: Although I absolutely love travelling, there are many drawbacks. Firstly, there is the cost; it can be incredibly expensive what with plane tickets and hotels not to mention having to eat out in restaurants. Despite these issues, travelling can be so relaxing or exciting, seeing new places and doing new things or simply as a break from our normal lives.
Vietnam has many beautiful towns and places of interest although I have only been to a few of them despite travel being relatively cheap in this country. We can fly everywhere within one or two hours, at very reasonable prices although some cheap airlines, such as Vietjet, are notorious for delays.
I have always wanted to visit Beijing in China which is not excessively far from Sai Gon. Despite that, I haven’t been because I am not sure about the visa and how expensive it would be to visit. Additionally, I hear some negative things such as terrible pollution and many tourist scams. Despite the drawbacks, I really want to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace and all the temples. Although Vietnam and China have a complicated relationship, most Vietnamese would agree that Chinese food is delicious.
These exercises help to increase vocabulary and confidence. Furthermore, the repetition helps to make the target language part of the students’ lexical resources.
Group work: Prepare a guide to Sai Gon for tourists.
Allow students access to the class computer for Google images if required.
What to see and do // where and what to eat // what to buy //
What they can do for entertainment
Safety and scams
Cultural differences – what should people do or NOT do in Vietnam ?
Use of interesting adjectives to describe the city centre.
Groups can then present to the class, with all students taking turns speaking. I shall be listening for relevance, pronunciation and use of expressions and discourse markers. Furthermore, I may learn some interesting tips.