Thursday, October 19, 2006

Travel and EFL/ESL teaching

This is a low - tech exercise that I've done a lot over the last few years to help intermediate EFL/ESL students practice speaking skills. It is now especially relevant for the ECCE interview which asks students to take a more active role in the interviewing process.

For this you'll need some pages out of a travel brochure and a photocopies of the handout below.


1 In groups of three/four students ask each other about a holiday they been on. Remind them to ask;

Where did you go?
When did you go ?
Where did you stay?
What did you do there?
What made it so special?

2 Now explain to the students that they're going to do an exercise where they have to either choose a holiday or sell one.

3 Divide the class into two groups: Travel agents and holiday makers.

4 Make sure that everyone understands the terms before proceeding.

5 Divide the "travel agents" into pairs and give them each a page from a travel brochure. Explain that they have ten minutes to figure out what the page means as they have to be able to tell customers all about the holiday they are offering.

6 Give each of the "holidaymakers" the handout and assign one of the four roles. Explain to them that they have ten minutes to think about what kind of holiday would suit them and write down suitable questions to ask the travel agents, using the prompts provided.

7 Get the travel agents to set up shop, i.e. move their desks so everyone has easy access and write a sign which shows the place they are offering holidays to.

8 The holiday makers now go to the travel agents in order to find out information about the destination and eventually come to a decision. Make sure that they see as many travel agents as possible. This phase should last between 10 and 15 minutes.

9 The holiday makers then report back to the teacher about the reasons behind their holiday choices.

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