Tag Archives: travelling

The Art of Persuasion: Speaking Exam Practice for B2

My friends say about me that I am very easily convinced. I am easy, that’s what they say.  I guess they know it’s easy to seduce me into doing things that I like, but I reckon they know that it’s not so easy to talk me into doing something I don’t really want to do. So, I let them think it’s a piece of cake to win me over. They are happy and so am I.  It’s also very true that once I make up my mind, it’s hard to talk me out of doing it and that I am not easily put off by setbacks. For better or for worse, that’s the kind of girl I am. Easy to persuade but hard to dissuade.

1. Working with vocabulary.

In the introduction to the post above, I have highlighted some verbs. Can you tell me which ones are used for persuasion and which ones for dissuasion?

Now, do this exercise to consolidate learning

2. Warming-up. Speaking

Choose the statements you agree with:

  • I am good at persuading people
  • You talk to me enough, you can convince me to do anything
  • I will never lie or exaggerate to persuade someone
  • My parents or my friends just keep on talking and eventually I agree with them
3. Working with Functional Language

The list you’ll find below is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the language you can use in this context, it’s just a selection of some of the functional language  I want my students to use in this speaking activity.

Before you start the role play, make sure students are confident with the language they’ll have to use.

 Expressions used to make suggestions:

  • Might I suggest…?
  • Shall I/we…?
  • Why don’t you/we….?
  • I suggest that you… / I suggest+…ing
  • We should….

Expressions used to offer alternatives

  • Instead of … ing
  • Wouldn’t you prefer to….?

Expressions used for reassuring

  • You don’t have to worry about…
  • I can assure you that…
  • I guarantee you won’t (regret it)

Expressions used for dissuading

  • I wouldn’t bother about that.
  • I (would strongly) advise (you) against …ing

 

4. Speaking task

Holiday in Scotland.  Explain that they are planning a week’s holiday in Scotland with a friend but they don’t seem to agree on the kind of holiday to book. They will need to discuss the options and try to come to an agreement.

Students work in pairs to develop the role-play based on the information given to them on their corresponding handout. If there are three students in the group, the third one could be the travel agent.

Tell students they will need to talk for about 5 minutes and try to reach an agreement at the end of the conversation.

Student A

Bed and Breakfast and drive:  you are planning a week’s holiday in Scotland with a friend. You think the best idea is to hire a car and drive, staying at bed and breakfasts/guests houses.

Student B

Package holiday in Scotland:  you are planning a week’s holiday in Scotland with a friend. You think the best idea is to go on a package holiday, staying at hotels and going on organized excursions to the most famous places.

Credit: This speaking task has been inspired by a task published by Conselleria D’Educació- Generalitat Valenciana. 

PDF here

Lesson Plan: A Picture-Based Activity to Enlarge Students’ Vocabulary on Travelling

I’m really happy to introduce a guest writer to you. Maria Jose Díaz is a friend and fellow teacher from EOI Avilés and, in this blog post, she will be sharing with us an excellent communicative activity for C1 students based on pictures. María Jose also runs a blog Ingles en Aviles, which is really worth a visit.

Once again I have to cover the topic of travelling with my C1 students. You might think there shouldn’t be a problem dealing with this theme because everybody likes travelling plus it’s a common topic in the elementary and intermediate levels, which means students are familiarised with it. However, what might be seen as an advantage is a disadvantage for me: students seem bored with talking about different kinds of accommodation, means of transport and flopout versus niche holidays.

After racking my brains for a while I came up with this idea to help students talk about travelling from a different point of view.

Aim: activating new vocabulary through class discussion and providing students with new ideas to talk about travelling.

Level: C1

Materials: pictures of prehistoric people, explorers, missionaries, pilgrims, refugees and holidaymakers.

Instructions:

1. Start the lesson by asking students why people travel. From my experience, they will come up with the following: to broaden their minds, to work, for business, to relax, to know other cultures or to brush up a foreign language.

2. Ask for more reasons and show a picture with prehistoric people. Ask why people travelled in those times and try to get words like look for edible plants, follow animals to hunt (game), survival, look for better climes, nomads, caves…

3. Show a picture with explorers to help them think about people who travelled searching for better trade or commercial routes; they can give examples like Columbus or Marco Polo. You can also show them the silk route.

4. Show pictures with pilgrims or missionaries or the Mayflower. The idea is to make them think about why people move for religious reasons, either to evangelise new civilisations or to go on pilgrimage to places that are important to their faith and beliefs such as Santiago de Compostela, Meca or Jerusalem. Also, some people are forced to leave their countries to avoid persecution because of their religious beliefs or because they do not follow the religion of the country where they live.

5. The idea of persecution links the pictures in number 4 with the picture below. Refugees or asylum seekers also flee their countries to avoid persecution or to escape conflicts or wars, they seek refuge or asylum somewhere else, they look for a better life, in the same way immigrants and emigrants did in the past (and in the present!).

6. Finally, show the pictures below and make students think about their relationship with holidays. Hopefully they will talk about volunteering, ethical tourism and niche holidays.

 

Tourism: Developing Writing Skills through Collaborative Writing

It is true that I don’t dedicate enough time to writing activities. I ask my students to do small writing tasks but not the real thing, at least not as often as they would probably need. Would it be a plausible excuse to say that I have 148 students and that it takes an awful lot of time, time I don’t have, to correct their essays? No, I know. I need to make amends, and I have started this week.

Haven’t you always dreamed of travelling to exotic off the beaten track destinations? Well, this activity is all about it! I guarantee you’ll not only enjoy writing and presenting your chosen destination, but you’ll also love hearing what your classmates have to say!

This lesson plan, which aims at developing writing skills through collaborative writing, is based on the theme of tourism and travelling.

Topic: Tourism

Level: Upper Intermediate and above

Time:  About 2 teaching sessions

Aims

  • To consolidate and extend understanding of vocabulary associated with tourism and travelling
  • To develop writing skills through collaborative writing
  • To give a presentation in front of an audience

Materials: suggested destinations here

THE TASK

Setting the context. You own a travel company and offer luxury holidays. Business has been bad the last couple of years due to the crisis and you have decided to lower the price of one of your most successful package tours, which happens to be a three-day trip to… (chosen destination)

You and your team have decided to attend the international tourism trade fair in London and try to sell your trip there.

You’ll need to explain the following to the potential customers:

  1. Brief description of the tour
  2. Transport to the chosen destination and once there
  3. Accommodation (options available) and meals included in the price (any extras?)
  4. Brief description of the three-day tour itinerary (sightseeing/ things to do…etc)
  5. Why customers should book with your agency

Display on the walls of the class posters of different package tours. Ask students to stand up and stand next to the tour they would like to take. There should be about 4 students per tour. Suggested  destinations pdf  here.

Writing. Students sit in groups now. Assign the following writing task to the group:

Student 1-

  • Brief description of the tour
  • Why the customer should book with your agency

Student 2 –

  • Transport to the chosen destination and once there
  • Accommodation (options available) and meals included in the price (any extras?)

Students 3 and 4 –

  • Brief description of the three-day tour itinerary (sightseeing/ things to do…etc)

Walk around the class offering help and guidance.

Presenting. Ask students to imagine they are at the International tourism trade fair in London and that they are going to try to sell their trip to their potential customers (the students in the class). Ask all the students in a group to come to the front of the class and read their part enthusiastically.

Buying. Ask students in the class to vote for the best trip.

(below, students trying to sell their trip)

Below, a nice presentation of Nepal created by Noelia Espinosa, Isabel Pardo, Yolanda Alonso and Silvia García. And here’s a link to the beautiful website created by Sharon Calderón as support for her presentation.  Thank you girls!

 

Photo by Kerry Lee Smith

Explore

The video you are about to watch is part of  an activity I will be doing with my students one of these days. The videos of Mali and Dubai and all the exercises from the videos have been provided  by my colleague MªJosé (visit her blog here). My only contribution has been to arrange what she so generously provided into a Lesson Plan which you will find here: Lesson Plan

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Weird Hotels: Lesson Plan

Have you planned your summer holidays yet? Are you in the mood for something different? Weird and even wacky? Are you tired of the conventional hotels everybody goes to? Have a look at these photographs.

These are some of the weirdest hotels you will ever see. But don’t hold your breath …some of them are very expensive and most of them are fully booked for this summer; so I guess, it must definitely be an experience for some people  sleeping in one of those but, trust me on this… you won’t find me there!

Given the chance I don’t know whether it‘d be easy to choose one of them to spend a nice relaxing holidays. I guess you think it would be a rush of adrenaline sleeping in a cabin hanging from a slender tree but I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink waiting for the branch to crack.

And an underwater hotel… are they paying me???

In my humble opinion, the Survival Pod Hotel in The Hague, this orange alien-shaped thing, seems to invite people to choose to die if the option is living in these claustrophobic capsules. Can’t imagine having to pay for it!

Some other picturesque pictures show the Das Park Hotel, Ottensheim in Austria and I have to admit that, at least, it has been cheap to build. The idea is that you sleep inside a piece of concrete sewage pipe and guess what?? This is cheap …’cause you pay only what you think they are worth!!

As for me, I’ve always felt an attraction for luxurious hotels where the service is impeccable, the views from the balcony breathtaking, the place a haven of peace and relaxation and the bed as comfortable as a bed should be. I  don’t want to spend the night killing cockroaches or freezing to death just to have the time of my life, thank you very much.

Anway, why this post on Weird hotels?  ’cause my students are about to study this lesson and I came across some of these pictures while looking for different things on the web. I prepared a lesson about hotels this morning, which I thought I’d share with you. So, if you are interested, and you’re not one of my Pre-Intermediate students (we’ll be doing this lesson on Monday, God willing!) Click here .

If you are one of my pre-intermediate students and still want to do something about hotels, you can click here and listen to this postcast about Weird Hotels.

And then watch this video… but don’t expect it to help you with your English!!!



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