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Teacher's Corner: Travel and Tourism
This month’s Teacher’s Corner explores the world of travel and tourism. Specifically, each week covers travel-related topics that students can use to practice speaking, reading, and listening.

This month’s Teacher’s Corner explores the world of travel and tourism. Specifically, each week covers travel-related topics that students can use to practice speaking, reading, and listening.

For many English learners, traveling the world is one of the many reasons they study English. No matter where you travel, it is easy to find a speaker of English to help you on your journey. However, as every good traveler knows, it is best to be prepared. This month’s Teacher’s Corner is devoted to giving students the chance to practice and prepare their English for the world of travel.

The activities this month are designed to give students the opportunity to creatively practice their English while thinking about travel both at home and abroad:

  • Week 1 – Around the World
  • Week 2 – What to See in Town
  • Week 3 – Planning a Trip
  • Week 4 – Over-tourism

Week 1 begins the month with a Pecha Kucha style presentation. In these fast-paced presentations, students must describe an around-the-world trip in three minutes using only six presentation slides. In Week 2, students practice common phrasal verbs used in travel and tourism. In Week 3, students describe the tourist attractions in their home countries by preparing a six-day trip for a new visitor. Finally, this month’s Teacher’s Corner concludes with a debate activity focused on the increasing concern of over-tourism.

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Table of Contents

Around the WorldExpand

In this week’s Teacher’s Corner, students are tasked with creating a Pecha Kucha presentation on an around-the-world trip. Pecha Kucha is a presentation style where each presenter is allowed twenty slides which are shown for twenty seconds each. The goal is to encourage the speaker to be concise – to not talk too long. For this activity, students will get six slides shown for thirty seconds each, with each slide showcasing a place they would like to visit on a trip around the world.

LEVEL

Intermediate to Advanced

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Speaking, reading (primary focus)
Listening (secondary focus)

GOALS

Students will practice speaking, reading, and listening through

  • Researching locations they would like to visit on a trip around the world
  • Delivering a three-minute presentation about their around-the-world trip

MATERIALS

  • Teacher: computer, projector, stopwatch or other timing device, a map
  • Students: notebook, pencil, paper, computers (for research to be done as homework, or books and encyclopedias)

PREPARATION

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. For this activity, students will be giving presentations to the class. To save time, be sure that students submit their presentations as a homework assignment before the day they will present them. The teacher should then have all the presentations loaded onto the class computer, ready to go at the start of the class. Having the presentations already loaded will save time, compared to each student separately loading his or her presentation on the computer. Having the presentations ready to go at the start of class will save time, compared to each student separately loading his or her presentation on the computer. If a computer is not available, this can be done on sheets of large paper as well.
  3. During this activity, students will be giving presentations that have a set time limit of three minutes. To keep students on time, the teacher controls when the slides of the presentation change. Optionally, a student can be selected as the official timekeeper. This student can sit at the presentation computer to advance the slides instead of the teacher.

PART ONE: PREPARING TO DEPART

  1. Begin the class by showing a map of the world. To warm students up for the activity, ask students to come to the board and point to countries that you name.
  2. Next, write the word continent on the board. Ask the class if anyone knows the meaning of the word continent. Give the students an opportunity to answer.
    1. If none of the students know the meaning of the word, give them a clue. For example, point to the United States and tell the students, “The United States is a country.” Next, point to Mexico and tell the students, “Mexico is a country, too.” Finally, point to Canada and say, “Canada is also a country.” Then tell the students, “The United States, Mexico, and Canada are all on the same continent.” While speaking, use your finger to draw a large circle around the North American continent. (Don’t forget to include Central America too!)
  3. To check the students’ comprehension of the word continent ask the class, “How many continents are there in the world?” Students should respond with “seven”; if they answer “six,” they may have forgotten about Antarctica!
  4. Next, have the students do a Think, Pair, Share:
    1. Ask the students which continent they most want to visit and why. Tell the students to think about their answers.
    2. Next, have the students form pairs and share their answers with their partners.
    3. Finally, have students share their answers with the entire class.
  5. Inform the class that for homework they are going to plan an around-the-world trip.
  6. Explain to the students that they will prepare a presentation to show the class about their around-the-world trip.
  7. Next, give the students the following rules about their trip and presentation:
    1. Students can only visit one location per continent.
      1. Instruct the students that their one location per continent must be a city, national park, or sightseeing location. An entire country is too large to select as one location!
    2. Students must travel in one direction around the world (either east or west).
    3. Students should create a presentation of six slides, or one slide per location. Note: Even though there are seven continents students are only asked to visit six. This is to give them some choice in where they visit, but many may choose to skip Antarctica!
      1. Each slide should have some basic information about the location and at least one picture of the location.
      2. Finally, inform the students that they will only have three minutes to give their presentation to the class, and each slide will only be shown for thirty seconds. So, students should practice their presentations before class!

PART TWO: CLASS PRESENTATIONS

  1. On the day students give their class presentations, remind them they only have thirty seconds for each slide. If time permits, give the students a few minutes to check their notes and prepare for their presentations.
  2. Have the first student presenting come to the front of the class.
  3. Open the student’s presentation and start the timer. After thirty seconds move to the next slide; after another thirty seconds move to the third slide; and so on.
  4. Optional: After all the students have presented their around-the-world trip, have the class vote on the most interesting trip!
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What To See in TownExpand

This week’s Teacher’s Corner provides students with the opportunity to practice using phrasal verbs in an activity about New York City.

LEVEL

Intermediate to Advanced

LANGUAGE FOCUS

Reading, speaking (primary focus)
Listening (secondary focus)

GOALS

During this activity, students will

  • Practice speaking skills through a matching activity
  • Practice reading skills and using travel-related phrasal verbs in a worksheet activity

MATERIALS

  • Teacher: whiteboard or chalkboard, markers or chalk
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks or writing paper

PREPARATION

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. Print out copies of the phrasal verb cards in Appendix 1.
    a. Students will use the phrasal verb cards in a pair-work activity. Print enough copies of the phrasal verb cards for each pair of students to have a set.
  3. Cut out the phrasal verb cards and for each set, mix the cards so that the phrasal verbs and definitions are mixed well.
  4. Print out copies of the phrasal verbs fill-in-the-blank worksheet in Appendix 2. Students will use the worksheet in a pair-work activity. Print enough copies of the worksheet for each pair of students to have one. The answer key is in Appendix 3.

ACTIVITY PART ONE: PHRASAL VERB WARM-UP

  1. Begin the class by having the students form pairs. 
  2. Give each pair a set of phrasal verb cards (already mixed up) from Appendix 1.
  3. Have the students work together to match each phrasal verb to its correct definition.
  4. After the students have completed the matching activity, review the answers as a class.
  5. Next, ask the students, “What do the phrasal verbs have in common?”
    a. Answer: Each of the phrasal verbs is related to travel.
  6. Next, ask the students, “What is the one city in the world you would like to visit?”
    a. Optional: Ask the students this question as part of a Think, Pair, Share activity.
        i. First, have the students think about their answer individually.
        ii. Next, have the students share their answer with their partner.
        iii. Finally, encourage the students to share their answer or, even better, to share their partners’ answers with the class.

ACTIVITY PART TWO: PHRASAL VERB WORKSHEET

  1. Begin this part of the activity by asking the students if they would like to visit New York City.
  2. Next, ask why they would like to visit the city, or ask what they would like to do if they visited the city.
  3. As students answer the questions, pass out the phrasal verb fill-in-the-blank worksheet to the pairs of students. Instruct them to read through the worksheet and circle any vocabulary they don’t know.
    a. If students have questions about vocabulary, take a few moments to answer their questions before moving on to Step 4.
  4. Next, have the pairs of students fill in the blanks on the worksheet with the phrasal verbs on the cards they used in Part 1 of this activity. As students work, walk around the room to check on their progress.
  5. Once the pairs have finished filling in the blanks, check their answers as a class.

APPENDIX 1: PHRASAL VERBS MATCHING CARDS

APPENDIX 2: PHRASAL VERBS FILL-IN-THE-BLANK WORKSHEET

Directions: Read the paragraphs below about visiting New York City (NYC). Fill in the blanks with the correct phrasal verbs. You may need to change the verb tenses of the phrasal verbs.

New York has been called “The City That Never Sleeps!” With so many things to do at any time of day, New York is a great place to visit on vacation. Thanks to New York’s many transportation options, you don’t need anyone to __________ you __________ at the airport. Instead, you can take a bus or the subway into the city, or even have one of the city’s famous yellow taxis __________ you _________ at your hotel. After you ___________________ to your hotel, you can ____________________ on your NYC adventure!

If it is your first visit to New York, be sure to take some time to ____________________ the city by taking a walk. It can be a great way to get to know the city and experience the New York way of life. Some of the best things about New York can be found by ___________________ the many diverse neighborhoods full of great food, interesting events, and historical landmarks. Even though New York is famous for its busy streets, you can ___________________ from the crowds by visiting Central Park. There you can walk through the trees, sit by the lake, and even get a famous New York City hot dog.

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without visiting the Statue of Liberty. To visit, you need to ____________________ a ferry at Battery Park. While crossing the water, you can ____________________ a wonderful view of the city. Once on Liberty Island, you can walk around the statue, visit the museum, or climb the 377 steps to the top of the Statue of Liberty. It is an incredible experience, but tickets sell out quickly!

As you leave New York and your plane ____________________, be sure to enjoy the view out the window to get one last look at the city that never sleeps!

APPENDIX 3: PHRASAL VERBS FILL-IN-THE-BLANK ANSWER KEY

Directions: Read the paragraphs below about visiting New York City. Fill in the blanks with the correct phrasal verbs. You may need to change the verb tenses of the phrasal verbs

New York has been called “The City That Never Sleeps”! With so many things to do at any time of day, New York is a great place to visit on vacation. Thanks to New York’s many transportation options, you don’t need anyone to ____pick you up_____ at the airport. Instead, you can take a bus or subway into the city, or even have one of the city’s famous yellow taxis ______drop you off________ at your hotel. After you _____check in________ to your hotel, you can ____set out_________ on your NYC adventure!

If it is your first visit to New York, be sure to take some time to __look around____ the city by taking a walk. It can be a great way to get to know the city and experience the New York way of life. Some of the best things about New York can be found by __checking out___ the many diverse neighborhoods full of great food, interesting events, and historical landmarks. Even though New York is famous for its busy streets, you can ___get away_________ from the crowds by visiting Central Park. There you can walk through the trees, sit by the lake, and even get a famous New York City hot dog.

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without visiting the Statue of Liberty. To visit, you need to ____get on__________ a ferry at Battery Park. While crossing the water, you can _____take in________ a wonderful view of the city. Once on Liberty Island, you can walk around the statue, visit the museum, or climb the 377 steps to the top of the Statue of Liberty. It is an incredible experience, but tickets sell out quickly!

As you leave New York and your plane ___takes off________, be sure to enjoy the view out the window to get one last look at the city that never sleeps!

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Planning a TripExpand

This month’s Teacher’s Corner explores travel and tourism. This week’s activity asks students to think about their own cities or countries by designing a six-day trip for a visiting tourist.

LEVEL
Intermediate to Advanced

FOCUS
Reading, writing (primary focus)
Speaking, listening (secondary focus)

GOALS
During this activity students will

  • Practice speaking skills while creating a travel plan for their country or city
  • Practice presentations skills while delivering their travel plans to the class

MATERIALS

  • Teacher: whiteboard or chalkboard, markers or chalk, poster paper (optional)
  • Students: pencils or pens, notebooks or writing paper

PREPARATION

In this activity, students will prepare a travel plan for someone visiting their country or city for the first time. This activity can take place during one class period or across two classes depending on how much time your students need to prepare their travel plans.

  1. Read through all the materials carefully.
  2. Print out copies of Appendix 1 Travel Plans. Print enough copies so that each group of two to three students has one to complete.

ACTIVITY PART ONE: HOMEWORK – TRAVEL PLANNING

  1. Begin this activity by having the students form groups of two to three students.
  2. Give each group a copy of the Travel Plan from Appendix
  3. Have the students work together to brainstorm a six-day travel plan to their country.
    a. If your students are from a large city, they could plan the entire six-day trip just in their city. If your students are from a smaller city or more rural area, they can plan a regional or nation-wide trip.
  4. As the groups work, walk around the room asking groups for details about their trip. Encourage them to be as specific as possible. For example: if they write “stay in a hotel,” instruct them to be more specific: What hotel? Where in the city? What makes that hotel or area of the city interesting?
  5. Optional: Depending on time and student levels, this activity can also be a homework assignment. After the groups have finished their travel plans, the homework can challenge the students to use the travel plans to create a poster, a flyer, or even a video where students can show off their six-day travel plans.

ACTIVITY PART TWO: TRAVEL SHOWCASE

  1. After the groups have finished their travel plans, give them time to prepare a speaking presentation to the class.
    a. Instruct the students that for the presentation each student in the group must speak. For example, in a group of three students, each student can present on two days of the trip.
    b. Note: Depending on students’ level and ability, this presentation part of the activity can be done on a separate day to give the students more time to prepare.
  2. Next, have each group come to the front of the class and describe the travel plan they made to the rest of the class.
    a. For additional speaking practice, encourage the rest of the class to ask questions about the trip.
  3. After each group has presented their travel plan, have the class vote on the presentations. Which travel plan was the best? Which was the most adventurous? Which was the most historic?

APPENDIX 1: TRAVEL PLANS

Directions: Plan a six-day trip to your country for a person who has never visited before. Choose a city, region, or the entire country. Include everything, such as what to visit, where to stay, and what to eat!

Day One:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

Day Two:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

Day Three:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

Day Four:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

Day Five:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

Day Six:

Where to stay:

Best way to get around (transportation):

Things to do:

Places to eat:

Other activities:

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