Month: August 2016

First day back – a quick and easy lesson


In 9 days (I’m not counting!) I’ll be heading off on my holidays and so I’m trying to forward plan now and get something together for the first week back.  I’ve been teaching a group of secretaries recently and they need to describe how national and international visitors can get to their organisation from the nearest airport, or from their own company, whether that be by car or by train.  After working with these ladies on the topic I realised that most people I teach at one time or another will need to give basic directions to their visitors, so I tried the same lesson with another group and they found it very useful.

There’s a wealth of language which stems from this kind of activity: imperative verb forms, discussing and comparing two or more options, making recommendations, all kinds of driving-related vocabulary and in the context of discussing directions in emails and telephones  we can start to draw on confirming, clarifying and summarising language – the list is pretty endless.

For that reason I’ve put a simple worksheet together which I’m sharing here.  This can be used with new groups after you’ve conducted a day one needs analysis, or it can be used on the first day back of an existing class to introduce other areas of language including those above.  It works well for levels A2/B1 (pre-intermediate) or above and takes about 60 minutes to work through.

To consolidate unknown vocabulary on this topic, or any other, you can try an ‘oldie but goodie’ task – half a crossword.  This link will bring you to a site where you can enter any terms and then they’re split over two crosswords.  The course participants work in pairs to define the terms on their sheet of paper, which are missing on their partner’s sheet and vice versa.  Great fun and a sound way to recycle new language.

Enjoy the holidays and have a good start back to work!