Going places ESL lesson plans can take your students from the corner convenience store to the far corners of the globe.
Lesson Ideas on Going Places
There are enough variations on the going places theme to fill an entire semester. The following are just some of the angles teachers can pursue:
- Planning a Vacation: Students can use their reading, writing, and speaking skills to select a travel location, book a flight, and create a sample itinerary. Planning a vacation also opens the door for students discussing their likes and dislikes and past vacations, and vacation practices around the world.
- Packing for a Vacation: Many times, clothing vocabulary is introduced by describing people and the clothes they are wearing. Packing for vacation can add a new twist to that standard lesson by giving the discussion of socks and shirts a context. Bring in an actual suitcase and clothing for a hands-on visual aid.
- Traveling Around Town: You don't have to journey far to be traveling, so going places ESL lesson plans can also include everyday trips like going to the grocery store or going to the dentist. These destination-specific lessons are great opportunities for developing specific vocabulary and can also be more practical for students than a lesson asking them to plan a world cruise.
- Transportation Options: Transportation options vary by region and travel distance, so your students may be using the subway, riding a bus, flying by plane, driving a car, or riding a bike. Each mode of transportation opens the door for unique vocabulary and practical English language learning. A lesson on driving by car could include information on visiting a mechanic, with students learning the words for flat tire and oil change. Traveling by plane can lead to an extensive lesson on the airport, including everything from finding parking to buying a snack.
- Directions: Learning how to ask for and give directions is another useful skill for the English language learner that blends perfectly with other travel-based lessons. Teachers can help students understand local street naming and numbering procedures. Vocabulary will include directions such as "to the right" and questions related to specific locations such as "How do I get to the museum from here?"
- Talking to Other Travelers: As people travel, they may strike up short conversations with the person sitting next to them on the bus, the person behind them in line at the airport, or a friendly ticket agent. This provides a great opportunity for teaching students how to introduce and describe themselves. They can role-play with classmates or practice written dialogues.
Finding Materials for Going Places ESL Lesson Plans
Use authentic materials whenever possible. It's more useful for students to learn how to read a local bus schedule than to decipher a hypothetical chart the teacher printed. However, teachers should still be aware of their students' English abilities and select appropriate curriculum aids. For instance, a two-page list of subway stops may be overwhelming for their first contact with the schedule. Work your way up to the full schedule by using excerpts and samples first.
Travel magazines and websites can be a good source of reading material. Make sure you are using copyrighted material appropriately before you photocopy an article, however. Fair use provisions allow for limited educational use in the United States. Other countries will have different regulations of which you should be aware. Dealbase.com is a great source to find hotel packages and deals all over the world. They display deals in a consistent format, organized by hotel and destination.