Are you a good tourist?08-Aug-2013
It’s holiday season, and that means that all around the world, people are buying phrasebooks in various languages, and learning key phrases for the holidays: “Where’s the beach?”, “A table for four please” and “I’m a vegetarian!”. And Expedia’s annual report by hoteliers and service staff have ranked various nations according to politeness, effort with the local language, trying exotic food, tidiness in hotels, and generosity with their holiday money! British people came joint second along with German tourists, with the Japanese coming out top overall. Considering the stereotype that British people don’t learn the local language and won’t try foreign food, this may come as quite a surprise! You can find the full ranking here.
This update seems like a nice opportunity for a lesson, especially if you teach multi-lingual classes. Show them the final rankings list and give them the prompt word “Tourism” and ask what they think the ranking means, discussing in pairs and moving around the room as a mingling activity so that everyone speaks to everyone else. Note down possible answers on the board and when you’ve got a few options, and have hopefully elicited the correct one in there as well, get them to do a vote on their final choice. Then get them to discuss their views on the choices in groups, as diplomatically as possible. They might want to bring in their own experiences of going on holiday. You could then give them some of the categories that Expedia included and get them to focus more specifically on these.
You could now use the original Expedia article as a reading comprehension, and end the lesson with roleplays, preparing some roleplay cards that say, for example, “You are a tourist from: you are very polite but not very generous with money”, and have them interact with shop-keepers or waiters. They could rotate around the classroom so they have the chance to roleplay as many different characters as possible.
You could also extend this further by using onestopenglish’s tourism-related resources.