Plan an excursion with your students

13-Jun-2013

One of the main things that all language learners usually have in common is the desire to travel and learn about and experience other cultures. However, travelling can be costly, and even daunting for students who don’t speak the local language well. So how can you let your students experience other regions in the UK, without ever leaving the classroom?

Thanks to The Guardian’s travel section, you can teach your students all about local events in the UK, and help your students understand the regional cultures and learn a bit of history too. They’ve created an interactive calendar where they can find out when local events are on, and learn more about them by visiting the website. Here are some of the most interesting events coming soon in the UK:

Cambridge Folk Festival, 25th – 28th July:
This is a very popular festival held in the lovely city of Cambridge, featuring a diverse mix of live music and performances, plus a traditionally-Scottish ceilid – which those of you who came to the Macmillan party at IATEFL 2012 will know well!

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, 8th – 11th August:
If you like hot air balloons, you’ll love this spectacular show, including a night show where the balloons are illuminated, and a simultaneous ascent of 100 balloons. Over 500,000 spectators are expected, so it would be a great atmosphere!

Worthing Birdman Festival, 16th August:
One of the UK’s quirkier festivals, where inventors and engineers alike bring their flying machines to Worthing Pier and try to win the £10,000 for successfully flying the furthest! One to watch!

Agatha Christie Festival, Torquay, 15th – 22nd September:
During this celebration of arguably the UK’s most famous crime writer, Torquay is turned into a magical mystery land of unsolved crimes, steam trains, fancy tea parties and men and women in costumes. How much fun would that be!?

Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth, 29th November – 1st December:
Over this weekend, Portsmouth turns into a magical, Dickensian town with traditional stalls selling great products for gifts, plus real live reindeer! A fantastic way for your students to find out what an olde worlde British Christmas was like!

Your students could choose the festival they would most like to attend, doing some further internet research to find out more details, and then make class presentations about their chosen event. There are lots of ideas here: you could prepare some role-play activities where some students work for the event organizers and other students are interested in attending but would like more information such as location and how best to get there, dates and times and so on. To practise their writing skills, you could also get them to write a review of the event to be published in the local paper as if they had actually gone.

Becca

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