English day trips

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giana
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English day trips

Unread postby giana » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:37 am

I plan to take my students on a day trips to provide them with opportunities to learn more and practice their English.Do you think it is a good idea to take them to a museum or it is sort of dull?What preparations are needed? Is it any good to provide them with a list of useful vocabulary some time in advance? What can make our day trip more fun and enjoyable ?

AlexCase
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby AlexCase » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:33 am

How old are the students and what country are you in?

In general, the (difficult) trick is to give them something to do in the museum that uses the language that is there while improving their enjoyment of the museum (rather than killing their enjoyment, as all the tasks our teachers gave us on trips when I was on school did). Some kind of treasure hunt is probably best.

Some of my own attempts are here:

http://www.tefl.net/alexcase/worksheets/art/

giana
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby giana » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:31 pm

Dear AlexCase
My students are adults and we live in Iran.
We have some options, such as Museum of Ancient Iran full of historical ornaments ,jewelery and bric-a-bracs related to different eras.Another choice could be some palaces which were owned by our previous monarchs and have changed into museums as well.In these palaces you can get familiar with royal lifestyle!An the last one: we can go mountain climbing and enjoy the beautiful nature.Which one do you believe to offer more learning and language -use opportunities???

samuel
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby samuel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:28 pm

I believe that day trips are excellent ideas to help students open up to the world that is around them. Going to a museum can be fun if you give your students a mission for example. Maybe giving them questions about things they will see can be interesting. Students will have to search the information throughout the museum and they could form teams and create a challenge to see who will find all the answers first! This is a fun way of learning and students truly will remember their experience. However, such a day trip requires a lot of preparation in advance. Students need to know what to bring (lunch, material, etc.) Students need to be informed of the exact procedures and they need to know the rules that will be followed very strictly. I would definitely consider bringing my students on such a trip because it would be an enjoyable experience .

MikeV
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby MikeV » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:40 pm

Dear giana,

If you want to, you can even make a short survey for your students to complete. As they are all adults, they can give you more input about what they think would help them and interest them. Museums are, in my opinion, interesting places where you can learn a lot on a large variety of topics. I am pretty sure there are museums in which you can have an interactive visit with a guide and on a topic that interests most of your students. Fortunately this can help you. As for anything related to procedures, samuel quite covered it all!

MikeV
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby MikeV » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:43 pm

Dear giana,

As your students are all adults, you could think of making a small survey in class to see what they are the most interested in. Museums are, in my opinion, a great idea of a place to visit for an English day trip. If you look around and get some information on the different museums you have close to your school, you can probably find one which provides an interactive visit between the guide and the students so they can both learn and talk in English. This can test their comprehension and make them entertained as well. I am pretty sure you can find a topic which interests the majority of your students. As for the procedures you should think of, samuel quite covered most of them. I hope this helps you!

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby samueltremblay » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:46 pm

I also think that taking your students to a museum is a great idea if you are prepared in advance. The challenge idea is a good one, but you have to make sure that your students will not lose interest in what you plan for them. A treasure hunt seems to me really interesting, but a lot of preparation is needed also. What you can also do is to have them choose maybe 3 items in the museum that they found interesting and have them write a short paragraph to describe what they found interesting about the objects. It is less demanding but I think that you should go with the treasure hunt if you have the time to design such an activity because students will probably be more motivated and interested by that.

cyndie
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby cyndie » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:50 pm

I totally agree with what Samuel said, it is an excellent idea to go out to learn new English vocabulary, but the museum is not a place where students will actually practice their oral skills. So maybe you should provide a sheet that they would have to comlete, in teams or alone, by asking questions to the person in charge of some specific animals like jungle animals. Students would for example need to ask this resourceful person what kind of food the animals are eating and at what hours of the day. You could even call ther museum and warn them of your wonderful project, therefore the satff wold be a little prepare for these questions.

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby amrif » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:51 pm

In my opinion, day trips to learn English are a great idea; taking students out of the classroom in order to learn English changes things up a bit. They will enjoy this aspect of learning. Museums or places with historical value can be a great way of teaching students English. In order for it to be informative and for the students to not get bored or distracted is to give them a goal. As a teacher, make sure to be well informed about the place you will visit. As was previously mentioned, give students certain questions or things to answer or look for. This will keep them focused and motivated.

samantha
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby samantha » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:54 pm

I believe that English day trips are a great way to learn English. They expose the students their target language all day, which is great. It also allows them to learn English in a different context. This will help them build their vocabulary and learn new expressions.
It’s important to make learning fun, and I find that a day trip can be a great motivator for students. It changes things up for them, and allows them to learn in a fun and new environment.
As English teachers, we have the advantage of being able to cover multiple aspects and subjects of life; all we have to do is adapt them to make them in English. Students always enjoy day trips, so I think as teachers it’s important to take these opportunities to expose the students to as much as we can!

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby jeffreyrodrigue » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:56 pm

Day trips are awesome I think, but it really depends on the age of your students and their interests. I would consider going to an aquarium or the zoo before going to the museum, but then again, it would probably be more interesting but less educative. If you go to a museum, if I were you I would check beforehand if the museum offers guided tours and said museum. Because, if you just have your students running around loose and not occupied then it will most likely be hell. If you want to be sure they listen and pay attention to what the museum is showing then tell them they will be evaluated on what they have seen and heard on that trip.

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby karineculture » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:58 pm

I like the idea of giving students questions to answer whil they visit the museum but maybe it would be too childlish with adult students. What you can do is prepare an activity related to the museums before your trip. For example, if they will visit a palace, they could do a research on it prior to the visit and present their findings to the group. Another team could search information about another museum. I'm sure they will be happy during the visit to see that the information they searched before were right. If you ask each teams to present something different, they will all benefit from this activity because they will learn something about each attraction you will visit and will have some background knowledge about everything.
I would be interesting to know what you finally decided to do for this trip so please write us back when it will be done! :)

buniac
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby buniac » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:58 pm

Trips are a great way to get your students involved into a subject that you want to get them to know about. A museum could be a great idea if you are well prepared. Beforehand, I would prepare a guide that shows most of the attractions of the museum. If they are aware of some of the content that is present in the museum, they will have a good feel of what is coming up. Planning an activity around the museum could also be an option. You should create a document that includes pictures of pieces of art, then make them fill a section on what they have learned about each attraction and add a section on surprising facts and personal impressions. Students require motivation in museums because of the prejudices about them. It is all about the way you introduce it to your students.

nicolasbrunette
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby nicolasbrunette » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:59 pm

I believe that these types of little trips are really interesting. It is highly motivating for the students and it puts them in a natural learning environment. However, I think you shouldn't use these rare opportunities to take them to a museum. Museum are similar to school: alot of content, a controlled environment (usually) and a general request for silence. I believe you should use this occasion to take them, if possible, somewhere they speak another language or where another culture would be presented. The best example would be the local Chinatown. It gives the opportunity to the students to naturally learn from another culture and they can explore it at their own rhythm. This just a simple suggestion, but I remember that I really appreciated these types trips when I was a student.

NatGagnonULAVAL
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby NatGagnonULAVAL » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:59 pm

I believe that when we are dealing with adults, it is important to take different aspects into consideration comparatively to when dealing with kids. Adults have a much more open sense of discovery and passion for knowledge, while kids are simply seeking to be amused and entertained. English trips, such as one at the museum, are in fact a good idea with students, however it is important to associate a task to the visit and set the goals prior to the outing. This way, students will know what information they should pay more attention to and spend less time seeing it as leisure.

rebra
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby rebra » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:59 pm

I also think that day trips are a good way of having students open to the world. I also believe that day trips should be based upon small project. Depending on where the teacher decides to bring her/his students the project might differ.
I have attended a conference where a teacher asked her students to create her own museum in the classroom. Students, in teams of two or three, prepared a kiosk where other students could visit by walking around the classroom. The students at the kiosk had to give information about their “exposé”.
If the teachers decides to make a day trip, she could assign a topic to each team, and the teams wool have to find information during the day in order to make their presentation.
This is just a suggestion of things to do on a day trip.

jetar
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby jetar » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:01 pm

I have not organised any English school trip yet for ESL students since I am still a student teacher. However, I participated in several English trips in high school and I enjoyed them all. To answer your question, I think that bringing your students to the museum could be a good idea, but do not visit too many museums. Choose them wisely according to your students' interests. Moreover, I remember from my personal experience that having a dynamic guide was very beneficial for the students and the teachers. The guide provides information and interacts with the students in English all the time. Since it is an English trip, it enables to maximize English input and English use among the students.

ania
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby ania » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:05 pm

I think that each attempt to make students speak in their second language can be a wonderful and fruitful opportunity to improve their communication skills. It should be important however, to reflect on to what places you intend to take your students. The idea of museum is good, as long this sort of activity is appealing and interesting to students. You just need to keep in mind if the topic of the exhibition is not very interesting, students certainly will not listen, ask questions and/or participate in this kind of expedition. You must remember that you want to carry on this activity in the learners’ second language, therefore it is essential to motivate students to communicate, if they will be bored, they will, for sure, switch to their first language. Good Luck!

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby JEEPY » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:08 pm

Giana, I really like your professionalism and your concern about your students. It tells me you must be a dedicated teacher. The first thing you have to consider is the length of the trip. If your trip is only 1-day long, you might not want to bore them with only museum and you'll probably want to go to more exciting places. There are some interactive museums that could be a good compromise because they are meant for a younger audience. if your trip is longer than a day, then you could probably add a trip to the museum to your agenda, even if might seem boring because you want to educate them and you'll probably want them to interact with people in English and you can motivate them with that.

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Re: English day trips

Unread postby mgrima » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:15 pm

No matter the age of the students I think day trips are a great way to get out of the classroom and interact in English. However this does require some preparation not matter the level. First I usually contact the place to see what type if any guided tours they offer. I also inform them that the students are ESL learners and that a simplified version might be required. Most places are very flexible and will adapt to the group. The next step is to prepare students with new vocabulary. This should be done in class before the trip. While on the trip it is a good idea to provide some sort of comprehension activity of task that the students are required to complete. This will not only motivate them but will also insure participation.

Hope this helps

culture
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby culture » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:53 pm

Day trip is a great idea! Adults like it as much as children do. Choose the theme. For ex. in The Museum of Ancient Iran you choose one exposition or one historical period. Surely such trips must be thoroughly prepared. I skip organizational problems, it’s not a problem with the adults, just make sure that you gave all the instructions in advance.

After you have chosen the theme, choose the final product that you would like to have:

1. Will it be a written text that they need to write after your day trip? In this case decide in advance what would be the evaluation criteria for this assignment. Depending on their level it could be a description of what they saw (the lower level). You can ask more proficient language learners to write a summary in English of the information given by the guide of the museum (who speaks native language, of course). If you have advanced level students, give them the theme that they need to explore supporting their arguments with the clues they’ll find at the Museum. Make this writing activity more interactional, asking them to work in small groups of 4, so that they could exchange their opinions and help each other, asking questions at the Museum. You can also make this activity a cooperative activity using a jigsaw research, when the group has one theme per group, but each member of the group will write a text only about one aspect of the main theme.

2. Or you would like to make an oral activity. Ex. You divide them in groups of 4. Each of the students will have a theme to prepare in advance. They need to be ready to act at the museum as tour-guides for the three other participants who would be representing English tourists in this activity, who need to ask questions etc. Actually, this one is my students’ favourite.

3. Do some active learning activity. Provide students with a vocabulary list, textual information on the theme. Ask them to make up a quiz. You can ask them to make 2 quizzes: a preliminary one (in written or oral form), before they go to the museum and final one (a written quiz the next lesson after the trip to check other students’ comprehension, attention, what they remembered or not). Do not forget the special rule to speak only English at the museum, even in ordinary situations between students.

I assure you it’ll be a real fun for your students.
I wish you and your class a nice day trip.

cathjean
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby cathjean » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:12 pm

I agree with Samuel that a day trip to the museum can be fun. But maybe, because they are adults, activities such as finding things and questions to answer will bore them. I suggest that you take them to a place where they have no choice to speak english. I don't know if this is possible since i'm not familiar with Iran, but a trip to the museum might not help them improve their english since they won't HAVE to speak or listen to english all day. It will be interesting though for your highly motivated students that will probably do their best to speak english and try to learn more. But for the others I doubt it would be a rewarding activity.
However, if you plan on doing this trip make sure, as Samuel said, that they do are aware of the procedure in advance. Be prepared to face some difficulties, no lunch, forgotten material and all. Even though they are adults, for this, you have to act with them as if they were children. :)

Have a nice day !

melgaut
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby melgaut » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:18 pm

I've already done a trip with my students to the closest city. We had a sleepover at the museum! It was awesome! Even though it wasn't a trip aimed to improve their skills in L2, and can easily see how we can adapt it. A treasure hunt is a very good idea. Sometimes, museum already has prepared questions. You can translate it. In teams they have to go around the museum and find the answers. To that, you can add a sort of competition: The team that speaks only in the L2 during the tour is rewarded! You give them tickets at the beginning of the tour, and when another team hears someone speaking L1 they steal a ticket from them. The team that has most tickets wins! You can also verify if there is a museum in your locality that presents the material in the L2. It is interesting for any level of students: they aren't in the school anymore, they associate trips with fun.

EmaHan
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby EmaHan » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:22 am

When I was studying at the cégep, my English teacher took us on an English day trip in order to familiarize use to an environment where English is commonly used. She found this activity a good opportunity to teach us the use of English and its culture and give us a sense of an English speaking environment.

Even though this kind activity might seem expensive and too short for what is implies, it is still a great opportunity for the students to have a glimpse at the English culture and what it looks like to use English in an English speaking environment. Students can notice some details that they can’t learn by sitting in a classroom and they can learn more in a day than in a whole week of English classes.

rebra
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Re: English day trips

Unread postby rebra » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:29 am

I also think that day trips are a good way of having students open to the world. I also believe that day trips should be based upon small project. Depending on where the teacher decides to bring her/his students the project might differ.
I have attended a conference where a teacher asked her students to create her own museum in the classroom. Students, in teams of two or three, prepared a kiosk where other students could visit by walking around the classroom. The students at the kiosk had to give information about their “exposé”.
If the teachers decides to make a day trip, she could assign a topic to each team, and the teams wool have to find information during the day in order to make their presentation.
This is just a suggestion of things to do on a day trip.


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