English day trips

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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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.

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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 !

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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.

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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.

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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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Re: English day trips

Unread postby eigonosekai » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:51 pm

English day trips are great with both adults and children. These trips are great opportunities to learn about new things and learn new vocabulary that they would not necessarily learn in the classroom. Going to the museum is a great idea but you should be well prepared. Plus, you have to prepare your students and explain properly what you expect from them. Leisure is to be avoided and they should have opportunities to speak English as well. I would suggest doing a guided tour of a specific place in town. You could encourage your students by telling them to ask a question to the guide. I also love the idea of the Treasure Hunt. A lot of foreign students do this activity when they are visiting a new town. My collegues suggested a lot of excellent ideas about tasks to do during an English day trip. You can use those as well.
Good luck!

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