C1/2 lesson – How easy is it to get around your city? (180′)

New! Now I have uploaded the PPT file for this lesson.

PPT file can be found hereUnit 8 – Urban Jungle

This was my C1/2 group’s first lesson (Ages from 13 to 40). As I have posted on Richmond Share Brasil Blog the first lesson can be daunting as you don’t know what to expect when it comes to their profile, learning styles, etc. To start with I have used the Jeopardy Diagnostic Game posted previously (30′) and to my surprise, they struggled a little with word formation. 

The topic of the lesson: How easy is it to get around your city? – Slide 1

[Slide 2]

**Setting the scene – activating schemata (listening task)

  • Steps: Ask students to work together and answer the question: “What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town or village as opposed to a big city?” (pros x cons) displayed on the board – 5′. After students have their lists, they share with the whole group (and check if they have the same ideas – if they agree or disagree) and the teacher writes some of their contributions on the board. (5′)
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 10′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on relevant vocabulary & pronunciation.

 

[Slide 3]

**Setting the scene – listening task 1 (work on vocabulary)

Listening File: GOOGLE DRIVE https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8aijvDN7j4uRkM5dzRnRTB2c28

  • Steps: Students will listen to a woman talking about moving to a remote village. In order to connect it to the previous step, students will establish a connection between what she says and the pros and cons mentioned before. After ss share their findings with the whole group (also check if they agree or disagree). If necessary play it twice.
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 10′
  • Monitoring: T is quiet at this moment and pays attention to students in order to check their understanding. 
  • Feedback: Work on the vocabulary taken from the listening file (hustle and bustle, out of the blue, retrace your steps, eccentric, long for) & pronunciation.

 

[Slide 4]

**Using the vocabulary in context (from the listening file)

  • Steps: Students will discuss the questions* using the new vocabulary in context. After ss share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 10′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on relevant vocabulary & pronunciation.

*

Do you enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities? Or would you prefer to live in a remote village?

What was the last thing that happened to you out of the blue?

Do you find it easy to negotiate the complexities of urban life without blinking?

Have you ever been to a quaint fishing village? If not, would you like to?

How important is a sense of belonging? Do you think all people have it?

What can you easily do without

If you’d like to, you could explore the future continuous and perfect as well (slide 5)

[Slide 6, 7]

**Lead-in – Reading task 1 

  • Steps: Show students the picture of your city (here I have a picture of Jundiaí – SP – the city I currently live in). And right after show the *questions. Students discuss them and share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 10′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on relevant vocabulary & pronunciation.

*

How well do you know your way around the city?

What do you do to help you navigate in a town or city you don’t know well?

Have you ever got completely lost? What did you do after?

You can work with the first two paragraphs of the article and ask students what it will be about (slide 8)

Since the article file was too heavy to be uploaded here, you can copy it below:

London is not a good place for fans of right angles. People who like the methodical grid system of Manhattan are baffled by the bewildering network of knotted streets. It’s entirely possible to take two right turns and end up in the same place. Even with a map, some people manage to get lost. And yet there are thousands of Londoners who have committed the city’s entire layout to memory – cab drivers. Piloting London’s distinctive black cabs is no mean feat. To earn the privilege, drivers have to pass an intense intellectual ordeal, known charmingly as The Knowledge. Ever since 1865, they’ve had to memorise the location of every street within six miles of Charing Cross. Today this implies familiarity with all 25,000 of the capital’s arteries, veins, and capillaries. They also need to know the locations of 20,000 landmarks – museums, police stations, theatres, clubs and more – and 320 routes that connect everything up.

It can take two to four years to learn everything. To prove their skills, prospective drivers do oral examinations called ‘appearances’ at the licensing office, where they have to recite the best rout between any two points. Incredible as it may seem, they have to do this without any reference to maps aside from the mental map they have in their head. They have to narrate the details of their journey, complete with passed landmarks, road names, junctions, turns and maybe even traffic lights. Only after successfully doing this several times over can they earn a cab driver’s license.

Given how hard it is, it shouldn’t be a surprise that The Knowledge changes the brains of those who acquire it. Eleanor Maguire from University College studied those changes and showed that the brains of the London taxi drivers do indeed undergo a change which makes them very different from those of mere mortals like us. Doctors, for example, with their extensive knowledge of human anatomy and psychology, don’t exhibit the change Maguire found. You don’t see it in memory champions who have trained themselves to remember seemingly impossible lists and who go on to win quizzes and competitions. You don’t see it in London’s bus drivers who have similar driving skills but work along fixed routes. Among all of these groups, only the London cabbies, with their heightened spatial memories, have the changes Maguire was looking for.

One reason this might be is that London,  as a cluster of what were once villages, simply demand higher order skills.  Cab drivers in Paris and Chicago face similar challenges when it comes to traffic and navigation and also have to get through a test that demands an in-depth knowledge of the city concerned. Strange as it may seem, though, when researches looked at drivers in these cities in a bid to replicate Maguire’s London study, they found none of the same changes in brain structure. Even among cabbies, the Londoners who pass The Knowledge are unique. But it’s not just their skills and the ways in which these have changed their brains that set the London cabbies apart. Their passengers generally trust them and can even be somewhat in awe of their navigation skills. Their colleagues elsewhere in the world do not fare so well when it comes to passenger attitudes. Rudeness, impatience, and poor driving skills are among their many sins if the many customer complaints on the internet are to be believed.

Cabbies in other countries also find themselves accused of possessing too limited a knowledge – or no knowledge whatsoever –  of the cities where they ply their trade. Stories abound of drivers making frantic appeals on their radios for guidance or relying too heavily on GPS. Believe these tales if you choose to but should you find yourself going round in circles in the labyrinth that is London for many a foreign visitor, don’t hesitate to hail a cab.  The cabbie may not ooze charm but will certainly know the quickest and most direct way of getting you where you want to go.

Taken and adapted from Proficiency Gold.

[Slide 9]

**Reading task 2

  • Steps: Students read the whole article and share the most interesting thing they discovered / what surprised them / what was strange. Students share their comments with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 20′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on relevant vocabulary & pronunciation. Also, clarify any problems ss might have.

[Slide 10]

**Reading task 3

  • Steps: Ss read the article again and answer the questions displayed on the 10th slide. Students discuss them and share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 20′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on relevant vocabulary & pronunciation.

[Slide 11]

**Reading task 4 – further work on vocabulary

  • Steps: Ss work with the following ply, hail, ooze, abound. I also asked them to find – 2 hedging structures, one expression, 2 collocations, 1 subjunctive in the article.  Students discuss their meaning and share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 15′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on the vocabulary & pronunciation. Help students if necessary.

[Slide 12]

**Reading task 4 – making vocabulary more meaningful

  • Steps: Ss will work on the vocabulary from the article writing sentences that are meaningful for them. Students share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 15′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on the vocabulary & pronunciation. 

[Slide 13]

**Reading task 4 – follow-up (making it more meaningful)

  • Steps: Ss answer the questions*. Students share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 15′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on the vocabulary & pronunciation. 

*

How well do taxi drivers know their way around Jundiai or Sao Paulo?

Have you ever encountered a taxi driver who actually got lost? If so, what did you do?

[Slide 14]

**Working on vocabulary from the article.

  • Steps: Ss answer the questions*. Students share their answers with the whole group. 
  • Interaction: S-S (pairs) / S-Ss (trios)
  • Timing: 10′
  • Monitoring: T goes around, listens to ss’ contributions and make notes to be used in the next step (feedback).
  • Feedback: Work on the vocabulary & pronunciation. 

*

What kinds of things give you a feeling of awe?

Is there any particular subject that makes you feel somewhat confused?

Have you ever been on a trip that ended up being a bit of an ordeal?

What makes you feel baffled?

Do you think that there are a bewildering number of streets in Sao Paulo?

Learning a second language is no mean feat. Do you agree with this statement?

Has your mother/father ever been frantic? What about? When?

[Slide 15]

**Wrap-up

End this lesson by asking them to make a list of what they have learned in this lesson.

 

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BeYouSolutions

- 16 years of teaching experience (Seven Idiomas / Cultura Inglesa Jundiaí) - 5 years as an Academic and Pedagogic coordinator - 1 year as a Pedagogic Bilingual coordinator at a Regular school - Letras Inglês Licenciatura Plena (PUC-SP) (2007) - CELTA - St. Giles SP (2008) - ETYL (English Teaching for Younger Learners) - International House Sydney (2012) - Cambridge DELTA MOD II, III - Cambridge Train the Trainer Cambridge Course - Pós em Pegagogia - PUC RS - MBA em finanças e geração de valores - PUC RS - MBA em Gestão da Escola na Contemporaneidade

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