Published 23rd February 2018
Learning a language is all about learning to communicate. Communicating is all about interacting with people using the language in the real-world. Learning from books is all well and good but learners need opportunities to practise using the language in authentic situations. Excursions provide the perfect opportunity for your learners to get out of the classroom and stand on their own two feet in terms of communicating in English. It will not only give them a break from the classroom but also give them confidence in their abilities.
How to make the most out of an excursion
- Choose an excursion which is related to what is being taught in the classroom
- Do your research on the destination
- Ask for permission from the school before you tell your students about it
- Obtain consent from all your students
- Ensure adequate language preparation has been done in the lessons preceding the excursion
- Plan an appropriate lesson for the excursion – don’t wing it!
- Prepare your students by going over the lesson plan with them before the excursion
- Make sure your students are clear on the aims and value on going on the excursion
- If the excursion involves interacting with other people, allow time for role-plays in class to practise dialogues
Popular ideas for excursions
Topic: Places around town, directions
Excursion: On the street
Prepare a treasure hunt for your students with clues relating to different places around town. Once they have figured out the clue they need to ask someone for directions to each place. Once there, they must complete a task (take a selfie, buy a coffee, find the answer to a question) before they can move on to the next clue.
Topic: Food, at the restaurant
Excursion: At a restaurant
Take your students out for lunch (but make sure they can pay for themselves!). At the restaurant students must decide what they want on the menu and order for themselves. Afterwards, they must describe and review their meals to their classmates.
Topic: Adjectives of description or opinion
Excursion: Art gallery
Find a local gallery or museum which has an appropriate exhibition. The students must walk around the exhibition and choose their favourite three photographs/paintings/exhibits. Afterwards, the students must discuss their three favourites to their classmates, describing them to identify them and then explaining why they like them.
Excursion: a walking tour
No matter what city you’re in there are bound to be walking tours around the city. These tours are led by people who have extensive knowledge on the topic and can answer any questions you may have. For students visiting from other countries this is a great way to get to know the city; for students who live in the city, you may need to do your research and lead the tour yourself! Either way, walking tours provide great listening practice for our students.
There are so many different ideas for excursions you can take your students on. It may take a bit of preparation and effort, but the benefits far outweigh these and you are guaranteed to have a good lesson.