Taking students out of the classroom is a great way to break the monotony of your lessons and breathe some fresh air into your routine. It’s also a nice way for your students to learn more about the city they have chosen to live in.
If you’re new to the city, it’s fun for you too. In Oxford there are loads of places to go and things to do; the key is to incorporate the sights of the city into your lessons.
There are two ways to think about going on an excursion with your class. One way is to look at your syllabus and think how an excursion could relate to the topics of the coursebook. The other is to take advantage of any events happening in town and manipulate them so they can be used in relation to the target language covered in your lessons.
In your TEFL course you will have learnt about the different coursebooks used in EFL lessons. You will know that these coursebooks usually deal with language issues through topics. For example, maybe your coursebook is dealing with the topic of architecture. The obvious choice in Oxford is to let the students discover the colleges of the university. You could arrange a guided tour of a college and your students will be able to practise their listening skills and question formation while finding out interesting information about the college. Students will especially enjoy a tour of New College, which was the setting for the Harry Potter films.
Another common theme in coursebooks is food. Perhaps your students would enjoy a trip to the covered market, where they can find out the prices of certain foods in order to prepare a hypothetical meal, or they can ask the stall owners questions about the produce. Seeing items in reality and not just in pictures, and using language in a meaningful context are useful ways to make language more memorable.
Oxford is a beautiful city and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it with your students. As long as you prepare appropriately for the excursion, and choose an activity or event which lends itself to language learning, your students will appreciate the change and the opportunity to use English in a real-life context.