Here's another Quizlet flashcard set I created for my EM Normandie students. This one covers vocabulary relating to the topic of travel and tourism and contains 134 word and expressions with their French equivalents.
I've been doing some lessons on travel and tourism with my EM Normandie students and wanted to find a role play where, in groups of four, they would have to agree on a holiday destination. I was pretty confident of finding a ready-made worksheet on the internet on that very topic, but after a fruitless search, I ended up doing my own. Which was probably a better idea as I was able to tailor it to my students' level and interests. If you're a teacher, you can download the activity file here and modify it as necessary for your own students. You may also be interested in this travel questionnaire.
NOTE I find this sort of activity usually works well because a) the students have something to say, and b) they can relate it to their own experience. I did another one earlier in the year about a family winning the lottery, which you can download here.
Regular readers of The English Blog (hi Marcia) will know that I'm a big fan of cartoons as a means of presenting vocabulary and grammar, as well as cultural information. So I was very pleased to discover Itchy Feet, a weekly comic about travel, life in foreign countries, and learning new languages.
Itchy Feet was created in 2011 by Malachi Rempen, an American film-maker who now lives in Berlin. Below is a fairly typical example of his work, which could be described as quirky or offbeat. You can find a lot more comics in the same vein in the Itchy Feet archives or the Itchy Feet store.
COMMENT Of course, the girl should have said 'washing machine' and 'toes'. Perhaps she's French because they do actually say 'fingers of the foot' (doigts du pied) in France. However, the French also use the word 'kleenex' for a tissue, so perhaps she's not.
FOOTNOTE If someone has itchy feet, they have a strong desire to travel or move from place to place. For example: I reckon Helen will start talking about moving to a new city soon. She's always had itchy feet, and she's lived here for three years already.
I've been messing around with textivate, and am gradually discovering more of the possibilities offered by this incredibly rich text manipulation tool. One of the things you can do is create a set of words and matching pictures, which can then serve as the basis for a whole range of interactive activities. I've embedded one — the 'Click 6' activity — below.
In this episode of Learn English With Photos, we visit the Tower of London, one of London's most famous historic monuments, and learn some vocabulary connected with the Tower and its history. You can download a transcript and glossary for this lesson here, and see all the previous episodes of Learn English With Photos on the dedicated YouTube channel.
QUIZ How many of the places at the beginning of the video can you identify? See here for the answers.
ACTIVITY Try this activity I created from the voiceover transcript with textivate. All of the spaces and punctuation have been removed from the text. Click on the text to separate the words and put back the spaces and punctuation. You can find more activities based on the same text here.
Space travel can be risky, that's a given. Just getting up out of the Earth's gravitational pull requires massive amounts of energy. But the explosion of Orbital Science's Antares rocket on Tuesday and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crash on Friday has made that all the more real for space industry watchers. Two spaceship accidents in one week, one resulting in the death of a pilot and seriously injuring another, has prompted the question — what does this mean for space tourism? Full transcript >>
In your typical plane, there's the aisle seat, the middle seat and the window seat — the one with the best view, in my opinion. But what if pretty much everywhere you looked acted like a window? That's the aim behind this project from the Centre for Process Innovation in the United Kingdom. Check it out.
"With live video streamed to vivid OLED displays offering seamless panoramic views and entertainment, information and in-flight services at your fingertips, it's time to start your journey your way."
Panoramic views and personal displays — sounds like a new level of luxury. But the company explains it's all about sustainability and saving money: no windows means less weight. Full transcript >>
BACKGROUND Ryanair, which once suggested it would introduce standing-only flights if only it was allowed by aviation safety authorities, will launch a new tier of tickets aimed at business travellers willing to pay more for better service. ‘Business Plus’ tickets will offer the ability to change to another flight on the same day, to any airport in the same destination country, up to 40 minutes before departure for no extra fee, Ryanair said on Wednesday. The airline normally charges as much as £90 to make a change. Ryanair’s business customers will have to make do with the same type of seating as everyone else, but their more expensive tickets will include priority boarding, and one of the so-called ‘premium’ seats on the flight. They are either at the front of the plane, granting a quick exit, or in exit rows, offering more leg room. The airline normally charges £15 on top of a standard ticket to reserve one. Read more >>
CARTOON The cartoon by Kipper Williams from The Guardian shows a 'Business Plus' passenger holding a scratchcard. A flight attendant asks him if he'd like her to scratch his scratchcard for him.
EXPLANATION Ryanair began selling scratchcards in 2008 in an attempt to further increase its additional or 'ancillary' revenues. Around a quarter of the airline’s annual earnings are generated by ancillary revenues. Its extra charges, including check-in fees, booking fees and luggage charges, have increased by up to 700 per cent since 2006. The joke is that the 'better service' being offered by the air hostess to the passenger who has paid more for his 'Business Plus' ticket is ridiculously insignificant.
VOCABULARY A scratchcard (or scratch card) is a small card with a substance on its surface that you scratch off to find out whether you have won a prize. • Scratch cards are sold all over the UK in various shops ranging from small corner shops, post offices to supermarket chains.
A travel agency in Tokyo offers an unusual service, leading stuffed toys, not people, on tours. Jeanne Yurman reports.
TRANSCRIPT REPORTER: If you can't travel yourself, why not send a stuffed animal instead? A Japanese tour agency is letting wanna-be tourists travel…vicariously through their stuffed toys. Seem silly? Well Sonoe Azuma, founder of Unagi Travel, says she provides a unique service. FOUNDER OF UNAGI TRAVEL, SONOE AZUMA: "By using stuffed toys, I'm hoping to bring a sense of adventure to people who can't normally travel. That's why I started doing this." REPORTER: Some of her clients have disabilities or find it physically or mentally challenging to travel. Twenty-five-year-old Ranko Endo, for instance, suffers from depression and finds it hard to leave her apartment. Her stuffed panda's adventures give her hope. RANKO ENDO: "I used to be in this state where I didn't have any friends, and just going outside or seeing people was scary and really took it out of me both physically and mentally. But now that's all changed. Chibipan has made it to Shibuya, so maybe I can do it too." REPORTER: Details of each tour are posted online via social media, with comments and photographs, and the stuffed animals' owners also get to communicate about the tour. The tours accept inanimate travelers from Japan and overseas, running day-long excursions in the Tokyo area starting at 2,000 yen or just under $20 U.S. dollars.
A Chinese man comes up with an ingenious idea that could revolutionize personal travel. Sasha Salama reports.
TRANSCRIPT REPORTER: A Chinese man has come up with a new way for commuters to get to work - a suitcase scooter. It took He Liangcai nearly ten years and one million Chinese Yuan ($159,987) to create a suitcase which doubles as an electric scooter. It has three wheels, weighs seven kilograms (15 pounds) and can go as fast as 20 kilometers per hour (12.4 miles/hour). The scooter runs on a battery and can travel about 60 kilometers (37 miles) when fully charged. INVENTOR HE LIANGCAI: "I'm quite positive about this invention's future. First, it's easy to carry. Second, it will be sold at a low price. Third, it will solve some problems in our country, such as heavy traffic and parking. Also it won't cause any environmental pollution or noise pollution." REPORTER: The suitcase scooter also has a horn, a burglar alarm and a GPS. One man who tested it out liked it. CHINESE NATIONAL, 49-YEAR-OLD GUI TUANYUAN, SAYING: "This creativity is very fresh. It's a suitcase which can carry things and be a tool for transportation. Wherever you go on a business trip, it's inconvenient to carry heavy luggage. If you can ride your own luggage, then it's a little more convenient." REPORTER: Apparently it's strong enough for two people to ride.
Skin cancer cases have soared seven-fold in the past 40 years. The shock rise is blamed on the legacy of sunshine package holidays which became popular in the 1960s. Many of the patients being diagnosed today suffered cancer-causing sunburn in their youth, experts said yesterday. And they warned the continuing obsession with sporting a tan will mean the toll keeps rising. Full story >>
VOCABULARY A package holiday is a holiday arranged by a travel company for a fixed price that includes the cost of your hotel and transport, and sometimes meals and entertainment. • The advent of cheap air travel and package holidays in the 1950s and 1960s provided the first chance for most people in Britain to experience affordable travel abroad.
BACKGROUND The much-delayed opening of a £40m hotel within Britain's tallest building is to finally go ahead this spring. The 202-room Shangri-La hotel in the 1,000ft-high Shard will open to guests on 6 May. But it will not be until September 2014 that all the rooms will be available in the hotel, which will occupy levels 34 to 52 in the towering structure, which stands close to London Bridge station. And although guests are all guaranteed fantastic views over London, their nightly stays will set them back a pretty penny, with room rates starting at £450 and suites going for as much as £3,250 a night. Read more >>
THE CARTOON The cartoon is by Kipper Williams from The Guardian. The setting is a room high up in the Shard Hotel (the official name the Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard). A hotel guest is lying on the bed. His face is green and his head is spinning (= he's feeling dizzy). His wife tells the room service man, "Either it's altitude sickness or he saw the room prices."
EXPLANATION Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. The joke is that the Shard Hotel is so high that the man could be suffering from altitude sickness. But his symptoms could also be caused by the sky-high room prices.
GRAMMAR Remember: either A or B, neither A nor B, both A and B.
The Daily Mail reports that train firms are to be paid millions by the Government to convert first class carriages for use by standard ticket holders to ease overcrowding. First class carriages could become a rarity as a result of the move designed to placate passengers angry at being packed into increasingly congested standard class carriages on busy routes. Read more >>
VOCABULARY Rail (uncountable, often before another noun) means the railways/railroads as a means of transport. • Shipping long distances by rail is generally cheaper and more fuel-efficient than shipping by trucks.