ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Podcast #18 – Critical Thinking, Giving Advice and Intonation

September 25th, 2007 by Dave · 1 Comment


I start by talking about how last week’s headline activity ended up going differently than I’d planned. I discuss some of the difficulties of looking critically at current events here in China and also talk about some of the uncomfortable issues that came up. In doing so, I refer to this article from Beijing Newspeak about food safety in China.

I next describe my upcoming lesson based on giving advice. It follows the pattern I’ve been using this semester of reading, writing, discussion, listening, discussion, roleplay and review. I put the listening and second discussion activities below.

Finally, I briefly outline the introduction to sentence-level intonation that I recently gave my students.

Advice Activity

I read the following list of travel advice aloud to my class and asked them to tell each item back to me. I answered vocabulary questions, and then had them discuss why each of these pieces of advice would be given. In addition, I asked students to discuss whether they agreed with each pieces of advice and if they had any advice to add. We then talked about the reasons behind each piece of advice as a class. Finally, I asked my students to practice giving each piece of advice and explaining the reason behind it to their partner.

  1. travel on a private tour (age gap between younger/active travelers and less active/older travelers)
  2. wash your hands with soap at every opportunity, and carry disinfectant
  3. drink and brush only with bottled water
  4. bring binoculars, sunhat, sunscreen, small packs of toilet paper
  5. research the destinations before you go (there won’t be any English brochures, maps, or street signs)
  6. bring a mask (air pollution)
  7. beware of shopping excursions which are not listed on your itinerary (might end up racing through thousand year old art and architectural treasures to spend hours in stores)
  8. bring lots of one dollar bills (tips)
  9. on the train try to get a seat in the middle of the cabin (away from the toilet, loud banging door, and cigarette smoke)

Please feel free to email me or post in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions.

Tags: blog · China · ESL activity · lesson plans · listening · podcasts · speaking

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Meemo // Dec 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I’m really interested in your topics,
    They’re so beneficial ,
    Thanks a million 🙂

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