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For pre-intermediate/intermediate English language students, suitable for teenagers and adults.
For free sample unit (with answer) click below.
Starting from a basic introduction to tourism English, each unit steadily progresses though a virtual trip abroad. Both the viewpoint of the tourist, and the viewpoint of the flight attendant/hotel clerk/server/tour guide are considered. There are many role-plays to perform; students can practice from the role of the tourist, or from the role of the hospitality staff, or both.
There are 14 units plus a Revision section and a Glossary page. Each unit is of different length and follows its own path. Some units may take less than 1 hour of class time, and others may take up to two hours. There is a great variety of communicative activities, tasks and puzzles, and many role-play situations.
ANSWER KEY – This is password protected (to prevent students from copying). Click the link on the homepage to receive the password, and gain access to all answers.
PHOTOS – In addition are a number of photos which can be used to further illustrate some of the locations and topics referred to. Hover and click over a photo to get a larger version, which can easily be projected to a classroom screen, enabling students to gain a deeper insight, and perhaps prompting a little more classroom discussion (these are available for each unit from the dropdown menu on the homepage).
LINKS – Lastly are some links to other websites which afford much greater detail of each theme and situation, both for students and teacher. Many links are for wikipedia pages and, whilst some wiki information needs to be treated with caution, it is a rich source of accessible data. Plus wikipedia has links to multiple languages which may well be of use to students. There are also some links to live webcams from around the world. These can add a ‘real-time flavor’ to the classroom (these are available for each unit from the dropdown menu on the homepage).
The main stages of each unit are as follows (scroll down for a more detailed teacher’s guide):
On every page is a communicative activity, exercise, puzzle or quiz, so students are continually engaging and interacting with new language.
New language is introduced systematically, and is blended with recycled language and vocabulary, and it is recommended the units be taught in order.
This is a stand-alone study-book, combining both textbook and resource book. There is no teacher’s manual (a concise teacher’s guide is provided below), no supplementary workbook, no media, and no need for photocopying. Just walk into class, and start teaching.
Very little rubric is provided; most activities are self-explanatory, and students can quickly figure out what to do. This also helps keep activities flexible and versatile, enabling the teacher to add, subtract, adapt and expand, to suit the particular needs of each class. And it also results in much less clutter on each page, so students can concentrate on the activity in hand without having to wade through any extraneous prose. The teacher is in control of the textbook, not vice-versa.
Essentially, each unit consists of a series of tasks, and the method of teaching is fairly self-evident. So below are just a few general points.
Warm-up – Most units start with a gentle warm-up task. This is usually a fairly simple exercise which often introduces vocabulary that they may encounter later. Collaboration is to be encouraged.
In some units the warm-up consists of an ‘Ask & Answer’ questionnaire, which takes a little longer. It is recommended that drilling or some kind of pronunciation practice be undertaken before students ask and answer the questions. It should be stressed that the answers provided are simply example answers, and students should endeavor to answer the questions with their own real answers. When recording their partners’ answers, students usually just make short note of the answer, but more advanced students can be encouraged to write answers in the third person eg yes, she does (rather than yes). When the questionnaires are complete, sharing answers with a partner (or two) will round off the task quite nicely.
Feedback can be carried out in the traditional way, by nominating random students to answer each section. Or the answer page (available online above) can easily be projected to a classroom screen for the students to check themselves. This affords the teacher a little time to monitor students individually and offer targeted assistance.
Dialogue – Most units include a sample dialogue between the tourist and the hospitality staff. It is worth spending a bit of time here, working on pronunciation, rhythm, and especially intonation. The hospitality staff should show some extra politeness and respect in their voice and manner. Practicing the dialogue with one (or both) books closed will help students with the role-play that follows.
Role-Play – Both the tourists role and the role of the hospitality staff is practiced, and subsequently performed. Students should be encouraged to create their own scenes, and not to just memorize the preceding dialogue. There is nothing wrong with veering off-script, provided of course the language is appropriate.
Role-plays are carried out in pairs or small groups. Roles can be switched, but if any member of a group has aspirations to enter the tourism business, care should be taken to ensure they don’t miss out on the hospitality role. Use of classroom furniture, however basic, really helps, and students should be standing when appropriate.
The role-play is a significant task, and every effort should be made to check and assess every group’s performance, with some feedback. This is quite time-consuming, and may result in some groups, who have already finished, waiting around a little, but it is a price worth paying.
Exercise – These provide a change in tempo, and a chance for students to reflect on the language being covered. Feedback can be conducted as with the Warm-up above.
Puzzle/Quiz – These are dotted through the book. There are little or no instructions, the students can easily figure out what to do. It is usually best to ban smartphones, and to have students collaborate in pairs or threesomes. There may be occasion when you don’t agree with an answer (perhaps it feels culturally strange to you). Please use this as an opportunity for a talking point with your students.
Most puzzles and quizzes end up being a race to completion. Sometimes there is a little quirkiness embedded, requiring some deduction by the students, all part of the fun.
Duo/Trio/Quartet – There are four information gap activities for groups of 2, 3 or 4 students.
My modus operandi is to have all the A students sitting together, and all the B students also sitting together, with a physical gap between each group (for a trio activity there will be 3 groups, and 4 for a quartet). If the groups are too large then they are sub-divided. The information is read and digested together, and the required questions are prepared and practiced in readiness for the spoken information gap activity.
Now it is time for each A student to pair up (randomly) with a B student (plus C for a trio, and D for a quartet), and to attempt the information gap activity to completion. Students quickly cotton on to the procedure, and group organization is easily managed.
One point: a standard information gap activity is for a pair of students, a duo. But a third student drastically alters the dynamic. With pairs A knows B has the all the answers, and B knows it too. However when the information is spread between three students, a trio, A doesn’t know whether B or C has the answer, and neither does B nor C. This element of doubt really spices up the activity.
Review exercise – At the end of some units is a review exercise which blends new with recycled language. Students often prefer to do this individually, but checking their answers with a partner or two is to be encouraged.
Glossary – At the start of the book is a glossary of some of the useful vocabulary and phrases which crop up in the book. Allow students a little time at the start of the course to write their translations, to which they can refer through the course.
Revision – After the final unit is a revision section, with a running score which totals 100 (except for the last two sections which are for fun). It is not recommended as a test, but can be considered an indicator of what the students have (or haven’t) learned. It is also, as the name suggests, revision.
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