Many thanks to Kevin Roche, a colleague of mine, who has kindly allowed me to include his conversation lesson on the site.
Tourism is becoming more and more important - especially for those learning English. Here is a two part lesson which focuses on the question of developing tourism as an industry in your local town. Students need to develop concepts, discuss local economic problems and solutions to those problems, think about possible negative impacts and finally make a presentation. These two lessons provide a great long term project for upper level students, while offering an opportunity to use English in a number of "authentic" settings.
Let's Do Tourism - Part 1
Aim: Discussion, explaining, reasoning, agreeing and disagreeing
Activity: Tourism - Do we need it? Discussion of pros and cons of developing local tourism
Level: Upper intermediate to advanced
- Split students into two groups - one group representatives of 'Let's Do Tourism', a tourism development company. The other group representatives of the residents of your city and are in opposition to the plans of 'Let's Do tourism'.
- Give each student a copy of one of the discussion notes.
- Ask students if they have any questions on the explanatory notes.
- Give students fifteen minutes to prepare for the discussion in their groups. Students should discuss the points mentioned and any other points they may come up with in their groups.
- Circulate around the classroom helping students and taking notes on common language problems.
- Have students get back together and try to convince you (or another chosen group of students) of their reasoning.
- Begin the activity follow-up by going over some of the more common mistakes made by students.
- Finish the activity as a class by asking each student to choose one reason either for or against the project. Each student should then disucuss one of the points in front of the rest of the class. Ask other students to comment on the arguments presented.
A company called 'let's Do Tourism' is panning to invest a large amount of money to turn your town into a major center for tourists. They have made plans to manufacture a number of hotels and other tourist infrastructure in your town. As well as the hotels, they have also made plans to radically improve the night life in your town by opening a string of clubs and bars. They hope that by the year 2004 your town will be a major competitor within the tourist industry in your country.
You are representatives of 'Let's Do Tourism' your aim is to promote the plans of your company and to convince me that tourism is the best solutions for your city. points to concentrate on:
- The increase in jobs that will come with the increase in investment.
- They money that the tourists will bring into the local economy
- The progress and development of your city which will result in it becoming more important with not only your region, but also your country as well.
- Better for the young people of your city as there will be much more investment in leisure industries.
You are the representatives of the residents of your city and are in opposition to the plans of 'Let's Do tourism'. Your aim is to convince me that this is a bad idea for your town. Points to consider:
- Environmental issues - tourists = pollution
- Troublemakers - many tourists have no respect for the places they visit and are only interested in getting drunk and causing trouble.
- The rise in tourism will bring about radical changes and will result in the traditional way of life in your town being lost. Perhaps forever.
- Rather than promoting the position of your city in your country, this move will make your city the laughing stock of your country.
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