TEFL Techniques: Comparing Cathedrals

by Andrew Carter - Date: 2007-02-18 - Word Count: 312 Share This!

The value of getting your student or students out of the confines of the classroom cannot be underestimated. Trips and visits not only improve the student teacher relationship, but they are brilliant for teaching a language. You're ahead as a teacher in every way. The visit should be tailored to the interests of the student - in which case they'll be involved 100% in the 'lesson'.

Teaching only happens when you've got the student's attention and they want to learn. My last student turned out to be very interested in historic buildings - we live near Salisbury Cathedral, and so there's a golden teaching opportunity 'on tap'. So we left the classroom and visited Salisbury Cathedral. It's got the tallest spire in the UK, at 123 metres. They started building it in 1220, and topped off the spire by 1330.

We heard the choir practicing during our visit. We read signs, graves and memorials - there's one of the original copies of the Magna Carta on view at the Cathedral too. A small aside: the Magna Carta room was closed when we got there - I resolve to PLAN these visits better next time! During the visit we walked and talked at the student's pace and to his agenda. Words were learned and questions asked (by both of us!).

The Cathedral would be suitable for any level of language ability, from teaching numbers, dates and comparatives (oldest, tallest and so on) to British history and even spiritual discussions. Having enjoyed that visit, we also went to Winchester Cathedral: older than Salisbury, and the longest in Europe. Jane Austen is buried there. More questions, more topics for discussion - and all about something that fascinates the student. When fascinated, the brain is clearly engaged: and when the brain's engaged, then learning happens! I've got two great Cathedrals, what have you got that you can use with your students? Think about it!

Related Tags: learning, uk, language, teaching, foreign, esl, efl, tefl, salisbury, tesol, business english

Andrew is a qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher, with 15 years experience of the global Automotive Industry as a Sales manager with an International component and systems supplier. For more information about learning English with Andrew at his home in the UK, visit the Lets Talk 2 website.

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