Fancy livening up your classroom with some ready-made video activities? This is the second of a series of four blog posts in which Keith Harding and Rachel Appleby share ideas for using the stunning new International Express video material.
Each unit of the course features a video directly related to the unit topic. Here, Rachel explores the clip from Pre-Intermediate Unit 10 – Selexyz bookstore, which focuses on using ‘will’ to talk about the future, Zero Conditional and 1st Conditional.
Before you watch
- Discussion in pairs
Before I play video in class, I find it useful to do plenty of lead-in activities to the topic. For example, you could start by giving students the following to discuss in pairs.
- Do you ever shop online? What do you buy?
- What are the benefits of shopping in real shops?
- Do you buy books or music online, or in shops?
- Do you think book and music shops will continue to exist in the future? Why? Why not?
- Describe your favourite bookshop. Explain why you like it.
- Check key vocabulary
Tell the students they are going to watch a video about a special bookshop in an historic building. Before watching the video, check they understand, and can pronounce, the following words. You’ll find the answers at the end of this blog post.
retailer, branch, archive, fiction, structure, design
- Number work
Focus on the following numbers from the video. You could dictate them, or put them on the board.
10%; 8%; 15; 13; 500; 1794*
First, check students know how to say them, and then ask them to guess what each number could refer to. You’ll find the answers at the end of this blog post.
* NB: This is a date, so it is pronounced “17-94”
- More number work
Ask students to choose three of the numbers from above, and to listen, as they watch, for what they refer to. Tell them also to listen to compare their discussions from the beginning with what they hear.
- More vocabulary work
Do this exercise before watching the video again. Students work in groups of 3 or 4. Put the following words on the board, on cards (one set per group), or on a handout. Ask the students to try to remember what they referred to in the video. If they are not sure of the meaning of any words, they should check first in their group.
Give the students 5 minutes. You could give them dictionaries to check the meaning and pronunciation – in particular, word stress.
Next, play the video again. While they are watching, the students should:
- a) put the words in the order in which they hear them
- b) check what each refers to
At the end, ask them to compare their ideas in their groups, and discuss any they found difficult. Which words are usually associated with a bookshop or with a church?
After you watch
- A special shop, building or place
Ask students to think about a favourite or special shop, building, or place they would recommend to the others. Give them time to take notes and plan what they will say. Encourage them to use words from exercise 5 above. They should include:
- a) why they like it
- b) why it’s special
- c) where it is
- d) the best time to go
When they are ready, ask them to stand up and mingle with the other students. They should take it in turns to tell each other about their special place for approximately one minute. They should speak to at least three different people.
Ask them to sit down with a different partner, and compare what they heard. Which place would they most like to visit? Why? Are any of the places more interesting than their own? Why?
- Guess the word
At the start of the next lesson, give each student one word, on a card, from exercise 5 above. They should stand up and mingle, and explain or define their word to someone else, to elicit the word. In turn, they should listen to their partner’s explanation, and try to guess their word. They should then swap words, and mingle to find another partner.
I hope you enjoy trying out some of these activities in class! You can also find more on the video worksheet that comes with the International Express Teacher’s Resource Book DVD. All the worksheets are available for free here.
In the next part of this series, Keith Harding explores the Mercedes-Benz Museum, from the Intermediate level. Look out for it next week.
retailer (n) /ˈriːteɪlə(r) / – a person or business that sells goods to the public
branch (n) / brɑːntʃ / – a local office or shop/store belonging to a large company or organization
archive (n) / ˈɑːkaɪv / – a place where historical documents are stored
fiction (n) / ˈfɪkʃn / – a type of literature that describes imaginary people and events, not real ones
structure (n) / ˈstrʌktʃə(r) / – a thing that is made of several parts, especially a building
design (n) / dɪˈzaɪn/- the general arrangement of the different parts of something that is made, e.g. of a building
10% – the percentage of online shopping out of all consumer spending
8% – the increase in one year of internet sales
15 – the number of Selexyz shops in Holland
13 – the century when the church was built
500 – the number of years it was a church
1794 – the date when Napoleon took the church
Numbers refer to the order each word appears in the video
stained-glass window 9