Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Guest Posts, Writing Classes

Guest Post – Chasing the Cheese: Writing an FCE Article

Image result for cheese chasing uk

Image credit: Daily Mail

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is the third in a series of guest posts by my friend and colleague Josh Widdows, an English teacher and teacher trainer at International House Barcelona.

Getting FCE students to write an informative and descriptive article can be challenging. This entertaining 2.5/3-hour writing lesson encourages learners to source expressions from authentic texts, be inspired by video input and to annotate a model in order to effectively plan and draft their own article based around the idea of festivals.

Download the Lesson Procedure, PowerPoint and Handouts below:

And check out this video of crazy cheese chasers!

Lesson Procedure: FCE – Writing an article (2.5/3-hour class)

Go straight to No. 6 if you have less time and/or do not have authentic material.
1. (Optional Warmer)- source some authentic magazines, [Metropolitan is a great one for Barcelona], and board ‘Grab a mag’ and have students flick through and find an article that appeals to them. Tell them they will have to summarise the article to their partners.
2. Give Ss a minute to flick and find an article they find appealing. Make sure Ss don’t choose a review or an advert.
3. Ss have a further 2 minutes to scan read the text. Board prompts for them to think about.
a. What attracted you to this article?
b. Why does it have that title?
c. What did you like/ not like about the article?
d. Circle 5 new expressions.
e. Were you entertained? How?
4. Have Ss summarise articles in their own words. In 2s or 3s they ‘present and explain’ their article, using the prompts above.
5. Board up the article titles and have Ss think about why they have these ‘catchy’ titles. These examples are from Metropolitan Barcelona October 2017.
‘ACTUAL’ TITLES ‘BORING TITLES’
eg; – The writing on the wall – Graffiti again
– Clowning around – Theatre group in town
– The Brink of Extinction – The end of the world
Then get Ss to think up the ‘boring’ title for each one and think why that is less appealing. Obviously, these will depend on what material you bring to class.
6. (Warmer) – Show slide 1- ‘Chasing the cheese’ and ask Ss to guess what they think the article is about.
7. Gather ideas and then show slide 2: steep hill/ record crowds/ superhero costumes/ injured racers/ perilous event and predict article’s content.
8. Watch YouTube clip: Gloucester Cheese Rolling 2012 Official;
to see if predictions were correct. Simultaneously think about these questions?

a. What’s the aim of the event?
b. How do the participants achieve this objective?
c. Would you like to get involved in this event? Why/ why not?
9. Compare notes.
10. Read the article handout, (not filling the gaps yet!), and tell each other what else they found out about the event.
11. Ask students whether they’d like to go.
12. Ask Ss what the purpose of the text is- (to entertain and inform).
13. Individually complete open-cloze activity and check in pairs and then with original text.
14. Discuss gaps and reasons for some language items, (ie, fixed expression- you’ll never forget! /linker of contrast- although, etc.)
15. Invite Ss to underline all the synonyms used to mean participant. (4 – Why? As to not repeat and show a range of vocabulary). See handout for answers.
16. Ss underline useful expressions-(What do you get if….?) and strong adverbial phrases- (perilous event).
17. Dictate all the ‘normal adjectives’ (tired through to interested) from the Useful Language and Strong Expressions handout.
18. Ss compare spelling and then board to double check spelling.
19. Get Ss to think of the strong adjective for each, (ie. tired – exhausted/ knackered).
20. Give handout and replace the words in italics.
ANSWERS: 1. Exhausted, 2. Furious, 3. Freezing, 4. Fantastic, 5. Terrified, 6. Enormous, 7. Filthy, 8. Awful, 9. Essential, 10. Fascinated.
21. Show the penultimate slide and have Ss think about the purpose of each paragraph and top tips they would give a fellow student writing an Article for the first time.
22. Check ideas with slide.
23. Ss now complete Writing Articles: Top Tips! handout.
ANSWERS: informative, attractive, title, topic, reader, question, clearly, clearly, consistent, rhetorical, descriptive, consistent.
24. Brainstorm local and/or national events, ie. in Spain: La Merce, La Tomatina, San Fermin, Sant Joan.
25. Get ss to think of ‘catchy’ titles for each one. Examples could be: Run for your life, Las Ketchupped, Burnt to a cinder, Going crackers.
26. Give Ss Article Task and Plan Sheet handout and have Ss plan and draft their articles.

27. Ss complete their articles at home.

28. FOLLOW-UP TASK- having marked their texts, at the start of next class, board their titles and have Ss guess what the events are from the titles. Then Ss read each other’s texts and decide whose is the best. Then they read and edit according to the teacher’s comments.

Advertisements
Posted in Conversation Classes, Guest Posts, Vocabulary Classes

Guest Post: Long time, no see! – Adjacency Pairs

Image result for long time no see

Image credit: Language Boat – WordPress.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is the second in a series of guest posts by my friend and colleague Josh Widdows, an English teacher and teacher trainer at International House Barcelona.

This is a speaking lesson for strong intermediate/upper-intermediate students aimed at helping our learners to respond more appropriately to each other´s utterances. It highlights the importance of listening carefully and how to reply with better intonation and stress in a natural way. An enjoyable speaking lesson that gives students fun controlled and freer speaking opportunities in a ´mingling´ activity.

Download the PowerPoint, lesson procedure, audio and handout below. There are two different version, one for adults and one for teenagers:

Tapescript

 

Complete the gaps with 1 or 2 words:

 

Conversation 1

 

A:     Good evening.

B:      Hi.

A:     Is anyone sitting here?

B:      No.

A:     Would you _____­­­­__ if I joined you?

B:      Not _____­­­­__ . That would be lovely.

A:     Can I get you a drink?

B:      That’s very _____­­­­__ . I’d love one.

 

Conversation 2

 

A:     It was lovely to see you again, Sue. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Thank you so _____­­­­__  for having us to stay.

B:      Not at all. It’s _____­­­­__ .

A:     But it was really kind of you to put up with all of us, and the animals.

B:      It’s no problem at all. You must come again soon.

A:     Thanks for the offer. We’ll do that. See you again soon, then!

B:      Yes. Have a good trip.

 

Conversation 3

 

A:     I passed!

B:      Oh, well done…at last! Congratulations! We’ll have to celebrate.

A:     Yes. How _____­­­­__ opening a bottle of champagne?

B:      Brilliant _____­­­­__ .

 

Conversation 4

 

A:     Do you fancy _____­­­­__ with us to the

theatre to see Murder in the Garden?

B:      I _____­­­­__ , but you’ll never _____­­­­__ what. My sister saw it yesterday.

A:     Really?

B:      Yes, and I’m afraid she said it wasn’t very good.

 

 

Now listen and check.

 

 

 

Look at the 6 underlined pairs of phrases in the dialogues.

What is their function?

 

Conversation 1

 

A:       Good evening.

B:       Hi.

A:       Is anyone sitting here?

B:       No.

A:       Would you mind if I joined you?

A     B:       Not at all. That would be lovely.

A:       Can I get you a drink?

B     B:       That’s very kind. I’d love one.

 

Conversation 2

 

A:       It was lovely to see you again, Sue. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Thank you so much for having us to stay.

C     B:       Not at all. It’s a pleasure.

A:       But it was really kind of you to put up with all of us and the animals.

B:       It’s no problem at all. You must come again soon.

A:       Thanks for the offer. We’ll do that. See you again soon, then!

B:       Yes. Have a good trip.

 

Conversation 3

 

A:       I passed!

D     B:       Oh, well done…at last! Congratulations! We’ll have to celebrate.

A:       Yes. How about opening a bottle of champagne?

E     B:       Brilliant idea.

 

Conversation 4

 

A:       Do you fancy coming with us to the

theatre to see Murder in the Garden?

F     B:       I would, but you’ll never guess what. My sister saw it yesterday.

A:       Really?

B:       Yes, and I’m afraid she said it wasn’t very good.

 

Match the function to the sentences:

                                                                                Letter

  1. Saying thanks/responding to thanks ______
  2. Giving good news/responding to good news ______
  3. Asking permission/giving permission ______
  4. Inviting/declining an invitation ______
  5. Making a suggestion/responding to a suggestion ______
  6. Making an offer/accepting an offer ______

 

Now think about the sentence stress and connected speech:

 

 

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Listening Classes

2Ts in a Pod: Podcast Launch!

2Ts_banner_2460x936

Image Credit: Mark Wilding

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

The first two episodes of our brand-spanking new podcast are ready!

Listen from our Sound Cloud page:
https://soundcloud.com/user-333804100

And download the teacher’s notes:
Episode one: https://goo.gl/HxF1fS
Episode two: https://goo.gl/VAPG6Z

The show will be released every two weeks more or less. It is aimed at B2 level students and up, although we do have plans to make specific features for lower levels in the future.

For each episode we choose a different theme; the show is then divided into short features so that they can be listened to as one whole show or as more manageable chunks. We also believe this will make it a useful classroom resources for teachers.

The typical features you might find are:
• Interviews with special guests.
• Vox-pops: Short interviews with people out and about.
• Five ways to say: A feature designed to help boost listeners vocabulary related to the topic of the episode.
• Challenges or experiences: These will include Katy and Tim trying new foods, drinks and activities.
• Pronunciation focus: Here we’ll examine features of English pronunciation such as connected speech and intonation.
• Stop! Grammar time: An irreverent look at specific English grammar points.
• And many many more as we think of them!

This is our first podcast so we’re open to any and all constructive cricitism and feedback! We hope you enjoy the show!

Download our mission statement below:

https://docs.google.com/…/1pQIjE4RLNENGF2QV8EM6OknruZ…/edit…

Love from Katy, Tim and Ben

xxx

Credits

  • Producer & General Sound Wizard: Ben Ward
  • Presenters: Katy Wright & Tim Warre
  • Logos & Artwork: Mark Wilding
  • Jingles: Members of the Barcelona English Choir

Here’s the teacher’s notes for the first episode:

Running Order

  1. 00:00 – 04:25 – Intro.
  2. 04:25 – 08:46 – Guess the top 10 New Year’s resolutions & discussion.
  3. 08:46 – 10:46 – Vox pop: Vicky on New Year’s resolutions.
  4. 10:46 – 16:36 – Tim & Katy discuss their New Year’s resolutions.
  5. 16:36 – 20:58 – 5 Ways to Say: Language of quitting, reducing and addiction.
  6. 20:58 – 24:09 – I wanna be like you who who – Interview with Ania.
  7. 24:09 – 28:00 – Vox pop: Ania on New Year’s resolutions.
  8. 28:00 – END – Interview with Sergi the lifestyle coach.

Additional Materials

New Year’s Resolution Lesson Plan

The information and top 10 that Tim reads can be found in the lesson plan below:

Jugo de la Vida – Sergi’s website

Click the link below to check out Sergi the lifestyle coach’s website:

Five Ways to Say…

  • I want to give up/quit – Stop doing an activity.
  • I’m trying to cut down on – Reduce the quantity I consume.
  • I have cut out fruit juice completely. – To eliminate one thing from your diet.
  • I’m hooked on – To be addicted to something.
  • When my mum was pregnant, she got cravings for – to have a strong need or desire for something, usually related to addictions.

 

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution?
  • How successful was it?
  • What do you think of the idea of New Year’s resolutions in general?
  • Have you ever tried to give up a bad habit?
  • How successful were you?
  • What tips or advice would you give to someone trying to do the same?
  • What things do you think you need to cut down on?
  • Are you hooked on anything at the moment?
  • Do you ever get cravings for anything? If so, what?
Posted in Teacher Training

Delta Module 1: Quizlet Sets

Image result for cambridge delta

Image credit:The London School

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a post for English teachers taking the Cambridge Delta course. While studying for the module 1 exam, I made these quizlet flashcard sets to help me revise, and it seemed to work because I got a distinction! Follow the links below to check them our for yourself.

Posted in Guest Posts, Vocabulary Classes

Guest Post: Meet the Parents – Expressions with “Take”

Image result for meeting parents for the first time

Image credit: Neatorama

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is the first in a series of guest posts by my friend and colleague Josh Widdows, an English teacher and teacher trainer at International House Barcelona.

This is a vocabulary lesson plan for strong intermediate/upper-intermediate students based on the idea of meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. It highlights the importance of strong collocations that are rich in the English language, using ‘take’ expressions. A fun and discussion based lesson that allows students to create their own ‘guide’ for meeting the parents for the first time.

Download the PowerPoint, lesson procedure and handout below.

Meet The Parents Presentation

Meet The Parents Task Sheet

Meet The Parents Lesson Procedure

Meet The Parents Lesson Procedure

 

 

Stage Time Focus Procedure Aim
 

Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0-5

 

 

O/C

 

 

 

 

Individ.

 

O/C

 

(Slide 1): Film poster of ‘Meet The Parents’. Ask:  Have you seen it?

        What’s it about?

        Why can this be a difficult situation?

 

Ss read the article and decide on best ‘tip’.

 

Ss compare and debate which ‘tip’ is the best. Facilitate and direct conversation.

Answer any questions about other lexis.

 

Topicalise lesson and activate schemata about the first meeting of your partner’s parents.

 

Reason to read and gather ideas.

Allow them to share ideas and debate the items.

 

Vocabulary

Focus 1

 

 

5-20

 

Pairs

 

 

 

 

Individ.

 

 

 

Pairs

 

 

Individ.

 

 

 

O/C

 

 

 

 

 

Highlight the first tip’s take expression and get them to underline the other 9. Encourage noticing of whole lexical chunk.

Monitor and mediate.

 

Project article (Slide 2) with underlined expressions. Ss check and notice full form of the expressions.

 

Ss discuss the meaning of each identified item. Model first in o/c.

 

(Slide 3); Ss match the ‘take’ expressions to their meaning. Do first one in o/c and then encourage autonomy.

 

Write up answers and check. Notice the ones they have difficulties with and clarify any misunderstandings.

 

 

 

Allows ss to notice the multiple expressions in the text.

 

 

Notice all particles of the expressions.

 

 

They work out meaning from context.

 

Notice their ‘meaning gap’ and leads them to understanding the true meaning.

Allow ss to check their understanding and question any uncertainties.

 

Vocabulary

Focus 2

 

 

 

20-30

 

Pairs

 

 

 

 

O/C

 

 

 

 

 

Pairs

 

 

Pairs

 

Focus ss on the form of the first ‘take’ expression and discuss form together, eg. take+prep+noun. They then highlight and discuss the forms of the others: NB Poss. Adjs

 

(Slide 4): Project form table, focusing on ‘singular nouns’ and other patterns.

Elicit the meta-language from ss. Talk about plurals and ask queries.

 

 

Notice which phoneme areas they struggle with and highlight weak forms.

 

Ss mumble practice the phrases. Notice any problem areas and then top-up in o/c.

 

 

Model: Give definition of one expression in o/c and elicit the take expression: ‘Which take expression means “to participate”?’

 

One student has the definition table and the other folds theirs in half. The one with open paper, gives the definition, the other gives the take expression. Monitor pronunciation.

 

 

Get them to identify and notice the different forms of the expressions.

 

Allows them to notice that some of the expressions are fixed that some particles cannot be changed.

 

Highlight the connected speech and word stress.

 

Lets ss practice the expressions and notice problem areas.

 

Reinforce form and recycle/practise meaning.

 

Testing encourages more clarity and cognitive depth.

 

Vocabulary Practice

 

30-40

 

Individ.

 

SS complete 10 sentences with the noun extracted.

 

(Slide 5) Project up the full sentences and ss check. Discuss any uncertainties or queries.

 

 

Draw attention to the lexical value and evaluate the form.

Clarify answers.

 

Personal-ised

Practice

 

 

 

40-55

 

3s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O/C

 

In small groups students discuss and share their own ideas and experiences about ‘How to Survive Meeting Your Partner’s Parents for The First Time and ss decide on best tips.

 

Monitor and ensure ss are using the target language appropriately. Feed in and shape any extra language.

 

 

Ss decide on best tip(s) and then feedback in open class. T reformulates language and ss debate their ideas.

 

 

Feedback to whole group and discuss best tips and personalised ideas that have come up.

 

Top-up on learning and answer any queries.

 

 

Ss gain cognitive depth through personalised answers and practice.

 

 

Allows T to check ss are using the items correctly and reinforce confidence in the ss.

 

Further cognitive depth by learning others’ use of the expressions.

 

 

Shared learning opportunities expands knowledge.

 

Posted in Proficiency, Reading Classes, Vocabulary Classes

C1/C2 Holiday Diary: Reading & Vocabulary

Image result for madagascar

Image credit: Madagascar Wiki – Fandom

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a reading and vocabulary lesson plan for higher level students based around an example of a holiday diary. It works well as a model for CPE article tasks about travelling. Download the power point and handout below:

Holiday Diary Madagascar – Handout

Holiday Diary madagascar pp – Power point

Procedure

Show the power point and have students discuss the questions as a warmer.

Give out the handout and have students complete the exercises.

Encourage students to write a similar holiday diary for homework.

Holiday Diary

What do you know about Madagascar? Have you ever been there? Would you like to?

Read the text and tell your partner is this type if holiday would be your cup of tea.

Madagascar

We’re quite adventurous so your standard beach holiday doesn’t really cut it for us so after umming and ahhing for a few months we finally settled on a trip to Madagascar. We had set our sights on exploring the dense undergrowth of Madagascar’s jungles and maybe catching a glimpse of some of its famed wildlife.

We flew into the capital Antananarivo, no sooner had we stepped off the plane than we were hit by a wave of intense heat, Madagascar has a really humid climate so the sweat was pouring down our faces in no time at all. Antananarivo is bustling with life with a mindboggling network of haphazard back streets in which you can lose yourself in the blink of an eye. Apart from the hotel we’d booked online we’d decided to play it by ear for the rest of the trip so we set about looking for a guide to take us into the lush vegetation of the surrounding rainforests. Unfortunately there was a mix-up with our luggage that set us back 2 hours but eventually we picked up our suitcases and set off on our mission.

As a city, Antananarivo isn’t much to write home about, it’s pretty grimy and run-down and our taxi ride into the city centre was pretty fraught. When we finally arrived at our hotel it looked a sorry sight, not what we’d been led to believe in the brochure. However, we’re not really big on creature comforts so we didn’t mind. Luckily, the hotel organised guided-tours of the rainforest and there was one leaving the very next day.

We were up at the crack of dawn the next day to board the rickety old minibus that was going to take us out into the middle of nowhere to begin our adventure. The bus journey was a little bit hairy as the road was little more than a track with potholes everywhere. We gradually wound our way up through the mountainous landscape which surrounds the city until we reached the summit of one of the foothills where we stopped for a picnic. The views of the rainforest stretching out in front of us were a real sight to behold, never before have I seen such an awe-inspiring sight…

Read the text again and decide if these statements are true of false.

  1. The author likes beach holidays T/F
  2. Antananarivo is a difficult city to navigate around T/F
  3. They had the whole trip planned out beforehand T/F
  4. Their luggage was put on the wrong plane T/F
  5. They liked Antananarivo T/F
  6. The hotel was different to the description in the brochure T/F
  7. They don’t mind roughing it T/F
  8. The journey to the rainforest was relaxing T/F
  9. They were impressed by the views from the foothill T/F

Look at the expressions in bold, discuss their meaning with a partner.

Look at the expressions again and try to categorise them.

 

What can you remember? Work with a partner.

Madagascar

We’re quite adventurous so your standard beach holiday doesn’t really  ___     (1) it for us so after ________(2) and ahhing for a few months we finally settled ______(3) a trip to Madagascar. We had set our ___________(4) on exploring the _________(5) undergrowth of Madagascar’s jungles and maybe catching a ____________(6) of some of its famed wildlife.

We flew into the capital Antananarivo, no sooner had we stepped off the plane than we were hit by a wave of intense heat, Madagascar has a really humid climate so the sweat was pouring down our faces in no time at all. Antananarivo is ___________(7) with life with a mindboggling network of ________________ (8) back streets in which you can lose yourself in the blink of an eye. Apart from the hotel we’d booked online we’d decided to play it by ________(9) for the rest of the trip so we set __________(10) looking for a guide to take us into the ___________(11) vegetation of the surrounding rainforests. Unfortunately there was a _________(12) with our luggage that set us _________(13) 2 hours but eventually we picked up our suitcases and set off on our mission.

As a city, Antananarivo isn’t much to write home about, it’s pretty ________(14) and run-down and our taxi ride into the city centre was pretty fraught. When we finally arrived at our hotel it looked a ________  (15) sight, not what we’d been __________(16) to believe in the brochure. However, we’re not really big on creature ______________(17) so we didn’t mind. Luckily, the hotel organised guided-tours of the rainforest and there was one leaving the very next day.

We were up at the ____________(18) of dawn the next day to board the rickety old minibus that was going to take us out into the ____________(19) of nowhere to begin our adventure. The bus journey was a little bit __________(20) as the road was little more than a track with potholes everywhere. We gradually wound our way up through the mountainous landscape which surrounds the city until we reached the summit of one of the foothills where we stopped for a picnic. The views of the rainforest stretching out in front of us were a real sight to ________(21) never before have I seen such an awe-______________(22) sight…

Memory

Cover the text and try to retell the story using as much of the vocabulary as you can.

Personalise

Have you ever had a similar experience? Tell your partner about it using the vocabulary.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Proficiency, Reading Classes

C1/C2 Reading & Conversation: Barcelona Anti-Tourism March

Image result for barcelona anti tourism

Image credit: Smart Meetings

Article credit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/29/barcelona-residents-protest-high-rents-fuelled-by-tourism

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan based around an article from the Guardian newspaper about an anti-tourism march that took place in Barcelona last year. Download the lesson plan, key and power point below:

warmer reading tourism

Barcelona tourism effect article + key

Procedure

Warmer: Predict text topic from key words

Project the power point and have students try to guess what the text they’re going to read is about by flashing up the picture and the keywords 2 at a time. Students continue predicting until all the key words are visible.

Article: Reading comprehension, vocab focus and discussion

Go through the activities on the hand out, answer key for comprehension questions is at the bottom.

Barcelona marches to curb negative effects of tourism boom

Community groups join forces to protest over soaring level of rents fuelled by a big rise in visitor numbers

Behind banners reading “Barcelona is not for sale” and “We will not be driven out”, some 2,000 people staged an “occupation” of the Rambla, the city’s famed boulevard, on Saturday.

The protest was organised by a coalition of more than 40 resident and community groups from all over the city, not just the neighbourhoods most directly affected by mass tourism.

Visitor numbers have grown exponentially in recent years. In 2016 an estimated 9 million people stayed in hotels and a further 9 million in holiday apartments. In addition, the city received around 12 million day-trippers arriving by car and train or on cruise ships.

Tourists looked on bemused as the banners were unfurled at the top of the Rambla, beside the Canaletes fountain.

“I don’t understand. What do they mean, Barcelona is not for sale?” asked Qais from Kuwait. “It’s not what we were expecting, but I can see their point,” he said when it had been explained to him. He added: “Things are really bad in the Middle East,” which put things in perspective. “Does it mean they don’t want us here?” his wife asked. Birgid from Denmark was less sympathetic. “Tourism brings in lots of money to the city, doesn’t it? I’m sure it’s changed the city, but that’s life, isn’t it?”

Roger from Wigan, here on his second visit, commented: “I can understand it, the place is very commercial. And if I understand what’s written on some of these placards, they are complaining that tourism is forcing their rents up. I can sympathise with that.”

This was one of the key issues behind the march, as the money to be made from holiday lets is forcing rents up and driving people out of the city.

Christine, an Englishwoman on the march who has lived in Barcelona for more than 20 years, said: “We’ve been renting our flat in the old town for 17 years. In that time I reckon we’ve paid around €150,000 in rent. Now they want to kick us out because they can make more money renting it out to tourists.”

The march coincides with a new law passed by Barcelona city council on Friday that, for the first time, seeks to curb tourism. The special urban plan for tourist accommodation aims to limit the number of beds on offer from hotels and apartments by imposing a moratorium on building new hotels. No new licences will be issued for tourist apartments.

There are currently 75,000 hotel beds in the city and around 100,000 beds in tourist flats, at least half of them unlicensed and illegal. The city is at loggerheads with Airbnb, the principal letting agency. Last year the council fined Airbnb and HomeAway €600,000 each for advertising unlicensed apartments.

Airbnb argues that the overwhelming majority of its clients in the city are people who are letting out rooms as a way of making ends meet during Spain’s prolonged financial crisis.

That may be true up to a point, but it masks the real problem, which is speculation,” says Daniel Pardo, a member of the Neighbourhood Assembly for Sustainable Tourism. Yet people are free to visit the city, so what’s to stop them?

One thing we could do is stop spending millions on promoting tourism,” says Pardo. “We’re subsidising tourism with public money, by exploiting workers in the service economy and exploiting the infrastructure of the city, which we citizens pay for. Furthermore, tourism is distorting the economy and there is little support for anyone who wants to establish non-tourist enterprises.”

The good-humoured march moved to the seaward end of the Rambla, where one of the organisers read out a manifesto calling for more local shops, more homes, rather than businesses, and control of the pollution caused by private cars and cruise ships. “It’s a great turnout,” one of the marchers quipped. “There are more people here than at Trump’s inauguration. The citizens have never been consulted about this, although they’re the ones who suffer the consequences and aren’t enjoying the benefits. [We’re asking for] the debate to be opened to everyone and that we reach some other resolution of the problem, instead of the present one based on continuous growth.”

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who organised the march?
  2. How many tourists did Barcelona receive in total last year?
  3. How did tourists feel about the march?
  4. What is the main detrimental effect that tourism is having on the city’s residents?
  5. How has the council responded to the rising number of tourists?
  6. How does airbnb defend itself?
  7. What suggestions does Daniel Pardo make?
  8. The march was very serious and angry true/false

Language Focus

Work with a partner, look at the underlined expressions in the text, what do you think they mean?

Now try to complete the expressions from memory:

  1. This was one of the k____ issues behind the march,
  2. The protest was organised by a c____________ of more than 40 resident and community groups.
  3. Visitor numbers have grown e_______________ in recent years.
  4. Now they want to k_______ us out because they can make more money renting it o_______ to tourists.”
  5. The money to be made from h_______ lets is f_______ rents up and d________ people out of the city.
  6. They are complaining that tourism is forcing their rents up. I can s________ with that.
  7. The city is at l____________ with Airbnb.
  8. A new law p_________ by Barcelona city council on Friday that, for the first time, s_________ to c___________ tourism.
  9. The special urban plan for tourist accommodation a______ to limit the number of beds ____ offer from hotels and apartments by i__________ a m__________ on building new hotels.
  10. Airbnb argues that the o___________ majority of its clients in the city are people who are l___________ out rooms as a way of m_______ ends m________ during Spain’s prolonged financial crisis.
  11. “That m_______ be true up to a p________, but it masks the real problem, which is speculation,”
  12. The citizens have never been c__________ about this, although they’re the ones who s_________ the consequences and aren’t e_________ the b___________.
  13. “It’s a great t____________,”

Language of opinion

Complete the sentences with one word to make expressions of opinion.

  1. F_____________ where I stand,
  2. In my h_____________ opinion,
  3. As f________ as I’m concerned,
  4. A_______ I see it,
  5. I don’t have very s___________ views on the matter but,…
  6. I t___________ to agree with people who say…
  7. If you a______ me, I’d say that…
  8. I’m co___________ that…
  9. From my p_______ of v__________,
  10. Speaking from p____________ ex______________,
  11. I’m a big s________________ of…
  12. I’m d_______ against…
  13. I’m a f__________ believer in….

Conversation

  1. What do you think of the march? Are you in agreement with their message?
  2. Would you consider protesting on the issue?
  3. What are the pros and cons of tourism in your city?
  4. How does tourism affect your neighbourhood?
  5. What experiences do you have of the downsides of tourism?
  6. Do you think you have enjoyed the benefits of tourism? In what way?
  7. Do you think tourism should be curbed in any way? If so, how?

Language Development

Look at the language from the text, in what other contexts could you use it?

  • The city’s famed boulevard – what other things could be famed?
  • Stage an occupation – what other things can you stage?
  • A coalition of resident and community groups – what other coalitions can you think of?
  • Visitor numbers have grown exponentially in recent years. – What other things can grow exponentially?
  • “Puts things in perspective” – In what other contexts could you use this expression?
  • Tourism brings in a lot of money. – What other things bring in money for a government/company?
  • “That’s life, isn’t it?” – In what other contexts could you use this expression?
  • A new law passed by the council seeks to curb – What other things would the government pass laws to curb?
  • Now they want to kick us out – what other things could you be kicked out of?
  • The plan aims to limit the number of beds on offer. – What other things could be limited?
  • A manifesto calling for more local shops – What other things could a manifesto or a protest call for?
  • They’re the ones who are suffering the consequences and not enjoying the benefits? – What other things could you suffer the consequences or enjoy the benefits of?

Comprehension Questions Key

  1. Who organised the march? A coalition of residents & community groups
  2. How many tourists did Barcelona receive in total last year? 9+9+12=30million
  3. How did tourists feel about the march? Mixed emotions, some understanding, some bemused
  4. What is the main detrimental effect that tourism is having on the city’s residents? Forcing rents up, driving people out
  5. How has the council responded to the rising number of tourists? Laws to curb tourism, limits on flats, moratorium on new hotels
  6. How does airbnb defend itself? Most hosts are just letting out spare rooms
  7. What suggestions does Daniel Pardo make? Stop subsidising tourism with public money, infrastructure of the city is being exploited by tourism
  8. The march was very serious and angry true/false. false, march was good-humoured