This morning my students spent over an hour discussing and debating their opinions of what a Utopia should be like. All of this was prompted by a single page from the Total English Intermediate teacher’s book.
On page 124 of the teacher’s book there is a list of rules about a possible Utopia, designed to revise modals of obligation and permission (must, have to, should). Students work alone to decide if they agree or disagree with the rules, then get together to debate a final version of their Utopia.
This single sheet prompted discussion about whether taxes were necessary, whether governments really need weapons, the benefits of living in a foreign country, and whether one language should be allowed to dominate the world.
Thank you very much Will Moreton and Kevin McNicholas!
One of the ways you can identify an EFL teacher is by the amount of random information they can spew about all kinds of topics under the sun, much of which is gleaned from the coursebooks they use. Here is a small selection of the random things (I think) I have learnt about, which may or not be right!
- The following things were invented by women: Kevlar, disposable nappies, windscreen wipers and the dishwasher (New English File Pre-Intermediate)
- The people who invented Coca Cola and clothes hangars never made any money from their inventions (one of the New Headway books – can’t remember which)
- A French artist created an exhibition based on the break-up email she received from her (ex-)boyfriend called ‘Prenez soin de vous‘ – ‘Take Care of Yourself’ (New English File Advanced)
- Influenza+Affluence=Affluenza – being too affluent can make you ill (New English File Advanced)
- The World’s Funniest Joke has been determined by science - and is only funny the first time you read it! (New English File Advanced, as well as in another book which I can’t remember
- A man cheated in the New York Marathon in the 1920s by getting a lift for about 20 miles of the course (New English File Intermediate)
- Slow living is much more satisfying – I first read about Slow Food and Slow Cities in English coursebooks, including New English File Intermediate and Advanced Expert CAE and have now read “In Praise of Slowness” which I really enjoyed too
So that’s my selection. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt from a coursebook?