Talking about Past Travel

This is another speaking topic for students. Click here to read the introduction to the series.

Students, remember to only speak English while you do this activity. Don’t speak your native language for at least one hour. You can do it!

Teachers, you can adapt these for lessons, or give them as homework.

Topic: Past Travel

Objectives: After the discussion, you should be able to discuss previous travel

Materials: A map of the world or a globe

Grammar: Past Simple, Present Perfect


Listen and repeat these expressions.

I’ve seen some amazing things. Say this to explain that you have been to many places with great things.
I’ve flown a lot. Say this to say that plane travel is normal for you.
I went there once. Say this about a place that you visited.
I couldn’t stand that place. Say this when you really didn’t like a place.
The people were really nice. Say this to describe good people.
The thing that surprised me was the weather. Say this about something (for example the weather) that was surprising.
I’d rather fly. Say this if flying is better for you.
I think I’d prefer to drive. Say this if driving is better for you.

Vocabulary: trip, vacation (holiday), terminal, baggage, airport security, visa, plane, car, train, to check a bag, carry-on

Guess the words: Look up the vocabulary words in a dictionary. Then choose a word. Explain the word until your partner guesses the word. Then, your partner should explain a word and you should guess it.

For example:

A: This is something that flies. You get on it at an airport…

B: Plane!

A: Right. Now, it’s your turn.

B: This is something you drive. Lots of people own one. It’s a form of transportation.

A: Car!

B: That’s right.

Take a look at the map Take a look at your map or globe. Point to the places that you have been to. Quickly, tell your partner about those places.

Now, choose a place at random (“to choose at random” means to choose without thinking about it. For example, spin the globe, close your eyes, and stop it by putting your finger on the globe.)

Ask your partner: Would you like to live there? Why/Why not? What would be good about living there? What would be bad about living there?

For example:

A: Mexico!

B: Would you like to live there?

A: Yes, I would. / No, I wouldn’t.

B: Why? / Why not?

A: Because, I think it has nice weather. / Because, I think it’s too hot.

B: What would be good about living there.

A: Hmm, I think the people are probably nice.

B: What would be bad about living there.

A: I don’t speak Spanish, so that would be hard for me!

Then, repeat. Choose ten places.

Question Time Now, ask your partner these questions.

Do you like driving?

Do you like flying?

Do you prefer to drive or fly? (What’s better: flying or driving?) Why?

Describe a great vacation you have had.

How many times have you flown on a plane?

Name all the places you have been.

What are some of the best things you have seen when traveling?

What was your worst travel experience?

Do you prefer to travel alone or with other people?

Your Questions Now, write five discussion questions about Travel. Ask your partner your questions.

Write a Letter With your partner, choose a place that you really want to visit. Find a travel agency and write them a letter/email or visit them. Ask them to give you information about the place that you chose.

For Chicago, you can find more information here.

And a song: Do a search of YouTube for “Impossible Germany” by Wilco for a nice song that’s kind of related to travel.

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