Class Trips with Language Students | TEFL Jobs London

Class Trips with Language Students

by Donna Hutchinson
Newly-qualified TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

Class trip to the British museum

One of the best things about being a teacher in London is the plethora of places you can take your students for a class trip. Since qualifying, I have only taken two trips and they have both gone down very well and both were very different.

Soho Walking Trip

The first was a walking trip around Soho. This didn’t require too much organising on my part as it was part of a set of specific trips around different areas of London by the London Language Experience (other areas available are the South Bank, Camden and many others). The trip requires students to listen to a guide on a mini mp3 player hanging from a lanyard. I chose Soho because it is an area I know like the back of my hand which was a benefit as it is rather easy to get lost there. The class was intermediate with the guide language level-appropriate. It took the form of a fictional ghost who had lived in Soho and spoke about the history of different places of interest around the area such as Ronnie Scott’s and Walkers Court, and since it’s an area I know I was also able to add to the dialogue. The timing was sometimes a little tricky as we all had to make sure we pressed play and pause at the same time so no one was left behind or raced ahead. Overall though, it worked very well and we made various stops along the way for photo ops and a quick coffee. This trip did require a little pre-teaching of vocabulary the day before due to the level of the students but materials were already supplied by the London Language Experience.

Class Trip to the British Museum

The second trip was to the British Museum. This was with a high upper intermediate class and this took a little more organisation on my part. The British Museum is ginormous; there was no way we would see everything and I was apprehensive about narrowing it down to things my students would enjoy. Furthermore, I was unsure about whether to go around with them or to leave them to their own devices so I decided to wing it. I knew that the British Museum provided a list of must-see items with their map so as a group we decided to go around together and find these items. I also told them that if there were other rooms they wanted to visit to speak up and we would add them to the list. We joked that I should have a flag to wave to guide them. It turned out really well, although my map-reading skills were a little questionable. The students really engaged with the displays, took photos and asked questions. What I personally found to be the most satisfying and enjoyable about it all was that a few of the students were able to add to the displays; we got extra information because the exhibits were from their history. This meant that we got translations of Islamic, Iranian and Japanese artefacts as well as an insight into their relationship with these items. The cherry on top was that it was a beautiful day so we sat on the museum steps for out post-trip discussion.

It’s important to take advantage of what London provides in terms of resources. We get the insight of what students think and feel towards our culture and we can use it to make teaching more diverse and interesting. And it’s always nice to get out of the classroom once in a while.

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