It is well-known to experienced teachers and helpful for beginners to know that Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is the most effective teaching approach nowadays. Undoubtedly, it is crucial to practice all productive skills, such as writing, speaking, and mediating, as well as receptive skills, like listening, reading, and viewing. However, students will achieve better results if the majority of the lesson is dedicated to speaking practice. Even if you have a reading lesson and you have prepared pre-reading, reading, and post-reading activities, do your best to incorporate these activities into oral language practice.
The topic of holidays and vacations is one of many that can help you activate students' speaking skills. Everyone has related thoughts and ideas to share and discuss. This lesson will not be boring, and students will actively participate and be eager to speak and engage in discussions.
You may start the lesson with a discussion.
40 prompts for discussing holidays and vacations:
- What's your favorite holiday destination and why?
- Do you prefer beach vacations or exploring cities during holidays?
- Share a memorable travel experience from one of your vacations.
- How do you usually plan your vacations, and what factors influence your choices?
- Describe the most relaxing vacation you've ever had.
- Have you ever taken a spontaneous trip? Tell us about it.
- Do you prefer solo travel, traveling with friends, or family vacations?
- What's the best food you've tried while on vacation, and where did you have it?
- Share some tips for saving money while traveling.
- Are you an adventure traveler, or do you prefer more leisurely vacations?
- Describe a cultural or historical site you've visited that left a lasting impression.
- How do you deal with unexpected challenges while traveling?
- Share a funny or unusual travel story.
- Do you prefer staying in hotels, vacation rentals, or hostels when you travel?
- Have you ever had a "staycation"? What did you do during it?
- What's the longest trip you've ever taken, and how did you plan for it?
- Discuss the environmental impact of travel and ways to make it more sustainable.
- Are there any countries or cities on your travel bucket list? Why those places?
- How has your perspective on life changed after traveling to different places?
- Share your thoughts on traveling during peak tourist seasons versus off-season.
- Have you ever traveled for a specific event or festival? What was it like?
- Discuss the benefits of traveling for personal growth and self-discovery.
- How do you adapt to different time zones while traveling long distances?
- Share recommendations for packing essentials for different types of trips.
- What role does technology play in planning and enjoying vacations?
- Have you ever volunteered or participated in community projects while traveling?
- Share your favorite travel-related books, movies, or documentaries.
- What's the most beautiful natural scenery you've encountered during your travels?
- Discuss the importance of respecting local customs and cultures when traveling.
- Share your opinion on guided tours versus exploring independently.
- How do you document your vacations, and why is it important to you?
- Describe a place you'd love to revisit and explore further.
- Discuss the benefits of learning a few phrases in the local language when traveling.
- Have you ever experienced travel-related mishaps? How did you handle them?
- Share your thoughts on the impact of social media on travel experiences.
- How do you budget for vacations and control expenses while on the road?
- Discuss the concept of "slow travel" and its advantages.
- Share your tips for staying healthy and safe while traveling.
- Have you ever taken a road trip? Where did you go, and what was it like?
- Describe your dream vacation, including the destination, activities, and accommodations.
An alternative discussion for a warm-up activity is to create a vacation bucket list.
Examples of vacation bucket lists:
When students have had enough practice in conversations, offer them activities that will enrich and expand their vocabulary, enabling them to speak confidently.
Activities for the Holidays and Vacation English lesson:
- Holiday Vocabulary Bingo: Create bingo cards with holiday-related words (e.g., beach, suitcase, explore, relax) and have students mark the words as you describe them or give definitions.
- Travel Brochure Project: Have students create travel brochures for their dream vacations. They can describe the destination, activities, and accommodations using persuasive language. Another related idea is to create a brochure of a travel agency that offers perfect vacations.
Some ideas for inspiration.
- Holiday Interviews: Pair students and have them interview each other about their favorite holidays or vacation experiences. Then, they can present their partner's holiday to the class.
- Travel Journal Writing: Ask students to keep a travel journal (real or fictional) for a vacation they've taken or would like to take. They can include details about the location, daily activities, and feelings.
- Holiday Postcards: Provide blank postcards, and ask students to write postcards from a vacation destination. They should describe what they're doing, the weather, and any interesting experiences.
- Vacation Dialogues: Role-play conversations related to vacation planning. One student can be a travel agent, and the other can be a customer asking for information and making bookings.
- Holiday Destination Presentation: Assign each student a different holiday destination. They should research and prepare a short presentation about the location, including popular attractions and activities.
- Holiday Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items or facts related to holidays and vacations. Students work in teams to find or answer as many as they can within a time limit.
- Travel Itinerary Planning: Provide students with a budget and ask them to plan a vacation itinerary, including transportation, accommodation, activities, and meals.
- Travel Storytelling: Have students share their most memorable holiday or vacation stories with the class. Encourage them to use descriptive language and engage the audience.
- Comparative Holidays: Assign pairs of countries, and have students research and compare holiday traditions and customs between those countries. They can then present their findings.
- Holiday Quiz: Create a quiz with questions related to holidays and vacations. Students can work individually or in teams to answer the questions, and you can review the answers as a class.
- Holiday Song Lyrics: Choose a popular holiday-themed song, provide the lyrics with some words missing, and have students fill in the blanks. Then, discuss the song's meaning and imagery.
- Travel Advertisement Analysis: Show students travel advertisements or commercials. Discuss the persuasive techniques used and have students create their own travel advertisements.
- Holiday Crossword or Word Search: Create crossword puzzles or word searches using holiday and vacation-related vocabulary words for students to solve.
- Holiday Debate: Assign students topics related to travel and holidays, such as "Is it better to travel alone or with a group?" or "Are vacations necessary?" and have them debate their viewpoints.
These activities can be adapted for various English proficiency levels and can help students improve their vocabulary, speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills while discussing holidays and vacations.
To introduce some useful phrases for holiday and vacation conversations, let your students watch a video.
As a homework task, you can assign a writing activity.
Essay ideas related to holidays and vacations that your students can explore:
- The Importance of Taking Vacations: Discuss the physical and mental health benefits of taking regular vacations and why they are essential for a balanced life.
- Cultural Exchange Through Travel: Explore how traveling to different countries and experiencing their cultures can promote global understanding and tolerance.
- The Impact of Technology on Travel: Analyze how advancements in technology, like online booking platforms and travel apps, have changed the way people plan and experience vacations.
- Sustainable Travel and Eco-Tourism: Examine the concept of sustainable travel and how travelers can minimize their environmental footprint while still enjoying memorable vacations.
- The Art of Solo Travel: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of traveling alone and how it can be a transformative experience for personal growth.
- Memorable Travel Moments: Share a personal narrative essay about a specific vacation experience that had a profound impact on your life or perspective.
- The Role of Food in Travel: Explore how culinary experiences can be a significant part of a vacation, shaping one's memories and cultural understanding.
- The Rise of Staycations: Discuss the trend of staycations and how people are finding ways to relax and explore in their local areas.
- Travel and Self-Discovery: Reflect on how travel can be a journey of self-discovery, pushing individuals out of their comfort zones and into personal growth.
- The Economics of Tourism: Analyze the economic impact of tourism on local communities, both positive and negative, and discuss sustainable tourism practices.
- Holidays and Family Traditions: Explore how holidays are a time for families to come together, share traditions, and create lasting memories.
- Travel Writing as a Genre: Investigate the art of travel writing, its history, and its influence on inspiring others to explore new destinations.
- The Role of Travel Photography: Discuss the significance of capturing memories through travel photography and the ways it influences the way we remember our trips.
- The Impact of Social Media on Travel: Analyze how social media platforms have changed the way people plan and share their travel experiences.
- Traveling on a Budget: Provide tips and strategies for traveling on a budget, making vacations accessible to a wider range of people.
- Travel and Education: Explore the educational value of travel, both in terms of learning about different cultures and history and acquiring practical life skills.
- Bucket List Destinations: Create a list of must-visit destinations and explain why they are on your bucket list.
- The Influence of Travel Literature: Analyze famous travel books and their impact on shaping our perception of certain destinations or travel experiences.
- Holiday Traditions Around the World: Research and write about unique holiday traditions from various cultures and countries.
- The Role of Travel Agencies: Discuss the continued relevance of travel agencies in the digital age and how they assist travelers in planning their trips.
These essay topics offer a wide range of perspectives and themes related to holidays and vacations, allowing your students to explore various aspects of travel and its significance in our lives.