Bring Culture to Life at Home
During isolation not being able to go out and explore as freely as before, your children and students – but even yourself – might need a little bit of extra kick to stay motivated throughout the dull days of quarantine. We salute everyone doing their best to juggle work and family life while making children’s development and academic progress possible even under these new conditions. To brighten up your everydays, we have compiled three tips to help you make culture come alive from the comfort of your couch.
Tip 1 Virtual tour at National Gallery (London, UK)
Level: A2 (pre-intermediate)
Skills: creative writing, narration, picture description, visual literacy
Language: describing a scene, linking words, past tense
Material: virtual tour by the National Gallery
If you or your students have been to a museum and are familiar with the strain of queuing up and keeping silent, here’s an exciting new way to explore what these places have in store for you. Why don’t you take a virtual trip down the halls of London’s National Gallery and explore some of the finest paintings from the best-known artists from across the globe? In addition, why don’t you put a creative twist on this and use the paintings to talk about the stories behind them. Tell students to choose a painting of their choice, whichever they like, and think about what could have happened before the painting was started, maybe even during the creative process, and after the work had been finished. For example, if it’s a portrait of someone, then you could think about what the model was doing before and after being painted on the canvas. Sounds creative, doesn’t it? A fun time is sure guaranteed.
Tip 2 London High Culture
Level: A2/B1 (intermediate)
Skills: cultural awareness, listening, reading for gist, speaking
Language: affirmative and interrogative sentence formation, narrative tenses, and vocabulary related to high culture and luxury
Do you fancy a luxurious dinner? If the answer is yes, we recommend reading a compelling story about the Ritz, a five-star hotel in London, which opened in 1908, and has been a measure of luxury ever since. As you progress through the book, students will learn a lot about the building, its restaurant with a traditional menu, told from the perspective of Daniel and Natalie, while they improve their language skills and talk about high life. In order to fully exploit what the book offers, we have put together a lesson plan for you. Check it out to obtain further ideas and instructions for a truly fascinating culture-centred lesson.
Tip 3 Film Night
Level: B2 (upper-intermediate)
Skills: comprehending authentic language, listening
Language: musicals, real English
Material: Mary Poppins (1964 film)
Should you wish to relax and have a laid-back time with the kids, we recommend you to watch and discover the lovely story of Mary Poppins. The film is ideal for language learners, especially enthusiastic children, who have already gained some experience and proficiency in the language. The musical-like style and the plot itself ensures a language level that is just enough challenging, but not overwhelming either. You can make the daytime/evening matine even more interactive by having the children google the lyrics of the songs and asking them to sing along.