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June 2020 - Cambridge English Teachers Activities

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June 2020 - Cambridge English Teachers Activities

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It may be hard to believe, but June has arrived! As the holidays approach we want to encourage our learners to start thinking about places to visit, at least online! Our C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency students can learn more about Japan while they improve their reading and listening skills. Our B1 Preliminary and B2 First learners can start thinking about the next time they will be able to meet their classmates while they practise their speaking. The younger ones can talk about the beach and learn new vocabulary to express their ideas. Happy teaching!

It may be hard to believe, but June has arrived! As the holidays approach we want to encourage our learners to start thinking about places to visit, at least online! Our C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency students can learn more about Japan while they improve their reading and listening skills. Our B1 Preliminary and B2 First learners can start thinking about the next time they will be able to meet their classmates while they practise their speaking. The younger ones can talk about the beach and learn new vocabulary to express their ideas. Happy teaching!

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June 2020 - Cambridge English Teachers Activities

  1. 1. 1 June It may be hard to believe, but June has arrived! As the holidays approach we want to encourage our learners to start thinking about places to visit, at least online! Our C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency students can learn more about Japan while they improve their reading and listening skills. Our B1 Preliminary and B2 First learners can start thinking about the next time they will be able to meet their classmates while they practise their speaking. The younger ones can talk about the beach and learn new vocabulary to express their ideas. Happy teaching! 1. Cherry blossom................................................................................................................................2 2. Beginning-of-year trip......................................................................................................................8 3. Let’s go to the beach.......................................................................................................................9 4. References......................................................................................................................................13
  2. 2. 2 1. Cherry blossom Level: C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency Skills: reading / listening Interaction: in groups and whole class activity Equipment: online platform such as Skype or Zoom Time: 50 minutes Warm up! (15’) – whole class • Have you ever been to Japan? • Would you like to? Why (not)? • Today we are going to talk about cherry blossom in Japan, do you know what this entails, or when it takes place? We are going to watch a short video* about cherry blossom. Play the video from the beginning up to 1’15’’. • What do people do during the cherry blossom season? • What does the timing of the blossom season depend on?
  3. 3. 3 Reading (15’) – groups of 3 / 4 You are going to read an extract from a newspaper article entitled Japan in Bloom. Here are the first two paragraphs: The scene is a park in the late afternoon. It is springtime: the trees are a profound, almost bluish emerald; the first reeds are beginning to sprout in the river. The sky is a soft, worn, denimy blue, although above a smudge of cloud is a stripe of near black - it will rain soon. Yet there is no sense of doom, no portent; the rain, you sense, will be welcome when it arrives. Down by the river, people have gathered. The adults wear kimonos in shades that match the landscape - rich greens, warm blues - and the children wear clothes the color of carp. A little girl turns her face up to her mother; a little boy bends over to peer at something he spots in the grass - his mother reaches out her arms to him in the universal helpless gesture of a parent trying to call back her child from the brink of mischief-making, even as she understands her attempts will be futile. In the hills above them are two pavilions connected by a wooden bridge and accessed by a steep staircase that wends through the forest; in the windows, some of whose shoji shades have been pushed back to allow the air in, you can see that the ceiling has been strung with globes of red paper lanterns. • What is the purpose of these two paragraphs? • Can you picture the scene in your mind? Why (not)? • What aspects in the text help the writer achieve her purpose? The following paragraphs of the text are not in the correct order: in your groups try to put them in the correct order.* *If you are teaching face to face you may want to print out the text in A3 and a larger font. Cut up the paragraphs for each group. Assign a colour to each group and put a little circle with that colour. Stick the paragraphs on the walls and get students to stand up and mingle while they are doing the activity. If you are teaching online, you may want to set up a Padlet for each group so that students can work collaboratively. Additionally, they can talk using a breakout rooms or having group calls. H: This is not a scene I have witnessed for myself, but apart from a few details it could be. It is a scene from a woodblock print, “Flower Pavilion, Dangozaka, Sendagi,” by the Japanese ukiyo-e master Hiroshige, the 16th image in his serialized portfolio, “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” which was published between 1856 and 1859. F: We were in Shinjuku now. The car turned down one unremarkable thoroughfare, and then another. And then it turned again, and suddenly we were on a street ablaze with cherry trees in luxuriant, excessive bloom. There they were, a dozen on each side of the street, all of them shaggy with flowers, the air around them swarming with floating petals, as if the petals were affixing themselves to the branches. Beneath and around them were everyday people doing everyday things, the tasks that need to be completed if a great city is to function: A delivery truck was being unloaded, and the sidewalk was being swept, and a repairman was shimmying up a telephone pole, and a woman was dragging a wooden crate of what might have been daikon to the door of a soba-ya. It was comical and also unbelievable, as if above
  4. 4. 4 them the skies were busy with flying pigs, and no one had noticed. This was a plain, unremarkable street, but in that moment, it was the most beautiful in Japan. It made me wonder whether it wasn’t good fortune after all that the sakura season was so brief, for, these people aside, how could anyone get anything done in the face of such splendor? Wasn’t it miraculous that life didn’t simply cease in those two weeks in April that the trees were in bloom? How could you concentrate on anything else? How could a human compete? D: I went first to Sendagi (Tokyo), the area immortalized in Hiroshige’s print. It was a damp, woolly day, and the skies, as in the woodblock, were a sullen and indecisive gray - Would it rain? Would it not? - the kind of energy-leaching weather that leaves one lazy and irritable. For the next few days I walked the city, visiting all the neighborhoods, the little parks and alleys, that I always do on my annual visit, which I have taken for the past 22 years. J: Then I returned to Tokyo; the following day, I would go home. Back in the city, it was humid again. At the train station, I hailed a taxi and stared out the window as the car wound its way through the light midday traffic, working its way to the west of the city, where I would spend my final night. C: The next day, I went to the mountains of Kyoto, which are always a few degrees cooler than Tokyo - I didn’t expect to see any sakura there, and indeed, I didn’t. I went to the temples I visit every year; I drank cup after cup of sakura tea, which has a curious salinity, as if it’s not tea at all, but a broth made from seawater. I saw plum trees and camellia bushes and, everywhere, glossy black- barked cherry trees, their branches blistered with unopened buds, people circling hopefully beneath them as if they might at any moment burst into bloom. G: The light changed. My cab moved on. But I turned in my seat, craning my neck, watching the trees disappear from view, watching the final petals drift through the air. When I turned back around, they were gone, and Shinjuku, its gray bridges and walkways, loomed before us, as if nothing had happened at all. E: Last spring, I went to Japan to see the cherry blossoms. It was the first of April, but I had gambled - with each year, the flowers were opening earlier and earlier, and I was hoping I might see them just as they were beginning to bud. I: Just as I was thinking this, the delivery man finished loading his truck. He slammed shut the back door. And then, before he climbed into the driver’s seat, he stopped and looked up at the cherry trees. He closed his eyes. And then he slapped the back door again, to make sure it was closed, and got into his truck. A: But all of these details, all of this life, is incidental to the element that dominates this tableau: a grove of cherry trees, most of them in full flower. Behind the cluster of 16 that stands closest to the river, there is another layer, this one so profuse in its bloom that it has become a cloud of pink, the petals so thickly clumped that they obscure even the surrounding greenery - the pines and paulownias and persimmon trees, now bare of fruit - in a fog. Beneath the trees, on wide, low benches made of young bamboo, sit people, singly or in couples. Two women turn to each other in conversation, but the remainder do not;
  5. 5. 5 they are not there to do anything - they are only there to sit beneath the cherry trees. B: Yet of all the turmoil the country would endure and inflict over the next 150- odd years, what has remained consistent is its love for cherry blossoms, or sakura, as they are commonly called. Anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan knows this, has seen the photographs of black-suited salarymen having picnic lunches in an incongruously pink landscape, like something out of a child’s fantasy bedroom. When cherry blossom season nears - typically the first and second week of April, though that is changing - news programs and papers start airing and printing cherry blossom reports, sakura zensen, alongside the weather forecasts, noting where and when in the country the trees are or will be in peak bloom. The cherry blossom is not just an icon of Japan: it is the icon of Japan, one that enhances and ultimately eclipses every other. Adapted from: Yanagihara, H. (2019) • What cohesive devices and discourse markers have helped you identify the correct order of the paragraphs?
  6. 6. 6 KEY Warm up! Listening • What do people do during the cherry blossom season? They picnic under the pretty petals in a practice called ‘Harami’. • What does blossoms timing depend on? It depends mainly on temperature and geography. Reading The scene is a park in the late afternoon. It is springtime: The trees are a profound, almost bluish emerald; the first reeds are beginning to sprout in the river. The sky is a soft, worn, denimy blue, although above a smudge of cloud is a stripe of near black - it will rain soon. Yet there is no sense of doom, no portent; the rain, you sense, will be welcome when it arrives. Down by the river, people have gathered. The adults wear kimonos in shades that match the landscape - rich greens, warm blues - and the children wear clothes the color of carp. A little girl turns her face up to her mother; a little boy bends over to peer at something he spots in the grass - his mother reaches out her arms to him in the universal helpless gesture of a parent trying to call back her child from the brink of mischief-making, even as she understands her attempts will be futile. In the hills above them are two pavilions connected by a wooden bridge and accessed by a steep staircase that wends through the forest; in the windows, some of whose shoji shades have been pushed back to allow the air in, you can see that the ceiling has been strung with globes of red paper lanterns. A: But all of these details, all of this life, is incidental to the element that dominates this tableau: a grove of cherry trees, most of them in full flower. Behind the cluster of 16 that stands closest to the river, there is another layer, this one so profuse in its bloom that it has become a cloud of pink, the petals so thickly clumped that they obscure even the surrounding greenery - the pines and paulownias and persimmon trees, now bare of fruit - in a fog. Beneath the trees, on wide, low benches made of young bamboo, sit people, singly or in couples. Two women turn to each other in conversation, but the remainder do not; they are not there to do anything - they are only there to sit beneath the cherry trees. H:This is not a scene I have witnessed for myself, but apart from a few details it could be. It is a scene from a woodblock print, “Flower Pavilion, Dangozaka, Sendagi,” by the Japanese ukiyo-e master Hiroshige, the 16th image in his serialized portfolio, “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” which was published between 1856 and 1859. B: Yet of all the turmoil the country would endure and inflict over the next 150- odd years, what has remained consistent is its love for cherry blossoms, or sakura, as they are commonly called. Anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan knows this, has seen the photographs of black-suited salarymen having picnic lunches in an incongruously pink landscape, like something out of a child’s fantasy bedroom. When cherry blossom season nears - typically the first and second week of April, though that is changing - news programs and papers start airing and printing cherry blossom reports, sakura zensen, alongside the weather forecasts, noting where and when in the country the trees are or will be in
  7. 7. 7 peak bloom. The cherry blossom is not just an icon of Japan: It is the icon of Japan, one that enhances and ultimately eclipses every other. E: Last spring, I went to Japan to see the cherry blossoms. It was the first of April, but I had gambled - with each year, the flowers were opening earlier and earlier, and I was hoping I might see them just as they were beginning to bud. D: I went first to Sendagi (Tokyo), the area immortalized in Hiroshige’s print. It was a damp, woolly day, and the skies, as in the woodblock, were a sullen and indecisive gray - Would it rain? Would it not? - the kind of energy-leaching weather that leaves one lazy and irritable. For the next few days I walked the city, visiting all the neighborhoods, the little parks and alleys, that I always do on my annual visit, which I have taken for the past 22 years. C: The next day, I went to the mountains of Kyoto, which are always a few degrees cooler than Tokyo - I didn’t expect to see any sakura there, and indeed, I didn’t. I went to the temples I visit every year; I drank cup after cup of sakura tea, which has a curious salinity, as if it’s not tea at all, but a broth made from seawater. I saw plum trees and camellia bushes and, everywhere, glossy black- barked cherry trees, their branches blistered with unopened buds, people circling hopefully beneath them as if they might at any moment burst into bloom. J: Then I returned to Tokyo; the following day, I would go home. Back in the city, it was humid again. At the train station, I hailed a taxi and stared out the window as the car wound its way through the light midday traffic, working its way to the west of the city, where I would spend my final night. F:We were in Shinjuku now. The car turned down one unremarkable thoroughfare, and then another. And then it turned again, and suddenly we were on a street ablaze with cherry trees in luxuriant, excessive bloom. There they were, a dozen on each side of the street, all of them shaggy with flowers, the air around them swarming with floating petals, as if the petals were affixing themselves to the branches. Beneath and around them were everyday people doing everyday things, the tasks that need to be completed if a great city is to function: A delivery truck was being unloaded, and the sidewalk was being swept, and a repairman was shimmying up a telephone pole, and a woman was dragging a wooden crate of what might have been daikon to the door of a soba-ya. It was comical and also unbelievable, as if above them the skies were busy with flying pigs, and no one had noticed. This was a plain, unremarkable street, but in that moment, it was the most beautiful in Japan. It made me wonder whether it wasn’t good fortune after all that the sakura season was so brief, for, these people aside, how could anyone get anything done in the face of such splendor? Wasn’t it miraculous that life didn’t simply cease in those two weeks in April that the trees were in bloom? How could you concentrate on anything else? How could a human compete? I: Just as I was thinking this, the delivery man finished loading his truck. He slammed shut the back door. And then, before he climbed into the driver’s seat, he stopped and looked up at the cherry trees. He closed his eyes. And then he slapped the back door again, to make sure it was closed, and got into his truck. G: The light changed. My cab moved on. But I turned in my seat, craning my neck, watching the trees disappear from view, watching the final petals drift through the air. When I turned back around, they were gone, and Shinjuku, its gray bridges and walkways, loomed before us, as if nothing had happened at all.
  8. 8. 8 2. Beginning-of-year trip Level: B1 Preliminary / B2 First Skills: speaking, listening and writing Interaction: whole class, in pairs and individual activity Equipment: webcam, online platform Time: 50 minutes Warm up (10’) – whole class • Do you like going on school trips? Why (not)? • Have you ever gone on a school trip with your classmates? If so, where did you go? What was it like? • What are the advantages of travelling with your school? Speaking (10’) – in groups of 3 / 4 After the coronavirus situation, your school would like each class to spend some time together. The school is going to organise a school trip for September and has asked you to suggest destinations. In 10 minutes, students should take note of three destinations they would like to choose and explain their advantages and disadvantages.* If you are teaching online you can use Padlet so that students can share their ideas. As a whole class activity, groups tell the rest of the class about their destinations and they reflect on their advantages and disadvantages. Students can vote on the best 5 destinations using Mentimeter. Students regroup in pairs and they can create their own mind maps to work in pairs and try to agree on the best school trip destination for their class. Destination for beginning of the course trip
  9. 9. 9 3. Let’s go to the beach Level: Pre-A1 Starters, A1 Movers, A2 Flyers Content: activities, description, present continuous Interaction: whole class, in pairs Equipment: webcam, computer, online platform like Zoom or Skype Time: 30 minutes Warm up (15’) – whole class (*Pre-A1 Starters) Look at the picture and answer the questions. • What can you see in the picture? • Where is the… sun, kite, ice-cream shop, bird? • How many… balls, clouds, shells, fish can you see? • What’s this? (purple circles) • What are you wearing today? • What’s your favourite animal? • What’s the boy doing? (pink circle) • What’s the girl doing? (pink circle) • Tell me about the boy (orange circle)
  10. 10. 10 Speaking (15’) – in groups of 4 (*A1 Movers), in pairs (*A2 Flyers) Students work in groups or in pairs to complete the crossword. They have to explain the words to their partner(s). They can practise questions such as ‘Can you repeat?’, ‘How do you spell that?’. Team / Student A
  11. 11. 11 Team / Student B
  12. 12. 12 KEY
  13. 13. 13 4. References Ba Phi (2018). Woman between Men Facing Mountains. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-between-men-facing-mountains-1255062/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Belle Co (2020). Red and Black Temple Surrounded by Trees Photo. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-and-black-temple-surrounded-by-trees-photo- 402028/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Half a Crossword (n.d.). Available at: https://halfacrossword.com/activities/activity1 [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Japan-guide.com (2020). When do the cherry blossoms bloom? Available at: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011_when.html [Accessed 29th May 2020]. Kuzenkov, J. (2019). Girl Enjoying on Beach. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-enjoying-on-beach-1974856/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Life of Wu. (2019). Snow Mountain. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/snow-capped-mountain-3380875/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Mentimeter (n.d.). Available at: https://www.mentimeter.com/ [Accessed 29th May 2020]. One Shot (2020). People Riding Bicycles at the Beach. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-riding-bicycles-at-the-beach-3981878/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Padlet (n.d.). Available at: https://es.padlet.com/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. Pangestu, B. (2020). Close up Photography of Cherry Blossom Tree. [image/jpeg] Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photography-of-cherry-blossom-tree- 1440476/ [Accessed 1st June 2020]. UCLES (2018). Pre-A1 Starters Word list picture book. Available at: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/starters-word-list-picture-book.pdf [Accessed 29th May 2020]. Yanagihara, H. (2019). Japan in Bloom. The New York Times Style Magazine, [online]. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/t-magazine/japan-cherry- blossoms.html [Accessed 29th May 2020].

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