The pic above is an advertisement I created if one were to imagine that Buckingham Palace was available to rent. See links for more info about this amazing Palace later in this post.
As many of my students are often in London on language study visas for extended periods, it really made sense to me to give them time to practice and explore the language needed when having to search for accommodation and to negotiate with estate agents and landlords.
As mentioned in my previous blog last week, I am very keen to create lessons for students that can assist in giving them the functional language needed to fulfill the current and immediate demands of their day to day lives.
Please see links to some of the resources I drew upon at the end of this blog. Although these are geared towards teachers, I think that students will also find them useful and as I always say to my students teaching English is one of the most rewarding and fun things I have ever done. So I encourage them to also get qualified as it could prove an excellent alternative career.
Moving homes and house or flat hunting can be one of the most stressful things to do. One has to consider many factors in making the decision as to where to live such as
- how much can you afford per month or per week?
- is it convenient as far as commuting to work or colleges and schools?
- what are your requirements?
- what is the neighbourhood like?
- and if you have one, are pets allowed?
After looking through the property section of newspapers, or visiting the websites of agents, one then needs to draw up a short list of possibly suitable properties, so as to be able to start arranging viewings.
The rental property market is extremely tight these days with many prospective tenants vying for the same place, so one needs to be able to move and make decisions quickly.
The process of flat hunting requires many language skills from reading the property ads and being familiar with the vocabulary, abbreviations and phrases used, through to telephoning estate agents and then meeting to negotiate price and checking the lease contract,
I was so impressed with my student's energy and focus. After dealing with the vocabulary needed we went into role play with students each getting turns to play the estate agent or prospective tenant.
Near the end of the lesson I told students that an extra property had just come onto the market.
As mentioned I had done a little research online to find out the stats for Buckingham Palace and had drawn up a hand-out with what I thought an advertisement for Buckingham Palace might look like if it were ever to become available for rent.
The students laughed as they described to each other how many rooms this incredible palace would offer prospective tenants. With its own helicopter pad, it would be perfect for commuting to work and we decided it really would make an excellent house share!
I provide a very interesting link below to the royal website with more information on this beautiful and world famous Palace.
We tried to work out how much it would cost per month to rent and decided that the ad should read POA. (price on application) and that it would be a little out of our range of our budgets!
A great theme song for this language workshop is the hit song by Madness 'Our house in the middle of the street' as the lyrics are appropriate and it tied in beautifully with the parody advertisement. The band had sung this song from the top of Buckingham Palace during the Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert. (Please see link to youtube video below)
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A fascinating article on Buckingham Palace from the Official Website of the British Monarchy with 40 facts about the Palace can be found at http://www.royal.gov.uk/latestnewsanddiary/factfiles/40factsaboutbuckinghampalace.aspx
From the British Council LearnEnglishProfessional page a lesson on relocation with worksheets and answer keys (see last module) http://www.britishcouncil.org/professionals-lesson-downloads-job-skills-homepage.htm
There is also an excellent lesson from the British Council on the subject of 'neighbours' at https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/neighbours
Roleplay worksheets 'looking for an apartment' at http://bogglesworldesl.com/findinganapartment.htm
Another role play on finding the perfect housemate at http://bogglesworldesl.com/perfectflatmates.htm
Lyrics to Our House at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/madness/ourhouse.html
youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Songolola
Keep dancing your way to fluency with Lawrence's remixes - DiscoTense songs - Good times - Present and continuous at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS-eQxgMJEd0d6B32n0jInZFAcDAd84fZ