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English for Travelling

Many of you expressed an interest in using your English for travelling purposes when you joined My English Club. This section will hopefully facilitate some dialogues on cultural matters and we'll probably even be able to organise some excursions to various worldwide destinations, in the idea of hearing about each other’s countries and lifestyles.

When would you need English for travelling?

You may fall into one of these two categories:

a) you may need to use English in your own country, when considering to present the surroundings and your culture to English speaking visitors; and

b) you may be the guest in a foreign country where they either speak English or both sides choose to communicate in English, as neither of you can speak the other one’s language – for example you’re from Vietnam and you are visiting Norway.

On this page we shall look at topics you may wish to address for situation (a) above – you are the host/ess for an English speaking guest.

Imagine I am your guest and I am considering visiting you and your family for a short holiday, say 2 weeks to a month.

First of all, even before I set off from London, what do you think would be really nice to receive from you? You would start with an invitation, followed by some preliminary information, such as a description of your city/village or your country, telling me why it would be worthwhile me spending my annual break over there and not somewhere else in the world.

As part of this inviting info pack, you would likely include some ideas about when during the year would be best for me to visit. For example your climate allows for more pleasant vacations in certain seasons and some awful experiences in other seasons (for example the monsoon season in Nepal).

You would also tell me how safe it is to travel to your country or region and the kind of activities I should expect at the recommended time of the year. Probably if you had some visitors travelling with their families, you could tell them about activities suitable for children, some for adults and also for the elderly if that applies.

OK, so now I’m convinced and eager to go. At this point you would inform me about how to arrive to you and perhaps you would expand on some awesome itineraries to explore together while I’m in your area. You would describe the mountains and valleys in your country, or the seaside and beaches, if those are your tourism attractions. If you have national parks or even world heritage sites, this would be your occasion to bring these to my attention.

On arrival you would welcome me and introduce me to your family, friends and other colleagues you would deem appropriate. You would make sure I am clear about my surroundings and introduce any local customs unknown to me and you would invite me to take a recuperative rest after my flight to recharge my batteries for the schedule you’ve prepared for me (or indeed for your guests).

Now assuming I have rested enough, maybe it is my first morning of a full day in your country and we are both excited to start our adventures together. How would you surprise me? What’s there to do?

This may seem as a lot for you to manage all in English and... it is! There is so much vocabulary you can contain in these topics that you really need to prepare your words and meanings in advance and practise before any big event like a foreign visit/delegation.

I suggest we take these topics one by one and work together on ways to express your ideas in our future lessons. OK, but until then, here is a little quiz for you on the Festivals around the world website. This is suitable for children, so beginners of English will also find it easy. You have the option of one or two players for this quiz. Enjoy!

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