Travel is always an exciting topic for the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom, no matter what the age of the students. Introduce travel games to your ESL classroom to help students improve their English while learning valuable skills like how to read maps, follow directions and build their travel-related vocabulary.
Prepare for this game by reviewing the basics of asking for and repeating directions. Write key phrases on the board to help students, such as "Where is the..." "right," "left," and "straight." Provide each student with a simple neighbourhood map with a few streets and locations like a school, park, movie theatre and restaurant. Assign each student a business or location; for example, one student can be a chef located at the restaurant. Begin with one student, who'll be "located" at his spot on the map. Tell him he must find the location of another student by asking that person for directions. The second student gives proper directions ("take a left on 1st Street, go straight") based on the map, and the first student repeats them. When they're finished, assign the second student a new location to ask a third student. Continue until every student has both asked for and given directions.
Divide the class into two groups, a travel agent group and a customer group. Provide the travel agents with world maps and a list of countries, along with plane ticket prices. (They can be made simple for younger classes; "Berlin - £195" will suffice as a list item.) Each travel agent should have five different locations. Assign each customer a location he must go to, as well as a budget. The customers should rotate, visiting each travel agent, asking about locations, pointing them out on maps and discussing prices. When they finish, each customer must choose a travel agent to book their trip within their budget. Afterwards, students can switch so that each has the chance to be a travel agent and customer.
What to Pack
Brainstorm a list of items on the board that students might want to pack when going on vacation. Divide students into groups of two or three. Give each group a different location at a specific time of year, along with a few magazines and/or newspapers. For example, one group might take a summer trip to the Caribbean, while another will go skiing in Canada. Each group must find and cut out pictures of items they would pack on their trip, such as various clothing, gear (skis, surfboard), cameras, and even food. Have students glue these pictures to a piece of construction paper labelled "What to Pack," and write a short description of each item next to the picture.