English in Liverpool – Tuesday
This follows on from my last post: Monday in Liverpool!
The lesson of Tuesday morning was really different from the class I had the day before. I asked to change to the Upper Intermediate level and I quickly felt that this level was definitely more suitable for me. Then, in the classroom, I found the South-Korean boy I met the day before and another friend who had the same accommodation as me. We already chatted (in English of course) and.. the conversations between us flowed nicely!
The name of my classroom was “Everton FC”. Don’t forget that Liverpool LOVES football and is home to two premier ship teams as well!
The Upper-Intermediate Level
The teacher is a young, energetic man, he is captivating and friendly. He gave us right away a very stimulating exercise. The theme of the morning was Narrative Tenses, but if you’re thinking about the boring formula or (worst!) endless conjugations of regular and irregular verbs, you’re wrong! Most students at this level are presumed to have already learnt these things. As we are in Upper Intermediate level the focus here is very much consolidation of previous knowledge. That’s great and definitely the best fit for me! I’ll try and explain the exercise a little now!
Exercises and English practice
The teacher gave every pair of students a paper with many random words and some space to write. We had to write a line of a invented story, using the suggested words and give this beginning to the next couple, receiving another piece of story from the previous couple. It was very funny and we createdmany crazy stories, as you can imagine! The second exercise was quite similar, but we needed to practice our oral skills. The teacher gave us a second paper with two pictures, one entitled “Starfish” and the second one “Hospital’s window”. He asked us to tell a story inspired by one of these two pictures, to our little group of three students. Then, we had to tell the story to the other classmates. I don’t need to say that, in this case as well, our minds started to travel very far!
The Starfish and the Hospital Window
At this point we have opened the book to read the real stories. One about about a Starfish and the other related to The Hospital’s window. The purpose of this was also to study narrative tenses. We did a lot of useful exercises like this.
It was great to listen to the teacher’s explanations and, above all, we all understood the mistakes that we surely made in the first exercise. But not to worry! The teacher promised us to bring back that exercise the day after to let us have the opportunity to do the correction. I am confident already that I will be able to make all the corrections to my work after another great afternoon of study and homework. Brilliant!
After the short break, the second teacher arrived. He was as brilliant and as enthusiastic as the first one. He explained to us, using story, guessing, questions and dynamic exercises various useful English sayings. After this he asked us to write and then tell a personal experience that could be summarized with a particular saying. The other classmate had to guess what was the most suitable saying for every story. It was a fun exercise as well, because everyone was able to enrich their own English sayings with translations and expressions derived by the pop culture of their country!
For example, after the English saying: “Once bitten, twice shy” I couldn’t ignore the Italian phrase: (paraphrasing..) “Once, I am a criminal; twice, you are stupid!”, so a different saying to the British one but the same meaning!
At 12:15 the lessons on the Intensive course (4 group lessons each morning) are complete and the students have the chance to have lunch together in the common room. We all enjoyed that great space… and the table-tennis table! I spent no more than one hour there as I decided to join an afternoon activity arranged by the school.
This was a session of conversation in English with Tony, one of the school’s teachers. It was held at the local Rococo cafe, not far from the school. The place was delightful and the conversation as well!
Tony brought some paper with many conversational sparks that we followed just in part. We started to talking about aliens and many other things. The questions and the conversational line was very useful. It stimulated me to use particular verbal tenses, such as the conditional and the future speaking, for example.
We talked a lot about wishes and dreams, eventually winning the lottery or having superpowers. I had the opportunity to practice again the narrative tenses speaking about my life, my previous experience etc. Tony listened, answered and sometimes he put a note of my mistake, explaining to me, very patiently, the grammatical corrections. It really was an amazing hour spent in the afternoon!
Visiting the city…
Tuesday afternoon wasn’t still finished for the Liverpool’s visitors. I decided to visit the two cathedrals, placed at the two extremities of Hope Street, enjoying a really good stroll between the two churches. They are both extremely majestic and impressive, very different each other but both of them immersed in the same jovial Scouse atmosphere that Liverpool gives way to at every corner.
The Liverpool Cathedral, the more ancient one, is placed a few steps from China Town that I also didn’t want to miss.
For Italian tourists like myself, UK China Towns are always worth visiting. You don’t always know what to expect and often stumble across things that are surprising or even magical!
…Enjoying the Student’s Accommodation!
It’s soon became time for dinner for today. In spite of that oriental atmosphere, I decided to cook a quite different dinner (tagliatelle with original tomato sauce and a great steak with baked potatoes! …. Italians..!). This, of course, was shared with my amazing flatmates. That night as well, we spoke a lot, chatting for a long time. I was happy to feel that we were becoming friends and that the whole experience was right as I expected: Wonderful!
Read my next blog post here: Wednesday in Liverpool!