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Thursday, February 04, 2010

ESL Teacher Blog: Collocations and “Find Someone Who...” in the Olympic Spirit

With just a week to go until the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, why not to take advantage of the Olympic excitement? It’s a great opportunity to introduce, review or focus on collocations related to Olympics, or sports in general. Below is  a popular warmer adapted to the Olympic theme that can help ESL teachers to raise student awareness of collocations, words that often occur together.

Students mingle, ask questions and record the name(s) of their classmates who fit the prompts. Of course, they have to ask a correct wh-question first by rephrasing the given statements (e.g.: Are you going to watch..?)

Find Someone Who...

1. is going to watch live coverage of the Olympic Games
2. is sure his/her favorite athlete will break a record
3. followed the torch relay
4. knows the Olympic motto
5. would like to be a torchbearer
6. knows the colors of the five interlacing rings (the Olympic symbol)
7. has visited the host city of the Olympic Games
8. thinks Olympic venues will benefit the local residents after the Games are over
9. can’t wait to see who will light the Olympic cauldron
10. thinks each athlete should go through doping control
 
As a follow-up, encourage to come up with more Olympic collocations:

medal count/standing
Olympic committee/debut/flame/stadium/parade of nations/village/anthem/mascots
opening/closing ceremony
record holder/breaker
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 7:36 PM
Comments
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 AT 2:28 AM
Meylysa said:
Hello Olga, I like the exercise and the Olympic-related vocabulary...though I have to admit, I don't think I've ever said "interlacing rings" before. I don't think I've ever said "Olympic cauldron" either. However, I like the "torchbearer", "host city" and "live coverage". Lots of the words are great, and I like the idea of giving students the opportunity to discuss these topics in English. Thank you for your post! I have another question, as I have been wondering at the use of the word "collocations". Does it encompass "idioms" and "sayings"? Thanks again, Meylysa www.eslteacherguide.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 02, 2010 AT 10:58 AM
Olga Galperin said:
Thanks, Meylysa. "Find Someone Who…" definitely lends itself to a variety of topics and it was just an example of how to connect current events with the curriculum. Of course, interlacing rings can be exchanged with 'interlocking' or just 'Olympic', or anything else that you would consider more common. Collocations are transparent, that is their meaning is obvious from the words that constitute them. They're also more flexible in the number of "friends" that they can associate with ('have a look', 'take a look'). Idioms consist of words that can't be understood literally and in most cases don't tolerate 'internal' changes (no word replacement, change of articles, etc.) Sayings usually imply hidden meanings; but not necessarily: ''when in Rome do as the Romans do" is quite straightforward. I think, sayings are roughly proverbs and are easier to understand than idioms as they state things that are commonly experienced by many cultures, e.g.: 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".

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