Posted 4/9/07
The Tube (the familiar name for the London Underground) is full of English. In this clip, I managed to collect some of the best known samples for YouTube. Filming in the Underground without permission is highly illegal. I risked my freedom for this lesson plan so I hope you enjoy it.
  • Language level: Elementary; Pre-intermediate (A2)
  • Learner type: Teens; Adults
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Activity: Matching collocations; Reading signs
  • Topic: London; Transport
  • Language: Noun + noun collocations; Passive; Infinitive of purpose
  • Materials: Video; Worksheet
London Underground pdf [downloaded 27501 times]

Lesson plan outline

  1. Write ‘The Tube’ on the board and find out if your students know what it is. (Answer: It is the familiar name for the London Underground.) Find out if anyone has been to London. If so, ask them how the London Underground compares with the transport systems in their own cities.
  2. Tell students that they are going to see a video clip of English on the London Underground. Brainstorm students for examples of language they might see and write these on the board.
  3. Write the following 16 words on the board and ask students to copy them.
  4. Alarm; Bridge; Card; Circle; Emergency; Exit; Fire; Help; Line; Map; London; Point; Priority; Seat; Travel; Tube
  5. Tell students that they have a puzzle to solve: They have to attempt to pair up the 16 words to get 8 noun-noun collocations that they might see on the London Underground.
  6. Let students compare their answers before playing the video clip.  Answers:
    • Fire alarm
    • London Bridge
    • Travel card
    • Circle Line
    • Emergency exit
    • Help point
    • Tube map
    • Priority seat
  7. Tell students that you are going to test their powers of observation. Give out copies of the London Underground Worksheet (included in PDF download) which contains questions about other pieces of language that appeared in the clip.
  8. Let students compare their answers before playing the video clip a second time.

Answers to worksheet:

a. Obstructing the doors can be dangerous
If you see a train being vandalised, call the British transport police on 0800 40 50 40
c. Open / close
Dogs must be carried
Stand on the right
You are being filmed
Lift flap and push button to stop train
h. Take care after drinking alcohol
i. Assistance and tickets
j. Keep left
k. Priority seat for people who are disabled, pregnant or less able to stand
l. Please keep your bags with you at all times and report any unattended items or suspicious behaviour to a member of staff
Keep clear of the edges
n. Take extra care of children
o. Fire alarm: If you see smoke or fire operate this fire alarm
p. Mind the gap
q. Way out

Posted 4/9/07

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