Collocation Challenge: 21/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 4)

This is Part 4 of a series of posts based around a text which appeared in the travel section of the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph:  Top 10 places and cities to visit in England.

Part 1 opened the series with a Reading exercise and a look at collocations in the first section of the text about Yorkshire.

Part 2 went on to explore vocabulary in the next section of the text about Bath.

Part 3 took a look at collocations and useful language for describing places in the sections about the Cotswolds and Devon.

Today’s post starts with some questions about language which appears in the section of the text about the Lake District and also focuses on vocabulary in the section on Brighton.

1.  Collocations in the text about the Lake District

A few questions to think about:

  • The text talks about this part of England offering visitors the chance to do a leisurely bike ride.  If your audience for this text were serious cyclists, what adjectives could you use as opposites to leisurely?
  • So far in this series of blog posts we’ve seen two examples of the word draw in the text (“shopping is a major draw” (Bath) and “most people are drawn to the magnificent beaches…” (Devon)).  Find the collocation with draw in this section of the text:  draw +  noun   +   preposition   (something)
  • The adjective + noun collocation “magnificent scenery” appears in this section of the text.  Magnificent is a general, positive adjective which is the the third most frequent adjective to collocate with scenery.  The list of words in CAPITALS, are other adjectives which collocate with scenery.  Decide if their meaning is also general and positive or more specific.  If general, like magnificent, decide if the alternative adjectives are at a similar grade.  Some examples have been given to help you:  BEAUTIFUL (general, positive(also the most frequent), ALPINE (more specific – of the region of the Alps or for mountain areas), BREATHTAKING, DRAMATIC, SPECTACULAR, COASTAL, STUNNING, WONDERFUL, SURROUNDING, MOUNTAINOUS, VARIED, FANTASTIC, SUPERB, CHANGING, DELIGHTFUL, GLORIOUS, REMARKABLE, EVER-CHANGING, ATTRACTIVE, PRETTY, GRIM, ROCKY.

2.  Useful phrases for writing about places from the section about the Lake District

Its picturesque patchwork of lakes, valleys, woodlands and fells make it one of the best places in Britain to get out and experience the great outdoors, whether it’s on a leisurely bike ride down country lanes or a day-long hike across the hills.

The complex sentence above could be broken down into the following framework:

(Its) (…reasons why the area is special and worth visiting…) …make it one of the best places in Portugal to (…activities you can do here…).

Use the framework and example above to write some complex sentences about…

  1. the local landscape and geography + activities
  2. cultural attractions in your town + activities
  3. range of places to eat or variety of regional dishes + eating-related activities

…in your hometown or region.

3.  Collocations in the text about Brighton

The writer describes Brighton as a…

loveably eccentric city.

Find other collocations in the text below about Brighton that extend this idea of eccentricity.  These collocations often contrast with vocabulary of a different ‘set,’ that of exclusivity.  Find examples of these too.

There’s always something unexpected to enjoy – the secret is to roam freely and keep your eyes peeled. Head to the boho North Laine, and you find offbeat designers and dingy flea markets happily melding with sleek restaurants and bars. Throw in gentrified Regency squares, oddball museums, and a clutch of well upholstered parks with traditional cafés attached – and you have a city that truly caters for all tastes.

In the extract above, find words or phrases that mean the following:

  • “include”
  • “the key” (to enjoying this place)
  • “coexisting”
  • “well cared for”
  • “go in the direction of”
  • “watch out for”
  • “wander around”
  • “appeals to everyone”

4.  Useful phrases for writing about places from the text about Brighton

Incorporate some ideas for tourists visiting your hometown into the following structures from the Brighton text:

  • The secret to enjoying (…name of place…) is to…
  • When you visit (…name of place / area of a city…), keep your eyes peeled for
  • Head for… (…name of place / area of a city…), and you will find…
  • (…various things that would appeal to different ages or types of visitor…) mean it’s a place that caters for all tastes.

For some answers to some of the questions here, check out the comments box below.

For the next post in our series, looking at the section on Cornwall, check out Part 5



Filed under C1 - Advanced, C2 - Proficiency, Collocation Challenge

5 responses to “Collocation Challenge: 21/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 4)

  1. 1. Collocations in the text about the Lake District
    Opposites to “a leisurely bike ride” include: “a challenging ride,” “a strenuous bike ride,” “a vigorous workout,” “an arduous ride,” “a physically demanding / exacting ride” – these might be the kind of adjectives applied to the course that professional cyclists tackle in races such as the Tour de France

    The collocation with “draw” in the Lake District text is “draw inspiration from something” – “William Wordsworth, who was born in Cockermouth in 1770 and drew much of his poetic inspiration from the surrounding landscape.”

    Adjectives which collocate with “scenery” that are not generally positive like “magnificent” are “coastal” (specifically for landscapes by the sea”), “surrounding” (specifically for nearby scenery in that area), “mountainous” (specifically for mountain areas), “varied”, “changing” and “ever-changing” (describing the fact that the scenery changes quite a lot within the region; there’s diversity. And also that you could be viewing the scenery while travelling and that it changes a lot as you look out the window), and “rocky” (specifically that there are lots of boulders or rocks around). “Grim” does not fit the more general adjectives group because it isn’t used positively. “Pretty” and “attractive” are positive but perhaps not as strong as options like “stunning” and “breathtaking.” “Dramatic” is an interesting one – it implies that the scenery is “impressive” like “magnificent” but also communicates an idea that the scenery is “exciting” to look at.

  2. 2. Useful phrases for writing about places from the section about the Lake District

    Possible answers:
    1. The region’s rolling hills and wide rivers make it one of the best places in Portugal to enjoy outdoor pursuits like hiking and canoeing.
    2. Coimbra’s stunning university, not to mention its cathedrals, churches and monasteries, make it one of the best places in Portugal for architecture-lovers to enjoy sightseeing.
    3. The sheer number of restaurants offering reasonably priced lunch menus make it one of the best places to try some delicious Portuguese dishes.

  3. 3. Collocations in the text about Brighton
    Words in the extract which extend the description of Brighton as “eccentric” include: “unexpected,” “boho” (“bohemian”), “offbeat”, and “oddball.”
    These contrast with words expressing a theme of exclusivity: “sleek”, “gentrified,” “well upholstered” (well designed and looked after).

    “include” – “throw in”
    “the key” (to enjoying this place) – “the secret is to…”
    “coexisting” – “happily melding with…”
    “well cared for” – “well upholstered”
    “go in the direction of” – “Head to…”
    “watch out for” – “keep your eyes peeled”
    “wander around” – “roam freely”
    “appeals to everyone” – “(truly) caters for all tastes”

  4. Pingback: Collocation Challenge: 23/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 6) | IH Santa Clara Blog

  5. Pingback: Collocation Challenge: 3/3/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 7) | IH Santa Clara Blog

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