Tag Archives: travel

Collocation Challenge: 3/3/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 7)

This is the final post in our series looking at the vocabulary for describing places that appeared in a text from a UK newspaper about the Top 10 places and cities to visit in England.

For links to the other posts, see below.

This post is going to focus on vocabulary in the section of the text about London and will look at 3 useful pieces of language for describing places.

pour + in / out

People pour in from across the world to visit, work or live.

Definition:  to come and go somewhere in large numbers

Other examples:

  • The crowd poured out of the stadium at the end of the match.
  • Donations to the charity appeal have poured in and the total raised now stands at $22 million.
  • Letters of complaint poured in following the controversial TV programme.

The verb also appears a lot in news coverage of reactions to people’s deaths:

Buzzing

Restaurants, bars and theatres are buzzing.

Definition:  busy / full of energy (Cambridge Dictionaries online:  buzz)

Notice the connection between places being busy and bees.  Bees are known for being industrious creatures and the noise they make is a buzz.

This connection extends into other expressions:

  • be as busy as a bee (idiom = very busy!)
  • a hive of activity / industry (idiom = a place where many people are working very hard) (hive = a structure made for bees to live in)

Emphasising variety

…the range of events on offer – from sport to food pop-ups, from music festivals to theatre – is unbeatable.

You can use the patterns here to emphasise the variety of things you can experience:

the range of + noun phrase + (on offer) is + adjective

  • The range of dishes on offer at the restaurant is impressive.
  • The variety of things to do is unbeatable.
  • The winelist is second to none.
  • The choice of places to eat is extensive.

Notice how you can add specific examples using from (noun) to (noun)

  • The range of dishes on offer – from seafood to meat, from light meals to more substantial 3 course meals – is impressive.
  • The choice of places to eat – from inexpensive bars to exclusive restaurants – is extensive.

Questions to think about:

  • What do visitors to your region pour in to see and do?
  • Are there any particular events that happen in your hometown that bring people pouring in?
  • Which areas of your hometown are buzzing in the evening?  When are they at their liveliest?
  • Can you write a sentence emphasising the variety of something on offer to visitors to your region using the pattern:  the + (range/variety/selection/choice/number) + of – from (noun) to (noun) – is + adjective.

Links to other posts in this series:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

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Collocation Challenge: 22/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 5)

Welcome to Part 5 in our series of posts based on a text about the top 10 places and cities to visit in England from The Daily Telegraph.

  • See Part 1 for a Reading exercise and activities focusing on section of the text about Yorkshire.
  • See Part 2 for vocabulary in the section about Bath.
  • See Part 3 for collocations and useful language for describing places in the sections about the Cotswolds and Devon.
  • See Part 4 for a look at language in the sections of the text about the Lake District and Brighton 

This post starts with an important word found in the text about Cornwall…

1.  unspoilt + noun

The text describes the coastline as unspoilt.  The idea is that it has not been over-developed with buildings and is still natural.  Here are the some incomplete words that frequently collocate with unspoilt.  Complete the words with the missing letters:

Nouns which frequently collocate with the adjective "unspoilt"

Nouns which frequently collocate with the adjective “unspoilt”

2.  Another example of draw

The text about Cornwall gives us another example of the word draw…

Surfing is a big draw, for all ages – bodyboarding too – and lessons are available on most north-coast beaches.

To add to our collection from earlier in the text…

Shopping is also a major draw.

Most people are drawn to the magnificent beaches on the south and north coast…

…William Wordsworth, who was born in Cockermouth in 1770 and drew much of his poetic inspiration from the surrounding landscape…

Take a look at one of our previous collocation challenges from last year which was dedicated to collocations with draw as a verb.

3.  rugged (C2)

Cornwall is also known for its artistic heritage. Painters, sculptors and potters of international renown come for the big skies, the rugged beauty of the boulder-strewn moorland, and the intense light that turns the sea cerulean blue even in mid-winter.

Rugged (adj) can talk about (1) geographical features of land which is not flat and is difficult to travel over (as in the example above).  It can also talk about (2) strength:  something which is rugged is strong and simple; not delicate.  In addition, it can be used positively to (3) describe a man’s face as being strong and attractive.

Decide which definition, 1, 2 or 3 fits to these collocations with rugged / ruggedly:

  1. rugged mountains
  2. rugged good-looks
  3. rugged footwear
  4. a rugged 4-wheel drive vehicle
  5. rugged cliffs / coastline
  6. rugged features

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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

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Collocation Challenge: 20/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 3)

This collocation challenge continues a series 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.

This post will take a look at collocations and useful language for describing places in the sections about the Cotswolds and Devon.

1.  Collocations in the section about the Cotswolds

  • vibrant festivals
  • intriguing museums (C2)
  • rolling hills
  • an area of outstanding natural beauty
  • bracing walks (in cold weather)

Match the adjectives in bold above to the ideas they communicate below:

  1. doing this activity in the cold makes you feel alive and full of energy
  2. interesting, unusual and mysterious
  3. full of life, colour and energy
  4. describing geographic features – gentle, not extreme rises and falls in the landscape
  5. clearly better than what is normal

2.  Useful phrases for writing about places from the text about the Cotswolds

The text about the Cotswolds puts an emphasis on what visitors can do there if they visit at different times of the year.  It says that “every season has intrinsic appeal” and gives highlights for why each season is special in this place.  Try using the same sentence stems that appear in the text to give advice to potential visitors to your hometown or region; you could use things like activities you can do at these times of the year, special events that happen, or features of nature which are specific to the time of year:

  • Winters are ideal for…
  • Come in spring to see…
  • Visit in summer for…
  • Or make an autumn excursion for…

3.  Features text organisation in the section about Devon

Thinking about cohesion, the section about Devon highlights some simple techniques for organising ideas effectively in texts.  Just look at the structure given in this basic framework:

(Name of place)

_____ and _____, _____ and _____, _____ and _____ – holidays in (name of place) are  adjective ,   adjective  , and  adjective  .

Most people are drawn to _____, but _____ has its appeal too.

A visit here mixes two of life’s loveliest pleasures: _____ and _____.

Activity ideas:

  1. Look back at the original text about Devon for 1 minute (link to the article).  Switch back to this page with the framework above and try to complete it from memory.
  2. Use this framework as the basis for a short text about your hometown or region.
  3. Find examples of parallelism to bring cohesion to the text in the framework above.

*Notice how the word draw appears in this text.  We met it before as a noun in the section about Bath (“Shopping is a major draw”).  Here it’s a verb:

Most people are drawn to the magnificent beaches on the south and north coasts, but inland Devon has its appeal, too.

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Collocation Challenge: 19/2/15 – Top 10 places and cities to visit in England (Part 2)

This collocation builds on the challenge from 18/2/15 (Part 1) and continues to explore collocations and text features of the text from The Daily Telegraph:   Top 10:  best places and cities to visit in England.

Part 1 of this post looked at the section on Yorkshire, today’s post focuses on the part of the text about Bath.

1.  Adjective + noun collocations in the section about Bath

Revisit the text and look at the section dedicated to Bath.  Find nouns that collocate with the following adjectives:

  • fascinating
  • easily accessible
  • a major
  • affordable
  • significant

2.  Useful phrases for writing about places 2

The text about Bath includes the following phrases…

Bath is a strong contender for England’s most beautiful small city.

…shopping is also a major draw.

Bath’s Achilles heel used to be a surprising dearth of good, affordable places to eat. But that is no longer the case.

  • The phrase a strong contender for + superlative is a nice way to suggest that something would be close to winning a (imaginary) competition for something without being as strong and direct as just using the superlative (compare:  Bath is England’s most beautiful city).  It is more tentative and speculative.
  • If something is a major draw, it attracts people to a place.
  • An Achilles heel is a weakness.
  • a dearth of + noun = a lack / scarcity (“there is/are not enough”)

Complete the sentences below with your own ideas:  

  • If there was a competition for best restaurant in my town, (…name of restaurant…) …would be a strong contender.
  • (activity / tourist attraction in your town) is a major draw (for tourists).
  • If we could get (name of band / singer) to play at our festival they/she/he would be a major draw. (Help us sell lots of tickets / attract a large audience)
  • There’s a dearth of (…something your town doesn’t have enough of…) …in my hometown.
  • There used to be a dearth of … in my hometown.  But that is no longer the case.
  • My town’s Achilles heel used to be a death of … .  But that is no longer the case.

You can continue working with vocabulary from this text in Part 3 of our series.

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A new tourist attraction for Coimbra – proposals from Teens 7

Our Teens 7 students at International House Santa Clara have been learning vocabulary related to travel and tourism in class recently.  In one lesson they discussed ideas about how to attract more tourists to Coimbra.  They then wrote up their discussions as proposals.  We hope you enjoy reading them.  Which ideas do you think would be most successful?

Proposal 1

The aim of this proposal is to outline 3 suggestions for attracting more tourists to Coimbra.  In total 8 ideas were discussed and we made a short-list of three ideas that we thought would be the most effective.

Ideas we rejected

We decided that a water park would not be very successful because it would be very expensive and in times of financial crises people don’t have much money to spend on activities like this.

We didn’t think the Ferris Wheel would be a good idea either, because in Coimbra the space is very limited so we wouldn’t be able to put something of this dimension up in our city.

Lastly, the marine park was rejected due to the fact that the animals would suffer because of the weather.

Ideas we approved

On the other hand, we believe that an adventure park in Choupal would bring tourists to Coimbra because young people like doing outdoor sports and activities.

A dry ski slope would be a good idea because it’s something new and different; people would like this because it’s something that they don’t have the opportunity to do very frequently.

However, our final choice was for a theme park.  We feel that this would be the most popular attraction.  Everyone likes rides and roller coasters.

Conclusion

To sum up, our opinion is that a theme park would be the most popular attraction for visitors because everyone likes to have fun and sometimes this is a good way to do it.

By Ines, Sofia and Claudia

Proposal 2

The aim of this proposal is to outline 3 suggestions that will attract more tourists to Coimbra.  We discussed 8 ideas and we made a shortlist of 3 ideas that we thought would be the most effective.

Ideas we rejected

We decided that building a new museum would not be very successful because it’s not for young people.  Similarly, we did not think that a ferris wheel would work.  The reason for this is that it is boring.

Although we thought that a marine park/aquarium or a zoo might be popular, we dismissed the idea since we thought it would make the animals suffer.

Ideas we approved

First of all, we chose a theme park because we feel an adrenaline rush there.  It would be popular with a lot of people.  Secondly, we decided that a water park would appeal to young people.  Finally, it was felt that a dry ski slope would be a great way to increase the number of visitors to the area.  It would entertain young people because it’s different and fun.

By Sofia, Joana and Francisco

Proposal 3

The aim of this proposal is to outline 3 suggestions for attracting more tourists to Coimbra.  In total 8 ideas were discussed and we made a shortlist of three ideas that we thought would be the most effective.

Ideas we rejected

We have rejected a marine zoo.  We do not think it will be very successful because it’s too expensive making the natural habitats of marine animals.

Similarly, we did not think that a race track would work for the reason that we already have one near Coimbra.

Although we thought that a new museum might be popular, we dismissed this idea since we thought it would be difficult to find the theme for it. We already have a natural history museum, Roman museum and a military museum in the town.

Lastly, a water park was rejected due to the fact that in Coimbra we don’t have the weather that is conducive to going to a water park throughout the year.

Ideas we approved

First of all, we chose a beautiful Ferris Wheel because we feel that it could be a good attraction for people of all ages.

Secondly, we decided that a theme park would appeal to teenagers.

Finally, it was felt that a dry ski slope would be a great way to increase the number of visitors to the area.  It would bring a lot of tourists to Coimbra because it would be the first dry ski slope in Portugal.

By Alexandra, Claudio, Mariana and Beatriz

We think there are some fantastic ideas in these proposals.  Theme parks seemed to be a popular choice with everyone.  Have you visited any of the theme parks mentioned in this article in English on The Portugal Daily View website?

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Pack your bags and pay a visit to Lousa

Continuing our series of posts from students studying in our summer intensive course at A1+/A2 level, with recommendations for places to visit around the Coimbra area, here’s Telma’s suggestion…

Lousá is a small town located in the countryside near Coimbra.  It is a quiet place, surrounded by natural beauty so, if you want to relax, you’ve got to go there.

You should stay for a few days to visit all the wonderful things there are here.  You can stay at The Palace Hotel (4 stars), or, if you prefer something more traditional, you should stay in the rural tourism houses and cottages that you can rent.

Lousá is located near some mountains where you can find some beautiful shale (or schist) villages.  These are lovely, so you really must visit them.

In the mountain range (Serra da Lousá) there are some wonderful views and beautiful sights.  You can see many different types of trees, flowers and animals so you need to bring a camera to take lots of pictures.

A view of the castle and surrounding forests from the mountains around Lousa

In the middle of the mountains there is a castle with an old legend and a natural pool with very cold water.  It’s a good idea to bring a swimming costume to find out how true that is!  You’ll also need comfortable clothes and sneakers to walk along the mountain paths.

There is also a great restaurant which serves typical Portuguese dishes.  It’s called O Burgo and you just have to eat there.  O Burgo was opened in 1989 and it has become a very popular and famous restaurant because it has quality traditional dishes from the region.  You’ll need to bring a lot of money because it isn’t very cheap but it is worth it.

Doesn’t all this sound fantastic?  You don’t want to miss out on this experience…visit Lousá soon!

By Telma.

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