The great Mongolian trip – TBL lesson

This post can be considered a companion piece to my talk at Tw!st’18 in Warsaw, but I hope it’ll be interesting also for those who haven’t been there.

I’m a big fan of TBL (task based learning) format ever since I was introduced to it during CELTA. The main goal of TBL is to get students to communicate about a certain topic that they find interesting, relevant and useful in real-life situations.

I’ve already tested this lesson with a group of B2 adults and with a 1-on-1 A2 student, so it should be easy to adapt by grading some of the language or setting more specific goals for higher level students.


1. Lead in

I decided to use the photos from my recent trip to Mongolia to get students thinking about travelling and destinations they’d like to visit and why.

2. Setting the task – instructions for students

Prepare a review of a trip you’ve taken and recommend it to your classmates.

3. Model the task

Here I talked about my trip, using some functional language that I wanted my Ss to pick up. I kept their interest by making the story interactive and by having them predict what comes next.

4. Choosing the language

Ss had to highlight the expressions they wanted to use in their task and plan their review using the template I provided (you’ll find it at the bottom of this post).

5. Draft task

In pairs, Ss presented their review, while their partner asked questions about things that were unclear or about info they felt was missing from the review.

6. Feedback

Error correction time – while monitoring the Ss I picked some sentences that were incorrect and some that were technically correct, but could be improved. After pair check and eliciting the correct version it was finally time for…

7. The final task

Ss had to present their review in groups of 5/6. The “audience” had to decide which review was the most interesting, enticing or the most informative – in other words – which one they liked best.

After the task I asked them for their opinions and we had one final DEC slot.


Pictures for the intro

Model task + task template for the students

Template for notetaking and homework assignment

Stay tuned for more about TBL and for the slides from my talk!

Do let me know if you decide to use this plan in your classroom 🙂

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