Home > lesson, lessons, Teaching > This week’s lesson -food glorious good

This week’s lesson -food glorious good

Apologies for those expecting a lesson based on teen language whichI said I would post, we didn’t get round to it but I’ll post on how I think it could be used over the weekend

From time to time I like to do a lesson from their coursebook (rather nominally used, mainly cause it’s got a key so they can self-study and also because I find it a bit ‘long’ (see post of 16/9 if you are lost by that). Also, last week, Gordon Ramsey came up and by coincidence the topic of the coursebook unit is food, well it is one of those generic coursebook themes so no real surprise.

Gordon’s programme are just beginning on Czech TV (they’ve been through all the Jamie Oliver ones) and as such he is not well known yet, but of course he is all over the interweb thingy so here’s the lesson.

The coursebook bit is about food collocations (from things such as ‘favourite dish’  ‘to have square meal’ and so I am building around this theme but also want to include listening and reading (and remember my lesson is three hours long).  Here’s the lesson without the coursebook bits.

Context for lesson is established during our usual protracted chat at the beginning, one of them is bound to have eaten out since the last lesson (and then using this picture I introduce the idea of food and cooking). I first asked them to name typical British foods and when none said curry, showed them the picture, saying this is probably the most popular dish and then they had to guess what it was, well that it was a curry I doubt any of them (though I never checked) would know it was a jalfrezi 🙂

From there I want to both assess vocabulary knowledge and get ready for a listening so for that am using a mind map created at bubbl.us – here is screen shot of the mapmind I made:

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 18.20.07

I still have  wifiless classroom so had to screenshot it for use but hope that having introduced it, students can go to and add words after the lesson) – and in class they did come up with about fifty more words, since I go with the flow, we got seriously side-tracked from the listening prep by exploring all the words they were offering up  so if you use this lesson you might not want to get too distracted by adding words at this stage or it’ll detract from words for the listening.

Having ensured the students feel ok with the original words from the mind map, time for the listening. First I showed them the recipe, which you can find here (Ramsey made a series of programmes aimed at getting Brits cooking so the recipe is actually quite easy to make (I know I’ve made it :-)) . I copied the recipe into a powerpoint slide (see below) and blanked out all the words that were in the mind map.  I asked them to put the words back into the text. Obviously words like ‘as’ can be added in many places so reassure students that it if they think a word fits then use it.

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 18.33.45

Once they are ready and have discussed possible answers, play the video clip, you’ll probably need to play it at least twice as they watch the video first time rather than see how there answers compare.  Check any differences they might have found and whether they actually matter or not and if they fancy making the recipe.

There are many directions the lesson could now go in, we ended up talking about  different restaurants we have been to (Ramsey used to have a restaurant in Prague) . However if they had not gone down this path I would have now gone back to mindmap to ask them to add more words or think of more words they can add later – by sharing recipes with each other. Not only does this seem the most natural way of continuing the lesson, I had another chef ready so I finished (yes that’s ‘all’ we did in three hours but we’ll be back next week) by asking them what they would make from:

Bacon, eggs, milk and sugar (you can only make one dish and have to use all the ingredients). After eliciting some answers and justifications, I played them this clip to see if the chef would make the same (am not telling you here what he made click on the link :-)).

Students willing next week, we’ll look at a review of the chef’s restaurants (bit of jigsaw reading , leading into a revision of the finer points of comparison (that’s t he grammar point in the coursebook)

The following links are the ones given to my students for possible extensions activities or if they want to go back to the videos,


The Mind map site – you do have to create an account and be invited to collaborate.

The website of Woodlands Junior School in Kent – a very impressive website that the school has as part of one of their school projects. The link takes you to food bit but they have lots of British cultural facts on there.  I am very impressed by the work that went into it!

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Video of the sauce being made

The second video (bacon, eggs etc)

Some other sites:

There are many sites that deal with food for English learners, googling esl+food brings up a substantial list.  Here are some to get you started:

A list of food word (Students could add these to the mind map)

Some food quizzes – first one is name the picture, second one unscramble the words

Another quiz (slightly more interactive)

A food idiom quiz

Quizlet – the place where we have our weekly word quizzes also has hundreds of quizzes.

Some Reading:

A website of unusual restaurants – it links to the each of the restaurants websites.

A website where people share their recipes.

Reviews of the second chef’s restaurant.

A review of Ramsey’s former restaurant in Prague (which, adding my own review was fabulous (I love my food :-))

And that’ll do it for this week’s lesson, enjoy


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