Brazilians and Borsch! Koreans and Kebabs! There’s nothing like food to bring your students together.

Published on 9th June, 2010 in Global Bloggers by Patrick Talty

I had a wonderfully enjoyable time with my IELTS students last week. To say ‘thank you’ for all their efforts, I brought two apple pies into class. They were delighted, and, as always, I marvelled at how effective food is as a conversation topic. I decided to combine good food with learning, and found Unit 2 of Global pre-intermediate: Eating and Drinking to be really useful. We explored numerous terms associated with food, a favourite of theirs being ‘comfort food’. One of my Korean students suggested combining apple pie with kebabs – and in that order!

The Ten secrets from the world’s top kitchens was also a great success with the class, and students shared their own culinary expertise. It was very rewarding to see the students dive into the subject matter, and note down ideas (and recipes) from other nationalities. Finally, the Function globally section was perfect for us to do a quick role-play on eating out, but in our case, it was the perils of eating out! I love to encourage student creativity, and this unit certainly contributed to that. Many thanks to the Global writers!

Last weekend in Toronto, we hit a balmy 30 degrees Celsius. Time to pack a picnic and head to Toronto Island. I found it strange that Toronto could have an island, but it does, and it is beautiful. A short 20-minute ferry ride and you are in a beautiful area filled with parks and bordering Lake Ontario, which for many seems like an ocean given its size. I met some students there, who were, much to my amusement, practising, ever so carefully, the food terms we had discussed in class. Who knew that candy floss could be so enchanting to a group of international students?

My students are always on the go, and make full use of their time in the city. The ferry ride to Toronto Island is very reasonable, so they go there regularly. Another area that they seem to love is the Harbourfront. It’s lovely to stroll along here with a coffee from Tim Horton’s. This is a coffee chain across Canada, and is a beloved Canadian institution.

So, I enjoyed my beaver tail last week: fried pastry that looks like a beaver’s tail, and covered with sugar or maple syrup. It’s a Canadian staple.

I think I’ll have poutine later!!

Bye for now


1 Comment

  • Ooh the mention of going to Toronto Island just made me so homesick. I love going to the Island in the summer, it’s a great day out. And a beaver’s tail… mmmm.
    Glad you liked the food lesson, actually now I’m feeling that poutine and beaver tails could be my comfort food!

    Lindsay Clandfield on 11 June, 2010