‘Tis the season

…to be preparing end-of-term assessments?…to be writing reports?…to be casting around for ideas on how to suitably round off the calendar year with your class?


Cagatio – every kid’s favourite present-pooing Christmas log!

That’s how my season feels. And in an attempt to get into the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share some editable materials that might work in your class. I don’t know if they’ll work in mine yet – I’ll find out in a couple of hours and possibly come back and let you know!


I have mainly adult classes and I’m in Catalonia, where they celebrate in all manner of wonderful (and somewhat weird and scatalogical ways it might be added). My classes generally want to focus on the topical, and at the time of writing, Christmas is just that.

Here are some audio clips based around Christmas. I cajoled and blackmailed various friends and colleagues into sending them via instant messenger. The tapescripts are included, so you can download and make your own listening and language resources as you see fit.

You’ll probably have better ideas, but I’ll probably follow this kind of sequence:

1. a gist listening – what question did I get them to answer? (The actual question is relatively unimportant – I’d accept anything close enough.)

2. Some detailed listening and decoding work by replaying and pausing where they request/look confused. Replay and have them transcribe (lots of nice high-frequency chunks my classes have been focussing on in there – ‘kind of’, ‘that kind of thing’, ‘dunno’, ‘just’…)

3. Study the tapescript and listen a final time.

4. Focus on language aspects they’re curious about and highlight some interesting grammatical structures (e.g. ‘get to do sth’ – both speakers in the first 3 clips use this a lot – why?)

5. Have them answer the same questions posed to the speakers here.

6. er..that’s it. A bit of cake and cava, maybe? Here’s hoping they’ll bring some in. But not so much we end up like the speaker in ‘christmas4’ clip below.

Here’s the material:

And speaker 2:

Speaker 2, extra nugget:

Speaker 3, excess Christmas spirit:

and the tapescripts:

Download Tapescripts.