Lesson: NO FLYING (B2)

  • Speaking about travel and types of transportation.
  • Reading details from a website.
  • Listening to an interview and understanding the overall meaning.

1. First of all, a challenge! Can you think of a mode of transportation beginning with each letter of the alphabet?

For example:

  • Aircraft carrier
  • Balloon
  • Chariot…

(You might need to leave out some of the harder letters, like q and x).

For some possible answers, click here.

2. Some questions:

  • What’s your favourite mode of transport? (for example, plane, bus, boat?)
  • How often do you use public transport for work? How often do you use it for holidays?
  • What’s the furthest you’ve travelled away from home?
  • What’s the furthest you’ve travelled without flying? How long did the journey take?
  • Do you use any travel websites to help you plan journeys? Which ones?

3. Here’s a challenge:

If you had to go from where you are right now to London, England, but without flying, which types of transport would you need to take? Which places would you go through while travelling?

Now think about going from your location to:

  • New York
  • Cape Town
  • Sydney.

4. We’re now going to look at a website which is related to this topic.

Go to https://www.seat61.com/

What is the site about?

What can you find in the menu on the left side of the webpage?

5. Let’s look in more detail at one of the pages of the site.

Scroll down the menu on the left and find the ‘Russia’ page.

a. What is the web address for this page? Can you read it out?
b. Scroll down the page until you find the list of options for getting from London to Moscow. How many options are there?
c. Look at Option 1. How long does the journey take from London to Moscow using this option?
d. Scroll down to Option 2. Why does the website writer recommend this option?
e. Still with Option 2, how many ways are there to buy a ticket for the Paris to Moscow train?
f. Look at Option 5 (via Kiev). How many overnight sleeper trains are there on this journey?
g. Which of the options do you think is the best, and why?
h. Be honest! Would you rather fly?

(Answers are here).

6. Now, find out…

What does this site say about getting from where you are to London without flying? (You might need to look for the page about the opposite journey, from London to your country and region).

How many trains, boats and buses would you need to take?

Is it a practical alternative to flying?

7. Discuss:

What do you think is the purpose of the Seat 61 website?

8. Listen to an interview with The Man in Seat 61, Mark Smith.

  • Why did he choose the moniker Seat 61?
  • Why did he start the site?

(Answers and an extra activity are here).

9. Finally…

Let’s listen to another part of the interview. Which route does Mark recommend as being good value?

  • What is the best value trip that you’ve taken, or that someone you know has taken?
  • Could you imagine ever using Seat 61 to plan a journey? Why? Why not?

(Answer: here)

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Lesson: NO FLYING by the owners of englishin3d.net is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except for the pictures and video, which belong to the respective owners.

Top Photo by Yuri Yuhara from Pexels.

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