Speaking (Holidays & Playing)


Idioms & Expressions:

travel light (verb; this means to travel somewhere and only take a few things with you)

Make sure you travel light – pack everything in your carry-on bag for the plane.


hit the road (verb; this means to begin traveling)

Let’s hit the road and head out of the city for the weekend.


off the beaten track / in the middle of nowhere (expressions that describe a place that is hard to reach)

We found a village in the middle of nowhere! We had to hike in the mountains for two days to find it.


tourist traps (noun; places where vendors charge high prices to sell goods to tourists)

I wouldn’t buy anything near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, since there are many tourist traps around there.


watch your back (verb; means “be careful”)

Watch your back in this market, because there are many pickpockets around.


booked up (adjective; means a hotel or venue is booked to capacity and there’s no more room)

The hotel is all booked up. We need to find somewhere else to stay.


holiday romance (noun; a short-lived love affair you have with a person you meet on vacation)

Jim found a little holiday romance on his trip to Japan. And he’s still in touch with her.


shoestring budget (noun; refers to traveling while spending very little money – staying in hostels, etc).

We traveled through Cambodia on a shoestring budget.


helicopter parents (noun; parents who watch their kids very closely)

You can see the helicopter parents with their kids on the playground.


spoiled brat (noun; a kid who is accustomed to getting what they want and is therefore very rude)

She is a bit of a spoiled brat and will not hesitate to shout at you.


sheltered child (noun; a child who is protected from the outside world by their parents and is not permitted to do many things)

He is a little shy because growing up, he was a sheltered child.


Part I: Class Discussion

  1. What public holidays do you have in your country?

We have many, such as Martin Luther King Day or President’s Day. Most of them aren’t that important, but occasionally we get a day off from school for them.

  1. Which public holidays do you like the most?

Any holiday such as Thanksgiving when we get time off from work or school! These breaks are pretty necessary.

  1. Do you think public holidays are important?

I think they are, because we can get some rest then. I think that’s why they’re important – most people don’t care about the reason for having a day off.

  1. Do you think there should be more public holidays in your country?

Absolutely. I think we all work too hard. We need far more breaks from school and work.

Part II: Individual Presentations
Describe your recent holiday trip. Please say:

          Where and when did you go?
Who was there with you?
Why did you choose that place?

A few years ago my friend Steve came to visit me in Vietnam. He’d never left North America, so coming here was an eye-opening experience for him. I took him to Sapa, where he hung out and drank coffee, and he learned how to drive a scooter. I think it was a really special trip because we hadn’t seen each other in a long time (since I live pretty far away) and it was  a great chance for us to catch up and reconnect and make some lasting memories.

Part III: Group Discussion

  1. Do children play mostly inside or outside in your country?

Probably inside. Video games and smartphones make it easier for kids to spend their time inside.

  1. What are the benefits of playing indoors or outdoors?

If you play outdoors you are more active. Playing indoors can give you some peace and quiet and let you relax.

  1. What skills do children learn while playing?

Kids learn teamwork, social skills, and also learn that competition is an important part of life.

  1. Is it important in your country that children participate in games individually or as a team?

In school, sports are a big deal, but I’d say only about half of the students participate in them. I think that’s much more than many other countries, though, where schools do not have sports programs.