Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Video: How to improve creative thinking

A2, B1, B2

Tony Buzan is an educational consultant  well-known for his promotion of mind maps as a way of developing creativity. (You can see an example of a mind map on the right). In this short video, you will hear Tony talking about how to improve your creative thinking. Video time; 3 mins 36 secs. Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes.

Task: Watch the video and answer the questions

1 Can everyone  be creative?
2 Can you learn how to be creative?
3 Does creativity come from the right brain or the left brain?
4 How, for example, can you train yourself to think faster?
5 What example does he give of "thinking out of the box"?
6  Most people say: "This is the way I think" Why is this wrong?
7  Why do you think he uses the mind map to illustrate his last point?

Go to the video here.
Check your answers here.
For a summary of the talk, go here.

If you would like some ideas on how to use mind maps to learn English, go here.

Audio: Chatting to a taxi driver

(A2), B1, B2, (C1)

In this listening activity from ESL Lab, you will hear a tourist talking to a taxi driver as they drive to their destination. and answer some questions. You will also have the opportunity to practise some words and expressions you can use in this situation  Audio time: 1 min 39 secs. Activity time: 15 to 40 minutes

Task: 1 Imagine you are a tourist arriving in a US city for the first time. 
1 Make a list of questions you could ask the taxi driver when you get in the taxi.
2 Go to the activity page. Go down the page  to Section II ("Listening Exercises"),  and listen to the audio. Does the tourist ask any of the questions you wrote in 1?
3  Now answer the questions at the end of  Section II.  Listen again to the audio if necessary. Press "Final score" to check your answers. You can also see the script if you click on "Quiz script"
4  Go down the page again to Section III ("Vocabulary activities"). Here you will find three exercises to review vocabulary and expressions from this section.

Go to the activity here.