Tip: Real life learning on the street (using Google Maps Street views)

Today, I’ve been doing some virtual travelling, exploring cities like Guayaquil, Quito, Bogota, Medellin. It occurred to me that words are everywhere! :slight_smile: [it’s not the first time I’ve had this realization]

There is some very practical, concrete, observational learning that you can do just by looking around a city, paying attention to the street signs, storefronts, billboards, etc. And all you need to do is try to understand the message!

So, just pick a city where your target language is used. Use Google Maps Street view. Look around! It’s fun :slight_smile:

a little commentary:
…So I teach ESL one-on-one to adult professionals. I take my clients around downtown. I’m always trying to get them to “get out of their heads” and abandon their high expectations. Just Listen and Observe:

“What did the barista say to you?” I ask, two minutes after we just ordered coffee at Starbucks or a local coffee shop.

I can’t tell you how often the little phrases like “Anything else?” or “Here you go!” or “Have a good one!” freak my clients out! Or how many clients get angry when they order “Orange Juice Natural” at their hotel restaurant and it isn’t fresh squeezed as they expected. (What is the problem with your city!?! …maybe you got what you asked for… the normal thing to ask is for “fresh-squeezed orange juice”)

I advise them to relax and just listen. Look around and pay attention to the street signs. Some students worry if the English they read or hear on the streets is “bad” – in other words, slangy, grammatically incorrect, etc. I tell them not to worry about that. I say that it is correct 99% of the time, but even if it would offend an old-school grammarian, who cares? Take it easy and try to learn from the real world around you.

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