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Set it up

Ask the students what sorts of places they are familiar with and if they know the names of them in English. Do they associate any particular sounds with these locations?

Running order

1. Tell the students you are going to play a sound effect and ask them to imagine the location or situation that the sound evokes for them. Invite them to close their eyes if this helps.

2. Play the sound effect.

3. Ask them to imagine that they are actually in this location or situation. Ask them to think about: where they are, how they feel, what they are doing.

4. Divide the students into pairs and ask them to share all the things they thought of in step 3. Play the sound effect again if necessary. Monitor and help them with the language.

4a. Ask the students in pairs to write a brief description of the place and people they thought of. Invite pairs to share their work in larger groups or an open class exchange. Write any interesting language up on the board to be worked on and refined.

4b. Invite the students in groups to agree on a description together, encouraging them to negotiate if they have different ideas. If there is time, invite one student to the board to write up a class version.


5a. Ask the students to think of what kind of people they would find in this situation. Ask them to share their ideas in pairs.

5b. In these pairs, ask them to plan a short spoken exchange of between 3 and 5 turns. Make yourself available if any students need help with this. Invite students to perform their dialogues to each other if they want.

Play the sound effect again and ask the pairs of students to have a short conversation, using their plan as a basis.


You may wish to set the scene before playing the sound effect. For example, if you are using a sound effect of a noisy playground, you could ask the students to imagine they are playing a game together in the playground; a sound effect of a thunderstorm and you might ask the students to imagine they have just found a shelter.

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