barebones ©Thor May 2001                                                            back to barebones index

All the materials in barebones are working teaching documents 
subject to review, alteration or abandonment in classroom practice.
Anyone is welcome to use this stuff, but copyright remains with
Thor May. Feedback, positive or negative, is very welcome.

ESL materials & ideas developed in Korea

Popup English

Numeracy - Estimating Distances etc.

a) Why develop this skill?

1) I have been astonished to find that in many Sungsim classes only one or two students can give me an estimate of the distance from Pusan to Seoul. Other domestic destinations, both metropolitan and national, draw a blank. International destinations are a complete haze. For many, Fukuoka (the nearest international city to Pusan) or Beijing could be as near or far as New York....

2) Students destined for employment in some branch of tourism, travel or trade industries should have at least a basic grasp of common geographic distances and travel times. They should also be able to roughly estimate travel distances from bus, train and flight times. Questions on these topics from international and Korean visitors are very common. Ignorance is not only unhelpful, but invites contempt and a low opinion of Koreans as parochial, narrow people. Indeed, such complaints are certainly heard in the travel industry now.

b) Procedure

1. Bring a variety of maps to the class : local, national and international. Make sure that they are English language maps.

2. Make students familiar with map scales.

3. Together with map reading, orientation and navigation games, include the need to estimate travel distances and times.

4. Use the information gleaned to build small dialogues between a "tour advisor" and an inquiring customer.

5. Bring the maps and destinations to life with additional postcards, photographs, memorabilia etc related to different destinations.

"Estimating Distances " copyrighted to Thor May 2001; all rights reserved

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