Teaching English to Chefs.

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Teaching English to Chefs.

Unread postby jasminade » 12 Mar 2008, 02:02

Dear Lucy,

I want to thank you first for the assistance you gave me a year or so ago. I am now in China in a wonderful position both professionally and personally. Thanks!

Okay, to business! I am teaching various forms of English language lessons but I have just been asked to teach a group of chefs as they will be on an exchange programme, in anticipation of the Olympic games. They will be absolute beginners and I should be okay with that; but my question is, would you be aware of any courses/materials to assist me in teaching them? I have "googled" here and there but not with great result.

Anything that you may offer would be greatfully received.

Thanks!

Jas.
jasminade
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Re: Teaching English to Chefs.

Unread postby Lucy » 13 Mar 2008, 19:08

Hi Jasminade,

It’s good to see you back again.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any material for teaching chefs; I guess you’re going to have to design the course yourself.

It might help if you find out whether the chefs will be reading recipes in English or whether they’ll be speaking to other chefs. Then you’ll know whether to focus on spoken or written language. Bear in mind that the vocabulary of cooking can be difficult: roast, dice, chop, baste.... However, the structures of recipes are fairly straightforward, instructions and sequencers: next, then you fry the bacon with the onions..... In some ways it’s easy for beginners and in other senses a real challenge for them.

There’s no way around it, the vocabulary is complicated and I suggest you use a higher level book for that aspect. Take a look at English Vocabulary in Use (Cambridge University Press) levels intermediate and pre-intermediate; I’m sure they contain language linked to cooking. You’ll be able to use the units as they are to teach the language and then you might need to adapt the practice activities. You could also use images from a picture dictionary, but only if you think your students won’t find it childish.

You can take recipes and jumble up the words within sentences and sentences within the recipe and ask students to re-order them to practise the language. The ultimate would be getting them into a kitchen and using the language to tell you how to cook – what an experience!!

I also saw an activity in ESP Ideas (Longman). The teacher reads out a recipe as a dictation. Ask students to read the dictation back to you and correct any language errors. Do some work on the format and style of the recipe; then ask students to use the model to write a recipe. Students then read each others' recipes and comment and/or correct. You might like to spread this activity out over 2 lessons as it is rather long.

Those are the ideas I have for the moment; if I think of any more, I’ll add them to this post and let you know.

Lucy
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Re: Teaching English to Chefs.

Unread postby jasminade » 14 Mar 2008, 04:03

Dear Lucy

Thanks for the pointers. I guess I will have to design something and will include the ideas that you have offered. I am not totally sure on the skills required, but on the basis of the information I have gathered, I imagine the focus will be on the speaking and listening skills.

I have used a recipe in class as a written homework exercise. It is a great way to teach sequencing with important vocabulary items.

My hours of tirelessly scanning books to get them on a memory key has paid off as I see the CUP Vocabulary in Use for Pre- and Intermediate level does indeed include Food and Cooking language items and exercises. I guess I will focus the language structure on basic texts and include these as much as possible. Thank you.

I will keep you updated, and thanks again.

Jas.
jasminade
Gold Member
 
Posts: 80
Joined: 26 Jul 2004, 15:23
Location: Shenyang, China


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