Get Your Students Out Of Their Comfort Zones, There’s A World Out There!

Being brave and taking up challenges while giving up their timeworn limiting habits – this is what your students’ minds are set on. The topic of comfort zone always gets the ball rolling, so let’s make it the theme for your Business English (or any other language you teach) class.

What will absolutely rock this lesson is the Rosa Goes to the City cartoon by BookBox – trust me! I’ve been teaching languages to the suits for eight years, and I know how to please them – and super fancy-glossy coursebooks is not what I have in mind 🙂

Why Rosa Goes to the City?

1. It’s entertaining and relaxing (make your classes relaxing and your students will stay with you happily ever after) allegory of the very comfort zone: enjoying its safety but longing for something more; finding the nerve to leave the cosy cage; excitement and new experiences; moving on or coming back to the cage – sounds like tailored for the comfort-zone lesson, doesn’t it?
2. Rosa Goes to the City is available with subtitles (same-subtitling or English subtitles) in a plethora of languages. This makes our job much easier since you can use the same lesson plan for different levels. The fab thing about those subtitles is that words are highlighted while pronounced by the speaker – amazing (and free!) tool for pronunciation practice.
3. Since it’s much focused on past tenses, it’s a good idea to use it along with grammar exercises – especially introducing past continuous tense or comparing it with past simple. If you haven’t got so far with your programme, you can use it anyway: play a bit, explain vocabulary and ask your students to retell the story using the present tenses.
4. Your students practise their listening skills, pronunciation and learn new words much faster as they can hear them, see them and memorise them in a context.
5. There are so many ways you can use this and other cartoons by BookBox depending on your students’ level: use them as a warm-up activity for B1-up or base your entire lesson on them focusing on different skills one at a time for A1-A2.

Personally, I use loads of various cartoons but it takes a lot of time to prepare a class from the scratch. BookBox’s cartoons do half of the job for me with all that subtitling. Besides, finding the right story that can be used with business students is a major challenge (read: super time-consuming) but since BookBox remakes traditional tales they all have something handy in common – a message, or a metaphor if you will. Thanks to that, they can be easily interpreted in the business context and make an excellent supplement to coursebooks.


P.S. I totally forgot to tell you about one more incredible feature: the stories in English are available in both British & American English!

character 8Marta Styczen has turned her passion for languages and traveling into a daily routine as a foreign language teacher, educational content writer, translator, and backpacker. Her mission is to encourage people to enrich their lives through learning new languages and travelling, always inventing new techniques for faster learning and sharing them through her website (still under construction), and Facebook.

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