Listening & Speaking Lesson Plan: Extreme Foods

Level: intermediate

Discussion:

  1. What food can we call extreme? Give an example/examples.
  2. Have you ever tried anything extreme? If not, would you like to? If you have, what was that?
  3. Can you call yourself a gourmet /ˈɡʊəmeɪ/, a person who knows a lot about food and cooking, and who enjoys eating good food? Why / why not?

Look at the pictures of different things that people eat around the world. What do you imagine they taste like?

 

Listen to an interview with somebody who has tried all these things. Match each dish (a-f) with the adjectives (1-6) he uses to describe them:

 

a) baked cobra in China (5)

b) fried grasshoppers in Thailand /ˈtaɪlænd/

c) roasted cockroaches in Indonesia /ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/

d) boiled and sun-dried caterpillars in Africa

e) roasted chocolate ants in Colombia /kəˈlʌmbiə/

f) deep-fried Mars Bar in Scotland

  1. dry, bland
  2. crunchy, sweet, fruity
  3. greasy, sweet, disgusting
  4. crisp, tasty
  5. meaty, tough, chewy, delicious
  6. sweet, crisp

Useful vocabulary from the interview:

  • I imagine it tastes fishy. I find it hard to imagine.
  • I’m not sure I’d like to eat insects. – That’s because you are not used to them.
  • a good source of protein and minerals
  • I had a feast (a large meal) of insects
  • on the outside / on the inside
  • adventurous /ədˈventʃ(ə)rəs– keen to try new or exciting things
  • revolting /rɪˈvəʊltɪŋ/ – extremely unpleasant

Have you tried anything revolting? How adventurous are you? Would you agree to have a feast of insects? Why / why not?

Work with your teacher/partner. Take it in turns to describe 3 of the items of food in the box for your teacher/partner to guess what it is. 

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Mind your pronunciation! creme carame/ˌkrem kærəˈmel/; biscuit /ˈbɪskɪt/ (Br.E. = cookie in Am.E.); tinned /tɪnd/ (Br.E. = canned in Am.E.); anchovy /ˈæntʃəvi/

What are the best and worst meals you’ve ever had? Describe them to your teacher/partner.

What does food mean to you? Read the answers of a few people and comment on their attitude to food:

Mary: When I’m not eating, I seem to be either cooking or buying food, so my life revolves around food. (What do you think Mary’s job it? What does you life seem to revolve around?)

Kevin: I don’t get these people who live for food. I usually just heat up something from a can, or pick up a takeaway. (What does “live for food” mean? How often do you eat canned food or pick up a takeaway?)

Ashley: I regularly go on a diet, so I really have to think about what I’m eating. I’ve already given up chocolate, and at the moment I’m trying to cut down on my carbohydrate /ˌkɑː(r)bəʊˈhaɪdreɪt/ intake. Most of the time, though, I’m starving. (Do you approve of Ashley’s attitude to food and eating? Why / why not?)

Jay: Food is important provided (= only if) you eat the right things. I’ve cut out junk food altogether, and I’m now really careful about eating too much dairy /ˈdeərias well. But having said that (inf, used to introduce an opinion that makes what you have just said seem less strong), I couldn’t go without (= live without) my chocolate! (Are you trying to eat healthily?)

Mike: I eat and eat, but I’m still thin as a rake. I guess I just burn off the calories with all the exercise I get. (How do you think a person can maintain a healthy weight?)

Rhonda: For me food is a social thing. When I want to see friends, I ask them over for a meal, or we eat out somewhere. (Is food a social thing for you?)

Homework: Think about foods/dishes popular in your country but considered extreme by at least some foreigners. Prepare your 3-5 minute monologue about it. Use as much vocabulary from this lesson as possible.