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» Weekend Course Outlines

These outlines provide a learning framework for Cactus weekend language courses. Please use them to get an idea of what you might cover during your course, such as typical themes, grammar and vocabulary topics. The content is flexible, and our teachers are trained to adapt the course syllabus to the level, aims and interests of the class.

Holiday Survival Weekend Course - Beginners

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Introducing yourself, meeting people, talking about family
  • Basic numbers (numbers 0 - 30), phone numbers
  • Spelling - names, cities
  • Countries   nationalities
  • Checking into a hotel
  • The time of day, days of the week, months
  • Invitations
  • Shopping for food, clothes, souvenirs
  • Ordering food and drinks
  • Useful adjectives such as colours
  • Asking for help
  • Useful expressions, phrases for describing, asking and answering
  • Greetings and goodbyes
  • Buying tickets, using taxis, public transport, renting bikes, boat hire, etc.
  • Email addresses
  • Holidaying, tourism, sightseeing
  • Locations - north, south, east, west, mountains, etc.
  • Museums, opening   closing times, looking around, discussing displays
  • Weather, seasons, seasonal holidays
  • Hobbies and leisure time
Grammar
  • Basic grammar rules - word order, number agreement, pronouns, adjectives, articles (where appropriate)
  • Most important verbs, nouns, gender (where appropriate)
  • Place, time and direction (core prepositions, cases, postpositions where appropriate)
Cultural Notes
  • The culture of names and social hierarchies
  • Spelling (spelling/writing culture if culturally important)
  • Politeness - the culture of interpersonal communication
  • Discussing prices, haggling/bargaining
  • Food and food culture, local specialities
  • Body Language (gestures, etc.)
  • Getting around - transport, cycling, hiking, etc.
  • History, Geography, regions, national parks, etc.
  • Language (dialects, local languages, etc.)
  • Culture (Local characteristics, society, literature/media, etc., as appropriate)
  • Important festivals and holidays, entertainment
  • "Letting your hair down"

Refresher Weekend Course - Elementary

Our elementary Refresher Course is ideal if you want to refresh basic language skills which you may not have used for a while. It is also a great way to brush up on rusty knowledge ahead of a trip abroad or one of our other evening & part-time courses.

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Introductions and meeting people
  • Review of numbers, letters, telling the time, dates, months, weather, seasons, etc.
  • Describe your home, family, work, daily routines
  • Talking about plans, e.g. going out, holidays and trips, hotels/accommodation
  • Asking for & giving directions
  • Shopping and ordering (food, drinks, cafes/restaurants, booking a table, trying on clothes, etc.)
  • Talking about what you like, hobbies, activities
  • Getting around town (shopping, public transport, taxis, the underground, etc.)
  • Asking about facilities, registering, asking for help
  • Useful phrases for agreeing & disagreeing, inviting, offering, accepting & refusing, giving opinions.
Grammar
  • Revision of Elementary Grammar (verbs [tense, aspect, mood, infinitive, negatives, questions], nouns, adjectives, agreement, Present, Past, Recent, Future, etc.)
  • Syntax - sentence patterns (word order, describing activities, state, etc.)
  • Quantity, frequency (counting, buying, how often, etc.)
  • Talking about movement and location - prepositions, postpositions, cases [where appropriate]
Cultural content
  • Towns and Regions
  • Typical regional dishes
  • Holiday destinations
  • Festivals and Holidays
Skills Work
  • Lots of active speaking practice (e.g. role-plays)
  • Lots of listening
  • Pronunciation and fluency development (key sounds, questions and answers, etc.)
  • More on reading and writing (where appropriate)

Refresher Weekend Course - Intermediate

The intermediate Refresher Course is a great way to refresh previously-learned language skills which you may not have used for a while. It is also ideal if you wish to brush up rusty knowledge ahead of a trip abroad or one of our other evening & part-time courses.

Topics & Vocabulary
  • Interviewing each other: exchanging personal details and chatting
  • Life stories, childhood, marriage, work and careers
  • Country & City Life
  • Numbers, time, dates, weather, seasons
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Comparing and Describing
  • Illnesses, visiting the doctor – health and safety
  • Describe physical and personality attributes
  • Expressing feelings and opinions.
Grammar
  • Review of key intermediate grammar functions (cases, gender, prepositions, postpositions, articles, conjugations [tense/aspect/mood, voice, finite-infinite], etc.)
  • Structuring the language (word order, syntax, phraseology
Cultural content
  • Education, university, college systems
  • Work and careers
  • Celebrities, famous people, film, literature, media
  • Society and Geography – getting to know the country and its people
Skills Work
  • Lots of active speaking practice (e.g. role-plays)
  • Lots of listening
  • Pronunciation and fluency development (key sounds, questions and answers, etc.)
  • Reading and writing (where appropriate)
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