Hal and Steve

Hal and Steve Intermediate English Conversation: Portmanteaus

Intermediate English Conversation Lesson by Hal and Steve English

Hal and Steve: Semester 3, Lesson 5


You’ve probably realized, if you’ve read my previous lesson guides, that at Hal and Steve we love to talk about lifestyle. That topic is so dense, so complicated, but so easily sparks conversation with our students.

That’s something we really try to focus on with our lessons. You’ll notice that the majority of Hal and Steve English lessons aren’t tethered to a grammatical concept or English structure. That freedom alone is able to liberate a classroom from boredom. Although, I think we take it a bit further by focusing on lifestyle. Often enough, conversation lessons will find an easy topic, usually something in news or academia, and use it as the basis of a class.

That’s awful. Those lessons will become irrelevant within 2 weeks time.

We talk about ‘timeless’ concepts. However trite or hackneyed that might sound, your Korean adult students will never stop wanting to discuss their children, love, food, culture, or hobbies. They will, however, become bored by trending news stories.

However, it is fun to look at English concepts through the lens of “culture and lifestyle”. That’s why I developed this portmanteau lesson. So many common words like “brunch” and “motel’ evolve from our changing culture. I’ve had a great tie in class reviewing these words and their history.

Particularly with this lesson, my students really enjoyed creating their own portmanteau. In the ‘Table Topic’ section, one of my students created a question, “Can you make your own portmanteau?”.

It transformed the class into a loud, fun rawkus. I definitely recommend that you dabble with creating your own portmanteaus with your students here.

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