start every day with a comparative weather forecast. The student’s home town forecast goes on the board, as does our local one. Think of the words we can learn together, not only weather words (which are different every day!), but comparatives by the bucketful (warmer, colder, wetter) and lots of strange English expressions – ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’, to give you one example.
Our forecast also allows the student to talk about home, and I have found the forecast has kicked off some excellent conversations. It becomes a daily ice-breaker, adding structure to our session from the start. More advanced lessons could involve looking at different forecasting methods and analysing them: listening to the radio, reading the paper, watching the television, considering folklore regarding the weather. The four key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking can all be exercised by the weather: how about getting a small group to prepare a TV weather forecast sketch for you? What’s the weather like where you are?