What's The Time ?

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school to Adult Asking and answering the time; time zone awareness. time 15 mins 40 Work sheets

Many texts teach, "What time is it?", so students don't recognise the more often used question, "What's the time?" This exercise exposes them to the concept that there are different time zones around the world, as well as getting them speaking a more common form of English.

Distribute one sheet to each student. If using sheet i), make six copies and mark one different time on each. I.e., sheet 1 has London time, sheet 2 has a different London time, sheet 3 has Tokyo time, sheet 4 has Paris time etc.. With this worksheet, it isn't necessary to give exact time differences; any time you wish to practice is fine. This is useful as a warm-up activity, or for use with a lower ability class. Sheet i) is also readily adapted to a 'Hunt for your partner' game (see p. 51). Fill in the times on all the watches, but have 2, 3, or 4 sheets with corresponding times for each city. Students must ask each person they meet up to 5 questions to find their partners.

Sheet ii) is more involved, and requires slightly more preparation and playing time. At the top left of this worksheet, fill in the name of a city and its corresponding time. Depending on class size, you will probably need 3-4 worksheets per city. Shuffle the worksheets. Hand out the sheets and tell the students to take note of where they are. Tell them NOT to compare worksheets (a common and necessary instruction)! Perform the model dialogue in the lower left hand corner with the JTE, using London as your example, as all the students have this time on their sheets. For the first example answer, "Yes, ...". Then do a second using "No,..." and another city. The students should now have the time in three different cities. Before playing the game, ensure you explain that the students may only give the time for their assigned city!

Have the students walk around the classroom using the dialogue and finding the time for the different cities. As you have a master map, encourage students to ask you the time as well. Have the students sit down as they finish. When all are done, or your time frame has lapsed, check the answers by choosing a city and asking the students who were in that city to stand. Ask if any students need the time for that city. If so, have him/her ask one of the standing students. If not, ask one yourself. Continue this through all the cities.

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