Resources - survival phrases
Some example contents you could cover in a "Survival" GV class
Source (20 languages)
Nation, P. (1991). A survival language learning syllabus for foreign travel. System, 19(3), 1991, 191-201. ]
Download a zip file with 18 languages here: (link)
- Numbers (for money, distance, amount, etc)
- Times (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, next week, April 17th, 7pm, etc)
- Self introduction
2. Buying and bargaining
|Do you have a/any ...? ||Is there a/any...?|
|This (one), That (one) ||One of these/those|
|How much (quantity)? ||half all (one) more (one) less|
|How much ($) ||It's $3.99.|
|Do you have something cheaper? ||It's too expensive Can you lower the price?|
Plus names of things to buy: (e.g. Water, SIM card, map, ticket to somewhere)
3. Getting to places
- Can you help me? How do I get to.....
- Where is ...?
- How far is it?/Is it near?
- Where am I? What is the name of this place?
- How long does it take to get to....?
- Left Right Straight ahead
- Taking a taxi I want to go to...
- Stop here.
- Can I have a (single/return) to ... , please.
- Language for speicifc places
4. Ordering food
- Names of supermarket foods
- How to read the labels
- how to find them
- What the cashier is likely to ask
- Names of dishes they should try if they go to your country.
- How to order them.
- ordering/asking for the bill
- Getting food at a stall
- Names of basic ingredients ("What is in this?" + answers
- Talking about dietary restrictions, and how likely these are to be met.
- (e.g. "Are there any peanuts in this" / "Is there meat in this? I'm a vegetarian")
- Phrases to start and end a meal in a home/restaurant, if any (e.g. "Bon Appetit"..."That was delicious"..."Gochisosama")
5. Answering questions about yourself
|What do you do? ||I am a (teacher)/tourist|
|Do you speak English/Chinese ||A little|
|How long have you lived/been here ||For X days/weeks/months|
6. Common situations
- Asking for help if you are in trouble (sick, lost, lost property, etc)
- Exchanging money (bank, exchange)
- Asking/offering photos (Can I (take your photo)? Can you (take our photo)? Of course)
7. Small Talk and Conversation
- What are you likely to end up talking about if you go to another country?
- What questions will you need to ask/answer?
Common small talk topics
|Daily life ||Entertainment and Media|
|Family and friends ||Food and drink|
|Hobbies, leisure and Sports ||House and home|
|Jobs and work ||Medicine, exercise, body and health|
|Places and buildings ||School and study|
|Shopping, money and Clothes ||The natural world and weather|
|Travel, Holidays and transport || ...|