A web site for the developing language teacher

Lesson plan to accompany the September 2001 Newsletter

To see the text used in the plan

For a Word version

Ramon Stoppelenburg

Ramon Stoppelenburg puts his travel bug on the Web

Preliminary information

Level: Intermediate

Time: 60 - 90 minutes?

To give extensive & intensive reading practice
To focus on ...... - see lang. focus stage below
To give freer speaking practice

That the article will be interesting.
That the vocab & structures in the text will pose few problems.

Anticipated problems:
Some vocab items in the e-mail reading might not be known - depending on the group - see stage 4 below.

Materials & aids:
Tasks: see comprehension task
Hitching a World-Wide Ride on Web by Leander Kahney - taken from Wired News,1284,42483,00.html


Link to Raul's site


Stage 1: Lead in to raise interest

stds< > stds, tch<>stds, 10 mins

1. Put on the board 'If you could travel the world, how would you travel & where would you go?'- 'How could you finance a round the world trip?'
2. Stds in pairs discuss the question.
3. Class feedback - pick up on some interesting ideas.

Stage 2: Intro to reading & extensive task

tch< > stds, stds<>stds, tch<>stds, 10 mins

1. Tell the group they're going to read about a man travelling around the world & the title is 'Hitching a World-Wide Ride on Web'. What do they think it's about? List the ideas they have on the board.
2. Give task - read very quickly - 2 mins - to see which idea fits best - handout texts.
3. Stds read.
4. Stds compare in pairs.
5. Class feedback - which idea was the nearest?

Stage 3: More intensive reading & comprehension task

tch< > stds, 5 mins

1. Set the task & handout the questions:

Comprehension task:

1. How is Ramon going to afford to travel around the world?
2. How many countries can he stay in so far?
3. What's Ramon's big worry?
4. How do his parents feel about the project?
5. How long will the journey take?
6. Apart from accommodation, is there anything else that people are providing Ramon?
7. How did he get the idea in the frist place?
8. How might his wesite help him to be safer?

2. Stds read & answer the questions individually.
3. Stds compare answers in pairs.
4. Class feedback.

Stage 4: Language focus

Ideas for this stage:
- direct & indirect speech - discuss why the writer has chosen to use in/direct speech - could the article be improved with more indirect speech?
- tense work - contrast present simple, past simple, present perfect, past perfect & future simple.

Stage 5: Follow up work

- check out the site - - for more information.
There's a list of invitations from all over the world - loads of them - stds can see how many have come from their home place.
The Frequently Asked Questions would make a good addition - - give out the questions & predict the answers before matching up the questions & answers.
There are also daily online reports.

- stds write an e-mail offering a place to stay - review written offers.

- roleplay - mother & father trying to persuade Ramon to cancel the travel.

- stds write & send an e-mail of support to Ramon -

- think of & plan other free internet projects.


Hitching a World-Wide Ride on Web by Leander Kahney

Ramon Stoppelenburg

Link to Raul's site

Ramon Stoppelenburg puts his travel bug on the Web.

A penniless student plans to travel the world and has created a website to persuade people around the globe to put him up for free.

Ramon Stoppelenburg, a journalism student from Holland, launched this week and already has dozens of offers from accommodating strangers.

"Some people work for years and save the money to go everywhere," said Stoppelenburg from his home in Zwoller. "I want to do the same thing but without the budget."

Thanks to coverage in the local media, Stoppelenburg already has dozens of offers of places to stay in the Benelux countries surrounding Holland.

And links from the weblogging community have attracted offers in North Africa, the Middle East, Australia, India and the United States.

One guy from Chicago said he could stay as long as his wife didn't object. And if she did, hell, he'd pay for a hotel.

Another American, a yacht owner, has offered to sail Ramon wherever he wants to go.

"People have been great," Stoppelenburg said. "I'm really optimistic. The people who invited me are Web freaks."

In an exercise of frugality and self-sufficiency, Stoppelenburg plans to hitchhike between stops.

"I won't take boats or planes," he said. "It will just be me and my thumb on the road."

He leaves May 1.

"I can vouch for his sanity," said a friend, Caroline Van Oosten de Boer, a weblog publisher. "He's a really nice guy, quite shy, very enthusiastic, a happy-go-lucky kind of bloke."

Naturally, his parents are worried sick.

"I am not very enthusiastic," said his father Jan, speaking from his home in a small village outside Rotterdam. "He mostly has very wild ideas, but I must say they mostly work out also."

Jan Stoppelenburg said his wife "feels terrible. She thinks he will die or be murdered or kidnapped. She is very anxious about him."

He will offer him some fatherly advice before he leaves, but is assured by Ramon's confidence in the connections he has made over the Net.

"He is really typical of young people," his father said. "He really believes in the Internet. He believes it's the future."

Stoppelenburg's itinerary depends on where he's offered accommodations.

"I really don't know where or how long I will go. Maybe after three weeks I will be exhausted. Maybe I will be gone for three years," he said.

The 24-year-old will make good use of his experience by writing about it on his website. He hopes to kick start a journalism career.

He's certainly media savvy. He sparked interest in the European media by sending out press releases.

"It's like creating hype for myself," he said. "I'm very interested in the media."

"If people want to sponsor me with clothing or communication equipment, that would be great," he added. "If I get media exposure on TV, that would be pretty good for a sponsor also."

He got the idea from watching talk show host Jenny Jones. A recent show featured successful Internet entrepreneurs. One guest had created a website encouraging people to send him a buck and had raised a few thousand dollars.

"I wanted to travel, but I have no money for travelling -- so instead of begging for a buck, I can beg for a place to stay," Stoppelenburg explained.

He's not particularly concerned about safety. If anything, he's more worried about hitchhiking than staying with strangers.

"On the road, you never know who is going to give you a ride," he said. "But I really don't have big concerns about it. I can tell at first sight whether or not I'm going to stay somewhere."

His only precaution is staying in regular contact with friends at home who will be updating his website.

"If anything happens on the road and they don't have any contact with me, they could publish the name and address of the place I'm staying and tell the police to get me out of there," he said.


 Link to Raul's site   


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