In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project.


Find and print some pictures of each of the cities using search. Or if you have access to computers and internet in class just go to and type in the names of the cities when you need them.


  • Put the names of these cities up on the board and ask students to get into small groups and share any information they know about the cities. If you have images of the cities you could also hand these out or show images using a projector and

Madrid    Dublin        Toronto    Auckland    Amsterdam

  • Once they have a had a few minutes to discuss, get the students to call out information to you and write any information they give you up on the board (at this stage accept information even if you know it is incorrect)
  • Now tell the students to imagine that they are going to live and work in one of those cities for a year. Tell the students to work in groups and think about things they would like to know about each city before they decide which one to go to.
  • The things students may think of could include: standard of living, job possibilities, type of housing, things to do and see, climate, geographical location (distance from sea, mountains), family connections with a place, language etc.
  • Once they have had time to think of a few criteria, get the students to share their ideas with the class and write a few of the most important ones on the board.
  • Now give each student one city each to research and tell them to find out as much about it as they can. If you have access to computers or other information resources in your school, then they could do this in class time. If not, set this task for homework.

Here are some possible sources of information.

You could also ask the students to create a small poster about the city they research.

  • In the next class, or after they have had time to research, put the students into groups. Put all the students that looked at each city in a group to share information about the city (e.g. all students that researched Madrid should share the information they have etc.)
  • Once they have had time to share information, put the students into groups of 5, with one person to represent each city in each group. They should then tell each other about the city they researched and try to convince the other students that it is the best place to live.
  • Give the students plenty of time to do this. Once they have had their discussions, have a class vote on which city they think would be the best one to live in for a year.
Language Level


Submitted by Xhoimeryl on Fri, 12/17/2010 - 18:28



Interesting idea... you can learn and have fun in the same time...

Submitted by Gulshan Huseynli on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 14:55


Interesting. We can use it in conversation clubs too. I especially like the part where students try to convince others that their city is the best place to live in.

Submitted by Seb_Howard on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 22:44


This is wonderful, I'm introducing myself to my classes a lot right now, and for a lot of this I talk about my home city. Hopefully I can use this as a prompt to get them talking about more cities than just my own!

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