TEFL through cava tasting

Young business entrepreneurs improved their English language skills and learned about cava at ‘Improve your English with 50 Great Cavas’

Last Saturday (10 May 2014), students from Jove Cambra Internacional de Vilafranca del Penedès gathered at Centre Agrícol to kill two birds with one stone; under the tutelage of Anthony Swift, founder of Wine Pleasures, they improved their English language skills while learning about Spanish sparkling wines – Cava!

The twenty attendees were divided into four groups to heighten interaction. Class kicked off with an icebreaker; students introduced themselves to one another in the form of interviews. Once everyone was acquainted, Swift proceeded by pre-teaching lexis that would come up in the cava tasting such as:

Alcohol, Beads of bubbles, Bottle, Sparkling wine, Cork, Decorative cap, Grape varieties
Rising, Vintage, Wire cage…….

Equipped with technical data sheets about myriad cavas, each student was given the chance to practice delivering a speech. Swift drew their attention to grammatical mistakes, the proper use of tenses, and the difference between the active and passive voice. From time to time, Swift opened the floor to volunteers for fun activities such as “How to open a bottle of cava.” Students were also able to write and present a tasting note for each cava which gave a meaningful context to practice language functions such as agree/disagree, make suggestions, give opinions present facts and figures…Students were encouraged to correct their own errors – grammar, lexis, pronunciation…

One highlight of the event was the opportunity to sample cavas contending for ‘50 Great Cavas 2014.’  The students were especially enthusiastic about this segment of class, which involved identifying colours, aromas, bubbles, and flavors. They also gained pointers on pairing cava with food.

While Saturday’s event drew a mixture of first timers and regulars, the former outnumbered the latter. An attendee frankly stated that he wouldn’t have made the 25-minute drive had the class not been cava-themed!

Cavas included in the tasting were produced at  Peяe Mata, Mas Codina, Rovellats, and Vallformosa 

50 Great Cavas 2014 on Facebook Twitter @50greatcavas #cava #50gc