Up till now I’ve been posting mostly my own thoughts. But here is a possible lesson for those interested in cooking. It will help you learn how to give explanations. Rather than learning big new grammatical structures, we focus on using the English you already know (throwing in some new vocabulary, of course) in a more logical manner. Now, do the following steps:
1) Look at the “25 Most Common Cooking Mistakes.” Read and understand the list.
2) Pick a few (at least two) mistakes and write explanations about the mistake, why it’s bad, and how to avoid it. Here are a couple of examples:
1. “You don’t taste as you go.” Cooking is all about creating great tasting food. If you simply measure ingredients and toss them into a pan, you’ll never know how your dish tastes. No matter how good your eyes, ears, or nose may be, none of them will tell you if you’ve created a delicious meal–only your mouth can do that. But why not just taste at the end and add extra seasonings at that time? Well, first off this isn’t always possible. Secondly, it can help to determine if you’ve missed an ingredient. One thing’s for sure, once your food hits the plate, it’s too late.
2. “You don’t read the entire recipe before you start cooking.” Do you only read the ingredient list before starting to cook only to find that you needed to preheat the oven? Reading the entire recipe before you start cooking will ensure that you have all the ingredients, cookware, and preparation. Maybe your dish needs to cool in the freezer for a few hours. Start cooking one hour before the party….oh well….
Note how I used two different techniques to explain the first and second cooking mistakes. In 1. I first gave the underlying reason (cooking is about creating great tasting food) and used it to justify why you must taste as you go. In 2. I started with an example of the mistake and then explained why you shouldn’t do it. Of course there are other ways of explaining these mistakes. But, the one thing your explanation must include is justification (for why the mistake is bad).
Some useful expressions/tips: First of all, ____. Secondly, ____. Ask a question and then answer it (see 1.). Ask a question for your reader to answer (see 2.). As I always do in lessons, give an example. Don’t be afraid to use the same wording in your explanation that is in the original list.
3) Be prepared to discuss the other mistakes during the lesson.
4) Don’t worry if you don’t understand all of the cooking mistakes. It is more important for you to explain the ones you do understand.