Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Current Affairs Classes, Exam Preparation Class, pragmatics, Proficiency

C1/C2: Expressing Opinion – Hot Button Topics

This is a quick activity I threw together to help higher level students with expressing opinions on a range of controversial or “hot button” topics. I got the list of opinion expressions from the excellent englishclub.com, they have some great lists of functional language exponents organised by level, check them out:

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/fl-giving-opinions.htm

Download the handout and PowerPoint below:

Procedure

Give out the handout and have students work together to try to complete the opinion expressions.

Go over their answers in open class.

Drill natural pronunciation of the expressions. Point out to students that we often emphasise or stress the part that identifies the stated opinion as our own:

In MY opinion,…

As far as I’M concerned,…

You know what *I* think?

For the hot-button topics you could either brainstorm some with your students by asking:

What issues are people debating fiercely these days?

What was the last heated argument/debate you had about?

Or, you could use the ones in the PowerPoint. Show a slide and have students express their opinions in small groups.

If you have an exam preparation group, the activity would work well as a warm-up to tackling some of the collaborative tasks such as Advanced speaking parts 3&4.

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Listening Classes

2Ts in a Pod Episode 57: Jamie Keddie – Images & Stories in the Classroom

Image credit: Mark Wilding

This time on the pod Katy & Tim talk to teacher, materials developer, teacher trainer and master storyteller Jamie Keddie about how to use images and stories in the English classroom.

Check out Lessonstream, Jamie’s online community below:
lessonstream.com/

Also, check out Jamie’s video class based on the streaker photo here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hH6rCbd9RI

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

C2 Proficiency Key Word Transformation Training #6

Here’s another training worksheet for C2 students preparing to take the C2 Proficiency exam. Students guess the meaning of some common idioms and expressions, attempt to recall them, then put them into practice in conversation. Download the handout below:

Here’s a quizizz game for spaced repetition.

Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Proficiency

1st Class Back After Easter – Speaking Tasks

Some quick speaking activities combining chatting about Easter holidays with some practice for exam speaking tasks. Download the PowerPoints and handout below:

The long turn task is modelled on the C2 Proficiency speaking part 3 in which students have to speak for 2 minutes about a given topic with 3 bullet points to guide them. Give out the speaking phrases and go over the “cheat sheet” of useful expressions on the first slide. Then put students in pairs and have them take it in turns to complete the task seeing who can use the most expressions, they need to speak on their own for 2 minutes. Once they have finished they should find 5 similarities between their Easter holiday experiences and share them with the class.

Alternatively, if you want something more collaborative, I’ve added a C1 Advanced part 3 style task in a separate PowerPoint. Students should first look at the cheat sheet, clear up any doubts, then have them answer the central question in pairs. You could then give them a further question: “which of these 5 types of activities do you appreciate doing most in your holidays.”

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Reading Classes

C2 Reading & Vocabulary: Football Dreams

This is a reading and vocabulary lesson plan for C2 students who are preparing to take the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam. Students read a text about a boy, his grandad and football then look at expressions and collocations from the text. Download the handout and key below:

You may also want to use this quizziz game to review the language at a later date.

The class procedure is pretty self-explanatory and should take the best part of 90 minutes. Follow the instructions on the student handout.

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Advanced C1, Proficiency

No Word is an Island – Advanced English Podcast

Last week I had the pleasure of appearing on Sean Hutchman’s brilliant podcast No Word is an Island. The show is aimed at advanced English learners (and their teachers). We discussed James Clear’s brilliant book Atomic Habits and my experiences trying to put some of the techniques and strategies into practice. We also explored ways to apply some of Clear’s ideas to our classes and students to help them become more effective learners, as well as touching on many other interesting topics. Check out the episode and video below:

https://betterlanguagelearning.com/episode-15/

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast

2Ts in a Pod: Episode 54 – Crazy Inventions

Credit: Mark Wilding

We’re back with episode 54 of the podcast. Katy & Tim describe some crazy inventions and discuss their usefulness. How many gadgets do you own?

Listen on SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoy the episode, come join us on the socials for more great content:

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Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Pronunciation Classes, Video Classes

2Ts Video: Pronunciation – Mountain Fountain

Credit: Mark Wilding

Here’s another pronunciation video from our TikTok channel. This time we’re looking at 4 words that Spanish speakers struggle to pronounce:

mountain

fountain

vegetable

comfortable

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