Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Vocabulary upgrade for impressing examiners

speaking exam

Here are some different ways to talk about your hobbies and interests to slip into conversation in speaking exams to earn extra points.

Here is a link to download the handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!249&authkey=!AIM8OXlG3ratQOc

FCE

CAE

I like ………………………….. I’m keen on / fond of……………………….
I like / enjoy + action

I like swimming.

I enjoy playing the guitar.

I like travelling.

I’m a keen / avid + noun

I’m a keen swimmer.

I’m an avid guitarist.

I’m an avid traveller.

I like reading. I’m a (bit of a) bookworm.

I’m an avid reader

I like / am interested in  cinema / music / history / art / etc. I’m a (bit of a) film / music / history / art buff.
I like computers. I’m a (bit of a) computer geek.
I like shopping. I’m a (bit of a) shopaholic.
I work a lot. I’m a (bit of a) workaholic.
I like dangerous sports I’m a bit of a risk taker / adrenalin junky / daredevil.
I like relaxing at the weekend. I like to recharge my batteries at the weekend.

I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of my job / school / the city.

I can’t remember the word for….. The word is on the tip of my tongue

The word escapes me at the moment but….

I’m addicted to (chocolate, a television series) I’m hooked on
(Girls) I like shopping, make-up, fashion and romantic comedies. I’m a (bit of a) girly girl.
(Boys) I like sport, beer, and women. I’m a (bit of a) man’s man.
I’m very fit. I’m in tip top condition.
I don’t drink alcohol I’m teetotal.
I am / was very good at school. I am / was a teacher’s pet / top of my class at school.
I need English for my course / job. English is a requirement of my course / job.
I need English for my career If you want to get ahead in life you need English.
I’ve been studying English for a long time. I’ve been studying English for ages.

I’ve been studying English for as long as I can remember.

I speak English every day at Uni / work. English is an essential / key part of my everyday life.
 
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Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Language of agreement and disagreement

disagree

Here students practice different phrases to express agreement and disagreement. Useful for developing speaking for FCE, CAE, CPE.

Here you have a downloadable copy of the handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!247&authkey=!ANBIbEVteXyYHnY

Pre-teach the different vocabulary. The students then complete the exercise underneath in pairs. Taking it in turns to make one of the statements. In the first section the other student HAS TO disagree with their partner, even though some of the statements are difficult to disagree with. They must also justify their disagreement. In the second section they HAVE TO agree.

For higher levels ban the use of “I agree” or “I disagree” force them to use the new expressions.

Agreeing Disagreeing Ending an argument:
  • We see eye to eye
  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • Absolutely.
  • We don’t see eye to eye
  • I take your point but
  • I tend to disagree with you there
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there
  • I beg to differ
  • That’s not always the case.
  • Let’s just move on shall we?
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

Listen to you partner and then disagree with everything he / she says, give reasons.

  • I think everybody should have access to free healthcare.
  • War should never be used to resolve international disputes.
  • The best way to study is on your own first thing in the morning.
  • Footballers earn too much money.
  • Celebrities shouldn’t complain about being in the public eye all the time.
  • The best place for animals to live is in their natural habitat.

Listen to you partner and then agree with everything he / she says, give reasons.

  • Making mistakes in English is ok as long as other people understand you.
  • The government should pay for everybody’s education.
  • Smoking should be completely illegal.
  • All drugs should be legal.
  • Catalonia should be independent.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the best football player in the world.
Posted in Grammar Classes

Grammar Activity Future Perfect / Future Continuous

mourinho

This is an activity for teenagers to practice:

The future perfect, to talk about completed actions in the future:

By 12 o’clock I will have finished my homework.

The future continuous, to talk about actions that will be on going at a specific time in the future:

At 12:30 I will be walking the dog.

The activity is based around football manager Jose Mourinho’s plans for the day.

Here is the handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!245&authkey=!AAMJUCn1Yk4RqsA

Posted in Conversation Classes

Holidays and Travelling Conversation Class

travelling

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

https://soundcloud.com/2tspod


https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast/

Holidays and Travelling Conversation Class

This lesson works well with a range of levels, from A2- C1. It can be used to practice for the FCE or CAE speaking exam collaborative task section. Everybody loves talking about travelling and holidays.

You will need these pictures:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!239&authkey=!ADvu5kRUUPylICk

And this handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!240&authkey=!ABZL5DMHal7REDA

First put students in groups to discuss the following questions:

When was your last holiday?

Where did you go?

Who did you go with?

How did you get there?

Then brainstorm different types of holidays and different ways to travel on the board.

Project the pictures from the file above and elicit the vocabulary. This can be fun with lower levels, going from backpack to backpacking to backpacker. Hitchhiking – hitchhiker etc.

Once you have pre-taught all the vocabulary put the students in groups to discuss the questions on the handout.

Wrap up:

Students report back to the class about other group members responses. A chance to practice reported speech for higher levels.

Posted in Conversation Classes

National Identity Lesson Plan

catalonia-independence

Note: This lesson plan was written for the unique socio-political environment of Barcelona in Catalonia in Spain. However, the questions can be adapted for any nationality.

Do you think of yourself as Catalan or Spanish?

Do you feel a strong connection with the rest of Europe?

What does it mean to be Catalan? Or Spanish?

Can you be Catalan if you weren’t born in Cataluña?

OR if you don´t speak Catalan?

Can you become Catalan by living in Cataluña and absorbing the culture?

In groups SS discuss next question in English and write a list with reasons.

What are your strongest symbols of national identity?

If they need help give them some examples of your own symbols, for example:

England: Tea, the Royal Family, fish and chips, bad weather, self deprecation, Shakespeare, dark humour, The Battle of Hastings in 1066, Henry VIII.

Write Catalan symbols on the board.

Why are these so important? What do they symbolise? Which are most important?

Citizenship Test

What happens if a person from outside the EU comes to Spain and wants to get citizenship?

What do they have to do? Do they have to take a citizenship exam?

Because in the United Kingdom they do. Here are some example questions from the old citizenship test (it has now been updated):

Put the questions on the board or copy and paste them and hand them out. Correct answer are in bold.

In which year did married women get the right to divorce their husband?

1837, 1857, 1875, 1882

Which of the following statements is true?

The governing body of the EU is the Council of the European Union

The governing body of the EU is the Council of Europe

How many parliamentary constituencies are there?

464, 564, 650, 664

Ask student’s to guess the score Tim (me, a 29-year-old British native) got when he did the test, out of 24.

I scored 13 out of 24 so I failed and if I were an immigrant from a country outside the EU I would not be given citizenship.

Do you think these are the most relevant (pertinent) questions?

What should people know about a country to be a citizen?

Tell students that the citizenship test has been changed because of complaints about the relevance of the questions. Here is a link to download a section of the new UK citizenship test.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!229&authkey=!AFcpZe_NcbPS4Mc

Depending on the level you can actually have the students answer the questions, or do it as a whole class quiz in teams. The test includes some interesting historical information (if your students are into that sort of thing) if not you can just ask a few of the questions to give the students an idea of what they’re like.

Here is the link to the guardian website where you can find the answers:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/quiz/2013/jan/27/british-citizenship-test-quiz-new

Students write their own citizenship tests for the teacher.

What I want you to do in your groups is write a short Catalan or Spanish citizenship test. 5 questions which you think are the most important and which would help with integration. Cultural, political, history, economic questions etc.

You can discuss them, in English and obviously you have to write them in English. You then have to explain why they are important and we will try and make a Catalan Citizenship test. The teacher can help with the question structures but can’t know the answers because at the end he / she will try to complete the test and get over 75%.

Do you agree with the idea of citizenship tests?

Do you think it´s easy to integrate into a new country or culture?

1 minute to think of the biggest challenges 

Put challenges on board and students discuss them.

Wrap up:

Do you think Cataluña is well integrated? If not how can we change this?

Posted in Writing Classes

Informal letter to practice to be used to and to get used to.

The aim of this composition is to practice the following structures:

  1. To be used to + a noun / the gerund (being accustomed to something)

At first it was difficult but now I am used to living in a big city.

  1. To get used to + a noun / the gerund (the process of becoming accustomed to something)

It took me a while to get used to the cold weather / living in such a cold country.

Situation:

You are an Erasmus student. You have been living in Edinburgh in Scotland for 3 months. Your best friend has written you a letter. He / She is also interested in doing an Erasmus in the UK. Write her a letter containing the following:

  • A brief description of your course.
  • Different things you have had to adapt to.
  • Would you recommend an Erasmus in the UK or not? Explain why / why not.

Write 150 – 180 words.