Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes, Writing Classes

CAE Review – Phrase Sheet

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is essentially the same as my CPE sheet but with the title and word limit changed. Download it here:

cae-review

CAE Review

Register: Informal/neutralUse: all your colourful vocabulary:

Phrasal verbs/idioms/impressive collocations.

Forms and conventions:Title: for films/books/restaurants use the name/title or if think up an imaginative title using an idiom/expression.
Planning, 6 step system:1.        Read task, underline content points.

2.        Divide content points into paragraphs: Intro, décor, ambiance, service, food, recommendation.

3.        WHAT do you want to say? Add your notes to each paragraph in simple form.

4.        HOW are you going to say that? Brainstorm advanced grammar and vocabulary for each note.

5.        Forms and conventions: Title paragraph titles, fixed introduction.

6.        Write! Remember word limit is: 220-260

Introduction:Personal anecdote to grab attention. Introduce name of book/film, restaurant + location, course, TV show etc.

Seldom do I find the time to…, however when I do take time out of my hectic schedule, I like nothing more than…

Being a bit of a film buff/book worm/foody, the news that … had opened a new restaurant/released a new film/book had me itching to try/see/read it. So last week I popped down with a friend to check it out.

Having never seen/read/tried… before I approached … with a sense of trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Soon however, all my fears were allayed.

Book reviews:Vocab to describe the book in general:

a page-turner / a white-knuckle ride / a tearjerker / a laugh a minute / I couldn’t put it down.

Vocab to describe specific parts:

a slow start / a gentle introduction /gripping climax / nail-biting conclusion / cliff-hanger ending/ a shocking twist in the tail

Setting:

The book is set in _______(place/time)

The action takes place in ______ (place/time)

the present day (now)

an alternate reality where vampires / wizards walk the earth

a sleepy village in the USA

the bustling city of New York

Plot:

The plot centres around / focuses on (the adventures / lives of _________)

The plot follows the adventures of _________(character name)

Characters:

Villain / hero / heroine / anti-hero / main character / protagonist

The characters are believable / well-crafted / a bit 2 dimensional.

Film/TV reviews:General:

An all-star cast

heavily influenced by the films of..

glowing reviews

startling originality

suspense builds up

a polished performance

a bold experiment

an accomplished actor

an unmitigated disaster (bad film)

a dazzling display of his/her talents

made a lasting impression on me.

Brought a tear to my eye

Like watching paint dry (boring)

I was on the edge of my seat (exciting)

A blockbuster (big commercial film eg Superman)

… sets off an amazing chain of events

Gripping film (exciting)

The director/author evoked a magical atmosphere

… awakened my interest in…

Hold my attention

Capture the audience’s imagination.

Spectacular set-pieces (main action scenes)

… is cast in the role of…

… is miscast in the role of…

…gives a(n) (un)convincing performance as…

The film is let down by a clichéd script.

Restaurant review:

Hearty mealWholesome food

Piping-hot

Succulent/juicy (meat)

Creamy

With a kick (spicy)

Crunchy/crispy

Well-seasoned

Packed with flavour

A steaming plate of..

Hungry/starving/ravenous/famished

Bustling eatery(restaurant)

Lively atmosphere

Service with a smile

A plate piled high with..Mouth-watering

To die for

Heavenly

To lick your lips in anticipation

Roast

Pan-fried

Grilled

Steamed

Freshly-baked

Restaurants cont.Make a pig of one’s self

To feast/gorge on (eat a lot of)

To eat/drink to your heart’s content

Devour/gobble up

Savour

Nibble

Bite

Lick

Aromas wafting from the kitchen

Cheap – economical/reasonably-priced

Expensive – pricey/costs an arm and a leg

€20 a head (per person)

Killer Lines:Were I to sum up … in one word, it would be…

… left a lot to be desired (wasn’t good enough)

…more than lives up to the hype (is as good as everyone says it is)

… is by far and away the best … you’re likely to … this year

… really raises the bar (sets a higher standard)

… sets the benchmark for other (others will be judges against how good it is)

… ticks all the right boxes

… holds up well in comparison with …

…comes off badly in comparison with …

Grammar check listHave you included?

·         An inversion (not only/no sooner/seldom)

·         An inverted conditional (Were we to…)

·         A participle clause (Being…/Having gone…)

·         A double comparative (The more we… the more)

·         A cleft sentence (What is most crucial is…)

·         Idioms

·         Phrasal verbs

Posted in Games, Vocabulary Classes

Who wants to be a phrasal verb millionaire?

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’ve made this set of phrasal verb questions for CAE (C1) students using Adam Simpson’s amazing Who wants to be a millionaire template.

Download the template here to make your own.

Or download my phrasal verb version here:

who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-phrasal-verbs

Or my B1/B2 version that covers verb/noun collocations, prepositions and phrasal verbs:

who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire-intermediate-fce

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Infinitives

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

 

This is a lesson plan for intermediate students to practice different uses of the infinitive through games and conversation.

You will need the lesson plan, students worksheet and articulate cards.

Infinitives Lesson Plan

Infinitives students sheet

Articulate Object Cards

Warmer

Play the classic memory game: “I went to the shops to buy…”

Teacher starts: “I went to the shops to buy a loaf of bread” (encourage use of partitives – loaf of bread, bar of soap, carton of milk etc.)

Next student must repeat the sentence and add another item, continue until you have a huge shopping list of items.

Infinitives of purpose

Have students repeat back the sentences “I went to the shops to buy…”

Ask them what the infinitive expresses? Purpose/reason, introduce the title: infinitives of purpose. Students complete the matching exercise.

Match the sentences halves 1-6 a-f to make sentences using the infinitive of purpose.

1.       I go to the gym 3 times a week a.       To give to her mother.
2.       I went to the supermarket b.      To see the new Woody Allen film.
3.       We went to the cinema c.       To do the weekly shop.
4.       I drove all night just d.      To clean underneath it.
5.       He lifted up the sofa e.      To keep fit.
6.       She bought chocolates f.        To see you.

Key: 1-e, 2-c, 3-b, 4-f, 5-d, 6-a.

In these sentences we can also use “in order to” to be more formal.

We often use “so as” with a negative infinitive to express purpose.

She’s leaving now so as not to arrive late.

1.       She entered the house quietly a.       So as not to hurt his feelings.
2.       He turned the volume down b.      So as not to wake the children.
3.       She stopped eating chocolate c.       So as not to burn the onions.
4.       They told him the terrible picture was lovely d.      So as not to miss the start of the film.
5.       He turned the heat down e.      So as not to annoy the neighbours.
6.       They hurried f.        So as not to put on weight.

Key: 1-b, 2-e, 3-f, 4-a, 5-c, 6-d.

Game – Articulate

Cut up the object cards on the hand out. Split class into teams. Each team has 1 minute to describe the objects on the cards using an infinitive of purpose:

It’s an object we use to eat soup. Spoon!

For each card they get 1 point.

Verbs with infinitives

The following verbs are all followed by the infinitive. Use them to answer the questions below.

Decide Want Need Would like/love Learn Pretend Promise Forget + an obligation
  1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
  2. Do you always keep your promises?
  3. Have you ever broken a promise?
  4. When did you learn to ride a bike?
  5. Have you ever forgotten to lock your door?
  6. Have you ever forgotten to pick up your keys?
  7. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever forgotten to do?
  8. Who did you pretend to be when you were playing as a child?
  9. Have you made any big decisions recently? What have you decided to do?
  10. What would you like/love to do this year?
  11. What do you want to have for dinner tonight? What do you think you will have?
  12. Is there anything important you need to do this week? Do you think you will do it?
Posted in TED Talk Lesson Plans

10 Ted Talks Every English Student Should Watch

A great list of inspiring TED talks for ESL learners.

IELTS Advantage

TED-Talks-Ideas-Worth-Spreading-on-Love

TED is a series of informative, educational, inspiring and sometimes jaw-dropping talks that present ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. Ted has attracted many of the world’s most important thinkers such as Larry Page, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Ken Robinson, and a few winners of the Nobel Prize.

There is an emphasis on informing, educating and opening people’s eyes to new ideas, making them perfect for the classroom. Students love these talks and really appreciate it when you take the time to make a lesson out of them. Teenagers, being the ‘YouTube generation’, also find them highly engaging and motivating. They come with transcriptions in most common languages, allowing students to read what they have listened to in English or their native tongue.

This post will list 10 TED talks I have found work particularly well in the classroom. I will also outline how students could use TED to improve their English at…

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Posted in Conversation Classes, TED Talk Lesson Plans, Vocabulary Classes

TED Talk: Pamela Meyer, How to spot a liar

Image credit: http://www.ted.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson based around Pamela Meyer’s TED talk “How to spot a liar” on the subject of dishonesty in society.

You will need the annotated transcript, the vocabulary exercises and the discussion questions:

Pamela Meyer TED Lesson Plan

Pamela Meyer TED transcript

Pamela Meyer worksheet 1

Pamela Meyer Vocabulary Homework

Note: These classes were designed for a two hour post proficiency conversation class. I normally set the video as homework for my students the week before.

Warmer – Two truths one lie

The old classic activity. Write three sentences about yourself on the board; two true and one false, I wrote:

  1. I met Leo Messi and Mascherano on the beach.
  2. I collect comic books.
  3. I used to be a builder before I was a teacher.

Give students two minutes to ask you questions to try and catch you in a lie. Then they must say which one they think is true and explain why, did they pick up on any vocal or body language signals. Then reveal which one is a lie (number 2 for me). Award one point to each student that guessed correctly and one point to yourself for each student you duped.

Now give students five minutes to do the same; write three sentences about themselves, two true, one false and continue the game. The winner is the person with the most points, who earns the title master liespotter.

  • Who was the best liar?
  • Who was the best liespotter?

Vocabulary Matching

Give out the vocabulary matching sheet and the transcript. Put students in pairs and have them complete the exercise, the vocabulary words are in order as they appear in the transcript so if they get stuck they can find the word in context to aid their understanding.

Key:

1-k, 2-d, 3-j, 4-c, 5-a, 6-v, 7-t, 8-r, 9-q, 10-n, 11-e, 12-u, 13-l, 14-w, 15-x/b, 16-x/b, 17-p, 18-m, 19-o, 20-h, 21-I, 22-s, 23-g, 24-f.

Discussion Questions

The answers to the comprehension questions can be found underlined in the transcript.

Write the following quotes from the talk on the board:

“We’re all liars”

“lying is a cooperative act”

What does she mean? Do you agree?

  1. Why do people lie? Brainstorm on the board.
  2. How much money did she say was lost because of fraud? Nearly a $trillion.
  3. How much money is lost to fraud in your country?
  4. Can you think of any big fraud cases?
  5. How often are we lied to on an average day? From 10-200 times
  6. What does she say about when strangers meet for the first time? That they lie to each other on average 3 times in first 10 minutes.
  7. What does she say about the difference between men and women? That men tend to lie more about themselves while women lie to protect people.
  8. Do you think this is true?
  9. What does she say about marriage and relationships? That married people lie to each other in 1 in every 10 interactions.
  10. What lies do couples tell each other?
  11. Are these little white lies?
  12. What does she say about animals lying? Coco the gorilla blamed a kitten for ripping a sink off the wall.
  13. What does she say about how children develop their deception skills? Babies fake crying, children hiding, bluffing and flattering to get what they want.
  14. She says we live in a post truth society, what does she mean by that? With the internet, politics and capitalist society we are surrounded by scammers, and exaggeration.
  15. How often do normal people distinguish a lie from the truth? 54% of the time
  16. How often do liespotters distinguish a lie from the truth? 90% of the time.
  17. What are the speech patterns of a liar we see in the Clinton video? Emphatic denial, formal phrases, distancing language.
  18. What are the body language patterns? Freeze upper body, too much eye contact, blink more, chatter with fingertips, fidget, don’t smile with eyes.
  19. Could you identify these actions in the videos?
  20. Are you a good liespotter?
  21. What other videos did she show? Grieving mothers, lying politicians.
  22. What did she say about the attitudes of honest/dishonest people? Dishonest people tend to be more detailed, and stick to a chronological order.

Homework

Set the other vocabulary worksheet as homework.

Posted in Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Chucky’s Participle Clauses

Photo credit: http://www.eltern.de/foren/2007-plauderforum-neu/1181239-chucky.html

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for higher levels (C1+) to teach participle clauses based around the theme of phobias and horror films.

You will need to download the powerpoint and lesson plan:

chuckys-participle-clauses-update

chucky-worksheet

Chucky’s Participle Clauses Lesson Plan

Warmer

What are you scared of?

Brainstorm different phobias on the board.

What gives you nightmares?

Have any specific films given you nightmares?

Have you seen any of the Chucky films?

Chucky Prank Video

Show the Chucky bus stop prank video until 2:20, tell students to focus on the actions:

Have them report back the different actions they saw.

Powerpoint

Go through the powerpoint, it will take students through present participle clauses and perfect participle clauses.

Guess My Job Game

Cut out and give out the job cards on the hand out, tell students to keep them secret from the rest of the class.

Students have to imagine that they are the person on their card; they have been invited to the class to share their experiences with the other students and give advice using participle clauses.

Example: Explorer, Having traveled all over the world, I can say that there’s no place like home. Having learnt 6 different languages, I thoroughly recommend it because it has broadened my mind immensely.

Give students a couple of minutes to think of their sentences, they then read them to the rest of the class who have to guess what job card they were given.

Having robbed a lot of banks, I have loads of money” “Are you a bank robber?” “Yes, I am!”

Homework

Set a film/book review task as participle clause can easily be used to describe narratives, encourage students to use at least 2 in their review.

Seeing her sister nominated to participate in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteered to take her place.”

Having never seen a troll before, Bilbo was petrified.”

Posted in Conversation Classes, TED Talk Lesson Plans, Video Classes

TED Talk: Daniel Kish, How I use sonar to navigate the world

Photo credit: http://www.ted.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a conversation lesson plan for higher levels (B2+) based on Daniel Kish’s TED talk “How I use sonar to navigate the world”.

You can either watch the video in class or set it as homework. I have included a copy of the transcript which some students may find useful. You can download the lesson plan below:

TED Talk Daniel Kish Lesson Plan

Daniel Kish TED (transcript)

Introduction Questions

What do you call a person who can’t see?

What would it be like to be blind?

How do you feel when you see a blind person in the street?

Are there any advantages to be being blind?

Think of some things that blind people can and can’t do.

How do blind people navigate the world?

What do you think would be the most difficult thing for a blind person to do?

Show the video.

Discussion Questions

What was your initial reaction to the video?

What did you think when you first saw Daniel?

What did he say about the way in which people treat and react to blind people in society?

What’s his message?

Describe how he navigates the world.

What does he call this system?

Do you think you could use flash sonar?

Do you think you have good eyesight/a good sense of smell etc.?

  • sight/vision
  • smell
  • taste
  • touch
  • hearing

With a partner try to put your senses in order of importance. (This should spark off a lively debate)

Try and come up with a definitive order as a class.

If you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose and why?

Debate

Divide the class into 5 groups and write the 5 senses on small pieces of paper. Each group picks a piece of paper, they then have to explain why the sense they have picked is the most important. Give them a few minutes to think of some arguments and every day situations to back them up.

Follow up activity

Students write a CAE/CPE report/proposal detailing ways in which a school or public space could be adapted for blind people. Alternatively, you could set an essay based on the TED talk evaluating Daniel Kish’s upbringing compared to more conventional parenting styles for blind/disabled children.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Bucket List: Conversation Topic

Photo Credit: imdb.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

 

This is a conversation topic, based around the idea of a bucket list, written with higher levels in mind (C1+). However, I have included a version for lower levels.

Download the lesson plan and student’s handout here:

Bucket List Conversation Class

Bucket List Student’s handout Advanced

Bucket List handout intermediate

Bucket List Conversation Class

Write on the board: My grandfather kicked the bucket last week.

Show the first part of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8k79w-nJD4#t=13

to kick the bucket – to die How else can we say this?

  1. Pass ________
  2. Bite the _______
  3. Give up the ________
  4. ________ one’s last.

To pass away, bite the dust, perish (usually in an accident), give up the ghost, breathe one’s last.

  1. What is a bucket list?

A list of activities that people want to do before they die.

  1. What do you think of this idea?
  2. Have you seen the film?
  3. Who do you think invented this idea?
  4. Why has it become so widely-know?
  5. What is FOMO?

Fear of missing out – a modern phenomenon linked to social media. People tend to think theat they are missing an amazing experience.

Daily Mail Survey Guessing Game.

 

The Daily Mail newspaper conducted a survey to see what the British public most commonly put on their bucket lists.

Can you guess some activities people chose?

Give students a few minutes to jot down some ideas in pairs. Make it into a game, pairs read out their suggestions one at a time and you award them points depending on where it is in the top 40: 4 points for the top 10, 3 for top 20, 2 for top 30, 1 for top 40.

Language for talking about plans/hopes/dreams

Go over the language in the boxes below:

Positive Negative
I’ve always fancied…

I’m dying/itching to try…

… is a burning ambition of mine.

… would be right up my street.

… is one for the bucket list.

A pipe dream (an unrealistic/improbable dream)

I would jump at the chance to…

If you offered me the chance to…, I would bite your hand off.

I’d give it a go.

I have no desire to…

… doesn’t appeal to me (at all)

Whatever floats your boat.

To each their own

The idea of … doesn’t do anything for me.

You wouldn’t catch me …ing

… is not my thing.

… is not for me.

Daily Mail Top 10

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives .
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice

Have students discuss the top ten and decide if they would be on their bucket list. You can then either show them the rest of the top 40 or go to http://bucketlist.org/featured/ for more ideas for students to create their own bucket lists. Daily Mail Top 40:

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice
  11. Go up the Empire State Building
  12. Go on a cruise
  13. Go whale watching
  14. Climb a mountain
  15. Go up the Eiffel tower
  16. Learn an instrument
  17. Work in a different country
  18. Float in the Dead Sea
  19. Write a novel
  20. Drive a racing car
  21. Change career
  22. Trek the Inca Trail
  23. Be a volunteer for a good cause
  24. Be an extra in a film
  25. Go scuba diving
  26. Try out surfing
  27. Hold a Koala
  28. Feed a penguin
  29. Get a tattoo
  30. Backpack Europe
  31. Own a designer watch
  32. Ride a gondola
  33. Run a big race
  34. Bungee jump
  35. Reach the top of my career ladder
  36. Own a Mulberry handbag
  37. Ride a camel
  38. Ride on a horse and cart
  39. Write a film
  40. Change hair colour

Daily Mail article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2695728/Buying-holiday-home-driving-Route-66-trip-Maldives-British-bucket-list-40-things-die.html