Posted in Warmers

Warmer: Dumb Headlines

Image credit: List25.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Saw this on Facebook and thought it’d make a fun warmer for higher levels. It’s probably best to black out the one in the top right!!!

Print them, hand them out and ask:

Why are they dumb?

Why are they funny?

Posted in Conversation Classes, Current Affairs Classes, Reading Classes

Reading: Steak Causes Cancer – Argentina Reacts

Image credit: www.groupon.co.in

Credit to Jonathan Watts at the Guardian for the article.

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a reading and speaking lesson plan based around an article about the WHO’s recent revelation linking consumption of red meat to cancer for B2+. Download the student’s and teacher’s copy of the article below:

Argentines meat cancer article TEACHERS COPY

Argentines meat cancer article STUDENT’S COPY

Influenced by my wonderful DELTA tutors I’ve split the text up into sections. Before reading each section students make a prediction about what they’re about to read and then read to confirm their predictions. They then read again and complete comprehension questions that go into more detail.

Lesson structure:

  • Predict/speculate about section 1
  • Read to confirm
  • Read section 1 again and answer comprehension questions
  • Predict/speculate about section 2
  • Read to confirm
  • Read again, answer comprehension questions
  • Repeat

Give students ample time between sections and after finishing the article to respond and interact with the text.

  • Who do they agree with?
  • What’s their reaction to the text?
  • How important is meat in their culture?

The article:

Argentinians react to report linking meat to cancer.

  1. How do you think Argentinians reacted to the news?

As he prepared to order lunch in one of Buenos Aires’ many steak restaurants, Jorge Bacaloni declared himself unlikely to change his beef-centred diet despite the World Health Organisation’s conclusion that red meats are more carcinogenic than previously thought.

In a report published on Monday, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

But in Argentina, which has one of the highest levels of meat consumption in the world, the study was met with scepticism.

“I’m aware of the health risks, but it’s part of our culture,” said Bacaloni, who estimates that he eats between a kilogram and 1.5kgs of meat each week.

  1. Do you think Jorge will change his ways because of the news?

Most of that is from cattle, putting Bacaloni around the average in Argentina, where consumption per capita was 59.4kg of beef in 2014.

As well as the pure pleasure of home grills and estraña dishes in beef houses, the lawyer said that it was a custom. “This is part of our history. Part of our life,” he says. “And at least cows in Argentina are raised on pastures rather than in sheds. It’s more natural.”

But he was more concerned for his family that the World Health Organisation had classified processed meat in the same cancer-risk category as cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos.

“I have a three-year-old son. We’ve been giving him sausage, but I’ll stop that,” he said. He too is adjusting his diet, though for different reasons. “I’ll have chicken today, but only because I’m on a diet.”

  1. What changes will he make?
  2. What reasons does he give for his scepticism?
  3. Why does he think Argentine beef is better than in other countries?

 

  1. Why do you think Argentines eat so much meat?

Fashion designer Marcela Duhalde laughs when she explains how often she eats steak. “l hate cooking so when I have to make food I always choose a T-bone steak and tomatoes because it’s easy and delicious. I have it maybe four or five times a week,” she says. “I ought to be huge.”

Raised on a farm, she says eating meat is a custom. “My family was very carnivorous. If we didn’t have meat, we didn’t consider it a meal.”

This is a common refrain. The first cattle were introduced by the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century and they soon became a feature on the pampas – the vast grasslands that stretch across much of the country – while their meat was an integral part of the gaucho “cowboy” culture.

  1. Why does Marcela eat meat so often?
  2. How often does she eat steak?
  3. Is this too often?

 

  1. Why do some people say that they could never be vegetarian?
  2. What effect do you think the WHO’s decision will have on people’s habits?

Duhalde says she is concerned about the agrochemicals, antibiotics, tainted cattle feed and the generally poor conditions that many cattle are kept in, but vegetarianism is not option. Nor it seems is cutting back.

“Everything I like is unhealthy – steak, alcohol, drugs and other things. I’d rather die than give it all up. I don’t have the energy to be happy without them.”

She didn’t expect the WHO decision to make much of an impact on Argentina’s love of steaks in the short term, but she thought it could make a difference in the distant future if the evidence mounted up and led to the same sort of health campaigns that are now common with tobacco.

“This makes us start thinking about the risks, but there is a big distance between thinking about things and actually changing our habits.”

  1. What things worry Marcela about meat production?
  2. Why could she never be a vegetarian?
  3. What’s her conclusion?
  4. What’s your opinion?

Follow up

Students write an essay examining the importance of meat in their culture and the effect they think the announcement will have.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Conversation topic: Who’s in the wrong?

Image credit: www.learnaboutislam.co.uk

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a conversation lesson plan for intermediate (B1) upwards around the topic of blame. Download the powerpoint below:

Who’s in the wrong

Warmer

SS discuss in pairs:

  • When was the last time you got into trouble?
  • Who was to blame?

Language of blaming:

  1. It was my/his/her/your/their/our _________.
  2. He was to _________.
  3. She was in the _________.
  4. They were at ________.
  5. I blame the broken window _____ John.
  6. I blame John _____ breaking the window.

SS complete the sentences with the following words:

for

on

blame

wrong

fault (x2)

  1. It was my/his/her/your/their/our fault
  2. He was to blame
  3. She was in the wrong
  4. They were at fault.
  5. I blame the broken window on John.
  6. I blame John for breaking the window.

Show the first slide from the powerpoint and have students discuss who is to blame in small groups. Ss then report back in open class. You might want to assign roles from the different situations to different students to make it a bit more exciting.

Posted in Reading Classes, Young Learners

Mini Halloween Plays for Young Learners

Image credit: cartoon-clipart.disneyimage.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a Halloween themed lesson for young learners. There are two spooky short stories for students to act out in small groups. Download the stories here:

Halloween Stories

Depending on the time and the student’s level there are two procedures for this lesson.

  1. For lower levels: Read and act out both stories for the class and then split students into groups to recreate them with the text.
  2. For higher levels: Split the class into groups, give out texts and have students read them in their groups and then rehearse and perform them.

Students should work in groups of 3-4, designate 1-2 strong students to act as narrators. Help ss with vocabulary and pronunciation problems.

Give ss 10 minutes to practice and then have them perform their stories to the rest of the class.

The Stories

The Werewolf

Once upon a time there was a farmer. One day he went walking in the forest. He was very tired so he decided to go to sleep under a tree. When he woke up it was dark and he was very cold. He looked in the sky and he saw a full moon. Suddenly, he heard a wolf howl very close.

There was a huge wolf behind him! He was very scared and he screamed. The wolf attacked him and bit him on the arm. He felt very strange, he ran to the river and looked in the water, his face was transforming into a wolf’s! Hair covered all his body and his teeth grew very long. He tried to shout but a long howl came out of his mouth.

Now if you go into that forest on the night of a full moon, maybe you will meet him…..

The hunter and the witches

Once upon a time there was a brave hunter. One day he was chasing a rabbit in the mountains with his dogs. They ran to the top of the mountain where they found 2 witches making a magic potion. The rabbit ran past the witches and the dog chased it. The dog crashed into the magic potion and it fell onto the floor. The witches were extremely angry and shouted at the hunter as he ran away after the rabbit.

The witches were very angry so they made a plan. One of the witches transformed herself into a rabbit. The other witch made a very powerful potion and put it in a little bottle. The rabbit witch ran to the hunter’s house, knocked on the door and ran away. The hunter and the dogs ran out of the house and chased the rabbit witch up the mountain. But at the top the other witch was waiting. When the hunter arrived she threw the potion at him and his dogs and they all turned to stone!!!

If you go to the top of the mountain you can still see the stone hunter and his dogs.

Follow up

Do you know any traditional scary stories from your country?

Halloween Quizlet set:

Here’s a good quizlet set to practice Halloween vocabulary.

Posted in Listening Classes, Proficiency

Proficiency Podcasts: Radiolab, Words

Image credit: publicradiotulsa.org

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is the second in a series of lesson plans based around podcasts for high level learners (high C1+). This one is based on the first part of Words by radiolab. The link, transcript and lesson plan are below:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/91725-words/

Proficiency Podcasts words, Lesson plan

Words Transcript – divided into sections.

Warmer – Charades

SS have to sign the following sentences:

I don’t like bananas

I love soup

I think it will rain

Where is Joan?

I went swimming yesterday.

Can I have a pen?

Was it easy? Which sentences were the easiest? Do you ever play this game with your family?

  1. Do you know sign language?
  2. How difficult is it to communicate without words?
  3. What’s your favourite word in your own language/English?

Listening – Radiolab, words

1st section 00:15 – 01:02

Listen and answer these questions:

  • What happened to Susan? She was hit by a catering truck while riding her bike.
  • What were the consequences? She had concussion and couldn’t go to school.
  • How did she feel? Very bored

Listen once, ss share answers in pairs. Listen again for specific detail and language.

  • How does she describe the accident? A catering truck hit me.
  • How does she describe her feelings? Bored out of my mind.

Follow same sequence with each section, general comprehension questions, then listen again and clear up language problems.

2nd section 01:02 – 1:40

  • What did she do? Why? Her friend suggested that she crashed classes at the local uni.

2nd listen for language.

Make a prediction in pairs:

  • What happened that changed her life?

3rd section 01:40 – 2:15

  • What happened? She walked into a signing class.
  • What was her reaction? Mesmerised

Predict: What’s going to happen next?

4th sections 2:15 – 3:05

  • What happens next? Becomes a signer.
  • Where does she go? LA
  • Who does she meet? A man born deaf.

5th section 3:05 – 3:50

  • How does she describe the man? Beautiful, great cheekbones, black hair black eyes.
  • What’s the guy’s problem? Copies everything, visual echolalia

6th section 3:50 – 4:48

  • What does he realise about the guy? Has no language
  • How does he think the world works? That we figure stuff out visually

7th section 4:48 – 5:07

  • What questions do they ask?
  • What do words do for us?
  • Are they necessary?
  • Can you live without them?
  • Can you think without them?
  • Can you dream without them?
  • Can you swim without them?

Discuss these questions as a class.

Set the rest of this part of the podcast as homework with the following questions:

5:07 – 8:35

  • What problems did she have teaching him? He copied everything she did, he thought everything was an order. Didn’t know how to say goodbye, didn’t know if he would come back.
  • How did she make a breakthrough? Acted out the role of student and role of teacher.
  • What was his reaction? He broke down in tears.

Discussion

  • Have you ever had to communicate without words? Why?
  • How do you make yourself understood if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language?
  • Have you ever had a misunderstanding with someone in this situation?
  • How much do you rely on signing and body language?
  • Have you ever spoken English on the phone? What was it like?

Accuracy vs Fluency

  • What’s more important accuracy or fluency when speaking?
  • If you spoke extremely accurately but with no fluency what problems would you have? And vice versa.
  • In what situations is it especially important to be accurate?
  • In what situations is it especially important to be fluent?
  • “Only teachers notice your mistakes” Do you agree?
  • “As long as the errors don’t affect understanding they don’t matter” Do you agree?
  • “Little mistakes will go away over time, you don’t have to focus on them.” Do you agree?
  • “Confidence is more important than how much you’ve studied when speaking a foreign language” Do you agree?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

Speaking Activity: Persuading/Convincing Role-plays

Image credit: maybusch.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a speaking activity for intermediate and upwards on the subject of persuading and convincing. It can be used as preparation for FCE and CAE due to its similarity to part 3 of the speaking test.

You will need this powerpoint:

Debate, Discuss, Persuade

Split the class into groups of 4 or 5. Use this quizlet set to practice language for convincing and persuading. For higher levels get them to brainstorm the language in pairs first and then board it.

Language from the quizlet set:

  1. Don’t you _________ it would be better to go to Ibiza?
  2. __________ it be better to go to Ibiza?
  3. I think we _________ go to Ibiza.
  4. I suggest/recommend ________ to Ibiza.
  5. We o_________ to go to Ibiza.
  6.  I i__________ that we go to Ibiza.
  7. By ______ the best idea is to go to Ibiza
  8. What/How _______ going to Ibiza?

Key:

think

Wouldn’t

should

going

ought

insist

far

about

Students discuss the different situations in the powerpoint in their groups of 4-5. Nominate one person from the group to be the person who the others must persuade (parent, headmaster, boss, editor, friend)

Report back at the end. Who was the most persuasive?

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

DELTA: Learner-led CLT – Present Perfect/Past Simple

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This year I’m doing the DELTA part-time at IH Barcelona and I’m going to start blogging some of my lesson plans, feedback and general reactions to the course as I go.

Two weeks ago I had my diagnostic observation, basically my tutor and teaching practice group observed me while I taught a group of upper-intermediate adults for 45 minutes. Despite my nerves it went pretty well but my tutor’s main criticism was that it was too teacher centred and not learner-led enough. So it’s my second observed class tomorrow and I’ve prepared the following lesson plan to teach present perfect/past simple to the same group. My tutors are big on reactive teaching so I’m going to throw my students straight into a communicative exercise and then I’m going to correct them as I go and clear up any issues they have afterwards.

My aims are for the students to use the two tenses accurately and also use a range of time expressions. I’ve included they time expressions in the questions they have to ask in a classic “Find someone who” exercise. Let me know what you think and wish me luck!

TP 2nd class Present Per

Find someone who DELTA

TP 2nd class Present Per/Past Simple

Warmer

I’ve injured my foot. Questions. Have you ever had an accident? What happened? Were you ok? Reactions: Oooo, that’s gotta hurt! Nasty! You poor thing!

Find someone who

  • Give out handout.
  • Ss read in pairs checking for understanding, partner helps with unknown words. 2 mins
  • Instruction: “You have to find someone who has done all the things on the list, write their name and get some details”
  • Demonstration: They demonstrate on me for 1st Board their questions.
  • Drill weak forms in their questions: Have you been….? (Hev ya bin) Where didya go? Etc.
  • SS mingle and do exercise, monitor, correct. Collect sentences using time expressions: yet, already, just, ago, this time last week, in the summer, lately, for, since etc.
  • Board sentences but with time expressions missing.
  • SS turn over paper and try to complete the sentences.
  • Analyse time expressions. Which do we use with which tense? Can we use any with both?
  • Memory test in pairs, 1 student asks for example “who hasn’t washed the dishes from last night yet?”

Sentences to collect:

  1. __________ went to Morocco _____ years
  2. ________ has just bought a new _________.
  3. _________ visited _____________ in the summer.
  4. ________ hasn’t washed last night’s dishes
  5. _______ was in ____________ this time last week.
  6. _______ has lived in his/her house for ________ years /since __________,
  7. _______ went shopping earlier today.
  8. _______ has been to the cinema over the last fortnight.
  9. _______ has already planned dinner for tonight.
  10. _________ took up ________ last month.
  11. ________ has tried ____________

 

Present Perfect Past simple both
For, since, already, yet just,

Over the last fortnight

Ago, in the summer, this time last week, earlier today, last month For
Uses:

Past experiences, don’t say when, unfinished times: never, in my life, this year, today etc.

 

Recent events, no exact time, some relevance to present. Just/already etc.

Do you want a cup of coffee? No thanks I’ve just had one.

 

Continuing situations, started in past, continue now: for/since

I’ve lived here for 6 years.

 

Uses:

Complete/finished event, time is given: last month, yesterday etc. or obvious.

 

Did you see the game?

I went to the cinema last night.

 

Situation/habit that started and finished in past.

 

I lived in France for 3 years.

I played piano for 5 years when I was a child.

 

Memory Game:

1 student covers their paper while the other asks questions to see what they remember. Focus should be on remembering the correct tense and time expression.

Demonstrate:

Who has been to the cinema over the last fortnight?

What did _______take up last month?

What has _______ just bought?

Who hasn’t washed last night’s dishes yet?

 

Find someone in the class who has done all these things:

  Name Details
Has been to Morocco

 

   
Has just bought a new gadget    
Visited another country in the summer    
Hasn’t washed last night’s dishes yet    
Wasn’t in class this time last week.    
Has lived in their house for over 30 years    
Went shopping earlier today    
Has been to the cinema over the last fortnight    
Has already planned dinner for tonight    
Took up a new hobby last month    
Has tried a new dish lately.    
Posted in Games, Young Learners

Playing around with tekhnologic’s templates

tekhnologic

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Download tekhnologic’s amazing game templates from here. This week I’m going to play jeopardy with my teenagers and a like/dislike boardgame with my young learners. Try out my completed ones below or download the templates yourself and make your own.

like-dislike-boardgame – target language: I like/don’t like/hate/love/don’t mind. Ss in groups role the dice, move round the board and make sentences about the corresponding picture.

jeopardy-trivia-1-Put ss in teams, they roll a dice to decide which category they answer: Sport, art, geography, science, music, literature. They decide how difficult a question they want on a scale of 1-5. They are given the answer to a question, they have to guess what the question is, for example:

Answer: Usain Bolt

Question: Who’s the fastest man in the world?

If they get it right they get the corresponding number of points depending how difficult the question was.

https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/downloads/