Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Music Idioms and Conversation Topic

Image credit: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/greenbelt-middle-school-music-department/

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a conversation and vocabulary lesson plan for advanced students based around the topic of music. Students talk about their tastes in music and learn some music based idioms. Download the plan below:

Music LP

Music

Intro

  1. What is music to you?
  2. Define “good” music.
  3. What music do you listen to when you’re stressed/angry/happy/sad?
  4. Are you a musician? Can you sing?
  5. What’s more important to you, a good melody or good lyrics?

Music Idioms – match the idioms (1-12) to the definitions (a-m)

  1. There’s no point denying it or putting it off it’s time to face the music and admit you did it.
  2. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but I think I dealt with that situation rather well.
  3. For our honeymoon we went on a whistle stop tour of 5 European capital cities.
  4. Paul is like a broken record, he’s always banging on about vegan food.
  5. Change the record Janet, we’ve heard it all before!
  6. The lyrics in the second verse really struck a chord with me when I was a teenager.
  7. She’s the one who calls the tune/shots in that office.
  8. My granddad is amazing, 90 years old and still fit as a fiddle.
  9. When they told me the school would have to close early it was music to my ears.
  10. I’m fed up of playing second fiddle to that moron, he messes everything up.
  11. The article’s ok, a bit boring though, why don’t you jazz it up with some raunchy photos?
  12. My students are the worst, I’ve been drumming it into their heads that they have exams today but they still all looked surprised when I told them.
a.       To be in perfect health

b.      To teach someone something repeatedly

c.       To boast/praise yourself

d.      Make something more colourful/interesting

e.      To make the decisions

f.        Someone who keeps saying the same thing over and over

g.       Exactly what one wants to hear

h.      Accept the negative consequences of your actions

i.         Constantly talking about something

j.        To be moved/remind of something when hearing something

k.       Visit the key things in a places very quickly

l.         Talk about something else, we’ve heard this before

m.    Take a subordinate role to someone else

Discussion:

  1. Who do you have to play second fiddle to?
  2. What is music to your ears?
  3. Who calls the tune/shots in your house/workplace/relationship?
  4. How can you be sure that you’re fit as a fiddle when you reach old age?
  5. How do you jazz up your meals?
  6. Did any particular songs/books/poems strike a chord with you when you were growing up?
  7. Are you like a broken record? If so, what are you always banging on about?
  8. What’s the best way to face the music?
  9. Are you known to blow your own trumpet?
  10. What’s the best way to drum something into someone’s head?

Key – Music Idioms

  1. H
  2. C
  3. K
  4. F+i
  5. L
  6. J
  7. E
  8. A
  9. G
  10. M
  11. D
  12. B
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Posted in Uncategorized

Bowie’s Barcelona Half-Marathon

fuck off cancer

In the past few years cancer has reared it’s ugly head on several occasions, affecting loved ones of good friends and work colleagues. Last week we lost two heroes, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, to this horrible disease and quite frankly cancer can do one. For this reason I’m going to run the Barcelona Half Marathon in full Ziggy Stardust gear (Spandex, make-up, maybe a wig) on the 14th of February to raise money for Cancer Research. I’ve set a target of 500 quid, might be a bit ambitious with less than a month to raise it so please give generously! You’ll find the link to my justgiving page below:

https://www.justgiving.com/Timothy-Warre

Please donate and share!!!

Posted in Uncategorized

RIP David Bowie

 

Today we lost a hero. What terrible news to wake up to on any day, let alone the first day back at work after the Christmas holidays. I found out in a break between classes at 9am when I checked my phone and found a stream of hearts and one sad face from my girlfriend. The news had broken about half an hour before.

I just want to say a massive thank you to you, David Robert Jones. You were my hero and you inspired me in many ways, but more than that you were just ever present during the highest and lowest points of my life, and I’m sure you will continue to be. The joy I feel leaping about like an idiot, belting out “Let’s Dance” with my closest friends is indescribable and I just never imagined you’d be gone so soon. My thoughts are with your family.

I’ve been in a blue daze all day listening to your songs and willing myself to get my head around it and assuming that this song or the next would be the one that made me burst into tears. But it didn’t happen, I just kept feeling the same joy and exhilaration as ever, the hairs on the back of my neck oblivious to your passing. Only now, trying to put it into words are the tears coming.

Thanks to all my friends who have reached out today, they know what an obsessive Bowie geek I am and I really appreciate it. Reading everyone’s heartfelt tributes has been a great comfort and I can only hope that his family can also draw comfort from the outpouring of love and respect.

My friend Andrew Seymour but an amazingly positive spin on the whole thing: “Everything makes a lot more sense when you realise he knew this was his last single/album. I’m actually so happy that he finished it; released 3 days before his death. It gives the whole affair a more positive twist. This wasn’t a man who went to the grave with his last words unsaid. I’m so happy for him that he was able to lie back in those final days and know that he had finished his work. How many people die full of regret and unfinished business and wasted potential? I take a lot of positivity from that. He kept us all in the dark and surprised everyone one last time. He made mortality the theme of his last piece of art; I couldn’t imagine a more contented way to be in your last days, making theatre of it all and getting all your ideas out just in time. RIP”

Thank you for the gift of sound and vision.

Posted in Conversation Classes

First class back after Christmas

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Image credit: willingness.com.mt

First class back, Christmas is over, back to the grindstone. Here’s a conversation activity to ease you and your students back into class and hopefully keep a spark of Christmas cheer alive.

Warmer – Xmas present 20 questions

Think of your best Xmas present, tell students they can ask 20 yes/no questions to guess what it is. If they struggle to come up with questions, model a few on the board:

Can you use it to…?

Is it bigger than a…?

Does it have…?

Does it cost more than a…?

The student who guesses correctly takes the teacher’s place and the game is repeated.

If students struggle to think of a present, print and cut up the handout below and use them as game cards.

Christmas Present 20 Questions

 

Who had the best Christmas?

Write on the board:

Objectives

Who got the best present?

Who had the best Christmas?

Who had the most fun on New Year’s Eve?

Who had the strangest Christmas?

Tell students that they need to speak to as many people as they can to find out the answer to the four questions.

Put students in pairs and have them brainstorm the questions they will need to ask:

Who got the best present? – What did you get for Christmas?

Who had the best Christmas? – What did you do at Christmas? Where did you spend Christmas? What was the best thing about Christmas?

Who had the most fun on New Year’s Eve? – What did you do on New Year’s Eve? Where did you spend New Year’s Eve?

Let them ask you the questions first as an example.

Then give students 10 minutes to speak to as many of their classmates as they can. While they circulate, correct their mistakes and board the correct forms. After 1o minutes stop the activity and draw students attention to all the boarded language they have generated.

Then in open class nominate a student to answer one of the original questions:

Teacher: “Xavi, who do you think had the best Christmas?”

Xavi: “Gerrard had the best Christmas, he went to the Bahamas with his family.”

Then ask the rest of the class if they agree and see if the class can reach a consensus.

Follow up

Students write a composition on their Christmas holidays. This could take the form of an informal email to a friend.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Recommended Websites

Englishwithjo.com – Conspiracy Theories

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’ve just recently found the excellent englishwithjo.com. It’s a great site full of engaging video based conversation activities. I’m going to do her new one on conspiracy theories with a proficiency class tomorrow. I’ve made a little worksheet with some extra vocabulary for higher levels. Download it below:

Conspiracy Theories