Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Love is in the air: Love and Relationship Expressions

Resultat d'imatges de valentine's day

Image credit: Android Authority

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan I designed for Valentine’s day so it’s a bit late but who’s to say you can’t learn about love any day of the year? Download the teacher’s notes and student handout below:

love-story-teachers-notes

valentines-day-lp

A Love Story  – Teacher’s notes

Preparation

Print out enough copies of the students’ handout for each student and enough copies of the pictures for students to work in pairs.

Step 1: Guess the Story

Give each pair a set of pictures and have them guess the order of the story. Tell them “this is the story of a relationship, you have to put it in order” you might want to put some simple sequencers on the board: “First, and then, afterwards, in the end etc.”

When they’ve finished choose a pair to tell their version of the story to the class, ask other groups if their version is different.

Step 2: Listening

Tell students that you are going to tell them the real story and they have to listen and put their pictures in the correct order. Read the story.

Step 3: Reading

Give out the handout but fold the paper so student cannot see the language focus exercise. Students read the story and check that they have the pictures in the correct order.

Step 4: Meaning from context

Have students try to guess the meaning of the expressions in bold from the context in pairs. Then go through the meanings on the board:

  • love at first sight – fall in love when you first see someone
  • check sb out – look at someone to decide if you’re attracted to them
  • pluck up the courage – be brave
  • chat sb up – flirt with sb
  • ask sb out – arrange a date
  • have a lot in common – have shared interests
  • be made for each other – a perfect match/couple
  • fall head over heels in love – fall madly/deeply in love with sb
  • go out with sb – be in a relationship
  • have a row – argue
  • have a thing for sb – be attracted to sb
  • break/split up – end a relationship
  • get back together with sb – repair a relationship
  • get down on one knee – kneel on one knee
  • pop the question – propose to sb
  • tie the knot – get married
  • be in the doghouse with sb – your partner is angry at you
  • worried sick – v. worried
  • on the rocks – in trouble, danger

Step 5: Language focus

Students turn the handout over and try to complete the expressions from memory; they mustn’t look at the text.

Students then unfold the paper to check their answers.

Step 6: Retell the story

Students turn the handout over and attempt to retell the story, using all the expressions, using the pictures as prompts.

Step 7: Personalising

If appropriate, students describe a real relationship from their lives: How did you meet your wife/husband? etc.

The Story

Work with a partner, look at the words in bold, what do you think they mean?

Tony and Tina met at a party, it was love at first sight, they were both checking each other out for a while until Tony plucked up the courage to go and talk to Tina. He chatted her up for a while then at the end of the night he asked for her number. He called her the next day to ask her out and she said yes. They went out for coffee and discovered that they had so much in common, they were made for each other! They fell head over heels in love and started going out with each other straightaway. One night, they had a huge row because Tony thought that Tina had a thing for his best friend. It was a horrible argument and they broke up but it wasn’t long before they got back together because they just couldn’t stay apart.

2 years later Tony got down on one knee and popped the question to Tina, she said yes and 6 months later they tied the knot in front of their friends and family. A few years later Tony was in the doghouse for a few weeks because he got really drunk with his friends and didn’t come home, Tina was worried sick. For a few days it looked like the marriage might be on the rocks but she forgave him eventually and they both lived happily ever after.

Language Focus

Over the story and try to remember the missing words from the expressions.

  1. It was love ____ first sight
  2. They were both c_________ each other out
  3. He chatted her _____ for a while.
  4. He called her the next day to _____ her out.
  5. They had so much in ______________.
  6. They were made ______ each ___________.
  7. They fell __________ over _________ in love.
  8. Tina had a _____________for his best friend.
  9. They ____________ up but it wasn’t long before they got ___________ together
  10. 2 years later Tony got __________ on one knee and ____________ the question to Tina,
  11. 6 months later they _________ the knot in front of their friends and family.
  12. Tony was in the ____________ for a few weeks
  13. Tina was worried ______________.
  14. It looked like the marriage might be on the _____________ but she forgave him.
Posted in Uncategorized

The pitfalls of exam preparation

Just getting my teeth into Delta module 3, food for thought…

Oxford University Press

Girl sat at desk writingAhead of his talk at IATEFL Liverpool, Zoltan Rezmuves looks at some of the tough choices that must be made when preparing students for exams.

What’s your main goal in teaching English? You’ll probably say something along the lines of “enabling students to communicate well in English” and perhaps also “developing students to be better people“. But have you ever had a group of students preparing for an examination? Then you know that your success or failure will be measured not by how well they can express themselves in real life, and not even by how well they fit into society. Where there is an important exam at the end of the process, you can only succeed if your students pass the exam. It’s that simple. But what does this mean in terms of classroom practice?

EXAM PREPARATION TO-DO LIST

1. You will have to cover…

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U-Speak: Calling Barcelona-based Autónomo English Teachers

uspeak
A quick shoutout to my friend Paul O’Brien from U-Speak who’s looking for professional, committed autónomo English teachers to get involved in this exciting new language centre.
  • Are you an autónomo English teacher?
  • Would you be interested in becoming part of a new English language centre?

At “U-Speak” we provide a comfortable and supportive environment where students can develop their English level through speaking.

We are looking for teachers with their own students who would like to have a comfortable and convenient location for their classes.

Facilities

  • Fiber optic broadband (ideal for Skype classes)
  • 5 classrooms for one-to-one classes and groups
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Waiting room
  • Printer
  • And much more

You can check out our location at: www.uspeak.eu

If you are an established teacher who would like to take their business to the next level, we would like to hear from you!

Contact

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Uncategorized

CAE Speaking Part 2: Task-based Approach

Image result for cae part 2

Image credit: Deesite – WordPress.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a task-based lesson plan to help CAE students complete part 2 of the speaking exam in which they must compare and contrast two of three pictures. Big thanks to my colleague Raquel Gomez for her help with the development of this lesson plan. You can download the student handout, pictures, teacher’s notes and audio files below:

cae-speaking-part-2-teachers-notes

cae-part-2-pictures

cae-speaking-part-2-student-handout-1

Audio Files

Teacher’s Notes

First Attempt

Choose a set of part 2 pictures from your text book, put students in pairs and have them record themselves comparing two of the pictures for a minute. Give students no guidance as to the language they should use. While they are doing this, monitor them and make a note of the structures they are using.

Now have students listen back to their recording in pairs and evaluate it. This is likely to make them a little uncomfortable, no one likes the sound of their own voice recorded, but tell them to go for it.

Language Focus

Follow the exercises below, which are focused on improving students’ performance in this task.

Project “CAE part 2 pictures” onto the board. Have “CAE Speaking part 2 audio” ready to play.

Comprehension

Listen to the candidate talking completing part 2 and answer the questions:

Play audio through once and have sts answer in pairs.

  1. Which two pictures does he talk about?
  2. What does he say the people in the pictures are doing?
  3. How does he think they are feeling?
  4. Which situation does he prefer?

Text Completion

Listen again and complete the text.

Play audio through once, then again, stopping after each gap to check understanding.

In the first picture at the bottom we can see a couple who seem to be camping. Maybe up a mountain, they seem to have a camp fire and their tent set up and I think they’re roasting marshmallows. They definitely seem to be having a good time. They might have been walking all day and then they’ve finally finished and set up their tent, now they’re sitting down to enjoy some nice hot food.

In contrast, in the other photo we can see a man who seems to be working. I think he’s a builder, it looks as if he’s helping to build a house. His feelings are probably quite different to the couple in the other photo because he’s at work obviously so it’s probably nowhere near as enjoyable as the activity the other couple are doing.

But maybe working outside isn’t as bad as working in an office so he might be happy about that. For me personally, I’d rather be with the couple here camping on the mountain than at work definitely.

Pronunciation – Connected Speech

Play audio of individual sentences; have sts practice repeating them in pairs.

Listen to the expressions again and practise saying them with a partner

  • It looks as if he’s helping to build a house.

Looks as if he’s – /lʊks əz-ɪf-iːz/ – all connected and “h” from “he’s” disappears

  • They might have been walking all day.

Might have been – /maɪt əv bin/ – “have” very weak /əv/ “been” sounds like “bin”

  • A couple who seem to be camping

Seem to be – /siːm tə bi:/ – weak form of “to” /tə/

Second Attempt

Now students attempt the task again, recording themselves a second time. Again monitor and make a note of the structures. Then have students compare their two attempts. Board all of the language from the two attempts and encourage students to notice the changes.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class

Language for Pair-work

Image result for pairwork

Image credit: Belle Languages

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a powerpoint designed for use with exam classes to encourage students to complete pair-work in English and thus develop the language of negotiating, agreeing and collaborating. Download it below:

pair-work-language

You can use this resource in a number of ways; you can project the slide onto the board for students to refer to while completing pair-work. Alternatively, you could print the main slide out, laminate it and distribute one copy to each pair for the duration of the class. Each pair could then be given a board pen in order to keep track of how many of the expressions they have used during the class, the pair who use the most could then be awarded a prize at the end of the class.

Language

Asking for Opinion Giving opinion Agreeing Disagreeing
•What do you think about number X?

•What about number X?

•Let’s move on to number X.

•Shall we do number X now?

 

•I think /reckon…

•It could / might / may be…

•It can’t be…

•It must be…

•Number (2) is (A), isn’t it?

•It’s definitely not (B).

•I’m absolutely certain it’s (C)

•I have no idea

•I haven’t got a clue.

•I agree.

•Sounds good to me.

•I think you’re right.

•Good idea/point.

•I’m with you on this one.

•I couldn’t agree more.

•You’re absolutely right.

•You’ve hit the nail on the head!

•I’m not so sure.

•That doesn’t sound right to me.

•Are you sure??

•Are you kidding?

•You must be joking!

•You can’t be serious!

•I take your point but…

•No way!

•Don’t be silly!