Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency

Collaborative Speaking Tasks – Halloween

This is a Halloween-themed speaking lesson plan. It was designed with C2 proficiency students in mind as preparation for speaking part 2. However, it can be used with a wide range of levels. Download the powerpoint below:

I recommend giving out one of my phrase sheets before doing the task. Find them using the search function.

If you’re teaching C1 or C2 students you could also use my “Scared Stiff” lesson plan to look at language to describe feeling scared or to talk about horror films.

Put students in pairs and go through the powerpoint. Students will have to discuss and make decisions about different elements of horror films and other topics related to fears and phobias.

Posted in Advanced C1, Grammar Classes, Proficiency

Halloween Horror Story: C1/C2 Inversions

This is a spooky grammar lesson for Halloween. Students listen to the first part of a horror story in the form of a dictogloss, then continue the story using inversions. Download the handout and teacher’s notes below:

Horror Story Dictogloss – Teacher’s Notes

Pre-Listening

Tell students you’re going to read them the introduction to a horror story. It features a haunted mansion and the first line is “It was a dark and stormy night…” Tell them to make predictions about what will happen.

Dictogloss

Explain the dictogloss to your students:

You will read the story to them several times. A note on delivery, read the text in a natural way, don’t pause mid-sentence, follow the punctuation. You may want to exaggerate the pauses after full stops and commas to give students a bit of extra processing time.

  1. The first time all they have to do is listen.
  2. Second time they can take notes of words and phrases, stress that it’s not a dictation and that they shouldn’t worry if their version is different.
  3. Students compare notes with a partner or in a three.
  4. Students listen for a third time, taking notes and then compare with their group again. You may want to read the text for a fourth time, gauge it with your own group.
  5. Students work to recreate the text. You could do this on a Google doc so you can see the versions taking shape. Assign each group a page of the doc so that they’re not tempted to copy each other.
  6. Show them the original text and copy/paste all their versions below. Have them compare their versions and looks for differences.

It was a dark and stormy night, the wind was whistling through the trees and the rain was pouring down. Not only was I completely soaking wet, but also my teeth were chattering because of the icy wind. I knocked on the door of the ancient run-down mansion as hard as I could; little did I know the horror that awaited me on the other side of the door. No sooner had I ceased my knocking than the door swung slowly open. The darkness on the other side was pitch-black but so desperate was I to get out of the storm that I jumped inside without a second thought. Hardly had I set foot inside the house when the door slammed shut behind me…

Language Focus

Ask students to complete the following language analysis task in pairs:

  • Meaning – substitute the phrases in bold for other, simpler words so that the meaning is the same.
  • Usage – why do you think the writer decided to use the phrases in bold instead of simpler language? What effect do these expressions have on the reader? More emphatic, more exciting, draws the reader in.
  • Form – Look at the word order after the inversion phrases:
    • Not only…
    • Little…
    • No sooner
    • So desperate…
    • Hardly…
  • Complete the formula: Inversion phrase + _______ + _______ + _______

(Inversion phrase + auxiliary verb + subject + verb)

Show students further examples of each inversion:

Not only: used with a wide range of tenses and auxiliary verbs:

  • Not only are vampires afraid of crosses, but also garlic.
  • Not only did the werewolf have sharp teeth, but also long claws.
  • Not only would I recommend calling the police, but also I would run away as fast as I could.

Little: most commonly used with “know” and “realise”:

  • Little did I realise how much danger I was in.
  • Little did she know what had just happened in the other room.

No sooner…. than: Or Hardly…. when Most commonly used with past perfect to express that one action happened immediately after another:

  • No sooner had I closed the door than I heard a strange scratching sound.
  • No sooner had I fallen asleep than a strange light came in through the window.
  • Hardly had the sound stopped when the door burst open.
  • Hardly had I turned around when the beast appeared at the end of the corridor.

So + adjective + that…: Used with a range of adjectives to add emphasis and express consequences:

  • So cold was it that my hands were shaking.
  • So frightening was the beast that even the brave soldier screamed in fear.

Practice – Key

  1. I had just opened the door when the monster appeared.

HAD

Hardly had I opened the door when the monster appeared.

  • They had no idea that the beast was watching their every move.

REALISE

Little did they realise (that) the beast was watching their every move.

  • The enormous size of the beast’s tentacles stopped them from reaching the exit.

WERE

So enormous were the beast’s tentacles that they couldn’t reach the exit.

  • As soon as they were outside the house, she called the police.

HAD

No sooner had they got out of the house than she called the police.

  • The car wouldn’t start and the gun was jammed.

WOULD

Not only would the car not start but also the gun was jammed.

  • They didn’t know that the call was coming from inside the house until it was too late.

THAT

Little did they know/realise that the call was coming from inside the house until it was too late.

Production

Have students write another paragraph of the story either in class or for homework. Encourage them to use as many inversions as possible and other descriptive language.

Posted in Advanced C1, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

Save the Planet: C1/C2 Phrasal Verbs

This is a lesson plan for C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency students on the topic of non-profit organisations like the WWF. Students read a short text about the organisation then work on phrasal verbs associated with the topic. Download the handout and key below:

The procedure is pretty straightforward. First students answer the introductory questions designed to activate their schemata and encourage them to predict the content of the text. They then read the text briefly to see if their predictions were correct. They then focus on the meaning of the phrasal verbs, then recall the prepositions/particles and finally put them into practice in a speaking activity.

Save the Planet – Phrasal Verbs

Introduction

Ask and answer the questions with a partner:

  1. Think of some national or international organisations dedicated to protecting the environment.
  2. What do these organisations do?
  3. How effective are they?
  4. What problems/difficulties do they encounter?
  5. What can people do to support these organisations more?

The WWF

  1. Read the text quickly. Does it mention any of the things you discussed in the introduction?
  2. Look at the phrasal verbs and expressions in bold and match them with the definitions below.

The World Wide Fund for Nature

Every day more and more trees are being cut down in the rainforests of the world wiping out hundreds of species. The current deforestation rate amounts to 3 football pitches per minute. Precious water supplies are being used up meaning that still more animals and plants are dying out. If we step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s not just animals and plants that are affected. The rainforests are the Earth’s lungs and further damage will only lead to misery for all life on the planet.

Our organisation aims to put pressure on governments all over the world to make them step up and take responsibility for the environment. Governments need to crack down on bad practices such as illegal logging and mining in rainforests. Sadly, we’re coming up against a lot of resistance from big business but that won’t stop us standing up for the animal kingdom. We’re looking for volunteers to chip in in any way they can; handing out leaflets in the street or drumming up support online are just two ways we can get our message across. Join us today by clicking the link below!

1. Help/contribute money
2. Kill or cause to die on a large scale
3. Be faced with
4. Make people hear/understand information
5. Cause
6. Mentally withdraw from a situation
7. Try to increase/encourage support for something
8. Become extinct
9. Introduce strong restrictions
10. Give something to people
11. Cause to fall
12. Defend verbally or physically
13. Consume all of something
14. Total/add up to
15. Take action when it’s needed

Practice

Try to remember the missing prepositions in the questions below without looking at the text. Then ask and answer the questions.

  1. How effective do you think practices like handing _____ leaflets actually are?
  2. Have you ever done anything to drum ______ support for a charity or other organisation?
  3. What do you think governments should crack ____ ____ in your country?
  4. Think of some endangered animals. Which one would you be saddest about if it died _____ completely?
  5. What do you think is the most effective way for an organisation like the WWF to get its message _______? Online? In person?
  6. What do you think are the most difficult issues that charities like the WWF come ____ ______ when trying to help the environment?
  7. If you use ____ all the toilet paper, do you always replace it?
  8. Think of a time when a friend or family member stood ____ _____ you in a difficult situation.
  9. Now think of a time when nobody stood ____ _____ you. Or when you failed to stand _____ _____ a friend.
  10. Who has the biggest responsibility to step ____ and take responsibility for the environment? Governments? Businesses? The general public? Why?
  11. When it’s a friend’s birthday, is it better if they receive lots of little presents or if everyone chips ____ and gets them one big present. Which would you prefer on your birthday?
  12. If you added up all your screen time in one day, how much would it amount ____? Do you want to cut _____? Why? Why not?
Posted in Advanced C1, Grammar Classes

Mighty Might – C1 Modal Verbs

Strong Super Hero — Stock Vector © starlight789 #12842606

This is a short lesson grammar worksheet looking at some expressions with modal verbs that students typically encounter at C1 level. It is loosely based on the grammar exercises in unit 1 of Ready for Advanced by Macmillan and could serve as an extension or revision exercise. It may also be accessible to high B2 students. Download the student handout and answer key below:

Mighty Might – Student Handout

Look at the sets of different expressions using might and other modal verbs. Match them with the different meanings they express in the box at the bottom.

Might/could at least

  1. You might at least pick up your dirty clothes.
  2. You could at least put your dirty dishes in the sink.
  3. You might at least say hello when you get home instead of going straight to your bedroom.

Might/could #1

  1. I’m going to the bar after football so I might be late home.
  2. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella, it might rain.
  3. Don’t drive so fast, you could have an accident.

Might/could #2

  1. Let’s watch TV, there might be something good on.
  2. Shhh! Be quiet, my parents might be asleep already.
  3. It was really cold last night so the roads could be icy.

Might/may…. but

  1. Ok, I admit that he might be really good at shooting but he never passes the ball, it’s so frustrating.
  2. He may be really good-looking but he’s not very bright.
  3. She might have all the money in the world but is she truly happy?

Might/may as well

  1. All the good bands have finished playing so we might as well go home.
  2. We’ve already missed the start of the film so we may as well do something else.
  3. It’s too dark, you’re never going to find your lost keys, you might as well give up.

Might/could//may have + past participle #1

  1. Woah! Be careful with that ladder, you might have taken my head off!
  2. Slow down! You could have hit that old lady!
  3. He might have got together with Julie at the party but he spent all night being sick in the toilet.

Might/could//may have + past participle #2

  1. Where are they? I’m worried, they might have had an accident.
  2. I can’t find my phone. I could have left it at work.
  3. Someone has stolen one of the plants from the front porch. It might have been those boys from next door.
Past possibility           past possibility that didn’t happen            future possibility            annoyance              Concession (ok, you’re right)           suggestion without enthusiasm            present possibility

Complete the sentence

  1. Boss: Your office is a mess and it stinks you might at least ___________________.
  2. Let’s see what’s on at the cinema there might____________________.
  3. The weather forecast says that it might_____________________.
  4. We’ve missed the last train home so we might as well___________________.
  5. Ok, she might be a good singer but________________.
  6. Where’s the cat? She might have__________________________.
  7. Luckily, I escaped the crash with just cuts and bruises, I might have___________________.

Key Word Transformations

  1. There’s no point staying any longer, let’s go home.

MIGHT

We _______________________ go home.

  1. I always have to tidy up your mess, some help would be nice.

MIGHT

I always have to tidy up your mess, _____________________ me.

  1. You’re right there are some interesting characters in the book but it’s just so monotonous.

MIGHT

Ok, the characters _______________________________ is just so monotonous.

  1. My laptop isn’t here, maybe someone stole it.

MIGHT

My laptop isn’t here, it __________________________________.

  1. We were lucky, the hurricane nearly hit our house.

MIGHT

We were lucky, ______________________ our house

Posted in Advanced C1, Vocabulary Classes

C1 Advanced: Jigsaw Text

This is an activity inspired by this great post on tefltastic.wordpress.com:

https://tefltastic.wordpress.com/worksheets/inside-out/io-upper-u2/dependant-preps-jigsaw/

Students must piece together the story of a trip to Japan using dependent prepositions and other fixed expressions to guide them. Download the handout below:

Procedure

Put students in pairs and give out the handout. Challenge students to put the story back in the correct order. Encourage them to use the prepositions and other collocations to help them.

Show the completed version of the text to check their answers. Deal with the meaning of the different key expressions.

Have students test each other on the different dependent prepositions; one says the verb, the other must recall the preposition.

Give students 5 minutes to write their own travel story using as many of the combinations as they can. Award one point for each correctly used expression and two points for any other impressive expressions and collocations.