Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Reported Whatsapps

Image result for whatsapp

Image credit: www.whatsapp.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a new lesson plan for B2+ learners in which students practice reported speech by interpreting emojis and text messages from the popular messaging app Whatsapp. Everything you need is in the powerpoint below:

reported-whatsapps

Students start by reporting the meaning behind various emojis then build up to reporting a section of a text message conversation and then move on to translating and reporting their own text conversations from their phone. It provides great practice of the grammar point as well as opportunities for the emergence of real, useful language in an everyday setting.

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

Would Rather/Would Sooner

Image credit: www.foodnavigator-usa.com

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This is a grammar activity designed for C1 students. Students learn how to express preference using “would rather” and “would sooner” then put them to use in a roleplay. Download the powerpoint, handout and key below:

Would rather – powerpoint

Would Rather worksheet – handout and key

Procedure

Use the powerpoint to present the rules, it is designed in a test, teach, test structure. Make sure that students copy down the rules and several examples then have them complete the worksheet and finally put the structures to use in a fun role-play. Students will role play being a married couple having a very civilised argument. Once they have finished have them feedback in open class: “Can the marriage be saved? Or is it on the rocks?” My teenage CAE students found it absolutely hilarious and used the structures in very creative ways.

Handout

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb in brackets:

  1. I would rather ____________ a light salad than a steak for dinner. (have)
  2. I would rather he ________________his dirty cups all over the house. (not leave)
  3. Venice was nice but I’d sooner __________________ to Paris. (go)
  4. He’s quite antisocial he’d just as soon ____________ video games all weekend than go to a bar. (play)
  5. I wanted to give the present to granny! I’d rather you _______________ for me to arrive before you gave it to her. (wait)
  6. We had dinner outside but it was too cold. I’d much rather ______________ inside the restaurant. (eat)

Complete the key word transformations using 3-6 words.

  1. My brother is always stealing my chocolate out of the fridge.

RATHER

I’d _______________________________________ my chocolate out of the fridge.

  1. Why did you tell the boss I was leaving?

RATHER

I ____________________________________ the boss I was leaving.

  1. I prefer visiting museums to lying around on the beach all day.

JUST

I ____________________________ than lie around on the beach all day.

  1. The chocolates he gave me were ok but I wanted roses.

RATHER

I _____________________________  me roses instead of chocolates.

  1. The art gallery was sooo boring; I wanted to go to the casino.

RATHER

I _______________________________ to the casino instead of that boring art gallery.

  1. He would prefer to do anything instead of watching a football match.

SOONER

He ___________________________________ anything instead of watching a football match.

Role-play

Role-play the following scenario with your partner:

You are a married couple; you have been married for 23 years. You have just got back from a party at a friend’s house. At the party you both got drunk and did a lot of things to annoy your husband/wife. You are both also annoyed about some things that the other does or doesn’t do around the house. Have a civilised argument using as many “would rathers” and “would sooners” as you can.

Key

Sentence Completion

  1. Have
  2. Didn’t leave
  3. Have gone
  4. Play
  5. Had waited
  6. Have eaten

Key Word Transformations

  1. Rather my brother didn’t steal
  2. Would rather you hadn’t told
  3. Would just as soon visit museums
  4. Would rather he had given
  5. Would rather have gone
  6. Would soon do
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Used to/Would: My First Job

Image credit: www.express.co.uk

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for intermediate adult students in which they learn how to use “used to” and “would” to talk about past habits then use them to talk about their first jobs. Download the handout and key below:

My First Job would used to

Handout

Reading

I got my first job when I was 12 years old. I worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers to people in my village every morning. I used to get up very early and deliver the papers to half of the village while my friend Ben would deliver to the other half. I used to love seeing the empty streets of the village before anyone got up but I used to hate the job on rainy days. I would sometimes ride my bike to get the job done faster. Ben was luckier than me, sometimes if he couldn’t be bothered to do his paper round, his Dad would drive him around his route in his car!

  1. What was his first job?
  2. He had to deliver papers to the whole village T/F
  3. What did he enjoy about his job?
  4. What didn’t he like about his job?
  5. He always did the job on foot T/F
  6. Sometimes someone helped him do his job T/F

Language Focus

Underline all the uses of “used to” and “would” in the text. Both can be used to describe habits in the past.

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

__________________ can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

__________________ can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Look at the text again, in which cases can we use either “used to” or “would” and which ones can we only use “used to”?

Complete the sentences below with “used to” or “used to + would”

  1. I _____________ be really fat but I’ve lost a lot of weight.
  2. When I was a child I ___________________ play football in the park for hours.
  3. I _____________ hate olives but I love them now.
  4. When I worked in the city centre I ___________________take the metro to work every day.
  5. I ____________________ think that living alone was boring but I’ve changed my mind now.
  6. When I was at primary school we __________________ go swimming every Monday afternoon and on the way home we __________________ stop to buy sweets and Coca-Cola I ________________ love Monday afternoons!

Note: We normally start a story about a past habit with “used to” and then use “would” to describe actions:

I used to work in advertising; I would travel all over the world meeting different clients. On Fridays we would take the day off and go to a casino or a bar.

Practice

Step 1: Write a short text (2-3 lines) about your first job. Include your responsibilities and some things you liked and disliked about it.

 

 

 

Step 2: Read your text to your partner. Then let them ask you some questions about your job:

For example: What did you use to wear? Were you a good employee? Etc.

Step 3: Change partner and tell them about your old job but this time try to do it from memory DON’T READ FROM THE PAPER.

Reflect

  1. Who used to have the most different job to the one they do now?
  2. Whose first job sounds the best/worst?
  3. What are the most common first jobs in your country?
  4. What age do you think people should get their first job?
  5. How can we prepare young people for the stresses of the working world?

Key

Reading

  1. He was a paperboy
  2. False, his friend delivered to half the village
  3. Seeing the empty streets in the morning
  4. Doing the job on rainy days
  5. False, he sometimes rode his bike
  6. False, his friend Ben sometimes got his Dad to help him

 

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

Used to can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

Would can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Sentences

  1. Used to
  2. Both
  3. Used to
  4. Both
  5. Used to
  6. Both, both, used to
Posted in Grammar Classes

Reporting with Passives: Worksheet

Image credit: www.forbes.com

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This is a worksheet designed with C1 students in mind. It will help them construct passive sentences with reporting verbs, which are appropriate for many of the formal writing tasks in the CAE exam. Download the worksheet, key and powerpoint below:

reporting-with-passives

gossip-column-pics

Worksheet

We can use passive structures with infinitives in formal writing to report opinions and beliefs.

Present and Future – use an infinitive (to be, to affect)

Many people think Messi is the best player ever.

Messi is thought to be the best player ever.

Scientists know that pollen allergy affects a lot of people.

Pollen allergies are known to affect a lot of people.

Journalists expect that the president will give a speech at 2pm.

The president is expected to give a speech at 2pm.

Past – use a perfect infinitive (to have been, to have made, to have done)

Experts think that Van Gogh painted the painting in 1888.

Van Gogh is thought to have painted the painting in 1888.

The police think he killed his wife.

He is thought to have killed his wife.

Verbs used in this way included: believe, consider, estimate, expect, know, report, say, think, understand and “to be rumoured”.

Practice:

Change the second sentence using the passive structure.

  1. Experts say that 8 hours sleep is the perfect amount.

8 hours sleep ________________________________________________________________

  1. They expect that 2000 people will attend the festival.

2000 people _________________________________________________________________

  1. Police think that the stolen money is buried in the garden.

The stolen money _____________________________________________________________

  1. There are rumours that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are dating again.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez __________________________________________________

  1. Experts estimate that 20 people died in the fire.

20 people_______________________________________________________________.

  1. Journalists report that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have broken up.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian_________________________________________________.

  1. Scientists believe that the big bang happened 13.7 billion years ago.

The big bang____________________________________________________________.

 

Key

  1. 8 hours sleep is said to be the perfect amount.
  2. 2000 people are expected to attend the festival.
  3. The stolen money is thought to be buried in the garden.
  4. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are rumoured to be dating again.
  5. 20 people are estimated to have died in the fire.
  6. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are reported to have broken up.
  7. The big bang is believed to have happened 13.7 billion years ago.

Creative Practice Exercise

Show the powerpoint with pictures of celebrities, students make up gossip stories about them.

After completing the worksheet have students write two sentences, 1 in the present and 1 in the past, about their partner in the style of a gossip magazine article:

“Jordi is rumoured to be dating Sandra.”

“Jordi is thought to have written Sara a poem.”

Have students read their sentences out to the class, then they vote on which is the juiciest piece of gossip.

Posted in Grammar Classes, Reading Classes

Mysteries of the Ancient World: Past Modals of Speculation

Image credit: www.english-heritage.org.uk

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This is a grammar lesson on the theme of mysterious ancient monuments. I taught this class as my assessed lesson for the grammar assignment of my DELTA. Download the procedure, powerpoint and handouts below.

Let me know if the lesson procedure is clear enough as it’s written in Cambridge DELTA speak!

Lesson Procedure Past Speculation 3rd draft

The Mystery of Stonehenge 3rd draft – Students’ handout

The Mystery of Stonehenge Teacher’s copy with key – answers underlined

Mysteries of the ancient world 2nd draft – Powerpoint with pictures

The Mystery of Stonehenge – Students’ Handout

Thousands of years ago, an ancient civilization raised a circle of huge, roughly rectangular stones in a field in what is now Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge, as it would come to be called, has been a mystery ever since. Building began on the site around 3100 B.C. and continued in phases up until about 1600 B.C. No written records exist to explain how or why it was built.

How was Stonehenge built?

The biggest of Stonehenge’s stones, known as sarsens, are up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall and weigh 25 tons (22.6 metric tons) on average. Scientists believe that they must have been brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the north. Transporting the stones that distance can’t have been easy.

Smaller stones, referred to as “bluestones” (they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken), weigh up to 4 tons and come from several different sites in western Wales, having been transported as far as 140 miles (225 km). It’s unknown how people in antiquity moved them that far. Scientists speculate that during the last ice age glaciers might have carried these bluestones closer to the Stonehenge area. An earlier theory was that the builders could have used rafts to transport the stones over the water. However, more recent research suggests that this method can’t have been used because of the weight of the stones.

  1. Where do scientists think the Sarsen stones came from?
  2. What does the writer say about transporting the Sarsen stones?
  3. Where did the blue stones come from?
  4. How do scientists think the blue stones were transported to the site?

What was Stonehenge?

There are a number of theories as to what the site was used for. Archaeologists agree that the site must have had a spiritual significance. It may have originally been a cemetery, according to a new study. After examining bones exhumed near the stones, scientists believe that the burials must have taken place at the same time as Stonehenge was built, suggesting that the stones could have been gravestones for religious or political elite.

  1. What are scientists certain about the significance of Stonehenge?
  2. Scientists are sure that Stonehenge was a cemetery T/F

Stonehenge may have been constructed with the sun in mind. One avenue connecting the monument with the nearby River Avon aligns with the sun on the winter solstice; archaeological evidence reveals that pigs were slaughtered at Stonehenge in December and January, suggesting that ancient pagan sun celebrations might have taken place there.

Steven Waller, a researcher in archaeoacoustics has revealed that before part of the ring collapsed it must have had excellent acoustics and speculates that it might have been an ancient concert hall or cathedral.

  1. Why do scientists think the builders chose the location for the stones?
  2. What other events possibly happened at Stonehenge?
  3. What does Steven Waller say about Stonehenge?

Wild theories about Stonehenge have persisted since the Middle Ages. Some say Merlin the wizard may have cast a spell to make the rocks as light as a feather to help with the construction. UFO enthusiasts believe that ancient aliens could have built Stonehenge as a spacecraft landing pad.

  1. What unscientific methods for Stonehenge’s construction have been suggested?

Form – Past modal verbs of speculation

Look at the sentences on the board and complete the table

Subject          + Modal           + _____________     + _____________
I

You

He/she/it

Etc.

Could

Might

May

Must

Can’t

 

 

_______

…………………

…………………

…………………

…………………

Etc.

Practice – Memory Test

Answer the questions with your partner using past modals.

  1. What did the text say about transporting the larger Sarsen stones?
  2. What did the text say about glaciers?
  3. What are scientists sure about the significance of Stonehenge?
  4. What did the researcher in archaeoacoustics say about Stonehenge?
  5. What were some of the more wild theories about its use?

Easter Island Heads

  1. Scientists are almost certain that the stones had a religious significance.

Scientists believe that the stones________________________________ a religious significance.

  1. Scientists think that it’s impossible that the stones came from a different island.

Scientists think that the stones _________________________________ from a different island.

  1. It’s possible that the stones were carved to resemble a famous leader of the tribe.

The stones _____________________________________ to resemble a famous leader of the tribe.

  1. Some people believe that there’s a possibility that the stones came from another planet. Some people believe that the stones _______________________________________from another planet.

Lesson Procedure

Stage Time Focus Procedure Aim
Pre-reading 5 mins OC

 

 

 

In pairs

Show picture of Stonehenge. Ask if anyone has been there. Share information with class.

 

Sts speculate. How old is it? How was it built? What was it?

Introduce topic. To allow sts to apply top-down knowledge
Reading 1 2 mins Pairs Give out handout. Sts read intro. Report back to open class. How old is Stonehenge? To confirm speculation and generate interest.
Reading 2 + language focus (meaning) 20 mins Pairs

 

 

 

 

 

OC

Instruct sts to read next section quickly then read questions and answer in pairs.

 

 

 

Check answers – nominate – check across class.

 

Board first 5 sentences that answer questions with modal verbs.

Ask questions: “How certain are the scientists?” to develop understanding of meaning.

Board paraphrases: “could have” = “it’s possible” “must have” = “almost certain” etc.

Repeat for sections 3,4,5.

While sts read, board phonemics for sentences on board:

/mʌstəv/

/ka:ntəv/

/meɪəv/

/kʊdəv/

/maɪtəv/

To confirm speculation. To test sts ability to understand past modals.

 

 

 

 

To develop understanding of meaning of target sentences.

Language focus 5 mins Pairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sts look at 5 boarded sentences, analyse structures and complete substitution table on handout:

 

Board formula: modal + perfect infinitive (have + past part.)

 

Focus on pronunciation, sts use phonemics on board to practice target sentences.

To develop form of structures.

 

 

 

 

 

To develop pronunciation of past modals.

Speaking – controlled practice 5 mins pairs Sts answer questions about text on handout in pairs, trying to use the target language. To practice and become more familiar with the structures.
Writing – controlled practice 5 mins pairs Show picture of Easter Island Heads with scientific theories. Sts complete sentence transformations on handout using past modals.

 

Check answers across class.

To practice written form and meaning.

 

 

 

To check answers and practice pronunciation.

Speaking – controlled practice 10-15 mins Pairs

 

 

 

OC

 

Pairs/groups of 4.

Sts speculate about the Easter Island heads in pairs. Monitor, board corrections.

 

Share ideas in open class.

 

Repeat with pictures of Magura Cave, Great Pyramids, Uffington White Horse.

 

Sts make speculations in pairs about new pictures then speak to pair next to them and share ideas.

To practice and become more familiar with the structures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To come to a consensus about speculations.

Posted in Grammar Classes

CAE Conditionals Worksheet

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This is a worksheet to practice some advanced conditional expressions such as as soon as/otherwise/even if.

It follows on from my previous CAE conditionals lesson plan. Download the worksheet below:

Conditionals Worksheet

Conditionals Worksheet

Complete the sentences with a word from the box.

  1. ______________ the weather improves, we’ll have to cancel the match.
  2. ______________ you won the lottery, would you keep working?
  3. ______I known you were going to get angry, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.
  4. ______ they to install a swimming pool, how many people would use it?
  5. Put on another pair of socks, _____________ you’re going to get cold.
  6. I’m not going to speak to him again, ______________ he begs me on his hands and knees.
  7. __________ you feel sick, take two of these tablets.
  8. ______________ you pay us half of the money now, we’ll give you a 5% discount.
Should       were       supposing       unless       had       even if       provided that       otherwise

 

Match the first half of the conditional (1-8) to the second half.

1.     Supposing I asked you out for dinner,

2.     You can have a party,

3.     I wouldn’t go on a date with him,

4.     Should you need any assistance,

5.     Make sure you close the cage door,

6.     Unless you lower your price,

7.     Were the boss to give us a pay rise,

8.     Had I not seen the warning sign,

a.     Even if he was the last man on Earth.

b.     Provided that you clean up afterwards.

c.      Don’t hesitate to call me.

d.     We might not be so grumpy all the time.

e.     The deal is off.

f.       Otherwise the hamster might escape.

g.     I would have touched the cable and been electrocuted!

h.     What would you say?

 

 

 

Key

Exercise 1

  1. Unless
  2. Supposing
  3. Had
  4. Were
  5. Otherwise
  6. Even if
  7. Should
  8. Provided that

Exercise 2

  1. H
  2. B
  3. A
  4. C
  5. F
  6. E
  7. D
  8. G
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.