Posted in Teacher Training

APAC Online Teacher Development Courses July 2021

APAC (Associació de Professorat d’Anglès de Catalunya) are running four 100% online teacher development courses this July. They will cover a range of topics and one of them will be presented by me! I will be running a 30-hour course from 5th-9th July entitled “Exploring Methodologies and Lesson Frameworks”, here’s my blurb:

“This course will compare and contrast a range of different methodologies and approaches including task-based learning, the lexical approach and many more practical and applicable tools and techniques. Trainees will develop their understanding of several lesson frameworks that can be adapted for use in their own teaching contexts. They will put their knowledge into practice by developing their own lesson plans and materials throughout the course.”

If that topic doesn’t float your boat, there are 3 more courses on offer:

A Hands-On Introduction to Project-Based Learning, with Cèlia Esquerra

In this hands on course you will learn about the fundamentals of project based learning: origin, elements and characteristics. At the same time, you will learn how to design, implement and assess a project while creating your own project.

Aimed at: Secondary School and Language School teachers

Dates: 12-16 July 2021

Tackling Troubles in the ELT Classroom, with Colin Young

The course empowers English teachers to become language facilitators by providing real solutions to working in a diverse classroom.  

Hands-on practice of differentiated learning, pronunciation improvement tools, and questioning techniques will allow language facilitators to create a supportive learning environment where students and teachers develop the confidence to communicate clearly.

Additionally, teachers will make progress in their own personal language skills by gaining awareness, practice and a solid understanding of their ‘language gaps’.

Aimed at: Primary and Secondary School, and Language School teachers

Dates: 12-16 July 2021

Emotional Intelligence: Mindfulness for teachers and students, with Emma Reynolds

This course will bring together the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course for adults with practices for students that teachers can use in the classroom. We will learn experientially about how to become more focused with our attention, work with difficult thoughts and emotions through meditations, mindful movement and more.

Aimed at: Primary and Secondary School, and Language School teachers

Dates: 5-9 July 2021

Visit the APAC website by clicking the link below for more information or to enrol on the courses, there are special discounts for APAC members. Maybe see you on Zoom in July!

https://www.apac365.org/campaign-3

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Advanced C1, B2 First, Listening Classes, Proficiency

2Ts in a Pod: Episode 47 – The Unluckiest People in the World

NEW EPISODE! In Episode 47 Tim & Katy tell stories of some of the unluckiest people to have ever lived! Which one do you think is the unluckiest?

This great lesson plan by Alice at Hot Take English is based around one of the hard luck stories from this episode; why not set the podcast for homework and then use the lesson plan in the following class?

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Games, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

C2 Proficiency: Mega Revision Pub Quiz

4,881 Joker Card Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

This is a fun revision activity I have designed for my C2 students to revise some of the vocabulary we have studied this year. It’s based on a series of lesson plans and activities I have used throughout the course, all of which you can find on the blog. Download the student handout, answer key and PowerPoint below:

Show students the PowerPoint that will explain the rules. They should work in pairs or groups of 3 and come up with a team name. The second slide will explain the concept of a joker round. Each team can play their joker round once to get double points in one round, but they must decide when they want to play their card before they see the questions. So each team must decide when to use their joker round before the quiz starts based on the titles of the different categories. Make a note of the round each group has chosen for their joker before starting the quiz.

Give out the student handout and give them 5 minutes to complete round 1, if covid restrictions allow you could then have them pass their papers to the next team in order to correct them, if not, they can correct their own.

The winning team is the one with the most points at the end of the 8 rounds!

Posted in Guest Posts, Pronunciation Classes, Reading Classes, Writing Classes

Guest Post: Hot Take English – Limericks

This is another guest post by Alice at https://www.hottakeenglish.com/ on the topic of limericks. Students learn the rhyme and syllable structure of a limerick, then write their own. Download the student handout and teacher’s notes below:

Check out Alice’s blog for more great lesson plans. The limericks used in this lesson plan are from www.kingoflimericks.com

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Advanced C1, B2 First, Listening Classes, Proficiency, Reading Classes

2Ts in a Pod: Book Club – The Thursday Murder Club – Episode 5

This is part 5 in our book club series on Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club. In this episode we look at chapters 18-23, discuss the things that happen and dig into some of the vocabulary.

Why not encourage your high level students to read and listen along with us? You’ll find the other 4 episodes on our SoundCloud page.

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

C1/C2: Review – Gadget, App, Software

Los 21 gadgets que te vas a comprar en 2020, según Business Insider |  Business Insider España

This is a lesson plan for C1-C2 students designed to develop their understanding of vocabulary to describe gadgets, apps and pieces of software. Candidates are often required to describe such things in writing tasks in the main suite of Cambridge exams. This lesson plan may also be useful for business English classes. Download the handout and key below:

Students start by discussing the most useful gadgets, apps and pieces of software they own. Then they read a text describing the new Thermomix cooking robot. After focusing on the language, they put it into practice by writing their own short product pitches and presenting them to the class.

Pre-reading

  1. What’s the most useful gadget you have in your house?
  2. What’s the most useful app you have on your phone?
  3. What’s the most useful piece of software you have on your computer?
  4. How do these things make your life easier?
  5. Why do you think these gadgets/apps/pieces of software have become popular?

Reading

  1. Does your family have a Thermomix? If so, is it useful? If not, would you like one?
  2. What things can it do?
  3. How does it compare to its competitors?

Read the text, does it contain any of the ideas you mentioned?

Theromix have been making waves in the world of kitchen gadgets for some time now. Ever since the advent of their first appliance way back in 1985, they’ve been at the cutting edge of the market lending a hand to hard-pressed families the world over.

The latest model, the TM6, really made a splash when it hit the shelves last month. This latest iteration really is lightyears ahead of its competitors. With its state-of-the-art design it truly is a sight to behold. That being said, what really makes it stand out from the crowd is how easy it is to use. It really is a piece of cake, and you’ll be savouring that cake sooner than you think.

Simply scroll through the different preset menus, select the one that catches your eye, add the ingredients and let thermomix take care of the rest. It’s touch-screen menus and ergonomic controls are so user-friendly that you’ll master them in no time at all. It enables you to make quick, mouth-watering meals at the touch of a button. Though its competitors may come with all sorts of bells and whistles, there’s a reason Thermomix has cornered the kitchen robot market: elegance, ease of use, and efficiency. It’s not rocket science!

Language Focus

Look at the expressions in bold, make notes on their meaning with your partner.

Can you remember the missing words?

Theromix have been _________ waves in the world of kitchen gadgets for some time now. Ever since the a______ of their first a_______ way back in 1985, they’ve been at the cutting ______ of the market lending a _______ to ______-pressed families the world _______.

The latest model, the TM6, really made a s_______ when it ______ the shelves last month. This latest iteration really is lightyears ________ of its competitors. With its ______-of-the-_____ design it truly is a ______ to behold. That being said, what really makes it stand ______ ______ the crowd is how easy it is to use. It really is a piece of _______, and you’ll be savouring that cake sooner than you think.

Simply scroll through the different preset menus, select the one that ________ your eye, add the ingredients and let thermomix take _____ _____ the rest. It’s ______-screen menus and e________ controls are so user-_________ that you’ll master them in no time at all. It enables you to make quick, ________-watering meals at the _______ of a ________. Though its competitors may come with all sorts of _______ and whistles, there’s a reason Thermomix has _________ the kitchen robot market: elegance, ease of use, and efficiency. It’s not _________ science!

Sell, sell, sell!

Choose one of these gadgets, write a short pitch to sell it to your classmates.

Posted in Recommended Websites

Podcast Recommendation: What on Earth is a Noun Phrase?

Image

If you’re an English teacher or linguist, check out the great new podcast What on Earth is a Noun Phrase? by Oxford Language Performance. In each episode they speak to a different practitioner in the field of EFL or linguistics and interview them about their area/passion. The episodes are short, insightful, and full of great tips and tools for teachers. You can find them wherever you normally get your podcasts or sign up through their website below:

https://oxfordlp.org/podcast/

You can also follow them on Twitter @whatonearthisa

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

C2 Proficiency: Key Word Transformation Training #2

C2 Proficiency de Inglés (CPE) del Cambridge: Cómo Aprobarlo | TURBOLANGS

This is an exam preparation activity for students taking the C2 Proficiency exam. Students learn some fixed expressions that may come up in part 4 of the reading and use of English paper and also practice their paraphrasing skills. Download the handout below:

I recommend using my first key word transformation training exercise first.

Use the first 12 slides of this quizlet set to test students’ memories of the fixed expressions from the first training activity. You could then give them this doc of 15 of the key word transformations as homework or spaced repetition at a later date:

Then hand out the new worksheet. First students work in pairs to paraphrase the expressions in bold and come up with notes to help them remember the expressions; this could involve taking a note of a dependent preposition or a verb pattern (gerund/infinitive). Monitor and check students’ understanding of the expressions. Then students turn the paper over and attempt to recall the expressions with the help of the key words. Finally, students recall prepositions from the expressions as these can often trip students up. Also, the second point in a key word transformation question can often come down to a dependent preposition.

You could use this quizziz game to test their memory of the prepositions at a later date.

Student Handout

Version 1

Look at the expressions in bold. Discuss the meaning with your partner and make notes to help you remember them.

  1. The film fell short of my expectations I’m afraid.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Tickets are probably sold out but there’s no harm in calling to check.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. My son took absolutely no notice of my advice and spent all his birthday money on video games.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. It seems that there’s little prospect that they will be able to win the championship now.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. It was a really interesting lecture that gave us food for thought.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. His injury had a serious effect on his ability to earn a living.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Giles can be relied on to help out if you’re in a spot of bother.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. It never occurred to me to ask Jenny for help with the car, I didn’t know she was an engineer.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. He was given a life sentence for murder.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Sadly, her career has always taken priority over her family.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. The printer is apt to disconnect from the wifi network, it has a mind of its own.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. The specials menu is subject to change on a daily basis.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Julia’s command of German is extraordinary, she nailed the presentation.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. For the first month of membership you will be exempt from paying delivery fees.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. In the winter months it’s cold beyond belief so bring warm clothes.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Let’s go out! I’m in the mood for dancing tonight.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. The audience showed their disapproval of the comedian’s routine by booing loudly.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Martin has his hands full now that his wife has given birth to twins.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. Thank you so much for the loan. I have every intention of paying you back ASAP.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. You’re putting your life in jeopardy every time you drink and drive.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

  1. By the look of his facial expression, I’d say that he didn’t take your criticism well.

Meaning………………………………………………………………………………. Notes ………………………….

Version 2

Now look at version 2. Work with a partner, try to recall the expressions using the key words to help you.

  1. The film wasn’t as good as I thought it would be (SHORT) I’m afraid.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Tickets are probably sold out but we might as well call (HARM) to check.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. My son completely ignored (NOTICE) my advice and spent all his birthday money on video games.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. It seems that there’s not much chance that (PROSPECT) they will be able to win the championship now.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. It was a really interesting lecture that made us think (FOOD).

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. His injury seriously affected (EFFECT) his ability to earn a living.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Giles will always (RELIED) help out if you’re in a spot of bother.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. I never thought of asking (OCCURRED) Jenny for help with the car, I didn’t know she was an engineer.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. He was sent to prison for the rest of his life for (SENTENCE) murder.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Sadly, her career has always been more important to her than (PRIORITY) her family.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. The printer has a tendency to (APT) disconnect from the wifi network, it has a mind of its own.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. The specials menu can sometimes change (SUBJECT) on a daily basis.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Julia speaks German extraordinarily well (COMMAND), she did the presentation very well. (N…)

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. For the first month of membership you won’t have to pay (EXEMPT) delivery fees.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. In the winter months it’s so cold you wouldn’t believe it (BEYOND) so bring warm clothes.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Let’s go out! I feel like dancing (MOOD) tonight.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. The audience complained about (DISAPPROVAL) the comedian’s routine by booing loudly.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Martin is very busy (HANDS) now that his wife had the (BIRTH) twins.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. Thank you so much for the loan. I will definitely pay (EVERY) you back ASAP.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. You’re endangering your life (JEOPARDY) every time you drink and drive.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

  1. If you look at (BY) his facial expression, I’d say that he didn’t take your criticism well.

……………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………….

Preposition Check

The second point in a key word transformation can often come down to the preposition. Can you remember the prepositions in these expressions?

  1. The film fell short ….. my expectations I’m afraid.
  2. Tickets are probably sold out but there’s no harm ….. calling to check.
  3. My son took absolutely no notice ….. my advice and spent all his birthday money on video games.
  4. It was a really interesting lecture that gave us food ….. thought.
  5. His injury had a serious effect ….. his ability to earn a living.
  6. Giles can be relied ….. to help out if you’re in a spot of bother.
  7. It never occurred ….. me to ask Jenny for help with the car, I didn’t know she was an engineer.
  8. He was given a life sentence ….. murder.
  9. Sadly, her career has always taken priority ….. her family.
  10. The printer is apt ….. disconnect from the wifi network, it has a mind of its own.
  11. The specials menu is subject ….. change on a daily basis.
  12. Julia’s command ….. German is extraordinary, she nailed the presentation.
  13. For the first month of membership you will be exempt ….. paying delivery fees.
  14. In the winter months it’s cold ……… belief so bring warm clothes.
  15. Let’s go out! I’m ….. the mood ….. dancing tonight.
  16. The audience showed their disapproval ….. the comedian’s routine by booing loudly.
  17. Martin has his hands full now that his wife has given birth ….. twins.
  18. Thank you so much for the loan. I have every intention ….. paying you back ASAP.
  19. You’re putting your life ….. jeopardy every time you drink and drive.
  20. ….. the look of his facial expression, I’d say that he didn’t take your criticism well.
Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Advanced C1, B2 First, Listening Classes

2Ts in a Pod: Episode 45 – Shopping

After a bit of an unexpected hiatus, we are back with a new episode of 2Ts in a Pod on the topic of shopping!

We understand how important it is to release podcast episodes on a regular basis and following a more regular timetable so we’re endeavouring to turn over a new leaf! You can expect more episodes soon! We’ve got 3 more in the can already!

Posted in Advanced C1, Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

C1 Advanced: Key Word Transformation Training #3

2. Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Preparation

This is another training exercise for students taking the C1 Advanced exam. Students learn some typical fixed expressions that come up in part 4 of the reading and use of English paper. Download the handout below:

Students work together to paraphrase the fixed expressions, then flip the paper over and try to recall them using a key word as a prompt. You’ll find the 17 expressions in this set of 82 different key word transformation questions from quizlet.com

Student Handout

Version 1

Work with a partner, read the sentences, then paraphrase the expression in bold.

  1. Sorry I’m late, I completely lost track of time.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. Leaving this door open may result in the monkeys escaping.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. He stands every chance of winning the championship this year.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. She stands a slim chance of beating her rival to the trophy.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. This evening’s performance will be followed by a question and answer session with the director.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. No fewer than seventeen people were seen breaking into the building.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. Her main problem is that she is weak at spelling.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. The project failed due to a lack of funding from the local government.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. The project is going ahead according to plan.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. She is highly spoken of in the local area. We should hire her.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. I am in no doubt that the show will be a resounding success.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. I didn’t have any recollection of seeing Julia on Saturday night until I saw her at work on Monday morning.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. The teenagers took no notice of me and carried on smoking and playing loud music.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. I left my handbag on the train, I’ve given up hope of finding it again.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. He really made a name for himself when he moved to LA in 2006.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. It’s official, I handed in my notice to my boss yesterday and I’m starting my own business next week!

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

  1. She can’t even boil an egg, let alone cook a full meal for ten people.

Meaning …………………………………………………………………………

Version 2

Read the sentences, can you remember the expressions from version 1? Use the key word in brackets to help you.

  1. Sorry I’m late, I didn’t realise what time it was. (TRACK)

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. Leaving this door open may lead to (IN) the monkeys escaping. 

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. He is almost definitely going to win (CHANCE) the championship this year.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. There’s a low probability that she will beat (CHANCE) her rival to the trophy.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. After this evening’s performance there will be (FOLLOWED) a question and answer session with the director.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. As many as (THAN) seventeen people were seen breaking into the building.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. Her main problem is that her spelling is bad. (WEAK)

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. The project failed because there wasn’t enough (DUE) funding from the local government.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. The project is continuing as planned (AHEAD)

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. She has a great reputation (HIGHLY) in the local area. We should hire her.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. I am sure that (DOUBT) the show will be a resounding success.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. I didn’t remember seeing (RECOLLECTION) Julia on Saturday night until I saw her at work on Monday morning.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. The teenagers ignored (NOTICE) me and carried on smoking and playing loud music.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. I left my handbag on the train, I don’t think I will find (UP) it again.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. He really became famous (NAME) when he moved to LA in 2006.

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. It’s official, I officially told my boss I was leaving (NOTICE) yesterday and I’m starting my own business next week!

…………………………………………………………………………

  1. She can’t even boil an egg, so she definitely can’t (ALONE) cook a full meal for ten people.

…………………………………………………………………………