Posted in Conversation Classes

“I could eat a horse!” – Food Conversation Topic

Super simple conversation activity based around the topic of food. Suitable for a range of levels from A2 upwards. It was written for students based in Barcelona so a couple of questions won’t make sense outside Catalonia, but you can skip/adapt those ones. Credit to my DELTA tutor Neil Forrest for the dressing a salad question and for the weird national dishes questions.

Introduce the topic of food debates using the first slide about the Devon vs Cornwall cream tea debate. Cream teas are scones topped with jam and clotted cream but there is a heated debate regarding which should be put on the scone first. Cornish heathens think that the jam should go first, followed by the cream, which is just preposterous. Righteous Devonians know that the correct order is cream first, then jam. (can you guess where I’m from?) Then ask students to discuss any food debates that exist in their country.

Download the powerpoint below:

Posted in Reading Classes, Young Learners

After School Clubs: Reading & Poster Project

after school club

This is a lesson plan for A2 young learners. Students discuss the topic of after school clubs, do some reading comprehension and then create their own after school club posters. Download the example poster/reading text below:

after school poster

Lesson Plan

Write the topic of the lesson on the board, put students in pairs and give them 2 minutes to think of as many after school activities as they can. Check their answers awarding 2 points for each unique answer (no other group has it) and 1 point if another group has it.

Show students the Theatre Club poster, ask students to predict what activities the children do at theatre club. Give out the text and have students answer the comprehension questions, have them work in pairs.

Check students’ answers. Then students work in pairs or small groups to create their own posters for their own imaginary after school clubs. Refer back to the ideas they generated in the first activity. Encourage students to use the example poster as a model substituting word:

“Do you want to be an actor/actress a famous footballer?”

Put students posters up around the class and have a gallery activity where students move around the class reading each others posters. Have students think of two questions to ask each group about their club, then decide which clubs they’d most like to join.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Ice-breakers, Warmers

Back to School: My Summer Holidays (A1-B1)

Image result for summer holidays

Image credit:

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a warmer/short conversation activity for use with lower-level students (A1-B1) to refresh past simple question formation. Download the handout below:


Scrambled Questions

Unscramble the questions, and then ask them to your teacher:

  1. summer your how holidays were?
  2. did where go you?
  3. there you did do what?
  4. it did like you?

Ask and answer the questions in pairs.

Questions Words

Complete the questions with a question word:

Where    What (x2)    How (x2)    Who


  1. ___________ was the weather like?
  2. ___________ did you stay?
  3. ___________ did you get there?
  4. ___________ did you go on holiday with?
  5. ___________ long did you go for?
  6. ___________ was the best thing you did there?

Answer Match

Match the questions (1-6) with the answers (a-f)

  1. We went surfing, it was so much fun!
  2. In a nice little hotel next to the beach.
  3. We took a plane to the island and then we rented a car.
  4. We went for 6 days.
  5. It was lovely, it only rained once.
  6. I went with my Mum, Dad and little brother.


Ask the questions to your teacher, then to your partner.

Then write 2 new questions for your partner:













Verb in base form









What Was The best thing You Verb in past simple






Scrambled questions

  1. How were your summer holidays?
  2. Where did you go?
  3. What did you do there?
  4. Did you like it?

Question Words

  1. What
  2. Where
  3. How
  4. Who
  5. How
  6. What

Answer Match

  1. E
  2. B
  3. C
  4. F
  5. D
  6. A

Teacher’s Notes


While students are performing the speaking task, be sure to help them with pronunciation of the questions, focusing specifically on weak forms and sentence stress:

Where did you go?

| weə dɪdjə ɡəʊ | – Connected speech and weak form “you”

What was the weather like?

| ˈwɒt wəz ðə ˈweðə ˈlaɪk | – weak forms of “was” and “the”. Sentence stress on “what” “weather” and “like”

Smartphones, photos

If students have photos of their holiday readily available (on a smartphone or tablet) let them show their partner while they describe their holiday.

Posted in Games, Writing Classes

Circle Stories

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Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan designed for lower-level (A2-B1) teenagers. It is designed to help students write short stories using different narrative tenses, sequences and discourse markers.


All you need is plenty of paper and a pen for each student.


Sit students in a circle and give them each a pen and piece of paper. Tell them that they are going to write stories together; if you have 8 student, at the end of the class they will have written 8 stories.

Write on the board:

Once, there was a man/woman called ……. who….

Tell students to copy the sentence onto their piece of paper, decide if the character is a man or a woman and give them a name.

Students then pass the piece of paper to the left; they must then complete the first sentence, for example:

Once, there was a man called Jimmy who lived under a bridge.

Students then pass the paper again, and copy down and complete the following:

One day ….. was …….

For example:

One day Jimmy was walking down the street

Students pass again and complete the following:

when…+ past simple

One day Jimmy was walking down the street when he saw a police car driving towards him.

Continue the process but now start to introduce different words to begin the sentences, the whole writing process will look like this:


  1. Once there was a man/woman called …who…
  2. Complete sentence 1.
  3. One day …. was….ing
  4. Complete sentence 3: when…..
  5. Suddenly….
  6. Fortunately….
  7. Unfortunately….
  8. And in the end….
  9. And the moral of the story is….

While students are writing try to monitor and help them with vocab and narrative tenses. When they have all finished have them read out their stories one by one and then vote on their favourite one.

Follow up

Students write another story using the same basic structure for homework.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Where I live – Prepositions of place

my map

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I’m running the Barcelona Half-Marathon dressed as David Bowie to raise money for Cancer Research, sponsor me here:

This is a vocabulary lesson for pre-intermediate – intermediate students. Students will describe the area they live in and learn some prepositions of place.

Download the students’ hand out and teacher’s lesson plan below:

Where I live teachers handout

Where I live student handout


Write the two questions on the board and have students complete them in open class.


  1. What area of the city ____ _____ live _____?
  2. What street ___ ____ live ____?

What area of the city do you live in?

What street do you live on?

Students ask and answer the questions in pairs.

Reading Comprehension

Introduce me as a character using the picture below:

Tim is an English teacher who lives in Barcelona.

Students read the text and answer the questions. Then check in open class.

Read the text and look at the map. Then answer the questions (1-9)

I live in Raval on Carrer de la Cera. When I want to go out for dinner I have a lot of options. There is a Burger King opposite my house. If I want pizza, there is a pizza restaurant next to my house. There is an excellent tapas restaurant under my house, and if I feel like a kebab there are 3 kebab shops around the corner!

Kebabs, hamburgers and pizzas aren’t very healthy so I need to exercise. Fortunately, there are two sports centres close to my house. One problem is that the academy where I work is far from my house, but I can catch the bus there from the bus stop in front of Pia School.

  1. What area of the city do I live in?
  2. What street do I live on?
  3. What is opposite my house?
  4. What is next to my house?
  5. What is under my house?
  6. What is around the corner from my house?
  7. What is close to my house?
  8. What is the problem about where I live?
  9. Where do I catch the bus to work?

Concept Checking

Use the positions of the students in the class or a pen and bottle to check students’ understanding of the prepositions. For example, hold the pen next to the bottle and ask “Where is the bottle?” elicit the prepositions from students. Sts do the same in pairs.

Memory gap-fill

Have this printed on the back of the handout, students flip the sheet over and try to remember the prepositions, they can refer to the map to help them, encourage them to work in pairs.

Can you remember the prepositions?

I live __ Raval __ Carrer de la Cera. When I want to go out for dinner I have a lot of options. There is a Burger King _______ my house. If I want pizza, there is a pizza restaurant _______ my house. There is an excellent tapas restaurant _______ my house, and if I feel like a kebab there are 3 kebab shops __________________!

Kebabs, hamburgers and pizzas aren’t very healthy so I need to exercise. Fortunately, there are two sports centres __________ my house. One problem is that the academy where I work is __________ my house, but I can catch the bus there from the bus stop ___________ Pia School.

Draw a map and describe your area

Using the map of the area around your school that you drew on the board earlier, elicit a description using the prepositions in open class, for example: There is a bakery opposite the school, there is a bus stop in front of the school. Draw in the features as the students describe them. Then tell students to draw a map of the area around their house on a piece of paper and describe it to their partner, help with vocab for shops etc, students then change partners and describe their area to someone new.

Follow up/Homework

Students write a paragraph describing their area for homework for the next day using as many of the prepositions as they can.