Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

Would Rather/Would Sooner

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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 Vocabulary Classes

Mind-Boggling Expressions with Mind

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This is a vocabulary activity designed with proficiency students (C2) in mind. However, it can be adapted for advanced students. Students will learn expressions with the word “mind” and use them in a discussion. Download the students’ handout and teacher’s notes below:

Mind Expressions teachers notes

Mind Expressions student handout

Sentence completion

Give out the handout and have students work in pairs to complete as many as they can. For lower levels or if students struggle you could write all the missing words on the board and students could use them to complete the activity. Students can use the list on the back to check their own answers.

Key

1.       Great

2.       Load

3.       Meeting

4.       Frame/state

5.       Right

6.       Give piece

7.       Have own

8.       Boggling

9.       In/of

10.   Cast

11.   Bearing

12.   Crossed

13.   If do

14.   Half

15.   Sieve

16.   Tracked

17.   Running

18.   Put

19.   Own business

20.   P’s q’s

21.   Slipped

Definitions

  1. Great minds think alike – When two people have had the same good idea
  2. A load off one’s mind – news that brings relief
  3. A meeting of the minds – group of experts meeting to discuss something
  4. In a frame of mind – in a mental condition
  5. No one in their right mind would – no sane person would
  6. Give sb a piece of one’s mind – to angrily express disapproval to someone
  7. Have a mind of its own – does things on its own
  8. Mind-boggling – so big/complex that it’s difficult to comprehend
  9. To be in/of two minds about something – to be undecided
  10. Cast one’s mind back – think about a specific time in the past/make an effort to remember
  11. Bear in mind/It’s worth bearing in mind – Remember/take into account
  12. Cross one’s mind/It never crossed my mind to – I never thought about (normally in relation to a solution to a problem)
  13. Don’t mind if I do – I would like to, used when accepting an offer, usually food/drink
  14. Have half a mind to – to be considering doing something (normally something you’re not going to do)
  15. Have a mind like a sieve – bad memory
  16. Have a one-tracked mind – always thinking about one thing, almost always sex
  17. Run through one’s mind – something you’re constantly thinking about
  18. Put one’s mind to st – make a considerable effort to focus on doing something
  19. Mind one’s own business – not interfere in other people’s lives/problems
  20. Mind one’s p’s and q’s – be polite and follow social rules (please, thank you etc.)
  21. Slip one’s mind – forget something

Analysis

This section is important as it gives students an opportunity to process the expressions on a deeper cognitive level and relate them to their lives, this will increase the chances of retention. Allow them to discuss the questions and then briefly in open class.

Discussion Key

  1. Sieve slip
  2. One
  3. Cast
  4. P’s q’s
  5. Own business
  6. Gave
  7. Put
  8. In/of
  9. Right
  10. Own
  11. Bear
  12. Load
  13. Running

 

Student’s Handout

Sentence completion

Complete the sentences with 1 word to form expressions with “mind”.

  1. So you’ve decided to do a masters too! ________ minds think alike!
  2. They found the lost pendrive down the back of the sofa. Phew! That’s a ________ off my mind.
  3. The UN has organised a council of scientists to discuss the best way to solve the issue, it’s going to be a real _________ of the minds.
  4. Due to the recent speculation about a move to Real Madrid, the player has stated that he’s not in the right _________ of mind to play tomorrow.
  5. No one in their _________ mind would buy that car, it’s a death-trap!
  6. If you two don’t be quiet and go to sleep, I’m going to come up there and _____ you a ______ of my mind!
  7. My mobile phone seems to _______ a mind of its _______. It’s always calling people in my bag.
  8. The distances we’d have to travel to reach another habitable planet are mind-___________, it’s not going to be possible in our lifetime.
  9. I’m ___ two minds about what to do on Sunday, we could have a picnic or we could go to the cinema.
  10. ______ your mind back to the day of the robbery Mrs. Jones, what time did your husband arrive home?
  11. It’s worth __________ in mind that the sun goes down at 5:30 in winter, so we have to be off the mountain by then.
  12. It never ___________my mind to ask Tony for help, I figured he didn’t know anything about computers.
  13. Would you like another martini George? Oooo don’t mind ____ I _____.
  14. I have ______ a mind to go up there myself and tell them to turn the music down.
  15. I’m sorry but I’ve completely forgotten your name, I’ve got a mind like a _________.
  16. Most teenage boys have a one-_________ mind, and we all know what that means!
  17. Hi babe, are you tired? No, why? Because you’ve been ________through my mind all night.
  18. You can achieve anything if you ______ your mind to it!
  19. I was just sat at the bus-stop minding my _____ _______ when this guy walked up and started insulting me!
  20. You have to mind your ___’s and ____’s around my grandma, she’s quite sensitive about that sort of thing.
  21. Oh no! I forgot to bring you that letter, sorry, it completely ________ my mind.

Key

Below are the expressions from ex 1. Look at them with a partner, how can you express them in other words?

1.       Great minds think alike

2.       A load off one’s mind

3.       A meeting of the minds

4.       In a frame of mind

5.       No one in their right mind would

6.       Give sb a piece of one’s mind

7.       Have a mind of its own

8.       Mind-boggling

9.       To be in/of two minds about something

10.   Cast one’s mind back

11.   Bear in mind/It’s worth bearing in mind

12.   Cross one’s mind/It never crossed my mind to

13.   Don’t mind if I do

14.   Have half a mind to

15.   Have a mind like a sieve

16.   Have a one-tracked mind

17.   Run through one’s mind

18.   Put one’s mind to st

19.   Mind one’s own business

20.   Mind one’s p’s and q’s

21.   Slip one’s mind

Analysis

With your partner, look at the expressions and answer the questions below.

  1. Which ones are easy to guess from the individual meaning of the words?
  2. Which ones do you like?
  3. Which ones sound good?
  4. Which ones can be used in the most situations? And which in the least?
  5. Which ones can you easily relate to your life? Why?
  6. Which ones would you use in a letter/email/text message?
  7. Which ones would you use in speech?

Discussion

  1. Do you have a mind like a ________? What things normally _______ your mind?
  2. Is it true that men have a ______-track mind?
  3. How far can you ______ your mind back?
  4. Is it important to mind your ___’s and ___’s around your family?
  5. Are you a busy-body? Or do you tend to mind your _____ _____________?
  6. When was the last time you _______ someone a piece of your mind?
  7. You can achieve anything if you ________ your mind to it. Do you agree?
  8. Are you ____ two minds about anything at the moment?
  9. Complete the sentence about something in your city/life/country at the moment: No one in their _______ mind would…..
  10. Do any of your things have a mind of their ________?
  11. What should people ________ in mind if they want to do your favourite hobby/past-time?
  12. Can you think of any news you’ve received recently that was a _______ off your mind?
  13. Has anything been __________through your mind a lot recently? What are you going to do about it?
Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes, Vocabulary Classes

CAE: Collocations with similar words worksheet

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This is a worksheet to practice different collocations putting similar words into context. It will be useful for teachers teaching CAE preparation classes as it will help students develop the skills needed for part 1 of the use of English paper. Download the worksheet below:

Collocations Similar Words

Use of English – Collocations

  1. She stood on the ____ of the diving board and dove into the pool head first.
  2. They all stood in ____ waiting for their dinner.
  3. He was on the _____ of calling the Police when the man ran away.
  4. It’s a picturesque village on the Swiss/French _____.

Border  verge    line        edge

  • The film was so _______ terrifying that I had to hide behind the sofa.
  • He is _______ qualified and should get the job easily.
  • The new basketball player was ________ tall, he was 20cm taller than the rest of the players.
  • It is ________ hot at midday in the desert.

Intensely            utterly                  highly                   exceptionally

  1. The charity spent the evening ___________ food to the homeless.
  2. We thought the show was going to be a disaster but it ___________ fine in the end.
  3. They have been _____________ tests on her all weekend but they still don’t know what’s wrong.
  4. After 20 years of rumours about his sexuality he finally ___________ in an interview with GQ magazine.

Turned                 out         came out            carried out         gave out

  1. I live _________ a beautiful gothic church.
  2. _________ to popular belief pigs are actually very clean animals.
  3. _________ my brother, I’m a very sociable person.
  4. This breed of dog is ________ from its long lost cousin the wolf in many ways.

Distinct                contrary              unlike                   opposite

  1. They ___________ a fantastic array of food for us when we arrived.
  2. After waiting on the phone for 3 hours they finally _______ me________ to the department I needed to speak to.
  3. We spent 6 months _____________ our house after we bought it.
  4. The referee __________ the rules very clearly before the game began.

Put through       set out                 fixed up               laid on

  1. Have you heard? They’re making a new ________ of the Lion King, I bet it’s going to be rubbish!
  2. This __________ of the roof was badly damaged in the fire.
  3. You’ll have to speak to John in the finance ___________ if you want to get your money back.
  4. They divided the different insects they found into 5 different ____________ based on size.

Section                version                department                      categories

  1. After the earthquake 100 people are still _____________ for.
  2. This material is ____________ of 30% cotton and 70% polyester.
  3. He ___________ the club in 1999 and has been a member ever since.
  4. They _____________ detailed records of all their findings and presented them to the director.

Composed                         compiled                            joined                  unaccounted

  1. You can __________ at my house after the concert if you want.
  2. Of the 50 trees we planted in 1975 only 10 __________.
  3. To reach the top of the mountain they had to ____________ bitter cold and biting winds.
  4. When he asked her out on a date the first time she turned him down but he ___________ and finally she said yes.

Remain                endure                persisted            stay

Key:

  1. edge
  2. line
  3. verge
  4. border

 

  1. utterly
  2. highly
  3. exceptionally
  4. intensely

 

  1. giving out
  2. turned out
  3. carrying out
  4. came out

 

  1. opposite
  2. contrary
  3. unlike
  4. distinct

 

  1. laid on
  2. put through
  3. fixing up
  4. set out

 

  1. version
  2. section
  3. department
  4. categories

 

  1. unaccounted
  2. composed
  3. joined
  4. compiled

 

  1. stay
  2. remain
  3. endure
  4. persist
Posted in Conversation Classes

Bucket List: Conversation Topic

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This is a conversation topic, based around the idea of a bucket list, written with higher levels in mind (C1+). However, I have included a version for lower levels.

Download the lesson plan and student’s handout here:

Bucket List Conversation Class

Bucket List Student’s handout Advanced

Bucket List handout intermediate

Bucket List Conversation Class

Write on the board: My grandfather kicked the bucket last week.

Show the first part of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8k79w-nJD4#t=13

to kick the bucket – to die How else can we say this?

  1. Pass ________
  2. Bite the _______
  3. Give up the ________
  4. ________ one’s last.

To pass away, bite the dust, perish (usually in an accident), give up the ghost, breathe one’s last.

  1. What is a bucket list?

A list of activities that people want to do before they die.

  1. What do you think of this idea?
  2. Have you seen the film?
  3. Who do you think invented this idea?
  4. Why has it become so widely-know?
  5. What is FOMO?

Fear of missing out – a modern phenomenon linked to social media. People tend to think theat they are missing an amazing experience.

Daily Mail Survey Guessing Game.

 

The Daily Mail newspaper conducted a survey to see what the British public most commonly put on their bucket lists.

Can you guess some activities people chose?

Give students a few minutes to jot down some ideas in pairs. Make it into a game, pairs read out their suggestions one at a time and you award them points depending on where it is in the top 40: 4 points for the top 10, 3 for top 20, 2 for top 30, 1 for top 40.

Language for talking about plans/hopes/dreams

Go over the language in the boxes below:

Positive Negative
I’ve always fancied…

I’m dying/itching to try…

… is a burning ambition of mine.

… would be right up my street.

… is one for the bucket list.

A pipe dream (an unrealistic/improbable dream)

I would jump at the chance to…

If you offered me the chance to…, I would bite your hand off.

I’d give it a go.

I have no desire to…

… doesn’t appeal to me (at all)

Whatever floats your boat.

To each their own

The idea of … doesn’t do anything for me.

You wouldn’t catch me …ing

… is not my thing.

… is not for me.

Daily Mail Top 10

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives .
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice

Have students discuss the top ten and decide if they would be on their bucket list. You can then either show them the rest of the top 40 or go to http://bucketlist.org/featured/ for more ideas for students to create their own bucket lists. Daily Mail Top 40:

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice
  11. Go up the Empire State Building
  12. Go on a cruise
  13. Go whale watching
  14. Climb a mountain
  15. Go up the Eiffel tower
  16. Learn an instrument
  17. Work in a different country
  18. Float in the Dead Sea
  19. Write a novel
  20. Drive a racing car
  21. Change career
  22. Trek the Inca Trail
  23. Be a volunteer for a good cause
  24. Be an extra in a film
  25. Go scuba diving
  26. Try out surfing
  27. Hold a Koala
  28. Feed a penguin
  29. Get a tattoo
  30. Backpack Europe
  31. Own a designer watch
  32. Ride a gondola
  33. Run a big race
  34. Bungee jump
  35. Reach the top of my career ladder
  36. Own a Mulberry handbag
  37. Ride a camel
  38. Ride on a horse and cart
  39. Write a film
  40. Change hair colour

Daily Mail article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2695728/Buying-holiday-home-driving-Route-66-trip-Maldives-British-bucket-list-40-things-die.html