Posted in Conversation Classes, Ice-breakers, Warmers

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

Image result for summer holidays

Image credit: coar56ar.com

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:

back-to-school-handout

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.

Speaking

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

Then write 2 new questions for your partner:

Where

Who

When

What

Why

How

 

 

Did

 

 

You

Verb in base form

Do

Eat

Buy

See

Etc.

 

 

There?

What Was The best thing You Verb in past simple

Ate?

Saw?

Bought?

Etc.

Key

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

Pronunciation

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.

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Posted in Games, Writing Classes

Circle Stories

Image credit: www.thekettle.ca

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.

Preparation

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

Procedure

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 …..ing….

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, Listening Classes

Giving Advice: The Best Way to Quit Smoking

Image credit: tips.pk

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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

https://www.justgiving.com/Timothy-Warre/

This is a lesson plan for B1+ students on the topic of quitting smoking in which students learn the language of asking for, giving, accepting and rejecting advice and using it in a role-play. I prepared and taught this class as part of my productive skills assignment for the DELTA at International House Barcelona.

Download all the materials below:

Giving Advice Problem Cards

Smoking TWarre Prod Skills – Powerpoint

TWarre prod skills listening comp qs – Listening questions

TWarre Prod Skills Procedure – Procedure/Teacher’s notes

TWarre prod skills sts handout – Student hand out

Audio File

Procedure:

Stage Time Focus Procedure Aim
Speaking  1 3 mins Closed pairs

 

 

 

OC

Sts ask and answer questions about smoking from 1st slide of powerpoint (pp)

 

Give opportunities for 1 or 2 sts to explain how they quit.

To engage top-down knowledge and personalise topic.

Lead in to pre-listening.

Pre-listening 5 mins Closed pairs

 

 

 

 

OC

 

 

 

 

Closed pairs

Sts brainstorm different ways to quit. Board any that are different to the 4 on slide 2: nicotine gum/patches, e-cigarettes, hypnosis.

 

 

Show 2nd slide, board pronunciation of cigarette, patches and hypnosis. Drill briefly.

/sɪɡə’ret/ /ˈpætʃɪz/ /hɪpˈnəʊsɪs/

 

Sts answer questions at bottom of 2nd slide.

To activate top-down knowledge further and pre-teach some vocab for listening.

 

To check and improve pronunciation.

 

 

Sts react to content.

Listening 5-10 mins Closed pairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OC

Introduce characters and situation from listening with 3rd slide.

 

 

Give out listening comprehension handout. Sts listen and answer 3 questions from handout:

1.       What methods does Joanne recommend?

2.       What methods does Ian recommend?

3.       Which method does Katy decide to try?

Replay as needed, break into two parts if necessary.

 

Check answers across class.

 

Give out handout, sts listen again with tape script. “Any questions?”

To ground sts in the situation of the listening.

 

TAVI exercise to aid sts listening comprehension. Secondary aim: to introduce exponents of advice in context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To clear up doubts.

Language focus 10 mins Closed pairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

OC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OC/closed pairs

Sts categorise the exponents listed on the handout by meaning. Elicit correct categories for first 2/3. Show slide 4 with first 3 in correct categories.

 

While sts do this board all exponents  in categories, add phonetic script for pronunciation focus:

Drill pronunciation of:

If I were you, I’d…

/ɪf ˈaɪ wə ju: aɪd/ Stress “I” and “you”

That’s a good idea

/ðæts ə ɡʊd aɪˈdɪə/ stress “that’s”

Why don’t you try

/waɪ dəʊnt jə traɪ/ notice weak “you” compared to in “If I were you”

 

Sts analyse grammar of components. Use 5th slide to give examples, then answers.

Focus on meaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus on form: pronunciation, elements of connected speech.

 

 

 

 

Focus on form: grammar, verb patterns.

Speaking – controlled practice 1 2 mins Grps of 3 Sts use the transcript to practice the dialogue from listening.

 

Monitor and correct pronunciation.

Controlled practice of exponents without pressure of creating new sentences.
Writing + speaking controlled practice 2 5-10 mins OC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grps of 3

Sts write their own dialogue. Explain that we’ll do an example together on the board. Students don’t write anything yet.

 

Label one strong group of students A-C, choose strongest student to be A.

 

Give A a problem card.

 

Using cued dialogue on 6th slide model a dialogue on the board.

 

Sts create their own dialogues in the space on the handout. Monitor and correct written form, board vocabulary.

 

Sts read their dialogues.

Scaffolded controlled practice of exponents without performance pressure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoken controlled practice.

Speaking controlled practice 3 10 mins Rotating groups of 3 A’s stand up and rotate to the next group. They explain their problem to the new group who give them advice. Less structured, A is now free to accept/reject advice.

 

Repeat until all A’s have spoken to all groups.

Less scaffolded controlled speaking practice.
Wrap-up 5 mins OC A’s tell class the best advice they received. Focus sts attention to emergent language. Sts respond to activity + develop fluency.

Student’s handout

Transcript

Katy: Hi guys, I need your help with a problem I’m having. I want to give up smoking but I’m finding it very difficult. What should I do?

Joanne: Well, if I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually. You know, smoke 10 cigarettes today, then 9 tomorrow, 8 the next day until you’ve stopped.

Katy: Hhmmm, I don’t think that’ll work. I tried it last year and it was too difficult.

Ian: I think you should buy an electronic cigarette. My girlfriend has one and she loves it!

Katy: I’m not sure. I think they’re bad for me too.

Joanne: Ok well, why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches? My sister used them to give up.

Katy: Ok, that’s a good idea.

Ian: Or you could try hypnosis, my friend Sarah is a hypnotist, I could give you her number.

Katy: Hhmm, maybe not. I think I’ll try the nicotine chewing gum. Thanks for your advice guys.

Language

Put the expressions in bold (1-10) in the correct box (A-D)

  1. What should I do?
  2. If I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually.
  3. I don’t think that’ll work.
  4. I think you should buy an electronic cigarette.
  5. I’m not sure. I think they’re bad for me too.
  6. Why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches?
  7. Ok, that’s a good idea.
  8. You could try
  9. Hhmm, maybe not. I think I’ll try the nicotine chewing gum.
  10. I recommend giving up gradually
A.      Asking for advice. B.      Giving advice. C.      Accepting advice. D.      Rejecting advice.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar

Look at the expressions in the language exercise, how does the grammar work?

  1. If I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually.

If I were you, I’d + BASE FORM (stop/go/have/buy etc.)

  1. I think you should buy an electronic cigarette.

I think you should + __________________________________

  1. Why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches?

Why don’t you + _____________________________________

  1. You could try hypnosis/going to a hypnotist.

You could try + _________________________________________

  1. I recommend giving up gradually.

I recommend + _______________________________________

Now practice the dialogue in groups of 3, one person is Katy, one is Ian and one is Joanne.

Writing a new dialogue

Write a new dialogue with your group, you HAVE TO follow the structure below.

A: Hi guys, I need your help with a problem I’m having. (Explain problem)____________________________. What should I do?

B: Well, if I were you, I’d (gives advice) ____________________.

A: (rejects advice) ___________________________.

C: (gives advice) ___________________________.

A: (rejects advice) ____________________________.

B: Ok well, (gives advice) ___________________________.

A: (rejects advice) ____________________________.

C: (gives advice) ______________________________.

A: (accepts advice) __________________________. Thanks for your advice guys!

Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Where I live – Prepositions of place

my map

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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

https://www.justgiving.com/Timothy-Warre/

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

Warmer

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.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Infinitives

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for intermediate students to practice different uses of the infinitive through games and conversation.

You will need the lesson plan, students worksheet and articulate cards.

Infinitives Lesson Plan

Infinitives students sheet

Articulate Object Cards

Warmer

Play the classic memory game: “I went to the shops to buy…”

Teacher starts: “I went to the shops to buy a loaf of bread” (encourage use of partitives – loaf of bread, bar of soap, carton of milk etc.)

Next student must repeat the sentence and add another item, continue until you have a huge shopping list of items.

Infinitives of purpose

Have students repeat back the sentences “I went to the shops to buy…”

Ask them what the infinitive expresses? Purpose/reason, introduce the title: infinitives of purpose. Students complete the matching exercise.

Match the sentences halves 1-6 a-f to make sentences using the infinitive of purpose.

1.       I go to the gym 3 times a week a.       To give to her mother.
2.       I went to the supermarket b.      To see the new Woody Allen film.
3.       We went to the cinema c.       To do the weekly shop.
4.       I drove all night just d.      To clean underneath it.
5.       He lifted up the sofa e.      To keep fit.
6.       She bought chocolates f.        To see you.

Key: 1-e, 2-c, 3-b, 4-f, 5-d, 6-a.

In these sentences we can also use “in order to” to be more formal.

We often use “so as” with a negative infinitive to express purpose.

She’s leaving now so as not to arrive late.

1.       She entered the house quietly a.       So as not to hurt his feelings.
2.       He turned the volume down b.      So as not to wake the children.
3.       She stopped eating chocolate c.       So as not to burn the onions.
4.       They told him the terrible picture was lovely d.      So as not to miss the start of the film.
5.       He turned the heat down e.      So as not to annoy the neighbours.
6.       They hurried f.        So as not to put on weight.

Key: 1-b, 2-e, 3-f, 4-a, 5-c, 6-d.

Game – Articulate

Cut up the object cards on the hand out. Split class into teams. Each team has 1 minute to describe the objects on the cards using an infinitive of purpose:

It’s an object we use to eat soup. Spoon!

For each card they get 1 point.

Verbs with infinitives

The following verbs are all followed by the infinitive. Use them to answer the questions below.

Decide Want Need Would like/love Learn Pretend Promise Forget + an obligation
  1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
  2. Do you always keep your promises?
  3. Have you ever broken a promise?
  4. When did you learn to ride a bike?
  5. Have you ever forgotten to lock your door?
  6. Have you ever forgotten to pick up your keys?
  7. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever forgotten to do?
  8. Who did you pretend to be when you were playing as a child?
  9. Have you made any big decisions recently? What have you decided to do?
  10. What would you like/love to do this year?
  11. What do you want to have for dinner tonight? What do you think you will have?
  12. Is there anything important you need to do this week? Do you think you will do it?