Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Current Affairs Classes, Exam Preparation Class, pragmatics, Proficiency

C1/C2: Expressing Opinion – Hot Button Topics

This is a quick activity I threw together to help higher level students with expressing opinions on a range of controversial or “hot button” topics. I got the list of opinion expressions from the excellent englishclub.com, they have some great lists of functional language exponents organised by level, check them out:

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/fl-giving-opinions.htm

Download the handout and PowerPoint below:

Procedure

Give out the handout and have students work together to try to complete the opinion expressions.

Go over their answers in open class.

Drill natural pronunciation of the expressions. Point out to students that we often emphasise or stress the part that identifies the stated opinion as our own:

In MY opinion,…

As far as I’M concerned,…

You know what *I* think?

For the hot-button topics you could either brainstorm some with your students by asking:

What issues are people debating fiercely these days?

What was the last heated argument/debate you had about?

Or, you could use the ones in the PowerPoint. Show a slide and have students express their opinions in small groups.

If you have an exam preparation group, the activity would work well as a warm-up to tackling some of the collaborative tasks such as Advanced speaking parts 3&4.

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Listening Classes

2Ts in a Pod Episode 57: Jamie Keddie – Images & Stories in the Classroom

Image credit: Mark Wilding

This time on the pod Katy & Tim talk to teacher, materials developer, teacher trainer and master storyteller Jamie Keddie about how to use images and stories in the English classroom.

Check out Lessonstream, Jamie’s online community below:
lessonstream.com/

Also, check out Jamie’s video class based on the streaker photo here:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hH6rCbd9RI

Posted in Advanced C1, Conversation Classes, Proficiency

1st Class Back After Easter – Speaking Tasks

Some quick speaking activities combining chatting about Easter holidays with some practice for exam speaking tasks. Download the PowerPoints and handout below:

The long turn task is modelled on the C2 Proficiency speaking part 3 in which students have to speak for 2 minutes about a given topic with 3 bullet points to guide them. Give out the speaking phrases and go over the “cheat sheet” of useful expressions on the first slide. Then put students in pairs and have them take it in turns to complete the task seeing who can use the most expressions, they need to speak on their own for 2 minutes. Once they have finished they should find 5 similarities between their Easter holiday experiences and share them with the class.

Alternatively, if you want something more collaborative, I’ve added a C1 Advanced part 3 style task in a separate PowerPoint. Students should first look at the cheat sheet, clear up any doubts, then have them answer the central question in pairs. You could then give them a further question: “which of these 5 types of activities do you appreciate doing most in your holidays.”

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Proficiency, Reading Classes

C2 Reading & Vocabulary: Football Dreams

This is a reading and vocabulary lesson plan for C2 students who are preparing to take the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam. Students read a text about a boy, his grandad and football then look at expressions and collocations from the text. Download the handout and key below:

You may also want to use this quizziz game to review the language at a later date.

The class procedure is pretty self-explanatory and should take the best part of 90 minutes. Follow the instructions on the student handout.

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast

2Ts in a Pod: Episode 54 – Crazy Inventions

Credit: Mark Wilding

We’re back with episode 54 of the podcast. Katy & Tim describe some crazy inventions and discuss their usefulness. How many gadgets do you own?

Listen on SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoy the episode, come join us on the socials for more great content:

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@2tspod

Twitter: @2tspod

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/2tspod/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast

Posted in Advanced C1, Exam Preparation Class

Key Word Transformations: Exam Technique

This is a lesson plan to help students tackle part 4 of the use of English in the main suit Cambridge exams, the key word transformations. I use this PowerPoint in conjunction with the C1 Advanced Key Word Transformation Mega Test handout but it can also be adapted for B2 First and C2 Proficiency students. Download the PowerPoint below:

Lead students through the techniques outlined in the PowerPoint then have them do page 1 of the mega test individually as practice. Then have students compare their answers before correcting in open class. You can then work through the rest of the mega test over the next few classes and for homework. You can also share the original quizlet set with them for self-study.

Posted in 2Ts in a Pod: Podcast, Listening Classes

2Ts in a Pod: Episode 53 – Mike Coppock: Endurance Challenges

2Ts in a Pod are back with a great new episode on the topic of endurance challenges. Katy and Tim talk to Mike Coppock, the long distance mountain runner, about his experiences completing the Island Munros Triathlon and setting a new record for crossing the Pyrenees mountains from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast.

If you want to read more about Mike’s adventures, or watch the excellent short film of the Island Munros Triathlon, follow the links below:

cutt.ly/xA5ypvm – Island Munros Triathlon & The Martin Moran Foundation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK3bdOVBW78 – Island Munros Triathlon short film

cutt.ly/SA5y0ua – The full story of Mike’s Pyrenees crossing

Posted in Advanced C1, B2 First, Exam Preparation Class, Games, Proficiency, Vocabulary Classes

Word Formation Noughts & Crosses

This is a lesson plan for students preparing for the Cambridge main suite exams. I specifically created it with C1 or C2 students in mind but it could easily be adapted to B2. Students practice word formation while playing a game of noughts and crosses. Download the handout below:

Students play in pairs, they must choose a square on the board where they want to place their token, but they must first correctly complete the corresponding word formation question in order to do so. All of the words are based on the same root word.

If a student answers incorrectly, you could either have the opponent steal the square by answering correctly, or say that the square is now dead and nobody can place a token there.

An alternative game to play with the same 9 questions is this great, and very versatile, football game by https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/

As a follow-up you could set your students the task of coming up with their own lists of nine sentences to use in future games. You could give them each a root word (use, communicate, etc.) and send them to the Longman Online Dictionary to look up all the derivatives in order to make their 9 questions: https://www.ldoceonline.com/

Posted in Advanced C1, B2 First, Conversation Classes, pragmatics

Pragmatics: Everyday Interactions – Contrastive Analysis

See you in a bit. - Post by camillissima on Boldomatic

This is a lesson plan designed to help Spanish speaking students sound more natural in lots of common, everyday interactions. Download the handout and PowerPoint below:

Students do some contrastive analysis of some high frequency expressions in English and Spanish in order to identify some common errors and put the more natural English expressions into practice.

Everyday English: Contrastive Analysis

Contrastive Analysis

Work with a partner.

Complete the second column with direct translations or common mistakes that Spanish speakers make with these expressions.

SpanishDirect Translation/Common MistakeEnglish Equivalent
¡Hasta ahora! ¡Igualmente! ¿Cuánto tiempo? ¿Qué tal? ¡Que vaya bien! ¡Que te lo pases bien! ¡Aquí lo tienes! No te escucho. ¿Qué pasa? No pasa nada ¿Puedes repetir? ¿Cuánto falta para…? Estoy de acuerdo Una cosa/una preguntaUntil now! …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… ………………………………………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… …………………………… ……………………………

Now complete the third column with  the more natural English equivalent.

Buzzer Game

Cut out the situation cards below. Put the cards face down in a pile. Turn over one card, the first person to say the appropriate expression for that card takes the card and scores one point. Keep playing until all the cards have been used.

Your housemate is going to the shop, they will be back in 5 minutes. What do you say to them?Your co-worker says “have a good weekend!” as they leave the office. What do you say to them?
Your partner is leaving to go to an important job interview. What do you say to them?You work in a coffee shop. You hand a customer their cup of coffee. What do you say to them?
You put your hand up in English class, you want to ask the teacher a question. What do you say to them?You see an old friend from school you haven’t seen for a long time. What do you say to them?
You’re speaking on the phone but there is loud music playing. You don’t understand what they’re saying because of the noise. What do you say to them?You get home and see that one of your children is crying. What do you say to them?
Your friend tells you that they’re going to Disneyland this weekend. What do you say to them?Your friend says sorry for arriving late to meet you for lunch. You don’t mind that they’re late. What do you say to them?
Your teacher says something very quickly and you don’t understand. What do you say to them?You’re having a debate at work and you have the same opinion as your co-worker. What do you say to them?
You see your friend in the morning and you want to know how they are. What do you say to them?You’re bored at school and you want to know when you will be allowed to go to the playground. What do you say to the teacher?

Key

SpanishDirect Translation/Common MistakeEnglish Equivalent
¡Hasta ahora! ¡Igualmente!
¿Cuánto tiempo? ¿Qué tal?
¡Que vaya bien! ¡Que te lo pases bien!
¡Aquí lo tienes! No te escucho. ¿Qué pasa?
No pasa nada ¿Puedes repetir? ¿Cuánto falta para…?
Estoy de acuerdo
Una cosa/una pregunta
Until now!/See you now!
Equally!
How much time?
What such?
That it go well.
That you pass it well.
Here you have.
I don’t listen you.
What happens?
Happens nothing
Can you repeat?
How much is left for…?
I am agree
One thing/one question
See you in a bit/sec
Same to you!
Long time, no see!
How’s it going?
Hope it goes well.
Have fun!
Here you go/Here’s….
I can’t hear you.
What’s up? What’s wrong?
No worries/problem.
Sorry, I didn’t catch that.
How much longer until…?
I agree.
I have a question/doubt

Buzzer Game

Your housemate is going to the shop, they will be back in 5 minutes. What do you say to them? See you in a bit/secYour co-worker says “have a good weekend!” as they leave the office. What do you say to them? You too!
Your partner is leaving to go to an important job interview. What do you say to them? Hope it goes wellYou work in a coffee shop. You hand a customer their cup of coffee. What do you say to them? Here you go/Here’s your coffee
You put your hand up in English class, you want to ask the teacher a question. What do you say to them? I have a question/doubtYou see an old friend from school you haven’t seen for a long time. What do you say to them? Long time, no see!
You’re speaking on the phone but there is loud music playing. You don’t understand what they’re saying because of the noise. What do you say to them? I can’t hear youYou get home and see that one of your children is crying. What do you say to them? What’s wrong?
Your friend tells you that they’re going to Disneyland this weekend. What do you say to them? Have fun!Your friend says sorry for arriving late to meet you for lunch. You don’t mind that they’re late. What do you say to them? No worries/problem
Your teacher says something very quickly and you don’t understand. What do you say to them? Sorry, I didn’t catch thatYou’re having a debate at work and you have the same opinion as your co-worker. What do you say to them? I agree
You see your friend in the morning and you want to know how they are. What do you say to them? How’s it going?You’re bored at school and you want to know when you will be allowed to go to the playground. What do you say to the teacher? How long / How much longer until play time?