Posted in Conversation Classes, Games, Recommended Websites

Zombies in the classroom

zombie

 

Here is another fantastic activity from Adam Simpson’s blog. Using interactive youtube videos in the classroom to practice a range of structures.

 

Posted in Conversation Classes, Listening Classes

Speaking on the phone in English

themausphone54_365

 

This is a fun lesson plan for A2+ students. It can be adapted for different levels.

Here are the handouts you will need:

Discussion questions:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!431&authkey=!AAlHxxKilDRy890

Role cards:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!430&authkey=!AMxbkbpkHybUhS8

Part 1 – discussion

Start by telling students to get there mobiles out. Encourage each student to talk about their phone. When they got it, what they use it for, if they like it or not.

You can either go through the following conversation questions as a class or split the class into groups of 2 or 3.

Phones

What phone have you got?

How many different things can your phone do?

Do you know how to use all of the functions on your phone?

How often do you speak on the phone?

When do you switch off your phone?

When do you think phones should be switched off?

What annoys you about mobile phones?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mobiles?

At what age should a child have a mobile?

What effect do you think they have had on society?

Have you ever spoken in English on the phone? Where? Why? How was it?

 

Have students report back their opinions and ideas to the class. Focus especially on the last question. Encourage students to share their experiences of speaking English on the phone.

 

Part 2 – phone role plays

Put students in pairs and tell them to swap phone numbers with their partners in English.

Assign letters A/B to to the students.

Tell all As to imagine that they have just arrived in the UK, they have moved to the country to live in and work. They are looking for a flat / house. They have seen an advert on the internet for accommodation, they are going to call the landlord / lady to ask for information.

Tell all Bs that they are landlords/ladies, they are expecting calls from potential tenants. Give all Bs one of the role cards from the handout.

Tell A’s that they will need a pen and paper. They have to call B and take down the following information:

  • Landlord / lady’s personal details – Full name, address, telephone number and email address. Correct spelling!
  • Information about the house they are letting.
  • The price of the rent and whether or not it includes bills.
  • Any rules that the house has.

On the board go over the following:

  • How to read phone numbers (o not zero, 77=double 7 etc.)
  • How to read email addresses (@-at, .-dot, _-underscore etc.)
  • Vocabulary – bills included, fully furnished, €300 a month, deposit, no pets allowed etc.
  • Polite phrases – could you repeat that please? Could you spell that please? Could you speak slower please? etc.

Now send the landlords / ladies out of the classroom. Encourage the tenants (As) to think of some extra questions to ask about the house.

Tenants call landlords / ladies and take details.

When they have finished ask Bs to come back in and check the details for spelling the winning pair is the one who made the least mistakes. Now rotate the role cards to the left and As and Bs swap roles and repeat.

Afterwards students feed back to class. Was it difficult? Which bits were most difficult? etc.

Here are the role cards:

Mr Smith

Address: 13 Waterloo road, Exeter, Devon EX2 9DT

Tel:07816395666

Email: ssmith@gmail.com

House information:

Small flat sharing with two other people. Small bedroom with a single bed.

Price:

€400 a month bills included

House rules:

No pets, no smoking, no parties.

Mrs. Davis

Address: 17 Park view, Swansea, Wales, SW1 4FG

Tel: 07655423152

Email: j.davis@yahoo.co.uk

House Information:

Large private apartment next to the park. 2 bedrooms with double beds.

Price:

€700 a month bills not included

House rules:

No pets, no students,

Miss Johnson

Address: 15 winterbrook park, Bradford, Yorkshire, YO4 4RC

Tel: 01566 344987

Email:juicyjohnson@gmail.com

House information:

1 bedroom flat on the 8th floor. No furniture included.

Price:

€500 a month bills not included

House rules:

Maximum 2 people living in flat, no smoking, pets allowed.

Mr. Brown

Address: 16 Clinton avenue, Exeter, Devon EX1 5GG

Tel: 01392 211345

Email: brownbear222@gmail.com

House information:

Large bedroom in shared student house. Sharing with 3 19 year old students.

Price: €250 a month bills included.

House rules:

There are no rules!!!

Mrs. Folkstone

Address: 1 Green avenue, Newcastle, NW3 9RG

Tel: 01298 600999

Email: folky.2002@outlook.com

House information:

Small room in a family home. Sharing with a family of four.

Price: €500 a month bills and meals included.

Rules:

No parties, no partners sleeping in the house, no pets, no noise after 9pm.

Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

CAE / CPE Expressions for Key Word Transformations

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

https://soundcloud.com/2tspod


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

This is a worksheet to practice typical phrases and expressions that come up in key word transformations in both CAE and CPE. They are also very useful for writings.

Students rewrite the sentences using the word given in capitals.

Download the worksheet from here:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!388&authkey=!AAlKmGNu1itRsP0

Here’s a link to a quizlet flashcard set that can be used for preteaching or revision:

http://quizlet.com/16987300/cae-use-of-english-practice-part-5-flash-cards/

  1.  “Do you want to go and see the new play?” Petra asked her friend
    (INTERESTED)
    Petra asked her friend whether……………………………………..to see the new play.
  2.  Pat does not intend to have a holiday this year
    (INTENTION)
    Pat has …………………………………………………….. on holiday this year.
  3. Lisa was about to leave the house when.. (POINT)
  4. I think learning to use a typewriter is a waste of time (POINT)
  5. A number of sporting events had to be cancelled owing to bad weather. (LED)
  6. When it comes to computer games, Gareth is a real expert. (CONCERNED)
  7. Carlos really should get someone to mend his bike. (HIGH)
  8. The company has a good reputation in the local area (HIGHLY)
  9. Do you think Pablo is likely to win the competition? (CHANCE)
  10. I’ve been greatly impressed by the way Jasper deals with problems (MADE)
  11. Darius soon recovered after the operation (MADE)
  12. I think the weather will improve next week. (CHANGE)
  13. Pheobe was surprised to be offered a place on the course (CAME)
  14. It’s so difficult to create new ideas for the festival every year (COME)
  15. The company is almost certain to get the contract (EVERY)
  16. Sven would have called yesterday if he had had more time (SHORT)
  17. Many people believe that Garcia has the ability to become world champion (CAPABLE)
  18. In his speech, the Principal did not mention the new language courses. (REFERENCE)
  19. Sam never thought of asking me for my advice (OCCURRED)
  20. Despite all their efforts, they could not get the old car to start (HARD)
  21. “I’m sorry, but there’s no way I’m going to sleep on the floor” said Maria. (CLEAR)
  22. “Remember to write or phone,” Marta said as she waved goodbye (TOUCH)
  23. Simon really ought to make a decision about his future (MIND)
  24. If you don’t pay on time, your booking will be cancelled (RESULT)
  25. I’m sure Gemma is going to become a famous model one day (MATTER)
  26. Barbara’s parents were certain that she would be a great tennis player (DOUBT)
  27. The company isn’t able to guarantee an allocated car parking space to all employees (COUNT)
  28. Daisy said that she would no longer tolerate her colleagues being rude (PUT)

Key:

she was interested in going “Do you want to go and see the new play?” Petra asked her friend
(INTERESTED)
Petra asked her friend whether……………………………………..to see the new play.
no intention of going Pat does not intend to have a holiday this year
(INTENTION)
Pat has …………………………………………………….. on holiday this year.
Lisa was ON THE POINT OF LEAVING the house when. Lisa was about to leave the house when.. (POINT)
I think THERE’S NO POINT learning to use a typewriter. I think learning to use a typewriter is a waste of time (POINT)
The bad weather LED TO THE CANCELLATION OF a number of sporting events. A number of sporting events had to be cancelled owing to bad weather. (LED)
AS FAR AS COMPUTER GAMES ARE CONCERNED, Gareth is a real expert. When it comes to computer games, Gareth is a real expert. (CONCERNED)
IT’S HIGH TIME CARLOS GOT someone to mend his bike. Carlos really should get someone to mend his bike. (HIGH)
The company is HIGHLY REGARDED in the local area. The company has a good reputation in the local area (HIGHLY)
Do you think Pablo STANDS A CHANCE OF WINNING the competition? Do you think Pablo is likely to win the competition? (CHANCE)
The way Jasper deals with problems has MADE A GREAT IMPRESSION ON ME. I’ve been greatly impressed by the way Jasper deals with problems (MADE)
Darius soon MADE A (FULL) RECOVERY after the operation. Darius soon recovered after the operation (MADE)
I think the weather will CHANGE FOR THE BETTER next week. I think the weather will improve next week. (CHANGE)
The offer of a place on the course CAME AS A SURPRISE TO Phoebe. Pheobe was surprised to be offered a place on the course (CAME)
It’s so difficult to COME UP WITH new ideas for the festival every year. It’s so difficult to create new ideas for the festival every year (COME)
The company HAS EVERY CHANCE OF GETTING the contract. The company is almost certain to get the contract (EVERY)
Sven would have called yesterday if he hadn’t been SHORT ON / OF TIME. Sven would have called yesterday if he had had more time (SHORT)
Many people believe that Garcia IS CAPABLE OF BECOMING world champion. Many people believe that Garcia has the ability to become world champion (CAPABLE)
In his speech, the Principal MADE NO REFERENCE TO the new language courses. In his speech, the Principal did not mention the new language courses. (REFERENCE)
IT NEVER OCCURRED TO SAM TO ASK me for advice. Sam never thought of asking me for my advice (OCCURRED)
NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRIED, they could not get the old car to start. Despite all their efforts, they could not get the old car to start (HARD)
Maria MADE IT CLEAR THAT she wasn’t going to sleep on the floor. “I’m sorry, but there’s no way I’m going to sleep on the floor” said Maria. (CLEAR)
“Remember KEEP IN TOUCH,” Marta said as she waved goodbye. “Remember to write or phone,” Marta said as she waved goodbye (TOUCH)
Simon really ought to MAKE UP HIS MIND about his future. Simon really ought to make a decision about his future (MIND)
Not paying in time WILL RESULT IN YOUR BOOKING BEING CANCELLED. If you don’t pay on time, your booking will be cancelled (RESULT)
I´m sure IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE Gemma becomes a famous model. I’m sure Gemma is going to become a famous model one day (MATTER)
Barbara’s parents HAD NO DOUBT that she would be a great tennis player. Barbara’s parents were certain that she would be a great tennis player (DOUBT)
Employees CANNOT COUNT ON HAVING an allocated car parking space. The company isn’t able to guarantee an allocated car parking space to all employees (COUNT)
Daisy said that she would no longer PUT UP WITH her colleagues being rude. Daisy said that she would no longer tolerate her colleagues being rude (PUT)
was on the point of calling Sven was about to call the police when the burglar stopped trying to open the window and ran away.
POINT
Sven ……………………………………………… the police when the burglar stopped trying to open the window and ran away.
Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Proficiency Book Club: The Waterfall by H E Bates

short stories

This is a series of lesson plans for proficiency level students based around stories from “The Oxford Book of English Short Stories” edited by A. S. Byatt. Set the story as homework the week before, encourage students to bring any vocabulary questions to class.

The Waterfall tells the story of a repressed reverend’s daughter trying to cope with the emotions and sentiments of life and love. These feelings are symbolised by the waterfall in her garden which is being renovated. The breaking of the damn and the water surging down the waterfall could symbolise the release of all her bottled up affections and feelings towards her husband and the jovial Mr. Phillips who has been staying with the family.

Download this lesson plan here:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!383&authkey=!AJRdYjvoRf1OhyM

Vocabulary

First copy to the board or project the vocabulary table in the attachment above, students must try to match the new vocab to the definition.

Key: 1 – g, 2 – d, 3 – a, 4 – b, 5 – j, 6 – e, 7 – f, 8 – I, 9 – h, 10 – c.

Once they have matched the vocab give them 5 minutes to find the vocabulary in the text, make it a race, the first team to find all 10 wins.

Then discuss the following discussion questions:

Discussion Questions:

  • What happens in the story?
  • How would you describe the characters? Straight-laced. Prim and proper, repressed, damaged,
  • What does the waterfall represent?
  • How do you feel about Rose? Do you sympathise with her?
  • How do you think she feels about her new husband?
  • How do you think she feels about Phillips?
  • Do you think people are more or less emotionally repressed these days?
  • Do you think this is a good or bad thing?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Family Expressions Conversation Class

Family clip art

This is a short activity in which students learn some expressions about family and use them in a short discussion.

Have students try to complete the expresions below in pairs.

Complete the expressions:

  1. A family t_______
  2. B______ is thicker than w________
  3. L______ father l_______ son
  4. To take a_______ somebody (to inherit characteristics from a parent)
  5. Like two p_____ in a p______ (very similar)
  6. Like c_______ and c_______ (very different)
  7. Go to a family g_____ – t________ / g_________
  8. A father f__________

Key:

  1. tree
  2. blood, water
  3. like, like
  4. after
  5. peas, pod
  6. chalk, cheese
  7. get-together / gathering
  8. figure

Go through the expressions as a class, then but students in small groups to discuss the following discussion questions:

Discussion questions:

  1. Does your family have a family tree? Have you ever looked at it? Do you know your family’s origins? Do you have any famous ancestors?
  2. Do you agree that blood is thicker than water? How important is family to you? How important is family in your country? Do you think it’s more important than in other countries?
  3. Who do you take after? Your mother or father? In appearance? Personality? Are there any specific hereditary characteristics in your family?
  4. Do you have any family members or friends who are like two peas in a pod? Or any who are like chalk and cheese?
  5. How often do you go to family get-togethers / gatherings? When was the last time? Do you enjoy them? Do you have any annoying relatives?
  6. How important is it for a child to have a father figure? Or a mother figure? How do you think a lack of either can affect children?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Giving Advice

advice

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

This is a conversation class to practice different forms of giving advice for B1 – B2 students.

Put on the board:

You should quit smoking

You ought to quit smoking

You had better quit smoking

Put students in small groups and tell them to think about the difference between the 3 sentences. Then have them share their ideas.

should and ought to are basically synonyms although ought to is generally more formal, they are used for giving advice: It would be a good idea if you quit smoking.

had better has a slightly different meaning; it implies that if the advice is not followed something bad could happen. In this context maybe the speaker could be a doctor warning a patient about the results of a recent test.

In this way had better can also be used to threaten:

1: Hey! Where’s that money you owe me?

2: I’ll pay you on Monday.

1: You had better.

Here had better contains the implication of violence.

The grammatical form is as follows:

subject + should / ought to / had better + bare infinitive (infinitive without to)

The negatives are as follows:

You shouldn’t smoke.

You ought not to smoke.

You had better not smoke.

To warm the students up present them with a simple problem that you have, for example: I want to get fit / It’s my partner’s birthday, what should I buy them?

Have the students give advice for these situations.

Then tell students that there are other ways of giving advice, try and elicit the following conditionals:

If I were you, I would / n’t………….

If I were in your shoes, I would / n’t…………

Then give out the following situations for advise, have the first student read out the situation as if it was a genuine personal problem, other students then give them advice. After each situations ask the discussion questions listed below the situations.

  1. I have a friend who is really tight-fisted. Every time that we go out for a drink or a meal he says he hasn’t got any money or he mysteriously disappears to the toilet when the bill arrives. At first we thought “poor John he never has any money”, but he works 6 days a week so he must have some money. What should we do?
  2. My best friend is always flirting with my girlfriend. He always pays her lots of compliments like “Wow! You look fantastic tonight!” Also when we go to parties he often asks her to dance. It’s making me really angry. What should I do?
  3. I share a flat with a friend and she keeps borrowing my things without asking. At first it was just little things like books and DVDs but now she’s started borrowing my clothes and when I want to wear my favourite dress for example, I find it on her bedroom floor unwashed! What should I do?
  4. I have invited 20 people over for a big dinner party, they are arriving in 20 minutes. I was going to cook a big roast turkey but I put the oven temperature too high and it burned! The dinner is ruined! What should I do?

Discussion Questions

Discussion questions for first situation:

  • Do you have any tight-fisted friends?
  • What do they do?
  • What is the custom when it comes to paying the bill in your country?
  • Have you ever had an argument over a restaurant bill?

Second

  • Who has a problem in this situation?
  • Is the speaker right to feel angry?
  • Who is to blame for the anger?
  • Have you or any of your friends ever been in this situation?
  • Are you a jealous person?

Third

  • Have you ever been in a situation like this?
  • Do you lend things to friends? Why? Why not?
  • Do you borrow things from friends? Why? Why not?
  • Have you ever lived in a shared house? What problems did you encounter?

Fourth

  • Have you ever been in this situation?
  • What did you do?
  • What was the worst meal you ever cooked?

Another game to practice this is the following:

Send one student out of the classroom. All the other students have to think of an imaginary problem that he / she has. Invite the student to come back in and sit at the front of the class. The student must guess what their problem is based on the advice they receive from their classmates.

If your students aren’t very imaginative you can use these situations:

  1. I have two VIP tickets to see Barcelona vs Real Madrid on the same night as my mother in law’s 50th birthday party.
  2. I found a wallet in the street with €2000 in it.
  3. I am a great chef, I want to open 300 restaurants and get rich but I have no money.
  4. I got very drunk at the office Christmas party and kissed my boss.
  5. My best friend’s ex girlfriend wants to go on a date with me.
  6. I am the manager of a big company. I have a vacancy for a salesman and my son wants the job, but he has no experience.
  7. I saw my best friend’s girlfriend kiss another man.

Class discussion about advice

Afterwards discuss the following questions about advice as a class:

  1. Who do you go to for advice?
  2. Do they give good advice? Why? Why not?
  3. Who comes to you for advice?
  4. Do you give good advice?
  5. Do you follow your friend’s advice?
  6. What’s the best / worst advice you’ve ever received?
  7. Does advice help? Or do most people ignore it?
  8. Sometimes advice can make you less decisive. Do you agree?
  9. Do you think some people are too proud to ask for advice?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes

Proficiency Book Club: A Widow’s Quilt by Sylvia Townsend Warner

short stories

This is a series of lesson plans for proficiency level students based around stories from “The Oxford Book of English Short Stories” edited by A. S. Byatt. Set the story as homework the week before, encourage students to bring any vocabulary questions to class.

Vocabulary

Here is some vocab that your students might have trouble with:

page 243

  • the box – the television
  • parlour – a room in a kitchen where food is stored and prepared
  • applique quilts – patchwork quilts

page 244

  • rook – black bird and chess piece
  • blacking out curtains – heavy curtains used during world war two to block light from the windows of the houses
  • taffeta – material made from silk

245

  • to snatch – to take something from another person aggressively
  • jolt – a sudden violent movement

248

  • drudgery – a boring, difficult job
  • fidgeting / to fidget – to move comfortably and nervously
  • to thwart – to prevent the completion of something
  • a harlot – a whore / prostitute
  • to grimace – to make an angry / annoyed face

Discussion

Have your students discuss these questions in small groups or as a class:

  1. What happens in the story?
  2. Can you describe the characters?
  3. What do you think of Charlotte?
  4. How do you think she feels in her marriage? Trapped?
  5. What do her actions say about the position of women in the time the story was written?
  6. What do you think of Everard?
  7. How do you feel for him at the end?
  8. How do you feel for Charlotte?
  9. How can you explain the ending?
  10. Charlotte takes on the challenge of making the quilt, how important is it to have challenges and things to focus your attention on in life? Different stages of life. Things to look forward to etc.
Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes

Proficiency Book Club: The Troll by T. H. White

short stories

This is a series of lesson plans for proficiency level students based around stories from “The Oxford Book of English Short Stories” edited by A. S. Byatt. Set the story as homework the week before, encourage students to bring any vocabulary questions to class.

Vocabulary

Here is a matching exercise for some of the more difficult vocabulary in the story. Have the students complete the exercise in pairs.

a. Ungainly 1. the back of a boat
b. Blurry 2. A mental institute
c. Beside the point 3. clumsy / moving without grace
d. A bog 4. to squeeze material to extract water
e. To ford 5. to begin to deal with a problem in a sensible way
f. Bow 6. dry and wrinkled
g. To wring out 7. irrelevant
h. Stern 8. the front of a boat
i. To come / get to grips with something 9. To designate for a specific purpose
j. Wizened 10. To cross a river
k. To earmark st 11. unfocused
l. Loony-bin 12. a wet, muddy area of ground

Here you can download the table to print:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!358&authkey=!AOgTwYv1J95mH4E

Here are the answers:

  • a – 3
  • b – 11
  • c – 7
  • d – 12
  • e – 10
  • f – 8
  • g – 4
  • h – 1
  • i – 5
  • j – 6
  • k – 9
  • l – 2

Here are the locations of the words in the text and some sentence examples:

  • ungainly – bottom of pg 346
  • blurry – actual reference is blurring at the bottom of pg 347
  • beside the point – middle of pg 348, other sentences example: “He is a nice man, but that’s beside the point; he’s rubbish at his job.”
  • bog – bottom of 348
  • to ford – bottom of 348
  • bow – bottom of 348 in relation to a “bow wave”
  • stern – isn’t in the text but is a counterpoint to “bow”
  • to wring out – top of 349, wring is irregular – wring wrung wrung.
  • come to grips with something – middle of 351, other sentence examples: “We must all get to grips with this tragedy” “If you are going to be an executive you need to get to grips with your fear of public speaking.”
  • wizened – middle of 351
  • to earmark st – bottom of 351, other sentence example: “this money is earmarked for the Christmas party”

Ask students for any other vocab issues they have.

Discussion Questions

Discuss these questions in groups or as a class:

  1. What happens in the story?
  2. What does the troll represent?
  3. Why does the story have a framing device? (a story within a story) What does it add to the story?
  4. Some analysts say the story is religious, the character’s latent Christianity defeating the Troll, do you agree?
  5. What do you think of the gory imagery of the troll?
  6. How do you explain the ending?
  7. What other mythical creatures can you think of? (vampires, werewolves, zombies etc.)
  8. Why do you think these monsters are so popular? Why do people keep writing stories about them?
  9. Which ones frightened you most as a child? Which ones still scare you now?
  10. What do you think are the origins of these creatures?