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

2 Ts in a Pod: Episode 5 – Pet Hates

2ts banner with social media

The fifth episode of our new podcast for B2+ English students and teachers alike is now live! In this episode we’re talking about our pet hates or things that really annoy us. Go to our SoundCloud page and download the teacher’s notes below:

Teacher’s notes EP5 Pet Hates

2Ts in a Pod – Teacher’s Notes Episode 5: Pet Hates

Running Order

  1. Intro convo 00:00-7:40
  2. Vox pop – Nicole – 07:46-09:55
  3. Vox pops – Abbi – 10:00-12:30
  4. Be like you – Berenece – 12:45 – 16:38
  5. 5 Ways to say – 16:50 – 21:00
  6. Knock knock jokes 21:13 – 25:49

Additional Materials

5 Ways to Say

Pet hates/Annoying things

  • People get on my nerves when they walk down the street really slowly. (annoys me)
  • People who sit on the outside seat on the bus when the inside seat is free drive me insane/drive me up the wall! (annoys me)
  • Annoying people get on my tits. (annoys me *informal/rude*)
  • Inconsiderate people really piss me off. (annoys me *informal/rude*)
  • My pet hate/bugbear is inconsiderate people. (a thing that annoys me specifically)

Making polite requests

  • Would you mind turning the volume down? (remember to use …ing!)
  • I wish you wouldn’t leave your socks on the floor. (use wish + would to express annoyance)
  • I’d rather you didn’t smoke in here. (use past simple when changing subject)

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your pet hate/bugbear?
  • What things really get on your nerves when you’re on public transport?
  • What things really get on your nerves at work?
  • What things really get on your nerves at home?
  • What things really drive you up the wall in the street?
  • What things do you wish your parents/partner/kids/siblings wouldn’t do?
  • Role-play: one person is smoking on the metro, the other wants them to stop.
  • Role-play: Parent and teenager arguing about the things each one does that annoys the other.
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Posted in Guest Posts

To summer camp, or not to summer camp?

josh post

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio + @2tspod

This is another guest post from Josh Widdows to all English teachers looking for summer work.

Thinking about what to do this summer?  Want to earn some good cash doing a job that will further your teaching career and put you in a better position next September?  Then being an English Teacher at a reputable and renowned summer school is the way forward!

Download all the info below:

To summer camp, or not to summer camp?

Is that the question? Well, it doesn’t need to be any more – the answer is YES!

Every teacher has heard horror stories of being stuck in a summer camp teaching groups twice the size of that the job spec promised. Over-worked and underpaid are just some of the negative words that spring to mind. Being contracted to work 12 ‘sessions’ a week, but ending up working every hour God sends and basically babysitting the little darlings. But, don’t be deterred. Thames Valley Summer Schools offer teachers the chance to work for a reputable, long-standing and thoroughly rewarding summer camp, dispelling the myths of hardship and exhaustion. At TVSS being a team-player and ensuring you get what you want out of a summer school is at the heart of what they do.

So, you’ve done the hard bit, the CELTA or the CertTESOL and you’ve got at least an academic year’s experience under your belt.  Your ´year-long´ academy, (in some far-flung sunny destination), doesn’t provide you with work over the summer, and you’re wondering what to do with three months off. If you’re looking for the opportunity to get more experience working with young learners, develop your skills and stand yourself in good stead for a better-paid job back in the EFL world come September, then Thames Valley is the one for you.

Earning a competitive weekly salary, eating healthy, well-prepared food on-site, sleeping in your own bedroom, and being closely-located to London, (except Rugby, albeit only a 2-hour train ride away), you’ll barely spend a penny. What better way to save up some good cash for your summer adventures?

You still have just a few questions, right? Of course you do, you’re an inquisitive teacher looking for summer work that you’ll enjoy and get a lot out of.  Remember, you’re going to be teaching in a multi-lingual context, away from the dramas of your mono-lingual teaching environment of bickering Italian or Korean teens. TVSS has a team of supportive and experienced management and academic staff who will guide you in your planning and teaching to deliver fun and engaging lessons.

Being a residential camp, you’ll still have your work cut out. But, you can rest assured that at TVSS you will only teach about 17 hours a week and work a maximum of 11 sessions, (which is much less than other schools).  That works out at about 55 hours a week – not that bad right?  You’ll have some free time to plan lessons, chill out in your room or in the grounds, or get away from it all and go to London.  And a mega ´plus´ is that most schools are only a maximum of 3-4 weeks, so burn-out isn’t an issue.

There are more questions, aren’t there?  Will I be involved in recreation and social activities?  You´re at a residential summer school, so naturally, you’ll be participating in them, but there´s no need to worry.  This school goes above and beyond to make sure you’re placed where your skills and talents lie.  If you’re good at volleyball and rugby, don’t be shy to put yourself forward.  If you see yourself as a calmer, creative type, then arts and crafts will be your station.  Whatever tickles your fancy, being a team-player is central to the role, so be ready to get involved with whatever is going on at any given moment.

You still undeniably have some queries, so go to:

https://www.thamesvalleysummer.com/work-for-us-faq.aspx for more information.

Still think you’re up for a challenging, yet fun and rewarding chance to further your teaching experience and have lots of laughs while you’re at it?

Thames Valley is waiting for your application. Don’t forget to put: ‘Recommendation & Tim’s Free Lesson Plans’ in the ‘Where did you hear about us’ field on your form: https://www.thamesvalleysummer.com/work-for-us.aspx .

Feel free to email me, should you have any other questions: Josh Widdows TVSS Director of Studies at St John’s: joshwiddows@hotmail.com

Posted in Young Learners

Drawing Dictation: A Christmas Card

Image result for christmas cards

Image credit: Dots and Spots

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a Christmas themed lesson plan for young learners. Students will learn some Christmas vocabulary then put it to use in a drawing dictation exercise. You will need and A4 piece of white card for each student and this quizlet set. Download the lesson plan below:

drawing-dictation-xmas

Warmer

Put students in pairs and give them 1 minute to come up with as many English words related to Christmas as they can. Check in open class, award 1 point for each correctly spelt word and two points for any unique words (no other group wrote it down).

Introduce Vocabulary

Use a projector and the quizlet set to introduce the Christmas target language. There are 23 words in the set which is probably too many for most groups, use the star function to select the ones you want to study. When introducing each word, associate it with a different action i.e for “bells” you could mime ringing hand bells. For slightly higher levels, introduce the word as part of a sentence: “I ring the bells”

Games

You can then play the “match” game on quizlet on the projector. Put students in pairs and have them take turns to play “match” trying to complete the game faster than the other teams. If you don’t have access to a projector, you could print out two copies of each flashcard and play a giant game of “memory” or “pairs” on the board or on the floor at the students’ feet.

Prepositions

Quickly revise the most common prepositions of place (next to, behind, under, above, on, at the top, in front of etc.) you could do this a number of ways:

  • Use a chair – you stand next to/behind/in front of etc. the chair and say “Where am I?”
  • Use a pen and paper – put the pen under/in front of/behind etc. the paper and say “Where’s the pen?”
  • Use a picture – show the picture of the Christmas tree below and elicit where the things are: “the presents are under the tree”

Image result for christmas tree santa

Drawing Dictation

Give each student an A4 piece of white card folded in half like a Christmas card. Tell students that they are going to make a Christmas card for their parents, but they have to listen carefully to your instructions. You then start describing a festive scene: “In the middle there is a big Christmas tree.” “Next to the tree I can see Father Christmas.” “Under the tree there are lots of presents!!” Monitor and check that students are following your instructions correctly.

You can then dictate a message for them to write inside the card and let them colour and decorate the card however they like. While they’re colouring play some Christmas music to get them in the festive spirit!

Posted in Conversation Classes

My Emoji Weekend

Image credit: guesstheemoji-answers.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I can’t remember where I got this idea from, I think it was Lindsay Clandfield at the Barcelona IH Conference two weeks ago. This is a quick lesson plan designed for use with teenagers of almost any level. Download the lesson plan below:

My Emoji Weekend

Preparation

Write what you did at the weekend, but, write it in emojis. Like this:

20160216_222915

Take a photo of the emojis and either print them out or project them in some way.

Class Procedure

Show students the emojis and tell them that they represent your weekend. In pairs students have to recreate your weekend as a text, this is a good opportunity for them to practice past simple and also language of sequencing: After that/afterwards, later, in the afternoon, firstly, secondly, finally etc.

Give students about 5 mins to prepare their text, monitoring and boarding any vocabulary. Students then read out their version of your weekend. The pair whose version is closest to the real version is the winner. You can also award points for imagination. Below is the text version of my weekend.

My Weekend

On Saturday morning I had a lie-in because I was very tired. I woke up at around 11 and had a cooked breakfast. Then I watched a football match on TV. After that I went to the city centre to go clothes shopping, I bought a new shirt and some trousers. Then I stopped in a kebab shop for lunch. When I got home I watched an action film on my laptop and went to bed early.

On Sunday I had to get up early, I got up at 7am. I ate two bananas for breakfast and then I ran the Barcelona half-marathon. I finished the race and won a medal. Afterwards I went to a bar with some friends to celebrate. I drank some beers and ate a hamburger. When I got home I had a shower, played some videogames and went to bed, I was exhausted!

Pair-work

Now give students 2 minutes to draw their weekend  in emojis. If you want you could have students send their emoji weekend to each other via a messenger app, this may not be advisable with some groups. They should know most of the emojis but if they don’t use the pictures below:

Students then have to guess what their partner did by looking at their emojis. They then tell each other if they were wrong or right and explain the real version.

Posted in Games

Game: Call My Bluff

Image credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a version of the classic definitions game “Call My Bluff”. Download the handout below:

Call My Bluff

Introduction:

Start by demonstrating the game by copying/projecting the examples from the handout onto the board. Thanks to busyteacher for the examples:

http://busyteacher.org/20650-call-my-bluff-esl-adaptation-5-steps.html

This is an opportunity for students to use language of deduction:

It could/might/may be….

It can’t be ….. because …..

It must be ….. because …..

I’m torn between …. and ….

I’m going to have a stab in the dark and say ….

By a process of elimination I’d say it’s ….

There’s no way it’s …. because …

… is too obvious.

I’m going to plump for (choose) …

 

Put students in pairs or threes and have them discuss the three examples and give their answers. Award points for correct answers.

Students create false definitions:

Now give each pair one of the game cards. The cards contain a rare English word and the correct definition. Students must invent two false definitions for the word and write them down. Set a time limit of 3-4 minutes for this part. Groups then read out their words and the three definitions, encourage them to be expressive and inventive in their definitions and their presentations in order to better convince their opponents. Award points for groups who guess the correct definition and points for the groups who successfully convince opponents into choosing their invented definitions.

Posted in Games

Game: Consequences

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Image credit: www.considerthis.net

The old childhood classic retooled for the ESL classroom. All you need is pens and paper.

It’s the last week of term and I need a fun activity to finish on so I’m going for consequences. You can find the instructions in the link below. You will also find a link to lists of personality adjectives which you’ll also need for the game. Have fun!

http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Consequences

https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/adjectives-personality.htm

Posted in Conversation Classes

Dilemmas and Debates

Image credit: www.osomac.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a straightforward “What would you do?” speaking activity to practice hypothetical conditionals and just generate debate and conversation.  Download the powerpoint below and project it or print it:

Dilemmas and debates

Language of agreeing and disagreeing will be useful.

Agreeing Disagreeing Ending an argument:
  • We see eye to eye
  • I couldn’t agree with you more.
  • That’s exactly how I feel.
  • You have a point there.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • Absolutely.
  • We don’t see eye to eye
  • I take your point but
  • I tend to disagree with you there
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there
  • I beg to differ
  • That’s not always the case.
  • Let’s just move on shall we?
  • I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

Credit to: http://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/moral-dilemmas-that-will-break-your-brain#.lhwmbK9XK

For a couple of the ideas.