Posted in Grammar Classes

Regrets, I’ve had a few…

Image result for spiderman

Image credit: marvel.com

This a lesson plan for B2+ students to teach language of regret. It uses a clip from The Amazing Spiderman and texts about historic regrettable decisions. Download the teacher’s notes and student handout below:

Regrets teachers notes

Regrets student handout

Lead-in

Show students a picture of Spiderman and ask them: Why did Peter Parker decide to become Spiderman? They will probably say “because he was bitten by a radioactive spider”, but that’s not why, that’s how. Show them the video clip: Uncle Ben’s Death until 2:25: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp5m4g7pZ9s

So he became Spiderman because it was his responsibility to stop innocent people like Uncle Ben from getting hurt. Ask students these questions:

  1. What happened?
  2. How does Peter Parker feel?
  3. What could have been different?

Check students’ answers, they will probably try to express Peter’s regret at not saving Uncle Ben. Give out the hand-out and draw their attention to the language of regret at the top.

Language of Regret

Look at the example sentences, what are the formulas for each structure?

  • Peter regrets not stopping the robber.
  • He should have done
  • Uncle Ben shouldn’t have tried to pick up the gun.
  • If Peter had stopped the guy, he wouldn’t have killed Uncle Ben.
  • If Uncle Ben hadn’t tried to pick up the gun, the guy wouldn’t have shot him.

Historical Regrets

Read the texts about regrettable events from the past and make sentences using the structures.

Image result for lance armstrong Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs before winning seven Tour de France titles. A whistle-blower revealed information about his doping to the press but he denied it for years. Eventually the evidence was too much and he confessed to his crimes live on Oprah Winfrey’s chat show.

Image result for the beatles Decca Records & The Beatles

In 1962, Dick Rowe, an executive at Decca Records, thought guitar groups were falling out of favour. On New Year’s Day that year, The Beatles auditioned to be signed to the record label. Rowe rejected their audition and decided not to sign them. The Beatles went on to become the biggest selling band in history.

Image result for napoleon Napoleon

In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia with his grand army of 680,000 soldiers. Instead of fighting the French, the Russian army retreated further into Russia burning the farms and supplies as they went. After winning some minor victories the French were forced to retreat because of the freezing Russian winter. Only 27,000 soldiers from the original army survived.

Possible Answers:

  1. Lance Armstrong regrets taking banned substances. He shouldn’t have taken performance enhancing drugs. If he hadn’t taken the drugs, he wouldn’t have won 7 titles.
  2. Dick Rowe regrets not signing the Beatles. He should have signed them. If he had signed them, he would have been rich.
  3. Napoleon regretted invading Russia. He shouldn’t have invaded Russia in winter. If he hadn’t invaded Russia, he might have conquered the whole of Europe.

My Biggest Regret

Students might be reticent to discuss this topic, if so try to encourage them to talk about a friend or family member’s regrets, often a bit of distance can help students open up and express themselves. It could also help if you shared some of your regrets with the class first.

  • Do you have any regrets? What about your family and friends?
  • Have you ever had an accident that was your fault? What happened?
  • If you could relive any part of your life, what would you change?
  • How would your life be different?
Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

Would Rather/Would Sooner

Image credit: www.foodnavigator-usa.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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 Grammar Classes

Reporting with Passives: Worksheet

Image credit: www.forbes.com

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This is a worksheet designed with C1 students in mind. It will help them construct passive sentences with reporting verbs, which are appropriate for many of the formal writing tasks in the CAE exam. Download the worksheet, key and powerpoint below:

reporting-with-passives

gossip-column-pics

Worksheet

We can use passive structures with infinitives in formal writing to report opinions and beliefs.

Present and Future – use an infinitive (to be, to affect)

Many people think Messi is the best player ever.

Messi is thought to be the best player ever.

Scientists know that pollen allergy affects a lot of people.

Pollen allergies are known to affect a lot of people.

Journalists expect that the president will give a speech at 2pm.

The president is expected to give a speech at 2pm.

Past – use a perfect infinitive (to have been, to have made, to have done)

Experts think that Van Gogh painted the painting in 1888.

Van Gogh is thought to have painted the painting in 1888.

The police think he killed his wife.

He is thought to have killed his wife.

Verbs used in this way included: believe, consider, estimate, expect, know, report, say, think, understand and “to be rumoured”.

Practice:

Change the second sentence using the passive structure.

  1. Experts say that 8 hours sleep is the perfect amount.

8 hours sleep ________________________________________________________________

  1. They expect that 2000 people will attend the festival.

2000 people _________________________________________________________________

  1. Police think that the stolen money is buried in the garden.

The stolen money _____________________________________________________________

  1. There are rumours that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are dating again.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez __________________________________________________

  1. Experts estimate that 20 people died in the fire.

20 people_______________________________________________________________.

  1. Journalists report that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have broken up.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian_________________________________________________.

  1. Scientists believe that the big bang happened 13.7 billion years ago.

The big bang____________________________________________________________.

 

Key

  1. 8 hours sleep is said to be the perfect amount.
  2. 2000 people are expected to attend the festival.
  3. The stolen money is thought to be buried in the garden.
  4. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are rumoured to be dating again.
  5. 20 people are estimated to have died in the fire.
  6. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are reported to have broken up.
  7. The big bang is believed to have happened 13.7 billion years ago.

Creative Practice Exercise

Show the powerpoint with pictures of celebrities, students make up gossip stories about them.

After completing the worksheet have students write two sentences, 1 in the present and 1 in the past, about their partner in the style of a gossip magazine article:

“Jordi is rumoured to be dating Sandra.”

“Jordi is thought to have written Sara a poem.”

Have students read their sentences out to the class, then they vote on which is the juiciest piece of gossip.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Zero Conditional: Hiccup Cures!

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:

 

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan to help students put the zero conditional into practice in conversation.

Download it here:

Zero Conditional

Introduction

Ask students the following: What do you do when you get hiccups?

Show them the following video and tell them to write down as many causes and cures for hiccups as they can.

Mine the video for vocabulary:

Spasm, stuck, breathe, gasp, exhale/inhale, hold your breath, difference between breathe (verb, long vowel sound) and breath (noun, short vowel sound), chug, pull, tongue, drink from, wrong side, take a sip, swallow, tip your head back, plug your nose, a teaspoon of, sprinkle, squeeze your pinky, pressure point, pinch, recite, backwards, think of, bald, cure/get rid of hiccups.

Ask them which methods from the video they use.

Model a few sentences on the board:

When/whenever I get hiccups, I ask a friend to scare me.

Tell students that this is called the zero conditional. Give out the first page of the handout and go over it quickly.

We use the zero conditional to talk about general or scientific truths and habits.

If you heat ice, it melts. (General truth)

If I drink coffee after 6pm, I can’t sleep. (Habit)

We also use it to talk about what people should do in certain situations.

If you feel tired, stop for a rest.

If you feel ill, take your medicine.

The formula is:

If/when/whenever + present simple, present simple.

Matching exercise

Match numbers 1-5 with letters a-e to make zero conditional sentences.

1.     If it rains, a.     The roads are dangerous.
2.     If it snows, b.     I try a new flavour of ice-cream
3.     Whenever I visit Rome, c.      Tell a security guard.
4.     If you see someone stealing d.     It boils.
5.     When water reaches 100º C, e.     We play basketball inside.

Matching Key

1-e, 2-a, 3-b, 4-c, 5-d

Conversation exercise

Cut the following cards up. Students take them one at a time and discuss them in conversation. Encourage the use of: “Me too/neither” or “So/neither do I”

Whenever I go on holiday… When I go to the dentist…
If I drink too much red wine… Whenever the sales are on…
If I see a beggar in the street… If I see a tourist with their bag open…
When I go to the beach, I always… When it’s my birthday…
If I’m feeling blue… Whenever I need help at work/school…
If I eat too much… When I watch a sad film at the cinema…
When I forget to do something important at home… If I have free time…
Whenever I go to the city centre… When I visit my relatives…
If someone asks me for directions in the street… If you get hiccups…
If you have a hangover… If you feel ill at work/school…
If you need to take a day off… When I have too much work to do…

Here are some alternatives for teenage students:

When I get bored… If I feel sleepy at school…
If I drop my ice-cream on the floor… If a wasp comes near me…
If I can’t sleep… If my brother/sister annoys me…
When I don’t feel like going to school… When my teacher puts a video on…
When I forget to do my homework… If I get sunburnt…

Photo credit: http://imgkid.com/too-much-coffee-meme.shtml

Video credit: buzzfeedyellow