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

Where do you stand? Summer Edition

Is SUMMER about to truly start? - The Church Irish Bar Albir

This is a special summer edition of my “Where do you stand?” conversation series. Students decide to what extent they agree with different statements on the topic of summer activities and holidays and then share their views with their classmates. Download the PowerPoint and student handout below:

The PowerPoint has some quite advanced language for discussion on it. You may want to use this phrase sheet, designed with B2 students in mind, for lower levels.

Posted in Games

Last Day of Term: Top 5 Quiz

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Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

The last day of term is fast approaching so I’ve made a fun quiz to keep students entertained. I recommend bringing sweets as a prize for the winning team. Credit to my friend Dan for the inspiration and some of the questions. Download the questions and instructions below:



Spilt the class into groups of 2 or 3, give each group a piece of paper and encourage them to come up with an interesting team name. Explain that you are going to give the teams a category and they have 3 minutes to come up with the top 5 items in that category. For example: the top 5 largest countries in the world by area. Students are awarded 1 point for every answer that they guess that appears in the top 5, and an additional bonus ½ point for every answer that is in the correct place in the list, meaning that there is a total of 7.5 points on offer for each round. The different categories are listed below:

(Note: this was designed with Spanish students in Barcelona in mind so some categories may not be suitable for all groups)

Largest countries in the world by area

1.       Russia

2.       Canada

3.       China

4.       USA

5.       Brazil

Most popular pets in the USA

1.       Cat

2.       Dog

3.       Fish

4.       Small mammal (hamster, gerbil, rabbit etc.)

5.       Bird

Most viewed artists on

1.       Justin Beiber

2.       Rihanna

3.       Taylor Swift

4.       Katy Perry

5.       Eminem

Highest grossing films of all time

1.       Avatar

2.       Titanic

3.       Star Wars: The Force Awakens

4.       Jurassic World

5.       The Avengers

Best-selling books of all time

1.       The Lord of the Rings

2.       The Hobbit

3.       The Little Prince

4.       Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

5.       And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Largest oceans in the world

1.       Pacific

2.       Atlantic

3.       Indian

4.       Southern

5.       Arctic

Richest people in the world

1.       Bill Gates

2.       Amancio Ortega

3.       Warren Buffett

4.       Carlos Slim

5.       Jeff Bezos

First 5 Pixar films in the order they were released

1.       Toy Story

2.       A Bug’s Life

3.       Toy Story 2

4.       Monsters’ Inc

5.       Finding Nemo

Largest cities in Europe (inc Russia)

1.       Istanbul

2.       Moscow

3.       London

4.       St. Petersburg

5.       Berlin

Countries in Europe by population

1.       Russia

2.       Germany

3.       Turkey

4.       France

5.       UK


Male tennis players with most grand slams

1.       Roger Federer

2.       Pete Sampras

3.       Rafa Nadal

4.       Novak Djokovic

5.       Bjorn Borg

Female tennis players with most grand slams

1.       Steffi Graf

2.       Serena Williams

3.       Chris Evert

4.       Martina Navaratilova

5.       Margaret Court

Most popular ice-cream flavours in the world

1.       Vanilla

2.       Chocolate

3.       Cookies and cream

4.       Strawberry

5.       Mint choc-chip

Best-paid football (soccer) players (2016)

1.       Cristiano Ronaldo

2.       Lionel Messi

3.       Wayne Rooney

4.       Zlatan Ibrahimovic

5.       Yaya Toure

Most popular football clubs in the world

1.       Man Utd

2.       Real Madrid

3.       Barcelona

4.       Chelsea

5.       Arsenal

Autonomous regions in Spain by area.

1.       Castile-Leon

2.       Andalusia

3.       Castile-La Mancha

4.       Aragon

5.       Extremadura

Barcelona FC’s most expensive signings

1.       Neymar Jr.

2.       Luis Suarez

3.       Zlatan Ibrahimovic

4.       David Villa

5.       Marc Overmars

5 elements in the periodic table from which the letters in the symbol do not appear in the name of the element in Spanish or in English. (award 1 point for name of element and ½ for correct symbol:

1.       K – Potassium

2.       Na – Sodium

3.       Hg – Mercury

4.       Au – Gold

5.       W – Tungsten

Most popular boys names in UK

1.       Muhammed

2.       Oliver

3.       Jack

4.       Noah

5.       Jacob

Most popular girls names in UK

1.       Sophia

2.       Emily

3.       Lily

4.       Olivia

5.       Amelia

Most popular boys names in Spain

1.       Alejandro

2.       Daniel

3.       David

4.       Pablo

5.       Adrián

Most popular girls names in Spain

1.       Maria

2.       Lucia

3.       Paula

4.       Laura

5.       Andrea

Posted in Games

Game: Call My Bluff

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Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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

Call My Bluff


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

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 Conversation Classes, Games, Young Learners

Christmas Trivia Quiz

This is a fun Christmas trivia quiz for the last day of term. Bring prizes for the winning team.

Split the class into small groups and get them to come up with a festive team name. There are two rounds, the first is the picture round. Show the pictures in the picture round handout, students have to name the items they see.

The second round is the trivia round. Read out the questions below one at a time, students write their answers on a piece of paper. You can download the list of questions here. Christmas Trivia Quiz

Trivia Round

  1. What are the names of these dates? 24th + 25th, 31st of December, 1st of January. Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year’s eve, New year’s day.
  2. What do people traditionally do under the mistletoe plant? Kiss
  3. Where do children hang their stockings on Christmas Eve? Next to the fireplace.
  4. Which English author wrote the book ‘A Christmas Carol’? Charles Dickens
  5. In Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, how many ghosts visited Ebeneezer Scrooge? Extra points for their names. 4 Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Xmas past, present and yet to come.
  6. Name 2 of Father Christmas’ reindeer apart from Rudolph. Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Alternative question: Which of these names is NOT one of Father Christmas’ Reindeer? Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Chaser, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen
  7. The character Jack Skellington appears in which 1993 Tim Burton film? The Nightmare before Christmas
  8. What are the names of the three wise men said to have brought gifts to the baby Jesus? Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar (or Gaspar – Interestingly the Bible does not states state their names, nor even the number of wise men: “…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem… and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh…” from Matthew 2:1 and 2:11. Thanks A Russell.)
  9. What is New Year’s Eve called in Scotland? Christenmouse, Hogmanay, pigmany
  10. In which modern country is St Nicholas’s birthplace and hometown? Turkey (St Nicholas, bishop ‘Nikolaos of Myra’, 270-343AD, was born a Greek, i.e., of Greek parents in Patara, Lycia. He lived in and was bishop of Myra, Lycia. Patara and nearby Myra, in Lycia, or fully Lycia et Pamphylia, were then technically provincial territory of the Roman Empire with no specific country name. Patara became ruins centuries ago. Where the ancient town of Myra stood, now stands the Turkish town/district of Demre, Antalya Province, Turkey)
  11. From which country does the poinsettia plant originate? Mexico
  12. How many points does a snowflake have? Six
  13. What is the name of the cake traditionally eaten in Italy at Christmas? Panettone
  14. Which country does the tradition of Christmas trees come from? Germany
  15. What do people in England do at 3pm on Christmas day? Listen to the Queen’s speech.
  16. Name 3/5 traditional English Xmas dinner ingredients. Turkey, potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, sweet potato, parsnip, broccoli, cauliflower, sausages with bacon.
  17. What 3 things do children leave next to the chimney for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve? A drink, some food, carrots for the reindeer.

Thanks to Business Balls for some of the questions.