This is the second in a series of posts documenting a mini research project I’m doing with a group of C1/C2 students to see how effective explicit pronunciation instruction activities can be. If you haven’t already, please read the first post to get a better idea of the methods I’m using. Download the slides and handout for this second mini lesson plan below:
Full credit to Mark Hancock for the excellent -ed endings maze, you can get it and many more from this excellent website he runs together with Annie McDonald. You can also get loads more great materials from his Instagram page. If you get the chance to attend one of his seminars/webinars, go for it, loads of great ideas.
This particular lesson plan focuses on -ed endings of regular verbs and consonant to vowel linking in phrasal verbs. If you’re following along with the project with your students, please let me know how it’s going in the comments.
The part 2 exercise is taken from the Expert Proficiency Coursebook published by Pearson.
Students first complete the exercise from their books, compare answers with a partner and correct the task in open class. The teacher then instructs them to close their books/fold the handout over and try to complete the second “inverted” version. In this version, different words have been removed from the fixed expressions tested in the original text. Other changes have been made in order to fully exploit the text for more high level lexis such as phrasal verbs and fixed expressions. Students can then refer back to the original in order to check their answers.
You can create your own inverted cloze exercises from any text in your course book. Happy inverting!
Cover the original exercise.
Complete this version.
The relationship between the modern consumer and their rubbish is a complex one. Getting (1) ……. of rubbish has come to mean a great (2) ……. more than simply consigning breakfast leftovers (3) ……. a plastic bag. With the advent (4)……. recycling, rubbish has now invaded many people’s personal lives to an unprecedented (5) ……. There was a time, (6) ……. living memory, when rubbish collection was a simple matter – but today’s household rubbish, before being (7) ……., has to be filed and sorted (8) ……. colour-coded containers (9) ……. to its recycling category.
What is (10) ……., we are brought (11) ……. in a rash of irritation by the suggestion that, if rubbish collections were to become more infrequent, people would then make the effort to (12) ……. down on shopping and recycle more. We might be excused for wondering (13) ……. this would be possible. Can people realistically buy fewer eggs or (14) ……. of toothpaste than their lives require?
Recycling is supposed to be good for us. But for some, it’s just a (15) ……. of rubbish.
This is a lesson plan for students preparing to take the C2 Proficiency exam. Students look at some typical phrasal verbs, collocations and dependent prepositions that often come up in the exam and put them into practice in conversation. Download the handout, key and accompanying slides below:
First of all students have to choose from two prepositions to complete the phrasal verbs so that it fits the context of the sentence. Then have them match the phrasal verbs to the definitions in the box below. You could then have students test each other, one says a definition, the other has to recall the phrasal verb.
Show students slide 2 of the presentation and instruct them to turn their handouts over and attempt to recall the missing words in the questions from memory. In this exercise they are required to recall the verb, rather than the preposition. Once they have completed the exercise, have them ask and answer the questions in pairs or small groups and then share any funny/interesting discoveries in open class.
Students then repeat the process for the dependent prepositions. However, in this case, rather than matching definitions, they match synonyms of the collocations to transform the sentence. I most cases they are direct synonyms that fit the same grammatical pattern but in a couple of cases they will need to make changes to the sentence, instruct them to check carefully if the synonym fits.
Slide 4-5 have a similar gapped questions task to the first one for students to complete in pairs. The final exercise contains more expressions and phrasal verbs with prepositions. Have students complete the exercise in pairs, then after checking in open class, have students come up with gapped questions for their classmates to complete. Tell them that their questions must be open-ended and designed to spark conversation, for example:
Are there any things that you’ve done so many times that you can now do ….. auto-pilot?
Feel free to post any of your students’ questions in the comments! Let me know how it goes!
They’ve made their demands and they’re not going to back down. – stop demanding something
My car always breaks down when I don’t have enough money to get it repaired. – stop working
They broke/split up last year but then they got back together. – to end; to separate (a marriage / a relationship / etc.)
My parents died when I was very young so my grandma brought me up. – raise/educate/care for (a child)
I bumped/ran into an old friend from uni in the street. – to meet someone unexpectedly
The situation calls for calm negotiations and cool heads from everyone involved. – demand / request
They’ve had to call off the match due to bad weather. – cancel (an event)
I’m just going to carry on working on my presentation, but let me know if you need anything. – continue
The new hairstyle has really caught on with teenagers in my town. catch on – to become popular (an idea or a style);
I kept dropping hints about what I wanted for my birthday but my wife didn’t catch on. – to understand/realise after a long time
I bought him a pint to try to cheer him up – make happier
I came across my old school books while I was clearing out the attic. – find by chance
He came into quite a lot of money when his grandparents passed away. come into (money) – inherit
Come round after school and we’ll work on the science project together. – come to your house
I’ve come up with a great idea for our Halloween costumes. – think of and suggest an idea
The topic of a pay rise came up in my meeting with the boss. – be mentioned, arise or appear (in class / an exam / a meeting)
Don’t be late! Everyone is counting on you. – to rely on
My New Year’s resolution is to cut down on fast food.– reduce the amount you consume
Sorry, the call got cut off when we went through a tunnel. – separate / isolate / interrupt
My doctor has told me I need to cut out all processed meats from my diet. – stop doing / eating something
The child was struggling to do up his shoelaces. We’re doing up our house this summer. – fasten, button up clothes; repair, redecorate or modernize a building or room
We all dressed up as monsters for Halloween.– put on different clothes in order to disguise yourself
My Dad dropped by on his way home to work to say hello. – to visit informally or unexpectedly
He also came to drop off my Christmas presents. The taxi dropped us off outside the airport. – to take something (or someone) to a place and leave it there
He didn’t enjoy the economics degree course and dropped out after 6 months. – stop taking part in (a competition, a university, etc.)
We got lost and ended up in a completely different town. We were supposed to go out clubbing but we ended up staying in. – an end result of something planned or unplanned
She fell for him the moment she met him. – fall in love with
She fell out with her younger sister over who was going to look after grandma at Christmas. – argue and stop being friendly with someone
Yesterday she found out that she passed her law degree. – discover
I wrote them an email to follow up my complaint from the previous day. – find out more about something; take further action
I get along/on really well with all my teachers. – have a good relationship with
We just want to get away for the weekend and have some peace and quiet. – go on a short holiday/break
He stole €10 from his mum’s purse and got away with it, she blamed his brother. – not be punished for doing something
I don’t earn much but it’s enough to get by. – manage to survive / live
Stop chatting and get on with your work! – start or continue doing something (especially work)
It took him a long time to get over her, I think he still loves her. – recover after the end of a relationship with someone
I’m still getting over a nasty cold but I should be fine in a couple of days. – recover from
I get together with my old uni friends every 6 months or so. – meet (usually for social reasons)
I’m cleaning out my garage this weekend, I’m going to get rid of so much old stuff. – eliminate/discard
He accidently gave away the surprise birthday party to the birthday girl, what an idiot! – reveal
Hey! That’s my bag! Give it back – return
Don’t forget to give/hand in your essays at the end of the class. – submit (homework, etc.)
The kids wouldn’t stop asking for an ice cream so I finally gave in and let them have one. – agree to something you do not want to
The rotting fruit was giving off a nasty smell. (a smell) – produce and send into the air
The receptionist gave out all the most important information to the guests. – announce or broadcast information
They’re giving/handing out free samples of delicious cheese at the supermarket. – distribute to a group of people
The sudoku puzzle was too difficult so I gave up and read a book instead. – to stop trying to do something (often because it is too difficult)
A: We should decorate the kitchen. B: Yeah, I’d go along with that. – support an idea or agree with someone’s opinion
The milk has gone off, we’ll have to buy some more. A bomb went off outside the airport, luckily nobody was hurt. – explode; become bad (food)
The poker game went on for hours and hours. – to continue
Have you heard? Charlie is going out with Kathy. – have a romantic relationship with someone
My Dad’s threatening to take away my car keys if I don’t tidy my room but I don’t think he will go through with it. – complete a promise or plan
My best friend from primary school and I grew apart over the years and now we hardly speak. – get distant from someone, like a friend
When I grow up, I want to be a firefighter. – slowly become an adult
We hung around outside the concert hall for 2 hours after the show trying to get an autograph. – to wait or spend time somewhere, doing nothing
I’m just going to hang out with my friends tonight. – spend time relaxing (informal)
Don’t leave your shirts on the floor, you need to hang them up. She finished the call and then hung up. – to hang clothes or an object on a hook or line; to end a phone call
Go down this street and then head for the big church, your hotel is right next door to it. – go towards
My shyness always holds me back in social situations. – prevent someone from making progress
We need to hurry up! Our train leaves in five minutes. – do something more quickly
Just keep on walking this way and you’ll get to the station in no time. – to continue
Where were you on Saturday? I really needed your help and you let me down. – disappoint
The police decided to let the kids off with a warning because it was their first offence. – give someone a lighter punishment than they expected (or not punish at all)
I can’t come out, I need to look after my baby brother. – take care of
I hate it when people look down on those who are less fortunate than them. – feel superior to
I’ve been looking for a flat for 2 months but haven’t found one I like yet. – try to find
I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year. – feel happy about something that is going to happen
The police are looking into the case of the missing dog. – investigate
I had never heard of my Dad’s favorite footballer, I had to look him up on wikipedia. – find information about (e.g. a word in a dictionary)
I’ve always looked up to my mum, she’s very resilient. – admire and respect
They gave us free tickets to a different show to make up for the cancellation. – compensate for
They fell out over something stupid but now they’ve made up. – become friends again
He’s always making up ridiculous stories and excuses for why he’s late. (something) – invent (stories, excuses)
Ok, thanks for that report Jon, now let’s move on to Sarah’s presentation. – change to a different job, activity or place
I moved out of my parents house when I was 18. – stop living in a house or flat
He was so dehydrated that he passed out and woke up in the back of an ambulance. – lose consciousness
When are you going to pay back the money you owe me? – return money
Don’t worry, my parents are going to pay for dinner. – purchase
They’ve finally managed to pay off the mortgage on the house. She got into Oxford University, all of her hard work has paid off! – finish paying for something; have a positive result from hard work
Mum, it’s raining really hard, can you come and pick me up from the train station? – meet / collect someone (e.g. at the station / from school)
At the end of the presentation our boss pointed out several obvious mistakes we had made. – to draw attention to something or someone
Vicky! Come and put away your toys before you have dinner. – put something back in the correct place
I’m going to the dentist tomorrow, I’ve been putting it off for months. – postpone
They put on a big show to raise money for charity. (an event/a show) – organize an event
Put your coat on, it’s cold outside. (clothes /make up) – place something on your body
I put on quite a lot of weight during lockdown. (weight) – increase (weight)
The firefighters were finally able to put the fire out. – extinguish (e.g. fire)
My uncle can put us up for a couple of nights while we’re in London. (for the night) – accommodate
Put your hand up if you have any questions. (your hand) – lift into the air
I’m not going to put up with anymore lateness from those kids. – tolerate
The car rental company tried to rip us off but I was having none of it. – charge someone too much for something
We ran out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, it was terrifying. – use up (e.g. money, petrol, time)
We had to set off at 4am, it was horrible. – start a journey
We set up the company in 1995 and it’s still going strong to this day. – establish / start (e.g. a company)
Dan! Stop showing off and pass us the ball, we’re losing 4-0. – try to impress people by telling or showing them what you are capable of
They’ve had to shut down 5 stores in the area because sales have dropped. – to close
We need to sort out accommodation for our trip to Paris. – arrange or order by classes or categories; find a solution
BBC stands for the British Broadcasting Corporation. – to represent
His ginger hair really makes him stand out from the rest of the boys in his class. – be easy to see because of being different
I’d say I take after my Dad in my looks and my Mum in my personality. (someone) – resemble a member of your family in appearance, behaviour or character
Please take your feet off the seat, your shoes are very dirty. – to remove from a surface or your body (clothes)
Our plane takes off at 9pm. – leave the ground (e.g. a plane)
She’s taken on a lot of extra responsibilities in her new job. – attempt something new; employ
A new manager has taken over the department. – take control of
I took to ice-skating really quickly and now I’ve signed up for weekly classes.– start to like, especially after only a short time
I first took up volleyball when I was in secondary school. – start doing (a hobby)
The teacher told us off for being late. – speak angrily to someone who has done something wrong
I’ve decided to throw away my old sofa, unless you want it. – get rid of something you do not need any more
The weather on the mountain got really bad so we had to turn back. – return towards the place you started from
They’ve turned down our offer for the house, they want more money. – reject or refuse
On a full moon he turns into a werewolf! They’ve turned my favourite restaurant into a Burger King! – to transform
Don’t forget to turn/switch off the lights when you leave. – to disconnect (e.g. a computer)
He switched/turned on the TV and sat down to watch the match. – to connect (e.g. the TV)
Our bus didn’t turn up for 2 hours. – arrive, usually unexpectedly, early or late
He always uses up all the toilet roll and doesn’t replace it. – finish a supply of something
I’ve completely worn out my old football boots, I need to get some new ones. – to use something until it becomes unusable
I work out 3 times a week at the gym. The students struggled to work out the complicated equations. The police couldn’t work out how the burglars got into the house. – think about and find a solution; do exercise
This is a worksheet for students preparing to take the C1 Advanced exam. It will act as a refresher for a lot of the language, including linkers, prounouns, fixed expressions and phrasal verbs, that often come up in part 2 of the reading and use of English paper. Download the handout and key below:
This is a worksheet for students preparing for the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam. It’s designed as a revision activity for a lot of the expressions, collocations and phrasal verbs that come up in the use of English paper. Download the handout and answer key below:
This is a guest post by Katy Wright. Students take part in an information gap activity in pairs in order to develop their understanding of phrasal verbs and other fixed expressions. Download the handout below:
A simple worksheet and discussion activity in which students look at 21 different phrasal verbs featuring either up or down. Download the student handout and answer key below, follow the link at the bottom of the post for a Kahoot game based on the target language:
This is a lesson plan for C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency students on the topic of non-profit organisations like the WWF. Students read a short text about the organisation then work on phrasal verbs associated with the topic. Download the handout and key below:
The procedure is pretty straightforward. First students answer the introductory questions designed to activate their schemata and encourage them to predict the content of the text. They then read the text briefly to see if their predictions were correct. They then focus on the meaning of the phrasal verbs, then recall the prepositions/particles and finally put them into practice in a speaking activity.
Save the Planet – Phrasal Verbs
Ask and answer the questions with a partner:
Think of some national or international organisations dedicated to protecting the environment.
What do these organisations do?
How effective are they?
What problems/difficulties do they encounter?
What can people do to support these organisations more?
Read the text quickly. Does it mention any of the things you discussed in the introduction?
Look at the phrasal verbs and expressions in bold and match them with the definitions below.
The World Wide Fund for Nature
Every day more and more trees are being cut down in the rainforests of the world wiping out hundreds of species. The current deforestation rate amounts to 3 football pitches per minute. Precious water supplies are being used up meaning that still more animals and plants are dying out. If we step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s not just animals and plants that are affected. The rainforests are the Earth’s lungs and further damage will only lead to misery for all life on the planet.
Our organisation aims to put pressure on governments all over the world to make them step up and take responsibility for the environment. Governments need to crack down on bad practices such as illegal logging and mining in rainforests. Sadly, we’re coming up against a lot of resistance from big business but that won’t stop us standing up for the animal kingdom. We’re looking for volunteers to chip in in any way they can; handing out leaflets in the street or drumming up support online are just two ways we can get our message across. Join us today by clicking the link below!
1. Help/contribute money 2. Kill or cause to die on a large scale 3. Be faced with 4. Make people hear/understand information 5. Cause
6. Mentally withdraw from a situation 7. Try to increase/encourage support for something 8. Become extinct 9. Introduce strong restrictions 10. Give something to people
11. Cause to fall 12. Defend verbally or physically 13. Consume all of something 14. Total/add up to 15. Take action when it’s needed
Try to remember the missing prepositions in the questions below without looking at the text. Then ask and answer the questions.
How effective do you think practices like handing _____ leaflets actually are?
Have you ever done anything to drum ______ support for a charity or other organisation?
What do you think governments should crack ____ ____ in your country?
Think of some endangered animals. Which one would you be saddest about if it died _____ completely?
What do you think is the most effective way for an organisation like the WWF to get its message _______? Online? In person?
What do you think are the most difficult issues that charities like the WWF come ____ ______ when trying to help the environment?
If you use ____ all the toilet paper, do you always replace it?
Think of a time when a friend or family member stood ____ _____ you in a difficult situation.
Now think of a time when nobody stood ____ _____ you. Or when you failed to stand _____ _____ a friend.
Who has the biggest responsibility to step ____ and take responsibility for the environment? Governments? Businesses? The general public? Why?
When it’s a friend’s birthday, is it better if they receive lots of little presents or if everyone chips ____ and gets them one big present. Which would you prefer on your birthday?
If you added up all your screen time in one day, how much would it amount ____? Do you want to cut _____? Why? Why not?
This is a lesson plan designed for students on preparation courses for the Cambridge B2 First (FCE) exam. In particular I think it would be good for students who are close to taking the exam. It works as a diagnostic test of a range of the grammar points that are tested, particularly in part 4 of the reading and use of English exam. Download the handout below:
Give out copies of the handout, have students individually assess their grasp of each of the structures. They should fill in the box on the end with either a tick (I know this very well) a cross (I’ve got no idea about this) or a wiggly line (I more or less get this).
Have students compare with their partner. Ask them to look for differences, there should be opportunities for peer teaching here, have one student attempt to explain a grammar point to another.
Project the quizlet set of key word transformations. Put students in pairs. First students need to identify the structure that is being tested. This is a very important step, getting them to put themselves in the examiner’s shoes and not just jump straight in and answer. Check that they’ve identified the structure, then have them work together to try to complete the sentence. Encourage reflection and comparison between their initial self-assessment and then their scores and performance in the exam task.
The checklist is not exhaustive, have I missed any common structures that come up in part 4?
Past simple/Present perfect
I haven’t seen John for 5 years.
The last time I saw John was 5 years ago.
If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion.
If I didn’t work in construction, I would be an actor.
If I hadn’t slipped on that banana, I wouldn’t have broken my arm.
If I had known you were coming, I would have baked a cake.
The passive voice
Active: The police arrested the man.
Passive: The man was arrested by the police.
Other example: It is said that cigarettes give you cancer.
Cigarettes are said to give you cancer
I regret eating so much -> I wish I hadn’t eaten so much.
It was a bad idea to drink that wine -> If only I hadn’t drunk that wine.
Linkers: Despite/in spite of -> Although/even though
Despite the rain, the party was great -> The party was great even though it was raining.
Although he felt ill, he still went to school. -> He still went to school in spite of his illness.
“I went there last year.” -> He said that he had gone there last year.
“I will call himtomorrow.” -> She said that she would call him the following day.
“Have you been to Paris?” -> He asked me if I had been to Paris.
“Where is the train station?” -> He asked me where the train station was.
He wants to cancel the meeting -> he wants to call off the meeting.
He won’t tolerate bad behaviour -> he won’t put up with bad behaviour.
Causative have/get: have/get something done
I need to get my hair cut.
I need to have my computer repaired.
This restaurant is better than that one -> That restaurant isn’t as good as this one.
He’s not nearly as tall as me.
My brother is slightly younger than me.
No one is as good at football as Messi -> Messi is the best football player.
Past modal verbs:
Should have etc.
The butler must have murdered him, there’s blood on his shirt.
It can’t have been Sarah you saw at the mall, she’s on holiday in Dubai.
I shouldn’t have drunk so much last night.
It was so hot that we couldn’t leave the hotel -> It was such a hot day that we had to stay in the hotel.
It rained so much that the house flooded. ->It was such a rainy day that the house flooded.