Posted in Exam Preparation Class, Grammar Classes

First Certificate (FCE) Grammar/Language Checklist

research-checklist-blue-640x437

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:

First Certificate Grammar Checklist

Quizlet set

Procedure:

Self-Assessment

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.

Practice

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?

Grammar Structure Examples Self-assessment
Past simple/Present perfect I haven’t seen John for 5 years.

The last time I saw John was 5 years ago.

 
2nd conditional If I won the lottery, I would buy a mansion.

If I didn’t work in construction, I would be an actor.

 
3rd conditional 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

 
Wish/If only 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.

 
Reported speech “I went there last year.” -> He said that he had gone there last year.

“I will call him tomorrow.” -> She said that she would call him the following day.

 
Reported questions 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.

 
Phrasal verbs 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.

 
Comparatives/superlatives 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:

Must have

Could/might/may have

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.

 
So/such 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.

 
Gerund/infinitive I’m a big fan of playing water sports.

I’m interested in studying history.

I have decided to study biology.

He spent 10 minutes knocking on my door.

 
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Reported Whatsapps

Image result for whatsapp

Image credit: www.whatsapp.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a new lesson plan for B2+ learners in which students practice reported speech by interpreting emojis and text messages from the popular messaging app Whatsapp. Everything you need is in the powerpoint below:

reported-whatsapps

Students start by reporting the meaning behind various emojis then build up to reporting a section of a text message conversation and then move on to translating and reporting their own text conversations from their phone. It provides great practice of the grammar point as well as opportunities for the emergence of real, useful language in an everyday setting.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

A little bit of drama: Reported speech – reporting verb patterns

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for higher levels (B2+) to teach verb patterns with reporting verbs using video and scripted roleplays. It will be especially useful for CAE students as these structures tend to come up in key word transformations quite often.

You will need:

Explanation of the 4 groups of reporting verbs:

reporting-verbs1

Credit to http://www.eltbase.com/notes.php?id=59 for their great explanation.

The scripted scenarios (print out at least 3 copies):

reported-speech-script

The key to the scenarios:

Reported Speech Script Key

Introduction:

Write the verbs “accuse” and “deny” on the board. Then play the first minute of the following video:

Elicit the following sentences from students:

The Dad asked the boys who had got the paint out.

The older brother accused the younger brother of gettting/having got the paint out.

The younger brother denied getting/having got the paint out.

The older brother accused the younger brother of building stairs out of blocks.

Analyse the sentences and come up with the formula for the verbs accuse and deny:

accuse somebody of doing/having done something

deny doing/having done something

Ask students if they have ever been in a similar situation with a sibling or friend.

Have you ever been wrongfully accused of doing something?

Stage 2: 4 groups of reporting verbs

For this part you can either give out the handout on the 4 groups of reporting verb patterns. Or model the sentences on the board and have students dedicate a page in their vocab books for each group of verbs.

You’re going to need a lot of space on the board for this part. Divide the board into 4 quarters.

Write the following sentence, one at the top of each quarter:

  1. I’ll come to the party. (say)
  2. I’ll come to the party. (tell)
  3. I will definitely help with the cleaning. (promise)
  4. I didn’t steal the money. (deny)

Tell students to change the sentences to reported speech using the verb in brackets:

  1. He said that he would come to the party.
  2. He told me that he would come to the party.
  3. He promised to help with the cleaning.
  4. He denied stealing the money.

Tell students that these are the 4 groups of reporting verbs.

Group 1: Say pattern: Same as “say”

 He said that he would come to the party.

Subject + reporting verb + (that) + clause

Common verbs of this type:

admit
advise*
agree
announce
claim
complainconfess*
confirm
declare
explain
insist*
mention
promise*
propose*
say
suggest
warn*demand

* also used with other patterns – see below

Group 2: Tell pattern: Same as “tell”

He told me that he would come to the party.

Subject + reporting verb + direct object + (that) + clause.

Common verbs of this type:

advise
assure
convince
inform
notify
promise
reassure
remind
tell
warn

Group 3: Reporting actions: Promises requests etc.

 He promised to help with the cleaning.

Subject + reporting verb + infinitive with to

Common verbs of this type:

agree
ask
claim
demand
offer
promise
propose
refuse
threatentell (imperative)

He encouraged me to take maths instead of history.

Subject  + reporting verb + DO + infinitive with to

Common verbs of this type

advise
ask
beg
convince
encourage
forbid
instruct
invite
order
persuade
remind
tell
urge
warn (not to)

Group 4: Reporting verbs with gerund.

He denied stealing the money.

Subject + reporting verb + gerund

 Common verbs of this type:

admit
deny
mention
propose
report
suggest

 

Verbs with prepositions and gerund:

 

Accuse sb of doing st

Confess to doing something

Apologise to sb about/for doing st

Blame sb for st

Complain to sb about st

Insist on doing st

Object to st/doing st

Advise ab against doing st

Stage 3: Controlled Practice

Have students complete the 10 sentences on the back of the handout.

Report the sentence using the verb in brackets

  1. I want to see the manager! (demanded)

_________________________________________

  1. Don’t leave the path, there are dangerous snakes. (warned)

_________________________________________

  1. I will help you clean up after the party (promised)

_________________________________________

  1. Don’t forget to feed the fish. (Reminded)

_________________________________________

  1. No no no! I’m paying for dinner. (Insisted)

_________________________________________

  1. Listen everyone! I’m moving to New York next week. (announced)

_________________________________________

  1. You are not allowed to chew gum in class. (forbid)

_________________________________________

  1. I will punch you if you call me that again. (threatened)

_________________________________________

  1. I’m really sorry that I broke your favourite cup. (apologised)

_________________________________________

  1. Stand up and put your hands on your head. (ordered)

________________________________________

Key

  1. He demanded to see the manager. He demanded that he saw the manager.
  2. She warned us not to leave the path. She warned (us) that there were dangerous snakes.
  3. She promised to help clean up after the party. She promised (me) that she would help clean up.
  4. He reminded me to feed the fish.
  5. She insisted on paying for dinner. She insisted that she paid for dinner.
  6. He announced that he was moving to New York the following week.
  7. She forbid me to chew gum in class.
  8. He threatened to punch me in the face if I called him that again.
  9. She apologised for breaking my favourite cup.
  10. He ordered me to stand up and put my hands on my head.

Stage 4: Scripted role-play

Split the class into groups of 2-3 and give out the role-play scenarios, give them a couple of minutes to read and rehearse and then have students come to the front of the class and act out the scenarios. Then the other groups have to write sentences using as many reporting verb patterns as they can based on what happened in the scenarios. Guide students and model sentences, encourage them to place them in the correct group.

Reported speech – Scripts

Scenario 1

A: Hi son, How’s it going?

B: Hi Dad. I’m going out.

A: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Have you done your homework?

B: Ahhh come on Dad, it’s Friday night.

A: I don’t care, have you done it or not?

B: No. But I promise I’ll do it tomorrow.

A: Ok, but if you don’t you’ll be grounded for a week.

B: Ok it’s a deal.

They shake hands.

Scenario 2

Sarah: Hi Fiona, how’s it going? Are you coming to the party tonight?

Fiona: No I don’t think so; I’m not in the mood and I have to work tomorrow.

Sarah: No you don’t! Tomorrow is a holiday, the shop is closed.

Fiona: Oh yeah! I’d completely forgotten. I’m still not sure.

Sarah: Oh come on, you’ve got to come! Tommy’s going to be there.

Fiona: Really? Hhhhmmmm well, ok go on then, I’ll come.

Scenario 3

Teacher: (to John) You stole €5 from the charity collection box!

John: Me??? It wasn’t me! How dare you accuse me! It was Sandra who stole the money. I saw her do it!

Sarah: Me? No way! He’s lying!

Teacher: I want to see what’s in your pockets right now!

They turn out their pockets. John’s pockets are full of money.

Teacher: Aha! What’s all this?

John: Ok, it was me. I admit it.

Sarah: I think it’s unfair that I was accused of this crime. I’m going to tell my parents.

Teacher: I’m terribly sorry Sarah, it was a misunderstanding.

Scenario 4

Anna and Natalie are having a party. The music is very loud. There is a knock at the door.

Anna: (opening the door) Yes? Who is it? What do you want?

Little old lady: It’s 3am, I can’t sleep please turn the music down.

Natalie: Turn it down? No way! We just graduated!

Little old lady:  Oh please please please turn it down, I’m so tired.

Anna: Nope sorry, we’re not going to turn it down.

Little old lady: (angry) Well, if you don’t turn it down I’m going to call the police.

Natalie: Go ahead! You can come in and use my phone if you want.

Little old lady: oooo the cheek of it! That’s it! I’m going to call the police!

Reported Speech Script Key

Scenario 1

The Dad asked the son if he had done his homework.

The son admitted that he hadn’t done his homework.

The son admitted to not doing/having done his homework.

The son promised to do his homework the day after.

The Dad warned the son that if he didn’t do his homework he would be grounded for a week.

Scenario 2

Sarah asked Fiona if she was going to the party tonight.

Fiona replied that she didn’t think so. She said that she wasn’t in the mood and that she had to work the day after.

Sarah reminded Fiona that the day after was a holiday.

Sarah persuaded/convinced Fiona to come to the party by telling her Tommy would be there.

Scenario 3

The teacher accused John of stealing/having stolen the money.

John denied stealing the money and accused Sarah of stealing the money.

The teacher ordered them to turn out their pockets/demanded that they turned out their pockets.

John admitted to/confessed to stealing the money.

Sarah objected to being accused of stealing the money.

The teacher apologised for accusing Sarah of stealing the money.

Scenario 4

Anna asked who it was and what they wanted.

The old lady asked/urged them to turn the music down.

Natalie refused to turn the music down.

The old lady begged them to turn the music down.

Anna refused to turn the music down.

The little old lady threatened to call the police if they didn’t turn the music down.

Anna invited the old lady to use her phone.

The old lady announced that she was going to call the police.

Stage 4: Follow up activity, students write their own scripts.

Students come up with their own scenarios trying to use as many of the different verb patterns as possible. Other groups have to correctly guess the verb they were trying to express.