Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Interesting People: Deduction and Speculation

Image Credit: www.visualnews.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan for intermediate and up based around pictures of interesting people and language of speculation and deduction. Credit to my workmate Mont for the idea, thanks Mont.

Download the handout here:

speculate pictures interesting people

Warmer – Who’s that guy?

Write the following expressions on the board:

He might/may/could be… (possible)

There’s a chance that he’s… (possible)

He can’t be… (impossible)

There’s no way he’s… (impossible)

He must be… (almost certain)

I’m pretty sure he’s… (quite certain)

Then show them the picture of the guy at the top of the post. Students come up with 5 deductions/speculations based on the picture. Tell them they can speculate about his age, nationality, job, personality or anything else they like.

The show them the pictures from the handout. Give them a few minutes to make speculations about the people.

Then show them the following list:

  • A lawyer
  • A police officer
  • A serial-killer
  • A billionaire
  • A rock star
  • A bank robber
  • A chef
  • A professional sports-person

Tell student that they must decide which person has which job. The secret is: There’s no correct answer! But don’t tell them that yet. Give them 5-10 minute to make speculations and provide reasons for which person has which job, then have them present their reasoning to the class and debate them. Only then can you reveal that there’s no correct answer!

Follow up activity

Composition: Can you judge a book by it’s cover? Have students write and essay/article on the topic of first impressions and judging people based on their appearance.

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Posted in Conversation Classes, Ice-breakers

Icebreaker: Show me a picture of…

Image credit: http://www.tribunahacker.com.ar/2014/05/android-a-las-camaras-o-el-regreso-de-la-polaroid/

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Thanks to Nicky Hockly at The Consultants-e for the inspiration for this lesson plan. It’s an icebreaking lesson in which students can use their mobiles (shock horror) for intermediate levels and up.

Introduction

In a new class students are always keen to learn a bit about their new teacher and if you’re willing to share and personalise your classes the students will reciprocate with you and each other. So start by projecting some photos of things from your life on to the board with some sentence stems for deduction.

Intermediate levels:

He/she/it could/might/may be his girlfriend (possibility)

He/she/it must be his brother (almost certain)

He/she/it can’t be his sister (impossible)

Higher levels:

I’d say that…

I’d hazard a guess that…

I bet you €X that’s his brother.

I (don’t) reckon that…

I’m absolutely certain that…

There’s no doubt in my mind that…

There’s a good/strong/slim chance that…

I could be wrong but I think…

Drill sentence stress and intonation. Then put students in pairs and show them some of the pictures. Monitor them as they make guesses about who the people in the pictures are and have students share their deductions with the class. Award points for correct guesses.

Here are some example pictures from my life:

Other useful language:

You look just like (your mum)

You don’t look anything like (your sister)

You are the spitting image of (your Dad) (you look exactly the same)

You take after (your Dad) – you look/act the same.

Step 2: Pair work

Put students in groups of 2/3 and tell them to take out their phones and go to their photo albums. They must then take it in turns to show their group a picture of the following things:

  • A parent
  • A grandparent
  • A pet
  • A very close friend
  • An activity you love
  • A great meal
  • A fantastic day
  • An amazing view
  • A selfie

The others in the group must use the language of deduction to guess what the picture is and then they can ask questions to discover more information about their partner.

You might want to model some questions on the board:

When was the photo taken?

How long ago did you take this photo?

Where were you when you took the photo?

What does your Dad do?

How long have you been …ing?

Language for reactions:

Wow! That looks amazing/lovely/gorgeous

No way! Me too!

Your Dad works in finance? No way, mine does too!

That must be (amazing/fantastic etc.) – present event/state

That must have been (amazing/fantastic/so much fun) – past experience

 

Give SS 10-15 minutes to talk, encourage the use of the vocabulary, award points to groups using the most.

Students then report back to the class about the favourite photo their classmates showed them. If you can, project the photos onto the board so the whole class can see them.

Follow up/Homework

Story behind the picture. SS write a composition (150-200 words) telling the story behind one specific picture. Encourage them to copy paste the picture at the top of the page. This is a good opportunity to practice narrative tenses: “I had been walking all day, that’s why I look a bit tired in the photo.” “The sun was shining, the wind was blowing in the trees” “It was the scariest thing I have ever done.” “I was walking down the street when I saw a…”

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.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Bucket List: Conversation Topic

Photo Credit: imdb.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

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:

 

This is a conversation topic, based around the idea of a bucket list, written with higher levels in mind (C1+). However, I have included a version for lower levels.

Download the lesson plan and student’s handout here:

Bucket List Conversation Class

Bucket List Student’s handout Advanced

Bucket List handout intermediate

Bucket List Conversation Class

Write on the board: My grandfather kicked the bucket last week.

Show the first part of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8k79w-nJD4#t=13

to kick the bucket – to die How else can we say this?

  1. Pass ________
  2. Bite the _______
  3. Give up the ________
  4. ________ one’s last.

To pass away, bite the dust, perish (usually in an accident), give up the ghost, breathe one’s last.

  1. What is a bucket list?

A list of activities that people want to do before they die.

  1. What do you think of this idea?
  2. Have you seen the film?
  3. Who do you think invented this idea?
  4. Why has it become so widely-know?
  5. What is FOMO?

Fear of missing out – a modern phenomenon linked to social media. People tend to think theat they are missing an amazing experience.

Daily Mail Survey Guessing Game.

 

The Daily Mail newspaper conducted a survey to see what the British public most commonly put on their bucket lists.

Can you guess some activities people chose?

Give students a few minutes to jot down some ideas in pairs. Make it into a game, pairs read out their suggestions one at a time and you award them points depending on where it is in the top 40: 4 points for the top 10, 3 for top 20, 2 for top 30, 1 for top 40.

Language for talking about plans/hopes/dreams

Go over the language in the boxes below:

Positive Negative
I’ve always fancied…

I’m dying/itching to try…

… is a burning ambition of mine.

… would be right up my street.

… is one for the bucket list.

A pipe dream (an unrealistic/improbable dream)

I would jump at the chance to…

If you offered me the chance to…, I would bite your hand off.

I’d give it a go.

I have no desire to…

… doesn’t appeal to me (at all)

Whatever floats your boat.

To each their own

The idea of … doesn’t do anything for me.

You wouldn’t catch me …ing

… is not my thing.

… is not for me.

Daily Mail Top 10

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives .
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice

Have students discuss the top ten and decide if they would be on their bucket list. You can then either show them the rest of the top 40 or go to http://bucketlist.org/featured/ for more ideas for students to create their own bucket lists. Daily Mail Top 40:

  1. Have a holiday home abroad
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Go on holiday to the Maldives
  4. Buy a house
  5. Swim with dolphins
  6. Drive Route 66
  7. Ride a hot air balloon
  8. See the Egyptian Pyramids
  9. Go to a casino in Las Vegas
  10. Visit Venice
  11. Go up the Empire State Building
  12. Go on a cruise
  13. Go whale watching
  14. Climb a mountain
  15. Go up the Eiffel tower
  16. Learn an instrument
  17. Work in a different country
  18. Float in the Dead Sea
  19. Write a novel
  20. Drive a racing car
  21. Change career
  22. Trek the Inca Trail
  23. Be a volunteer for a good cause
  24. Be an extra in a film
  25. Go scuba diving
  26. Try out surfing
  27. Hold a Koala
  28. Feed a penguin
  29. Get a tattoo
  30. Backpack Europe
  31. Own a designer watch
  32. Ride a gondola
  33. Run a big race
  34. Bungee jump
  35. Reach the top of my career ladder
  36. Own a Mulberry handbag
  37. Ride a camel
  38. Ride on a horse and cart
  39. Write a film
  40. Change hair colour

Daily Mail article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2695728/Buying-holiday-home-driving-Route-66-trip-Maldives-British-bucket-list-40-things-die.html

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Vocabulary Classes

CAE Speaking Phrases

This post was nominated for a British Council blog award!

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉
https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast/

CAE Speaking Phrases

Here’s a phrase list for the CAE speaking exam. There are also some speech bubble powerpoints to drill the language in class, click on each phrase to make it disappear. Drill all the phrases repeatedly taking one out each time until the class can repeat all 5 expressions by heart.

I got the amazing speech bubble powerpoint template from https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/ thanks guys!

Download the handout and speech bubble powerpoints here:

CAE Speaking Phrases

recall-speech-bubbles-cae-speaking

CAE Speaking Phrases

Likes/dislikesI’m into…I’m a keen/avid (surfer)

I’m keen on/fond of (surfing)

I (go surfing) to unwind, to escape the stresses and strains of my day to day life.

I like nothing more than (to go surfing)

I’m itching to try/go…. (I really want to)

OpinionAs far as I’m concerned,As I see it,

From my point of view,

In my humble opinion,

I’d say that…

Comparing/contrastingBoth pictures show…In this picture they look as though they are…. Whereas/while in this picture…

In contrast

On the other hand

Describing picturesThe first thing that strikes me about this picture is…The thing that really jumps out of this picture is…

In this picture it looks as if/though they are…

They could/might/may be…

They could/might/may have just…

I’m pretty sure that they’re feeling…

I’d guess that they are…

AgreeingWe see eye to eye.Yeah, I’d go along with that.

Absolutely!

You took the words right out of my mouth.

I couldn’t agree more.

You have a point there.

I’m with you 100% on this one.

DisagreeingWe don’t see eye to eye.I take your point but…

I tend to disagree with you there.

That’s not always the case

I beg to differ

Isn’t it more a case of…

Starting to make a conclusionLet’s get down to the nitty gritty.The bottom line is we have to choose one…

It’s a tough one, I’m torn between … and ….

Shall we go with ….?

Asking for opinionWhat’s your take on….?Where do you stand on….?

In my opinion…., would you go along with that?

What are your thoughts on this?

PersonalisingSpeaking from personal experience,…For me personally,..

This is a topic that is particularly close to my heart…

It’s funny I was just thinking about this the other day.

My gut/initial reaction is…

If I were to choose one of these situations (part 2 pictures), I’d go with… because…

Impressive structuresAnother point I’d like to add about … is…It’s also worth bearing in mind that…

Coming back to what (Javi) was saying about …. I’d also like to point out that…

I think it’s important not to forget that…

The vast majority of people tend to think that…

At the end of the day…

When all’s said and done…

TipsEye-contactActive listening

Open body language

Speak up

Don’t dominate

Asking for repetitionI beg your pardon, I didn’t catch that.Sorry would you mind repeating that?

Could you repeat the question please?

Posted in Exam Preparation Class

CPE Study Guide

Here are some materials to help students prepare for the Cambridge CPE exam.

Cambridge CPE Handbook

Download the latest version of the CPE handbook here:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/168194-cambridge-english-proficiency-teachers-handbook.pdf

It contains explanations of each part of the exam and practice tests with answers.

Quizlet sets:

Here are loads of different quizlet sets on different parts of the exam:

http://quizlet.com/20934139/cpe-use-of-english-2-open-cloze-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/15560940/cae-cpe-inversion-transformations-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/56144162/cpe-describing-feelings-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/16987300/cae-cpe-use-of-english-practice-part-5-flash-cards/

http://quizlet.com/2150978/cpe-idioms-flash-cards/

Join this class for more:

http://quizlet.com/join/gkF6yKCg8

Recommended websites:

These websites have great materials for self-study:

http://www.flo-joe.com/cpe/students/

http://www.examenglish.com/cpe/ – old exam format but still useful.

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/proficiency/how-to-prepare/

Writing Handouts

Here are a selection of documents to help prepare students for the writing paper:

CPE Writing part 1 (2)

CAE CPE Writing part 2 plan handout

cae-writing-useful-language-1

CPE Report

CPE Review

CPE speaking writing phrases

CPE writing essay 2nd plan

CPE Writing Part 1 walkthrough

Letter of Complaint tim

Narrative Letter

Paragraph Structure

Writing Expressions

Prezis

Here are links to various prezis on types of writing and grammar points:

Relative clauses: 

http://prezi.com/inqmfkuikbbt/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Inversion: 

http://prezi.com/wxy3-yvm3osw/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Inversion 2: 

http://prezi.com/mhabu89gv8-7/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Conditionals: 

http://prezi.com/r8peruvmq8nf/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Academic Writing: 

http://prezi.com/x1qhxvkwahez/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Report: 

http://prezi.com/cc55ukdsa3rk/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Planning Writing:

http://prezi.com/vmxjibrjz3lt/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Narrative/Descriptive writing: 

http://prezi.com/zvhgk3raimei/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Letter of Complaint: 

http://prezi.com/dxsaxacxoquv/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Book review: 

http://prezi.com/tvjva9mynbsj/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Proposal: 

http://prezi.com/faz_7zanfvvb/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Article: 

http://prezi.com/nwmmfijnmrlv/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Letter of application: 

http://prezi.com/dmwaid3cj4ql/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Speaking Materials:

Agreeingand disagreeing

CPE Speaking part 1

CPE long turn examples

Speaking Long Turn (1)

CAE Speaking Part 2 speculation

CAE Speaking Part 2