Posted in Writing Classes

Future Composition

303-thirtieth_birthday_balloon

This is a simple homework exercise for teenagers to practice some future tenses.

Download the handout here:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!273&authkey=!APnXkGeFZZa4pPk

Composition

Title: Me at 30

Write 120 words about how your life will be when you are 30 years old.

Use:

  • The future continuous for activities in progress at a specific time in the future:
  •  I will be living in a small flat in Madrid. I will be working in a music shop.
  • The future perfect for actions completed between now and your 30th birthday:
  •  I will have finished university. I will have married a nice man / woman.
Posted in Vocabulary Classes

British slang activity

New British Pub In Falls Church, VA

This is a short fun activity to teach higher level students some British slang.

Here is the handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!270&authkey=!AMuzyf2uZLvmlkE

There are several ways you can introduce the vocabulary:

  • For small classes of 2-4 people you can print out a copy of the table below, then leave the slang words in one block but cut out the definitions individually, the students then try to piece the table back together.
  • For a larger group without a computer and projector you could write them all on the board and have students try to come up with definitions in small groups. If they have trouble you could then write up the definitions in a different order and they have to match them.
  • If you have a computer, projector and smart board you can use a fun game on quizlet.com to pre-teach the vocabulary. If you click the link below you can access a flashcard set I have made with the terms. Scroll down to the games section and select the game “scatter”. This is a great game for introducing new vocabulary, I’ll let you explore it for yourself.

http://quizlet.com/19221375/british-slang-for-story-flash-cards/

Here is the target language:

Gutted Very Disappointed
Dodgy Untrustworthy / dangerous.
The Bee’s Knees Really good.
The Dog’s Bollocks Excellent / the best
Alright How are you?
Nosh / Grub Food
Taking the piss out of Making funny insults about a person.
Knackered Tired
Jammy Lucky / Flukey
Fit Attractive
A fiver / a Tenner 5 pounds / 10 pounds
Ta Thank you
Two sandwiches short of a picnic. Stupid.

After teaching the target language split the students into pairs and give each pair a section of the story below. The students now have to translate the story into slang.

Once they have done this have them read it out to class.

Below you will find the story translated.

The story in normal English, hand this out for the students to translate into slang.

  1. I went to my friend’s house to watch the England game the other day. I walked in and said “how are you?” he gave me a beer and I said “thank you.” England lost 4-1 to Germany. My friend and I were very disappointed. We decided to go for some food. The closest pub was selling burgers for £5. When we got to the pub there were some other friends there “How are you?” I asked and they said “Good thank you.”
  1. The pub was in a slightly dangerous part of the city but the burgers were really good. My friend John is very lucky, he always wins money on the gambling machine but tonight he put £10 in the machine and didn’t win. I put £1 in and won £10, “you lucky bastard” said John.
  1. Then a really attractive man / woman walked in, I decided to buy him / her a drink. He / She was really attractive but stupid. I spent £10 on drinks for him/ her but then she got very tired and decided to go home, I didn’t get his / her phone number and I was very disappointed because he / she was very attractive.
  1. Then my friend Pete arrived, he is stupid and he was very drunk. We all said “hello Pete, how are you?” John and my other friends started making funny insults about Pete. He didn’t understand because he’s stupid so he said thank you! I didn’t have any more money so I asked Pete if I could borrow ten pounds, but he only had five pounds. I had one more drink and started to feel tired. We went to the kebab shop next door, there were some dangerous men in there, they started making funny insults about us and we almost had a fight.

The story translated:

 1. I went to my friend’s house to watch the England game the other day. I walked in and said “alright?” he gave me a beer and I said “ta.” England lost 4-1 to Germany. My friend and I were gutted. We decided to go for some grub/nosh. The closest pub was selling burgers for a fiver. When we got to the pub there were some other friends there “alright?” I asked and they said “Good ta.

2. The pub was in a slightly dodgy part of the city but the burgers were the bee’s knees. My friend John is very jammy, he always wins money on the gambling machine but tonight he put a tenner in the machine and didn’t win. I put £1 in and won a tenner, “you jammy bastard” said John.

3. Then a really fit man / woman walked in, I decided to buy him / her a drink. He / She was really fit but two sandwiches short of a picnic. I spent a tenner on drinks for him/ her but then she got knackered and decided to go home, I didn’t get his / her phone number and I was gutted because he / she was very fit.

4. Then my friend Pete arrived, he is two sandwiches short of a picnic and he was very drunk. We all said “hello Pete, alright?” John and my other friends started taking the piss out of Pete. He didn’t understand because he’s two sandwiches short of a picnic so he said ta! I didn’t have any more money so I asked Pete if I could borrow a tenner, but he only had a fiver. I had one more drink and started to feel knackered. We went to the kebab shop next door, there were some dodgy men in there, they started taking the piss out of us and we almost had a fight.

Follow up:

Students write a story for homework using as many of the words as they can. The one whose compositions included the most correctly used slang words wins.

Also for the following class quickly recap the slang words and then award points to students who use them correctly in class.

Posted in Games, Grammar Classes

Grammar: The future

future

This class is composed of a powerpoint presentation explaining different ways of talking about the future and a grammar betting game to practice afterwards.

Grammar explanation presentation:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!269&authkey=!ABDso4m8bIbeqfk

Place your bets gambling grammar game:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!268&authkey=!AFWO_RrAMckakGY

Posted in Games

Call my bluff game

Game – Red Herrings / Call my bluff – you will need big English dictionaries.

callmybluff

Here is the handout with examples of strange English words and the correct definition, students have to invent fake definitions.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!267&authkey=!AIvDEVoJg4J4mVo

Use the sheet Red Herrings to introduce the game. Choose one of the examples from the sheet and put it on the board.

There are strange words with 3 possible definitions, put SS in teams, pairs or threes depending on numbers. SS have to decide which is the correct definition, encourage them to explain why they think it is correct, they should use modal verbs of deduction:

  • It can’t be number 1 because
  • It could be number 2 because
  • It must be number 3 because

Each team gets 1 point for each correct guess.

Do 2 examples if necessary. Then you can either give the students the strange English words with the correct definition (on the handout) and they have to invent to fake ones, or you give them the dictionaries and they find strange words themselves.

Students must prepare 3 definitions (1 real, 2 fake) with a sentence example. Teacher must check definitions and sentences for accuracy before they’re used in the game, if there are mistakes it is obvious which ones have been invented.

Give SS time to write their definitions and correct them, then play the game as a class, each team reads out a word and the 3 definitions and the others must guess which one and explain their decisions. SS get 1 point for a correct guess and the team whose word it is gets 1 point for each team they tricked the others into guessing a fake definition.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Community spirit conversation class

community_spirit_3

Easy conversation class based on the idea of community spirit in a big city.

Download the handout here:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!266&authkey=!AFJyOwVMUBU-YqE

Split the class into small groups and tell them to discuss the questions.

Then have a feedback session, some questions generate some interesting discussion, for example: whether or not to confront a burglar.

Which neighbourhood of the city do you live in?

Have you always lived in this part or did you use to live in a different part?

If so which do you prefer and why?

How many of your neighbours do you know personally?

Do you invite them to parties or to dinner?

Do you give them Christmas presents or cards?

Do you have any annoying neighbours?

Have your neighbours ever woken you up by having a party or playing loud music? What did you do?

Do you help each other with things? For example do they look after your pets when you go on holiday?

Do you have an annual festival in your neighbourhood? What happens? Do you usually go?

Do you feel a sense of community spirit?

How much crime is there in your area? Do you feel safe?

Have you ever been a victim of crime in your area? What about your neighbours?

What would you do if a burglar broke into your house? Would you confront them?

What would you do if you saw someone breaking into your neighbour’s house?

What would you do if you saw tourists on the metro with their handbags open and their wallets in their back pockets? Would you warn them about pick-pockets?

What would you do if you saw someone having their pockets picked?

Has anyone ever tried to pick your pocket? Did they succeed?

What would you do if you saw someone asleep on the metro near the end of the metro line? Would you wake them up? Would it make a difference if they were a man or woman? Young or old?

What would you do if you saw a fight in the street? Would you try and stop it?

What would you do if you saw some children bullying another child in the street or in the park?

What would you do if a group of teenagers were having a party in the street outside your house and keeping you awake?

Posted in Pronunciation Classes

Pronunciation: Regular verbs in past simple

listening

This is a handout listing the three pronunciation types of regular verbs:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!265&authkey=!AI73yyOE0jOwaD4

First go through the three different types.

Tell students to put one hand on their throat and talk so that they can feel their vocal cords vibrating. Then tell the students to start saying some of the regular verbs from the list in their BASE FORM for example: watch, arrive.

Ask them to keep saying “watch” and “arrive” and think about the difference in vocal cord vibrations between the two.

If they don’t notice it explain to them that “watch” finishes with a voiceless sound (no vocal cords, just sound made with the mouth) verbs that finish with a voiceless sound (the handout lists the different spellings of these verbs) have a particular pronunciation in the past simple; a “t” sound: watched (watcht)

“arrive” however, ends in a voiced sound (using the vocal cords to make the “v” sound) so it’s pronunciation is different; a “d” sound: arrived

The difference between these two sounds can be difficult for students and needs a lot of practice. Especially in Spain it can take an eternity to iron out the “Edd” sound caused by Spanish speakers reading English phonetically, as they do their own language. Yesterday I play-ED football and watch-ED TV. So it takes frequent practice. Take special care to practice the pronunciation in a complete sentence on not focus on individual words; students can say “watcht watcht watcht watcht watcht, yesterday I watch-ED TV.”

The last group is easier to grasp; words ending in “d” or “t” have the sound “id” in the past simple: needed (need-ID). Though you are guaranteed to have a classroom full of students clutching their throats saying “wait, need, want” trying to work out if it should be a “t” or a “d” sound so it’s better to put them out of their misery early, maybe it’s better to explain the 3rd group first.

Posted in Conversation Classes

Rebuild civilisation conversation lesson

mushroom cloud

My take on a conversation class classic. There have been many different versions, I did this one in my Spanish class and then translated it into English to use with my students. I am afraid I don’t know the Spanish textbook title so can’t give a credit.

Click here to download the handout:

Rebuild Civilisation

Rebuild Civilisation

Below or in the handout above you will find the conversation task. Before you start the activity you might want to pre-teach some vocabulary. For example some verbs and nouns:

cultivate – cultivation

procreate – procreation

populate – population

Or for lower levels you can give the students more of a framework. For example:

I think we should / shouldn’t / ought to /ought not to take ………………… because……………….

This handout on language of agreement and disagreement might also be useful:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!247&authkey=!ANBIbEVteXyYHnY

Encourage students to justify all their decisions, don’t let them get away with simply crossing the banker off the list because they’re angry at bankers. Try to play devils advocate too; stand up for the banker, the computer programmer or the economist to encourage the students to think critically and find justifications.

Class instructions:

  1. Give out the handout and explain the situation to the students.
  2. Put the students into groups of 3-4, or if you have less students pairs is fine. Try to have at least two groups, the more groups there are the more opinions there are and the more discussion there will be.
  3. First have the students individually read the list and select a provisional list of 7 people. Tell them not to worry if they have trouble choosing only 7.
  4. Then in their groups they must share their thoughts and try to convince their classmates which people to choose.
  5. Give them plenty of time to do this and make sure they justify everything.
  6. Then have a feedback session; each group reads out their list of 7 and explains their reasons for choosing them.
  7. Then try to come up with a universal list of 7 for the whole class. So each team must defend their choices and try to talk the other teams round to their way of thinking.

There has been a nuclear catastrophe. Everyone on the planet has died except the 20 people listed below. There is a small aeroplane with only 7 spaces. The aeroplane will take the 7 people to a desert island in the Indian ocean where they will rebuild civilisation.

In your groups you have to decide which 7 people will travel on the aeroplane.

  • A 50-year-old male judge.
  • A 25-year-old female economist.
  • The 52-year-old Chief of an African tribe.
  • The Chief´s pregnant wife.
  • A 30-year-old male professional ballerina.
  • A young, male soldier from an island close to the one they are going to.
  • A 35-year-old female agricultural engineer.
  • A 35-year-old male priest.
  • A 28-year-old female opera singer.
  • A 24-year-old handsome, well-built man.
  • A 25-year-old hot, buxom blonde woman.
  • A 26-year-old nun.
  • A 37-year-old male witch doctor from the African tribe.
  • A 52-year-old male psychiatrist.
  • A 14-year-old male child-genius.
  • A 27-year-old female history teacher.
  • A 32-year-old male computer programmer.
  • A 37-year-old male biologist who specialises in the evolution of species.
  • A 31-year-old female painter.
  • A 41-year-old male banker.

Wrap up:

If you were in this situation what do you think you could offer the new civilisation?

Posted in Conversation Classes

Fun role-play and discussion class.

roleplaypic

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://soundcloud.com/2tspod


https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast/

Role-play and Discussion Class

This is a fun conversation class for teens or adults.

Here are the handouts:

Role cards and situations:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!261&authkey=!ALtvuUfRiWhHcbQ

Discussion questions handout:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!215&authkey=!AM0F1hFf5Tlvv3o

Sometimes some students have have trouble or feel embarrassed expressing their own opinions in class. Role-plays are an excellent solution to this situation. They can also be used to introduce different issues or topics.

I stole the role-play scenarios from another site (thank you, sorry) but I added another element; between the different role-plays there are some simple discussion questions based on the situation explored in the role-play. You can either have the students do the role-plays and then discuss the issues that come up or vice versa.

Instructions:

First ensure that the students understand what a role-play is.

These role-plays all work best in pairs. However, if you have some 3’s extra characters can be added.

Put the students in pairs and distribute the roles for the first scenario; one person is the daughter the other is the mother.

Explain that they are going to play out the situations on the cards but that at some point (after 2-3 mins) you are going to shout “swap”. They will then have to change roles, mother becomes daughter and vice versa, BUT they do not start the scenario again, they must continue from the same place. This makes it more fun and forces the students to think on their feet.

Have the students do the same role-play simultaneously. This leads to interesting discussion in the feedback session after the role-plays.

Give the students as long as they need to try and reach a resolution to the problem, swapping the roles as many times as you like.

Once they have finished have a feedback session:

What happened here?

What was the resolution?

What do you think will happen?

Then ask the students to draw comparisons between what happened and the differences between the characters that were created in each role-play.

Then give out the discussion question sheet handout. Students then discuss the questions related to the roleplay in small groups.

There are 3 different role-plays, each with it’s own discussion questions so you could split them up and do them as an end of class treat over several classes or have one long marathon drama class!

Discussion questions:

Moving out / moving in together

When did you move out of your parent’s house?

Why did you move out of your parent’s house?

What problems did you encounter immediately after moving out?

Did you get homesick?

What advantages did you discover when you moved out?

What do you think is the average age at which people move out of their parent’s house?

How long do you think a couple should be together before they move in together?

How does a relationship change after you move in together? How does it change for the better? How does it change for the worse?

If you live with your partner how long have you lived together?

What problems did you encounter when you first moved in together? How did you solve these problems? What compromises did you have to make?

Partying husband role-play

What would you do in this situation?

If you have a partner (husband /wife) do you have very different hobbies and interests to them?

How important is it to have similar interests in a relationship?

How important is it to have different hobbies or activities in a relationship?

Have you ever tried to persuade a partner to take up one of your hobbies? What happened?

Has a partner ever tried to persuade you to take up one of their hobbies? What happened?

Hospital role-play

What would you do in this situation?

Have you ever had to give a very important speech / presentation?

Who did you have to give it to? What was it about? How did it go? How did you feel before and after?

Have you ever had to work when you were very ill? What happened?

How many sick days do you take in the average year?

Posted in Vocabulary Classes, Writing Classes

Spelling Practice Powerpoints

spelling-bee-isllustration[1]

2 powerpoint presentations to practice spelling some tricky words.

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!258&authkey=!AIL_LU1IDGcXPhs

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=79CFF252BEEA0A7D!257&authkey=!AKE4k6YQGB4Fz2A

First you dictate the words to the students, maybe put them in pairs to make it a competition, then show the powerpoints for them to check their answers.