Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes

Ageism and Retirement: CAE/CPE Lesson Plan

Student Onno Selbach does activities with two of our inhabitants. Photo courtesy of Humanitas.

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Photo credit: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/dutch-retirement-home-offers-rent-free-housing-students-one-condition/

This is a conversation activity for adults (B2+) based around an article about a Dutch retirement home where university students can live rent free in exchange for spending time with the senior residents. It also includes  Cambridge exam style open cloze and word formation exercises.

Lesson Plan:Dutch nursing home lesson plan

Article:Dutch nursing home offers rent

Open Cloze: Dutch nursing home open cloze

Word Formation: Dutch nursing home word formation

Key:

You can either split the class into groups to discuss the questions or conduct the discussion as a class. Warmer questions:

  • What is ageism?
  • Have you ever experienced it or seen an example of it?
  • In what ways/situations are people discriminated against because of their age?
  • Do you think older people are treated well in your society?
  • What type of problems do elderly people face in modern society?
  • How could this be improved?
  • Do you think the way in which older people are treated has got better or worse in your lifetime?
  • Are young and elderly people well integrated in modern society? If not how can we improve this?

Give out article and have students read it, clear up any vocabulary issues. Then give out the open cloze and word formation exercises.

Discussion questions:

  • What do you think of the program?
  • What are the potential advantages and disadvantages?
  • Why would this program appeal to the students?
  • Why would this program appeal to the elderly people?
  • What would the students get out of the program?
  • What would the elderly people get out of the program?
  • Would you have liked/like to spend your university years living in a retirement home?
  • Would you like to live in a home like this when you retire?

Follow up activity: Students write a CAE style essay, report or proposal on the topic of ageism and the retirement home program outlining pros and cons or highlighting advantages and disadvantages for the students and the elderly people.

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Posted in Grammar Classes

Comparative/Superlative Reference Sheet

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A reference sheet with the grammatical rules for comparatives and superlatives.

Credit to http://english-zone.com/spelling/comparerules.html for the spelling rules.

Comparatives and Superlatives

Comparatives

Ronaldo is taller than Messi.

Physics is more difficult than French.

My sister is tidier than me.

Superlatives

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

…… is the most beautiful woman in the world.

….. is the most handsome man in the world.

Messi is the best footballer in the world.

Comparatives:

“Short adjectives” – with 1 syllable or 2 syllables that end in “y” + er than

 

John is shorter than Nigel.

Jane is older than Peter.

Teachers are busier than students.

Busy – “y” changes to “I”

Other “y” adjectives: funny, messy, tidy, hungry.

Superlatives:

Adjectives with 1 syllable or 2 syllables that end in “y” + the …..est

 

The Nile is the longest river.

The Amazon is the widest.

My son is the messiest child in his class.

“Long” adjectives: difficult/beautiful/handsome

+ more + adjective + than

 

Physics is more difficult than French.

Natalie Portman is more beautiful than Scarlett Johansson.

“Long” adjectives: difficult/beautiful/handsome

+ the most + adjective

 

…….. is the most handsome man in the world.

……… is the most beautiful woman.

Irregular comparatives/superlatives

Adjective Comparative Superlative
Good Better The best
Bad Worse The worst
Far Further/farther The furthest/farthest
Spelling rules for “short adjectives”

Change the Y to I and add -er /-est
Examples:

pretty =  prettier

happy =  happier

busy = busier

If the adjective has a CVC pattern, double the consonant and add -er.

Examples:

wet  =  wetter

big  =  bigger

sad = sadder

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Zero Conditional: Hiccup Cures!

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:

 

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This is a lesson plan to help students put the zero conditional into practice in conversation.

Download it here:

Zero Conditional

Introduction

Ask students the following: What do you do when you get hiccups?

Show them the following video and tell them to write down as many causes and cures for hiccups as they can.

Mine the video for vocabulary:

Spasm, stuck, breathe, gasp, exhale/inhale, hold your breath, difference between breathe (verb, long vowel sound) and breath (noun, short vowel sound), chug, pull, tongue, drink from, wrong side, take a sip, swallow, tip your head back, plug your nose, a teaspoon of, sprinkle, squeeze your pinky, pressure point, pinch, recite, backwards, think of, bald, cure/get rid of hiccups.

Ask them which methods from the video they use.

Model a few sentences on the board:

When/whenever I get hiccups, I ask a friend to scare me.

Tell students that this is called the zero conditional. Give out the first page of the handout and go over it quickly.

We use the zero conditional to talk about general or scientific truths and habits.

If you heat ice, it melts. (General truth)

If I drink coffee after 6pm, I can’t sleep. (Habit)

We also use it to talk about what people should do in certain situations.

If you feel tired, stop for a rest.

If you feel ill, take your medicine.

The formula is:

If/when/whenever + present simple, present simple.

Matching exercise

Match numbers 1-5 with letters a-e to make zero conditional sentences.

1.     If it rains, a.     The roads are dangerous.
2.     If it snows, b.     I try a new flavour of ice-cream
3.     Whenever I visit Rome, c.      Tell a security guard.
4.     If you see someone stealing d.     It boils.
5.     When water reaches 100º C, e.     We play basketball inside.

Matching Key

1-e, 2-a, 3-b, 4-c, 5-d

Conversation exercise

Cut the following cards up. Students take them one at a time and discuss them in conversation. Encourage the use of: “Me too/neither” or “So/neither do I”

Whenever I go on holiday… When I go to the dentist…
If I drink too much red wine… Whenever the sales are on…
If I see a beggar in the street… If I see a tourist with their bag open…
When I go to the beach, I always… When it’s my birthday…
If I’m feeling blue… Whenever I need help at work/school…
If I eat too much… When I watch a sad film at the cinema…
When I forget to do something important at home… If I have free time…
Whenever I go to the city centre… When I visit my relatives…
If someone asks me for directions in the street… If you get hiccups…
If you have a hangover… If you feel ill at work/school…
If you need to take a day off… When I have too much work to do…

Here are some alternatives for teenage students:

When I get bored… If I feel sleepy at school…
If I drop my ice-cream on the floor… If a wasp comes near me…
If I can’t sleep… If my brother/sister annoys me…
When I don’t feel like going to school… When my teacher puts a video on…
When I forget to do my homework… If I get sunburnt…

Photo credit: http://imgkid.com/too-much-coffee-meme.shtml

Video credit: buzzfeedyellow

Posted in Grammar Classes

Too/Enough

 

Before you use these materials, why no check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

This is an activity to practice “too and enough” through a gap fill and then a discussion based on pictures.

You will need the following handouts:

Story, grammar explanation and gap-fill:

Too Enough

Pictures for discussion:

Too enough pics

Part 1: Warmer Discussion

Write on the board:

“Footballers earn too much money.”

“Teachers don’t earn enough money.”

Have students discuss the two sentences.

Part 2: Listening to a story

Read the following story to students,tell them to write down any uses of too and enough that they hear.

Beach story:

The other day I went to the beach with my family. It was a scorching day, I asked my friend to come but he said it was too hot to go to the beach. We got in the car and drove to the beach. The beach was very crowded.

“Oh no! There are too many people here!” said my Mum.

“Don’t worry, there’s enough space for everyone.” said my Dad.

We unpacked the car and walked down to the beach. We put our towels down and my sister and I decided to go for a swim. We ran to the water and jumped in.

“Brrrrr!” said my sister. “It’s too cold for me!” and she ran back to my Mum and Dad. I continued swimming for a few minutes when suddenly I saw people windsurfing and there was a shop renting windsurfing boards, it looked so much fun. I ran back to my parents and asked them if I could try it.

“I’m not sure.” said my Mum. “Do you think he’s old enough?” she asked my Dad.

“I think he’s old enough, but is he strong enough? I think the sail will be too heavy for you son.”

“Please please please Dad!” I begged.

“Ok, let’s go and see how much it costs.” So we walked down to shop. It cost €20 to rent the board for the whole day.

“Buff!” said my Dad. “I think that’s too expensive, I don’t have enough money to pay that much.” So Dad negotiated and in the end we paid €15 for the day. We took the board out into the water and I tried to lift the sail but it was too heavy.

“Come on son! You’re not trying hard enough!” said my Dad. So I took the sail with both hands and made a big effort. I didn’t want my dad to think I wasn’t strong enough to lift it. The sail came out of the water and the board started moving across the water it was the most amazing feeling! We spent the whole day windsurfing, it was one of the best days of my life.

Part 3: Guided Discovery

Tell students to dictate all of the examples back to you, but them on the board and use them to do a guided discovery of the rules outlined in the handout.

Too and enough indicate degree. They are used with adjectives.

  • Too means more than what is needed.
  • Enough means sufficient.

Examples

He is too old to play football with the kids.
Dave is intelligent enough to do the right thing.
You’re not working fast enough
I don’t have enough time.
He has too many friends.
Footballers earn too much money.

Use of too and enough

1.Enough precedes adjectives and adverbs:

He isn’t old enough to watch this program.
We’re not walking quickly  enough.

2.Enough may also precede  nouns:

We have enough money 
I haven’t got enough money to buy this computer.

3.Too comes before adjectives and adverbs:

It’s too hot to wear that coat.
I was driving too fast.

  1. Too may also come before nouns when it is used with the expressions too much and too many.
  2. Too much is used before uncountable nouns.

There is too much salt in this food.

  1. Too many is used before countable nouns

There are too many students in this classroom.

Part 4: Gap fill

Have students complete the gap-fill at the bottom of the handout.

Fill in the correct word (too or enough).

  1. I left the coffee for a minute to cool because it was                                  hot to drink.
  2. He wasn’t strong                                   to lift that heavy box.
  3. There aren’t                                   policemen in our town.
  4. Do you have                                   information to help me with this problem?
  5. It is                                   difficult  for a little child to do.
  6. I do not have                                   time to prepare dinner.
  7. I didn’t buy the car because it was                                   expensive.
  8. He didn’t work hard                                   to pass the exam.
  9. My mum can’t sleep because she drinks                                   much coffee.
  10. She isn’t old                                   to start driving.

Key: 1-too, 2-enough, 3-enough, 4-enough, 5-too, 6-enough, 7-too, 8-enough, 9-too, 10-enough.

Part 5: Picture Discussion (Free production) 

Show the pictures in the hand out and have students make as many sentences as possible using the structures. Ask some questions to prompt. Do you think there are too many tourists in the city?

Gap fill credit:

http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_php_files/grammar-exercise-too-enough.php#.VPWZHfnF8k0

Grammar explanation credit:

English grammar – Too & enough

Posted in Vocabulary Classes

Food Idioms

This is an activity to teach some common idioms and expressions related to food.

You will need the handout below, which contains photos of various food items.

food idioms pics

You will also need this quizlet set:

http://quizlet.com/72332476/food-idioms-2-flash-cards/

  • Divide the class into pairs or teams of 3.
  • Give each team a set of the 10 food pictures.
  • Project the quizlet set onto the board.
  • Give students a few seconds to decide which food item completes the expression, then countdown from 3 to 0 on zero all the groups hold up the card they think completes the sentence (this way they can’t copy each other) award 1 point to each team that guesses correctly.
  • Award extra points for teams that can correctly define the expression.
  • Winning team is the one with the most points.
  • Then challenge students to write a story containing as many of the idioms as possible in 5 minutes.

Expressions:

A piece of cake – very easy

A couch potato – a lazy person who watches too much tv

The apple never falls far from the tree – like father/mother like son/daughter

To bring home the bacon – support a family financially

….is not my cup of tea – not my thing/something I like

Salt of the Earth – a genuine, charitable, down-to-earth person

As cool as a cucumber – very calm and relaxed

Spill the beans – reveal a secret/sensitive information

There’s no point crying over spilt milk – a problem has happened and there’s nothing you can do, so don’t worry

To butter somebody up – to compliment/treat someone nicely in order to get something

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

The Perfect Date – So/Neither do I

This is an activity to practice short answers of agreement “So/neither do I”

Download the handout here:

so neither do I

Introduction

We use the short answers “So do I/Neither do I” to express agreement or something in common that we have with another person.

We use “So do I” to respond to positive sentences and “Neither do I” for negative sentences.

A: I love Spanish wine. B: So do I!

A: I don’t like fast food. B: Neither do I.

Auxiliary Verbs

The auxiliary verb we use depends on the sentence we are responding to.

Present Simple: DO

A: I love Spanish wine. B: So do I!

A: I don’t like fast food. B: Neither do I.

Past Simple: DID

A: I went to the cinema last weekend. B: So did I.

A: I didn’t like the film though. B: Neither did I.

Or if another auxiliary verb is present we repeat it.

A: I can run the hundred metres in under 11 seconds. B: So ______ I.

A: I wouldn’t like to go there at night. B: ________ _________ __________.

Write the short answer responses in the first person for the following sentences:

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong. __________________________
  2. I’m not a big fan of basketball. _______________________
  3. I’d quite like to try to scuba diving. ___________________
  4. I shouldn’t smoke so much. _____________________
  5. I work in a bank. ______________________
  6. I can’t stand karaoke. _________________
  7. I had seen the film 3 times before. ____________________
  8. I couldn’t believe my eyes! _________________________

We can also use this structure with a possessive pronoun (mine/his/hers etc.)

A: My husband works in finance. B: So does mine.

A: My children go to St. Peter’s school. B: So do mine.

Role-play the perfect date

You go on date with someone you met on tinder. First, complete the following sentences about yourself, and then read them to your date. You discover that you are a match made in heaven!

Student 1:

I’ve always dreamed of_____________________

I’m crazy about_______________________

I can’t bear____________________________

I’m petrified of ___________________________

I will never forget___________________________

I really should _____________________________

Tomorrow I have to_________________________

When I was I child I used to_______________________

When I was little I couldn’t________________________

I’ve been ______ing ________________ for___________________.

My ex was a_______________________

My sister ________________________________

Student 2:

I will always remember________________________

If I wasn’t so ___________________, I would_________________

I must remember to_______________________

I can’t_____________________________

My grandparents__________________________

I should_____________________________

I’d love to________________________

When I was a student I used to_________________________

If I could go back in time, I would______________________

Before last week I had never___________________________

I couldn’t live without ___________________________

I’m a huge fan of__________________________

Disagreeing – A date from hell

If we disagree or don’t share the same taste or opinion as the person we can talk to we can simply repeat the auxiliary verb in affirmative/negative:

A: I love Woody Allen films. B: I don’t.

A: I wouldn’t like to try sky-diving. B: I would. – Repeat the date role play but disagree with everything!

Key 1st exercise:

  1. So have I
  2. Neither am I
  3. So would I
  4. Neither should I
  5. So do I
  6. Neither can I
  7. So had I
  8. Neither could I

Photo rights: http://adoniszone.blogspot.com.es/2014/11/5-ways-to-make-your-date-perfect.html