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Grammar activity: First Conditional «Citizens’ wants and needs»

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Grammar activities | Дата: 18-05-2017

This is a small town located in America. It is so small that nobody ever bothered to make up a name for this town, so they just called it “Small Town”. These are its citizens who want to speak to their mayor about some changes which they would like to see in Small Town. Use the First Conditional to announce their needs.
Example: You should build a museum. → If you build a museum, people of our town will have a place to spend time on the weekends.

 

Students get paired up and make up their own sentences in the First Conditional according to the given example.

Download the PDF file with this activity:

First Conditional — Citizens’ wants and needs

Teaching tips: Context-build approach to teaching USED TO

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Teaching Ideas | Дата: 09-03-2017

In the situational presentation language is introduced through a context that the teacher has created (using board drawing, pictures, objects, etc.)

Basic plan of actions for making a context-build grammar presentation (shown by the trainer):

1. Establish the context

The teacher draws a picture of a country house and a rich man (pictures can be used instead) holding dollar bills. He/she asks the students to tell her about him and his life. (He is rich. He lives in a big house.)

The teacher adds more and more pictures one by one (Rolls Royce, a four-poster bed, a swimming pool) and elicits more statements about his life. (He drives a Rolls Royce. He sleeps on a four-poster bed. He has his own swimming pool.) He/she checks that all students are clear about this context.

 

 

2. Establish the meaning of the target item

The teacher changes the main character (the rich man) for a poor man who looks like a beggar, and draws thought bubbles around all the objects on the board. He/she also adds an interviewer and establishes that the man went bankrupt seven years ago and now he is being interviewed about his past life.

The teacher asks concept checking questions (CCQs):

  • Does he have this big house now? — NO

  • Does he drive his Rolls Royce? — NO

  • Does he have his own swimming pool now? — NO

  • Does he sleep on a four-poster bed now? — NO

  • Is he a poor person now? — YES

  • Did he do and have all these things in the past? — YES

  • Can you make sentences describing his past life?

At this point the students might start making sentences in Past Simple because by this time they are already familiar with this grammar tense. If they don’t know the target structure “used to”, the teacher gives it himself/herself as an example and then the students continue on their own.

He used to have a big house. (The teacher writes the first sentence on the board).

He used to drive a Rolls Royce.

He used to sleep on a four-poster bed.

He used to have his own swimming pool.

Note that the meaning comes first, before the students meet the target form. If the students are facing difficulties with pronunciation, the teacher gets the students to repeat the sentences after him/her (drilling technique) and corrects any problems that might occur.

 

3. Generate more sentences from the context

The teacher adds more pictures to the “interview” (a jet, a beautiful wife, kids). He/she elicits further sentences using the target structure.

He used to own a jet (CCQ: Does he own it now? — NO)

He used to have a beautiful wife. (CCQ: Does he have a wife now? — NO)

He used to have kids. (CCQ: Does he have kids now? — NO)

4. Recording in notebooks

The teacher recaps sentences made so far and invites the class to help her/him construct a substitution table which they can then copy into their notebooks.

5. Moving on to practice stages

Now that the class has met a number of examples of the target language and has had a chance to repeat the sentences, the teacher moves them on to practice activities.

Watch a short video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-jq1CvqJqE

 

Speaking activity: At the hairdresser’s

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Speaking games & activities | Дата: 19-02-2017

Real-life situations and  personalization in learning the languages are always the key points to students’ success. Who doesn’t attend a hair-dresser? Everybody does. Role-playing such situations at the lessons will give one more chance to students to speak more. As an English Teacher I would never deprive my students of speaking. 🙂 You can download the PDF file with the activity under its description. Good luck in trying it out! ❤


Classroom activity: work in pairs
Language level: intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced
Age: 14 +
Time: 30 minutes
Target: speaking practice, hair-related vocabulary, making situational dialogues
Anticipated problems: The teacher might be short of time to follow all the mistakes
the students might be making during the activity. Therefore, it is advisable that the
teacher should take notes while walking around the students’ pairs. All the hair-related vocabulary should be taught and carefully explained before the activity starts.
Procedure: Divide the students into pairs. Each pair gets a set of cards which they take one by one to make up their dialogues while swapping their roles: hair-dresser — client, client — hair-dresser. In their dialogues the students also have to explain the reason why they need this kind of a new hairstyle.

At the hair-dresser’s — PDF VERSION

Asking Questions in Present Simple — boardgame

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Boardgames | Дата: 12-02-2017

This boardgame can be used both for teaching groups of students and individual students. If you have a private one-to-one lesson, you will have to perform the role of a second player so that your student got the feeling of comptetition. But if you teach a group of students, you can simply divide them into pairs, print this boardgame for each pair and hand it out. The best way would be to hold this game after your students have already learnt the rules of Present Simple Questions, therefore the game will become a sort of consolidation exercise for them.

Follow this link to download the PDF file with the game:

Boardgame — Present Simple Questions

Speaking activity: Three minutes for speaking (India)

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Speaking games & activities | Дата: 06-02-2017

All the situations are imaginary and are not intended to offend Indian people. As the author of this activity I sincerely apologize to those whose feelings have been hurt.

Please find attached the PDF file with the activity under its description.

Classroom activity: Student-to-Teacher Interaction Pattern
Language level: intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced
Age: 15+
Time: depends on the number of students
Target: speaking practice with a time limit
Anticipated problems: It might be challenging for students to speak on one topic without breaks for 3 minutes, so try to prepare them in advance — say that you won’t give any grades for their speaking and that this exercise is only aimed at their speaking practice. This will reduce their fears.
Procedure: Call a student and give him/her one of the cards. Let him/her read it and think it over for a couple of minutes. Then set your timer and let your student speak for 3 minutes on the given topic without breaks. Don’t let him/her ask questions during the monologue. Do some delayed error correction. Then do the same with the rest of your students.

Three minutes for speaking — India — PDF version

Speaking activity: Complain about your neighbour

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Speaking games & activities | Дата: 03-02-2017

Lots of speaking at the lesson is usually what students really need. Speaking activities help them get rid of their fear to begin a conversation and boost their interest in learning the language. Any person would feel better and more interested if he/she were making more progress. I would like to introduce another speaking task which you can use at your lessos. Who doesn’t like complaining? Check it out and see how it works out with your classes.  Find attached the file with the activity under its description.

Classroom activity: work in pairs
Language Level: intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced
Age: 15+
Time: 30 minutes
Target: speaking practice, expressing complaints
Anticipated problems: The teacher might be short of time to follow all the mistakes the students might be making during the activity. Therefore, it is advisable that the teacher should take notes while walking around the students’ pairs.
Procedure: Divide the students into pairs. Each pair gets a set of cards with problematic situations. One student plays the role of a complaining neighbour, another one performs the role of a trouble-making neighbour. The first student is supposed to complain about something that is stated in the card. Afterwards, the students swap the roles by taking another card.

Complain about your neighbour — PDF VERSION

 

Speaking game: Santa’s Sack (phrasal verbs)

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Speaking games & activities | Дата: 27-01-2017

Do you think only children find it amazing to play games related to the most magic holidays, such as New Year or Christmas? Adults are all into them too! Try this game out and see how they will enjoy it! Please find the PDF file with the activity attached under the description.

Classroom activity: whole class interaction
Language level: pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced
Age: 16+
Time: 30 minutes
Target: speaking practice, learning phrasal verbs
Anticipated problems: As far as the activity involves the whole class at a time the teacher might be short of time to follow all the mistakes the students might be making during the discussion. Therefore, it is advisable that the teacher should take notes while listening to what the students say.
Procedure: The teacher plays the role of Santa. He/she brings a sack with cards and says that these cards are Santa’s presents for students. Each student takes out one card which contains an object and a phrasal verb and has to explain why he/she deserves to get this particular present using the given phrasal verb. The explanations should be given by all students for one picture. Santa (the teacher) decides whose statement is the best and gives the present to this student. For example: I think that I deserve to have this iphone because I need to contact my friends who I always hang out with. It will help me to know where they usually get together.

Santa’s Sack — speaking activity PDF VERSION

Teaching tips: Making Suggestions

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Teaching Ideas | Дата: 24-01-2017

As you probably know I also run a youtube channel ‘Empire of English’ where I post a lot of teaching ideas which I sometimes come up with just out of the blue! When you run out of your ideas you can always go to my channel and find some inspiration there.

There is a video on different ways of making suggestions: informal and formal structures. The way of introducing this topic is quite unusual but it will definitely work out well with your students because it is fun and entertaining. You can have a look at this video by clicking the link and you can also download the pdf files with two exercises on the given topic. Your students can do these exercises individually, in pairs or in small groups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0UyV_6Tr04

Making suggestions with formal structures

Making suggestions with informal structures

Speaking activities: It’s all about travel! ❤

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Speaking games & activities | Дата: 24-01-2017

Everyone likes travelling. Especially people who like learning foreign languages. I am sure your students are not the exception. That is why English Teachers often turn to the topic of travelling at their classes. For this reason I decided to share with you a couple of activities based on the topic. You can find them attached in PDF files below:

Funny Holidays — speaking cards

Let’s make a trip to LA — speaking cards

 

Writing activity: Letters of application

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Автор: Empire-of-English | Категория: Writing activities | Дата: 23-01-2017

Each lesson is targeted at practising some skills — whether they are receptive (listening and reading) or productive (speaking and writing) you always have to be very clear about the tasks which you create for developing these skills. In my opinion, it is always better when you create tasks for your students that would put them into a real-life situation (or at least very similar one), because this will help students to develop some associations and thus to remember the target language faster. I would like to suggest one of such tasks which is based on writing letters of applications. I do hope that your students will enjoy it. Please, find attached the PDF file with the task itself under the following description.

Classroom activity: writing (can be used as a homework task as well)
Language level: intermediate, upper-intermediate, advanced
Age: 16+
Time: 40 minutes
Target: writing practice, learning of specific vocabulary
Anticipated problems: The teacher is supposed to carefully explain all the vocabulary items which are more likely to be used in this activity. A good idea would be to ask students to use dictionaries for a better understanding of words and expressions.
Procedure: The teacher must explain all the necessary vocabulary related to the topic of application letters, as well as give information of how to write such letters correctly. If it is a classroom activity the teacher, first, randomly gives the cards to each student, mentions the time limits (20 minutes) and when the students are ready with their work, they have to read out loud their letters to let each other know of the ideas mentioned in them. After that the teacher gives his/her feedback on the grammatical and stylistic mistakes and discusses them with the students.

Letters of application PDF VERSION