Games to help students learn English.
My first English language teaching activity got published in August 2008. It happened on the site http://www.teachitelt.com. The site regularly sent me the royalties and I created several more activities for them. Unfortunately, recently they sent me an email that the site is going to finish on 30th March 2016. The good thing is that they returned the rights to me and I am allowed to used the materials I created in any way I like and publish them wherever I like. So, here I share the first lesson plan I created. It is called Embarrassing Dates.
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Embarrassing dates – warmer
Tell them the following story. It is true story which happened to me, so you can introduce it as a story which happened to one of your friends and colleagues to catch students’ interest.
‘When I was about 17, I used to attend dancing lessons after school. One evening, after a lesson, my schoolmate and I were going home. It was late and it was dark. We came to a bus stop and we were waiting for a bus when I noticed a beautiful blond girl also waiting.
We started talking to her and we soon found out that she went to the same school and that she loved literature, like me. My friend wasn’t interested, but I liked her very much and we talked the whole way back.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I was thinking about her and remembering everything we said. I couldn’t wait to see her again.
So, the next morning I started looking for her, but I couldn’t find her for some time.
In the end I found her in a classroom. I was a bit shocked, because she didn’t look quite as perfect as the night before, but I thought that looks weren’t that important. So we agreed to go shopping that afternoon.
But the afternoon turned out badly. I soon found out that she was really bossy and she ordered me around the shop like a small boy. I felt embarrassed and I was happy to say goodbye. We never met again.’
Now ask the students to look at the pictures and put them into the correct order:
Answer key: c, e, b, a, d, f
Now ask the students to retell the story. You could have them work in pairs and take turns to recount a picture each, or tell it cumulatively, repeating what their partner said before moving on to the next picture. Monitor and correct. At the end, ask one or two students to tell the whole class the story or have students tell it round the class. You could then give whole class feedback.
Embarrassing Dates – vocabulary
1.i, 2.b, 3.e, 4.f, 5.a, 6.d, 7.h, 8.c, 9.g
Sudoku has been very popular recently, but I bet that your students have never done one with words. It gives them practice writing and memorising the new vocabulary. Afterwards, you could have students cover the words in the matching task with a blank sheet of paper and write the words back in next to the definitions.
Embarrassing Dates – reading
1. Todd’s; 2. Steven; 3. Michael; 4. Anthony and Tony
Embarrassing Dates – grammar
Crossword answer key
1 fell down; 2. twin; 3. embarrassing; 4. showed up; 5. chat up; 7. clap; 8. wallet; 9. cute
Solution: first date
Embarrassing Dates – Follow up
You could get older students to speak about their own embarrassing dates.
I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was ten I dreamt of publishing a book. And on Saturday, thirty years later I did it. I published a book called 444 Grammar Conversations. This book is for teachers of English to have a set of questions they can use to practise a grammar point in a conversation. And in this post I would like to share with you ten speaking activities, you may find useful when using this book. All the following activities are based on a list of questions.
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10 Speaking Activities
a) The simplest speaking activity is, that you print the questions for everyone and students work in pairs and read the questions and answer them.
b) Write the questions just once for each pair and give the copy to one student in the pair. The student with the handout asks the questions and the other answers them.
c) Print one copy for each pair and cut it in half. Each student asks their questions and answers the questions their partner asks.
d) My favorite activity is called Clock speaking. Divide the questions into several sections and write a time instead of a number to each section. Tell the students to find a different partner for each section. Then say what time it is and students have to work with the partner they have arranged. They ask the questions and answer them.
Here you can see an example worksheet for the Clock Speaking activity:
e) Give each student a copy of the questions and ask them to choose 5 questions they like. Then they work in pairs and ask only the questions they chose.
And here, there are five more speaking activities fot the book 444 Grammar Conversations :
f) One student answers a question from the list and the other has to guess which question was answered.
g) Students work in pairs and one student asks and the other has to answer for a set time (e.g. 15 seconds). In this way, students are made to speak longer.
[showmyadsa] h) Students ask and answer the questions in pairs, but they can lie. The interviewer has to guess when the speaker is lying.
i) Give each student only two questions from the set. Each student has different questions. Students mingle and ask the questions they have on their slip of paper and they answer the questions the others ask.
j) Forbidden words: Students work in pairs and they ask and answer the questions but they must not use the words YES, NO and I don´t know. (Of course you can select other words).
What do you think of the book:
It is quite easy to form comparatives and superlatives in English. However, without much practice students will make a lot of mistakes.
To provide enough practice for my students I have created the following exercises. There are three gap-fill exercises where students will practise the grammar in context.
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[showmyads] In this post, there are three interactive exercises and a word file with the same exercises to practise the grammar.
Comparing in English – infographic
Show it to your students and explain that students first have to decide if the adjective is long or short. If the adjective is just 1 syllable, it is short. If it ends with -y, it is short. Otherwise, it is long.
Once they know whether the adjective is long or short, they can form the superlatives and comparatives correctly. With short adjectives, they add the suffixes -er or -est. With long adjectives, they add more or most in front of the adjective.
Comparatives and superlatives – online quizzes
There are three quizzes:
Comparing in English – Links
Comparatives and superlatives activities
Comparatives and superlatives speaking activities
Moreover, there are very interesting activities to use in your classroom at British Council site.
I hope you will find this post useful and that your students will practise a lot.
Irregular verbs are probably the most important verbs in English. There are quite a lot of them and they are very common. However, for many ESL and EFL students they are very difficult to learn.
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I have already prepared many activities to teach the irregular verbs to my students. There are irregular verbs from the rap song by Fluency MC, there are several stories to learn the verbs in context and there are many infographics to make the learning a bit easier.
[showmyads] Having tried all of these, I have to say that the most effective way of teaching irregular verbs in English is the SNOWBALL method. This method does not promise to teach you 100 verbs in 10 minutes. You have to study the verbs for 10 days in a row to learn these, but then I can guarantee that you will remember more than 90% of these verbs. So why don´t you try it for yourself?
Snowball method – How does it work?
Moreover, if you make a mistake, the verb is repeated again until you get it right or until you make 3 mistakes.
Irregular verbs – infographics
Irregular verbs – Snowballs
Do Snowball 2 the next day. Then do Snowballs 3-10 one each day. ADVERT:
The verb HAVE GOT is used mainly in British English and in many British textbooks it is taught immediately after the verb TO BE. I think it complicates things a bit for learners, and therefore, I wanted to make it a bit simpler for my students.
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In this post, you will find an infographic explaining the creation of short answers. Moreover, there is a simple worksheet which teaches the creation of questions with the verb HAVE GOT. At the end, you will find a simple speaking activity to practise the questions and short answers.
[showmyads] In this post, we suppose that your students already know how to form the affirmative sentences with the verb HAVE GOT, as we explained those in the previous posts. You can find a simple rhyme to teach the affirmative forms of the verb HAVE GOT here and the infographic with all the forms here.
Verb HAVE GOT – creating questions
Once they finish, check their answers.
Verb HAVE GOT – short answers
The first question from the worksheet above is: Have you got a cat.
Elicit what word the question starts with. (“Does it start with HAVE or HAS?”) Point to the words HAVE and HAS. Students answer HAVE.
“Is it followed by YOU AND …?” Students answer NO.
“Is it followed by YOU …?” Students answer YES. (do not forget to point).
“Then the answer is either ´Yes, I have.´ or ´No, I haven´t.´” (Point)
Ask a student to come to the board and do the same with the second question. Do the same with the third question. Then ask the students to work on their own and write the possible answers below the questions.
Verb HAVE GOT – speaking activity
1. Have you got an English book?
2. Have you got a dictionary?
3. What have you got in your bag?
4. What have you got in your pocket?
5. Have you got a pet?
6. What pet have you got?
7. What have you got in your pencil case?
8. Have you got a watch?
9. Where have you got your keys?
10. Have you got an exercise book?
11. Have you got a red pen?
12. Have you got a car?
13. Have your parents got a house?
14. Have your parents got a car?
15. Have you got a mobile phone?
16. Has your mother got long hair?
17. Has your father got blue eyes?
18. Has your mother got fair hair?
19. Have you got a computer?
20. Have you got a television in your bedroom?
Picture dictionaries are very popular among learners of English. In this post, I would like to offer you a pictionary with vocabulary connected with Modern Technology. This post contains an infographic, a crossword and three games.
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Machines and appliances – infographic
It is a good idea to drill the pronunciation first. Then ask the students to learn the words. I usually give my students about five minutes to do this.
Then hand out the following crossword. Ask the students to complete the crossword. They can use the original infographic if they need to.
You can print the infographic and the crossword using the following pdf file.
Modern Technology – games
[showmyadsa] [/tabcontent] [tabcontent] The second games is called Guess the time. Your task is to type what you see in the picture (do not use CAPITAL letters). If your answer is correct, a countdown will appear on the screen. Your task is to stop the countdown at the moment it reaches zero. The closer to zero you stop it the more points you get.
[showmyadsa] [/tabcontent] [tabcontent] The third game is called Guess the Length. Once again, you will see a picture and your task is to type the correct word (do not use CAPITAL letters). If your answer is correct a line will appear on the screen. Your task is to guess how long the line is.
You can find some more materials to teach about Technology at British Council site.
Verb master board game is intended to replace drills. The aim of this game is to help students learn to form verb tenses. While drills are boring, board games are interesting and fun. Thus, students practise the grammar forms and enjoy it.
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The great advantage of the Verb master game is the fact that the game is nearly universal. It is designed in such a way that you can practise nearly any English tense there is. So you just print the game once and then you can use it as many times as you like or your students like.
Verb master – board game
You can download the pdf file here:
The great advantage of the game is, that you can arrange students into various groups of various sizes.
Ask students to find something that will serve as a counter. Hand out one game and one die for each group.
Tell students what tense they have to form, for example, present continuous. Students throw the dice and move along. When they finish their move, they have to say the sentence they landed on using the given tense. If they form the sentence correctly, they stay where they are. However, if they make a mistake, they have to go back to the start. (This rule might seem a bit harsh, but it makes the game more exciting and students pay more attention to the sentences their partners are saying.)
I always prepare the keys for each group and I hand them out before the game starts. You will find several of the keys below.
[showmyads] [wptabsy] [tab]Pr. continuous[/tab] [tab]Past continuous[/tab] [tab]Past simple[/tab] [tab]Pr. simple[/tab] [tabcontent]1. I am going to school.
2. She is reading a book.
3. They are writing a letter.
4. We are singing a song.
5. They are running fast.
6. She is drinking lemonade.
7. The cat is eating fish.
8. Kate is doing her homework.
9. Dave is driving a car.
10. The baby is sleeping.
11. They are playing chess.
12. Mike is sitting.
13. I am swimming.
14. She is watching TV.
15. She is feeding birds.
16. She is talking on the phone.
17. They are dancing.
18. Sue is flying.
19. The child is crying.
20. The boy is building a snowman.
21. He is making a cake.
[/tabcontent] [tabcontent]1. I was going to school.
2. She was reading a book.
3. They were writing a letter.
4. We were singing a song.
5. They were running fast.
6. She was drinking lemonade.
7. The cat was eating fish.
8. Kate was doing her homework.
9. Dave was driving a car.
10. The baby was sleeping.
11. They were playing chess.
12. Mike was sitting.
13. I was swimming.
14. She was watching TV.
15. She was feeding birds.
16. She was talking on the phone.
17. They were dancing.
18. Sue was flying.
19. The child was crying.
20. The boy was building a snowman.
21. He was making a cake.
[/tabcontent] [tabcontent]1. I went to school.
2. She read a book.
3. They wrote a letter.
4. We sang a song.
5. They ran fast.
6. She drank lemonade.
7. The cat ate fish.
8. Kate did her homework.
9. Dave drove a car.
10. The baby slept.
11. They played chess.
12. Mike sat.
13. I swam.
14. She watched TV.
15. She fed birds.
16. She talked on the phone.
17. They danced.
18. Sue flew.
19. The child cried.
20. The boy built a snowman.
21. He made a cake.
[/tabcontent] [tabcontent]1. I go to school.
2. She reads a book.
3. They write a letter.
4. We sing a song.
5. They run fast.
6. She drinks lemonade.
7. The cat eats fish.
8. Kate does her homework.
9. Dave drives a car.
10. The baby sleeps.
11. They play chess.
12. Mike sits.
13. I swim.
14. She watches TV.
15. She feeds birds.
16. She talks on the phone.
17. They dance.
18. Sue flies.
19. The child cries.
20. The boy builds a snowman.
21. He makes a cake.
[/tabcontent] [/wptabsy] Verb master board game is designed to help students practise forming verb tenses in English. You can find several other board games at our website. There is a Halloween game and Superlatives and comparatives board game. I hope you will find them useful.
Beginners have to memorise a lot of new words and grammar. To make the process a bit easier, I and my colleague came up with a set of simple grammar rhymes that help our learners remember the crucial verb forms.
[showmyads] In this post, I would like to share the rhymes with you. There is a short video for two rhymes and the text. And one of the rhymes comes only with the audio file. It seems that the best way to teach the grammar is to ask your students to memorise the poems, and then they use the underlying grammar automatically. I hope you will find these rhymes useful.
Simple grammar rhymes – Verb TO BE
I am small.
You are tall.
He is fat.
It is bad.
She is late.
It´s not great.
We are old.
They are cold.
Simple grammar rhymes – Verb HAVE GOT
She’s got a cat
He’s got a pet.
I’ve got a ball.
You’ve got a doll.
We’ve got a house.
They’ve got a mouse.
Sue’s got a parrot
It’s got a carrot.
Simple grammar rhymes – Present simple tense
Simple grammar rhymes – How to use them
If you teach a monolingual class, it is a good idea to translate the rhyme.
In the following lesson, I ask the students to recite the rhyme and I introduce the grammar and we do several exercises.
I have to say that it really works and it is much easier for the students to learn and understand the grammar then.
Simple grammar rhymes – Share
What is the best way to present the rhymes?
In this post, I would like to share four speaking activities that worked very well in my classes. There are two games to practise comparatives and superlatives and two activities to practise describing people.
Four speaking activities – Superlatives and comparatives
The first one is a simple board game. Print the following board game.
Ask your students to find something that will serve as their counter. Give them a dice and tell them to throw the dice and move along the plan. If they land on a yellow or blue square, students have to read the question and answer it or complete the sentence. If they land on a pink square, they follow the arrow.
If a group of students finishes early, ask them to play again.
The second speaking activity demands very little preparation. Dictate the following sentences to your students and ask them to finish them in any way they like.
- Who is the best _________?
- What is the worst ___________?
- What is better than _____________?
- What is worse than _______________?
- What is the best ________________?
Once they complete their questions, they work in pairs and read their questions to their partners. Their partner must answer in English.
It is really simple, but it works.
Four speaking activities – Describing people
Students work in pairs. Give each student one sheet so that in their pairs they have two different sheets.
Students must not show their worksheet to their partner. Their task is to find out whether the men in their pictures are the same or different.
Students describe the men number 1 and decide if they are the same or different. They write down their decision on a piece of paper. They go on like this with the rest of the men.
For the second speaking activity the students need just one of the pages. They lay the paper in front of them. One of the students chooses a picture and the other one has to guess which man their partner is thinking of.
I hope that all the speaking activities will work for you.
Which speaking activity worked best for you?
I have spent a lot of time formulating a simple explanation how to form short answers to questions with the verb TO BE. You can find my previous attempt here. While the previous explanation did not work very well, this time, I feel that it is so simple that even the less gifted students understood it. I hope it will work for your students too. Please let me know.
In this post, there is a simple infographic explaining the usage of the short answers, and a speaking grammar activity to practice the grammar.
Short answers – infographic
To form the short answers correctly, students have to start from the beginning of the question. The first word is crucial.
If the question starts with AM, then the answer is either YES, YOU ARE. or NO, YOU AREN´T.
If the question begins with IS, then the students have to see, what follows. If it is followed by a woman, then the answers are YES, SHE IS or NO, SHE ISN´T. If IS is followed by a man then the answer is YES, HE IS or NO, HE ISN´T. In all other cases, the answers are YES, IT IS. or NO, IT ISN´T.
If the question starts with the word ARE then you have to see what follows it. If it is followed by YOU AND, the answers are YES, WE ARE. or NO, WE AREN´T. If the word ARE is followed by YOU without AND then the answers are YES, I AM or NO, I´M NOT. In all other cases, the correct answers are YES, THEY ARE or NO, THEY AREN´T.
The explanation might sound a bit complicated, but it is quite clearly depicted in the infographic.
Short answers – speaking activity
The activity is called pair cards. Students work in pairs. Print the following worksheet and give each student in the pair one half of it. Ask the students to work on their own and fill the free spaces with short answers to the questions.
After this, one of the students folds the paper in such a way that they cannot see the short answers. They read the questions aloud and say the short answers. Their partner sees the answers are correct and corrects as necessary. Three minutes later they swap.
Short answers – conclusion
Did the inforgraphic and speaking activity work?
Most of teachers do not read research papers. There are several reasons for this. First, many teachers do not have enough time to study. Second, these papers are usually pretty difficult to read and understand. And third, they contain a lot of statistics and language teachers are not very good with numbers.
To be honest, I love language teaching research. I try to follow the latest papers and compare their results with my experience and I try to adjust my teaching on the basis of their results. And here I would like to share the most interesting papers with you in a simplified form.
Is extensive reading dead – Research
For a long time, research suggested that extensive reading is one of the best ways to learn new vocabulary. It was supposed that the more often students meet a word the more likely they are to learn it. Therefore, it was recommended that students should read a lot and it was expected that in the end they would know a lot of vocabulary.
This new research took this expectation and put it to a test. They asked the following questions:
- Is it enough to read a lot to improve my vocabulary?
- How many encounters are enough to learn a word?
- Is extensive reading the most effective way to learn new vocabulary?
And what did they find out? If you do a vocabulary exercises you will learn many more words than if you just read. Even if you read and look the unknown words in a dictionary it does not help much (some tests even show that it does not improve your knowledge of vocabulary at all). Put simply, if you memorize the words, you will save time and you will know much more. In fact, the tests showed that you will know up to 20 times as much.
So, does it mean that extensive reading is dead? It depends: If you have used it for teaching vocabulary (and I did), it is time to think again and abolish this practice. However, if you need to improve students’ reading, I am sure that extensive reading is a good means to achieve this.
To sum up, the research paper “Retention of new words: Quantity of encounters, quality of task, and degree of knowledge” shows that it is better to use vocabulary exercises than extensive reading for vocabulary teaching.
The vast majority of people consider comparatives and superlatives in English easy. They usually have no problems with their formation and as there are very few exceptions, they master this grammar point pretty quickly.
However, it is still a good idea to have a few interesting activities up your sleeve to teach this well. You can find the basic explanation and infographic in my previous post about comparatives and superlatives.
In this post, I am going to offer three activities that worked very well in my classes. The first one is a simple pair speaking activity to practise the comparatives. The second one is called Hidden picture and your task is to colour the correct sentences and find the hidden picture. The third activity is a video quiz with a writing activity. I hope you will like the activities and use them in your classes too.
Comparatives and superlatives – activities
Print it and ask your students to work in pairs. Give each student one quarter of the worksheet. Make sure to give different worksheet to each student in a pair.
Students should fill in the gaps using the correct form of the adjective in the brackets. Check their answers. Even though the questions are different, the answers are the same and therefore, they are easy to check.
Then students work in pairs and read the questions to their partners and answer them in English.
For the Hidden picture activity, you need to print the following table for each student.
Ask the students to colour the squares that contain a correct sentence. If they do it correctly a picture will appear (in this case the letter N should appear).
Then go through the sentences with your students and elicit the mistakes and their corrections.
Comparatives and superlatives – video
As a follow-up activity, it is a good idea to ask your students to write a similar quiz.
The model is talking about booking her latest gig, modeling WordPress underwear in the brand latest Perfectly Fit campaign, which was shot by Lachian Bailey. It was such a surreal moment cried she admitted.Refreshingly, what was expected.
The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is nice to everyone and always smile.
It’s kind of confusing because I’m a bigger girl, Dalbesio says. I’m not the biggest girl on the market but I’m definitely bigger than all the girls [Calvin Klein] has ever worked with, so that is really intimidating. She wasn’t sure, she said of the shoot, what was expected from her in terms of her size or shape.It’s kind of confusing because I’m a bigger girl, Dalbesio says.
Refreshingly, what was expected of her was the same thing that was expected of Lara Stone: to take a beautiful picture.
You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up all the other worlds Except the which you belong.
So simple, yet so essential, the white shirt is the foundation of any wardrobe. It’s also the most multi-functional item, taking you from work to play with just the quick unfastening of a couple of buttons. It matter what style fitted boyfriend etc or even what fabric from silk to heavy cotton go with whatever suits your personal style best,It matter what style fitted boyfriend etc or even.
Calvin Klein known for launching the careers of such svelte models as Brooke Shields and Kate Moss to cast a model who deviates from the size standard and make a fuss about it to Dalbesio who spent years,Kate Moss to cast a model who deviates.
- Must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing
- Pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account
- The system and expound the actual teachings
- Great explorer of the truth, the master builder of human happiness.
Adderall and flirting with bulimia in an attempt to whittle herself to represents progress released this campaign and were like Whoa look this plus size girl in our campaign from work to play with just the quick unfastening of a couple of buttons,size girl in our campaign.
BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD
They released me in this campaign with everyone else there no distinction. It’s not a separate section for plus size girls she says.
There was a time in the industry not too long ago, when it seemed that the high fashion world was using plus size models as a headline-grabbing gimmick see the groundbreaking Italian Vogue cover featuring Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, and Robyn Lawley in June 2016.long ago, when it seemed that the high fashion world was.
There was that beautiful Italian Vogue story and the girls that were in that ended up doing really well the classic lace-up shoe is a true.
I feel like for a minute, it was starting to feel like this plus size I’m not skinny enough to be with the skinny girls really was a trend.
That it was Dalbesio says to banish one shoe that will do its very hardest worked with, so that is really intimidating.
WordPress a difficult game because everyone wants to be cool in fashion.
Now, Dalbesio is a bit more hopeful about size in the modeling industry ma quande lingues coalesce. In the middle Occidental in fact she says not skinny enough.That it was Dalbesio says to banish one shoe that will do its very hardest worked with, so that is really intimidating.
To find my place. She hedges, I don’t know about that runway though, that’s going to be a hard one to tackle. Everyone realizes why a new common language would be desirable: one could refuse to pay expensive translators.
A SHIP IS SAFE IN HARBOR, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHIPS ARE FOR
A Julien Macdonald customer doesn’t sit in the corner of a room, she is the room she’s the host the designer laughed when we met him yesterday afternoon to see the range for the first time. My pieces aren’t shy. It is full-on cocktail red carpet glamour.Macdonald customer doesn’t sit in the corner of a room.
You don’t necessarily wear them to the supermarket on a Saturday morning with the kids, but with my jewellery they probably will.
Cue a collection of high-wattage necklaces, adorned with nugget and crystals wild-cat cocktail rings, abstract drop earrings, and spectacular statement chokers inspired by the flora and fauna of safari.Cue a collection of high-wattage necklaces.
The most beautiful people we have known are those:
- Explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing
- Pleasure and praising pain was born
- The system and expound the actual teachings
- Great explorer of the truth
To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant right to find fault pleasure?
On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee,take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes.
After teaching for fifteen years, it seems that it does not matter how much and well the teacher teaches, it is the student who must learn. I have already published many methods of teaching irregular verbs. There are posts on teaching irregular verbs with a rap song, there are posts with many games and stories where the irregular verbs are used in context. And the result? My students do not know the irregular verbs! If the students do not learn the verbs, they do not know them.
[showmyads] This of course does not mean that we should stop making our lessons as interesting as possible. No! It means that we should give students a chance to learn the verbs in an effective way themselves. That was why I started to learn another foreign language. And I found out that the best method to learn new vocabulary was the one which I call SNOWBALL.
This means that each word gets repeated at least six times and if the student does not know it, it gets repeated more frequently.
And I used this method to teach the irregular verbs. There are 100 most frequent irregular verbs in English and if you do one snowball every day, each irregular verb will get repeated at least 6 times.
As the answers are evaluated by a computer, DO NOT USE CAPITAL letters and divide the words with a comma (no pause after the comma).
Irregular verbs are the most important and at the same time for many students the most difficult part of learning English. These verbs are very common and if students learn them, their English improves radically. But they have to learn them! Therefore, any activity that makes the learning easier and more fun is welcome.
Recently Svetlana Kandybovich published a great game to help children learn irregular verbs. Reading the post I realised that I have been using three games that other teachers might want to use. And thus, I decided to share them.
[showmyads] In this post, there are three games to make the learning of irregular verbs more enjoyable. The first game is crosses and noughts, the second is called Sprint and the third one is Ski Jump.
Irregular verbs games – Crosses and Noughts
Read the list of the irregular verbs with the students to ensure that they pronounce the verbs correctly. Then give them about five minutes to work on their own and learn the irregular verbs from the list.
Five minutes later, ask the students to work in pairs and go through the grid line by line and say the past tense and past participle of the verbs. Stop them after three minutes and tell them to turn the cards with the verbs face down.
Now they play crosses and noughts. The rules are simple. Players take turns, and they draw a cross or a nought (one player draws one symbol all the time). Their aim is to have five symbols in a row. If they achieve this, they win. In this game, however, they can draw their symbol only if they say the past tense and past participle of the verb in the square. If they fail to do this, they have to play somewhere else.
Let the students play for four minutes. If they finish earlier, tell them to play on the other sheet.
Once they finish, students turn the cards with the verbs face up, and take a pen or pencil. Now, they have four minutes to fill in as many columns as possible with the past tenses and past participles of the verbs given. They must not skip any square. If they do not know the verbs, they can have a look at their cards.
Irregular verbs games – Sprint
Now students choose one line each. One starts from the right side and the other from the left. When you say START, students have to say the past tense and past participle of all the verbs on their line. They must not skip any. Their aim is to be quicker than their partner. The winner is the student who gets to the end of their line first. If they do not know any of the verbs, they can have a look into the card.
It is a bit noisy, but it is fun.
Irregular verbs games – Ski Jump
Then ask other students to do the same. Reward the winner.
In my experience, the best are able to get over about 100 points.
In this post, I am going to offer you materials to teach the BREAK and GIVE collocations. This post is different in one aspect, though. This time, I will give you a series of pictures which you can download and combine into your own worksheets.
The advantages of this approach are obvious. You can decide what you are going to teach and what materials you will use. You can throw away the things that do not work for you and add those you like.
[showmyads] To insert the pictures into your worksheet, right click the picture and download it. Then insert it into your document and make it bigger or smaller as you need.
BREAK and GIVE Collocations – infographic
BREAK and GIVE Collocations – Speaking
The other speaking activity is done in pairs too. Students read the questions for their partners and they answer the questions.
BREAK and GIVE Collocations – Exercises
[showmyadsa] The key: give a kiss, break the law, give him a hug, give me a lift, break the record, break her heart, give me advice, give him a hand, give me a smile.
In the second exercise students should complete the sentences with the phrases from the exercise 1.
The key: 1. gave me a smile/gave me a kiss 2. broke the record 3. gave him a hug 4. broke the law 5. gave me advice 6. broke her heart 7. give me a lift 8. gave him a hand
In the third exercise students should match the collocations and the definitions.
The key: 1.C 2.D 3.F 4.A 5.E 6.B
In the fourth exercise students should complete the second sentence with a phrase that has the same meaning as the expression in the first one.
The key: 1. give you a lift 2. gave me a kiss 3. broke her heart 4. give her a ring 5. broken the law 6. break the news to her 7. gave me a hug 8. gave her a smile
BREAK and GIVE Collocations – conclusion
I hope you will find this new format really useful. In this way, you can easily create your own worksheets to teach the collocations with BREAK and GIVE.
To express purpose in English, we use various conjunctions. For example, you can use to, so that, that´s why or for. In this post, you will find several activities which can be used to teach the usage of the conjunctions so that, to and for.
To help you with teaching these conjunctions we offer:
- three games to practise the conjunctions,
- a video based on BBClearningEnglish.com recording
- a simple infographic.
We hope you find these materials useful.
Expressing purpose in English – video
Expressing purpose in English – infographic
The grammar is quite simple:
- FOR has to be followed by a verb ending with -ing
- SO THAT is followed by a subject and a verb
- TO is followed by an infinitive.
Now, it is time to practise what the students learnt.
Expressing purpose in English – games
The second game is called Time guess. Complete the sentence with the correct word (TO, SO THAT and FOR) and then click the stop button when the countdown reaches zero. The closer to zero you get the more points you receive.
[showmyadsa] The third game is called Dice. Your task is to complete the sentences with the words TO, SO THAT and FOR and then click the stop button to get as many points on the dice as possible. If you stop the dice and they show the same number you get a bonus – ten points. Good luck.
Together with Fluency MC we have already published several interesting posts. In our latest post, we tried to help you teach 16 phrases with GET. And this time, there are 16 more. All the phrases come from the song by Fluency MC called GET A LIFE. And as the song contains many more phrases with GET there will be some more posts soon.
[showmyads] In this post, there is the song, an infographic and three games to help you teach the phrases with GET.
Phrases with GET – song
Phrases with GET – infographic
After you teach the pronunciation and the meaning of the phrases, it is useful to give your students about five minutes to learn the phrases on their own.
After this, play the video again (from the beginning to 1:20) and let the students enjoy the fact that they can understand.
Phrases with GET – games
The second game is called Dice. You see a definition and your task is to type the correct phrase. If you succeed, you will see two dice and your task is to stop them. You get as many points as there are points on the dice. If both of the dice show the same number, you will get 10 points bonus. The best scores are saved. Good luck.
After reviewing the book 50 Ways to Teach Grammar, I was contacted by the editor of the series and she offered me a book of my choice for free. I chose the book 50 Ways to Teach Speaking by Janine Sepulveda. Here is a short review of the book.
The book is cheap and short. It costs only $0.99 and it has 16 pages. The activities are briefly and clearly described. Therefore, if you need a quick inspiration, this might be the book for you.
[showmyads] The book is divided into three parts: Tips to Ice Breakers / Warm-ups / Games, Fluency and Focused Practice Activities and Make Activities More Effective. The first two parts contain real activities, but in the last part, there are just some tips how to organise the activities in class.
After reading the book, I have chosen 5 activities which I would like to share with you.
50 Ways to Teach Speaking – sample activities
In the book it is called Guessing Game:
“Ask one student to come to the front of the class and stand with her/his back to the board. Write a word on the board. The rest of the class must give clues to the student until s/he can guess the word (It’s alive; You can’t find one in this country).” (50 Ways to Teach Speaking, page 6)
Another activity which I have successfully used is called Two Truths and a Lie.
Students write two facts about themselves and one lie. They take turns reading their pieces of information. The rest of the class guesses which is the lie. It is a good idea to ask the students to number the sentences and the rest of the class just write the number of the suspected sentence next to the student´s name. Thus the students will really listen to the others.
The third activity is called Describe a Picture. “Divide students in pairs. Each receives a different picture or drawing. One partner describes her/his picture, and the other draws it on a separate piece of paper. The student who is drawing should ask questions to clarify anything that is unclear. Then switch roles. This is good for practicing adjectives, shapes, prepositions, etc.” (50 Ways to Teach Speaking, page 8)
The fourth activity was absolutely new for me, and I would like to try it out in class. It is called 3-Picture Story:
“Put students into small groups. Prepare 3 different pictures: #1 – a picture of some people; #2 – an object or group of objects; #3 – another object or group of objects. Hand out one picture at a time. First, students create a background story about who the people are and how they are connected. Then, with the second picture, they explain how this object is important to the people. With the 3rd picture, they explain why the people dislike or have a negative experience with the object. When they are done, mix up the groups so that there is one member from each original group in the new groups.
They share their stories with their new group. At the end, students can vote on which
story they liked best.” (50 Ways to Teach Speaking, page 10)
[showmyadsa] The last activity, which I think is great, is called Soap Opera. First, watch Que Hora Es? on Youtube. The lines in this short video are from a beginning textbook for learners of Spanish. Then ask the students to work in small groups and prepare such a soap opera using the sentences from their English textbook. It might be a great fun.
50 Ways to Teach Speaking – conclusion
Together with Fluency MC, we have already published several posts. You can find here four posts on irregular verbs and two posts on collocations with the verb HAVE. Fluency MC always comes with a great rap song and I create a mind map and several activities to accompany it. And this time, he came with a song featuring phrases with GET.
[adinserter block=”1″] In this post, there is a wonderful rap song on collocations with the verb GET, two mind maps and three games to give you a chance to teach or learn these.
Phrases with get – song
Phrases with get – mind maps
Once your students feel they know and understand the phrases, it is time to practise their vocabulary.
Phrases with get – games
The first game is called Time Guess. Your task is to write the correct phrase and then stop the countdown at the moment it reaches O (zero). The closer to zero you get the more points you get.
[adinserter block=”2″] The third game is called Guess the Length. Again, write the correct phrases and then guess how long the line on the screen is. The better guess the more points for you.