Reported Questions – learn this grammar
Reported Questions – learn this grammar

Reported speech is not easy but when it comes to reported questions students go mad. “There are so many rules to apply,” they whimper. “First, you have to change the question into an announcement and then you have to shift the tenses.” That was why I tried to simplify this procedure.

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In this post, you will find an infographic which simplifies reporting questions and then there is a worksheet with three exercises, where your students can practise this grammar.
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Reported questions – infographic

Display the infographic below and explain how it works.

The first two columns are important. The third and the fourth columns contain just examples.

If the students are asked to report a question, they start with the green column. Their first task is to find and destroy the words in this column. They look at the question they should report and search for one of the words. Once they find it, they destroy it and move to the right. They place the appropriate word from the orange column behind the subject and they are done.

They might need to make one more step, though. If the question does not start with a WH… word, they have to add IF or WHETHER at the beginning of the question.

reported-questions-web

Reported questions – worksheet

Print the following worksheet for your students. The pdf file contains the exercises and the key.

Reported questions worksheet

In the first exercise, students match the reported questions with the direct questions.

In the second exercise, students should report the questions.

In the third exercise, students transform the reported questions into direct questions.

More materials

If you liked this post, you may like two more posts on reported speech which I created. The first one is called Reported speech Backshifting and the other is called Reported speech.

Used to, Get used to and Be used to
Used to, Get used to and Be used to

Recently one of my readers asked me to write a post on USED TO, GET USED TO and BE USED TO. He wanted a clear infographic and some exercises to practise the grammar. So I did exactly that. I created an infographic, an online quiz and a simple worksheet to help you learn these phrases.

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Infographic

The following infographic tries to explain the difference and usage of these phrases:

Get used to, be used to and used to phrases

Phrases BE USED TO and GET USED TO are followed by the gerund (-ing form) while USED TO is followed by an infinitive. BE USED TO and GET USED TO mean to be/get accustomed to. BE USED TO describes a state and GET USED TO describes a change in state.

USED TO is used to speak about repeated actions or states in the past which usually are not true any more.

QUIZ

To practise the grammar, try the following online quiz. Choose the correct answers and click them. Then you can see how well you understand the grammar.

You can share your results on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

If you prefer using a paper worksheet, here is one which you can use.

Used to worksheet facebook www.engames.eu
In the first activity, your students should read the sentences and tick the ones that are grammatically correct. In the second exercise, students should fill in the verbs in the correct form.
You can download the pdf file with the worksheet here:

USED TO WORKSHEET

I hope you find these materials useful and that you will use them in your classes. If you are looking only for some materials to teach only USED TO for past actions, you can try our post on this grammar here. Moreover, you can find more activities to practise the grammar in our post USED TO additional grammar activities here.

Fifty most frequent irregular verbs
Fifty most frequent irregular verbs

I can see what you think. Irregular verbs again? You must be joking!!!

I know. I have already published many posts on irregular verbs. For example:

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  1. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC
  2. Irregular verbs rhymes
  3. Irregular verbs straightforward

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But let´s be honest. None of them proved to be the miracle solution which would make my students learn all the verbs.

In fact, after all those years of teaching, I have come to a conclusion that there is just one way to ensure that students learn something. They have to LEARN it. I, as a teacher, can motivate, explain and navigate, but only the students can learn.

And that is why I decided to write this post. Here, I would like to share with you a simple vocabulary trainer which will help your students learn the past tense of 50 irregular verbs in English. If they learn these fifty (in fact there are 52, but fifty sounds so much better 🙂 ) they will understand 87% of all occurrences of all irregular verbs in English.

Needs analysis

To know the irregular verbs, students need to learn the following. They need to memorize the meaning of the verb, the infinitive and the past tense of each verb. The easiest and quickest known way to do this are word lists and flashcards. If you doubt my words, have a look at anything written by Paul Nation.

However, as we live in the twenty-first century, paper is not something that our student would be fond of. Especially teenagers seem to be allergic to it. But they never fail to have their mobile on them. Thus, if we could get into their mobiles, they might start learning.

Thinking along these lines I decided to make a mobile app that would work a bit like the flashcards, and which would provide the meaning, the infinitive and the past tense of the verb. Moreover, if the students finish the game, they will meet each verb between six and eighteen times which should ensure they remember them.

You can see the app below:

Learn 50 Irregular verbs – full screen

And you can download the app here:
Learn 50 irregular verbs – App store Irregular verbs past tense – Italian version

Irregular Verbs – Invitation to collaborate

As you can see, the application is perfect for Czech students but not of much use for anyone else. That is why I would like to ask you for help. Could you translate the past tense of the 50 irregular verbs and send them to me? If you do, I will publish the app place a link here and your students will be able to use this app too.

The app will be free and there will be a web version too.
You can download the word file here.

Irregular verbs past tense

Please, send the resulting file to my email rotreklzdenek@gmail.com. Thanks.

Reported speech – backshifting
Reported speech – backshifting

Reported speech is often considered very difficult. Students fear the backshifting of the tenses, because they often do not know the tenses very well. If they struggle with the formation of the past tense, you cannot expect them to recognize it and backshift it to the past perfect tense. To avoid all this hassle I came up with a simple system to help students with the backshifting in reported speech.

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In this system students do not worry about the names of the tenses. They just learn a few key words and their reported counterparts, and then they are able to form the reported speech correctly.

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In this post you will find an infographic and several exercises to practise the rules outlined here.

Infographic

The following infographic shows the most frequent backshifting changes in reported speech.
reported-speech-web
If students see the word IS in direct speech, they should use WAS in the reported speech. Similarly, if they see COULD in the reported speech, they know that CAN is in the direct speech.

Remember to inform the students that reported speech is used after phrases like SHE SAID, HE TOLD ME, THEY INFORMED ME, etc. In other words, after the past tense of a verb that means to give information.

Exercises

In this part there is a worksheet for your students to use to practise the grammar.

Reported speech worksheet

You can print the worksheet with the exercises here.

Reported speech worksheet

In the first exercise, students should write the verb that will appear in reported speech.

In the second exercise, students complete the sentences with the correct options. All the sentences in this exercise are examples of reported speech.

In the third exercise, students should transform the sentences from exercise 2 into direct speech.

In the last exercise, students transform the direct speech into reported speech.

Present tenses – using keywords
Present tenses – using keywords

Keywords are the easiest way for students to know which present tense they should use. If the students know them, they are more likely to choose correctly which present tense they should use in the given sentence. Moreover, once they remember and understand the keywords, they might be able to form the underlining grammar concept in their brains.

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In this post, I offer the following:

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Keywords – infographic

Display or print the following infographic for your students.

present-tenses-keywords-web infographic

Explain, that the easiest way to use the correct tense is to look for keywords. Once they find any of the words in the boxes, they choose the correct tense – present simple or continuous.

Mention that the colours show where the word usually goes in the sentence. Words in light blue squares come at the beginning of a sentence. Light green words come after the subject and the words in the dark blue squares come at the end of a sentence. This of course isn´t true in 100% of cases. Sometimes the words can appear in a different position.

You can print the full size image here:

Keywords infographic

Exercises

Print the following exercises to practise the grammar and concept:

Present tenses exercises

You can print the pdf file here.

Present tenses keywords – worksheet
Once you have finished your explanation, ask the students to do the first exercise. Students read the sentences and circle the keywords and underline the verbs. They use the red colour for the present continuous tense and blue for the present simple.

In the second exercise, students complete the sentences with the keywords.

In the third exercise, students put the verbs in the correct tense.

Pedagogical tips

Once you finish the exercises, I suggest that you ask the students to learn the keywords by heart. It might seem a bit harsh, but to be able to use the foreign language, you have to know the words by heart. First ask them to learn the words for the present simple tense only!!!

Even though textbooks give both of the tenses the same amount of attention, in reality the present simple tense is between 5 and 20 times more frequent than the present continuous tense. Thus, if the students are not sure, they should use the present simple tense.

Dates – great activities to teach dates in English
Dates – great activities to teach dates in English

It is very important for students to be able to say and understand dates in English. For example if our students deal with someone about a deadline, they need to be sure what date is being talked about. In business, missing the deadline can have dire consequences. Therefore, dates are extremely important for the students to learn.

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I have already published some materials on this topic. There is a post on dates here. But as I was not really happy with my students´ progress in this area, I created several new materials and I was pleased to see how well they worked in my classes. That is why I will share them here and I hope they will be as successful in your classes as they were in mine.

Dates – months

To be able to form dates, students have to know the months.
I always start with the following song by British Council:

Time for another year – song

Ordinal numbers

Another thing your students need to know before they can form the dates, are the ordinal numbers. Display the following infographic. Explain that the students have to learn the numbers 1-3 by heart. Then explain that it is enough to add the ending -th. However, they have to be careful with the spelling of the numbers in the green field. Numbers above 20 are explained in the last field.

Ordinal numbers adaptive learning

Play the following video and ask the students to repeat the numbers.

Dates – infographic

Once the students know the months and the ordinal numbers, it is time to teach them how to form the dates. Display the following infographic:

Dates infographic engames.eu

Explain that in English there are two ways to say a date. You can use either the way displayed on the left, where you start from the centre and move outside. Thus the resulting date is THE ORDINAL NUMBER OF MONTH.

Or they can choose the other way of saying the date. It is depicted on the right and students start from the outside and move to the centre. The resulting phrase then is MONTH THE ORDINAL NUMBER.

Bingo

First, try the following dictation. Students listen and write the dates they hear. The correct results are displayed at the end of the video. If you see that your students struggle, it is a good idea to play the video twice and pause the recording after each date.

I found out that Bingo is a great way to practise dates. Print the following worksheet and cut it into cards. Give each student a card. Explain the rules and set the winning combination. I usually say that the winner needs two columns. Then you call one of the students and he or she says a date from their card. Then you call another and so on.

Dates bingo game
Pronunciation of the Schwa Sound
Pronunciation of the Schwa Sound

The schwa sound is the most frequent sound in English. It appears in nearly every word, therefore, it is of paramount importance that students can hear and produce this sound correctly. To help them I have prepared this post. You will find several exercises to help your students produce and hear the schwa sound.

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Schwa Sound – video

At the beginning of the lesson, play the following video by BBC Learning English. The formation of the sound is explained and demonstrated here. Moreover, you can practise the sound too.

Display the following picture and explain the position of the tongue and lips. The lips are opened but not too much and the tongue is relaxed in its natural position.
Give your students a chance to produce the sound.

Schwa sound picture

Schwa – listening

Here you can find a series of exercises to tune your learners´ ears to the sound. In the first exercise, students listen and count how many schwa sounds they hear.

In the second exercise, students listen and write the sentences they hear.

Schwa sound – speaking

Print the following exercise. Students fold the paper in the middle and they underline the places where they expect the schwa sound. Then play the recording and ask the students to check their answers. In the end, the students open the worksheet and check their answers.

Schwa sound worksheet

The recording of the story is here:

Then ask the students to read the text aloud and check that they use the schwa sound.

I hope you find this post useful. If you would like to see more of our pronunciation posts, go to the voiceless TH sound over here.

Short adjectives – comparatives and superlatives
Short adjectives – comparatives and superlatives

In his latest video Fluency MC teaches comparatives and superlatives. He uses about forty different adjectives and raps them in the comparative and superlative form. The song is catchy and the grammar very important. Jason was kind enough to allow me to write some teaching materials to go with the song. In this post you will find the song, an infographic explaining the grammar, and a classroom activity.

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Fluency MC and I have already produced a lot of material together. For example, there are four posts on irregular verbs and two posts on collocations with HAVE. You can find a list of all the posts at the end of this text.

Students can get a free copy of the Fluency MC YouTube lyrics book and a free sample of his online course here: http://fluencymc.com/starter-course/ Teachers can get a free copy of the the first unit of his song and video activity book here: http://fluencymc.com/teacher-activity-book-and-media-pack/

Short Adjectives – song

Play the song at the beginning of the lesson. You could ask your students to write all the adjectives they hear. Students write only the basic forms.

Hand out the following worksheet and ask the students to check their answers. All the adjectives from the song are in the worksheet, in the order in which they are heard.

Adjectives Worksheet

Short adjectives – infographic

Explain that Jason uses only the short adjectives in his songs. These adjectives have just one syllable and thus the following rules apply:

Comparatives and superlatives pyramid by engames.eu

You can download the pdf file here:
Comparatives and superlatives – pdf file

Explain the rules, and then ask the students to take the list of adjectives they wrote during the song and write their comparative and superlative forms. Once they finish they can check their answers using the worksheet they received at the beginning of the lesson.

Superlatives and comparatives – video

Explain the meaning of the superlative and comparative forms. We use the comparative if we compare two things. If we compare three or more things and want to say which one comes at the top, we use the superlative.

Once the students understand the meaning, play the following video. In this video, students look at the pictures and then answer the questions.

Check to see who was the best FBI agent.

Posts with Fluency MC

  1. Irregular verbs 1
  2. Irregular verbs 2
  3. Irregular verbs 3
  4. Irregular verbs 4
  5. Collocations with HAVE 1
  6. Collocations with HAVE 2
  7. Phrasal verbs
  8. Phrases with GET 1
  9. Phrases with GET 2
Basic Greetings in English
Basic Greetings in English

Greetings are one of the topics teachers have to teach every year. They are introduced early on in every textbook and it is really nice if your students can produce some language from the very beginning. It is usually the first function students learn in English.

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Surprisingly, greetings are not easy for students. As they are usual presented in a lexical set (you can see why this is a problem here), students often confuse them and very often they stick to HELLO and forget all the others.

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Moreover, as the greetings are considered easy, there are not many teaching materials which would help us teach these greetings. That is why I created a set of activities that might help you. First, there is a simple song with all the greetings. Second, there is an infographic with all the greetings and several exercises to help your students learn the words.

Greetings – song

I have to teach the same greetings every year. However, when I searched the internet for a song which would contain all the greetings I was out of luck. Either the songs did not contain all the necessary greetings or they were too complicated. So in the end, I decided to write the lyrics myself and mikeyshynemusic wrote the music.

And you can hear the result here:

There are two things you can do with the song. You can ask your students to listen and sing along or you can ask them to listen and complete the lyrics of the song.

Lyrics worksheet

Greetings – infographic

In the following infographic, there are all the greetings students have to learn in this lesson.

Greetings infographic

It is a good idea to go through the greetings with your students and teach the correct pronunciation and meaning of each of the greetings.

Greetings – games

It is time to practise the greetings and learn them. The first game is in HTML 5 and it will play on any mobile device you use. It is a simple crossword. Click on any square and at the top of the crossword there will appear a clue. Then just type your answer. You can print out the crossword too and then solve it on a paper. It is up to you:

Greetings – Crossword

The other two games are in Flash and therefore they will play just on your desktop. The first one is called Teacher invaders and you have to answer all the questions with the correct greeting and then shoot all the invaders. Good luck.

Greetings – Teacher Invaders

The second game is called Half a minute and it is suitable for classes with an interactive whiteboard. When you start the game there will appear the jumbled greeting and students have to write it on their paper and then one of them can type it into the computer. However, you have to do this in 30 seconds. Have a good fun with it.

Greetings – Half a minute
Thematic vocabulary – BED
Thematic vocabulary – BED

Thematic vocabulary sets are the best way to learn vocabulary. The research shows that students learn these sets much more quickly than semantic sets. Moreover, they remember the words much longer and they confuse them less. Even our poll has showed that 100% of teachers consider these sets very useful.

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These thematic sets are difficult to find. If you search the internet, you will find only a few thematic sets and none of these are suitable for teaching. That was why we started to prepare materials with thematic sets which could be taken and used for teaching. You can find our first thematic set for birthday here. And this time we offer you the BED set.

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[showmyads] In this post you will find an infographic with example sentences and an exercise to practise the vocabulary.

Thematic set BED – infographic

All the words in the BED set were chosen in the following way. There can be only two words which are the same part of speech to minimize the possibility that students will confuse the words. Therefore, there are only two nouns, two verbs and two adjectives. These words are then organised into a mind map and their meaning is clearly illustrated.

Under the mind map you can find example sentences. It might be a good idea to read the sentences with your students aloud to practise the pronunciation.

Next to the example sentences, there are the same sentences but this time the key words are replaced with a picture. Your students should read the sentences aloud and you check their answers in the first column or the mind map.

BED infographic

If you want to print the infographic above, download the following pdf file and print it.

Bed infographic pdf
Thematic vocabulary – Birthday
Thematic vocabulary – Birthday

In the issue 105 of English Teaching Professional there is a wonderful article by Chris Payne. It is called Plan V and it deals with vocabulary teaching. Chris explains that teachers should teach vocabulary every lesson, they should teach high frequency words and they should not teach semantic sets. He supports his arguments with research and the whole text is really worth reading.

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For me, the most important idea to teach thematic sets instead of semantic sets. Research shows that it takes much longer to learn words in semantic sets than it takes to learn unrelated vocabulary items. However, “it was found that grouping words according to a theme, so long as they belong to a different class, can aid retention and enhance learning…” (Chris Payne, English teaching professional issue 105). Therefore, teachers should teach thematic sets instead of semantic sets.
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[showmyads] What is the difference between a semantic and thematic set? An example of a semantic set is for example the category clothes. Words like jumper, skirt, shirt, trousers, gloves, T-shirt etc. create a semantic set. A thematic set are the words used for a given theme. Thus a thematic set for a frog, consists of words swim, green, hop, pond, croak and slippery. And these thematic sets are much easier to learn.

However, if you start to search the internet, you will find that these thematic sets are very difficult to find. That is why I would like to create and publish several such sets here.

Birthday

All the words in the Birthday set were chosen in the following way. There can be only two words which are the same part of speech. Therefore, there are only two nouns, two verbs and two adjectives. These words are then organised into a mind map and their meaning is illustrated.

Under the mind map you can find example sentences. It might be a good idea to read the sentences with your students aloud to practise the pronunciation.

Birthday presentation web

On the second page, there are two exercises for the students to practise the vocabulary. In the first task, students read the sentences and complete them with the words from the mind map.

In the second exercise, students should read the sentences aloud, replacing the pictures with the appropriate words.

Birthday worksheet web

You can download the pdf file with the worksheets here:
Pdf worksheet

Do you think these thematic sets are useful? Vote here:

Do you think these thematic sets are useful?

Dictation for learners of English
Dictation for learners of English

Dictation is one of the best listening activities. To be able to write what you hear, you have to understand it and know the words. Once you can divide the stream of sounds into separate words, then you can understand it. And as dictation makes you do this, it is the best way to improve your listening skills.

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In this post there are three dictations. The first dictation is for elementary students, the second is for lower-intermediate and intermediate students and the third one is the most difficult. These exercises should be used to practice listening at home or on students mobile phones.

Moreover, each exercise is offered as an MP3 recording where each sentence is repeated three times. You can use these recordings at school for your students to practice their listening.

Elementary

Students can practise their listening in the following online quiz.

Dictation quiz

If you want to use the exercise at school here you can play the recording for elementary students. At the end of the exercise there are all the sentences written and your students can check their answers on IWB.

Pre-intermediate dictation

Pre-intermediate students can practise their listening in the following online quiz.

Dictation Quiz

If you want to use the exercise at school here you can play the recording for Pre-intermediate students. At the end of the exercise there are all the sentences written and your students can check their answers on IWB.

Intermediate

Intermediate students can practise their listening in the following online quiz.

Dictation Quiz

If you want to use the exercise at school here you can play the recording for intermediate students. At the end of the exercise there are all the sentences written and your students can check their answers on IWB.

Irregular Verbs – Board Game
Irregular Verbs – Board Game

Irregular verbs in English are very important for students to learn. These verbs belong among the most frequent words in English and if you want to speak about your experience you cannot do without them. Therefore it is extremely important to give a lot of time to teaching and learning these verbs.

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To make the learning easier, teachers should offer interesting and fun activities. At www.engames.eu you can find a lot of activities to teach the irregular verbs. For example:

  1. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC
  2. Irregular verbs rhymes
  3. Irregular verbs straightforward

All of the activities above will make teaching and learning the irregular verbs easier.

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I have already published many activities but this time I come with something new.A board game. The game is called Catch me!(if you can). The rules are simple and the preparation time is low. The game is fun and students have to produce all the irregular verbs.

Catch me!! – resources

To play this game, you need to print the game and the key for each group of students.

irregular verbs board game

Moreover, you need the key:
Irregular verbs board game – key

And you can print the game from the pdf file.
Irregular verbs – board game

Irregular verbs board game – rules

This game is for up to five players. To play the game, each student needs a counter. Each group needs the game and a key.

Each player places their counter on one of the coloured squares. If there are just two players they place their counters on the pink squares. If there are three players they place their counters on the blue squares and when there are 4 players, they place their counters on the blue squares. If there are five players, one of the players is a referee.

Students decide who will start. The last player takes the key and serves as a referee for the first move.

The player one moves counterclockwise and he/she has to say the past tense and the past participle of the verb in the square in front of him. If he or she does this correctly (the referee decides), he/she moves to this square. The player goes on like this till he/she makes a mistake. Once they make a mistake, the referee tells the player the correct answers and the player stops on the square in front of the square with the verb he/she did not know.

Player one now takes the key and player two tries to move on in the same way. Players take turns after they make a mistake.
The aim of the game is to catch the others. Once a player gets to a square someone is standing on, they catch the player and take them out of the game.
You can change the aim and say that the winner is the student who returns to the square where they started first.

Irregular verbs – other resources

You can find more interesting activities at British Council site.

And of course there is the wonderful song by my friend Jason.

Online Quizzes to Practise Present Simple
Online Quizzes to Practise Present Simple

In this post I would like to share 7 online quizzes to practise the present simple tense. All the quizzes are in HTML 5, so you or your students can play them on their mobile phones. Moreover, if you have a website or a wordpress site, you can easily enter these exercise there by copying the code under the quizzes.

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Present simple – affirmative

In the first two quizzes, students can practise forming the affirmative statements in the present simple tense. In the first quiz they have to put the verb into the correct form.

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Present tense affirmative

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple affirmative (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

In the second quiz, students test their knowledge of the third person singular.

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Third person affirmative

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple affirmative third person (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

Present simple – Negative sentences

In the following quiz, students are asked to make the sentences negative.

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Present simple negatives

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple negative (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

Present simple – Questions

In the following quiz, students practise forming questions in the present simple tense.

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Questions in the present simple tense

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple questions (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

In the fifth quiz, students can test their knowledge of the short answers in the present simple tense:

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Questions and short answers in the present simple tense

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple questions (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

Present tense – Revision

To revise everything students have learnt about the present simple tense, there are two quizzes to do this.
In the first one, students have to tick all the sentences, that are grammatically correct.


To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Choose the correct sentences

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple choose correct (Web)/index.html"></iframe>

And in the last exercise, students try to choose the correct answer for each gap.

To play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below:

Present tenses revision

To put this quiz on your website or wordpress site, just copy the following code:

<iframe width="710" height="480" src="https://engames.eu/Present simple/Quizzes/Present simple questions and affirmative (Web)/index.html"></iframe>
Forming questions and answers in the present simple tense
Forming questions and answers in the present simple tense

In this post, I would like to share the best activities I know to teach questions in the present simple tense. The aim of these fun activities is to help your students form the YES/NO questions and short answers correctly. I have used all these activities in my classes and they worked very well.

(more…)

In this post, I would like to share the best activities I know to teach questions in the present simple tense. The aim of these fun activities is to help your students form the YES/NO questions and short answers correctly. I have used all these activities in my classes and they worked very well.

(more…)
Speed Reading – Mobile phone app
Speed Reading – Mobile phone app

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Recently I published a post on Speed Reading. The post contains a game which you can play on your computer. However, most of my students have a smart phone but no internet connection. Therefore, it is much more effective to make a mobile phone app. Students just download it and use it all the time.

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That is why I tested the speed reading game and published it as a mobile phone app. The application is free and there are no adverts inside. You can download it here .

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Speed Reading App – Instructions

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Click the Play button and choose the level you want to read. Click the level and then click Play button again. You will see a text.

Read the text as quickly as possible and then click the FINISH button.

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Read the statements (you do not have to hurry now), and decide whether the statements are true or false.

Your score is the number of words you can read per minute. Be careful, the speed goes down if you make mistakes in the comprehension questions.

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Speed Reading App – Reset

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If you want to reset the levels, it is enough to click the Setting Button at the top of the screen.

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Then click the Lock on the right side of the screen. By clicking the icon you  can start from Level 1 and all your scores and Trophies will be set to 0.

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Difficult and hard synonyms
Difficult and hard synonyms

In English there are many words which have the same or very similar meaning. Words that have the similar meaning are called synonyms. In this post, I am going to present synonyms for the words DIFFICULT and HARD.
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In this post, there are two quizzes to practise the new vocabulary and an infographic explaining the meaning of the words.

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Difficult and Hard – infographic


The words DIFFICULT and HARD have a similar meaning and you can use the word HARD instead of DIFFICULT nearly all the time (BUT you cannot use DIFFICULT instead of HARD!!!) However, in English there are many other words which are used instead of the word DIFFICULT. You can see them in the infographic below. The meaning of each word is explained and the usage is demonstrated in a sentence.

Synonyms for difficult and Hard infographic

To display the image on the full screen, right-click the picture and open it in a new window. You can print the image then, too.

DIFFICULT and HARD – Quiz


You can test your knowledge of the vocabulary in the following two quizzes. The first quiz consists of three parts. In the first part, you should unjumble the words and type them. In the second part, you have to choose the correct definition for each word. In the third part, you have to complete the sentences with the right words. The quiz is in HTML5, so it will play on all desktops and mobile devices.

Difficult and Hard – quiz

The first quiz serves as a way to practise the vocabulary. The second quiz is different. At the end, you will be asked to supply your name and your result will be displayed in a leaderboard.

The quiz consists of two parts. In the first part, you see a definition and you have to type the correct word. In the second part, you see a sentence and you have to type the missing word. Good luck and share your results please.

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Speed reading for elementary students
Speed reading for elementary students

Speed reading activities are very important for learners of English. By trying to read quickly, they develop their comprehension and fluency in reading in a foreign language. Thus they improve their knowledge of English.

The problem with speed reading activities is, that they are not for elementary students of English. The texts mostly aim at advanced or intermediate students. To fill this gap, I created a speed reading application and filled it with texts for elementary learners of English.

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Speed reading – application


Here is the speed reading application. Choose a level and read the text as quickly as possible. When you finish, click the FINISH button and then decide whether the statements are TRUE or FALSE. The final score is your speed. The speed is given in number of words per minute. Thus if you see SCORE 215, it means that your read 215 words per minute.

You can play the game on the full screen here:
Speed reading for elementary students

This is the beta version of the speed reading application. If you spot a mistake or it works badly, please leave a comment and inform us. Your comments are very important, because I would like to publish this for mobile phones and it is nearly impossible to correct the bugs then.

I hope you will find this application useful.

Share your results in the comments, so you can compare with other students of English. If you get over 200 it is very good and you will get three stars.

Phrasal verbs with Fluency MC
Phrasal verbs with Fluency MC

A few years ago Jason better known as Fluency MC, came up with a rap song and a video. In this video he teaches ten phrasal verbs. And as I like the video very much and I think it is really useful, I decided to create a post using the video.

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In this post you will find the rap song, an infographic and a game to practise and learn the phrasal verbs.

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Phrasal verbs – video


Play the following video for your students and let them sing along.

If you want to set a task for your students to do during the video, here are two suggestions:

a) Ask your students to write down all the phrasal verbs they hear.
b) Ask your students to count the number of phrasal verbs they hear.

Phrasal verbs with Fluency MC – infographic


Having watched the video, it is time to learn the phrasal verbs. Display the following infographic for your students:

phrasal verbs with fluency MC web

You can download the pdf file here:
Infographic pdf file

If you teach a monolingual group and you speak their language, elicit the translations of the phrasal verbs.

If you cannot translate the words, ask the students to demonstrate the meanings.

All the verbs in the video are easy to demonstrate, therefore once your students finish studying the verbs, practise them using TPT. First, say the phrasal verb in English and students have to demonstrate it. Second, demonstrate and students have to say the phrasal verb in English.

Phrasal verbs with Fluency MC – game


The game is called Darts Quiz Game. Your task is to type the correct answer – the appropriate phrasal verb – and then stop the dart in such a place to get as many points as possible. You can buy and edit the game here.

Phrasal verbs – darts game

More posts

Together with Fluency MC we have published quite a lot of posts already. You can see them here:

  1. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC
  2. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC 2
  3. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC 3
  4. Irregular verbs with Fluency MC 4
  5. Phrases with GET
  6. Phrases with GET 2

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Phrasal verbs II
Phrasal verbs II

Yesterday I published a post in which I taught 16 phrasal verbs which belong among the 50 most frequent phrasal verbs in English. In this post I am going to introduce 10 more phrasal verb which belong into the same category.

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