teaching language chunks

I love the little and unexpected detours that one sometimes takes from the planned lesson that we have in our notebook or/and in mind. I also love the feeling of being totally prepared and very much looking forward to steering off the path and embrace a golden opportunity to: a. bring on a useful expression b. do pronunciation work with it c. create conversation around … Continue reading teaching language chunks

conversation cards

This time I would like to share with you what I call a “vocabulary activation routine”. For starters, it activates vocabulary, as it is meant to revise vocabulary already seen in class in a spaced manner. Also, this isn’t simply “an activity”. It is a routine which is established to provide language practice and activation and to consolidate it. Keep a note of interesting words … Continue reading conversation cards

mini dialogues

One of the keys to successful teaching is the ability to provide ample opportunities for recycling language in varied, original and engaging ways. A substantial number of activities from this blog deal with recycling language. In fact, speaking a language is nothing but reusing language. Here is one activity that you may enjoy trying out to kick off your lesson. Identify interesting bits of language … Continue reading mini dialogues

working with listening transcripts 2

My approach to working with listening, as a skill many language students struggle with -and more especially so students whose primary language is syllable timed (as opposed to stress timed)- has been gradually shifting towards focusing more on the process rather than on the product. In other words, prioritising teaching listening over testing listening. I find that a lot of useful classroom time seems to … Continue reading working with listening transcripts 2

earworm

working with listening transcripts 1

Today I would like to share a couple of ideas on one of the most overlooked -and useful- things we can do in the classroom: working with listening transcripts. They tend to be considered as reference material for the students to check -if anything- at home to, perhaps, look up words they may not know from it. However, they are very useful not just as … Continue reading working with listening transcripts 1

past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)

At which point in a Beginner or even Elementary course do you introduce and teach the past simple? Here’s a guide. It has always bugged me that Beginner textbooks do not introduce the past simple until half way through the book. So it sadly transpires that students will not start using the past simple tense until a few months into their English course. This is … Continue reading past simple for beginners ( a matter of common sense)

songs: fill-in-gaps with a twist

This is one of my favourite song activities ever. It focuses on having a look at relevant vocabulary from a song by means of a dictation (again, with a twist), on having the students mingle and help each other with meaning and then doing your typical fill-in-gaps. Finally you may decide to allow time for some speaking interaction with the target vocabulary. Select 10-15 key … Continue reading songs: fill-in-gaps with a twist