I have been listening to Sting’s last album 44/876 quite a lot recently and there are two songs that have particularly called my attention as an English teacher/teacher trainer/materials writer. The first one is Crooked Tree, for which I wrote a blog post last week dealing with co-hyponyms and how that song presents itself well for exploiting them and exploring the topic area of crime … Continue reading connotation in songs
This speaking activity gets students to make choices, take sides and use arguments and counter arguments to support their ideas. This is how it goes: Think of controvesial issues for debate in the classroom. For instance, “eating meat is wrong”. Do not disclose this topic but write “eating meat is …” on the board instead. Ask the students to come up to the board and … Continue reading taking sides
Reading passages in the language classroom are primarily used to have students understand the texts as a whole, to have them look for specific pieces of information or to introduce new language in context. I also like to take advantage of reading passages to let students discover facts and reasons and share them with peers by means of splitting the text into two halves and … Continue reading reading frenzy 1
Today I would like to share a zero preparation activity that you can use as a warmer or to introduce a new discussion topic or a new unit from your adopted textbook series. Let’s take a look at this unit as an example. The focal vocabulary area in the first section (6.1. Have you ever been to Florida) centers around leisure time and activities. English … Continue reading 5 reasons
When engaging our students in speaking activities we can move from general to specific or from specific to general. Ideally, the latter is a much more productive strategy. For instance, we can ask the students: What’s your favourite food? (from general to specific) …or… Have a look at these photos (an orange, a hamburger, a chili pepper, an ice cream). Tell any five people in … Continue reading speaking: from specific to general
This activity gets your students engaged in building collective stories around focal vocabulary from a reading passage. I will be using this text, which presents itself rather well for this type of activity as an example. Out and About level 1, Cambridge University Press. Free sample from publisher here. The students are asked to read and listen to the lyrics. The highlighted words are in … Continue reading the dream
This is a very curious question that will surely prompt interest and participation amongst your learners. You may use this as an icebreaker to kick off your lesson or as part of a more elaborate plan by introducing useful expressions for the task. Ask your class if they have ever met a famous person. Then ask them if they ever exchanged any words with them. … Continue reading who’s the most famous person on your phone?