IELTS: Vocabulary activities

24 April 2020

Quiz Night – Call My Bluff

BBC Two - Call My Bluff

This is based on an old British TV show. A team (ideally of three) will be given a word – in the first example, it will be ‘jeopardy’. Each member reads out a definition; depending on the ability of the students, they may be able to embellish, and use intonation to add colour to their presentations. They may also use examples such as ‘Jeopardy, if you have seen a Vietnam war film, you will remember seeing a small, open-top green car. They were used all over Vietnam. These are called, jeopardies. One day, I hope to drive a jeopardy.’

The teacher can adapt this principle to review recent vocabulary.

Team A

Jeopardy

1 In danger, danger of losing or failing

2 A small car used by the army

3 A bird in Australia that can speak fluent English

Contestants

1 People who order food in a restaurant but run away without paying

2 Large vehicles for carrying heavy goods 

3 People who enter a competition, or take part.

Maximum

1 A lady with more than six children

2 The most amount of something

3 A type of sports outfit used in cycling

In the form of

1 Looking like something, in the shape of something

2 Something made of glass or metal

3 Paperwork needed to get a US visa

Team B

Reduce

1 To do something again

2 To make less of something

3 To use glass, plastic, paper again and again

Actual

1 Real, a fact

2 A person who works in theatre or cinema

3 A person who works with a company’s money and finances

Smart

1 A painting of a happy person

2 Very clever or intelligent

3 A small cake made in the UK

except the last one

1 Only the last one

2 Everyone but not the last one

3 To have to start a game over again

Internet Survey

This activity is designed to get the students talking to each other, and encouraging them to elicit more information from their classmates. 

7 tips to prepare Students & Graduates for an online video ...

The questions could be copied onto a sheet, printed out then distributed to the class, so they can walk around and talk to as many people as feasible.

Before the activity, board some key phrases to help:

What did you buy online, which website did you use, how long did it take to arrive ?

Were you happy with the purchase ? Why or why not ?

What websites would you recommend for university work or borrowing books ?

Can you trust Wikipedia …?

Question // Name // Answer

How often do you go online ?
Do you use the internet for work and/or study ? How ?
What social media sites do you use regularly ? How often ?
Have you ever bought or sold anything online ?
What is good about the internet ? What is the worst ?

Desert survival

Lost in the Desert | From the sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam ...

I learnt this at International House, London, as part of the CELTA course, and I use it frequently.

The concept is to introduce phrases and expressions by which students can exchange opinions. Students are placed in small groups and have to decide upon five items. After, they must discuss with other groups their choices. If there are any differences in opinion, the teams must negotiate until the whole class agrees on five items.

First, go through the items, then drill the negotiation phrases.

You need to select five items below to help you survive in the desert.

Factors to consider:

food, drink, heat, cold, injuries, attracting attention, wildlife

First aid kit // matches // rope // knife // compass 

cigarettes // blankets // barrel of water

flare gun // torch

magnifying glass // Beatles CD // make-up set // dried food 

English grammar study book

Angry Birds game // air rifle // sun block

Negotiation language

I see your point but … that’s interesting, however …

I’m not sure about that //  I can’t go along with that 

I don’t feel that is entirely right // I fail to see the merits of …

I respectfully disagree // I find your contention somewhat flawed

Your case (argument) is not without value, but …

Have you fully considered the implications of your decision ?

Adult Class, Level 3: Games without frontiers

27th November 2019 AEF 7A pp. 64 – 65

Tonight I’m covering a new class so I don’t know the ability of the class, their motivation, nor their willingness to talk English. There is a lot of book work but, to cover myself, I’ve prepared a list of activities to help get the students involved and producing English.

Hence, a compilation of adult activities:

First up – Family Fortunes

This seems to be a small class, maybe just seven students. Rather than ask them for introductions, we’ll jump straight into a game. Class divided into smaller groups and given a writing board and marker. I ask a question and then want four answers. Points for each answer that matches mine. Questions can include:

Not counting Sai Gon, I have been to four places in Viet Nam … which four ?

My four favourite things to eat in VN // Four things I LOVE about VN // Four things I HATE ! // Four instruments I can play (it’s a game, not the actual truth) // Four types of film that I like // Name four cities in Europe // Which four languages can I speak //

Moving on …

Mobile phone survey:

One of many online review posts

The students will be arranged in small groups. One member will be responsible for gathering the information, then reporting back to me.

Next up – a new persona.

Related image

Students are put into two or three groups, with each member given a card with some information about their new identity. They read the information to the group, who have to try to understand and write down details such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook accounts. Example:

Hello, my name is Tony

I’m 23 and I love shopping for shirts and ties.

I’m not into reading or books. I find them boring.

My mobile number is 0943 552 8207 

It’s highly probable the other students will need to hear some of the information again, so they can use the following:

I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your phone number (email address etc)

Could you repeat that, please ?

Could you spell that, please ?

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

Putting students into small groups helps to take the pressure off the students, as they speak to a limited number of classmates, not alone and in front of the whole class. this is highly effective in motivating shy and quiet class.

No rest for the wicked … Call My Bluff

Image result for call my bluff

Class divided into small teams. Each team reads out a low-frequency word, followed by three definitions (hopefully, they will be able to embellish and add some of their own ideas). The opposing team has to review the three definitions, maybe ask for examples in a sentence, and then decide which definition is correct. Example:

jeopardy

  1. In danger, in danger of losing or failing (noun)
  2. A small car used by the army (noun)
  3. A bird in Australia that can speak fluent English (noun)

contestants

  1. People who order food in a restaurant but run away without paying (noun)
  2. A large vehicle for carrying heavy things (noun)
  3. People who enter (take part in) a competition (noun)

Others words include: maximum // in the form of //reduce // actual // smart // except the last one // obnoxious // broadsheet // charismatic // convinced // stain

Just a Minute

Students are put in pairs. They have to speak for one minute on a subject without hesitating, repeating or deviating (speaking about a different subject). This will test the students’ ability to speak fluently, as well as giving opportunities for using discourse markers and new vocabulary learnt so far. Subject are deliberately open, for example:

food // travel // work or study // life in Sai Gon // their family // their house.

Viet Nam presentation – where should I go on holiday ?

Three teams, representing Ha Noi, Hue and Nha Trang. 

Image result for ha noi
Image result for hue postcard
Image result for nha trang postcard

This exercise encourages team work and, furthermore, allows the students to develop their intonation skills; they will have to sound excited and optimistic.

To assist, here are some words and phrases to embellish their speech:

cultural centre // historical importance // breathe-taking scenery // tranquil // relaxing // hustle and bustle // mouth-watering food // never to be forgotten //unforgettable // once in a lifetime experience.

To give some help, I can perform a quick example:

Image result for london postcard

COME TO LONDON, UK’s magnificent capital city and one of the world’s GREAT cities.

SEE such iconic, historical sights such as:

Buckingham Palace, home of our Queen, Tower Bridge over the Thames river.

Visit the world-famous British Museum to see the wonders of the world, or watch a football match at Wembley Stadium, in the country that invented the sport.

There is something for everyone:

Shops; you can buy everything here, to suit all budgets, from street markets to high-end department stores. To relax, London has so many tranquil parks, right in the centre of the city. Maybe see famous movie stars at one of London’s many, beautiful theatres, or dine out at restaurants cooking traditional British food or anything from anywhere.

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn for more information

🙂

Special discount 10% for my students 

Desert Survival

Image result for the desert

A plane crashes in the desert. No one is hurt, but they cannot stay by the plane. They need to be rescued and to stay alive. The plane has a lot of items but they can only select FIVE:

first aid kit // matches // rope // knife // compass // cigarettes // blankets // barrel of water // flare gun // torch (flashlight) // magnifying glass // Beatles CD // dried food // make-up set // Angry Birds game // air rifle // sun cream (sun block) // English grammar book

Image result for flare gun
Image result for first aid kit
Image result for beatles CD

Factors to consider: food, drink, heat, cold, attracting attention, wildlife

Class put into teams and each team must choose their five items. After, they must compare their selection with the other team(s) and argue their reasons. Here we can practice negotiation language:

I see your point, however I disagree because …

That’s interesting, however …

I respectfully disagree

I’m not sure about that

I don’t feel that is entirely right …

Class interact and practice agreeing, disagreeing and making convincing arguments.

Friends

Here I show five pictures of men or women. Students, just by appearance, have to guess the personality and occupation of my friends.

Image result for business man headshot
Image result for DJheadshot
Image result for angry bouncer
Related image
Image result for crazy man

This is a good way to teach new adjectives and jobs … and, in case you’re wondering, their jobs are: unemployed (looking for a job so is sending out CVs) // DJ // Actor // self-employed plumber and … doctor (photo taken on holiday).