Objectives: encourage team work, and the completion of a small project by collecting information. Class arranged in four team, named after one of the above countries. They have to fill out a form such as this:
Famous for …
BONUS: can they count to ‘3’ in that language (for Canada we shall use French) ?
Korean uses two systems, Sino-Korean & Pure; the above version is the Pure system. What’s interesting for me, as a student of linguistics, is the similarity between some Sino-Korean numbers, and those of Thai, namely 3, 4, 9 & 10. take a look:
Teams will be given a variety of tasks (especially reviewing weaker areas, such as writing). Successful completion will result in one member of the team coming up the board and reading an information card. The student is not allowed to write down the fact, but has to memorise it, then report to another team-mate who will write it down.
And so, without further ado, the tasks:
Write down three positive adjectives, then use them in this sentence: Ms Jenny is _________ , __________ as well as _______.
Write down three negative adjectives, then use them in this sentence: Mr Mark is ________ , ________ as well as _________ .
What are the three biggest countries in the world ?
Brazil is famous for … (tell me two things).
Tell me two types of food people eat in Korea.
(Based on flash cards for units 1 – 3) To get to the shop, I must walk ——– the bridge and ——— the train tracks.
To get to the school, I must walk ——– the fountain and ——– the river.
To get to the dentist, I must walk ——– the street then go —— the stairs.
Put all six cards on the floor. Have two students stand at either end. They have to say, correctly, the directions on the card. Winner is allowed to gather some information.
Write down three buildings to visit in a city. What is best ? Must start answer: I reckon ________ is best because ________.
EXAMPLE: I reckon a school is best because you can meet Mr Paul 🙂
What is good about a department store ? Must start answer: In my opinion a department store is great for _______ as well as _______ , however __________ .
EXAMPLE: In my opinion a library is great for borrowing books as well as using computers, however we have to be very quiet.
What did Mr Paul & Mr Khoa do yesterday ? Show flashcards and add a location. Students have to write down the method of transport, with the correct PAST TENSE verb.
EXAMPLE: They drove a car to the zoo.
If you are late or slow, you have to c______ u__
If you think a film will be great but it is boring, you are d_____________ .
If you do charity work for no money, you v__________
She’s b___________ to a judo club _____ 2018.
He’s o______ a laptop _____ three years.
Olivia’s been c_______ p_____ _______ 1 year.
Can you dance or sing Flamenco ?
Write down three items you want.
Write down three items you need.
Mime: A team member has to mime using a product; team has to guess which one.
Quick Fire Round:
Name an instrument // something people collect // a sport that uses a ball // a sport that doesn’t use a ball //
Obviously, teachers don’t want to overwhelm the students with an unmanageable amount of new language. Far better to serve up bite-size pieces, then practice, practice and practice. When the language has become second nature to the students, move onwards and upwards.
The first step is to elevate your language; replace basic common or garden verbs with ‘better‘ ( that is, low-frequency) words.
For example, the verb ‘try’. Instead, we can have:
To keep trying, not giving up, we can use:
persevere or persist
Let’s take these new words out for a spin:
This year, I shall endeavour to learn Vietnamese. I’ve tried before but gave up as it was simply too hard. However, this time I’m going to persevere.
Can you think of an idiom that could be used to show someone planning to work much harder ?
Onwards and upwards:
get a qualification or certificate by hard work and study:
attain // achieve
to get somethingwithout the need for work or study:
obtain (you can obtain the application form in room 7A)
say / said:
exclaim // express // remark (add -ed to form past tense)
utilise (utilize USA) / apply
to eat, consume or do a lot of something:
devour (He devoured the whole pizza by himself // She loves reading, she absolutely devours books)
Transform this simple sentence into something more IELTS-like:
Sarah said that if she gets an ‘A’, her father will buy her a new iPhone.
Tony says he wants to get a visa which he can buy at the UK Embassy, so he can use his English skills in London.
Mary really wants to buy the ‘Fargo’ box set. She said it was the best TV show in years and she plans to watch all the episodes in one day !
Similarly, boost your lexical resources with regards to adjectives.
fundamental // elementary
difficult // challenging
delicious // mouth-watering // scrumptious
broaden my horizons // real-life knowledge // culture shock
Signpost language: (To help the listener or reader follow you)
Firstly / To begin with / I’d like to start by …
Secondly / additionally / another factor is …
What’s more / furthermore / not forgetting
Obviously / clearly / it is evident that …
Moving on / I’d like to change the topic / Let’s turn to …
Finally / all in all / all things considered
Put students into small teams. One teams challenges the other(s) to form a sentence using as many new L-FWs as they can. Award bonus points for the appropriate use of idioms or fixed expressions.
Students challenge each other to find a L-FW for a basic, prosaic verb or adjective. Teams are allowed a fixed time, say one minute, and are allowed to use a thesaurus such as here:
Then the group has to use the new word in an IELTS-style sentence by which I mean, an introduction, a signpost word or phrase and, obviously, a suitable idiom (examples – ‘put’, ‘big’, ‘interesting’, ‘watch’, ‘boring’, ‘eat’)
Teams are given a mix of L-FWs, idioms & signpost language. After a short preparation time, they have to construct an inspiring, fascinating and jaw-droppingly brilliant sentence. Piece of cake, n’est ce-pas ?
One student from each group starts answering an IELTS question (travel, food, study, neighbourhood). At a given point, the teacher stops the student and another group has to continue, and so on. Monitor the correct utilisation of signpost language as well as fluency, not forgetting the all-important pronunciation features.
Quick Fire / Rapid Fire Round
What is the correct word:
To get a certificate after study ?
Delicious food is …
London is brass monkeys in January so _______ bring warm clothes.
A L-FW for ‘use’
Strange behaviour – he is acting _______
Istanbul is famous for its covered market, known as a __________
Nose, jaw, mouth … use these features in phrases
Moving from Europe to Asia will undoubtedly result in a degree of ________ _____.
The unspeakably greedy child ______ all the doughnuts !
Actor Mark Hamill basically disagreed with everything in the film script.
What’s the best thing about being in a relationship?
What’s the best thing about being single?
What headings would you put these under ?
Life is more fun than being alone. Problems are easier to solve.
We have total, 100% freedom ! Do what we want, when we want.
We have less responsibility.
If you meet someone you like, you can ask them out on a date.
There’s a time to play and a time to settle down and raise a family.
No in-laws !
How do couples meet ?
How did you meet your: wife / husband / boyfriend / girlfriend / partner ? Or was it a blind date ?
Activity: Arrange a blind date for these three men. Which lady is the best choice … and why ?
How do you think the dates will be ? Will they keep meeting, maybe get married … or never see each other again ?
PETER. Age 46. Lawyer. Likes cooking, travelling, wine, driving, tennis. Divorced, 2 children. Looking for a quiet lady with no children, to look after the house and him.
JAMES. Age 26. IT worker. Likes music, dancing, going to clubs, beach holidays. Single. Looks for young lady who is loud and fun, likes to party.
DAVID. Age 22. Model. Likes fashion, clothes, cocktail bars, smoking cigars. Looking for a women who is a model so we can look great together. Must be very beautiful and wear expensive clothes.
And now … the ladies:
JANE. Age 22. Likes fashion, clubbing, kittens, holidays in the sun. Looks for a man with a steady job and ‘down-to-earth’. Non-smoker only.
LISA. 28. Banker. Likes quiet restaurants, badminton, travelling. Looks for a mature man with good income for long term relationship. No boys, please !
EMILY. 20. Likes dancing, fashion, going out with my friends. Movies. Wants a young, cute boy-friend so we can go to parties together. No boring old men, please !
And … if all goes well, there could be wedding bells
FREE SPEAKING: What is a traditional wedding in your country ?
In the UK and many western countries, the bridegroom waits in the church next to the Best Man, who has the rings. The church music starts and the Bride walks down the aisle next to her father, who will ‘give her away.’ Behind the Bride are her Bridesmaids. The Vicar will start the service. At the end, the Bride and Groom kiss.
Match words with meaning
Honeymoon // a secret relationship
Romantic // promise to do something/ be loyal to someone.
Divorce // when people decide they will get married
I adapted this warm-up from a British television show from the 70s and early 80s. Just show a short clip, then ask the students some questions. The game can be quite fun, and has proved very popular. Being December, I’ve chosen a Christmas-themed clip, a TV advert made by the John Lewis Company:
What colour was the girl’s umbrella ?
How many buttons (not eyes) did the snowman have ?
Name three shops that you saw.
How many snow people were on the street ?
What was on the wall in the man’s kitchen ?
What toy did the old man have in the bath ?
What was the old man’s job ?
How many pigeons were standing on the street ?
What fruit was the man on the subway (Tube train) holding ?
What was the number of the bus ?
Complete the slogans: Give a little _______ Together we can make a big ____________
Red // 5 // Scarf Hut, Pharmacy, Opticians, Florist // 8 (one in the window doesn’t count) // a fish, a picture of the family, a shelf // a toy duck // a barber or haircutter // 4 // an apple // 222 // ‘love’ & ‘difference’
Another clip I have used is from the British film ‘Summer Holiday’:
1) What was the road sign at the beginning of the clip ?
London // Berlin // Paris ?
2) What was the number of the bus ?
9 // 19 // 28 ?
3) What colour was the first car behind the bus ?
red // white // blue ?
4) How many children wore a hat ?
1 // 2 // no children
5) How many men were riding bicycles ?
3 // 4 // 6 ?
6) What does Cliff, the driver, eat ?
a sandwich / a cake / nothing
7) How many women were in the car ?
3 // 4 // 5 ?
BONUS POINTS – Can anyone sing the song – just two lines
“We’re all going on a summer holiday // we’re all going for a week or two.”
My story: I flew, by private jet, to Hong Kong, and had the time of my life, so many parties, so many interesting people, non-stop fun !
The reality, the truth: I went to work in the morning, then was so exhausted, I just sat and watched YouTube videos.
Warm – up: Students ask each other about each other’s weekend. Students must tell two stories, one true, one false. Students have to guess which is true.
Naturally, saying I have a private jet is not very believable so the story has to be feasible.
On Saturday, after working in the morning, I met my friend Ms My. I had promised her that I would take her to try western food. Therefore, I invited her to eat pizza. It was her first time and she really liked it but wasn’t sure how to eat it – knife and fork or use hands !
On Sunday, I was too lazy to cook and, because my dog needed a walk, I went to a local restaurant and tried some Vietnamese sea food. The prawns were delicious, but the soup was just OK, nothing special. My dog liked everything and was over the Moon (very happy).
Which one is true ? Did I eat pizza with a beautiful young lady OR did I take my dog to eat seafood ?
How was your weekend ?
Did you do anything special last weekend ?
What did you get up to over the weekend ?
Thanks for asking, I …
Well, I had a great time. First I …
Oh, nothing special, I just …
Today’s lesson is about people exaggerating about their weekends, in order to seem more interesting. So, a talking activity:
What would you do ?
Your young niece plays piano. It is terrible !
Do you …
a) Say that was really good, well done
b) Say hmmm, that is very hard to play, you just need to practice.
c) Say troi oi (omg, oi vey !) that was awful – stop, stop, STOP !
Why did you say that ?
Your partner makes dinner for you. It is terrible ! (partner can mean husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend).
a) Say, “That was delicious, darling,” and eat it all.
b) Say, “It looks wonderful, but I’ve already eaten. I’ll have it later,” then throw it out.
c) Say, “This tastes like dog food ! Never, ever cook again. Order me pizza !”
Your friend or girlfriend comes to your house to visit and meet your parents. Your parents are traditional and old-fashioned.
a) Say that your house is being decorated, so you have to meet in town.
b) Say that you want to meet her parents and will visit her instead.
c) Say, “No way ! My parents will scream ! Put some normal clothes on and wear a hat.”
At Christmas we have decorations, Christmas cards and a lot of food ! Have the students study the photo for one minute, then turn off the projector and ask them to write down all the food they can remember.
Best of all, in my opinion, is the Christmas pudding:
We have a Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with lights and bells and also there are presents on the floor around the tree. In the west, at the top of the tree, traditionally there is an angel.
How about Christmas in other countries ? This is Germany at Christmas
From Sweden, the children’s story Pettson och Findus by Sven Nordqvist
Make a Christmas card for one of your classmates (or teacher hahaha)
Need: paper / crayons / scissors / glue sticks / colour pens or felt-tip pens
And now, for older students … ‘A Christmas Carol’. One of the most famous Christmas stories is by Charles Dickens, a short story about a miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts, after which he decides to change his life.
Part One: Give six students a flashcard from U3, L1 (e.g. buy balloons, order pizza). Model a question, then have a student act as teacher:
What will Tom do ? He’ll order pizzas
Six new students. They close their eyes and are given flashcards. Students open their eyes, at the same time, and have to say what they’ll do e.g.
I’ll bring fruit juice
Part Two: Mime the actions from U3, L2
Student teacher will ask, “Will she set up the music ?” Class will shout out, “Yes, she will,” or, “No, she won’t.” Give three students a flashcard. Ask, “Who will pour the juice ?” Class shout out the answer.
Part Three: Vocabulary check – on writing boards,
What is a better word for yummy,
The coffee costs £2, I only have £1.50 so I don’t have _______
I want to ______ up to buy a new video game.
We can _____ money by working.
We can _____ the floor or ____ the car
Part Four: Last week’s writing highlighted some glaring errors. here’s a chance to fix some schoolboy errors.
Let’s use Green Lantern
Ireally like Green Lantern. He wears a mask and has a magic ring. He travels very fast but the Flash is faster.
NOTES: Capital letter for a name, when you write about your self (I) and the first letter of a new sentence.
Verbs: add -s for 3rd person = I wear, you wear, he/she/it/name wears
I really like NOT I very like
NOW … Your Turn
Correct the writing:
i very likes black widow. she am very intelgunt and she wear a bracelet. also she fight good. she can karate and judo
I really like Black Widow. She is very intelligent and she wears a bracelet. Also she fights well. She can do karate and judo.
For work on the Amazon Rain Forest, click on this link: