January 2021 – This (online) lesson plan talks about ways to identify the ideal career for someone who is looking for their first position or wants/needs to change their job – and maybe face up to a job title which simply didn’t exist some years ago. The main part deals with a text describing real and potential future jobs, which is followed by a 2019 TEDTalk about algorithms that could enable recruiters understand people’s potentials better. The tasks expose students to a number of quizzes and ways to think about themselves, their skills and their strengths. Students need to be at B1+ level or higher to benefit from these exercises.
December 2020 – This is an unusual lesson plan about Christmas, suitable for B2-C1 students: it consists of a variety of speaking tasks, a longer article to read from ideas.ted.com and also a TEDTalk to watch. The aim of the lesson is to discuss Christmas in an unconventional way: instead of discussing consumerism and myths&legends of Christmas, here students can exchange ideas about 2020’s very odd Christmas experience in lock-down and a very positive talk from 2014 given by Jose Miguel Sokoloff explaining how Christmas might open up people’s mind even in war-torn places.
December 2020 – This is a multi-skill lesson plan teaching and revising vocabulary linked to the topics ‘gym’ and ‘work-out’. It follows the methodology of the so-called ‘flipped classroom’. Students are expected to do some pre-lesson task and the lesson is based on this pre-study.
December 2020 – This is a simple group writing task I learnt from New Headway Pre-Intermediate some years ago. I find the exercise excellent to improvise a quick group-writing session about any topic even with lower level classes/students.
December 2020 – When I started teaching online, I first stuck to the course books I had been using for years. I had been familiar with the online extensions, I had already worked on the Cambridge LMS and used all multimedia materials available to my favourite course books. I had even had experience with e-books. However, very soon I realized that online teaching offers way more possibilities than only a digital copy of a face-to-face lesson.
December 2020 – When I started teaching online I kept going back to one website to test my students’ grammar knowledge in test-teach-test approach. At the beginning, it was a simple blog, however, it has grown up to a prodigious test bank. Today, I invite you to visit the TEST-ENGLISH website.
December 2020 – THIS IS a Warm-up/Lead-in exercise you can print and use in your next grammar/conversation lesson. The task is to complete the questionnaire (by giving two answers to different questions) and then mingling around in the classroom to find someone who has these two things in common (which is not as easy as it seems).
November 2020 – Third conditional is a tough grammar point and it’s also difficult to make students practise it, since it is not so often used in real life situations. Doing automatized exercises seems to work for the moment, but fails on the long run. To help students memorize the structure, you might want to spend some time making them do different engaging activities over a couple of lessons. Here are some ideas how they could practice third conditional sentences.
November 2020 – Students at B1 level are required to be able to write emails, compositions, short stories; furthermore, simple essays, reviews and articles. In this interactive exercise, you see an example how you can introduce the first three genres to your intermediate students.
November 2020 – Before sending your student to do any speaking exam, you should show them a video of a real oral exam and also rehearse it with them. Here is one way how you could do it. The post concentrates onto IELTS Band 7, but you can adapt it to any other exam. The lesson is designed for an online individual course.
November 2020 – Songs are an evergreen possibility to lead into a new topic or introduce a new grammatical structure, they can be an excellent exercise to wind down a lesson and even in between two exercises, they are good for making students relax and prepare for the next task. In this post, I would like to show you some interactive worksheets to do while listening to some great classics and also some newer hits – with embedded YouTube videos.
November 2020 – Here’s a lesson idea based on Kang Lee’s TED Talk from February 2016 about if we are good at telling when a child is lying. The lesson is aimed at B1plus level (or higher) and includes listening and vocabulary training. The main target is to start and finish the lesson with an open conversation about the topic.
November 2020 – Here’s a lesson idea based on Susan Pinker’s TED Talk from April 2017 about why some people live longer than others. The lesson is aimed at B2 level (or higher) and includes listening and vocabulary training. The main target is to start and finish the lesson with an open conversation about the topic.
When we think about reading, we picture books, newspapers or magazines. However, your students probably read daily texts that are shorter, more about consumption and not (only) about entertainment or current affairs, and are more packed with information. Let me give you a simple example how to train them to find and read this type of texts in real life and some tasks to customize for your lesson, with the aim to improve reading for details.
This time, let me invite you to enjoy a great thriller with your students. In addition to the obvious benefits (improving listening skills, expanding vocabulary, etc.), this film gives plenty of opportunities to speculate about what might have happened before, since it is told in reverse.
Films offer entertainment, listening practice, exposure to different varieties of English and a real expansion of up-to-date vocabulary. Here is a film quiz for your teen students at around B2 level to think and speak about issues like university, apps, dating and love in our modern ages.
BULLETPOINTS: Level: B1/B1+; Age: teens, adults; Group size: any; Aim: to write a review; Skill: writing; Grammar: passives, would + infinitive; Vocabulary: strong adjectives; Length: 60+ min; Preparation time: none; Material: computer or mobile phone with internet connection.
BULLETPOINTS: Topic: Aunty Emma; Level: pre-intermediate to advanced; Time: 30-60 min; Material: whiteboard and marker; Preparation time: none; Skill: speaking; Function: (dis)agreement, negotiating; Group size: min 2 students.
BULLETPOINTS: Topic: Problems and suggestions;Level: A2+;Time: 60 min;Material: whiteboard, marker;Preparation time: none;Skill: speaking;Function: Giving advice(You should/could …, Why don’t you …, You might want to consider V-ing…, etc., depending on the level of the students);Grammar/Vocab: Modals – should, might, could, I’d suggest that you …;Group size: 4+.
BULLETPOINTS: Level: B1+; Age: adults; Group size: any; Aim: to enable students to express their point of view on national stereotypes; Skill: reading into speaking; Grammar: -; Vocabulary: stereotypes; Length: 30+; Preparation time: none; Material: websites linked to this page.
BULLETPOINTS: Level: B2+; Age: teens, adults; Group size: any; Aim: to listen and talk about teen popularity and social media issues; Skill: listening and speaking; Grammar: -; Vocabulary: -; Length: 60+; Preparation time: 30 min (watch the episode and print the worksheet); Material: worksheet attached, you also need a NETFLIX account.