In today’s post I would like to share with you the link for an article I wrote for the British Council’s magazine,Voices. As a result of winning this month’s TeachingEnglish blog award with my article on pronunciationMost Common Pronunciation Mistakes Heard in Oral Exams, I was kindly invited to write a new article for their magazine.
This is a lesson I created about three years ago. As it often happens with my lesson plans I have written some of the exercises myself, while some others have been taken here and there; in this case, some of the tasks link to a website ELLA, which I highly recommend not only because it is run by some of my colleagues from different EEOOII in Asturias but also because it is the best I have found so far that offers, for free, lesson plans where you can work all skills.
At the time of creating this lesson I wrote a post dedicated to my father that you can readhere. He passed away a few years ago but I still miss him and think he was the best doctor ever and not just because he was my father and girls always think the best of their fathers but because, when treating his patients, he relied more on instinct and experience than on books and this is essential to a doctor.
Click on the picture advertising the lesson plan if you want to do some practice.Level: A2
I love teaching reported speech. I don’t know if students can feel when a teacher enjoys teaching something though I have the impression that somehow it shows. Here are some ideas to get my students “love” (well, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away) reported speech. Hopefully, some of them will do the trick.
This video is great to practise statements, questions, orders and suggestions!
Setting the context: tell students they have had a big argument with their boyfriend or girlfriend and they are going to meet their closest friend to tell them all about it. Divide the class into “girls” and “boys” and ask each group to focus on what the girl or the boy says in the video. Ask them to write down as much as they can using the exact words said in the video. Working together within their groups, they’ll need to report in as much detail as possible the conversation to their closest friend (the teacher).
For weaker students I would do the whole lesson plan as presented by the British Council. Click here
♥ Song: My name is Luka by Suzanne Vega. A song about child abuse. It tells the story of a frightened boy who is forbidden to talk about what he’s going through.
The idea is the same as above. I´ll let the students do all the work (we, teachers, need a break from time to time, don’t we?). The song is quite easy to understand and though they might not pick up everything, they will still be able to come up with some good reported statements. The idea is:
Students listen to the song once and write down whole sentences. (ex. My name is Luka, I live on the second floor…)
Students in pairs share with their partners.
Students listen a second time and pair again one last time.
Correct using the video+lyrics and ask students as a class to report the sentences one by one. (For ex. He said his name was Luka)
♥ Gossiping about the teacher (from Begem Tonyali -original post here)
Students think about 10 things they want to know about their teacher and ask the questions, which are written on the board. The class is divided into 2 groups. The first group leave the class and wait outside. The first group members take turns in asking the teacher the questions and write down the answers. Now, they leave and the second group does the same thing. However, what they do not know is that the teacher is honest and gives correct answers to only one group, but lies to the other. It’s a good idea not to tell them beforehand. Then, students pair off as 1st and 2nd group partners. The activity goes like this and one of the students tells his partner “I asked the teacher how old she was and she told me she was 16.” Then the other partner goes “I asked the same question, but she told me she was 36.” etc…until all the questions are reported. Here they have to pay attention to the usage of the reporting verbs and have fun in finding which group the teacher lied to.
Preparation: before the game, students have been taught the following reporting verbs: ask, tell, warn, advise, suggest and offer.
Students are given some scrap paper and asked to write a yes/no question, a Wh-question, a request, a warning, a suggestion, a piece of advice and an offer .
When they finish, they are asked to make balls from the papers. And the fun begins….Time to play snowballs!! Allow them to play snowballs for some time and play some music. Tell them they can play snowball for as long as there is music. Stop the music and ask students to open the ball of paper and report the things written on it. Remember, the bigger the ball, the easier it will be to catch it! You don’t want to be looking for missing balls!
♥ Indirect into Direct Speech Cards.
Not so funny, maybe, but still worth doing! Students love competitions- me too, if you want to know the truth- so I’m planning to disguise this exercise as a competition with the students getting the card and scoring points for each correct answer. Now, this activity requires some preparation on my part, namely writing on one side of a card reported speech and, on the other side, direct speech of the same sentence. I’m planning to include statements, questions, commands, suggestions, offers…etc. Show the students the reported speech side of the card. The student who guesses the direct speech sentence, gets the card and the point.
So, once again, here we are, working with items of clothing and talking about fashion!
Though I cannot consider myself a shopaholic, I wouldn’t be completely honest with you if I didn’t tell you that, once a week, I leave husband and kids at home and I……. burn plastic!!!! Well, I reckon I deserve a treat or two from time to time, don’t you think so?
Now this is the activity I’m going to do with my fourth-year students (Pre-intermediate). I hope you find it useful!
The main activity will be displaying a video of a catwalk where students will have to be the commentators, describing what the models on the catwalk are wearing. A video such as this one … or maybe the one below it… to add more variety.
They have previously worked with patterns and materials (striped, checked, plain, silk, leather…etc) but I used some pictures from my ipad, so this vocabulary has already been covered.
Though I hate to say it, most of my students will know “trousers and shoes” but they will probably need some help with some other less common items of clothing. That’s why I’ve prepared these slides about clothes, divided into Elementary and Intermediate.
I angrily whispered to one of my new students. Stop is the title of a song by Jamelia (I have to confess that although I had often heard the song I didn’t have a clue about the singer)… anyway .. the idea for this post comes from this change of career I’m experiencing. I must admit that I’m not used to teaching teenagers; well, you can hardly call them teens as some of my students are about 12.
In a week at a high school I’ve accumulated more anecdotes than in my whole life teaching adults.
Apart from the innocent “Teacher: Do I have to draw a title?”,” Can I go to the toilet? or What-d’ye -call-him said I was an idiot”, you have the not -so -innocent teens who try to challenge the teacher’s authority to show the other classmates the extent of the power of their arrogance and bad manners. It ‘s to one of these students that ,on the second day of my new experience at a high school, I had to say in a very low voice loaded with venom…. You’d better stop!! The amazing thing is that she … because a “she” she was…. Stopped!!. It must’ve been the tone of my voice that led her to think that I wasn’t one to be played with. Anyway, too bad!
Another anecdote but on the funny side of the story is when I asked my 12-year- students to stand up, mingle and do a communicative activity and one of the shiest students in class came up to me and whispered.. “Teacher! V…. has pinched my breast!!”” What?” I asked absolutely astonished! “Yes, teacher !He has just done the same to me ! “cried another. I looked at the so called V… and he blushed and answered that he wanted to feel if they were stuffed with cotton … Gosh!! What a mightmare! What do you think? Will I survive my students ?
Anyway , this and the reference in a reading text to Jamelia gave the idea of using this song a more serious classes where they’d appreciate the structure You’d beter+ infitive, which , as you know, in used to give very strong advice. Enjoy this beautiful song and if you want to do a “fill in the blanks” exercise ( elementary/pre-intermediate students) click on the button
Como seguramente sabeis,Photopeach ( la herramienta que utilizo para hacer los role-plays) ha decidido hacer limpieza general 😉 justo ahora , por lo que los videos creados antes del 6 de junio no se podrán ver durante algunos días. Pity!!
Ahora mismo, de los publicados solo podeis ver :” at the train station” y estos que acabo de hacer.
Sorry but I’m up to my eyes in exams and I haven’t been able to dedicate one single moment to my blog. But I promised I’ll try to publish some more role-plays and I won’t go back on my word. So here’s a new one: At the train station. Click here if you want to see the instructions about how to study with this video or if you are used to them , stay on the blog and just watch the video. I have introduced a new feature: the role of the examiner, which you’ll clearly see as it is being introduced by the photo of a teacher. I hope this helps!
Another amazing tool. Blinkx claims to be the largest and most advanced video search engine. It is said to have an index of over 35 million hours of searchable video. Users can search for video content, create personal video playlists, or build a customized Video Wall .
This is the video wall I got from typing the word: celebrities.
Let this post be written in memory and as my tribute to my father, if not a good (I’m not the one to say), at least a well-respected doctor among his colleagues and patients. Let this post be a far too late explanation of why I didn’t choose to become a doctor when I/ we knew that it had always been my father’s dream.
During my childhood and adolescence I lived surrounded by scalpels, syringes, pills,… several rooms in my house were dedicated to my father’s private practice (there was not a Seguridad Social center ). I have seen too much blood and bleeding to last me a lifetime and it certainly took its toll on me. I’m going to save you the gory details but one of my earliest memories is knowing there was a piece of frozen lip in the kitchen freezer from one of my best friends’ brother ( a dog had bitten him). My father always dreamed of one of his children following his line of work but we all disappointed him. I wouldn’t like to be a doctor and the reasons are several.
• All my life I have seen my father being woken up in the middle of the night and leaving home in a hurry
• All my life I have dreaded the telephone ringing in the middle of our Christmas’s dinner and even sometimes we opened up our presents while my father was away healing somebody else
• All my life I have seen my father being verbally assaulted in the streets by patients who didn’t understand that he was not working and he, having the patient of a saint, answering all their doubts and above all, listening.
• All my life I have seen my father worrying to death about a patient
• All my life I have heard people criticising doctors for making mistakes, not prescribing enough pills or too many pills, seeing patients too fast or too slowly. I have seen my father cry over the death of a friend when he, who presumably, had the power, could do nothing to save him. Dad!! You were not God!
There’s a long etc of why I have never considered being a doctor but all my life I have seen my father dedicated to a job that he loved. A good doctor is more than academic excellence, it requires more than brain and skill it is also about compassion, kindness, humanity, tolerance, sensitivity and I like to believe that my father possessed all of them.
Here’s a lesson about Going to the doctor’s I have prepared for my pre-intermediate students. You’re warmly welcome to do it.