Tag Archives: tenses

Inspiration from Ellen Degeneres Show: Never Have I Ever

I firmly believe that the way you present things to your students matters. From boring points of grammar to challenging speaking activities, there is always a way to get their attention. I am of the opinion that students learn much better if you completely discard from your teaching the idea of  boring master classes where the only person in the room seems to be the teacher and choose instead a more interactive approach. I try hard not to forget this student -centred approach during the whole lesson .

There is also something I try not to forget. You learn better when you have fun! And here we go, for a lot of fun!!

Image by Michael Rozman/WarnerBros

Skill: Speaking

Level: B1 upwards

Aim: using the Present Perfect to talk about experiences.

You never know where  and who you’ll get inspiration from! I got the idea  for this Speaking Activity watching Ellen Degeneres show .Have you ever seen her show? It’s hilarious! Anyway, she’s got a section called “Never Have I Ever” where  she asks her guests questions  and they need to put up a sign with the words Yes, I Have or I Have Never.

This hilarious speaking activity is fairly simple and requires little preparation.
♥Ask students to write on a different sheet or slip  of paper the short answers  Yes, I have and I have never “

♥ Tell them you are going to ask a question  to the whole class .

♥ Ask them to answer  your question by putting up the YES, I HAVE or I HAVE NEVER sign

♥ Ask some students to explain their answers.

It’ll certainly be funnier if you choose to ask some spicy questions like  the ones Degeneres posed to her guests.

Do you want to try? How would you answer these questions?

  • Have you ever skipped school?
  • Have you ever fallen asleep in the cinema?
  • Have you ever been to a nude beach?
  • Have you ever done something you regret?
  • Have you ever read a whole Harry Potter book?
  • Have you ever drunk while underage?
  • Have you ever had an accident?
  • Have you ever kissed someone on the first date?
  • Have you ever read the Bible?
  • Have you ever aced a test without studying?
  • Have you ever passed out?
  • Have you ever slept until 5 pm?

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Learn English and Have Fun!

Simple Present and Present Continuous: Grammar and Exercises

Tired of always looking for exercises for different grammar points I have started putting together everything I need, related to a certain point of grammar, on the same page.

Today I have uploaded two more: Present Simple and Present ContinuousTense. I have gathered together Grammar and Exercises .

Hope it is as helpful to you as it is to me. Now, I can safely take them to the computer room, ask them to go to this url where they’ll find everything they need to work on. Very useful too, to do as homework or revise just before exams at their own pace.

♥Click Present Simple and /or Present Continuous to start practising!!!

A word on Grammar : -ing Forms

If you are one of my students in the first course, you know I’m not exaggerating the slightest bit (well, maybe the “burping”  thing is too much)  when I say I’m going to wallpaper the classroon with this funny cartoon I came across on  Pinterest.

The moment I read it I realized it was perfect to teach my youngest students the -ing form because it is something they can easily relate with and have fun. Now, I’m not saying they are wild, for goodness sake, I’m just saying some of them need to learn how to behave in a classroom as,now and then, they fail to see the difference between  the classroom and  the schoolyard, lesson time and  break time .

This is the cartoon and these are Mrs Mutner’s rules( from now on, mine too). Easy to see its potential when trying to explain the formation of the -ing  form, although I’m going to use it to go over the rules I have already explained.

My idea is reading Mrs. Mutner’s  rules with them, clarifying meanings  and then asking students to volunteer to write the rules for the formation of the gerund on the board. Then, students will have to arrange the -ing forms under the right rule.

Some interactive exercises to practise : here and here

Love is in the Air!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day Week!  Love is in the air….and all that!

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s day, maybe because I’m Spanish and well into my forties, and  in Spain, in a small village in the north  and in the 80’s, we never ever heard of a special day to celebrate love. But I don’t want to be a party pooper here  so I always get into my best mood to do an activity related to this special day in the Anglo culture.

On Monday , Gotye’s song “Somebody that I Used to Know” was awarded a Grammy for the record of the year. Needed a better excuse to play the song? Yes, but I’ve got it!! It contains irregular past verbs, something I am currently working with and also a great  opportunity to introduce “used to”. … the only catch is that the song is about breaking up and not about perfect love… but you can’t have it all guys! So, off we go!

Used to= Explanation here

Used to = Exercises here

Worksheet for the song  here

Predicting the Future : another game

To play this game you don’t need any preparation, which, to be honest, sometimes it’s just what  we -busy teachers- ask for. But if you are like me, you’ll find yourself doing just the same as your students, ie, having lots of fun.

For this game you need to make an origami fortune teller, also called “cootie catcher”( see picture). Instruction on how to make one and how to play here.

Ask students to write 8 fortunes inside the flaps. Encourage them to use their imagination and make sure they use the future simple: will.

Once this task is completed, ask students to stand up and mingle. Time to be a fortune teller!

Ask a student to choose one of the four colors. Spell that color out, while moving the fortune teller in and out. Then ask this student to choose one of the numbers that is showing. Move the fortune teller in and out the right number of times.

When you finish, have the person choose one of the four visible numbers. Open up the flap they choose, and read their fortune.

Have fun! Who said English was boring???? ;-))

Teaching teens: Present Simple and continuous

The first video is very easy to understand and though grammar is not explained as such  students, at the end of this short video,are perfectly aware of  how to use these two tenses.

The next video is a bit longer and it has different sketches, so if I’m running short of time I might decide not to use all of them.

Questions for the different sketches, click here

 

 

 

Predicting the future

Fortune telling, palm reading, tarot, physic reading, clairvoyance, onomancy ,numerology,horoscopes and the whole lot. There are countless ways of predicting the future and there are lots of people, even politicians who consult fortune tellers to help them take decisions.One good example is Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State. This is said to have happened between the fortune teller and Hillary when she was Senator.

During a recent publicity outing, Senator Hillary Clinton snuck off to visit a fortune teller of some local repute. In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news.

“There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year.”

Visibly shaken, Hillary stared at the woman’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune teller’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked her question.

“Will I be acquitted?”

Now, it’s your turn to predict  the future. Look at the following pictures and try to predict what’s going to happen .

                                            

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