Category Archives: Grammar

A Formal Email

I know it might be a tiny bit too late to be posting this but I’ve  just come across it and given that we are having the test on Monday/Tuesday I sort of hope the idea of visiting the blog crossed your mind and you are one of the lucky  who will be reading and doing the interactive exercises on the website where these snapshots have been taken from:

Scroll down their  page and make sure you do the following exercises

  • ♥Check your writing: indirect questions
  • ♥Check your writing . gap fill: Useful Phrases

Lesson Plan: Speaking and Writing about Relationships and Using Indirect Questions

Today I want to share with you an activity that has worked really well. I did it with my Intermediate students but I bet it’ll be perfect for any level. It all started with a text my students had to read about a Speed Dating Event (click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about). Just the previous week we had been studying Indirect Questions so I thought it could be a good idea to mix speed dating and indirect questions. And I was right ! The smiles on their faces gave them away!
♥These are the steps we followed :
Step 1. We read about a speed dating event (New English File Upper-Intermediate. Unit 1)
Step 2. I gave students slips of paper containing either the beginning of a direct or an indirect question. (Cards here). I encouraged students to write an interesting question ; a question the person talking to them could elaborate on. If the slip of paper begins with I was wondering…. Students shouldn’t go for “ I was wondering what your name is” … but something along the lines of” I was wondering what you do in your free time” or” I was wondering why you are taking this course”.
Step 3. I explained the rules of a speed dating event. Some students remain seated during the whole event ( in real speed dating, women remain seated). When the bell rings , students sit across another student and they use their questions to start a conversation . They need to keep on talking for 3 minutes. Then a bell rings and “men” need to stand up and move to their right to start a new conversation and the whole process is repeated again. I didn’t have a bell so I used a Class Timer (here)

The picture shows some of my students during the speed dating event. A lot of fun, believe me!

♥After the speed dating event, my students were in the right mood to talk about relationships so we worked a bit on some vocabulary they might need to use when talking or writing about Dating, Friendship or Marriage. Photocopy here

♥It was the last lesson of the week and so the right time to set as homework for the weekend  a Writing about the Advantages and Disadvantages of Non-Traditional Dating.

♥Monday will begin with students sharing their ideas about non-traditional dating. I think it will be easier for them to start talking about something they have previously given some thought to. Once they are all warmed-up,…..who’ll dare stop them? I’ve got these two nice handouts to ensure they keep on talking.
Don’t you fear!. I’ll hand them some peppermint drops to prevent hoarseness as they leave the class. They’ll have well deserved them!

Useful Posts to Revise for Finals

I have been meaning to give MentorMob a try for some time and I never got around to doing it but when my students asked me where to revise for finals, MentorMob flashed in my mind and I saw the light. ;).

This little tool  allows you to organise your favourite posts or websites into a playlist  in a very easy way  and then you can always share it and embed it in a blog or website. In this way you can easily organise videos, pdfs, documents, websites, articles….. into playlists and then  assign them to your students in the computer room, as homework or  in a flipped classroom setting .

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

Grammar Snacks Videos

Grammar Snacks is a great site from the British Council  to watch videos about grammar shown in a natural way.

The videos offer the grammar in context with subtitles and although the videos might be a bit too long for an elementary student , it gives them the chance to read along and improve pronunciation. So, as the idiom goes, you kill two birds ( or maybe three) with the same stone. After watching the video there’s a clear grammatical explanation about when and how the grammar is used and some attractive interactive exercises.

So far, the site offers videos on the following :

♥Comparatives and Superlatives

♥There is/are  and It

♥This, these , that, those

♥The Present Continuous

♥The past Simple: regular and irregular verbs

♥To Be: Present and Past

♥Countable and Uncountable

Have Got

♥Present Simple