Tag Archives: C1

Relationships: A Multi-Skill Lesson Plan for C1 Students

I find it really hard to stick to the textbook every time the lesson is about Relationships. With any other lessons, about any other topics, it might be easier to be content with following the dictates of the textbook. But I think Relationships, and all sorts of ideas spring up. Not all of them are good, to be honest. But these, I have tried and tested in class. They work.

This lesson is divided into two chunks:

  1. The first part is dedicated to revising, reinforcing, and introducing new vocabulary.
  2. The second part is dedicated to honing students’ listening and speaking skills using different visual inputs: images, audio, video, and cards.

VOCABULARY

GUESSING THE TOPIC WITH A FRIENDLIER VERSION OF THE GAME HANGMAN

Students will need to guess what topic we will cover in class next, But…. There are rules to follow:

  • The class is divided into 2 teams. Each team names a spokesperson.
  • Let’s say Team 1 starts. Now, to get the chance to say a letter to solve the puzzle, they’ll have to answer a content review question.  For example: “what preposition collocates with the verb “depend”?”. After a quick discussion with the members of their group, the spokesperson will give an answer. If correct, they can suggest a letter. Whether it is a correct or incorrect guess, the turn will pass to Team B, who will get another content review question and the chance to guess a letter if the answer to the review question is correct.
  • Important: Teams can’t try to solve the puzzle until half the letters have been guessed(i.e. if the word has 14 letters, 7 must have been guessed) and only the Team playing will have this chance.
  • If they guess and fail, their turn will be skipped.

GAME: THE 15 SECONDS CROSSWORD GAME TO REVISE VOCABULARY
    • Divide the class into 2 teams.
    • Team A chooses a representative who chooses a number from the crossword puzzle, reads the description, and has 15 seconds to guess the answer with the help of their team.
    • If they guess the answer, they can continue playing until
    1. they can’t guess the word,
    2. they run out of time (remember 15 seconds) or
    3. they guess three answers in a row.

    If this happens, it is Team B’s turn.

    • The winner is the team that solves the last clue.

    In this case, the terms in the crossword were related to the “relationships”
    NOTE: (click on the top right-hand corner to enlarge the crossword)

INTRODUCING NEW VOCABULARY: PEER TEACHING AND PARTNER DISCUSSION.

More Vocabulary here. Give students some individual time to read through the vocabulary, underlining any new terms.

  • Building on the belief that ” to teach is to learn twice” (Whitman, 1998), ask students to get into groups of 4 and help each other with any vocabulary they haven’t been able to guess on their own.
  • Whole class: ask students in Group 1 which vocabulary items are still unfamiliar to them. Ask the other groups in the class to volunteer an explanation if they know. If nobody in the class knows, clarify the meaning. Continue in the same fashion with all the groups until all the vocabulary has been clarified.
  •   Work on pronunciation and then test students by giving a definition and asking them to quickly give you the term.

SPEAKING and LISTENING

MARRIAGE

SPEAKING.

Display this picture and ask students to comment on this picture. Ask:

Who do you feel more sorry for? The bride, the groom, or the mother-in-law?

 LISTENING. Why bother with marriage? Watch from 0:00- 0:34

Play the beginning of the video (0:00- 0:34) In pairs or small groups, comment on the following:

  1. What is the speaker’s view on marriage? Do you agree with his view?
  2. Are there more benefits or drawbacks to getting married in your country nowadays?
  3. What is the right age to get married in your country? And to have children?

FAMILIES: LISTENING and SPEAKING
    • Write NUCLEAR FAMILY on the board and ask students to explain what type of family a nuclear family is and what other different family types they know. Write them on the board. Ideally, they will come up with stepfamilies (also called blended families), cohabitation, extended family, lone parenting, DINKS (I know, unlikely!) and some others.
    • Time for listening.  First Listening: Play the audio once and ask students to jot down the different types of families that are mentioned (stepfamilies. Cohabitation, DINKS, lone parenting and people living alone). Write them on the board. You will probably need to add People living alone.  Second Listening: Note-taking. Form groups of 4 students and assign a different kind of family to each of them. Ask them to take notes, as their final task would be to retell the information they hear about their assigned family structure. NOTE: I have assigned cohabitation and DINKS to the same person.
    • Follow-up: ask students in their groups to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each type of family structure

Transcript here

Types of Families de cristina.cabal

PARENTS AND THEIR OFFSPRING: SPEAKING AND LISTENING

1. LYING. Play this video where children confess the biggest lie they have told their mums, in front of their mums. Ask students to confess theirs.

2. OVERPROTECTING PARENTS.

Ask these questions

  • What is considered overprotective parenting?
  • What can overparenting do to a child?

FAMILY TRACKING APPS. Display with the OHP this article from the BBC about family tracking apps and ask them to read the first 3 paragraphs. Ask students to talk about the advantages and drawbacks for both parents and children.

SPEAKING CARDS: FINDING THE MATCHING PAIR.

Put students into groups of 3 or 4. Give each group a set of cards and ask them to place them face upon the table.  Student A begins by taking the beginning of the question (in blue) and finding the matching pair (in orange).

Student A has two minutes to express his/her opinion. Then, it is Student B’s turn.

PDF here

Relationships. Conversation questions de cristina.cabal

I know, a long lesson. But, you know, it’s better to have too much than too little.

2 Engaging Retrieval Practice Activities to Start your Class on the Right Foot

Two ideas that can easily be adapted to your own context.

True to my habit of beginning the class with a retrieval practice activity, I have added to my growing arsenal two new ones:  playing hangman and doing crosswords. This is how I have modified the rules of the games to adapt them to teaching/learning more effectively.

GUESSING THE TOPIC WITH A FRIENDLIER VERSION OF THE GAME HANGMAN

Playing hangman is an old classic. Well, at least for me. I cannot count the number of times me and my friends whiled away the time between classes (sometimes during classes) playing the paper and pencil version of hangman.

And playing hangman is just what I need to start my classes this week.  (Aside note: did you know that the hardest word to guess in Hangman is Jazz?) This time, the word will be easier. Students will need to guess what topic we will cover in class next, But…. There are rules to follow:

  • The class is divided into 2 teams. Each team names a spokesperson.
  • Let’s say Team 1 starts. Now, to get the chance to say a letter to solve the puzzle, they’ll have to answer a content review question.  For example: “what preposition collocates with the verb “depend”?”. After a quick discussion with the members of their group, the spokesperson will give an answer. If correct, they can suggest a letter. Whether it is a correct or incorrect guess, the turn will pass to Team B, who will get another content review question and the chance to guess a letter if the answer to the review question is correct.
  • Important: Teams can’t try to solve the puzzle until half the letters have been guessed(i.e. if the word has 14 letters, 7 must have been guessed) and only the Team playing will have this chance.
  • If they guess and fail, their turn will be skipped.

Tool used: Learning Apps

GAME: THE 15 SECONDS CROSSWORD GAME 

Ready for another engaging gamified retrieval practice activity? Here we go!!

  • Divide the class into 2 teams.
  • Team A chooses a representative who chooses a number from the crossword puzzle, reads the description, and has 15 seconds to guess the answer with the help of their team.
  • If they guess the answer, they can continue playing until
  1. they can’t guess the word,
  2. they run out of time (remember 15 seconds) or
  3. they guess three answers in a row.

If this happens, it is Team B’s turn.

  • The winner is the team that solves the last clue.

In this case, the terms in the crossword were related to the “relationships”
NOTE: (click on the top right-hand corner to enlarge the crossword)

  • Tool used: Learning Apps

I hope you have enjoyed these two activities I have created for my students.

Would Rather: Introducing, Revising and Reinforcing

This is not the first time I’ve shared a lesson on using Would Rather to express a preference, but this lesson is also an excuse to share some of the tricks (also called activities 😊) I keep up my sleeve to engage my students and make them enjoy learning; because they/ we deserve to have fancy, engaging, dynamic lessons even if what needs to be explained is as dull as ditch water.

I strongly support the use of visuals in the class to create stimulating lessons. I know creating your own content takes time. But it pays off. Trust me on this one!

FIRST SESSION
INTRODUCING THE TARGET LANGUAGE. PRESENTATION.

I have introduced Would Rather presenting students with some slides and some visual prompts and asking them to provide the questions based on the images.

Some help might be needed, at least, for the first two slides. Encourage students to describe their preferences in pairs, even if it’s a guided assignment.

Target grammar:

  • Question: Would you rather read a book or watch TV?
  • Answer: I’d rather read a book than watch TV because…

Would Rather Introduction de cristina.cabal

GRAMMAR AND EXERCISES
SECOND SESSION

The two activities that follow are meant to be done the following day in order to revise and reinforce this content.

REVISING AND REINFORCING: VIDEO, INTERACTIVE GRAMMAR, FLIP CARDS GAME

(NOTE FOR TECH ENTHUSIASTS)  This beautiful activity has been created with @Genial.ly.  First I created the video, published it on YouTube, and then embedded it on Genial.ly. Then, I used the Template to create the Flipcards.

  • Revise with the video (1st slide)
  • Revise with the matching grammar (2nd slides)
  • Flip Cards Game (following slides). To be used in the game that follows.
FLIPCARDS GAME. Rewriting with Would Rather.  Using Dry-Erase Boards

1. Pair learners and give each pair a dry-erase board and a whiteboard marker.
2. Show the first sentence and ask students to rewrite it using Would Rather
3. Depending on the length or difficulty of the sentence, set a different time limit.
4. Once the pair have their sentence, ask them to write it on the board, big enough for you to see from a distance.
5. When the time is up, ask the pairs to hold it up and quickly go through all the sentences, awarding 1 point to the pair who has the correct grammar.
6. The winner is the pair that get the most points.

Note: Be strict with spelling mistakes or any other tiny mistakes. Students love it when you are strict and don’t give away points easily.

Follow-up: Revise all the sentences again, but this time orally.

SPEAKING: BOARD GAME

This board game has all the ingredients of a good game:

  • Reinforces grammar
  • Boosts communicative skills
  • Improves writing skills
  • Builds rapport
  • + Combines technology with traditional props: in this case, a huge die  (there is a built-in die on the board, so don’t worry if you don’t have this beautiful red die; it is just that I love mixing both worlds.

And here’s the board. As you can see,

  • There are 3 draggable counters.
  • To see the prompts, you need to click on the number.
  • As you can read in the Instructions, if they land on a square with the question GIF, students will need to write a “would you rather” question for the teacher. Yes, you need to answer, it is only fair!!!

 

Hope you have enjoyed this lesson plan. My students have! 🙂

Oral Exams: Two Activities to Revise all the Topics in a Single Lesson

I know precisely what you are looking for because I guess,  we are all in the same boat: approaching finals, a plethora of topics to revise and juggling work and life. These two activities might come in handy now that you, like me, need to help students  1. revise the vocabulary for all of the topics covered during the course and 2. provide the means to use this vocabulary in spoken interactions or monologues. And this, in a single lesson. Granted it is a two-hour session, but still a feat.

What’s the aim?

  • to develop their communicative skills by asking and answering questions  about different topics
  • to compose a short speech on a topic of choice
  • to revise the specific vocabulary learnt for these topics

ACTIVITY ONE: Throwing the Dice. Revising Vocabulary. Asking the questions.

What you need:

  • slips of paper
  • sticky notes or, alternatively, scraps of paper and cellotape.
  • a dice or a virtual dice (here)

On the walls of the class, put up slips of paper with the various themes you wish to review: work, sports, education, leisure time activities…etc.

Step 1. Revising Vocabulary

  1. Put students into pairs or groups. You’ll need as many pairs/ groups as there are topics you’ll be revising.
  2. Assign each pair/group a topic and ask them to write down all the vocabulary/expressions…etc they have learnt related to their assigned topic. Have them name a secretary who will be in charge of writing the vocabulary on a clean sheet of paper and trying to write in legible handwriting.
  3. Give them some cellotape or blue-tack and instruct them to tape/stick the vocabulary on the wall,  next to the topic they have been assigned.

 

Step 2. Throwing the dice. Writing the questions

1. Assign to each number on the dice a wh-word and write it on the board. For ex:

  1. why
  2. where
  3. when
  4.  what
  5. how
  6. who

2. Now, roll the dice and ask pairs/groups to choose a topic and write a question beginning with the wh ( for example if the number is 4, they will need to write a question beginning with “what”) and related to the topic they have chosen. Make sure pairs/groups choose different topics. Encourage students to write interesting questions or questions that can generate conversation.

Ex: the topic is Crime and the number is 4; the question might be something like :

What are the most common crimes in your town?

3. Once they have written the question, ask them to post it next to the topic the topic it pertains to.

4. Throw the dice again and repeat procedure only, this time, groups must necessarily choose a different topic. Again, make sure all topics are covered. Hopefully, when you roll the dice, it will show a different number. If it is the same number( say number 4 as in the example), throw it again, you want a different Wh- question.

How many questions do I think would be more than enough for each topic? I would suggest 3 questions/topic

Step 3. Gallery Walk

Gallery walk: Once you have at least 2 or 3 questions per topic, ask students to stand up in their groups and stand next to a topic and together read the vocabulary for the topic they will next to it.  Then, have them read the questions and discuss them. Allow about 10 minutes per poster and then ask them to move clockwise to the next topic. Repeat procedure.

ACTIVITY TWO: Tearable topics. Beautiful template

It is not the first time I have used a tearable activity- if I may call it like this-, but it is the first time that I have used Meredithakers’s template. I saw her design and I thought ” I need to use it”. So cute. Have a look at her design here and if you don’t read her, I highly recommend it.

NOTE: This activity follows the first one where students have already had the opportunity to revise vocabulary. If you choose to do only this activity, give students some time to revise the vocabulary they will need to give a great speech.

Before the class: Edit a copy of my/her template and write your own content. My template here

Cut a line between words but don’t cut them all the way so that the slip of paper doesn’t detach. I guess a copy will be enough if you have a class of 24 students or less.

Divide the class into groups of 5-6 people. You can easily create 4 groups of 5-6 people as there are 24 tearable strips of paper. Topics might be repeated, just make sure they are not repeated within the group. In fact, for easier identification, you can divide the class into 4 groups and assign a colour to each group. They can only tear off a topic highlighted in their assigned colour.

Give them about 5 minutes to prepare their monologue encouraging the use of vocabulary and grammar.

Isn’t it a beautiful template? I told you! Thanks @meredith