Although I might seem like an organized and methodical person from the outside, the truth is that, in some areas, I am or can become highly and hopefully disorganised.
Context: this week I am teaching Present Perfect Simple /Continuous and its use in combination with the simple Past. I know that, over the years, I have written several posts with games and activities featuring these tenses. Problem? I have so much content on the blog, that, sometimes, it is hard to find what I am looking for. See my problem?
The idea when I started this blog was to have a repository of activities I could resort to, when needed, quickly. For the most part, I have managed to do it. However, in this case, I had to trawl the blog looking for these activities. And this is precisely what has prompted this post. Having them together. Easy to find. Up for grabs! I am not sure which activity I’ll use this year but what I know is, it will be easy to find now.
Speaking game for B1 or B2 levels: Click on the Instructions to read how to play this game. Suitable to practise for and since and the present perfect simple/continuous and the simple past.
2. You are lying
A speaking game to consolidate the use of present perfect simple and past simple. Ready for a lot of fun! Handouts provided.
Undeniable. This course is proving to be quite challenging. Having your students sitting in rows, stuck on their seats and only being able to talk to the person on their right or on their left has me racking my brains trying to find attractive alternatives to some of the successful dynamics I used in the past.
With teaching online on the rise, more than ever I have been juggling different tools to make sure the work my students do at home is relevant, effective and motivating. I think Genial.ly, the tool I have used in this lesson, is a must-have in any teachers’ toolbox.
Before introducing new vocabulary, it is crucial to help them activate prior knowledge so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by how much they need to learn. Learning expands gradually from previous knowledge and we cannot and should not neglect this important step.
To brainstorm vocabulary, I gave them 2 minutes to write down on their notebooks, words or expressions related to “work”. On the board, I wrote Work and then wrote their suggestions, exemplifying, clarifying and drilling pronunciation.
When appropriate and relevant, I also started introducing new terms, like the minimum wage as represented in the picture below. Some other vocabulary they came up with is here
Individual Work: I gave them this photocopy and a couple of minutes to underline any new words/expressions.
Whole class: Then, I instructed them to ask the question. Does anyone know what the meaning of…. is? Only when no one in the class could come up with a clear explanation, did I offer it. Until then, it is all about asking students to tap into their previous knowledge.
Step 3: Firts attempt at introducing some new vocabulary in a speaking activity
I divided the class into As and Bs and asked As to choose three new words they wanted to use in their speech. I wrote them on the board under the headings A’s words/ B’s words.
I gave As this statement to discuss: Unpaid internships should be banned and I gave B’s Retirement age: higher or lower? I let them have some thinking time and asked them to do the speaking task.
Step 4: Revising Vocabulary with a Game
This proved to be an engaging game to revise vocabulary. You will find the instructions in the second slide, but watch the video with my students doing the activity if you want a sneak peek of how much fun we had.
And here’s the game. I have made the template editable in case you want to add your own pictures. To reveal the hidden word, you’ll need to hover the mouse pointer over the picture.
…and there I go again. Up to my eyes in work this week and yet, I cannot resist the temptation of stepping outside the book and giving my students a taste of fun and the opportunity to listen to a piece of audio that is not staged and academic and still relevant to the lesson. I think I have managed to accomplish both. Some might say it is a sacrilege to spend more time than necessary planning lessons and that this time should be devoted to socialising, but, … in Spain, no chance of doing that in the near future, so here we are glued to the computer and virtually socialising.
I am working with Language Leader Advanced and the lesson focuses on success and successful people. I have to admit I was greatly surprised that the three people chosen as representatives of this success were all women; one of them was Indra Nooyi, Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo and a woman known for her communication skills and leadership. I loved it when I read she had grown up playing the game What would you do if you were the president of…? It kind of rubbed off on her, don’t you think?
This smallish lesson has two parts and is meant to be used as a side dish and part of a larger lesson on the topic of success.
Game: speaking and learning vocabulary
1.Ask students to write the most defining 5 traits successful people share, in their opinion.
Introduce qualities such as willingness to learn, discipline, humble nature, sociability, integrity, passion, patience, willpower, self-confidence, commitment, consistency, the ability to embrace change…etc.
2. Tell students you are going to display the pictures of remarkably successful people. On one side of the flashcard, they will see their picture and on the other side, they will see some facts about their lives. Put students into pairs and ask student A to face away from the board. Student B will briefly have a look at the picture and then use some of the facts on the back of the flashcard to help student A guess the person on display. Warn students it is very important not to give specific details in order to make their partner sweat a bit, ie, if you are showing Mark Zukerberg, you cannot mention Facebook. Encourage them to use the facts on the back of the flipcard, but also the adjectives brainstormed in Exercise 1
There are 4 people on the flashcards and students take it in turns to talk about them. Do not forget to go through any new vocabulary before displaying a new name.
A word: The audio is not very good in the sense that it is very low in volume, but my class is about 50 square meters, there are 20 students in it and they have all managed to do it. Just instruct them not make any noise.
Ready? Here we go!!
First time listening
Listen to Indra Nooyi talking about what she calls her list of essential skills for leaders “ the five C’s” and cross out the words/expressions as you hear them. There are some distractors. I won’t tell you how many. You are a C1 student.
Raise your hand if you find it hard to learn new vocabulary! Make that two hands if you find it even harder to use it when you speak! For those of you who have raised a hand or two, I have created this exercise. A modern version of a shopping list, only this time we will be buying words. Words are worth points.
Pre-game: This is a retrieval practice kind of game. For those of you not familiar with the strategy, broadly speaking, retrieval practice is a strategy used to pull information out of the student. This strategy has proved to be a more effective way of learning as it challenges the mind to recall this information; but obviously, first, before bringing any information to mind, we need to push it in. Information= vocabulary
So, for this game, we have already taught students some new vocabulary. Time to pull it out to help them remember.
Setting the context
Tell students we are going to revise and use, in a speaking activity, newly-acquired vocabulary in a game called The Shopping List.
Open the two editable lists and with the help of the whole class, fill in the two lists with the same number of words/expressions. You don’t have to fill in the 10 spaces, but you need to make sure the two lists are balanced in difficulty ie, if there is a phrasal verb on List A, there should be another on List B.
To see both lists displayed at the same time, I use the Google Extension Tab Resize. I have been using it for ages and it works great.
Again, with the help of your students, assign points to the words on the list. I would give 1 point to the easiest and 2 points to the most difficult. To do this, you can easily project the lists on the board and write on the image.
Divide the class into pairs A and B, and assign students their corresponding list.
Give Student A a question to discuss. Depending on the level, they will have to talk for about X minutes. While student A answers the question, student B jots down the words from the list he or she has used. When Students A finishes, he adds up the number of points according to the words used. Now, it’s Student B’s turn. Ask a new question and repeat procedure.
Note: Students can use the same list a number of times. In fact, the more they use the words, the more confident they will get. However, in my case, I will use the same list only 3 times and then ask them to swap lists so that new words are used.
Aka my new favourite vocabulary game. Seriously, this little game is about to be your favourite vocabulary revision game. Why? Because it’s both fun and effective and requires almost no preparation. Your whole class is going to love it! I promise!
How does it work?
In advance, write a list of the vocabulary you want to revise.
Divide the class into two, or maybe three teams, with the same number of students in each team. Well, more or less; it doesn’t have to be the exact same number. To be honest, it is easier with only two teams.
Ask a representative from each team to stand up.
Now, define one of the words on your list. You can also give a synonym or an antonym. Whatever helps them guess the word.
The first person to guess the word remains standing and the person from the other team who couldn’t guess or guessed second sits down. The student sitting down is quickly replaced by another person from this same team.
Call out all the words you want to revise.
The winner will be the team whose members had to sit down less often.
Follow up: ask students to write a list of all the words they can remember from the game and revise them once again, this time focusing on pronunciation. If you have time, you can ask them to provide a sentence including the target word or chunk.