Stop beating around the bush

Introduction:

This is an activity for B2+ students to review some of the common phrasal verbs related to communication. Students use context to come up with their own definitions of the ten phrasal verbs, answer the questions and share their examples with other students.

Level: B1 +

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To familiarise students with some of the most common phrasal verbs related to communication.
  2. To write down definitions of the phrasal verbs using the context provided.
  3. To discuss students’ examples with another classmate.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. Stop beating around the bush Worksheet

Procedure:

  1. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to briefly discuss them in pairs: What is good communication? What are the greatest challenges to effective communication? What role does body language play in communication? Do you believe people could benefit from communication courses?
  2. Elicit some answers from students and then write the following phrasal verbs on the board: to back up, to bring up, to cut off, to open up, to point out , to rant about, to speak up, to talk down to, to tell off, to tune out.
  3. In pairs, ask students to briefly define the phrasal verbs they know or think they remember. Tell the students all the phrasal verbs are related to communication.
  4. Hand each student the Stop beating around the bush Worksheet.
  5. Individually, students look at the questions in column 2 and complete the first column, e.g. Definition/ synonym: Support. Name two people who you know would always back you up.
  6. In pairs, students compare their answers with a classmate.
  7. Correct and provide feedback.
  8. Individually, ask the students to answer the questions in column 2 using the appropriate phrasal verb, e.g. Name two things you find yourself unable to stop ranting about. Your examples: I can’t stop ranting about men. I am constantly ranting about work. Encourage students to vary the structures slightly to give them an opportunity to play with the form of the verbs.
  9. When the students have finished, ask them to switch their worksheets, read each other’s answers and circle all the examples they have in common with their classmate, underline 3 examples they want to know more about and cross out 3 examples they completely disagree with.
  10. In their pairs, students now discuss their examples. Encourage students to use the phrasal verbs in their responses. You can ask students to switch pairs again to provide them with more opportunities to practise the target language.

Fast finishers:

  1. Students choose 4 questions from the worksheet and try to predict what the teacher’s answer would be or the classmate’s that they haven’t spoken to, e.g. What two topics make you tune out in the middle of a conversation?  Karolina tunes out when people talk about board games and the weather. When they are finished they give their sentences to the teacher/classmate to check if their predictions were correct.

Related posts:

Phrasal verbs can be put off, never forgotten

Brace yourselves. Phrasal verbs r bk

How do you …?

You talkin’ to me?

I will make better mistakes tomorrow

Introduction:

This is an activity for B2+ students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually and interview their partners. I have created this activity with my Spanish students in mind, but I am sure you could use it with other nationalities too.

Level: B2+

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To identify and correct common mistakes made by B2+ students.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. I will make better mistakes tomorrow Worksheet, one per student

Procedure:

  1. Give each student a I will make better mistakes tomorrow  Worksheet and in pairs ask them to discuss the quotes at the top of the page.
  2. Elicit some answers from students to learn more about their attitudes to errors.
  3. Now individually ask students to correct the mistakes in questions 1 to 18.
  4. When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree.
  5. Check together as a class. The class must decide as a group what they believe the correct answer to be. As teacher, only write their final answers on the board, do not tell them if they are correct or not at this stage. Once they have discussed and agreed on all of their answers as a class, tell them how many (if any) they have wrong – do not tell them which ones are wrong. As a class, they must review all of the questions and decide which one(s) they think is incorrect. This increases talking time and requires repetition of the language; it also encourages competition.
  6. In the same pairs, or groups of three, ask students to interview each other using the questions 1 to 18.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write down true statements about themselves using the expressions they were not able to correct by themselves.

P.S. “Your best teacher is your last mistake.” Ralph Nader

Related posts:

Blah Blah PET Part 1

Can you see the error of your ways?

Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction

Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction

My favourite mistakes card game

 

Blah Blah PET Part 1

Introduction:

This is a short error correction activity and a board game to practise giving personal information about yourself, where you live, your hobbies, your job, etc. as well as to prepare students for Speaking Part 1 of the PET exam.

Level: B1

Objectives:

  1. To raise students’ awareness of some of the most common preposition & article mistakes they make.
  2. To correct mistakes in sentences 1-14 (I can’t believe I said that Worksheet).
  3. To practise giving personal information.
  4. To encourage peer correction.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

  1. I can_t believe I said that Worksheet, one per student.
  2. Blah Blah PET Part 1 board game and a die, one per pair or group of 3.

Procedure:

  1. Give students a copy of I can’t believe I said that Worksheet (This exercise is based on the mistakes my own students made when we did this activity last week).
  2. Individually ask students to correct the mistakes in sentences 1-14. Tell students to concentrate ONLY on the prepositions and articles.
  3. When the students have finished, ask them to check their answers with a classmate. Together they must decide on an answer and agree: this increases talking time and requires repetition of the language.
  4. Check together as a class. The class must decide as a group what they believe the correct answer to be. As teacher, only write their final answers on the board, do not tell them if they are correct or not at this stage. Once they have discussed and agreed on all of their answers as a class, tell them how many (if any) they have wrong – do not tell them which ones are wrong. As a class, they must review all of the questions and decide which one(s) they think is incorrect.
  5. Put the students in pairs or groups of 3 and give them a copy of Blah Blah PET Part 1 board game and a die.
  6. Players take it in turns to throw the die twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question.
  7. The player must then answer the question from that square. Encourage students to give more than just short one or two word answers. Ask the other students to pay CLOSE attention and write down any preposition or article mistakes they think their classmate made.
  8. The game continues in a circle going left.
  9. At the end, ask the students to share if they have noticed any incorrect use of articles and prepositions and go through their notes with the rest of the class.

Related posts:

Can you see the error of your ways?

Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction

Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction

My favourite mistakes card game

Two-round boxing match

Introduction:

This is an activity for FCE students to practise the passive and the active voice in a fun and competitive way. Students change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice. The activity could also be used as a warmer or a plenary if the students are already able to use the target language confidently.

Level: B2

Time: 30 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To change the sentences from the active into the passive voice or from the passive into the active voice.
  2. To get a winning line of four noughts or four crosses in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

  1. Round One Worksheet, one per pair.
  2. Round Two Worksheet, one per pair.

Procedure:

  1. Divide the students into pairs and hand out a Round One Worksheet to each pair.
  2. The players start with Round One.
  3. Each player takes a turn to change one of the sentences from active into passive voice. If they manage to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board. The first player to line up 4 of their symbols in a row wins. The students must write each answer in the space provided below the table.
  4. Repeat the procedure with Round Two Worksheet.
  5. Monitor at all times and go through some of the most problematic sentences together at the end of the class.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write 4 sentences in the active voice and 4 in the passive voice using a variety of tenses, e.g. Stuart is going to buy Karolina coffee this afternoon. Karolina was invited to a storytelling event by Brittany. When the students have finished they swap their sentences with their partner and change the eight sentences into active or passive voice.

Related posts:

Noughts and Crosses

P.S. “Never use the passive where you can use the active.” George Orwell

Word Fusion

Introduction: 

This is an activity for intermediate students to practise forming compound nouns. Students form compound nouns, complete the sentences with the missing words and answer another classmate’s questions.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To combine different words to form compound nouns.
  2. To ask and answer questions containing the compound nouns in question.

Materials (Click on the worksheets below to download the PDF files):

  1. Word fusion Worksheet A or B, one per student.
  2. Word fusion Fast Finisher Worksheet, one per student.

Procedure:

  1. Elicit some common compound nouns from students and write them on the board e.g. jellyfish, board game, eyelid,
  2. Divide the class in half down the middle – one side As, the other side Bs – and hand out the worksheets accordingly.
  3. Individually, students combine the nouns from the table and complete the sentences 1-10 with the newly formed words.
  4. When the students have finished, they compare their answers with another classmate  from their group of As or Bs.
  5. Monitor and check their answers in their groups of A or B.
  6. When the students have finished, put the students into A / B pairs; in turns they ask and answer each other’s questions.
  7. Monitor and encourage students to use the nouns in their answers.
  8. At the end ask students to share three things they agree about with their partner.

Fast finishers: 

  1. Hand out the Word Fusion Fast Finisher Worksheet and in A / B pairs ask students to choose six compounds and complete the table.

P.S. Thank you for your help Stu. Get better soon.

Phrasal verbs can be put off, never forgotten

Introduction:

This is an activity for intermediate + students to review some of the most common phrasal verbs with PUT. Students use context to come up with their own definitions of the ten phrasal verbs, answer the questions and share their examples with other students.

Level: B1 +

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To familiarise students with some of the most common phrasal verbs with put.
  2. To write down definitions of the phrasal verbs using the context provided.
  3. To discuss students’ examples with another classmate.

Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):

  1. Phrasal verbs can be put off, never forgotten Worksheet

Procedure:

  1. Write the following phrasal verbs on the board: to put on, to put through, to put off, to put up with, to put away, to put across to, to put down (to), to put forward.
  2. In pairs ask students to briefly define the phrasal verbs they know or think they remember.
  3. Hand each student the Phrasal verbs can be put off, never forgotten Worksheet.
  4. Individually, students look at the questions in column 2 and complete the first column, e.g. Definition/ synonym: Repel. Name two annoying things people do that really put you off.
  5. In pairs, students compare their answers with a classmate.
  6. Correct and provide feedback.
  7. Individually, ask the students to answer the questions in column 2 with one or two words, e.g. Name two food items that make people put on weight. Your examples: Alcohol. Mince pies.
  8. When the students have finished, ask them to switch their worksheets, read each other’s answers and circle 3 examples they have in common with their classmate, underline 3 examples they want to know more about and cross out 3 examples they completely disagree with.
  9. In their pairs, students now discuss their examples. Encourage students to use the phrasal verbs in their responses. You can ask students to switch pairs again to provide them with more opportunities to practise the target language.

Fast finishers:

  1. Students choose 4 questions from the worksheet and try to predict what the teacher’s answer would be or the classmate’s that they haven’t spoken to, e.g. Name two things you have to put up with at school or at work. Karolina has to put up with Stuart using her printer and talking about Star Wars (Love you really Stu). When they are finished they give their sentences to the teacher/classmate to check if their predictions were correct.

Related posts:

Brace yourselves. Phrasal verbs r bk

Single and ready to mingle

Hit the road

How do you …?

P.S. Procrastinate now. Don’t put it off 🙂

 

Noughts and Crosses

 

Introduction:

This is an activity for PET students to practise Part 1 of the Writing Exam in a fun and competitive way. Students complete the second sentences in bold so that they mean the same as the first. The examples for this exercise are similar to the ones students could find in the PET exams (Writing Part 1).

Level: PET

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To complete the second sentences so that they mean the same as the first.
  2. To get a winning line of four Noughts or four Crosses in either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row.

Materials:

  1. Noughts and Crosses Worksheet, one per pair.

Procedure:

  1. Divide the students into pairs and hand out a Noughts and Crosses Worksheet to each pair.
  2. Each player takes a turn to complete one of the second sentences in bold to mean the same as the first sentence using no more than three words. If they manage to do it correctly, they add either an O or an X to the board. The first player to line up 4 of their symbols in a row wins.
  3. Monitor at all times and go through some of the most problematic sentences together at the end of the class.

Fast finishers:

  1. Write 4 sentences about yourself using the structures from the sentences in bold, e.g.  I prefer working alone to working with other people. I have eaten a grasshopper before.