Can you see the error of your ways?

Introduction:

This is an activity for lower intermediate students to review some of the most common mistakes they make. The students correct the mistakes individually, write sentences that are true for them and interview their partners.

Level: A2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To identify and correct common mistakes made by lower intermediate students.
  2. To practice changing statements into questions.
  3. To develop fluency and confidence in speaking.

Materials:

  1. Can you see the error of your ways worksheet, one per student

Procedure:

  1. On the left hand side of the board, write I have 2 childrens. Explain the sentence is incorrect and in pairs, or groups of three, ask students to highlight the error and correct the sentence, e.g. I don’t have any children, I have 3 children, etc.
  2. When they have finished, ask them what the error was and underline it on the board. To the right of the sentence, ask them to write their correct sentences in a column on the board. Go through them together as a class and ask which statement is true for them – underline it on the board.
  3. Then, in their pairs, ask the students to change the statement from the first column into a question, e.g. Do you have any children? How many children do you have? Write on the board in a column to the right of the correct sentences.
  4. Clarify understanding and explain any incorrect suggestions.
  5. Give each student a Can you see the error of your ways… worksheet and individually ask students to circle the mistakes in sentences 1 to 12.
  6. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.
  7. Individually, students then write a correct sentence in the second column, making the statement true for them, as per the example.
  8. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.
  9. Individually, ask the students to change the statements from the first column into questions and write them down in the third column, as per the example.
  10. Monitor closely. When they have finished, they check the answers with a partner.
  11. Explain any mistakes on the board using the correct structures.
  12. Then, put students into pairs, or groups of three, and ask them to interview each other using the questions.
  13. If students need more practice, ask them to switch pairs / groups and repeat the process.

Fast finishers:

  1. Ask students to write down 4 things they have learned about their classmates.

Related posts:

Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction

Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction

My favourite mistakes card game

P.S. Thank you Alex.

 

Hypothetically speaking

Introduction:

This is a short writing activity for intermediate students to revise the second conditional. The students answer the questions individually, read and match their classmate’s answers and further discuss the responses that caught their attention.

Level: B1

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To answer questions using the second conditional.
  2. To match their classmates’ responses to the questions.
  3. To discuss the questions that caught students’ attention using the second conditional.

Materials:

  1. Hypothetically speaking worksheet, one per student

Procedure:

  1. Give each student a Hypothetically speaking worksheet and ask them to answer the questions in random order, e.g. write the answer to question 1 next to letter d etc.
  2. Put students in pairs, or groups of 3, and ask them to swap papers. The students now read each other’s answers and match the responses to the questions. Encourage students to correct any mistakes they might come across when they go through their classmate’s sentences and ask them to underline the responses that catch their attention.
  3. Monitor throughout the activity.
  4. Now ask the students to swap the papers and check if their classmates matched the responses correctly.
  5. Elicit some answers from the students. When I did this activity for the first time I couldn’t believe how many original responses the students came up with.
  6. In the same pairs or groups of 3 now ask the students to explain in detail the underlined answers using the second conditional.

Fast finishers

  1. Ask students to take 4 of their responses and use them as beginnings of new sentences, e.g. If everyone in the world was madly in love with me, I would be over the moon. I would be over the moon, if I could speak English with an Irish accent.

Related posts:

(Un)conditional love

 

What’s with all the questions?

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Introduction:

This is a fun board game activity to practise asking wh- questions and any other grammar points you would currently like to revise or practise with your students, e.g. Subject/object questions and present tenses, etc. Students ask and answer wh- questions about a variety of topics.

Level: A2+

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To practise asking wh- questions.
  2. To develop fluency and confidence in speaking.

Materials:

  1. What’s with all the questions PDF board game and one die per pair, or a small group of 3 or 4.

Procedure:

  1. Print the board game and put students in pairs or small groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Players take it in turns to throw the die and move the numbers thrown.
  3. To obtain a question for the speaking activity students throw the die twice. The first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw which row they should use to obtain the topic.
  4. Player 1 must then ask their partner or teammates at least 2 questions on the given topic, beginning with who, what, where, when, why and how, focusing on the recent language point studied, e.g. Where do you usually eat lunch? What do you have for breakfast? for present simple, or Where did you eat lunch when you were at school? What was your favourite food when you were a child? to practise past simple, etc. Increase the level of difficulty depending on the level of your class.
  5. The other player/s then answer the questions in as much detail as possible.
  6. The game continues in a circle going left.
  7. At the end, ask students to write down 4 additional questions for their classmates about a topic that sparked their interest the most.

Related posts:

Summary of past or recent events

How well do you really know your place of work?

P.S. Do you think your students would enjoy this activity? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction


Introduction:

This is a sentence auction activity for Spanish FCE students. Students work in groups and bid on the sentences they think they can correct. This activity could also be used with lower CAE groups.

Level: B2

Time: 45 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To review the most common mistakes made by Spanish FCE students in an entertaining way.

Materials:

  1. Bid it 2 Win it FCE Sentence Auction, one worksheet for the teacher.

Procedure:

  1. Put students in small groups of 2 or 3.
  2. Each group will have £2000 to spend.
  3. Bids begin at £50 and each subsequent bid is increased by £100.
  4. The teacher writes the first sentence on the board and sells it to the highest bidder.
  5. Once the students have bought the sentence they have to rewrite it. If their answer is correct they keep the sentence. If they are wrong the sentence goes back on sale and the students can bid on it again at the end.
  6. The winner of the game is the group which has ended up with the most correct sentences.

Related posts:

Bid it 2 Win it Sentence Auction

My favourite mistakes card game

 

Holiday heaven & hell

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Introduction: 

This is a creative speaking activity inspired by a great book by Edward de Bono called “Creativity Workout”.

Objective:

  1. To brainstorm vocabulary related to holiday and travelling.
  2. To build fluency by using vocabulary in a fun and entertaining way.

Materials:  

  1. One die per pair or small group.
  2. One set of cut up Holiday heaven and hell task cards per pair or small group.

Procedure:

  1. Draw a 6 x 6 grid on the board.
  2. Divide the class into teams, e.g. Three teams of 2.
  3. Start with the square in the top left hand corner and write any summer, holiday, or travel related word inside it, e.g. a tent.
  4. Each team has to quickly think of another summer, holiday, or travel related word that starts with the last letter of the previous word, e.g. tent > travel.
  5. The teams receive a point for each correct word. Discourage the use of dictionaries unless students run out of ideas.
  6. When the grid is complete, put students in pairs or small groups and handout one set of cut up task cards. Taking it in turns to pick a card, students obtain the words and complete the task.
  7. To obtain words for the speaking activity students throw the die twice: the first throw indicates which column they are going to use and the second indicates which row they are going to use. Depending on the task, they must roll for the number of words and use them repetitively to complete the activity.
  8. The tasks on the cards are just examples of activities that can be done with random words. They could be done in one session or you could choose a few to do as a warmer or plenary.

Related posts:

Random words

Random words return

Nothing changes if nothing changes

Introduction: 

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise idioms and phrases relating to change. Students match the sentence halves; complete the sentences with the missing expressions and do a role play.

Level: B2 +

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To match sentence halves to make idioms and phrases relating to change.
  2. To do a role play activity to practise the new vocabulary in a new, playful context.

Materials:

  1. Nothing changes if nothing changes idioms and phrases, one set per small group of three or four, cut up and shuffled.
  2. Nothing changes if nothing changes Worksheet, one per student.
  3. Nothing changes if nothing changes fortune teller cards, one set per pair, cut up, and shuffled.

Procedure:

  1. Write the following questions on the board and ask students to briefly answer them in pairs:
  • Have you made any recent changes in your life?
  • If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
  • Do you think it is easy for people to change?
  1. Hand students ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ idioms and phrases.
  2. In small groups, students match the sentence halves.
  3. Monitor and encourage students to guess some of the answers, before asking them to compare with the other groups.
  4. Check the answers as a class – you can make this more competitive by asking each team for their answer and awarding a point for the correct answer.
  5. Give students ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ worksheet and ask them to complete the sentences with the missing phrases individually before they compare it with their partner.
  6. Check the answers as a class.
  7. Ask students to think of their love life, health, work/school and money, and very briefly describe what stage they are at in these. Tell them they can be creative and invent it, even pretending to be a celebrity, if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal information.
  8. Put the students into pairs and give one student a set of ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ fortune teller cards.
  9. One student is a fortune teller and the other is a client who is looking for advice.
  10. Once the client has explained their situation, the fortune teller draws one of the cards and offers advice using all three expressions on the cards, e.g. Unfortunately, the project you have been working on is not going anywhere. You will have to go back to square one and start again.
  11. Once the client has asked for 2 pieces of advice, students switch roles and continue with the next card.
  12. Then, mix the students into fresh pairs, shuffle the cards and continue.
  13. Role plays continue until each client has spoken to at least 3 fortune tellers.
  14. At the end ask the students which fortune player seemed the most convincing and which piece of advice in particular they found the most useful.

Fast finishers:

Unscramble the following idioms and write your own definitions of each one:

  1. Clean break to a make
  2. Breath fresh air of a
  3. To change times with the
  4. Face the to music
  5. To doors open new

The proof is in the pudding

Introduction: 

These are activities for upper intermediate students to introduce and practise food idioms. Students complete the sentences with the missing expressions, write their own definitions and play a taboo game.

Level: B2 +

Time: 60 minutes

Objectives:

  1. To introduce food idioms and expressions.
  2. To write definitions of the new expressions.
  3. To play a taboo game to reinforce the new vocabulary in a new, playful context.

Materials:

  1. The proof is in the pudding worksheet, one per student.
  2. Three sets of taboo cards per pair, cut up and shuffled.

Procedure:

  1. Write the beginning of the following sentences on the board and ask students to complete them:
  • My favourite dessert is…
  • I typically eat desserts…
  • One of the countries I often associate with great desserts is…
  1. Hand students The proof is in the pudding worksheet.
  2. Individually, students have a go at completing the sentences with the missing expressions (Exercise 1).
  3. Monitor and allow them to read and guess some of the answers, before putting them into groups of three or four to discuss and compare.
  4. Check the answers as a class – you can make this more competitive by asking each team for their answer and awarding a point for the correct answer.
  5. Ask the students to write their own definitions of the expressions in Part 2.
  6. Monitor and offer feedback.
  7. Put the students into pairs and give them a set of taboo cards.
  8. Place the cards face down on the table and ask them to set a timer for one minute (they can use their phones, or you could use a timer as a class).
  9. For higher levels, the first player takes the first card and must explain the expression on the top of the card without using the three taboo words in the middle of the card. If a taboo word is used the student whose turn it is must put the current card into the discard pile.
  10. For lower levels, they can use the words as prompts for their partner to guess the correct expression.
  11. Play continues for one minute and the players swap. The continued repetition of the same 12 expressions will enforce their understanding.
  12. The winner is the student who has the most correctly guessed taboo cards at the end of the game.

Fast finishers:

  1. Choose 3 idioms and in writing try to predict what the origins of the expressions might be. Once you have finished do some research to find out if you were correct.

Related posts:

A piece of cake or a hard nut to crack?

Yummy Yummy I’ve got food in my tummy

P.S. Thank you for putting this activity to the test Stu. It was a pleasure to observe your class.