lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

Idea for teaching school subjects

school subjects

  • Learn range of school subjects
  • Describe your timetable i.e. how often, what time, which day, teacher etc.
  • Revise telling the time, days of the week and adverbs of frequency


Make pupils wait outside. Hide flashcards of pictures representing school subjects around the room (like we did in Andrew Maccullan’s lecture) with the name of the subject underneath in the TL.

Before pupils come in tell them to go in and find the 10 pictures and workout and write down what the subject is in English.

Collect the flashcards in and then go through them again with the pupils. Repeat using various games.

Moving on:
Tell the class that they are going to describe their timetables.

Put a written example of your timetable on an OHP as a model answer. To help them revise using days of the week, adverbs of frequency and telling the time, put 20 mistakes in your text related to these areas that they have to correct e.g. “An Montag hat ich Erdkunde”, “Jeudi j’ai history à 3 heures” and go through the answers.

Brainstorm a list of information they could include in their description and write on the board for reference e.g. name of teacher, do you like the subject, time, frequency … (This is good for all abilities because it leaves the task very open. The weaker ones will use some of the information, but the more able pupils don’t feel restricted)

Doing the Task:
Put pupils in mixed ability groups of three. Pupils have 15 minutes to design A SECTION of their own timetable to present at the end. It may be made more fun by allowing them to choose who their teachers are e.g. “On Wednesday we have Robbie Williams for French”. To challenge the more able pupils you could choose the ones in each group to try and present their timetables from heart rather than reading it from the paper. Another option would be to have each group write their work on an OHT and have the class correct each others afterwards.

Pupils write the rest of their timetables including at least one additional / invented subject which is not on the list to make it more fun e.g. “Moon Landing lessons on Fridays with Tony Blair as our teacher.” 

viernes, 26 de septiembre de 2014

jueves, 25 de septiembre de 2014

Present Tense vs Progressive Tense

English Grammar Rules


Simple Present Tense

We use the simple present tense:
1. For facts
  • Whales live in the ocean.
  • Aconcagua is the highest mountain in Latin America.
  • The flight from Chile to Australia is thirteen hours.
2. For repeated or regular actions
  • Flights to Buenos Aires leave every hour.
  • I eat breakfast at the table.
  • We work every day of the week.
3. For habits
  • I brush my teeth three times a day.
  • He only drinks Martinis.
  • We celebrate Christmas on the twenty-fifth of December.
4. For things that are generally true in the present time period:
  • Boca Juniors is the best team in Argentina at the moment.
  • She is my girlfriend.
  • We study English.

Present Progressive Tense

We use the present progressive tense:
1. When somebody is doing something at this moment.
  • Sarah is changing her clothes right now.
  • Her boyfriend is waiting for her.
  • We are learning the progressive tense in English.
2. When something is happening at this moment. When the action has started but hasn't finished.
  • It is snowing at the moment.
  • The economy is growing at an exponential rate.
  • The children are sleeping, so please be quiet.
3. To talk about something that is happening around the time of speaking but not necessarily at that exact moment.
  • Alfredo is studying a lot for his exam.
  • I'm reading a great book. (not necessary right at this moment)
  • We are planning a trip to Jamaica.

Present vs. Progressive Tense

A significant difference between these two tenses is we use the simple present tense for things that are permanent or are in general and the present progressive tense for things that may change or are temporary.
Simon lives in Birmingham.Simon is living with his friends for now.
James smokes.James is smoking in the kitchen.
We walk to work.We're walking in the park.
speak speaking English right now.

Verbs that we don't use in the Progressive Tense

Another difference is that there are some verbs in English that we don't use in the progressive tense. These include:
Belong - Cost - Hate - Have (possession) - Hear - Know - Like - Love - Need - Own - Remember - Seem - Smell - Understand - Want

Different Meanings

In questions the same verb can change the meaning depending on if it is in the present or the present progressive tense.
Differences in meaning of verb
What do you do?What is your job?
What are you doing?What are you doing at the moment?
What do you read?What do you like to read?
What are you reading?What are you reading right now?

You learn something every day if you pay attention. ~Ray LeBlond

miércoles, 24 de septiembre de 2014

martes, 23 de septiembre de 2014

CLASSROOM language











A World Language

You learn something every day if you pay attention. ~Ray LeBlond

viernes, 19 de septiembre de 2014

miércoles, 17 de septiembre de 2014

lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2014

just for teachers. First day activities

  1. Distribute one A4 paper for each student. Write your name on the board and have students write their names in the middle of the A4 paper. Start drawing lines, as in the spider chart, and write up whatever structure you find appropriate for students´ level. I usually start with “is” and ask the group to finish it for me. They tend to be extremely nice and finish it with flattering words!;-D Choose one word you find relevant and write it on the board, e.g. Kasia is amazing/Kasia is having a lot of fun! Have students copy the structure from the board and finish it with their own ideas about themselves. Explain at this point that it doesn´t necessarily need to be true and encourage the group to use humour.
    +/- 10 minutes
  2. Continue filling up the board with different structures and ask the students to do the same on their A4 papers. Pause after each structure and make sure everybody has finished. Some students might need more time than others to come up with ideas. Ask those who have finished to help out! At the end of this part everyone in the class should have something similar to this (completed):

+/- 20 minutes
    1. Collect the A4 papers from the students and place them around the room (use Blu-Tack to stick them to walls/board/door/windows etc.) Ask the students to walk around the room and read their classmates´ papers. Explain that the objective here is to try to remember as many interesting details about their classmates as they can.
      +/-10 minutes
    2. Have students work in groups and tell one another what they have learned about their classmates. Have a brief class feedback.
      +/- 10 minutes

martes, 9 de septiembre de 2014

FIRST DAYS; Introducing yourself to classes. Teachers tips

Introducing yourself to classes
The first lesson and subsequent lessons will be crucial in establishing the atmosphere in your classes and your students’ attitude towards you.
Here are ten useful tips for helping you to get to know your students better and get off to a good start.
  • Enlist the help of teachers: Will the teacher introduce you? Will you have your own slot of time to talk to the class? What would the teacher like you to do?
  • Confirm guidelines with teachers: rules for rowdy behaviour, leaving the room to go to the bathroom, will the teacher deal with bad behaviour if you are both in the room together?
  • Voice your worries, no matter how small.
  • Keep in mind the old adage “first impressions count” and apply this to your first classes.
  • Make your role clear you are a member of staff, not a member of the student body (no matter how close in age) so do not set out to be “mates” with them. Keep a friendly distance, keep personal details about boyfriends to yourself.
  • Look professional: do not totally change your style but dress appropriately for the school culture, respect the staff dress code. Students need to perceive you as a teacher.
  • Sound professional: be careful about your voice (clear and calm) and posture. Students need to feel you are in control or they will take control.
  • Assert yourself: establish rules from the start and make them clear. No more than 5 will do. For example: do not start the lesson or explain activities if students are talking. Always expect silence before you speak. Have signals for getting attention (clapping hands twice) or for students to speak (putting up hands).
  • Be organised: plan, plan and plan again ! If you will be alone with groups decide how you will introduce yourself and plan a task to get to know students. What will you write on the board? How long will the activity last ? What will you do if they get too noisy?
  • Be positive: smile, even if you are feeling a nervous wreck. Concentrate on giving students positive attention with encouraging smiles and praise for answering questions.
  • Show real interest: listen to their answers and react “That’s a good answer” “I like them too. Have you got their latest CD?” Keep your response as natural as possible.
  • Make an effort to learn and use their names: Make name tags, cardboard name plates for desks or mark names on a seating plan of the room.
  • Be patient: You may be the first native speaker they have ever met. Give them time to ask you questions and give them time to get used to your voice
  • Have fun: try to relax and enjoy yourself. A sense of humour helps too!

By Clare Lavery
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