March 25th, 2023
Sport and exercise is a universal topic with many teaching possibilities.
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Also, some new videos on YouTube:
February 5th, 2023
The latest additions to the Business vocabulary page include “Discussing a new project” a new project with audio and video and “Adjective for a businessman (or woman)”.
January 27th, 2023
This page has been updated with more to come. This project might be entitled “trying to make nouns more interesting”. I don’t know if it’s a success, but I’m trying.
January 19th, 2023
The brain is a great topic as is it can lead in many directions. It’s great for a general language learning discussion class. It’s especially good for medical sciences. And it’s also related to technology, as technology increasingly tries to simulate the brain.
Functions of the brain worksheets
“The Influencer” (YouTube) is a reading comprehension and/or a watching/listening activity for elementary to advanced students. There are separate question sheets for each. The worksheets can be found on the Reading Exercises page.
The latest role play is “Interview with a Celebrity Chef” (YouTube). The worksheet for this exercise is on the Food and Restaurants page.
Role plays has been updated with an “Interview with a Famous Athlete” exercise.
Watch “Interview with a Famous Athlete” on YouTube”
Describing appearance has been updated, increasing the variety of teaching and learning activities for this topic.
Prompts are instructions that you give to an AI program to get a desired result. Now, AI programs such as those created by OpenAI offer teachers extremely cheap and almost magical powers for creating teaching materials. You can create topic-specific sets of speaking questions, comprehension questions, answers, gap fills, multiple choice exercises, conversations and more. However, it’s crucial to have good prompts (instructions), to get the most out of these programs. I am currently researching and exploring the best prompts for AI programs in my Substack newsletter.
Teaching really elementary English language classes can be tough. But with more resources, it’s possible to revisit some elementary topics and improve them, hopefully making exercises that focus more precisely on aspects of language, and creating more interesting activities that make it easier for the teacher. This week, the topic is routines and daily activities with a mixture of exercises including brainstorming, exercises for adverbs of frequency and adverbial phrases or time, and reading comprehension exercises which introduce prepositions of time and transition words for talking about a daily routine.
June 25th 2022
These days there are lots of ways to produce creative teaching materials. Sometimes, the results are surprising and unexpected. Ordinary teaching exercises in PDF format can suddenly come alive and be much more dynamic when converted to video. Below are some of the top recent videos on YouTube from the past several months :
Business English letter writing
Artificial intelligence class discussion
This is a cool topic and one that nearly everyone can relate to.
Online shopping and delivery services listening/speaking and vocabulary exercises
Logistics and the supply chain might not seem the most exciting English as a second language topic but they are very important business issues these days.
Import/export, logistics and supply chain
The role play and airport language pages have been updated with more audio and video examples.
Role play listening/speaking activities for language learners
Airport and air travel language and speaking exercises
February 13th 2022
The “Comparative Adjectives” page has been updated and is getting better and better! It’s been neglected for a long time and now is getting some real attention.
February 4th 2022
Two of easiest and most engaging topics have to be movies and music. They are great icebreakers and a great way to teach many aspects of language. For example, at an elementary level they are great for likes/dislikes and conversations about going out. At more advanced levels, they are great topics for writing reviews.
December 30th 2021
Speaking exercises that require students to compare the past and present are a good way to gauge students’ language skills and fluency.
Use to/used to and past continuous
You can also have a look at the YouTube version of this exercise.
Past vs present class discussion (featuring use to used to)
Some new pre-intermediate reading comprehension exercises have been added to the reading page. They are probably best for university students. The topics include internships, learning a new language and the digital classroom.
The elementary conversations page is being steadily updated with video gap fills which are really good for both online and classroom learning. The present perfect page is now much improved with the addition of audio and video.
Elementary conversation exercises
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September 27th 2021
Body language is always an interesting topic for the classroom. Body language and gestures elicit a surprising variety of interpretations. It’s quite fun. And of course, when you add in a mix of cultures, it gets even more interesting.
Body language and gestures listening/speaking activities
August 13th, 2021
Now that’s is easy to gain access to a variety of voices, it is a great time to experiment with all kinds of listening activities.
7 essential listening activities
July 11th, 2021
Listening exercises have been added for the phrasal verbs (two part verbs) and collocations page.
Collocations and phrasal verbs exercises
Also, the adverbs page .
Adverbs listening/speaking exercises
Perhaps most interesting are listening/speaking exercises for talking about modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation. The student responses have been great. And, of course these are great topics, as students are heavily engaged with these new technologies in their daily lives.
Talking about artificial intelligence and other new technologies
June 21st 2021
I have improved the “describing people and appearance” page and added “clothes and accessories” as I realized it was simpler to add it to the “describing people” topic.
Describing people and appearance
Also, the past tense page has been updated.
Past tense listening/speaking exercises
May 23rd 2021
The pages below have been updated and improved. And, of course, audio is being added to as many exercises as possible. And even some video, though this is in the experimental stages at the moment.
Debate and discussion listening exercises
Reading comprehension listening exercises
Food, cooking and kitchens listening/speaking exercises
Listening/speaking exercises for conditionals
April 25th 2021
Indirect questions and reported speech are two aspects of English grammar that can be a little tricky. Practice with pictures and listening using multiple intelligences can help make lessons more entertaining and engaging.
5 exercises for reported speech and indirect questions
March 18 2021
Like adjectives, adverbs are quite fun to teach. Pictures and audio help make grammar lessons more entertaining.
Students preparing to enter the workforce need to understand the language of job interviews. Listening exercises have been added to the vocabulary exercises.
January 31st 2021
At the moment, I am creating a lot of listening exercises to complement the vocabulary and conversation exercises. A list of many of the pages containing listening activities can be found at the link below.
January 14th 2021
Gerunds and infinitives are a tricky part of English grammar. This is a mixture of exercises to help improve students’ mastery of this aspect English grammar.
5 gerund and infinitive speaking/listening/writing exercises
January 5th 2021
It’s now possible to create really excellent listening exercises to complement and enhance English language teaching worksheets and lessons. Artificial intelligence is rapidly making it easier to create listening exercises with accents from around the world. In the future, I will be adding listening dialogues and exercises to all my posts. At the moment, I am adding audio dialogues and conversational exchanges to past speaking exercises. Some of those pages are listed below.
10 invitation and request worksheets with listening
14 conversation and listening exercises
19 Business English speaking and listening activities
One of the most important/useful things for teaching a new language are icebreakers. You just want to break down the barriers and engage with students immediately. I’m always thinking about and looking for good icebreakers. My favorite kind of icebreaker at the moment is what I think of as a “meanings” or “examples” icebreaker. This is great as the activity simultaneously generates lots of great ideas and clarifies the meanings of words or concepts. I can spend half an hour walking around a classroom (50 students generates lots of ideas!) asking students for situations that illustrate target vocabulary. It’s good fun.
21 Really! Practical ESL Classroom or Online Teaching Icebreakers
It is essential that students get a grasp of collocations and phrasal verbs if they want to achieve fluency in English. The problem with teaching collocations and phrasal verbs is that they are quite slippery and can get too difficult for students really quickly. I think it’s best to introduce small sets of these kinds of verbs and verb-noun/adjective (etc.) combinations.
Collocations and Phrasal verbs
Working from home vocabulary and comprehension
Here are some new and improved preposition and business English vocabulary /speaking worksheets.
Elementary …but cool…preposition activities
Business English vocabulary and speaking
There have been some gaps in teaching materials that I have started to fill in recently. One of these is the topic of personality. Talking about personalities is quite easy at an elementary level (and any level) as you can use a lot of adjectives. And parts of speech for specific topics, including personality, has become a kind of a hobby. It’s quite fun and you can see the level of complexity of a topic for language learners when you focus on its parts of speech.
Personality vocabulary and speaking
These pages have been updated with improved vocabulary and speaking activities.
Business English encompasses a wide range of vocabulary. It includes academic vocabulary and more specialized technical vocabulary for different situations, tasks and jobs. As a teacher the challenge is to make the language more accessible the students. Over the years I have found that a combination of vocabulary-picture matching exercises and relatable questions have made for a good communicative lesson.
Expanding Business English vocabulary and speaking skills
Shopping is one of those topics that easily engages students if you have good exercises at the right level. I’ve found it works really well with pictures as the pictures give contexts which are very familiar to most students.
8 Speaking and Vocabulary Activities for Shopping
Sports and exercise is a fun topic and and a good topic for speaking activities and expanding students’ vocabulary.
6 Sport Vocabulary and Speaking Exercises
Elementary English language speaking activities generally focus on likes/dislikes, hobbies, interests and routines. These topics allow students to get used to practicing the present simple tense with topics that relate to their daily lives.
2 Likes and Dislikes Speaking Activities (new)
There really is quite an art to teaching extremely elementary classes. Activities and exercises need to be really scaled back and minimalistic. If you haven’t done it for a while, it can be quite a shock. This was my recent experience. But it can also be quite refreshing to experiment with new ideas on Level 0 or Level 1.
9 Super Elementary Speaking Activities
5 Elementary Conversational Expressions Exercises
10 Adjectives Exercises and Worksheets With Pictures
Socializing includes many varied and unexpected but common everyday situations which require competent speaking skills. Students of a foreign language have to be prepared to encounter these situations and be ready with appropriate responses. Pictures help give context to these situations and help students imagine how they might respond.