Monday, 31 May 2010

Oil spill

Our environment is an important issue nowadays. The current oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico can be connected to a lesson about the environment. Many coursebooks deal with the topic of nature and present catastrophes can make our classes more interesting.
I simplified an article from The Times. There are two versions of this task.
The first one is for Intermediate students. The underlined words should be replaced with a synonym expression.
And the second version is for Upper-Intermediate students with more difficult phrases. Apart from the synonyms, the sentences in bold can be converted into Reported Speech again.
Also, if you prepare somebody for a language exam, it is sensible to discuss current affairs. They might appear among the exam tasks.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

And then comes Reported Speech

I still continue the same topic. I've collected some statements made by different people concerning the volcano eruption. All of them are in direct speech in quotation marks.
This way you can combine the volcano topic with practising Reported Speech. Students can connect the two clauses with a past introductory verb in the first clause and report the remarks.

It's a quick and useful task.
My favourite news sites are:
  • The Times -
  • BBC -
Perhaps The Times is a bit more academic. If you want an easier reading then BBC will suit you best.

Current affairs in the English classroom

I think it is a good idea to deal with news stories in a lesson. Students are usually interested in current issues, such as politics, disasters, celebrities and special events. Teachers can take advantage of their students' interest and teach them some new vocabulary. In addition, a lesson like this is certainly communicative as everybody must have an opinion about the actual happenings.

This time I prepared an exercise about the current volcano eruption.
At first students need to match the following expressions with the pictures.


After naming the pictures, clarifying their meaning and pronunciation (especially: volcano = /vɒlˈkeɪnəʊ/ and eruption = /ɪˈrʌpʃn/ ) , I would ask a student to summarize the current story of the Icelandic volcano with the help of the new expressions.

Another exercise would be to match the two halves of some expressions still in connection with the eruption and its consequences.

Students would read the solutions one by one and form a sentence with each of the expressions.

Hope you like these exercises. Do you ever deal with current affairs in your lessons?


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Enjoy learning English

Welcome to everybody! This blog is for both students and teachers who learn or teach English as a foreign language. I'll show you plenty of tasks and ideas to make language learning more interesting. Hope you will all realize how amazing the English language is. Have fun! Reeka