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Archive for July, 2010


This is a great film that I have used many times in the classroom to introduce the idea of a “spoof” film.

I watch the film once with the students, then give them 10 questions about the man’s job, the accident, the bird etc, and we watch it again. There are no words in the film, so there is no chance that they won’t understand the film, which makes it accessible to everyone… they just have to express their own ideas in English.

Lead In: Write “Who Am I?” on the board. Students can only ask you Yes/No questions to guess who you are (Tom Cruise). When they have finally guessed, then ask them which films has he been in (Mission Impossible). Then introduce the idea of a spoof (a film about a film which makes jokes about it), then show them the film.

Extension: Students could write/perform a spoof of their favourite film, or make a funny film about their school/class.

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There is a popular TV programme called “Come Dine With Me”, where 5 strangers throw a dinner party for each other and they score the host’s efforts in secret. The winner wins £1000.

I spent the week building up vocab and knowledge of the topic of food. We did readings, phrasal verbs, food phrases (eg. she’s as nice as pie, they’re nuts, it’s not really my cup of tea, piece of cake etc.), and the students had to write recipes for their favourite food and research food from a country I gave them.

On the Friday, we played Come Dine With Me, and it went really well.

We did a very short reading on the programme, just so they understood what we were doing. Then we watched an episode of “Come Dine With Me”, and they had to answer a few questions (what food do they make, what was the final score? etc)

This is the episode we watched, set in East London:

 They then had about half an hour to creat their own dinner party menu. they had to include all the ingredients, and how to prepare the food.

I split them into two groups and they had to then present their dinner party to their group. Everyone had a piece of paper and secretly marked the person and put it into an envelope. Once everyone had presented their menu, they added up their score to see who won.

I gave the winner a blown up photocopy of a cheque as their prize. 🙂

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I used a YouTube video of Baz Lurhmann’s “Everbody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) in my lesson last week when we were giving each other advice. The video worked well as the students weren’t very motivated that day (Friday!) and using a video with the lyrics meant that they were reading and listening.

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First things first: I do not know who Jenny is.

But apparently, this is her game.

I tried it for the first time today and couldn’t believe the great results. The students were bouncing around, being very compeitive and really seemed to enjoy it.

I took a story from the news. It wasn’t a major story (although that would work well). You don’t have to use a news story, although I think it helps when the students realise that it’s authentic English.

I took the first 53 words of the story and made a hand-out with 53 empty boxes. Each box must be numbered.

Divide the class into teams of 3-4. Then tell them to listen very carefully. They must not write anything down.

Read the story twice (even at a good level, you should read it twice), clearly, but with normal intonation.

Once they have listened to it twice, each team has to tell you one word from the text (it doesn’t have to be in the correct order). If they are correct, say the word, and the number of the box (good idea to have a master copy of the boxes with a word in each and cross out each word as they say it).

Points: Points don’t mean prizes. If a student gives you a wrong word, or repeats a word, their team gets a point. The team with the most points, loses.

Hint: If they getstuck, give them 5 minutes to work as a team to figure out more words. Remind them to think about pronouns, prepositions, articles.

I made my class give me the correct tense of the verb… if it was wrong, they got a point. The words “a” and “the” were repeated, butthey had to tell me each time they thought there was one. If they told me too many times…points!

I hope my instructions were clear. Let me know how it goes!

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