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Archive for 'Teaching Resources'

Down to One Word (Text Reduction)

Paragraph reduction – A fun way of focusing students on sentence and paragraph formation.

Level: Pre-intermediate upwards

Time: 10-20 minutes

Language Focus: Past simple; sentence and paragraph structure

Aim: Students take turns and remove words from a paragraph until there is only one word left.

Here’s the procedure:

1)      Write a sample sentence on the board:

“Paul and John wrote very beautiful songs when they were good friends and worked together”.

2)      Allow students a few seconds to read the sentence. Then, erase one word from the sentence (the resulting sentence needs to be grammatical and meaningful):

For example:

“Paul and John wrote very beautiful songs when they were good friends and worked together”.
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Grammar Casino


Level: All

Time: Depends on  the number of sentences.

Language Focus: Any grammar structure.

Are your students tired of dry grammar practice exercises?

The Grammar Casino game can be a good way for your students to practice new and old grammar in an enjoyable way.

Here is how it works:
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Five-Minute Activities is a teacher resource book containing over 130 short activities for the language classroom which work great as warmers and lesson finishers but which can also be adapted and extended to fill in a communicative slot in a lesson.

Below is one of the activities you will find in this must-have resource book.

Activity: EVIDENCE

Type of activity: Information-gap

Language Focus: Use of modal verbs ‘can’ and ‘must’ to express logical necessity.

Procedure: Two students stand with their backs to the board: they are the ‘detectives’. You write up a brief situation (see below for a few examples). The rest of the class are witnesses and suggest, orally, concrete evidence (sounds, sights, smells, etc) for the existence of the situation, without mentioning the situation itself. The detectives have to deduce it from the evidence.

For example, the situation is: “The school must be on fire”, the witnesses might say:
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The Alibi Game

Level: Pre-intermediate upward.

Time: 50-60 minutes.

Language Focus: Past Simple and Past Continuous questions.

The Alibi Game has become a classic role-play for practicing Past Simple and Past Continuous question forming. Although this task is extremely popular and well-known we find there are still plenty of teachers out there who have not heard of it. Thus, we have decided to offer our own version of this engaging and fun-to-do activity. This is the way we play it:
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Everyone loves jokes. They can be an invaluable source of entertainment and an excellent vehicle for presenting language in context and promoting genuine communication while having a laugh. As follows, we describe some useful techniques for exploiting jokes in class. Next, a number of TEFL-appropriate jokes are included and sorted by level.



               WHY USE JOKES IN CLASS:


  •   Just say the word ‘joke’ and they’re ready to listen
  •   To motivate students to listen, read, write …
  •   Can be a gateway to understanding new cultures
  •   To create a relaxed learning atmosphere
  •   They provide exposure to authentic language and genuine communication
  •   Students learn without realising
  •   As a vehicle for language study (many jokes are rule-governed)
  •   To break the ice or liven up a dull moment
  •   For fun. Everyone loves jokes!!



  1. Prediction. Leave the punch line out and get students to predict it. You can have this as a race too.
  2. Leave out the punch line and provide a choice of possible punch lines to choose from. You can also have this as a race.
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