The Synonym Race

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Hello teachers and students! This is a post that you can all benefit from.

I went to a training session with the Pearsons editors last year and they showed me this awesome ESL activity.

I have written an informal letter (similar to Cambridge PET Writing part 3) but throughout the text there is more than 1 option to choose from to complete the text. ALL the options are correct. It just shows how to diversify your vocabulary.

Here is the document:

The Synonym Race – B1 letter

How to play the activity

Each student should have their own copy. They read the text individually and choose one option each time. They should circle the ones they chose.

The students should be in pairs for the activity. Their goal is to guess and memorise their classmate´s words.

To do so student A starts reading and says the option they think student B chose. If B says it is correct, A continues reading. If it is incorrect, B starts reading and guessing from the beginning. Every time someone fails, the other student starts again form the beginning.

The students are NOT allowed to write down what their partner´s options are, they must remember them!

More Advanced

This activity can very easily be adapted to other levels. I have also created a connector race, but this one is for B2-C1 and it is in the shape of an essay on the environment.

I specifically chose that topic because my students who are preparing the Trinity ISE II examination need to study this topic. So this is three birds, one stone. They see an example of what an essay should look like, they practise varying their vocabulary and they learn more vocabulary related to a topic they have to study.

Here is the document:

The Synonym Race – B2/C1 Essay on the Environment

Alright, so if you are a student, just download the materials and practise the activity with a partner. It should help you memorise new vocabulary quickly.

If you are a teacher, download the materials and have your students practise. I strongly encourage you to create new documents like this one, but the best would be to focus them specifically on the vocabulary/register/type of writing your students need to practise.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this activity! Comment down below how you would adapt it to you own students´ needs.

Keep on learning (and teaching)!

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

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3 Valentine’s Day Activities

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so I prepared 3 activities for the occasion!

One of them requires no preparation (just little papers) and the other two just to print and cut (and maybe a die).

Now, if you want more activities, feel free to check last years post Valentine’s Day – ESL Lesson

I. Guess who / Find your partner

You need a list of famous couples, just make sure your students know them. Here is mine:

  • Michelle Obama + Barack Obama
  • Kim Kardashian West + Kanye West
  • Shakira + Gerard Pique
  • Penelope Cruz + Javier Bardem
  • Beyonce + Jay Z
  • Victoria Beckham + David Beckham

Now give each of your students a different name from the list. Their objective is to find their famous partner.

Randomly pair students up. Give them one minute each to ask their partner as many questions about their famous self as they want (the original game requires yes/no questions but feel free to use WH ones).

Change the pairs until all the students have talked to each other. Then tell your students to stand next to who they think their famous partner is.

Activity Extention

If you want the activity to be longer and add more speaking, tell them to give their reasons why they think one person is their partner. It might also make some students change their mind and create more debate.

Level Tweak

To make it more advanced you can add more rules. For instance, tell the students that if someone calls them out on who their famous self is, they are eliminated. The students will have to be more careful with the information they provide and how they form their answers.

II. Relationship Dominoes

This activity is a different version of my Phrasal Dominos 2.0 and it focuses on collocations. Download this document (FREE of course), print it and cut it.

Love Hate dominoes

I recommend that you print more than one set if you have bigger groups of students. Roughly a set for 2 to 4 students is usually comfortable.

Tell the students to put the dominoes face down on the table and to randomly take the same amount of dominoes. Then one student places one face up in the middle of the table. The next student places a domino on either side of that one as long as it recreates a correct collocation.

If a student cannot form any collocation they have to pass. The first one out of dominoes wins!

III. Love-Vocabulary Boardgame

Just print and cut the cards in the PDF document down below.

Relationship Boardgame

As you can see in the document, there are 4 categories of cards that each represent a different task to do (each one is explained in the document).

I recommend that you put the students in pairs (or groups) for the activity. Each team has to successfully complete each task in order to win. If you have a small group of students you could tell them to do 2 or 3 of each card.

Activity Extension

If you want to make it even more fun/challenging, create more cards! Just add some in each category, or have the students add some themselves (great way to check what they know). You could even create a new category or two and include dice. Basically…there´s a million things you can do with this activity.

 

Keep on learning!

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

Idiom in J – Je ne sais quoi

 

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Yes, that’s French! A lot of French expressions are used in English actually!

What it means:

“Je ne sais quoi” means that something is good but for a reason that is difficult to explain.

When to use it:

Use it when you can’t quite say what is that little thing that makes it how it is. This expression will also make you sound a little fancy.

Imagine that both Gordon and you have each made a cake. You both followed the instructions correctly but for some reason Gordon’s is better. You could say that his cake has a je ne sais quoi.

Other Interesting Idioms in J:

Just what the doctor ordered – It means that it is just what you need.

Justice is blind – It means that justice is impartial.

 

Keep on learning!

Xoxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.

 

Advanced Vocabulary Activity – Antonyms

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If you are a student:

Download this document and look at the words in the left columns. Write, in the right columns, the words with the opposite meaning of each given word.

antonyms

Then download this answer sheet and check your answers.

antonyms-answer-sheet

If you are a teacher:

You could have your students do it like explained above but there is a fun way of doing this activity in class.

I actually have all the words on the antonyms exercise written on different coloured papers. I stick all the papers in a random order on the board. Then I divide the class in half. Both teams get their own marker colour. Then one person from each team comes to the board and they both write what they think the opposite is (have the students write on each side of the paper, without looking at what the other is writing). Repeat until all the words have been done.

It is a lot of fun this way because it adds a little bit more competition and the students tend to remember the words they did not know better.

 

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Cambridge Exams – Speaking Part 1 Activity

14570499_10153691732262396_8256139764729811039_nHi there!

Here is a little board that I created to help your students practice Speaking Part 1 of the Cambridge exams. I created it because any time I say “we are now going to do some speaking like in the exam”, half of the class shuts down and starts whining. Students just panic when they know they have to practice the speaking exam and this why I love this exercise. The students don’t always realise that it is exactly what they have to do in the exam, and once they have done it, their mouths drop open when I tell them that they just practiced speaking part 1!

It could be used for PET, FCE or even CAE (you might have to make it a little more difficult for that last level by forcing them to give 3 minute answers for example).

How to play it:

Give a board to each of the students. If you have a lot of time (speaking day for example) tell them to talk to every single person in the class and write the answers to all the questions they have asked their classmates. If you have less time, tell them to only ask 3 of the 7 questions.

Then tell your students to present by saying 2-3 things (again, depending on how much time you have) that they have learnt about a student.

That is a very good exercise to get to know each other better, practice speaking of course, but also listening and writing!

So here is the board: speaking-part-1-board

I hope it comes in handy and that you can successfully trick your student into doing speaking exam tasks with it.

 

And also don’t forget to like My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram!

Phrasal Battleship

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Here we go again…Those stupid phrasal verbs that we all hate! This time, I have created the phrasal battleship for one of my Skype students. After 2-3 hours straight of planning, my brain was completely out of ideas. So I asked myself…What can two people play that doesn’t require face to face interaction? Battleship is the first thing that came to mind. But this game can be played perfectly in class as well (that’s the version I will explain in this post).

Here are the 3 boards I created:

battleship-board-1

battleship-board-2

battleship-board-3

How to play it:

I suggest you use this game to reinforce the phrasal verbs you have already taught your students. Here is a list of all the phrasal verbs covered in this game: phrasal-verb-list

Pair up your students. Give a board to each student (make sure they don’t get the same one). The students have to hide their board from their partner. Then have them take turns creating phrasal verbs using a verb from the vertical line and an adverbial particle for the horizontal line. They must form a sentence with the verb each time. The partner looks through his board and crosses out the verb on his board. If it is  box that has a boat on it, the student informs his partner by saying “hit”, otherwise he says “miss”.

If an entire boat has been hit, the student should say “you´ve sunk my battleship”. There are 4 boats to sink on each board. I suggest you have your students use the list of phrasal verb from above to make sure they don’t “invent” new phrasal verbs.

It took me quite a while to create the game and several drafts to make sure the combinations worked. So I hope your students enjoy this activity and stop hating phrasal verbs (we are all dreamers right?!).

 

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

The Best Way to Improve Your Pronunciation Alone!

It can be quite difficult to learn and practice English on your own, and even more if you are studying at home and not in a school or an academy. And I would say that the most difficult thing to improve on your own is pronunciation!

But there is a solution that I think you will like because it’s easy and convenient!

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What you need:

  • A smartphone
  • words/sentences to practice pronunciation with (tongue twisters for example)

How to do it:

Basically you need Siri or the alternative versions that you find for Microsoft or Android phones. You have to set it to English though, otherwise it just doesn’t work.

Once it is set in English, just practice reading and saying things to Siri. The advantage is that it shows what you said on the screen and if you say it incorrectly Siri will tell you that he/she didn’t understand and you will be able to see what words are problematic for you when it comes to pronunciation.

And that’s it! Of course, a proper teacher that can personally correct your mistakes is always better but this is the closest alternative I have found so far.

 

You should also check this Youtube channel English With Lucy. It’s run by a friend of mine, who is also a teacher and she creates great videos for English learners. The videos are short, funny and you can usually add subtitles! Go check out her channel and tell her I sent you.

Here is one of her videos on pronunciation (I though that would be pretty appropriate right!?).

 

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Intermediate Crossword on Food

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I created an intermediate crossword for you all today!

Here is the crossword itself: food-vocabulary

And here are the answers: food-vocabulary-answer-key

There is a little hidden word in the exercise. Actually it is two hidden words. Once you have finished the crossword, take the first letter of all the words you wrote. Those letters need to be organised in the correct order to create 2 words. Those words are what I like doing best on Friday night!

 

Let’s see who gets it…

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