B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs

Audioslave Be Yourself

Audioslave image from Mondo Sonoro

The aim of this song is to practise verbs after ‘someone’ as students often make mistakes with these forms.

The uplifting and optimistic lyrics in this song explore the bittersweet issues of life, perceived and experienced very differently by each individual, and where after all, nothing more can be done rather than accept whatever happens, and take it in our stride.

Someone finds salvation in everyone
Another only pain

It’s a great song although, it chokes me up a bit when I come to thinking about how Chris Cornell ended his life. Anyway, enjoy! wauwauwauwuawuawuawuawuawuawuawuawuawauwauwauwau…

B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs · Listening

David Bowie – Heroes

Another incredible song by David Bowie (Did he ever do anything that was not worth while?). This song is for revising vocabulary from different topics dealt with in intermediate levels. It’s also a great way to hear a good sample of ‘will’ for future use as the song deals with a posssible future situation, where two people are engaged, probably in being themselves, against all the odds. I hope you enjoy the activity.

This activity is also a homage to my brave students that come to classes despite having to almost freeze to death due to that classes must be held with all the windows open and that there will always be a risk of catching this virus that threatens to change our lives in such a drastic way.

B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Flipping quiz! Holiday vocabulary

With all the problems we’re having teaching during the pandemic, one has to reinvent activities and strategies that allow students to interact and do things in the classroom without putting their health at risk. Not long ago, my students shared cards, mixed and mingled with each other and spent their time interacting. Now, we can’t play board games or change partners and so on. Classes threaten to take the form of ‘the old days’ when students had to sit still and keep to themselves. I’m fighting against this, beating my brains trying to come up with new ideas or adapt old ones to the present-day situation.

For today, I’m going to try out a team quiz activity. I’ve used cards quite often, but they were facing downwards on a desk. Here the cards will be on the whiteboard and the class will be divided into two teams with a student from each team that will have the role of ‘messenger’. The messenger has to consult his or her team’s answers and write them on the blackboard (of course, each writer will have their own chalk and their half of the blackboard). Each messenger will be the only student that will be able to move around from the blackboard to where the team is sitting (in a circular form keeping safety distance).

We’ll see how it goes, I don’t think it’s perfect, but something is better than nothing and it seems to stick to the safety protocol.

B1 · B2 · Grammar

Indirect questions

Here’s yet another one of those kitsch videos that I have the awful habit of producing every now and then. This one’s for indirect questions. As a reminder, indrect questions are the type of questions we ask when we don’t want to be too direct; maybe because we don’t know the person very well, or simply because we’re asking for personal details.

Here’s an example:

DIRECT: Where do you live? > DIRECT: Can/Could you tell me where you live?