B1 · B2

Styles of music quiz

Image by Rajesh Kavasseri on Unsplash

What’s your favourite style of music? Do you listen to different styles according to your mood? Do you find any particular music uplifting or disturbing? Can you play an instrument? What’s your favourite group or who’s your favourite musician? Have you heard anything good recently? Do you spend a lot of time listening to music? And if you do, where do you get this music from? In this quiz, you’ll find vocabulary for styles of music for intermediate levels (B1 and B2). Just look at the card and drag and drop the right word into the box.

B1 · B2 · phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs for work

As a teacher, I know very well how students feel about phrasal verbs as there are so many. But although phrasal verbs are very commonly used in English, I don’t recommend learning them by heart – I mean sitting for ages in front of a paper with lists and lists of them. Rather than this, I’d try to use two new ones in each class and bit by bit, students would get familiar with them, as well as knowing how to use them. Another additional difficulty about learning phrasal verbs, is that the meaning of these chunks of words, rely very heavily on the sentence in which they appear. An example of this is ‘lock up’. If this appears in in a sentence related to a place, it means to close a business for the day, but if it appears in a sentence related to a person, it could mean to hold a person captive.

In this blog post I want to try out a new tool with my students in order to foster self-study. I’ve used GoConq to create a mind map with common phrasal verbs that belong to the topic of work within intermediate levels (B1 and B2). In each section of the mind map, you’ll find a quiz related to the phrasal verbs that have been included and in the first part of the diagram, a short note on the meaning of each one.

B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Vocabulary for speaking about work

Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

What do you do for a living? What’s your work like? Is it challenging or tedious? Do you consider that your job is well paid or is it badly paid? What’s important for you at work, wages, the working environment or the promotion prospects? Would you like to set up your own business? In this vocabulary activity, you ‘re going to see words that are commonly used to describe different aspects of this topic such as: payment, time and describing the job you do. Don’t forget to subscribe and/ or leave a like if you found the activity useful.

A2 · B1 · B2 · Learning English with songs

Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Probably the most devastating problem in modern society is loneliness, which is even worse for the elderly. John Lewis Christmas advert aims to raise awareness of this situation. Hopefully, this touching ad will not only tug at people’s heartstrings, but will also make people understand how much we need each other, especially now in a year so full of isolation and anxiety.

John Lewis 2020 Christmas Advert Alternative by NimbusBeds.co.uk | Stop Loneliness at Xmas
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.