C1 · C2 · Open cloze

Open cloze: How can we reduce food waste at home?

Image by Gary Chan (Unsplash)

According to the latest data recorded in 2018, Spain reached a peak in food waste, squandering a total of 1,339 million kg/l of food and beverages. This number represents an increase of 8.9% over the previous year and seems to be mainly due to economic recovery that was experienced during the spring and summer of the same year.

People are not aware of the social, environmental and economic impact that wasting food generates and that making the right decisions concerning food consumption, will only be possible if citizens are informed on all these negative aspects.

Here you will find an open cloze activity for Upper Intermediate to Advanced that gives some tips on how to be more sustainable within the household concerning food and bevarage.

Click here for the open cloze

C1 · C2 · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening · speaking · Vocabulary

Advanced C1 Listening TED Talks Are we running out of clean water?

Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. (introduction text from TED Talks)

Here you will find three topic-based activities on the issue of water. The fist activity is a quick pre-listening quiz on some of the vocabulary that you will hear in a video. The second button below is for the video. After watching the video you may want to discuss some questions so I’ll find five, hopefully, thought-provoking ones at the end of the post.

Click for pre-listening activity

Click here for the activity!

Speaking practice

  • Does your country suffer from water shortage, and if not, do you believe this will be a problem in the coming future?
  • Does your government invest in sustainable water usage? If so, how?
  • What types of things do you do in order to reduce your water footprint?
  • How do different economic sections cope with the issue of global warming and water shortage in your country?
  • What parts of the world are the most vulnerable to water scarcity?
B1 · B2 · C1 · C2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

B1 B2 C1 C2 What do you call a baby ant?

I found this query on the internet and couldn’t help laughing. Of course, baby ants don’t really exist as such (meaning that you’d be really surprised to find a tiny version of an ant being reared by its parents, wouldn’t you?). But anyway, a baby ant would actually be an egg, a larva or a pupa, depending on the stage (of its babyhood!). But, what do we call other animals such as baby kangaroos or chickens? What’s more, what are their parents called? Here’s a quiz to check on this really interesting aspect of the animal world and the English language.

I hope you enjoy it!

Click here for the animal vocabulary quiz

B2 · C1 · C2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

B2-C1-C2 Group names for animals

Group nouns for animals can be a bit confusing as there are so many. What’s more, there doesn’t always seem to be a strict categorisation as we can apply the same word to different types of animals such as a group of whales that can be called a school, a pod or even a herd. Even looking for information on internet adds more challenges to learning these nouns, where we find hundreds of different ones depending on the English speaking country. In this quiz, I haven’t included some of the words I found on the internet, as many of them haven’t been included in dictionaries yet, and I didn’t want to add more distress to your already-tough-experience of coping with vocabulary for proficiency.

Click on the quiz button below and complete the word with the missing letters.

Click here for the quiz

C1 · C2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

C1-C2 Vocabulary quiz for animals

Learning vocabulary in a foreign language can be either fun or tedious depending on how you set yourself to doing it. It can also be quite frustrating as we usually only seem to remember the words that we use in our everyday interaction and very frequently forget ‘that other word’ (Ooooh! Ah! Eek! Oops! It’s on the tip of my tongue!).

The two main ways to learn vocabulary in an ESL classroom is through reading and listening, but even when we do this and carefully record all the new words and their usage, we tend to forget many of them and spending time revising the lengthy lists that we have lovingly written down in our notebook, can eventually become extremely time-consuming. And don’t forget that students also have to meet course assignments, so they end up grabbing fists of hair looking at me with anger written all over their faces (joking). But the thing is, vocabulary is such an important part of learning English, and even if you can make yourself understood, through gesticulation and using a limited number of words (“me-tarzan-you-jane” sort), when it comes to higher levels, a good range of vocabulary is not only expected, but also necessary so as to be able to cope efficiently in all the skills (productive and receptive). Yes, I know, I must be really boring you with all this lectoring about how important learning vocabulary is (Sorry, didn’t mean to be such a pain in the neck).

Well, this week we’re starting a unit devoted to the natural world, so I thought that I’d might as well create a vocabulary quiz for Advanced and Proficiency levels, just to help you get some new words under your belts and refresh your memory on others. In this post you’ll find a flipping card activity where you should read the description and try to guess the word. After flip the card to see if your guess was correct. You have the fist letter of each word and the number of missing letters. Hope you find the activity useful!

Click for the animal vocabulary quiz