martedì 6 dicembre 2016

Have you ever...? Christmassy Questions

Hi Teachers!

At the moment I'm teaching present perfect simple in order to express personal experiences. Since Christmas is coming I thought that my students could practise the target language focusing on their own experiences about the best time of the year!

I made up a set of cards with "Have you ever...?" questions about Christmas.


Just cut out the cards and put them face down on the desk.

Each student turns a card and read the question. Then decide who they want to ask the question to.

Or you can give each student 3 cards (I played with 5 students) and if the person they ask the question answers "Yes, I have" they can get rid of their card by putting it on the desk. But if the person they ask the question, answers "No, I haven't", they have to keep the card. The person who gives away all their cards first, wins! Of course students need to give explanation for their answers if they don't want to pick up their classmates' cards!

I hope you will have fun with your students!

sabato 12 novembre 2016

Teaching for Exams? Have Fun! UNO Card Game

UPDATE: This blog post has been shortlisted for the 'Blog Award for Innovative Teaching Ideas' by Teaching English British Council.

Hello EFL teachers,

I am back with a new post for the "Teaching for Exams? Have Fun!" series!

I wanted my students to revise the following target language for their Cambridge First for Schools exam:
- phrasal verbs,
- collocations,
- grammar,
- idioms.
I didn't want to make them feel bored, though.

What did I come up with, then?

A card game, yes a card game!

Do you know UNO? If you don't, have a look here .

If you do, keep reading!

The rules of the game are the same as those of UNO except for the following additional rule: students need to make up a sentence using the target language on the card they are about to place.

If your students are training for the Cambridge First for Schools you can download my own deck of cards from this link or if you wish, edit them according to your needs (link)!

P.S. I played this game with a class of 6 students, if your class is larger you can divide them into small groups.  For example, for a 20 student class you can make up 2 groups of 10 so you only need to print out two decks of cards.

domenica 11 settembre 2016

Make it visual, make it personal: PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE

It's difficult to remember all the uses of PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE especially for Italian students. That's why I decided to create this map which sums up the main uses. I hope it will be useful for you and your students.

Bye for now,


domenica 19 giugno 2016

domenica 1 maggio 2016

Cambridge FCE/FCE for Schools: Speaking Paper Tips

Some of my students are going to take the Cambridge FCE exam at the end of the month so I created for them this handy visual graphic with some tips to follow during the exam. I hope you and your students will find it useful!

You can also find a PDF printable version here.

giovedì 17 marzo 2016

Household stuff: Great tools for teaching... grammar! Part 3

Hi everyone!
Welcome back to my series about using household stuff for teaching English as a foreign language!

Today's item is

 DRINKING STRAWS €1 (100 pcs)

PURPOSE: I used drinking straws to check my students' comprehension of COUNTABLE and UNCOUNTABLE "FOOD & DRINKS" NOUNS.

WHAT I DID BEFORE CLASS: - I printed out this template and I wrote down a food noun in each glass, then I cut each glass out. 
- I stuck two sheets of paper on the desk: 


WHAT I DID IN CLASS: After teaching a bunch of  COUNTABLE and UNCOUNTABLE "FOOD & DRINKS" NOUNS I told my students they were going to play a game and I showed them the drinking straws. I placed the "paper" glasses at a certain distance from the sheets. 

WHAT MY STUDENTS DID: All students stood up around the table and I told them the rules of the game.
Students took turns to blow into their drinking straw in order to make the "paper" glasses move towards/onto the right sheet.
They got one point for each right word and lost one point for each wrong one.

It was a very funny game and I felt especially satisfied with their positive results.
Watch the video: Drinking Straws - EFL game
Until the next item ;-)

mercoledì 9 marzo 2016

Household stuff: Great tools for teaching... exam classes! Part 2

Hi everyone!

Today's item is... 
€1,50 (100 pcs)

PURPOSE: I used ice cream sticks to teach an exam-focused class. Students were trained to practise Cambridge FCE Reading and Use of English PART 4.   
[This part of the exam is called KEY WORD TRANSFORMATION. Each question consists of a sentence followed by a ‘key’ word and a second sentence with a gap in the middle. You have to use this key word to complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.]

WHAT I DID BEFORE CLASS: I wrote some sentences on the ice cream sticks using present perfect simple/continuous and past simple. I wrote some sentences with the same meaning - using different tenses - and some "distractors'" which were wrong. 
E.g. Stick 1 --> My nephew began to play tennis in 2010.
Stick 2--> My nephew has been playing tennis since 2010.
Stick 3 --> My nephew has been played tennis since 2010.
The first two sentences have a similar meaning while the third one is wrong.

STUDENTS: (4-6) Teenagers

WHAT I DID IN CLASS: I told my students we were going to play a game to revise the use of PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE/CONTINUOUS and PAST SIMPLE and I showed them the ice cream sticks in a clear plastic bag.
Afterwards, much to their surprise, I dumped the sticks on the desk. I said they had to pick up two sticks with the same meaning without moving the others. (See the rules of the game MIKADO)

When they picked up two right sentences without moving the other sticks, they got 2 points.
When they picked up two right sentences moving one or more sticks, they got 1 point.
When they picked up a wrong sentence, they got no points.
They had a lot of fun!

Until the next item ;-)