martedì 11 aprile 2017

The dice game: a fun, low-prep speaking game

A fun game to revise the question form of past simple and of course... to speak 🇬🇧!!!

Level: elementary

Age of students: Children, teenagers, adults

Aim of the game: Practising past simple forms

What you need: a dice each 3 students

*You can adapt easily this game to meet your students' needs. For example, it can also be used to practise present simple and frequency adverbs.

Rules of the game
1) Think of 6 actions you did yesterday.
2) Write them down.
3) Work in groups of 3.
4) In turn, roll the dice and read out the sentence that corresponds to the number you got.
E.g. I roll the dice and I get 1. I read out the sentence "I ate fish and chips".
5) The other two learners in the group need to make up a suitable question for my answer.
E.g. Question by Maria: " What did you eat for lunch yesterday?"
Question by Francesco: "What did you eat for dinner yesterday?"
6) The student who rolled the dice decides which question is the most suitable for their answer. 
7) The learner(s) who guessed the correct question get(s) as many points as the spots on the face of the dice)
E.g. In this case Maria got 1 point because I had fish and chips for lunch.

Some feedback
My students and I loved this game because:
- it was a good way to drill the question form of past simple;
- they practiced irregular verbs;
- and finally, they got some points to become the best student of the month 😜

lunedì 10 aprile 2017

The Best Blog Posts about IATEFL Glasgow 2017 Online

A very interesting talk about motivation based on new book Motivational Teaching by Nicholas Thorner

A Wonderful session by Rachael Harris, focusing on activities that enhance our students' and our own well-being.

A very interesting session, full of ideas on how to actually become a teacherpreneur by Marina Kladova

An excellent session and one that has really made me think about the discrepency between what learners believe they have learned from a lesson and what teachers believe they have thought by Mark Heffernan (Queen Mary University of London) and David Byrne (EC London)

Empathy may be one of the qualities which distinguishes an average teacher from an excellent teacher in the eyes of the student. In this session, Kieran Donaghy (Film English) examines the importance of empathy in language education and proposes practical activities to encourage teachers, teacher trainers and students to be more empathetic.

This post is based on the IATEFL opening plenary Connecting minds: language learner and teacher psychologies by Sarah Mercer (Day 2 of IATEFL 2017 in Glasgow).

Here is an infographic summary of Brian Tomlinson's presentation on Let's Listen to the Learners, some of the resources he referred to on how to involve the learners in their learning

The interviews with Andy Hockley 1 and Marek Kiczkowiak 2 discuss the issue of native speakerism

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.