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,

Larissa


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: 
1) COUNTABLE "FOOD & DRINKS" NOUNS
2) UNCOUNTABLE "FOOD & DRINKS" NOUNS

STUDENTS: (3-6) PRE-TEENS/TEENS/YOUNG ADULTS (A2 LEVEL)

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... 
ICE CREAM STICK
€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)

WHAT MY STUDENTS DID: 
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 ;-)


mercoledì 2 marzo 2016

Household stuff: Great tools for teaching! Part 1

LOOK OUT! Even though this blogpost seems to be addressed to women only I'm sure male teachers will find it useful! 

WARNING: This is a very personal blogpost.

As you know (or if it's the first time you drop by, let me introduce myself) I teach English as a Foreign Language to children, teenagers and adults in a small seaside town (between Rome and Naples) where I was born. I'm in my early thirties (everyone says I look younger, though) and I'm not married.  "You should get married soon, or you'll be too old to have children" (Apparently everyone has watched/read Bridget Jones' Diary!)
Being unmarried at my age, especially in a small town, makes me feel like a suspicious person.
I spend most time teaching and when I'm off I love planning lessons and finding new teaching methods. This seems to be my greatest fault.  Ok... I plead guilty, Sir. 
"Well, what should I do?" I wondered. Showing more interest in household chores and cooking may help, I thought. So, a few weeks ago I tiptoed into a Houseware&Household shop near my language studio and I explored it. Unfortunately, once again I couldn't help but thinking of my lessons... 
I hope my ideas will appeal to you!

1) FLY SWATTER (€0,80 each) --> a plastic tool with a handle, used to swat (= hit) insects (www.oxfordlearnersdictionary.com)

1.1 Right or Wrong?
Materials: 2 fly swatters 
                 right/wrong sentences on sheets of paper
                (about) 8 magnets

Procedure: - I sticked on the board two sentences, one right and the other wrong.
                  - In pairs students came to the board and swatted the wrong sentence.
Comment: My teenager students practised the use of Contrasting Linkers (even though, despite, however, etc.)

1.2 Say... Swat it right!
Materials: 2 fly swatters
                 words about "the house" (any topic you want)
                 (about) 20 magnets
Procedure: - I sticked on the board five words about "the house".
                   - In pairs students came to the board.
              - I said a word in Italian (my students' native language") and students swatted the right word.              
Comments: It was a great way to revise vocabulary for lower-levels.

P.S. Be careful! Students might swat each other. Warn them beforehand that if they do so you will stop the game!
Until the next household item ;-)
                 

domenica 14 febbraio 2016

Valentine's Day: LOVE collocations and QR codes

Here it comes Valentine's Day, the day we celebrate all types of love! Why don't teach/learn some LOVE collocations?

1) Print out the worksheet with the collocations.

2) Print and cut out the QR codes and stick them up around the classroom.

3) Students use a QR scanner app to read the definitions and then they copy them below the collocation (on the envelopes). 

4) Have fun and lots of love ;)