If you live in the UK or the USA, the end of October means more little kids dressed as skeletons knocking on your door and screaming ‘trick or treat’ before you dish out the sweets.
Here’s an old favourite that I’ve used on Hallowe’en for many years. If you don’t want to make the first worksheet too easy, then cut off the bottom section so they don’t have the names of the halloween creatures to help them. It’s worth remembering that these monsters play a very big part in UK and US culture, so this might be a really good lesson for higher level students, especially when they have to discuss what the various monsters do.
Chatting about superstitions in the second worksheets is also very interesting and whilst some are the same the world over, others are very strange.
Here’s the lesson https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/halloween.doc
There’s another lesson on Vampires here:
and a lesson on Zombies here:
and if you like superheroes, there’s a lesson on them here:
Here’s another lesson for your ESOL, ESL or EFL students tapping the now mainstream interest in Vampires. Get the worksheet straight away by clicking here – https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-vampire-lesson.doc
Whether your students enjoyed the seminal video game Vampire: The Masquerade – bloodlines a few years ago or they enjoy The Twilight series of films or the TV shows True Blood or The Vampire Diaries, this lesson might be up their street.
Not everyone likes vampires, so I’d suggest you be careful with this one. Don’t use it with kids or those that are easily offended. Culturally, these kind of vampires are very ‘western’ and so if your students are not familiar with modern, American mythology then this probably won’t work. The Chinese have their own versions of vampires and so do a lot of other cultures…
There’s no special way to run the lesson, just follow the activities on the worksheet. There are broken lines around the worksheet so you can cut the sections up with a pair of scissors if you don’t want students to do it all at once.
Here’s the worksheet again – https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-vampire-lesson.doc
Hapland is a very frustrating flash game. http://foon.uk/farcade/hapland/
Read the instructions below to complete it.
If you like video games, walkthroughs are great way to practise reading. Following complex instructions to complete a task will give you some INTERESTING reading practice.
Basically the idea of the game is to get the little man to safety byclicking on different parts of the picture in the right order.
a) Open all the windows and turn the red arrow around.
b) Open the hatch on the right, click the yellow arrow to get a man out.
c) Click on the man to fire one round in the low position to drop the bridge down.
d) Click the cannon to move it up. Fire the second round up at the bell and click the spear thing so it goes the other way JUST after the round hits the bell
e) Fire the next two rounds at the bridge, but click the bridge to as they hit it to knock them in the air and explode without causing damage.
f) Click the light bulb a few times next to the man at the bottom to get him to smash it.
g) Fire the last round in the low position, and the bottom man will pick it up and open the door with it.
h) Now click the man by the machine so he gets in it, and click the yellow arrow to get another guy out, get him to fire the other man up at the bell.
i) The man by the bell will move the tower over if you click him. Then click the spear thing. Now keep clicking the bell till it falls. No more land mine.
j) Click the door in the bottom left so the man comes out and JUST as he goes in the door on the right, click the man at the bottom. A dog tries to chase him, but the falling concrete stops it.
k) You did it!
For more of the same check out Richard L King’s great book below
Here’s a great list of academic antonyms to help you with your IELTS speaking and writing.
Lists are great, but how can you use them? Do you learn them? Do you just read them? What do you do? Read the advice below.
- Read through this list and circle 10-15 antonym pairs that you don’t know and learn them. Test yourself on them.
- Read through the list. Choose ten hard pairs you don’t know, print them off and stick them on your wall / toilet wall / fridge door – anywhere you will look, often
- Play a game with them like the awesome word frog game http://www.arcademics.com/games/frog/frog.html
- Play pelmanism. Choose ten you think are useful. Write them on small pieces of paper. Put them face down on a table. Now turn each one over and try to match the pairs.
I’ve done no research on this and so, there is no way I can be sure that these are the top ten idioms used in English.
Adding idioms to your spoken language will make you sound more natural and more like a native speaker. But PLEASE DON’T use them all the time!
Choose two or three idioms that you like and remember them. Use them at the right time and don’t try to force them into every sentence.
1.g 2.j 3.a 4.i 5.b 6.h 7.c 8.d 9. f 10.e
Check out Richard King’s book for more help with your IELTS exams!
It’s hard to listen to your own voice when you are speaking. Use your mobile phone to record your voice while you interview yourself.
b) Read through the questions and practise what you are going to say. Add a couple more questions at the end.
c) Record your interview yourself on your mobile phone.
d) As you listen back to the recording, think about these things:
- Was your pronunciation good. Were there any words you said badly or that didn’t sound correct?
- Did you answer the questions completely?
- Were you happy with the grammar you used?
- Do you think you spoke too quickly or slowly?
- What areas in your spoken English could you improve?
It’s very hard to listen to your own voice when you are speaking. So why not use your mobile phone to record yourself speaking in English? Here is a sample task for you to improve your pronunciation.
You’ll need something that will record your voice. Use the ‘audio recorder’ on your mobile phone.
Read the text below three or four times. Then, read it again and record yourself on your mobile phone.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity Kitai. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story and that day mine changed.”
Now listen to it again. Are you happy with your pronunciation? What things did you say wrong? Could you have said any of the words better?
Now listen to the same speech by Will Smith here.
Compare your pronunciation with the ‘correct’ version.
- You DON’T HAVE TO sound EXACTLY THE SAME as the recording!
- There are many different accents and sounds in English and they are all ‘correct’.
Try this again with any other speech in English that you like!