22 key word sentence transformations links

Just in case you didn’t notice in the last post, a brief heads up that I’ve gone a little FCE sentence transformations crazy over the last couple of months, with an article and loads of new worksheets. I’ve also added two more new worksheets since that post, and updated my links to other relevant pages on the blog (have something done, reported speech, etc). Most also useable with Cambridge Advanced classes. And, believe it or not, more coming soon…

Cambridge First Usef of English Part Four games/ worksheets page


Posted in Cambridge First Certificate, Photocopiable worksheets | 2 Comments

30 new TEFL articles and worksheets (Spring 2016)

A fairly typical amount of new stuff on Usingenglish.com and on TEFLtastic, though in my humble opinion the quality is getting a little better all the time…

Help and Hindrance in IELTS Listening

Whose is this Whose are these Possessives personalised drawing game

Body Idioms problems and solutions presentation and speaking

Make Self-Study Tips Linking Words Practice

Language Learning Advice Modals practice and presentation

The First Time/Last Time Past Tenses Extended Speaking

Help & Hindrance in IELTS Academic Reading

Third Person Statements Bluffing Coin Game

Will for Spontaneous Decisions “Answer Me” getting reactions speaking game

Have and Want Personalised Guessing Game

Opposites Hangman Spelling and Guessing Game

Typical Mistakes with English Numbers Error Correction Task

Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Speaking Part Three Phrases Presentation, practice and games (for updated exam)

Advice for Foreign Travellers Zero Conditional with Imperatives and Modals practice

Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Use of English Part 4 Sentence Transformation Hangman

Make FCE Use of English Part Four Questions from the root sentences

Make FCE Use of English Part Four Sentence Transformation Tasks for typical language points

Make FCE Use of English Sentence Transformations from the key words

How to teach Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Use of English key word sentence transformations

Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Speaking Part Two Prepositions, Determiners and Key Words

Guess the Clothes from the Hints

It is/ They are & my/ your/ his/ her Drawing Game

Dealing with Requests and Enquiries Responses- Card Games

Travel English Simplest Responses and Key Words Games

Future tenses in telephoning roleplays and grammar presentation

Small talk after not meeting for a while

Personal Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives Drawing Game

How to teach possessive adjectives

Dealing with Enquiries- Jigsaw Dialogues

Dealing with problems and complaints- step by step roleplays

If that ain’t enough for yer, more materials for all these language points and other uses for most of the same games elsewhere on this blog.

Posted in Cambridge First Certificate, past tenses, Photocopiable worksheets, possessive s, Requests | Leave a comment

FCE Speaking Part Two teaching materials section expanded and reorganised

Possibly the most difficult part of Cambridge First Certificate Speaking and certainly the weirdest (“I’d like you to compare the two photos” “Why???), now made much more manageable and fun:

FCE Speaking Part Two games, photocopiables and videos

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New small talk games/ worksheets page

My Business English students often complain that the most difficult part of using English in their jobs is not making presentations or chairing meetings but the networking, chatting and bumping into people in the lift that can happen before and afterwards. There are also lots of cultural issues involved in starting and ending conversations, getting down to business, suitable topics, etc.

Luckily, though, all of that is not only eminently teachable, it also makes for fun communicative practice in the classroom. Just put together a list of my materials on the topic, including some linking it to common grammar points such as question formation and different tenses:

Small talk photocopiable classroom activities page

Posted in Business English and ESP, Cultural differences/ cultural training, Photocopiable worksheets, Social English | Leave a comment

New possessives activities and pages

New worksheets and a new article up recently on possessive forms, so took that opportunity to split the page into two easier to navigate and slightly expanded sections:

Possessive S games, worksheets and songs page

Possessive adjectives games, worksheets and songs page

Posted in possessive s | Leave a comment

New TEFL stuff from the rest of 2015

TEFLtastic blog wasn’t much of a blog in 2015, and it is unlikely to become one again in 2016 given the two unintended consequences of blogging less:

One slightly disheartening effect of never blogging was a record-breaking number of hits, nearly twice last year’s at well over two million page views. That could well be because people can now click on TEFLtastic for teaching ideas and photocopiable activities without any danger of accidentally coming across attempts at humour or navel-gazing on their way there. Or it could, hopefully, be the result of the second consequence of never blogging, which is that a lack of musing on pointless TEFL-related questions has left time for a leap in the quality of the more useful stuff that I’m producing. It may not seem like it from the big list below, but I do believe, or at least sincerely hope, that 2015 was finally the year I went for quality over quantity. In fact, frankly I’m not sure I’d use any of the materials I produced before 2015 anymore

New TEFL articles

Fitting learner training into your syllabus

40 telephoning activities

Favourites in ESL classes

Why does my teacher not speak more slowly?

How to teach Cambridge First Certificate Listening Part Four

How to teach the zero conditional

How to teach English syllables

New pdf classroom activities

Personal Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives Memory Games

Sentences with “in case”- Discuss and Agree

Singular and Plural Possessive S TPR Miming Game

Present Simple and Progressive Trends and Meetings Practice

Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Speaking Part Three Collaborative Task intensive practice (Revised)

Passive Voice- Free and Controlled Speaking

Numbers in English- The Same or Different

Third Person Present Tense Questions- Alphabet Game

Politeness in making arrangements and future tenses review

Choose the Best Job Interview Responses

First and Second Conditional Negotiating Practice

Past Simple Make Me Say Yes- Personalised Speaking Game

Processes in Planes and Airports- Present and Past Passive Practice

Have & Have Got with Prepositions of Position

Business Moral Dilemmas Conditionals Practice

Collocations- Counting Syllables Practice

Make Sentences from Syllables- Scrabble Game

Consonant Clusters Pronunciation

English Collocations- Counting Syllables Consonant Clusters Practice

Dealing with Requests and Enquiries- Line-by-line Brainstorming

Good and bad responses in negotiations

Do you like + Does he like Categories Coin Game

Cambridge First Certificate (FCE) Exam and Self-study Tips- Speculating Practice

Defining Relative Clauses Discuss and Agree

Modals of Deduction Guess the Country

Discussing Business Problems with Conditionals

TV Ads- Present Simple and Present Continuous Presentation and Practice

Emailing- Dealing with problems and complaints

Social English Responses- Card Games

Dealing with Problems and Complaints- Card Games

Business English Meetings – Comparative Adjectives Practice

Meeting People- Line-by-line Brainstorming

He has/ She has-Present Simple Games

Present Simple and Continuous Needs Analysis and Presentation

Countable and Uncountable Nouns Roleplay- A Buffet Lunch

Present Perfect and Simple Past- Small Talk

Academic English- Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Comparing products using comparative and superlative adjectives

Like and Would Like- Make me say yes speaking game

Describing Companies with Present Simple and Progressive

FCE (Cambridge First Certificate) Speaking- Needs Analysis and Useful Language

Giving Advice- Personality Problems

Food and Drink- Present Perfect Bluffing Game

Small Talk in Business- Present Simple Questions

Guests and Hosts- Restaurant Vocabulary

Do you have + May I have Games

Planning FCE Writing Part One essays

HR vocabulary and trends practice

Number of Syllables- The Same or Different Games

Number of Syllables Maze Game

Zero Conditional Practice- Advice for Parents

Zero Conditional- Personalised Sentence Completion Guessing Game

Zero Conditionals and Feelings Personalised guessing game

Posted in Photocopiable worksheets | 1 Comment

New zero conditional games and teaching tips

Went to add my new article and worksheets to my zero conditional page but was surprised to find that I’d never had one. Do now! 18 game ideas and photocopiable classroom activities included, so hopefully worth the wait:

Zero conditional games/ worksheets page

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New teaching English syllables materials and teaching ideas

Recently had the hard but rewarding experience of writing and giving a nine-hour course just on pronunciation. Spent about 3 hours of that on making sure my students could recognise and produce the right number of syllables, including in famously difficult situations like consonant clusters, -ed endings and -(e)s endings, and words ending with consonants without a final vowel. It was surprisingly successful given how difficult Japanese students tend to find it to get “strike” down from four syllables to one, but still an awful lot of work for a one-off lesson! Therefore as usual I’ve decided to share my ideas to make all that labour feel more worthwhile…

Six photocopiable classroom activities plus an article with many more lesson ideas now available on my brand new page on the topic:

Teaching English syllables games/ worksheets

and those an a couple of other new activities added to my general pron pages:

Pronunciation games/ worksheets

Articles on teaching pronunciation

Posted in consonant clusters, Pronunciation | 4 Comments

TESOL International Association set ridiculously low standards for short TEFL courses

God knows something needs to be done to raise the standards of the typical 120-hour-ish TEFL courses that dominate our industry, but TESOL (the larger American version of IATEFL) have quite possibly acheived the opposite with their current attempt. From now on, dodgy TEFL course providers will be able to claim that they meet some kind of minimum standards from a well-respected industry organisation while:

  • It is impossible to fail their courses
  • There is no observed teaching practice (let alone the graded observed teaching practice that is by far the most important part of any course)
  • Their trainers have no relevant teaching qualifications
  • There is no outside accreditation (let alone outside accreditation by a university or exam board like some organisations demand)
  • etc

Instead, TESOL set pointless and/ or incredibly vague “standards” such as:

  • Having a mission statement (but nothing at all on what the mission statement should say)
  • “The program’s goals and objectives guide the choice of instructional approaches and materials”
  • “Instructors understand the connections between theory and practice and value the role of culture in language teaching and learning”

Any attempt at a better description of standards than “Cambridge CELTA (or Trinity Cert TESOL) or equivalent” should be a good thing, but as I said above I honestly think TESOL have managed something even worse here. I’d love to think it was just well-meaning incompetence, but I have a terrible feeling it has more to do with the increasing commercialism of the organisation in some way.

Posted in Online TEFL certificate, TEFL certificate, TEFL qualifications | 5 Comments

Ten new(ish) articles on teaching English

Have written a little flurry of new articles during August that I wanted to show off like a primary school kid writing about “What I Did in My Summer Holiday”. Then realised that I haven’t done anything similar this year, so it became more of list of What I’ve Done So Far in 2015:

Why does my teacher not speak more slowly?

40 telephoning activities

Favourites in EFL classes

How to teach FCE Listening Part Two

How to teach like and would like

How to teach telephoning

How to teach frequency expressions

How to teach FCE Writing Part One essays

How to teach There is/ There are

36 fun classroom activities for Present Simple and Present Continuous

The other thing that I could show off (?) to my teacher and classmates in show and tell is that some time this year I seem to have passed the 500 articles about TEFL mark. All of them arranged by topic here and by place of publication here.

Posted in Teaching English as a Foreign Language | 1 Comment