Sunday, December 18, 2016

Teaching about technology

Hello! Today’s post is about how to teach the vocabulary related to technology. Since we are on the topic of the future, it’s important that they know this vocabulary.

I would start by asking them if they use social networks like Facebook or Twitter and which ones they use and which electronic devices they use the most and what they use them for. After this ice breaker, you can practice some vocabulary related to technology in Quizlet. Then they can do exercises two and three in assessment. Exercise two is a matching exercise and exercise three is a crossword.

Once they do these activities, you can show them this video on YouTube. After the video, you can have a debate on the benefits and dangers of using technology. You can divide the class in two, those in favor of using technology and those against and ask them to write some notes down before the debate.




If there is time you can ask them to design their own app in small groups (in a piece of paper, not a real application). I would ask them to design the logo, give it a name, explain what it would be used for and design the interface. If there is no time, it can be assigned as homework.

I hope you found this useful. If you have any suggestions/ideas on how to teach about technology, leave them in the comments. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let's play some music

Do you know that listening to music can be a great tool to improve your listening skills and learn English? And, on top of these benefits, it’s fun. Today I’m bringing you a great website to practice English by listening to music: http://es.lyricstraining.com/en. Since we’re on the topic of the future, you can listen to Bon Jovi’s I’ll be there for you or Whitney Houston’s I will always love you.


This website is very easy to use. You just type the title of the song in the search bar. If they have it, it will look something like this:




Once the video of the song appears, you will have to choose the level (beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert):



And that’s it. You click on play and the video will start. While the song is playing you will need to fill in the gaps with the missing word that you are hearing in the song. You will have some time to do so.



Don’t worry if you don’t understand it at the beginning. You can always play it again. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Relax and have fun!

As a final activity you can look up information on these two singers. Let me know what you think of this activity and these singers in the comments. Thank you for reading!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jeopardy!

Hello! Are you familiar with Jeopardy? Because today’s post is about an interactive and fun game I have found on ESL games plus . It can be accessed on this link. It's about past, present and future tenses (present simple, present continuous, past simple, past continuous, present perfect and the future). I would use it as a review once I’ve covered all the different tenses or at the beginning of the school year to see what they remember and what needs reviewing. You can make up to four teams, so you can divide your students depending on your class size.

Image from Flickr by Joseph Hunkins

There are four categories in the game and inside each category there is a question worth 100 points, another worth 200, a third worth 300, a fourth worth 400, and the last one worth 500. The questions are multiple choice and if they choose the right option their group wins the points. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.

I like it because it can make a review session a lot more interactive and motivating. From a pedagogical standpoint, it’s good for the students because they get immediate feedback. The teacher can explain the answer when the students get the question wrong or if they have a question. On top of that, it allows both the teacher and the students to know where they stand in the learning process, what they know and what they have to review.

Have you ever played Jeopardy in class, either as a student or as a teacher? What did you think? Let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Will

Hello! Today’s post is about this video about the future with “will”.

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 It uses illustrations and it’s very short and fun, so it can be a very motivating way of presenting the future to our students. It starts with the main functions of the future with “will”, which are:

1) Promises (I will love you forever)

2) Offers (I’ll help you eat it)

3) Spontaneous or quick decisions (I’ll get help) or spontaneous threats (I’ll make you sorry!)

4) Predictions about the future (In the future you will die)

Then it talks about the positive and negative forms and their contractions:

· Positive: will

· Contraction: I’ll, you’ll, we’ll…

· Negative: will not

· Contraction: won’t

And it ends will a summary of the functions that I’ve mentioned above.

I think this is a nice video to show our students that can help them remember when to use “will” in English. It’s quite eye-catching and the illustrations make it really easy to understand.

What do you think of the video? Now that you know more about the future you can do the first activity in assessment, which is a fill-in-the-blank activity about the future. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Talking about the future

Hello! Today’s post is about how we express the future in English. The main ways in which we talk about the future are present continuous, “going to” and “will”. They are not used interchangeably, however. In this post I am going to explain how we use each of them.

Present continuous
As you probably know, we form it with the verb “to be” in the present and the main verb ending in –ing. We use it for things that we have decided and arranged to do, set plans. For example, if we have tickets or reservations. An example would be “I am having dinner with my friends this evening”. In this case I have dinner plans and I might even have a reservation at the restaurant.

Going to
We form sentences with “going to” with the verb “to be” in the present + going to + the main verb in infinitive. We use it for things that we have decided to do but perhaps have not arranged. For example, if I say “I am going to talk to the professor after class”, it means that I have decided to talk to him/her when class is over but probably I haven’t set up a meeting with the professor.

We also use it when we know something from the current situation. For example, if I go outside and I see that it’s really cloudy and dark I might say “it’s going to rain”. I know that it’s going to rain because I have signs in front of me that tell me so.

Will
We form sentences with “will” with will and the main verb in infinitive. Very often we shorten it to “’ll” in speech and informal texts. In negative sentences we use “will not” or “won’t”. We use it when we have just decided to do something, spontaneous decisions. For example, if I say “I will close the door”, I hadn’t previously planned to close it. I just decided it.

We also use it for predictions about the future. For example, “in five years everyone will have a self-driving car”. Unlike with “going to” there is no indication in the present that tells me that this is what is going to happen. It is just what I think the future will look like.


In conclusion, we use present continuous for things that we have arranged, fixed plans. We use “going to” for things that we have decided to do but not arranged, for plans. Finally, we use “will” for spontaneous decisions and predictions.

I hope you found this post useful. If you’d like more information you can watch my tutorial in the video section or directly on YouTube. Thank you for reading.