Learning Phrasal Verbs: What You Need to Go Over

I try never to ask more of others than I do of myself. Creating a 20-day phrasal verb challenge is putting my stamina as a content creator to the test. I’m inviting learners to follow a series of short lessons for twenty days. That means I have to come up with a daily lesson for twenty…

Still Thinking It Over: More ways to practice phrasal verbs

Hopefully, some of you were able to try out the Think It Over activity from last week.  When I worked with an advanced private student, we quickly got through Tasks 1 and 2, and then focused on finding one-word equivalents for phrasal verbs, which we did with an article he had read in preparation for…

Think It Over: An activity to develop understanding of phrasal verbs

By the request of a student, I’ll be developing some materials to practice phrasal verbs. I’ve decided to focus on the particles and their common meanings. I think such exercises will aid in understanding the more idiomatic phrasal verbs that upper level students students either confuse or have yet to encounter. Do you agree? Please…

Phrasal Verbs: Round 3!

I decided to offer a complete set of activities on phrasal verbs this week. With the following activity, you now have the choice of focusing on intransitive, inseparable, and/or separable phrasal verbs. Of course, I do not recommend tackling all three activities in one week. 60 phrasal verbs would overwhelm most learners. I do think that…

Phrasal Verbs: Round 2!

I hope the previous posting with Phrasal Verb Dominoes leads to an enjoyable review of 20 intransitive phrasal verbs. I thought it would be a good idea to follow that activity with one for students to practice a set of transitive phrasal verbs. The activity in this posting features 20 inseparable phrasal verbs. Activity: Sentence…

Phrasal Verb Dominoes: An activity for intransitive phrasal verbs

Here’s a fun way to study 20 phrasal verbs in a meaningful context. Multiple encounters with the 20 key verbs found throughout the entire activity will help students retain the meaning and use of each verb. View Intransitive phrasal verbs_handout. Step 1 – Hand out Quiz 1. Have students complete the quiz solo. Then ask them to…

Playful Props

Do you keep a bag of props in your classroom? I’ve known teachers who used various props in their grammar and vocabulary presentations, from hand puppets to bouncing balls.  Props can also come in handy for making stories. We all know about chain stories, but consider the variations listed below. All you need is a large…

Turning Informal Into Formal: A writing activity for phrasal verbs

The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce students’ understanding of the differences between formal and informal English, highlighting the role phrasal verbs can play in changing the register. Students will begin with informal speech and edit it for a more formal context, using one-word equivalents for the selected phrasal verbs.   Level: High intermediate…

Putting Together a Narrative: An activity for phrasal verbs

This activity puts a spin on a familiar classroom game: chain stories. It’s best to do it in writing so that the final product(s) can be reviewed. One option is to work as a class, having each student make a one or two-line contribution with the teacher acting as the scribe at the board. A…

Student Stumper 10: Figuring out phrasal verbs

QUESTION: How can we know if a phrasal verb is separable or inseparable? ANSWER: There isn’t always an easy way to find this out, but a good appendix like those in the upper level books of the Focus on Grammar series will prove to be a useful reference for students. The authors of books 3,…

Channeling TV Guides Into the Classroom

The listings in a TV guide provide a wealth of material for the ESL classroom. The authentic source places common grammar structures and high frequency vocabulary in an entertaining context. Here are just a few ideas for putting this material to use to facilitate your instruction. Adjective clauses. Plot summaries of films and TV show…

Help from Horoscopes: 3 Classroom Ideas

Horoscopes, with their predictions and advice, lend themselves to a number of classroom activities. Even the names of the twelve zodiac signs can be the basis for meaningful language practice. You can find many sites that publish daily horoscopes, or you can find printed them in printed sources like entertainment magazines. Here are three suggestions…