More Practice with Practical Exchanges

In a previous post, I shared handouts with useful expressions that students can refer to when ordering food, leaving voicemail, and performing other everyday speaking tasks. I know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our sense of what’s normal, so it can be hard right now to imagine getting our hair cut at a salon or…

Inspiring Student Performances

Inspiration can come from many different sources. As as teacher, I think the most powerful inspiration for me has always been the students themselves. When I see their individual gifts and I understand their determination to master English, I feel a strong desire to be a part of their learning experience. Also, when I witness…

Worst Jobs, Best Conversations

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that bad times make good stories. Unfortunate experiences at least provide ideas for conversation. I once took quotes from a site built on workers’ testimonies and complaints, and I used them to help create role play in the classroom. (Unfortunately, the site is no longer active, so I can’t include the link.) Each student in…

Resolution Role Plays

If you’re able to share Episode 4 of The Jim & Jen Show with your students, you can use the video only in the classroom and encourage the completion of the whole lesson as self-study. My colleague Jim Stroud and I aimed to teach students polite ways to ask for clarification and express doubt about…

Resolutions Role Play: End-of-the-year vocabulary activity

Level: intermediate to advanced Targeted words: vocabulary related to goal-setting and lesser-known professions STEP 1 – Ask students to call out their professions and/or the professions of friends and family. Select lesser-known professions, assuming that popular ones, such as doctor, teacher, lawyer, businessman, and musician, are already familiar to everyone. Add others to the list….

Workaholics: An exercise to practice gerunds and infinitives

I’ve shared at least one activity in the past for gerunds and infinitives. The following is an activity on the same topic, but it focuses on changes in meaning. This would be ideal to do after a presentation on verbs such as stop, forget, remember, and try. Level: Intermediate to advanced. STEP 1: Discuss the…