Archive for the ‘lesson’ Category

A sick lesson that really smacked it

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Finally got round to teaching the sick vocabulary that I mentioned in my posting a couple of weeks ago.   So here’s what I did with it.  You can download the materials for from the right column of my blog. As always I wanted to teach the lesson utilising what’s available on the Internet so that the students can easily got back and revisit the sites and extend their English by visiting some of the links if they are interested in pursuing the topic further. It also fits nicely into my last posing about the plethora of free stuff out their for teachers to find and use.  As always, the main purpose of the lesson is lexically orientated with authentic listening thrown in. The added links provide further reading practice and could provide the basis for further work, especially collaborative learning and projects.

The lesson begins by reviewing the ‘sick’ sentences from the previous post.  Almost all the students are all mothers and or grandmothers we extended the task by asking them if the knew any ‘czech’ teen vocabulary and a general discussion of the pros and cons of ‘teens’ (and for that matter adults) having their own codes.  This stage allows for some personalisation. Next I got them to do the quiz that appeared in the guardian (sadly they got more then the 5 I originally got but then they were collectively doing it 🙂 ). This was followed by a further discussion prompted by the realisation that some of the words were use in Czech as well (i.e. flossing – and if you haven’t yet done the quiz, note this is nothing to with your teeth).

I then showed them some of the words that appear in then accompanying article to the quiz and asked them to try and guess a meaning, providing with the text  to see if they were right (another way of dealing with the text could be to design a kinaesthetic exercise, I didn’t do this as they will be ‘matching’ for homework on quizlet.)

A search of teens peak on youtube, threw up a couple of useful clips. One a news program and the other advice for parents . The news clip is interesting (well it prompted an interested discussion in class) as it starts off just talking about teen speak, quickly equates this with ‘danger’ and then takes it into the realms of predators. The reactions of some of the parents are comical.  We used it as a listening exercise to both listen for what so-called ‘teen’ acronyms are and the new listened to gauge attitudes of speakers.  (questions are on the powerpoint slides).  The second clip is on the same theme but this also links to a website so sts can find a transcript of what was said.  To use this slightly differently, I took the letter mentioned in the clip and asked the students to work out what the writer wanted to say and then they listened to confirm their predictions.

To round off the lesson and make use of the really nicely made game templates for powerpoint that someone twittered. I made a version of ‘who want to be a millionaire’ (I put it in the drop box) which we played in class.

I have also made put the words from the handbook on quizlet so the students can go back and do further work if they so wish.

Actually there are a number of post-lesson things that could be done, I have as always included links given to my students so they can develop the area themselves. On top of that it seems to me that such an area is perfect for project work  – students can go to links find words, make class wikis of the words (i.e. their own dictionary), make mind maps and so on.

Anyway until next time, enjoy the rest of your weekend,


Links for the lesson.

As you can see from the post, there are links throughout for the main lesson materials and the powerpoint and millionaire you can take from There are lots of hits, if you google teenspeak.

A teen chat decoder (yes really) – you type in the word in teen speak, it translate it for you.

The same website also has a teen speak dictionary and here is a BBC lexicon.

A blog posting on teen speak from radical parenting website


Week four words

September 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Hi Class,

Quizlet flashcards made  – nine of the ‘boarded’ words from last week all there for you to review. Click here to go to the words

See you bright ‘n’ early


Categories: lesson, words

Week three words

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Hi Class,

Ready for tomorrow’s lesson? There weren’t too many words on the board at the end of last week’s lesson so this week’s quiz set is only nine words. You can find and revise the words as usual on quizlet. Click on the link to take you to week three words.

See you in the morning,


Categories: lesson, lessons, Teaching, words

This week’s lesson -food glorious good

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Apologies for those expecting a lesson based on teen language whichI said I would post, we didn’t get round to it but I’ll post on how I think it could be used over the weekend

From time to time I like to do a lesson from their coursebook (rather nominally used, mainly cause it’s got a key so they can self-study and also because I find it a bit ‘long’ (see post of 16/9 if you are lost by that). Also, last week, Gordon Ramsey came up and by coincidence the topic of the coursebook unit is food, well it is one of those generic coursebook themes so no real surprise.

Gordon’s programme are just beginning on Czech TV (they’ve been through all the Jamie Oliver ones) and as such he is not well known yet, but of course he is all over the interweb thingy so here’s the lesson.

The coursebook bit is about food collocations (from things such as ‘favourite dish’  ‘to have square meal’ and so I am building around this theme but also want to include listening and reading (and remember my lesson is three hours long).  Here’s the lesson without the coursebook bits.

Context for lesson is established during our usual protracted chat at the beginning, one of them is bound to have eaten out since the last lesson (and then using this picture I introduce the idea of food and cooking). I first asked them to name typical British foods and when none said curry, showed them the picture, saying this is probably the most popular dish and then they had to guess what it was, well that it was a curry I doubt any of them (though I never checked) would know it was a jalfrezi 🙂

From there I want to both assess vocabulary knowledge and get ready for a listening so for that am using a mind map created at – here is screen shot of the mapmind I made:

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 18.20.07

I still have  wifiless classroom so had to screenshot it for use but hope that having introduced it, students can go to and add words after the lesson) – and in class they did come up with about fifty more words, since I go with the flow, we got seriously side-tracked from the listening prep by exploring all the words they were offering up  so if you use this lesson you might not want to get too distracted by adding words at this stage or it’ll detract from words for the listening.

Having ensured the students feel ok with the original words from the mind map, time for the listening. First I showed them the recipe, which you can find here (Ramsey made a series of programmes aimed at getting Brits cooking so the recipe is actually quite easy to make (I know I’ve made it :-)) . I copied the recipe into a powerpoint slide (see below) and blanked out all the words that were in the mind map.  I asked them to put the words back into the text. Obviously words like ‘as’ can be added in many places so reassure students that it if they think a word fits then use it.

Screen shot 2009-09-18 at 18.33.45

Once they are ready and have discussed possible answers, play the video clip, you’ll probably need to play it at least twice as they watch the video first time rather than see how there answers compare.  Check any differences they might have found and whether they actually matter or not and if they fancy making the recipe.

There are many directions the lesson could now go in, we ended up talking about  different restaurants we have been to (Ramsey used to have a restaurant in Prague) . However if they had not gone down this path I would have now gone back to mindmap to ask them to add more words or think of more words they can add later – by sharing recipes with each other. Not only does this seem the most natural way of continuing the lesson, I had another chef ready so I finished (yes that’s ‘all’ we did in three hours but we’ll be back next week) by asking them what they would make from:

Bacon, eggs, milk and sugar (you can only make one dish and have to use all the ingredients). After eliciting some answers and justifications, I played them this clip to see if the chef would make the same (am not telling you here what he made click on the link :-)).

Students willing next week, we’ll look at a review of the chef’s restaurants (bit of jigsaw reading , leading into a revision of the finer points of comparison (that’s t he grammar point in the coursebook)

The following links are the ones given to my students for possible extensions activities or if they want to go back to the videos,


The Mind map site – you do have to create an account and be invited to collaborate.

The website of Woodlands Junior School in Kent – a very impressive website that the school has as part of one of their school projects. The link takes you to food bit but they have lots of British cultural facts on there.  I am very impressed by the work that went into it!

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Video of the sauce being made

The second video (bacon, eggs etc)

Some other sites:

There are many sites that deal with food for English learners, googling esl+food brings up a substantial list.  Here are some to get you started:

A list of food word (Students could add these to the mind map)

Some food quizzes – first one is name the picture, second one unscramble the words

Another quiz (slightly more interactive)

A food idiom quiz

Quizlet – the place where we have our weekly word quizzes also has hundreds of quizzes.

Some Reading:

A website of unusual restaurants – it links to the each of the restaurants websites.

A website where people share their recipes.

Reviews of the second chef’s restaurant.

A review of Ramsey’s former restaurant in Prague (which, adding my own review was fabulous (I love my food :-))

And that’ll do it for this week’s lesson, enjoy


Categories: lesson, lessons, Teaching