Oxford's teachhing methods of english language

appropriate grammar.

I got up at eight a.m.

Ive just got off the bus

Im going to work today

2. Put the students in fours. Each draws a picture of a real past action of

theirs. They pass their picture silently to a neighbor in the foursome

who adds a past tense sentence. Pass the picture again and each adds a

past perfect sentence. They pass again and each adds a was going to

sentence. All this is done in silence with you going round helping and


Impersonating members of a set

|Grammar: |Present and past simple-active and passive |

|Level: |Elementary to intermediate |

|Time: |20-30 minutes |

|Materials:|None |

In class

1. Ask people to brainstorm all the things they can think of that give off


2. Choose one of this yourself and become the thing chosen. Describe

yourself in around five to six sentences, e.g.:

I am a candle

I start very big and end up as nothig

My head is lit and I produce a flame

I burn down slowly

In some countries I am put on Christmas tree

I am old-fashioned and very fashionable

3. Ask a couple of other students to choose other light sourses and do the

same as you have just done. Help them with language. It could be I am a

light bulb-I was invented by Edison.

4. Group the students in sixes. Give them a new category. Ask them to work

silently, writing four or six forst-person sentences in role. Go round

and help especially with the formation of the present simple passive

(when this help is needed).

5. In their groups the students read out their sentences.

6. Ask each group to choose their six interesting sentences and then read

out to the whole group.


The exercise is sometimes more excitingif done with fairly abstract sets,

e.g. numbers between 50 and 149, musical notes, distances, weights. The

abstract nature of the set makes people concretise interestingly, e.g.:

I am a kilometre.

My son is a metre and my baby is centimetre.

On the motorway I am driven in 30 seconds. (120 kms. per hour)

We have also used these sets: types of stone/countries/items of clothing

(e.g.socks, skirts, jackets/times of day/smells/family roles (e.g.son,

mother etc.)/types of weather.


The sentences students produce in this exercise are nor repeat runs of

things they have already thought and said in mother tongue. New

standpoints, new thoughts, new language. The English is fresh because the

thought is.

Listening to people

No backshift

|Grammar: |Reported speech after past reporting verb |

|Level: |Elementary to lower intermediate |

|Time: |15-20 minutes |

|Material: |None |

In class

1. Pair the students. Ask one person in each pair to prepare to speak for

two minutes about a pleasurable future event. Give them a minute to


2. Ask the listener in each pair to prepare to give their whole attention

to the speaker. They are not to take notes. Ask the speaker in each pair

to get going. You time two minutes.

3. Pair the pairs. The two listeners now report on what they heard using

this kind of form:

She was telling me shes going to Thailand for her holiday and she

added that shell be going by plane.

The speakers have the right to fill in things the listeners have left out

but only after the listeners have finished speaking.

4. The students go back into their original pairs and repeat the above but

this time with the other one as speaker, so everybody has been able to

share their future event thoughts.


|Grammar: |Comparative structures |

|Level: |Elementary |

|Time: |15-20 minutes |

|Materials:|None |

In class

1. Tell the students a bit about yourself by comparing yourself to some

people you know:

Im more than my husband.

Im not asas my eldest boy.

I reckon my uncle is than me

Write six or seven of these sentences up on the board as a grammar pattern


2. Tell the students to work in threes. Two of the three listen very

closely while the third compares herself to people she knows. The

speakers speak without interruption for 90 seconds and you time them.

3. The two listeners in each group feedback to the speaker exactly what

they had heard. If they miss things the speaker will want to prompt them.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 so that everybody in the group has had a go at

producing a comparative self-portrait.

One question behind

|Grammar: |Assorted interrogative forms |

|Level: |Beginner to intermediate |

|Time: |5-10 minutes |

|Materials:|One question set for each pair of students |

In class

1. Demonstrate the exercise to your students. Get one of them to ask you

the question of a set. You answer Mmmm, with closed lips. The student

asks you the second question you give the answer that would have been

right for the first question. The student asks the third question and you

reply with the answer to the second question, and so on. The wrong

combination of question and answer can be quite funny.

2. Pair the students and give each pair a question set. One student fires

the questions and the other gives delayed-by-one replies. The activity is

competitive. The first pair to finish a question set is the winner.

Question set A

Where do you sleep? (the other says nothing)

Where do you eat? (the other answers the first question)

Where do you go swimming?

Where do you wash your clothes?

Where do you read?

Where do you cook?

Where do you listen to music?

Where do you get angry?

Where do you do your shopping?

Where do you sometimes drive to?

Question set B

What do you eat your soup with?

What do you cut your meat with?

What do you write on?

What do you wipe your mouth with?

What do you blow your nose with?

What do you brush your hair with?

What do you sleep on?

What do you write with?

What do you wear in bed?

What do you wear in restaurant?

Question set C

Can you tell me something you ate last week?

Tell me something you saw last week?

Is there something you have come to appreciate recently?

What about something you really want to do next week?

Where have you spent most of this last week?

Where would you have you liked to spend this last week?

Where are you thinking of going on holiday?

Which is the best holiday place you have ever been to?

Variation 1

Have students devise their own sets of questions to then be used as above.

Variation 2

Group the students in fours: one acts as a time-keeper, one as a

question master and person 3 and 4 are the players.

The question master fires five rapid questions at player A which she has

to answer falsely. The time-keeper notes the time questioning takes. The

question master fires five similar questions at B, who answers

truthfully. The quickest answerer wins. (The problem lies in choosing the

right wrong answer fast enough.)

Possible questions:

How old are you?

Where do you live?

Which color do you like best?

What time is it?

How did you get here?

What time did you get up today?

What did you have for breakfast?

Where does your best friend live?

What sort of music do you dislike?

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Movement and grammar

Sit down then

|Grammar: |Who + simple past interrogative/Telling the time |

|Level: |Beginner to elementary |

|Time: |10-20 minutes |

|Materials:|None |

In class

1. Ask everybody to stand up. Tell them youre going to shout out bedtimes.

When they hear the time they went to bed yesterday, they shout I did

and sit down. You start like this:

|Who went to bed at two a.m.? |Who went to bed at quarter to |

| |two? |

|Who went to bed at ten to two? |Who went to bed at half past |

| |one? |

2. Continue until all the students have sat down.

3. Get people back on their feet. Ask one of the better students to come

out and run the same exercise but this time about when people got up,


Who woke up at four thirty this morning?

Who woke up at twenty to five?

4. Repeat with a new question master but asking about shopping, e.g.:

Who went shopping yesterday?

Who went shopping on(day of the week)

Only if

|Grammar: |Polite requests, -ing participle |

| |Only if + target verb structure of your choice |

|Level: |Elementary + |

|Time: |15-20 minutes |

|Materials:|None |

In class

1. Make or find as much space in your room as possible and ask the class to

stand at one end of it.

2. Explain that their end is one river bank and the opposite end of the

room is the other bank. Between is the golden river and youre the

keeper of the golden river. Before crossing the river the students have

to say the following sentence:

Can we cross your golden river sitting on your golden boat?

3. They need to be able to say this sentence reasonably fluently.

4. Get the students to say the sentence. You answer:

Only if youre wearing

Only if youve got

Only if youve got on you

5. Supposing you say Only if youre wearing trousers. All the students

who wear trousers can boat across the river without hindrance. The

others have to try to sneak across without being tagged by you. The first

person who is tagged, changes places with you and becomes it (the

keeper who tags the others in the next round).

6. Continue with students saying Can we cross your golden river, sitting

on your golden boat? It might say, Only if youre wearing ear-rings.


Variation 1

To make this game more lively, instead of having just one keeper, everyone

is tagged becomes keeper. Repeat until everyone has been tagged.

Meaning and translation

Two-word verbs

|Grammar: |Compound verbs |

|Level: |Upper intermediate to advanced |

|Time: |40-50 minutes |

|Materials:|One Mixed-up verb sheet per pair of students. The |

| |Jumbled sentences on a large separate piece of card |

In class

1. Pair the students and ask them to match the verbs on the mixed-up verb

sheet you give them. Tell them to use dictionaries and to call you over.

Be everywhere at once.

|Mixed-up verb sheet |

|Please match words from column 1 with words from |

|column 2to form correct compound verbs. |

|Column 1 |Column 2 |

|back- |dry |

|cross- |soap |

|ghost- |treat |

|soft- |write |

|blow- |reference |

|double- |cross |

|ill- |dry |

|spin- |comb |

| | |

|cold- |manage |

|double- |feed |

|pooh- |read |

|spoon- |pooh |

|court- |glaze |

|dry- |clean |

|proof- |shoulder |

|stage- |martial |

| | |

|frog- |march |

|wrong- |record |

|toilet- |foot |

|tape- |train |

|short- |change |

|rubber- |feed |

|force- |stamp |

|field- |test |

|cross- |question |

|cross- |examine |

|cross- |check |

Key to first group of verbs:

To back-comb/to cross-reference/to ghost-write/to soft-soap/to blow-dry/to

double-cross/to ill-treat/to spin-dry

Key to the second group of verbs:

To cold-shoulder/to double-glaze/to pooh-pooh/to spoon-feed/to court-

martial/to dry-clean/to proof-read/to stage-manage

Key to third group of verbs

To frog-match/to wrong-foot/to toilet-train/to tape-record/to short-

change/to rubber-stamp/to force-feed/to field-test/to cross-question/to

cross-examine/to cross-check

2. Ask them to take a clean sheet of paper and a pen or pencil suitable for

drawing. Tell them youre going to give them a few phrases to illustrate.

Theyre to draw a situation that brings out the meaning of the phrases.

Here are the phrases do not give them more than 30 seconds per drawing

(they will groan):

To toilet-train a child

To soft-soap a superior

To force-feed an anorexic

To court-martial a soldier

To back-comb a persons hair

To cross-examine a witness

To spin-dry your clothes

To cold-shoulder a friend

3. Give them time to compare their drawings. The drawings often make

misunderstanding manifest.

4. Split the class into teams of four. Tell them youre going to show them

Jumbled sentences (see below) and their task will be to shout out the

unjumbled sentence. The first team to shout out a correct sentence gets a


Jumbled sentences

Will still can you and it it dry retain its spin shape

You can spin-dry it and it will still retain its shape

Cold him we shouldered first at

At first we cold-shouldered him

Our ill ancestors treated they

They ill-treated our ancestors

Clean it dont dry

Dont dry-clean it

Black frog they Maria to the marched him

They frog-marched him to the Black Maria

Double your windows glaze to like wed

Wed like to double-glaze your windows

Pooh just his poohed offer they

They just pooh-poohed his offer

Dont soap me you soft dare

Dont you dare soft-soap me!

The world of take

|Grammar: |Some basic meanings of the verb take |

|Level: |Intermediate to advanced |

|Time: |40-50 minutes |

|Materials:|Set of sentences below (for dictation) |

In class

1. Put the students in small groups to brainstorm all the uses of the verb

take they can think of.

2. Ask each group to send a messenger to the next group to pass on their


3. Dictate the sentences below which they are to write down in their mother

tongue. Tell them only to write in mother tongue, not English. Be ready

to help explain any sentences that students do not understand.

The new president took over in January.

The man took the womans anger seriously.

You havent done the washing up, I take it, his wife said to him.

The little boy took the old watch apart to see how it worked.

I think we ought to take the car, he said to her.

This bloke always takes his problems to his mother.

We took the village without a shot being fired, she told him.

Take care the woman said, as she left home that morning.

He took charge of the planning team.

The woman asked what size shoes he took.

Yes I really take your point he told her.

If we go to a movie, she told her boyfriend, itll really take you

out of yourself.

The news the boy brought really took the woman aback.

The chair asked him to take the minutes of the meeting.

You can take it from me, its worse than you think

4. Ask the students to work in threes and compare their translations. Go

round helping and checking.

5. Check that theyre clear about the usual direct translation of take into

their language. Now ask them to mark all the translations where take is

not rendered by its direct equivalent.

Problem Solving

A dictionary game

|Grammar: |Comparatives, it (referring back) |

: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

09.12.2013 - 16.12.2013

09.12.2013 - 16.12.2013

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