English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest material and news from English Banana.com

FREE ESL Lesson Plan: Mode 1 Vocabulary Session

This is a free lesson plan from You Are The Course Book – Lesson Plans by Matt Purland.  You can download the complete book for free here. (.pdf – 6 MB) This book is in the public domain, which means that anybody can use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Mode 1 Vocabulary Session


1. T asks each group to write down 8 interesting and random words or phrases. They must be content words, not function words. They could be completely random, or begin with the same letter (elicited from a SS), or from a particular topic, e.g. Music. SS work together – one list per group. SS can use dictionaries. One SS from each group reads out their words and T selects the most interesting and random words to write on the board – 8 in total. T does not allow boring words, e.g. table, chair, book… SS write down the whole list.

2. T checks that everybody knows all the words and leads a pronunciation drill with the words. SS have to listen and repeat each word after T.

3. T asks SS to work as a team and write down the type of each word, e.g. noun, verb, adjective, etc. When each group is ready T asks for a SS to come to the board and write the word types on the board next to the vocabulary words. T elicits whether they are correct or not. If not, T elicits the correct answer and the SS writes it.

4. Repeat 3, except with number of syllables in each word.

5. Repeat 3, except with the stressed syllable in each word, which is underlined.

6. Repeat 3, except with the stressed vowel sound in each word. SS writes it with Clear Alphabet, if possible. If not, T elicits it from SS who use the Clear Alphabet chart (p.107). SS could also write each word in Clear Alphabet.

7. Repeat 3, except with whether the stressed vowel sound is short, long, or diphthong. T models the stressed vowel sounds and SS repeat.

8. Repeat 3, except with schwa sounds circled. By the end of the session, your board might resemble something like this (with words from the topic of Music:)

Vocabulary Lesson Plan - Image 1

…and so on.


  • Try not to spend too long doing the vocabulary session. Remember to put together a lesson that provides a balanced ‘meal’ – where different skills are practised and different student needs are met. For example, while one SS might be happy to work with vocabulary for the whole lesson, another SS might prefer free practice activities, and so on.

Buy a paperback edition of Big Grammar Book for under $10 on Amazon.com!

You can now buy a special paperback edition of Big Grammar Book on Amazon.com for the amazing price of $9.86!

Big Grammar Book on Amazon.com

Click here for full details!

Whether you want to study English grammar on your own, or whether you are a teacher with a class full of students who need a popular and reliable English grammar book, Big Grammar Book on Amazon.com at under $10 has got to be a great deal!

Big Grammar Book on Amazon.com

Also available: You Are The Course Book: Why can’t we teach English without a course book? [click here]

You Are The Course Book on Amazon.com

Really Useful List of 100 Irregular Plural Nouns in English

This is a free printable worksheet from Big Grammar Book 2 – which is the latest free printable book from EnglishBanana.com for teachers and students of English. To download your free copy, please visit: http://www.englishbanana.com/big-grammar-book-2/big-grammar-book-2-free-english-worksheets.html

Students at Oristo factory in Montowo complete Study English course with top marks!

Originally posted on Centrum Językowe Study English w Ostródzie:

English language students at Oristo, Montowo with their certificates. Tutor Matt Purland is far left.

English language students at Oristo, Montowo with their certificates. Tutor Matt Purland is on the left.

Last Friday (5th September 2014) employees at Oristo bathroom furniture factory in Montowo had a special reason to celebrate, because they had completed their 7-month English language courses with Study English.

Tutor Matt Purland taught the classes in the training room at their factory every Friday, and was delighted with the progress that both groups made during seven months of English language study, which included professional training in:

  • Reading and writing
  • Speaking and listening
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Tenses
  • Imagination and creativity

Matt commented: “All of the students have done really well. We are so pleased to see such great progress. It has honestly been a pleasure to cooperate with Oristo company on these courses!”

Here are some of the students’ comments about their course:

“Podobał mi się sposób prowadzenie zajęć, tzn. konkursy, praca zespołowa, systematyczne…

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Free Download for English & ESL Classes: Talk a Lot Elementary Book 2

Talk a Lot Elementary Book 2 is a complete free spoken English course for students at elementary level. Talk a Lot Elementary Book 2 is in the public domain, so please feel free to use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes. :)

What Sheryl Crow gave her attention to: a conundrum for language teachers

Originally posted on Jeremy Harmer:

I was reading the Guardian yesterday and came across a short interview with the singer Sheryl Crow during which she responded to the question ‘what have you sacrificed for your art?’ with the answer “my love life. I think whatever you give your attention to is what thrives.” And this chimed in with a topic I’ve been working with for some time, namely what I have called ‘the force of focus’ (in contrast to multi-tasking, for example). And today, once again, I have been working with teachers in Antwerp (Belgium), trying to pin down what students should give their attention to and how to make sure it has an impact.

But before we go on, and in case you haven’t listened to Sheryl Crow before, here she is singing an old (but to my mind beautiful) song called ‘The first cut is the deepest’.

What you give your attention to…

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