English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com


Free MP3 Class to Download! Free Online Speaking Course: Lesson 1.1

This is the latest free English speaking class on EnglishSpeaking.Tips! The text for the lesson is here. Feel free to download and share this MP3, which is in the Public Domain:


New Discussion Words for Talk a Lot lessons – Zoo

Here are 40 new discussion words on the topic of Zoo. You could use them in a Talk a Lot lesson or as the vocabulary in a Mode 3 lesson using You Are The Course Book method – or however you want to!

I was inspired to create this new topic after a visit to Gdańsk Zoo during the summer. We had a great time and saw all kinds of amazing animals, including giraffes, monkeys, crocodiles (who lay as still as stone, just occasionally flicking open one eye and then tightly closing it again), and of course African and Indian elephants. There’s something quite breathtaking about being in the same physical space as live elephants – even if they were safely behind barriers.

I hope that you will enjoy using this new topic to teach or learn English vocabulary. It can be used with elementary level and above. My pre-intermediate students had problems with words like amphibian, zoologist, and petting zoo. We discussed topics like the purpose of zoos, and whether it is cruel to keep animals in captivity. You can let us know how you got on with this topic by contacting us here.

Matt

FREE Download: Talk a Lot Discussion Words – Zoo


NEW FREE BOOK! You Are The Course Book 2 – In Practice (480 pages)


A New Series of Self-Study Worksheets – Stress, Reduce, Merge

Introducing new material from English Banana.com that will give you some practice in using connected speech and stress in English. You can download the free .pdf worksheet pack here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/105327558/A-New-Series-of-Self-Study-Worksheets-Stress-Reduce-Merge

Any feedback would be most welcome! Thanks. 😉


Download the MP3 Recording of our Latest Class

You can now download the MP3 recording of our latest class.

Left-click to open in your browser and right-click to download to your computer:

Planning an English Class without a Course Book to Hold your Hand

by Matt Purland (4th June 2012)


Internet Usage Questionnaire (New Talk a Lot Material!)

This is a class survey or questionnaire that I made and used with one of my classes recently. It helps students to test question forms as well as discuss attitudes towards using the internet. You could use it in conjunction with material from Talk a Lot Elementary Book 3 – Unit 9: Internet. Have fun!


Some New Talk a Lot Discussion Questions on the Topic of “Homes”

Yesterday I was teaching a pre-intermediate class and needed a few general discussion questions on the topic of “Homes”, so I came up with the following. Maybe you will be able to use them in your class too!

You could include them in a lesson based on the “Home” unit in Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1, for example.

Discussion Questions - Homes...

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

2. Which is better – a house or a flat? Why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

3. How many different kinds of home can you think of?

4. How will our homes be different in 50 years from now?

5. Which city in the world would be… a) the best, b) the worst, c) [insert other superlatives!] to live in? Why?

6. What are the most important factors in choosing a home?

7. Describe… a) your home, b) your grandparents’ home, c) [insert other!]. Compare them.

8. Who would you like to live with, if you could choose? Why?


How I used the Love and Relationships Idioms in my lesson today

I wrote twenty idioms on the board which kind of told a story of a relationship from the beginning to the end:

Method (Pre-Int to Intermediate Level):

Pre-task: Elicit: what is an idiom? i.e. A fixed phrase with a meaning that isn’t clear from the words used in the phrase.

1. SS work in pairs. They discuss together which ones they know already.

2. Group feedback.

3. SS check ones they don’t know in the dictionary or online.

4. Group feedback. Go through the list in order. Give examples. Elicit examples from SS. Check that everyone understands each idiom.

5. SS work together to prepare a dialogue or performance that includes all 20 idioms. Give them around 15 mins. Make a cup of tea for yourself; have a break; er, I mean monitor SS… Dialogues could be set in the past, with SS talking about a past relationship, or in various scenes set throughout the course of a relationship; or discussing future foreseen problems that might arise in a present relationship… etc.

6. SS read out or act their dialogues/scenes. Give feedback. Solicit feedback from other groups. Make a note of errors.

7. Error correction on the board with the whole group.

8. Homework, or follow-on activity: find 10 more idioms or phrasal verbs on the topic of Love and Relationships, and write a sentence using each one.

Note: for higher levels, you could mix up the order and get them to put them into their own order to make a story of a relationship.

It worked well and passed the time nicely for about 50 minutes. SS seemed happy to be learning (a lot) of new idioms. Do let me know how you got on, if you used this lesson plan! Thanks 🙂


New Free Printable English Lesson to Download Now!

Talk a Lot Intermediate Book 2 – Unit 2.2: English is a Big Boiling Pot of Delicious Steaming-Hot Word Stew!