My top 3 speaking games for Young Learners (Cambridge exams)

 

The follow blogpost is about my top 3 games/activities for Young Learners to encourage speaking in class and prepare students for Cambridge Exams (Starters, Movers, Flyers).

Games/ Activities:

1. I spy with my little eyes…..

This is a classic and works really well with younger kids.

– A student/teacher chooses an object/person from the picture in his/her mind and says something like 'I spy with my little eyes something yellow/something starting with the letter P'.

– Students have to find the object the student/teacher had in mind.

Variation:

  • I spy + colour
  • I spy + description.

Exam:

This activity can help students prepare for the speaking tasks in which they're asked questions about two of the people or things in the scene picture. 'What this? (Answer: Duck). What colour is it? (Brown). It's great for practising vocabulary and revising colours.

2. Find the picture:

– Divide the students into pairs or teams.

– Give a picture to each team or pair and ask them to look at the pictures and try to remember as much as possible.

– Then get ss to write a description  about 1-2 objects/people from each picture (for example: There is a man with yellow trousers, sitting on the bench).

– The teacher collect the pics and turns them around so students can't see them, ss take turns to read out their description.

– The team that remembers the right picture gets the point.

Once thet get the hang of it get students to play in pairs and say their description on the spot.

Exams: This activity can help students prepare for the speaking tasks in which they been asked to put objects card in various locations on the scene. e.g. Put the flower next to the house'.  This activity is great for practising prepositions of place.

CLICK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE PICS

PICTURE 1: CITY MARKET

PICTURE 2: STREET

PICTURE 3: ROOM

PICTURE 4: SUMMER

PICTURE 5: BUSY STREET

 

3. Draw the picture.

Again this is another great activity. A student describes and the other student draws.

– Adjust students seats arrangement so that students are facing each other.

– Give student A a picture/ or display the picture on a screen.

– Student A describes the picture to Student B and Student B draws listening to Students A's instructions.

– Once students finished Students B are allowed to look at the screen/ picture and compare.

Exam: This activity can prepare students for describing pictures, using prepositions and target vocabulary. Also, it's fun and engaging.

Visuals from this activity: The black and white visuals are taken from the sample paper Cambridge handbook.

For Lower level:

DOWNLOAD THE PICS HERE

For higher levels:

 

+1 Activity

Spot the differences:

Give ss a set of pictures and ask them not to show their picture. Students describe what they have in the picture in order to spot the differences, once students have found the differences get them to think of a story based on the pictures they have and share it with in class. I've made the visuals myself, my students loved the pics :). This activity is mostly for Flyers.

For more resources you could use the speaking cards from any Young Learners Cambridge exam.

Exam: This activity can help students prepare for the tasks in which they are asked to describe several differences between two pictures. Also, it can help them with the task in which they have to continue the story.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE VISUALS

 

Feel welcome to share your ideas and any games you play with your students :). More ideas are coming up soon related to young learners and Cambridge exams 🙂

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FCE Writing – Informal Letter/ Email Checklists

 

Informal Letter / Email Check lists 

As I have mentioned in my previous post on writing essays (FCE), check lists work really well with students as they helped them to stay focus and complete the task correctly. So, I have decided to make some more check lists. smiley Hope you find them useful.

 
How to use Check lists at home :
 
  • Ask students to have the check lists right in front of them when writing the tasks and  to make sure that they go through the check lists.
  • Collect essays and mark them.
  • When giving the essays back encourage students to add missing points from the check lists.
 
In the classroom:
  • Before correcting the essay get students to swap letters.
  • Hand-out a new check lists handout and get students to read and tick the points used in the task.
  • Students get their writings back and add any missing point.
  • Teacher collects writing and marks them.
FCE Writing – Informal letter/ Email

Check lists: 

  • Divide your letter into short paragraphs.
  • Write about a different idea in each paragraph.
  • 1st paragraph: Greet your friend in the introduction.
  • 2nd paragraph: Refer to your reason for writing.
  • 3rd paragraph: Focus on the exam questions (for example: describe the event and say  what people did).
  • 4thparagraph: Say why this event was important for your country.
  • 5thparagraph: Ask your friend to write back.
  • 5thparagraph: Finish your letter in an informal way.
 

Check list (Useful Phrases):

Introduction
Thanks for your letter/email.                                                                          
It’s really nice to hear from you.
I hope you are well.
I’d love to help you with/ tell you more about.
 
Body of letter/email
I thought you might be interested to hear….                         
I’m going to tell you about….
Did you know….
As far as I know…..
I think / believe……..
 
Conclusion:
I hope this information is useful.
Write soon and tell me (about) …
I hope to hear from you soon.
Take care.
Best wishes/ regards.
 
If you have found this blogpost useful make sure to download the checklist on the essay too.
Click here for the checklist. More substantial post are coming up soon and if you’d like to check them out you can follow the blog😊😊😀.
 
 
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Caterpillar sentences

 

CATERPILLAR SENTENCES 

 

I was thinking of a way to get my students (9-10 years old) to  formulate their own sentences and at same time have fun.  An then I came up with the idea of the caterpillar sentences and they absolutely loved it. 😀😘😎

How to use this idea: Get students to cut down and then stick the caterpillar in their notebooks. Then, get them to write a word and a sentence using the words from the caterpillar (as seen in the example).


DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET HERE

This is what my students have made! Isn't cute?

 
 

 

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Best Friend’s Challenge


 

 

 BEST FRIEND'S CHALLENGE

 

I came up with the idea of using the 'Best Friends Challenge' (as seen in The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallow) with my teens as they are all friends and they hang out together. I have to say that it worked really well and we had quite a lot of fun too 😁😃💛So here's how it works:



 

How to play: write the following questions in different cards and cut them down. Place them in a box. Student A draws a questions and tries to guess how Student B would have answered the question. Student A and B write the answer down and show their answers with the count of 3. If the answers match they get a point. 
 
1.   What’s my favourite colour?
2.   What are the place I would like to visit?
3.   What’s my favourite food?
4.   What’s the food I hate the most?
5.   How many minutes do I take to get dressed?
6.   What are the things I carry with me all the time?
7.   What my favourite subject at school?
8.   What my worst subject at school?
9.   What annoys me the most?
10. What’s my favourite sport?
11. What’s the craziest thing I have done?
12. What do I usually have for breakfast?
13. What my favourite song at the moment?
14. Where am I going on holiday this Christmas/Easter?
15. What’s my favourite TV show?
16. What do I do in my free time?
17. What’s my favourite kind of sweet?
18. Which is my favourite type of film? Horror, Comedy, Action etc..
19. If I could meet anyone, who would it be?
20. What would I do if I won the lottery?
21. What's my favourite kind of sandwich?
22. What's my favourite hobby?
23. How do I spend my free time? 
 
After finishing the game we worked on fluency. So I asked my students to answer the questions, expand their answers and I recorded them.  In that way, I had the chance to listen to the audio again and correct some basic mistakes.  To avoid making them feel embarrassed I gave them the corrections in handouts and we practised again. This activity is great for students preparing for exams. 
   You can also get your students to come up with more questions and play the game again 🙂
   

   Click here to download the handout with the questions. 
 
Hope you like it, let me know how it goes 🙂 

 

 

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The worst and BEST moments of 2016

Christmas theme lesson

 

Description:This lesson plan is organised around the theme of the best moments of 2016 from the BBC news through the use of videos and visuals ' It also includes , vocabulary building activities and discussions around the topic of 'the best moments'.
 
Level: Intermediate / Upper-Intermediate

 

Learners: Adults

 

Theme: Christmas

 

Skills: Speaking, reading , watching videos, Vocabulary.

 

Materials: worksheets, short video, BBC news, Visuals. 
Time: 1:15-1:30 (Depending on the group and Students' pace)
 

Step one: Write on the whiteboard ´The worst moments of 2016´.  Elicit of an example (e.g. bombing of Aleppo). Tell students to work in pairs and make a lists of the worst moments of 2016. Asklearners to discuss and give reasons why is one of the worst moments of 2016. Give time to students to share their ideas with their partner. Allow 8 min

 

Step two: Elicit students' thoughts and ideas. For higher levels students it's important to 'stretch' Ss in order to make the most of their abilities. Write down on the whiteboard any interesting words or phrases that can students learn.

 

Step three: Tell students that you are going to show some pictures related to 'The best moments of 2016 around the world'. Ask Ss if they know the story behind the photo. Get Ss share their ideas and also predict the story. Allow 8-10mins for this tasks.  

 

 

 

 

 

Step four: Elicit Ss idea, and give them the article. Depending on the number of Ss give one each or two each. Give strong Ss more articles if needed. Ask students to read the titles and match it with the pictures. Then ask SS to read the article, and describe the story to their partner and then to the class. Tell them not to worry about unknown words and we will talk about them later. Allow 8 mins

 

Step five: Elicit answers and get Ss to share their stories. Ask students which story they find more interesting and show videos of the most interesting stories. Allow 8-10 mins. Videos can be found in the article.  

 

Step six: Work on vocabulary and phrases (activities/worksheet). Get Ss talk about the meaning of phrases and then match them with the definition.  Allow 8-10mins. Elicit answers, concept-checking questions to ensure that ss have understood, give more examples if needed.

 

 

A.    Vocabulary
 
1.     To spark a worldwide hunt
2.     To go viral
3.     Touch the heart
4.     Devoted human companion
5.     A leap forward
6.     Call of duty
7.     Faith in humanity restored
8.     Hang up their slippers / hang up (one’s) boots
9.     Warm and fuzzy feeling
 
1.     Work in pair and guess the meaning of this phrases in context.
 
2.     Match phrases 1-9 with definitions a-i
 
a.     Usually a pet that is loyal to his owner for the rest of his life
b.     When something becomes really popular and many people share or like it.
c.     When you feel emotional, or moved.
d.     To permanently stop staying at home/ stop playing a sport.
e.     An emotional response.
f.      To carry a job or a duty a police case, military assault/wartime actions, or other military or highly   important jobs.
g.     To move forward.
h.     When you start (again) to believe in people.
i.      an action or event that causes something important to develop. In this case, people started searching, or looking.

 

 

 

Step seven: Get students talk in pairs about their best stories from their countries/worldwide. Allow 10-15 minutes. Tell students that they are going to present the stories in class. Encourage them to write down any words-phrases. Teacher write down any errors for error-correction at the end of the lesson, or good expressions. Elicit students' ideas and stories. 

 

1.     TALK ABOUT STORIES THAT
 

 

a.     that restored your faith in humanity

 

b.     that went viral/

 

c.     about a devoted human companion that touch hearts.

 

d.     that sparked a worldwide hunt/ revolution/ movement

 

e.     about athletes that hang up their boots.

 

 
 

Step eight:  Get students to think about their own stories (positive) e.g. something they have accomplished, a happy moment, and talk about it in pairs. Elicit students' stories and close the lesson. You can also share your story *I am sure students would love  to hear your story 🙂 

 

Wish them a Happy Christmas and may all their expectations and goals be fulfilled. 

 

Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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