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😊😊😀.
 
 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing: First Certificate – Check list

 

Are your students lay back and quite lazy? Well, mine are. So after thinking of an idea to get them spend more time when writing essays I came up with this Check-list to help them make the most of their writing. 

 DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLISTS HERE

Check-list

Once you are done with your essay, re-read and make sure you have done the following:

ESSAY-CHECK LIST

  •   1st paragraph: re-write the topic sentences by rephrasing it (writing it with your own words, or by changing it a bit)

  •  1st paragraph: say why is important or mention both opinions (Many people believe….. Others, however….)

  •  2nd paragraph: develop the points given in the question. – Include relevant details to support the main idea: these might include examples, rhetorical question or surprising statements… 

  •   3rd Add your own idea (ALWAYS a different idea). Don't forget to give an example.  If you include a drawback, give a possible solution. 

  • 4th Summarise and give your personal opinion

Also remember to:

  • Use a semi-formal tone.

  • Use linking adverbials or expressions to link ideas.

  • Organise your writing clearly into paragraphs.  

 How to use a Check-lists 

IN CLASS
1. After collecting the essay and before doing any corrections get students to swap writings. 
2. Hand-out a checklist sheet and get students to read and tick.
3. Then ask them to take back their writing and help them edit and add the missing points.

HOMEWORK
1. Hand-out the checklist sheet and assign homework
2. Remind SS to check the list while writing the essay
3. Collect essays, correct and check if students have used all points.
4. Give essays back and encourage students to add missing points. 

I hope you've found this idea helpful. Give it a go and let me know how it goes. Also, if you have more ideas on how to get them revisit and spend more time on writing please feel free to comment below 🙂


 

Fluency: Working with Phrasal verbs

This year I set a challenge to make my students aware of the fact that English is packed with Phrasal verbs and it is what keeps them away from sounding more natural or fluent. Most of them have seen Phrasal Verbs before but have not really paid that much attention or went through the 'noticing stage'.

How I teach phrasal verbs?

 

  • Present them ALWAYS in context, short dialogues or sentences with clear meaning.
  • Get them to think of the meaning individually and then share their thoughts in pairs. 
  • Get them to look up for more examples or prepare some yourself beforehand. 
  • Analyze the examples and the phrasal verbs. Is it possible to insert a word between a verb and a particle?
  • Ask your students to create a small dialogue or a situation using the phrasal verb.
  • Students take turns to act it out.  
  • Next lesson: Students read out their dialogue again without saying the phrasal verb. The rest of the class listens to the dialogue and guesses the phrasal verb. OR get them to act it out using body language and words.

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS HERE!!!!!!!!!
fluency-1-phrasal-verbs
fluency-2-phrasal-verbs
fluency-3-phrasal-verbs

 

 

The cost of War

The cost of War
Description:This lesson plan is organised around the theme of war through the use of a project that outlines the consequences of war. It also includes  a short text on the cost of war, pictures and quotes.
Level:Intermediate-Upper-Intermediate
Learners: Teenagers, Adults
Theme: War
Language: Talking about events in the past, describing pictures
Skills: Speaking, reading, observing pictures, talking about historical facts. 
Materials: text, websites, visual prompts (photographs), quotes. 

Step 1: Ask students to look at the pictures presented on the whiteboard. Elicit students’ thoughts and ideas around the pictures. 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.

Possible questions to ask: 
-where are these people?
-what are they doing?
-how do they feel like?






Step 2: Give out a handout with two pictures. Ask students ‘what can you see in picture A and what in picture B’?. Divide learners in pairs or in groups of 3 and ask them  to discuss  and write down 5-6 differences about the children’s lives in the pictures. Tell students they have 5mins
 Picture A:

  Picture B:

Step 3: Elicit students’ answers. Write down on the whiteboard any interesting words or phrases that can students learn.

Step 4: Vocabulary activity: Students work in pairs and match the definition of the words in bold. Monitor and help students if needed by giving them more examples. Elicit the answers and help students with the pronunciation of the words.  
  

A. Vocabulary: Match 1-7 with A-G

1. Her voice reverberatedaround the hall.

2. The violence was the result of political and ethnic conflicts.

3. A camp for refugees fleeing from the war

4. Two soldiers and one civilian were killed in the explosion.

5. The food supplies are inadequate to meet the needs of the hungry.

6. An example ofhostility is a bomb exploding in a crowded marketplace.

7. The bomb devastated much of the old part of the city.


A. to completely destroy a place or an area.

B. acts of fighting in a war

C. (of a sound) to be repeated several times as it is reflected off different surfaces

D. not enough; not good enough.

E. a situation in which people, groups or countries are involved in a serious disagreement or argument.

F. to leave a person or place very quickly, especially because you  are afraid of possible danger.

G. a person who is not a member of the armed forces or the police.
Step 5: Tell students that they are going to read about the findings of a project. Don’t tell them what’s the project about. Give them few minute to quickly scan it and complete this sentence:
‘This project is about……..’  

The cost of war
The wars begun in 2001 have been painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. The human costs of these conflictswill reverberate for years to come in each of those four countries. There is no turning the page on the wars with the end of hostilities, and there is even more need as a result to understand what those wars’ consequences are and will be.
Some of the project’s findings:
  • armed forces on all sides, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that over 350,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and many more indirectly.
  • 220,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting and more will die in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as the violence continues.
  • Millions of people have been displaced and are living in inadequate conditions. The number of war refugees and displaced persons — 6.7 million — is equivalent to all of the people fleeing their homes.
  • Iraq’s health and education systems remain war-devastated.
  • Women in both countries are essentially closed out of political power and high rates of female unemployment.
Step four: Ask students the following questions:
-Which are the wars in the text?
-Who are fighting in it?
Step 5: Ask learners to read the text again and try to memorize the four consequences of the wars. Allow students to write 2-3 words in a blank page to help them remember the text. Students take turns and briefly explain the consequences in pairs.
Step 6: Ask students to look at the pictures presented on the whiteboard. Elicit students’ thoughts and ideas around the pictures.  
The idea here is to ask learners look on the web and gather some information about the consequences of a particular war. The war we are going to focus on is the ‘Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974’ since I’m teaching in Cyprus and students are well-familiar with this war.(Here you can add your own pictures depending on the war you are planning to focus on for this lesson)

Step 6: Divide students into groups and ask them to write down the consequences of this war by searching online. Allow students to visit various websites to gather information. Teachers should have a list of websites in case students are struggling to find any.
Step 7: Discussion:  Ask each pair to present a finding, monitor students and encourage them to discuss in order to exploit speaking activities. 


In the discussion encourage learners to use the vocabulary learned like (conflicts, civilians, inadequate conditions, war-devastated and so on). Game: write down the words in the whiteboard and give them a point when they use the word to describe a consequence.  

Step 8: End the lesson with the following quotes. Allow students to express their final thoughts.