Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Parts of Speech Worksheet

I was teaching my students about parts of speech, and made this useful worksheet. It begins with a matching exercises, which I think works well for guided discovery. Then I have a labelling exercises for a paragraph from the novel, The Rum Diary, by Hunter S. Thompson. (It's one of my favourite books.)

Here's the worksheet, and the answers are below:

I have also created a PPT for explaining the different parts of speech, with examples and a simple guide to building sentences.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Overview of the IELTS Exam

I'm back in the classroom once again, teaching a group of 50 Chinese students about the IELTS exam. For most of them, this is their first time learning about IELTS. Therefore, I have created a really basic PPT guide to help them understand what the test is all about. In this PPT I have linked to some outside resources including YouTube videos. There's a missing link that pointed at a PDF I used. You could replace it with any PDF of an IELTS practice test.

Overview of the IELTS Exam from David Wills

For more IELTS teaching and learning materials, see TED-IELTS.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Photography Vocabulary - a fun welcome back ESL lesson

So it's the first day of the new semester. You want your students to have fun and talk about their summer, but you're sick of doing the same old lesson: "How was your holiday?" Boring.

Today I'm showing my students my favourite holidays snaps (just four) and quickly describing them. Then I'm going to teach the class how to talk about photos and photography before they do the same.

Some useful photography vocabulary:
  • selfie (of course)
  • composition
  • take/shoot a photo
  • landscape
To help me teach this lesson, I made a colourful PPT. Feel free to use it, adapt, or share it. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Welcome Back... Let's Talk About IELTS!

Hello Readers,

It's been a while since I last posted. As many of you know, I teach at a university here in Eastern China and that means I get a looooooooooong holiday!

This year I went travelling through Europe and Thailand. I saw my parents in Scotland, did some museums in Amsterdam, saw some beautiful architecture and art in Antwerp, walked up to the castle in Bratislava, shot some awesome photos in Budapest, and then took my girlfriend to Thailand. You read about that at my blog.

I've been posting some secrets to IELTS success on my IELTS website while travelling throughout the summer because there's a good community of readers there who need to get a high score in their IELTS test. Check it out and consider bookmarking the website. (A share on social media is also a great help.)

I've also been working on a book about the Beat Generation. It concerns Allen Ginsberg and his extensive world travels. Take a look at my Beatdom website if you're interested in that sort of literature - lots of essays on Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and others.

But I've not been posting here as much as I like. This is where I post materials I use in class, and, as I said above, I've not taught for 2 months!

So hopefully many of you will continue checking back in the coming weeks because I will be posting a flurry of materials here, including many PPTs and PDFs after I use them in my lessons. This year my classes will be mostly IELTS, but I also teach a general writing course.

Here's a PPT I designed that asks your students "Why should they study IELTS?" It acts as a very basic overview of the IELTS exam and what it can do to help your students in their futures.