Реферат: Oxford's teachhing methods of english language



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Contents 2 Introduction 3

Theory part:     The use of games

4 Note-taking 10

Practical part: Grammar games:




Spot the differences


Tipycal questions




Reported advioce


Picture the past


Impersonating members of a set


No backshift




One question behind


Sit down then


Only if


Two-word verbs


The world of take


A dictionary game






Listening to time


Guess my grammar


Puzzle stories


Word ordwer dictation

31 Grammar lessons taking notes: 33 Passive voice 33

Context and meaning

34 Subject matter note taking 36 Conclusion 37 References 38  Introduction/> /> /> /> /> <td/> /> /> /> />

This coursework presents two teaching methods widely approved in Oxfrord Universities:grammar and vocabulary games and the variations of taking notes during thelesson.

      Both of methods areembodied in the theory and practical part. As a theory part I give researchworks of professional lavguage teachers who studied the methods they consideredas useful and effective and put their opinion and reseach works on the press.I’m very grateful to them for sharing their experiences with us. So this partof my work describes the method itself, gives tests proving its effectivenessand touches some problem spots of it. Next I offer practical part containingexamples of taking these methods in the classroom.

None of thesemethods presented here is any brand new discovery for the language teacher.Every teacher used to practice them in his/her work, there’s only a try to addsomething new to well known and allegedebly usual techiques (like note-taking),to study them deeper and show more interesting and useful side of them. Inshort words some suggestions to make them work better.

      The reason I’vechosen this theme is the wish to know more about how to make the lesson moreinteresting and useful at the same time. I’ve benefitted much by collectiongand studing all this material I present here and hope you’ll find this workworth reviewing.

TheUse of Games


For Vocabulary Presentation and Revision

by Agnieszka Uberman

Vocabulary acquisition is increasingly viewed as crucial to language acquisition. However, there is much disagreement as to the effectiveness of different approaches for presenting vocabulary items. Moreover, learning vocabulary is often perceived as a tedious and laborious process.
In this article I would like to examine some traditional techniques and compare them with the use of language games for vocabulary presentation and revision, in order to determine whether they are more successful in presenting and revising vocabulary than other methods.

From my teaching experience I have noticed how enthusiastic students are about practising language by means of games. I believe games are not only fun but help students learn without a conscious analysis or understanding of the learning process while they acquire communicative competence as second language users.

Vocabulary teachingtechniques


There are numerous techniques concernedwith vocabulary presentation. However, there are a few things that have to beremembered irrespective of the way new lexical items are presented. If teacherswant students to remember new vocabulary, it needs to be learnt in context,practised, and then revised to prevent students from forgetting. We can tellthe same about grammar.Teachers must make sure students have understood the newwords, which will be remembered better if introduced in a «memorableway». Bearing all this in mind, teachers have to remember to employ avariety of techniques for new vocabulary presentation and revision.

Gairns and Redman (1986) suggest thefollowing types of vocabulary presentation techniques:

Visual techniques. These pertain to visual memory, which is considered especially helpful with vocabulary retention. Learners remember better the material that has been presented by means of visual aids. Visual techniques lend themselves well to presenting concrete items of vocabulary-nouns; many are also helpful in conveying meanings of verbs and adjectives. They help students associate presented material in a meaningful way and incorporate it into their system of language values. Verbal explanation. This pertains to the use of illustrative situations, synonymy, opposites, scales (Gairns and Redman ), definition (Nation) and categories (Allen and Valette ). Use of dictionaries. Using a dictionary is another technique of finding out meanings of unfamiliar words and expressions. Students can make use of a variety of dictionaries: bilingual, monolingual, pictorial, thesauri, and the like. As French Allen perceives them, dictionaries are «passports to independence,» and using them is one of the student-centered learning activities.

Using games


Theadvantages of using games. Many experiencedtextbook and methodology manuals writers have argued that games are not justtime-filling activities but have a great educational value. W. R. Lee holdsthat most language games make learners use the language instead of thinkingabout learning the correct forms. He also says that games should be treated ascentral not peripheral to the foreign language teaching programme. A similaropinion is expressed by Richard-Amato, who believes games to be fun but warnsagainst overlooking their pedagogical value, particularly in foreign languageteaching. There are many advantages of using games. «Games can loweranxiety, thus making the acquisition of input more likely» (Richard-Amato).They are highly motivating and entertaining, and they can give shy studentsmore opportunity to express their opinions and feelings (Hansen). They alsoenable learners to acquire new experiences within a foreign language which arenot always possible during a typical lesson. Furthermore, to quoteRichard-Amato, they, «add diversion to the regular classroomactivities,» break the ice, "[but also] they are used to introducenew ideas". In the easy, relaxed atmosphere which is created by usinggames, students remember things faster and better (Wierus and Wierus ). Furthersupport comes from Zdybiewska, who believes games to be a good way ofpractising language, for they provide a model of what learners will use thelanguage for in real life in the future.

Games encourage,entertain, teach, and promote fluency. If not for any of these reasons, theyshould be used just because they help students see beauty in a foreign languageand not just problems.

Choosingappropriate games. There are many factors toconsider while discussing games, one of which is appropriacy. Teachers shouldbe very careful about choosing games if they want to make them profitable forthe learning process. If games are to bring desired results, they mustcorrespond to either the student's level, or age, or to the material that is tobe introduced or practised. Not all games are appropriate for all studentsirrespective of their age. Different age groups require various topics,materials, and modes of games. For example, children benefit most from gameswhich require moving around, imitating a model, competing between groups andthe like. Furthermore, structural games that practise or reinforce a certaingrammatical aspect of language have to relate to students' abilities and priorknowledge. Games become difficult when the task or the topic is unsuitable oroutside the student'sexperience.
Another factor influencing the choice of a game is its length and the timenecessary for its completion. Many games have a time limit, but according toSiek-Piskozub, the teacher can either allocate more or less time depending onthe students' level, the number of people in a group, or the knowledge of therules of a game etc. 

When touse games. Games are often used as shortwarm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson. Yet,as Lee observes, a game «should not be regarded as a marginal activityfilling in odd moments when the teacher and class have nothing better todo». Games ought to be at the heart of teaching foreign languages. Rixonsuggests that games be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they aresuitable and carefully chosen. At different stages of the lesson, the teacher'saims connected with a game may vary:

Presentation. Provide a good model making its meaning clear; Controlled practise. Elicit good imitation of new language and appropriate responses; Communicative prastice. Give students a chance to use the language.

Games also lend themselves well to revisionexercises helping learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way. Allauthors referred to in this article agree that even if games resulted only innoise and entertained students, they are still worth paying attention to andimplementing in the classroom since they motivate learners, promotecommunicative competence, and generate fluency. However, can they be moresuccessful for presentation and revision than other techniques? The followingpart of this article is an attempt at finding the answer to this question.

The use of games forpresenting and revising vocabulary


Vocabularypresentation. After the teacher chooses whatitems to teach, Haycraft suggests following certain guidelines. These includeteaching the vocabulary «in spoken form first» to prevent studentsfrom pronouncing the words in the form they are written, placing the new itemsin context, and revising them..I shall now proceed topresent practical examples of games I have used for vocabulary introduction andrevision.

Descriptionof the groups. For the purpose of vocabularypresentation, I chose two groups of third form students. With one of them Iused a presentation game and with the other translation and context guessing.In both groups, students' abilities varied-ranging from those whose command ofEnglish was very good, able to communicate easily using a wide range ofvocabulary and grammatical structures, and those who found it difficult tocommunicate. 

After coveringthe first conditional and time clauses in the textbook, I decided to presentstudents with a set of idioms relating to bodily parts-mainly those connectedwith the head (taken from The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms ).The choice of these expressions was determined by students' requests to learncolloquial expressions to describe people's moods, behavior, etc. Moreover, inone of the exercises the authors of the textbook called for examples ofexpressions which contain parts of the body. For the purpose of the lesson Iadapted Gear and Gear's «Vocabulary Picture-Puzzle» from theEnglish Teaching Forum (1988). Students were to work out the meanings ofsixteen idiomatic expressions. All of them have Polish equivalents, which madeit easier for students to remember them.

Description ofvocabulary picture-puzzle


To prepare thepuzzle, I cut two equal-sized pieces of cardboard paper into rectangles. Theselected idioms were written onto the rectangles in the puzzle-pieces board andtheir definitions on the game board. On the reverse side of the puzzle-piecesboard, I glued colorful photographs of landscapes and then cut thepuzzle-pieces board into individual pieces, each with an idiom on it. Theimportant thing was the distribution of the idioms and their definitions on theboards. The definitions were placed in the same horizontal row opposite to theidioms so that when put together face to face each idiom faced its definition.

Puzzle Pieces Board                                                                                                               

The idioms and their definitions were thefollowing (all taken from The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms p.77):

to be soft in the head: foolish, not very intelligent; to have one's hair stand on end: to be terrified; to be two-faced: to agree with a person to his face but disagree with him behind his back; to make a face: to make a grimace which may express disgust, anger; to be all eyes: to be very attentive; to be an eye-opener: to be a revelation; to be nosy: to be inquisitive, to ask too many questions; to be led by the nose: to be completely dominated by, totally influenced by; long ears: an inquisitive person who is always asking too many questions; to be all ears: to listen very attentively; to be wet behind the ears: to be naive, inexperienced; a loose mouth: an indiscrete person; one's lips are sealed: to be obliged to keep a secret; to have a sweet tooth: to have a liking for sweet food, sugar, honey, ice cream, etc.; to grind one's teeth: to express one's fury; to hold one's tongue: to say nothing, to be discrete;

   Thetask for students. Work out the puzzle by matching the idioms and theirdefinitions. First, put puzzle-pieces on the desk with the word facing up. Takeone and match the idiom to the definition. Having done that, place thepuzzle-piece, word-side-up, in the chosen rectangle. When you have used up allthe pieces, turn them over. If they form a picture of a landscape, the choicesare correct. If not, rearrange the picture and check the idiom-definitioncorrespondences.                                                                 

   Thegame objectives. To work out the puzzle, students had to match idiomswith their definitions. The objective of the game was for each pair tocooperate in completing the activity successfully in order to expand theirvocabulary with, in this case, colloquial expressions.

   All studentswere active and enjoyed the activity. Some of their comments were as follows:«Very interesting and motivating» «Learning can be a lot offun» etc.

   Students alsohad to find the appropriate matches in the shortest time possible to beat otherparticipating groups. The element of competition among the groups made them concentrateand think intensively.

   Translationactivity. The other group of students had to work out the meanings ofthe idioms by means of translation. Unlike the previously described group, theydid not know the definitions. The expressions were listed on the board, andstudents tried to guess their proper meanings giving different options. My rolewas to direct them to those that were appropriate. Students translated theidioms into Polish and endeavored to find similar or corresponding expressionsin their mother tongue. Unlike the game used for the purpose of idiomintroduction, this activity did not require the preparation of any aids. Fewerlearners participated actively or enthusiastically in this lesson and most didnot show great interest in the activity.                                                                          

   Administering the test. Inorder to find out which group acquired new vocabulary better, I designed ashort test, for both groups containing a translation into English and a game.This allowed learners to activate their memory with the type of activity theyhad been exposed to in the presentation.



The test checking theacquisition of newly-introduced reading vocabulary        

   I. Match the definitions of the idiomswith the pictures and write which idiom is depicted and described:

to be inexperienced to listen very attentively to be terrified to be dominated by someone to be attentive to be insincere, dishonest        

   The proper answers are the following:                                                                                               

d ., to be wet behind the ears a ., to be all ears e ., to have one's hair stand on end f ., to be led by the nose b ., to be all eyes c ., to be two-faced.




   II. Translate into English (thetranslated sentences should be the following):                           

He is soft in the head. She is two-faced, always criticizes me behind my back. Mark has a sweet tooth, so he is not too slim. Will you hold your tongue if I tell you something? Why are you such a loose mouth? Don't be nosy! This is none of your business.

   Analysisof the results. Group I received an average mark of 3.9 as compared to3.4 obtained by group II. In other words, the group which had learnedvocabulary through games performed significantly better. However, it isespecially interesting and surprising that group II also received high scoresfor the game. Even though learners in group I had the material presented bymeans of translation, most students got better marks for the game.

Summingup. Even though the results of one activity canhardly lead to informative conclusions, I believe that the results suggest thatthe use of games for presentation of new vocabulary is very effective andenjoyable for students. Despite the fact that the preparation of a game may betime-consuming and suitable material may be hard to find, teachers should tryto use them to add diversion to presentational techniques.

Revising vocabulary


Many sourcesreferred to in this article emphasise the importance of vocabulary revision.This process aims at helping students acquire active, productive vocabularies.Students need to practise regularly what they have learnt; otherwise, thematerial will fade away. Teachers can resort to many techniques for vocabularyconsolidation and revision. To begin with, a choice of graphs and grids can beused. Students may give a definition of a given item to be found by otherstudents. Multiple choice and gap filling exercises will activate thevocabulary while students select the appropriate response. Teachers can uselists of synonyms or antonyms to be matched, sentences to be paraphrased, orjust some words or expressions in context to be substituted by synonymousexpressions. Doing cloze tests will show students' understanding of a passage,its organisation, and determine the choice of lexical items. Visual aids can beof great help with revision. Pictures, photographs, or drawings can facilitatethe consolidation of both individual words as well as idioms, phrases andstructures. There is also a large variety of word games that are «usefulfor practising and revising vocabulary after it has been introduced»(Haycraft). Numerous puzzles, word squares, crosswords, etc., are usefulespecially for pair or group work.

I shall now present the games I have usedfor vocabulary revision.

Descriptionof the group. I gave teachers a questionnaireto determine their view of using games for vocabulary teaching. In response tothe questionnaire, many teachers said they often used games for vocabularyrevision. Some claimed they were successful and usually more effective thanother methods. To see if this is really true, I decided to use a crosswordpuzzle with a group of first year students.


Thecrossword puzzle. After completing a unit aboutVan Gogh, students wanted to expand their vocabulary with words connected withart. The students compiled lists of words, which they had learnt. In order torevise the vocabulary, one of the groups had to work out the crossword puzzle.

Students workedin pairs. One person in each pair was provided with part A of the crosswordpuzzle and the other with part B. The students' task was to fill in their partof the puzzle with the missing words known to their partner. To complete theactivity, learners had to ask each other for the explanations, definitions, orexamples to arrive at the appropriate answers. Only after getting the answerright could they put it down in the suitable place of their part of thecrossword. Having completed the puzzle, students were supposed to find out whatword was formed from the letters found in the shaded squares.

   Studentsenjoyed the activity very much and did not resort to translation at any point.They used various strategies to successfully convey the meanings of the wordsin question-e.g., definitions, association techniques, and examples. Wheneveryone was ready, the answers were checked and students were asked to giveexamples of definitions, explanations, etc., they had used to get the missingwords.

 The other group performed a similar task.Students were to define as follows:

I. Define the following words: shade,icon, marker, fresco, perspective, hue, daub, sculptor, still life, watercolor,palette, background.   

II. Find the words these definitionsdescribe:

a public show of objects a variety of a colour a wooden frame to hold a picture while it is being painted a pale or a delicate shade of a colour a picture of a wide view of country scenery an instrument for painting made of sticks, stiff hair, nylon a painting, drawing, or a photograph of a real person a piece of work, especially art which is the best of its type or the best a person has made painting, music, sculpture, and others chiefly concerned with producing beautiful rather than useful things a line showing the shape (of something) a person who is painted, drawn, photographed by an artist a picture made with a pen, pencil, etc.


Analysis of results. The results show that the crossword puzzle, though seemingly moredifficult since it required the knowledge of words and their definitions andnot mere recognition and matching, was easier for 27.4% of the learners and grantedthem more points for this part of the test. For the majority of the students(nearly 60%) both activities proved equally easy and out of the group ofthirteen, eleven students had the highest possible score.

Summing up


These numbers suggest that games areeffective activities as a technique for vocabulary revision. Students alsoprefer games and puzzles to other activities. Games motivate and entertainstudents but also help them learn in a way which aids the retention andretrieval of the material (This is what the learners stated themselves).
However, the numbers also show that not everyone feels comfortable with gamesand puzzles and not everyone obtains better results.

Although onecannot overgeneralise from one game, student feedback indicates that manystudents may benefit from games in revision of vocabulary.



Recently, usinggames has become a popular technique exercised by many educators in theclassrooms and recommended by methodologists. Many sources, including the onesquoted in this work, list the advantages of the use of games in foreignlanguage classrooms. Yet, nowhere have I found any empirical evidence for theirusefulness in vocabulary presentation and consolidation.

Though the mainobjectives of the games were to acquaint students with new words or phrases andhelp them consolidate lexical items, they also helped develop the students'communicative competence.

From theobservations, I noticed that those groups of students who practised vocabularyactivity with games felt more motivated and interested in what they were doing.However, the time they spent working on the words was usually slightly longerthan when other techniques were used with different groups. This may suggestthat more time devoted to activities leads to better results. The marksstudents received suggested that the fun and relaxed atmosphere accompanyingthe activities facilitated students' learning. But this is not the onlypossible explanation of such an outcome. The use of games during the lessonsmight have motivated students to work more on the vocabulary items on theirown, so the game might have only been a good stimulus for extra work.

Although, itcannot be said that games are always better and easier to cope with foreveryone, an overwhelming majority of pupils find games relaxing andmotivating. Games should be an integral part of a lesson, providing thepossibility of intensive practise while at the same time immensely enjoyablefor both students and teachers. My research has produced some evidence whichshows that games are useful and more successful than other methods ofvocabulary presentation and revision. Having such evidence at hand, I wish torecommend the wide use of games with vocabulary work as a successful way of acquiringlanguage competence.



A Useful Device

by Clara Perez Fajardo

Has it ever happened thatyou read or listen to something, and shortly afterwards when you want to recallit, you can only remember a small part? Have you ever thought of how manyinteresting ideas you have missed, just because you have not taken a fewseconds to note them down as they occurred to you? Everyday happenings passthrough time and can never be recalled again if they are not recorded either ona tape or with a video camera. But, not many of us have these devices alwayshandy. What we do have available is a simple sheet of paper, a pencil, and ourfive senses. Taking notes on what takes place not only permits us to rememberbut also facilitates our oral and written communication.

Regardless of their age orlevel, students tend to rely too much on their memory, instead of taking notes.For this reason, I began devising different tasks which demand the recall offacts that the students would have only if they had taken notes. The resultshave motivated me to do further research on the topic through interviews,reading, and analysis-all the time noting down the information I was obtaining.

The note-taking process


In order to reconstructa complete account of what one perceives through listening, reading, observing,discussing, or thinking, it is necessary to take notes either simultaneouslywith the act of perception or after an interval of just a few seconds. Wecannot expect to remember everything we perceive, and despite the advantages oftraining our memory, it is better to have notes taken at the moment thingshappen.

Language educators have approachednote-taking from different perspectives. McKeating (1981) sees note-taking as acomplex activity which combines reading and listening with selecting,summarizing, and writing.
Grellet (1986) advises helping students to establish the structure of a text sothey can pull out the key ideas and leave out nonessential information.Nwokoreze (1990) believes that «it is during the note-taking stage thatstudents reach the highest level of comprehension.»

Two main aspects concerning note-taking:

It involves the combination of different skills, i.e.; listening or reading, selecting, summarizing, and writing. It requires the selection of relevant information from the nonessential.

Moreover, most authors see note-taking as acomplex activity which must be approached gradually. When teaching the skill,Raimes suggests that elementary-level students can be given a skeleton outlineto work with when they take notes, so that their listening is more directed.Advanced students can listen to longer passages and make notes as they listen.

Murray refers to a «rehearsal forwriting,» which begins as an unwritten dialogue within the writer's mind:what the writer hears in his/her head evolves into notes. This may be simplebrainstorming-the jotting down of random bits of information which may connectthemselves into a pattern later on.

Note-taking involves putting onto paper thedata received through any of our senses. These data could range from simplefigures, letters, symbols, isolated words, or brief phrases to completesentences and whole ideas.

Most teachers instruct students to takenotes while perceiving. However, Nwokoreze insists on the need for firstlistening long enough to make sure the essence of the information is perceivedbefore taking notes. The decision on whether the notes are to be taken at themoment of perception or shortly afterwards depends on the complexity of thetask and the ability of the note-taker. Consequently, if we are to take noteswith figures, letters, or single words to fill in a pre-designed skeleton, wecan do it at the same time we receive the information; whereas notes whichrequire selection, summarizing, and organization ought to be taken later.



As teachers, wemust decide what sort of help our students need for every task we assign. Theguidance we give for taking notes will depend on various aspects. One of themis language level. Raimes suggests providing beginners with a skeleton outlineto fill in or expand to make their listening more directed. She also proposesletting the advanced students listen to longer passages and make notes as theylisten.

Guidanceprovided will depend on the degree of difficulty of the task involved. Thereasons for taking notes and the follow-up activities are also important. Ifthe students only take notes of simple figures, letters, or single words as thebasis for a discussion to take place immediately, they will not need muchguidance. But if they are supposed to take notes of a higher complexity to usein writing a report for homework, they will need more preparation.

Using note-taking in ourclasses


Assuming anextreme position when defining the concept of note-taking, we can say that evenchecking or ticking items on a list is a form of note-taking, as long as whatstudents have to «tick» represents the content of the reading orlistening passage. If we give students a multiple-choice exercise, a list, orYes/No questions, and ask them only to tick the correct answer, they will betaking notes. This could be considered the most basic form of note-taking.Nevertheless, if we analyze the task in detail, we find it is not as simple asit seems. To answer accurately, the students will first have to understand thestatements and determine whether their choices are correct or not. Furthermore,they have to predict and speculate about what they are going to perceive.

When revising any topic we may practice itand use this technique giving students a skeleton to fill in while listening.Example:


Listen to the interview with the patient and tick (v) the correct answer:

Patient's name:

Mrs. Kelly.

Main Symptoms:

high blood pressure       headache



Other Symptoms:

obesity blurred vision


trouble breathing swollen ankles


urinary problems pain in the back


chills and fever

Past History:

heart disease chest pain


kidney infection

Family History

hypertension diabetes kidney disease stroke heart attack

Any other information?


With this last question, we are prompting the students to note down other information,not limiting them only to what the chart asks for. Not all the students will beable to take further notes, but the most skilled will not get bored while theirclassmates are engaged at a more elementary level.                                                                                                                                       

Another instancethat calls for note-taking is reporting on medical cases. To do this, the classmay be divided into teams of three or four students. Each team prepares a casefor the others to analyze. One variant would be having each team firstbrainstorm, then prepare a skeleton outline with the sort of information theyneed the other team to provide in order to write a full case report. Onceready, they exchange skeletons, brainstorm again, and note down the informationthe skeleton forms ask for. The teams should give neither the diagnosis nor thetreatment. As soon as they finish, they swap these «problem-cases,»analyze them, and confer on the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of thepatient. Next, they write a full case report that everyone reads and discusses.The class then moves around, reads, and comments on them. Finally, they decidewhich of the skeleton forms are better and which reports are the most coherentand faithful to the information provided.

A simplervariant would be having each team ask for the information orally from oneanother, take notes on it and then report on the case orally or in writing.

In teaching MedicallySpeaking, I suggest taking notes while listening to the dialogues orreading the case studies given in the text. Instead of having the students takedown all the information, teams are formed to take notes on specific parts.


Instructions for preparing and presenting a case report First think of an interesting case you would like to report on and discuss with your classmates. Consult your professors, look for information about your case and associated diseases or cases in magazines, books, journals, etc. Note down this information. Then make an outline of the elements you need in order to report on a case

1. Patient's

Age: Sex: Race: Weight: Height: 2. Main symptom: 8. Physical findings 3. Other symptoms: 9. Diagnostic procedure: 4. Past history: 10. Differential and definitive diagnosis: 5. Family history: 11. Therapeutic procedures: 6. (Toxic) habits: 12. Possible complications 7. Medications: 13. Prognosis

Before presenting your case orally, copythe outline on the board, ask your classmates to also copy it in theirnotebooks. You will all follow this order for the presentation and discussionof your case. Your classmates will ask you for the data they need to completetheir outlines and discuss the case. Once the discussion is over, they will usetheir notes to write a report on the case you presented.

Patient's characteristics: Age: 22

Race: white Sex: M

Weight: 70 kg.

Height: 1.70m.

Main symptom:

pain in the right lower quadrant (sporadic and colicky in nature)

*began in epigastrium two days ago

*moved to periumbilical region and right lower quadrant

Other symptoms:

fever, vomits (3), anorexia, constipation for two days (no bowel movement). No diarrhea

Past history:


Family history:


Toxic habits:




Physical findings:

-patient well oriented as to time, place and

-well nourished

-extreme tenderness to palpation mainly
over McBurney's point

-guarding, muscle rigidity, rebound

-difference: axillary & rectal temperature

-bowel sounds: absent

Definitive diagnosis: acute appendicitis

Therapeutic procedures:appendectomy
Possible complications:perforation, necrosis, peritonitis

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Today wediscussed the case of a 22-year-old white man who was in good health prior totwo days ago, when he began to have an abdominal pain. This pain was sporadicand colicky in nature. It began in the epigastrium and has since migrated tothe right lower quadrant. The patient has had three episodes of vomitingassociated with the pain. He has been anorectic and feverish. He has had nobowel movements for two days. He reported no diarrhea, coughing withexpectoration or shortness of breath. He has no past history or family historyof abdominal pain or any other disease. The pertinent physical findings arerelated to the abdomen. There is extreme tenderness to palpation, especiallyover McBurney's point. Guarding, muscle rigidity and rebound tenderness are allpresent. Bowel sounds are absent. There is a difference between the axillaryand the rectal temperature. His urinalysis, hemoglobin and hematocrit arewithin normal limits. Nevertheless, both white blood count and red rate areelevated. His chest film is clear, but in the abdominal film we observed thepsoas line is absent.
Finally, we decided the definitive diagnosis is acute appendicitis. Among thepossible complications to consider are perforation, necrosis and peritonitis.Therefore, the prognosis is anceps. The only possible treatment is surgical:appendectomy.



As we have seen,there are numerous opportunities to help students develop the skill ofnote-taking. Note-taking assists the listener, reader, or observer in achievinga better understanding of what is presented, and it facilitates recall of factsas well as oral and written expression. The student's language level and thepurpose which the notes are to serve will determine the type of guidance theteacher must provide to help them to take notes in class and later on the job.

Grammargames Competitive gamesSpeed Grammar: Collocations with wide, narrow, and broad. Level: Intermediate to advanced Time: 15-20 minutes Materials: Three cards, with wide on one, narrowon the second and broad on the third Preparation

Prepare three large cards with wideon one, narrow on the second and broad on the third.

In class

1.     Clear as much space as you can in your classroomso that students have access to all the walls and ask two students to act assecretaries at the board. Steak each of your card on one of the other threewalls of the room. Ask the rest of the students to gather in the middle of thespace.

2.     Tell the students that you’re going to read outsentences with a word missing. If they think that the right word for thatsentence is wide they should rush over and touch the widecard. If they think the word should be narrow or broadthey touch the respective card instead. Tell them that in some casesthere are two right answers (they choose either).

3.     Tell the secretaries at the board to write downthe correct versions of the sentences in full as the game progresses.

4.     Read out the first gapped sentence and have the studentsrush to what they think is the appropriate wall. Give the correct versions andmake sure it goes up in the board. Continue with the second sentence etc.

5.     At the end of the strenuous part ask thestudents to tale down the sentences in their books. A relief from running! ( Ifthe students want a challenge they should get a partner and together write downas many sentences as they remember with their backs to the board before turninground to complete their notes. Or else have their partner to dictate thesentences with a gap for them to try to complete.)

Sentences to read out They used a … angled lens Wide He looked at her with a … smile Broad The socialists won by a …. Margin Narrow/broad She is very … minded Broad/narrow He speaks the language with a … London accent Broad You were wrong what you said was … of the mark Wide You had a … escape Narrow Of course they’re … open to criticism Wide They went down the canal in a … boat Narrow She opened her eyes … Wide The news was broadcast nation … Wide The path was three meters … Wide The light was so bright that she … her eyes Narrowed Variation

You can play this game with many sets ofgrammar exponents:

—  Forms of the article; a, the and zeroarticle

—  Prepositions


 Cognitive gamesSpot the differences Grammar: Common mistakes Level: Elementary Time: 20-30 minutes

This activity can be adapted for use with all levels

  Materials: One copy of Late-comer A and Late-comer B for each student In class

1.     Pair the students and give them the two texts.Ask them to spot all the differences they can between them. Tell them thatthere may be more than one pair of differences per pair of parallel sentences.Tell them one item in each pair of alternatives is correct.

2.     They are to choose the correct form from eachpair.

Late-comer A Late-comer B This women was often very late This woman was often very late She was late for meetings She was late for meeting She were late for dinners She was late for dinners She was late when she went to the cinema She was late as she went to the cinema One day she arrive for a meeting half an hour early One day she arrived for meeting half ah hour early Nobody could understand because she was early Nobody couldn’t understand why she was early ‘Of course,’ someone said, ‘clocks put back last night.’ ‘Of course,’ someone say, ‘the clocks were put back last night.’

3.       Askthem to dictate the correct text to you at the board. Write down exactly whatthey say so students have a chance to correct each other both in terms ofgrammar and in terms of their pronunciation. If a student pronounces ‘disvoman’ for ‘this woman’ then write up the wrong version. Only write itcorrectly when the student pronounces it right. Your task in this exercise isto allow the students to try out their hypotheses about sound and grammarwithout putting them right too soon and so reducing their energy and blockingtheir learning. Being too kind can be cognitively unkind. 


To make this exercise more oral, pair thestudents and ask them to sit facing each other. Give Later-comer A to onestudent and Late-comer B to the other in each pair. They then have to do verydetailed listening to each other’s texts.

Feeling and grammarTypical questions Grammar: Question formation-varied interrogatives Level: Beginner to elementary Time: 20-30 minutes Materials: None />In class

1.   />Askthe students to draw a quick sketch of a four-year-old they know well. Givethem these typical questions such a person may ask, e.g. ‘Mummy, does the moongo for a wee-wee?’ ‘Where did I come from?’. Ask each student to write half adozen questions such a person might ask, writing them in speech bubbles on thedrawing. Go round and help with the grammar.

2.   Get the students to fill the board with theirmost interesting four-year-old questions.


This can be used with various question situations. The followingexamples work well:

-    Ask the students to imagine a court room-theprosecution barrister is questioning a defense witness. Tell the students towrite a dozen questions the prosecution might ask.

-    What kind of questions might a woman going to aforeign country want to ask a woman friend living in this country about the manor the woman in the country? And what might a man want to ask a man?

-    What kind of questions are you shocked to beasked in an English-speaking country and what questions are you surprised notto be asked?

Achievements Grammar: By+time-phrases  Past perfect

This activity also works well with: present perfect+yet, like doing, like having done, and modals

  Level: Lower intermediate Time: 20-30 minutes Materials: Set of prepared sentences Preparation

1.   Think of your achievements in the period of yourlife that corresponds to the average age of your class. If you’re teachingseventeen-year-olds, pick your first seventeen years. Also think of a few ofthe times when you were slow to achieve. Write the sentences about yourself likethese:

By the age of six Ihad learnt to read.

I still hadn’t learntto ride a bike by then.

I had got over my fearof water by the time I was eight.

By the time I was nineI had got the hang of riding a bike.

By thirteen I had reada mass of books.

I’d got over my fearof the dark by around ten.


2.   Write ten to twelve sentences using the patternsabove. If you’re working in a culture that is anti-boasting then pickachievements that do not make you stand out.

3.   Your class will relate well to sentences thattell them something new about you, as much as you feel comfortable tellingthem. Communication works best when it’s for real.

In class

1.   Ask the students to have two different coloredpens ready. Tell them you’re going to dictate sentences about yourself. They’reto take down the sentences that are also true for them in one color and thesentences that are not true about them in another color.

2.   Put the students in fours to explain to eachother which of your sentences were also true of their lives.

3.   Run a quick question and answer sessionround the groups e.g. ‘At what age had you learnt to ski/dance/sing/ playtable tennis etc by?’ ‘I’d learnt to ski by seven.’

4.   Ask each students to write a couple of freshsentences about things achieved by a certain date/time and come up and writethem on a board. Wait till the board is full, without correcting what they’reputting up. Now point silently at problem sentences and get the students tocorrect them.


You can use the above activity for any areaof grammar you want ti personalize. You might write sentences about:

-     Things you haven’t got round to doing (presentperfect + yet)

-     Things you like having done for you versusthings you like doing for yourself

-     Things you ought to do and feel you can’t do(the whole modal area is easily treated within this frame)

Reported advice Grammar: Modals and modals reported Level: Elementary to intermadiate Time: 15-20 minutes Materials: None In class

1.   Divide your class into two groups: ‘problempeople’ and ‘advice-givers’.

2.   Ask the ‘problem people’ to each think up aminor problem they have and are willing to talk about.

3.   Arm the ‘advice-givers’ with these suggestionforms:

You could

You should

You might as well…

You might

You ought to

You might try…ing

4.   Get the class moving round the room. Tell each‘problem person’ to pair off with an ‘advice-giver’. The ‘problem person’explains her problem and the other person gives two bits of advice using thegrammar suggested. Each ‘problem person’ now moves to another ‘advice-giver’.The ‘problem people’ get advice from five or six ‘advice-givers’

5.   Call class back into the plenary. Ask some ofthe ‘problem people’ to state their problem and report to the whole group  thebest and the worst piece of advice they were offered, naming the advice-givere.g.  ‘Juan was telling me I should give her up.’ ‘ Jane suggested I ought toget a girlfriend of hers to talk to her for me.’


If you have a classroom with space thatallows it, form the students into two concentric circles, the outer one facingin and the inner one facing out. All the inner circle students are‘advice-givers’ and all the outer circle students are ‘problem people’. Aftereach round, the outer circle people move round three places. This is much morecohesive than the above.

Picture the past Grammar: Past simple, past perfect, future in the past Level: Lower intermediate Time: 20-40 minutes Materials: None Class

1.   Ask three students to come out and help youdemonstrate the exercise. Draw a picture on the board of something interestingyou have done. Do not speak about it. Student A then writes a past simplesentence about it. Student B write about what had already happened before thepicture action and student C about something that was going to happen, usingthe appropriate grammar.


Igot up at eight a.m.


I’vejust got off the bus


I’mgoing to work today

2.   Put the students in fours. Each draws a pictureof a real past action of theirs. They pass their picture silently to a neighborin the foursome who adds a past tense sentence. Pass the picture again and eachadds a past perfect sentence. They pass again and each adds a was going tosentence. All this is done in silence with you going round helping andcorrecting.

 Impersonating members of a set  Grammar: Present and past simple-active and passive Level: Elementary to intermediate Time: 20-30 minutes Materials: None  In class

1.   Ask people to brainstorm all the things they canthink of that give off light

2.   Choose one of this yourself and become the thingchosen. Describe yourself in around five to six sentences, e.g.:

I am a candle

I start very bigand end up as nothig

My head is litand I produce a flame

I burn downslowly

In some countriesI am put on Christmas tree

I amold-fashioned and very fashionable

3.   Ask a couple of other students to choose otherlight sourses and do the same as you have just done. Help them with language.It could be ‘I am a light bulb-I was invented by Edison.’

4.   Group the students in sixes. Give them a newcategory. Ask them to work silently, writing four or six forst-person sentencesin role. Go round and help especially with the formation of the present simplepassive (when this help is needed).

5.   In their groups the students read out theirsentences.

6.   Ask each group to choose their six interestingsentences and then read out to the whole group.


The exercise is sometimes more excitingifdone with fairly abstract sets, e.g. numbers between 50 and 149, musical notes,distances, weights. The abstract nature of the set makes people concretiseinterestingly, e.g.:

I am a kilometre.

My son is a metre and my baby iscentimetre.

On the motorway I am driven in 30 seconds.(120 kms. per hour)

We have also used these sets: types ofstone/countries/items of clothing (e.g.socks, skirts, jackets/times ofday/smells/family roles (e.g.son, mother etc.)/types of weather.


The sentences students produce in thisexercise are nor repeat runs of things they have already thought and said inmother tongue. New standpoints, new thoughts, new language. The English isfresh because the thought is.

 Listening to peopleNo backshift Grammar: Reported speech after past reporting verb Level: Elementary to lower intermediate Time: 15-20 minutes Material: None In class

1.   Pair the students. Ask one person in each pairto prepare to speak for two minutes about a pleasurable future event. Give thema minute to prepare.

2.   Ask the listener in each pair to prepare to givetheir whole attention to the speaker. They are not to take notes. Ask thespeaker in each pair to get going. You time two minutes.

3.   Pair the pairs. The two listeners now report onwhat they heard using this kind of form:

She was telling me she’sgoing to Thailand for her holiday and she added that she’ll be goingby plane.

The speakershave the right to fill in things the listeners have left out but only after thelisteners have finished speaking.

4.   The students go back into their original pairsand repeat the above but this time with the other one as speaker, so everybodyhas been able to share their future event thoughts.

Incomparable Grammar: Comparative structures Level: Elementary Time: 15-20 minutes Materials: None In class

1.   Tell the students a bit about yourself bycomparing yourself to some people you know:

I’m more … than my husband.

I’m not as…as my eldest boy.

I reckon my uncle isthanme

Write six orseven of these sentences up on the board as a grammar pattern input.

2.   Tell the students to work in threes. Two of thethree listen very closely while the third compares herself to people she knows.The speakers speak without interruption for 90 seconds and you time them.

3.   The two listeners in each group feedback to thespeaker exactly what they had heard. If they miss things the speaker will wantto prompt them.

4.   Repeat steps 2 and 3 so that everybody in thegroup has had a go at producing a comparative self-portrait.

One question behind Grammar: Assorted interrogative forms

You can adapt this by preparing your own question sets for different interrogative structures

  Level: Beginner to intermediate Time: 5-10 minutes Materials: One question set for each pair of students In class

1.   Demonstrate the exercise to your students. Getone of them to ask you the question of a set. You answer ‘Mmmm’, with closedlips. The student asks you the second question – you give the answer that wouldhave been right for the first question. The student asks the third question andyou reply with the answer to the second question, and so on. The wrongcombination of question and answer can be quite funny.

2.   Pair the students and give each pair a questionset. One student fires the questions and the other gives delayed-by-onereplies. The activity is competitive. The first pair to finish a question setis the winner.

Questionset A

Where do you sleep? (the other says nothing)

Where do you eat? (the other answers the firstquestion)

Where do you go swimming?

Where do you wash your clothes?

Where do you read?

Where do you cook?

Where do you listen to music?

Where do you get angry?

Where do you do your shopping?

Where do you sometimes drive to?

Questionset B

What do you eat your soup with?

What do you cut your meat with?

What do you write on?

What do you wipe your mouth with?

What do you blow your nose with?

What do you brush your hair with?

What do you sleep on?

What do you write with?

What do you wear in bed?

What do you wear in restaurant?


Questionset C

Can you tell me something you ate last week?

Tell me something you saw last week?

Is there something you have come to appreciaterecently?

What about something you really want to do nextweek?

Where have you spent most of this last week?

Where would you have you liked to spend this lastweek?

Where are you thinking of going on holiday?

Which is the best holiday place you have ever beento?

Variation 1

Have students devise their own sets ofquestions to then be used as above.

Variation 2

Group the students in fours: one acts as a‘time-keeper’, one as a ‘question master’ and person 3 and 4 are the ‘players’.

The ‘question master’ fires five rapidquestions at player A which she has to answer falsely. The ‘time-keeper’ notesthe time questioning takes. The ‘question master’ fires five similar questionsat B, who answers truthfully. The quickest answerer wins. (The problem lies inchoosing the right wrong answer fast enough.)

Possible questions:

How old are you?

Where do you live?

Which color do you like best?

What time is it?

How did you get here?


What time did you get up today?

What did you have for breakfast?

Where does your best friend live?

What sort of music do you dislike?

How many brothers and sisters do youhave?


Movement and grammarSit down then Grammar: Who + simple past interrogative/Telling the time Level: Beginner to elementary Time: 10-20 minutes Materials: None In class

1.   Ask everybody to stand up. Tell them you’regoing to shout out bedtimes. When they hear the time they went to bedyesterday, they shout ‘I did’ and sit down. You start like this:

Who went to bed at two a.m.?

Who went to bed at quarter to two?

Who went to bed at ten to two?

Who went to bed at half past one?

2.   Continue until all the students have sat down.

3.   Get people back on their feet. Ask one of thebetter students to come out and run the same exercise but this time about whenpeople got up, e.g.

Who woke up at four thirty this morning?

Who woke up at twenty to five?

4.   Repeat with a new question master but askingabout shopping, e.g.:

Who went shopping yesterday?

Who went shopping on…(day ofthe week)

Only if Grammar: Polite requests, -ing participle Only if + target verb structure of your choice Level: Elementary + Time: 15-20 minutes Materials: None In class

1.   Make or find as much space in your room aspossible and ask the class to stand at one end of it.

2.   Explain that their end is one river bank and theopposite end of the room is the other bank. Between is the ‘golden river’ andyou’re the ‘keeper’ of the golden river. Before crossing the river the studentshave to say the following sentence:

Can we cross yourgolden river sitting on your golden boat?

3.   They need to be able to say this sentencereasonably fluently.

4.   Get the students to say the sentence. Youanswer:

Only if you’rewearing…

Only if you’vegot…

Only if you’vegot … on you

5.   Supposing you say ‘Only if you’re wearingtrousers’. All the students who wear trousers can ‘boat’ across the riverwithout hindrance. The others have to try to sneak across without being taggedby you. The first person who is tagged, changes places with you and becomes‘it’ (the keeper who tags the others in the next round).

6.   Continue with students saying ‘Can we cross yourgolden river, sitting on your golden boat?’ ‘It’ might say, ‘Only if you’rewearing ear-rings.’ etc.

Variation 1

To make this game more lively, instead ofhaving just one keeper, everyone is tagged becomes keeper. Repeat untileveryone has been tagged.

 Meaning and translationTwo-word verbs Grammar: Compound verbs Level: Upper intermediate to advanced Time: 40-50 minutes Materials: One Mixed-up verb sheet per pair of students. The Jumbled sentences on a large separate piece of card In class

1.   Pair the students and ask them to match theverbs on the mixed-up verb sheet you give them. Tell them to use dictionariesand to call you over. Be everywhere at once.

Mixed-up verb sheet

Please match words from column 1 with words from column 2to form correct compound verbs.


Column 1 Column 2 back- dry cross- soap ghost- treat soft- write blow- reference double- cross ill- dry spin- comb cold- manage double- feed pooh- read spoon- pooh court- glaze dry- clean proof- shoulder stage- martial frog- march wrong- record toilet- foot tape- train short- change rubber- feed force- stamp field- test cross- question cross- examine cross- check

Key to first group ofverbs:

To back-comb/to cross-reference/toghost-write/to soft-soap/to blow-dry/to double-cross/to ill-treat/to spin-dry

Key to the secondgroup of verbs:

To cold-shoulder/to double-glaze/topooh-pooh/to spoon-feed/to court-martial/to dry-clean/to proof-read/tostage-manage

Key to third group ofverbs

To frog-match/to wrong-foot/to toilet-train/totape-record/to short-change/to rubber-stamp/to force-feed/to field-test/tocross-question/to cross-examine/to cross-check

2.   Ask them to take a clean sheet of paper and apen or pencil suitable for drawing. Tell them you’re going to give them a fewphrases to illustrate. They’re to draw a situation that brings out the meaningof the phrases.  Here are the phrases – do not give them more than 30 secondsper drawing (they will groan):

To toilet-traina child

To soft-soap asuperior

To force-feedan anorexic

Tocourt-martial a soldier

To back-comb aperson’s hair

Tocross-examine a witness

To spin-dryyour clothes

Tocold-shoulder a friend

3.   Give them time to compare their drawings. Thedrawings often make misunderstanding manifest.

4.   Split the class into teams of four. Tell themyou’re going to show them Jumbled sentences (see below) and their taskwill be to shout out the unjumbled sentence. The first team to shout out acorrect sentence gets a point.

Jumbled sentences

Willstill can you and it it dry retain its spin shape

Youcan spin-dry it and it will still retain its shape

Coldhim we shouldered first at

Atfirst we cold-shouldered him

Ourill ancestors treated they

Theyill-treated our ancestors

Cleanit don’t dry

Don’tdry-clean it

Blackfrog they Maria to the marched him

Theyfrog-marched him to the Black Maria

Doubleyour windows glaze to like we’d

We’dlike to double-glaze your windows

Poohjust his poohed offer they

Theyjust pooh-poohed his offer

Don’tsoap me you soft dare

Don’tyou dare soft-soap me!

The world of take Grammar: Some basic meanings of the verb take Level: Intermediate to advanced Time: 40-50 minutes Materials: Set of sentences below (for dictation) In class

1.   Put the students in small groups to brainstorm allthe uses of the verb take they can think of.

2.   Ask each group to send a messenger to the nextgroup to pass on their ideas.

3.   Dictate the sentences below which they are towrite down in their mother tongue. Tell them only to write in mother tongue,not English. Be ready to help explain any sentences that students do notunderstand.

The new president took over inJanuary.

The man took the woman’s angerseriously.

‘You haven’t done the washing up, Itake it,’ his wife said to him.

The little boy took the old watchapart to see how it worked.

‘I think we ought to take the car,’ hesaid to her.

This bloke always takes his problemsto his mother.

‘We took the village without a shotbeing fired,’ she told him.

‘Take care’ the woman said, as sheleft home that morning.

He took charge of the planning team.

The woman asked what size shoes hetook.

‘Yes I really take your point’ he toldher.

‘If we go to a movie,’ she told herboyfriend, ‘it’ll really take you out of yourself.’

The news the boy brought really tookthe woman aback.

The chair asked him to take theminutes of the meeting.

‘You can take it from me, it’s worsethan you think’

4.   Ask the students to work in threes and comparetheir translations. Go round helping and checking.

5.   Check that they’re clear about the usual directtranslation of take into their language. Now ask them to mark all thetranslations where take is not rendered by its direct equivalent.

Problem SolvingA dictionary game Grammar: Comparatives, it (referring back) Level: Elementary (or as a review at higher levels)

This activity provides good skills practice in scan reading a dictionary

  Time: 45 minutes Materials: One dictionary per two students Preparation

On the board write the following:


It’sgot more letters than…

It’sgot fewer letters than…

It’sthe same length as….

It’searlier in the dictionary than…

It’slater in the dictionary than…

It’sfurther on…

Backa bit.

Thefirst letter’s right

Thefirst two/three/four letters are right

(or you could dictate this to the studentsif you want a quiet settling in period at the start of the class)

In class

1.   Explain to the students that you’re going out ofthe room for a short time and they’re to select one word for you to guess whenyou come back. They find the word in their dictionaries.

2.   Go back in and have a first wild guess at theclass’s word. The students should tell you whether their word is longer,shorter or the same length as your guess and whether it’s earlier or later inthe dictionary. Here is an example (teachers can correct pronunciation as theygo along ):

teacher: Middle students: It’s shorter. And it’s later in the dictionary. teacher: Train. students: It’s Earlier. It’s Got The Same Number Of Letters. teacher: Plane. students: It’s Later. teacher: Rains. students: It’s Later. It’s Got The Same Number Of Letters. teacher: Seat. students: It’s Longer.The First Letter Is Right. It’s Later In The Dictionary. teacher: Stops. students: It’s Earlier. teacher: Skirt. students: It’s Later teacher: Spend. students: The First Two Letters Are Right. It’s Later. teacher: Spine. students: It’s Later. teacher: Spore. students: The First Four Letters Are Right. You’re Really Warm Now. It’s A Bit Further On. teacher: Sport. students: Yes.

3.   You can write the words you guess and notes ofthe students’ answers on the board as you go along, to help you to rememberwhere you are. At the beginning, you can prompt the students by askingquestions such as ‘Is it shorter, longer or the same length as my word? Isit earlier or later in the dictionary?’ etc.

4.   When the students have got the idea of the game,reverse the process; you think of a word (one from a recent lesson works well)and students guess. You give them information as to length, place in dictionaryand any letters they’ve guessed right.

5.   Now hand over the exercise to the students. Theyshould scan their notes, textbooks and /or minds (but not dictionaries) andcreate a short wordlist. Then in pairs or small groups they can repeat theactivity.


This is a goodgame for teaching scan reading and alphabetical order when using dictionaries.The revision or introduction of the grammatical structures in a meaningfulcontext is disguised since the students usually see this is vocabulary game.Because it has a pretty tight structure and build-up, it’s a good exercise forestablishing the principle of group/pairwork with a class that does not takereadily to working in different formats.


With someclasses we have asked the students to analyze their own guessing processes.Some students have written interesting short compositions on the best guessingstrategies.

 Eyes Grammar: ‘Second’ conditional Level: Lower to upper intermediate Time: 30-45 minutes Materials: None   In class

1.   Ask a student to draw a head in profile on theboard. Ask the student to add eyes in the back of his head.

2.   Give the students this sentence beginning on theboard and ask them to complete it using a grammar suggested:

If people had eyes in the back oftheir heads, then they … would/might/could/would have to … (+infinitive)

For example:

‘If people had eyes on the back oftheir heads they could read two books at once’ (so two pairs of eyes).

3.   Tell the students to write the above sentencestem at the top of their paper and then complete it with fifteen separateideas. Encourage the use of dictionaries. Help students all you can withvocabulary and go round checking and correcting.

4.   Once students have all written a good number ofsentences (at least ten) ask them to form teams of four. In the fours they readeach other’s sentences and pick the four most interesting ones.

5.   Each team puts their four best sentences on theboard.

6.   The students come up to the board and tick thetwo sentences they find the most interesting. The team that gets the most tickswins.


Students come up with a good range ofsocial, medical and other hypotheses. Here are some examples:

…then they would not need driving mirrors.

…they would make really good traffic wardens.

…then you could kiss someone while looking away!


Umbrella Grammar: Modals and present simple Level: Elementary to intermediate Time: 30-40 minutes Materials: One large sheet of paper per student In class

1.   />Aska student to draw a picture on the board of a person holding an umbrella. Theumbrella looks like this.

2.   Explain to the class that this ‘tulip-like’umbrella design is a new, experimental one.

3.   Ask the students to work in small groups andbrainstorm all the advantages and disadvantages of a new design. Ask them touse these sentence stems:

It/you can/can’t…

It/you + present simple…

It/you will/won’t…

It/you may/may not…

4.   For example: ‘It is easy to control in a highwind’, ‘You can see where you’re going with this umbrella’

5.   Give the students large sheets of paper and askthem to list the advantages and disadvantages in two columns.

6.   Ask the students to move around the room andread each other’s papers. Individually they mark each idea as ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘intriguing’.

7.   Ask the student how many advantages they came upwith and how many disadvantages. Ask the students to divide up into threegroups according to which statement applies to them:

I thought mainly of advantages.

I thought of some of both.

I thought mainly of disadvantages.

8.   Ask the three groups to come up with five to tenadjectives to describe their group state of mind and put these up n the board.

9.   Round off the exercise by telling the class thatwhen de Bono asked different groups of people to do this kind of exercise, itturned out that primary school children mostly saw advantages, business peoplehad plenty of both while groups of teachers were the most negative.


Advantages the students offered:

In a hot countryyou can collect rain water.

It won’t dripround the edges.

You can use itfor carrying shopping.

It’s notdangerous in a crowd.

It’s anoptimistic umbrella.

It’s easy to holdif two people are walking together.

With thisumbrella you’ll look special.

It’ll take lessfloor space to dry.

This umbrellamakes people communicate. They can see each other.

You can paintthis umbrella to look like a flower.

You’ll get a freesupply of ice if it hails.

 PresentationListening to time Grammar: Time phrases

You can use this idea to practice a variety of different structures-see variations bellow for some examples

  Level: Upper intermediate to very advanced Time: 40-50 minutes Materials None Preparation

Invite a nativespeaker to your class, preferably not a language teacher as they sometimesdistort their speech. Ask the person to speak about a topic that has them movethrough time. This could be his country history. The talk should last aroundtwenty minutes. Explain to the speaker that the students will be paying closeattention not only to the content but to the language form, too.

In class

1.   Before the speaker arrives, explain to thestudents that they are to jot down all the words and phrases they hear thatexpress time. They don't need to note all the words!

2.   Welcome the speaker and introduce the topic.

3.   The speaker takes the floor for fifteen totwenty minutes and you join the students in taking language notes. If there arequestions from the students, make sure people continue to take notes during thequestioning.

4.   Put the students in threes to compare theirtime-phrase notes. Suggest the speaker joins one of the groups. Some nativesare delighted to look in a ‘speech mirror’.

5.   Share your own notes with the class. Round offthe lesson by picking out other useful and normal bits of language the speakerused that are not yet part of your student’s idiolects.


One speakermentioned above produced these time words: only about ten years/there was  a gapof nine years/ at roughly the same time/over the next few hundred years/from1910 until the present day/it’s been way back/ within eighteen month there willbe/until three years ago/when I was back in September


Choose thespeaker who is about to go off on an important trip. In speaking about this, someof the verbs used will be in a variety of forms used to talk about the future.

Invite someoneto speak about the life and habits of someone significant to them, but twolives separately from them, say a grandparent. This topic is likely to evoke arich mixture of present simple, present continuos, will used to describehabitual events, ‘ll be –ing etc.


To invite thelearners to pick specific grammar features out of a stream of live speech is apowerful form of grammar presentation. In this technique the students ‘present’the grammar to themselves. They go through a process of realization which islot stronger than what often happens in their minds during the type  of‘grammar presentation’ required of trainees on many teacher training courses. Duringthe realization process, they are usually not asleep.

Guess my grammar Grammar: Varied+question form Level: Elementary to intermediate Time: 55 minutes Materials None In class

1.   Choose a grammar area the students need toreview. In the example below there are adjectives, adverbs and relativepronouns.

2.   Ask each student to work alone and write asentence of 12-16 words (the exact length is not too important). Each sentenceshould contain an adjective, and adverb and a relative pronoun, or whatever grammaryou’ve chosen to practise. For example: ‘She sat quietly by the golden riverthat stretched to the sea’.

3.   Now ask the students to rewrite their sentenceson a separate piece of paper, leaving in the target grammar and anypunctuation, but leaving the rest as blanks, one dash for each letter. Thesentence above would look like this:

— — quietly-- — golden — that — — — ---.

While they are doing this ask any studentswho are not sure of the correctness of their sentence to check with you.

4.   Now ask the students to draw a picture orpictures which illustrate as much of the meaning of the sentence as possible.

5.   As students finish drawing, put them into groupsof three. One person shows the blanked sentence and the drawing, reserving theiroriginal sentence for their own reference. The other should guess: ‘ Is thefirst word the?’ or ask questions ‘Is the second word a verb?’ etc. Thestudent should only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. As they guess the words, they fill inthe blanks.

6.   They continue until all the blanks are filledand then they do the other two person’s sentences.


Groups tend to finish this activity atwidely different speeds. If a couple of groups finish early, pair them acrossthe groups, ask them to rub out the completed blanked out sentences and trythem on a new partner.


Ian Jasper originated this exercise. He’s aco-author of Teacher Development: One group’s experience, edited byJanie Rees Miller.

Puzzle stories Grammar: Simple present and simple past interrogative forms Level: Beginners Time: 30 minutes Materials: Puzzle story (to be written on the board) Preparation

Ask a couple of students from an advancedclass to come to your beginners group. Explain that they will have someinteresting interpreting to do.

In class

1.   Introduce the interpreters to your class andwelcome them.

2.   Write this puzzle story on the board in English.Leave good spaces between the lines :

There werethree people in the room.

A man spoke.

There was ashort pause.

The second manspoke.

The womanjumped up and slapped the first man in the face.

3.   Ask one of the beginners to come to the boardand underline the words they  know. Ask others to come and underline the onesthey know. Tell the group the words none of them know. Ask one of theinterpreters to write a translation into mother tongue. The translation shouldcome under the respective line of English.

4.   Tell the students their task is to find out whythe woman slapped the first man. They are to ask questions that you can answer‘yes’ or ‘no’. Tell them they can try and make questions directly in English,or they can call the interpreter and ask the questions in their mother tongue.The interpreter will whisper the English in their ear and they then ask you inEnglish.

5.   Erase the mother tongue translation of the storyfrom the board.

6.   One of the interpreters moves round the roominterpreting questions while the other stays at the board and writes up thequestions in both English and mother tongue.

7.   You should aim to let the class ask about 15-25questions, more will overload them linguistically. To speed the process up youshould give them clues.

8.   Finally, have the students copy all thequestions written on the board into their books. You now have a presentation ofthe main interrogative forms of the simple present and past.

9.   After the lesson go through any problems theinterpreters had-offer them plenty of parallel translation.


Thesecond man was an interpreter.

Further material

Do you know the one about the seven-year-oldwho went to the baker’s? His Mum had told him to get three loaves. He went in,bought two and came home. He put them on the kitchen table. He ran back to thebacker’s and bought a third. He rushed in  and put the third one on the kitchentable. The question: Why?Solution: he had a speech defect and couldn’tsay ‘th’.

Word order dictation Grammar: Word order at sentence level The grammar you decide to input in this example: reflexive phrases, e.g. to myself/by myself/in myself Level: Intermediate Time: 20-30 minutes Materials: Jumbled extracts (for dictation) One copy ofExtract from Sarah’s letter per pair of students In class

1.   Pair the students and ask one person in eachpair to prepare to write on a loose sheet of paper.

2.   Dictate the first sentence from the Jumbledextracts. One person in each pair takes it down.

3.   Ask the pairs to rewrite the jumbled words intoa meaningful sentence, using all the words and putting in necessarypunctuation.

4.   Tell the pairs to pass their papers to theright. The pairs receiving their neighbours’ sentences check out grammar andspelling, correcting where necessary.

5.   Dictate the second jumbled sentence.

6.   Repeat steps 3 and 4.

7.   When you’ve dictated all the sentences this waygive out the original, unjumbled Extract from Sarah’s letter and ask thestudents to compare with the sentences they’ve got in front of them. They maysometimes have created excellent, viable alternative sentences.

Jumbled extracts

1.   Myself in absorbed more andmore becoming am I find I

2.   When mix I do other peopleme inside a confusion have I I find

3.   David John and Nick asthough I am me I do not feel when I walk through the park with

4.   Strange seems it and a roleacting am I like feel I

5.   Walk park myself talk aloudmyself to I by the through I when

6.   Completely feel content I

Extract from Sarah’s letter

I find I am becoming moreand more absorbed in myself.

When I do mix with otherpeople I find I have a confusion inside me.

When I walk through thepark with David, John and Nick, I do not feel as though I am me.

I feel like I am acting arole and it seems strange.

When I walk through thepark by myself I talk aloud to myself.

I feel completely content.


Grammar lessonsTaking notes

/>Passive voice

During the lecture ask the students to notecases when we use passive:

In more formal contexts than active sentences.
For example: Your attention is drawn to Paragraph 6. (But note that using got, usually makes the sentence less formal, for example: We got beaten.They got married.) when the agent is not clear.
For example: Their office was burgled. or not important
For example: This cake was made from carrots. or obvious
For example: They were all arrested. to give emphasis to the passive subject and add weight to the message.
For example: A state of emergency has been declared. to make our message more impersonal.
For example, as in a letter saying: No police action will be taken.

Read the following newspaper article andask the students to:

—  note down the six verbs that are in the passive

—  suggest a possible reason for the use of thepassive in this article.


Schools and community groups will be the winners if the world famous Philharmonia comes to town.

Negotiations are still under way to make Bedford the orchestra's first British residency outside London beginning in 1995, it has been confirmed.

What is being talked about is a strong educational emphasis on the deal, which would see members of the orchestra travelling into the community doing workshops with school and other local groups in the borough. School children will be invited in to the Corn Exchange for afternoon rehearsals of the main concerts to be staged.

Massive alterations to the Corn Exchange are being planned in tandem so that the orchestra, which was formed in 1945, and the audiences watching them, will enjoy superior back and frontstage facilities including new sloped seating going from the stage to the present balcony and a new auditorium.



1. The six verbs in the passive are:

a.   it has been confirmed

b.   What is being talked about

c.    School children will be invited

d.   the main concerts to be staged

e.    Massive alterations to the Corn Exchange arebeing planned

f.    which was formed.

(Notice that there are five different formsof the verb be in these sentences.)

2. The reason for so much use of thepassive here could be that the events which have occurred and those which areplanned are more important than the people behind them. It is also an informativearticle in a newspaper so that some formality is more appropriate than it wouldbe in a friendly letter or in conversation.



Context and meaning


Lecture We'll turn nowfrom context and grammar to the importance of context for meaning. One aspect ofmeaning is the extent of meaning that a word has. Imagine you are asked themeaning of the word chair. What do you say? 'It's something you sit on',perhaps.What we need to know are the boundaries of its use. Can you say chairfor what you sit on in a train? In a car? When milking? On a bike? In church?Suddenly all sorts of judgements have to be made about whether you are going tointroduce related words like bench, stool, pew, seat, armchair.

So a simplequestion about a simple object leads into questions about its use, and alsowhat it must look like. Must a chair have a back? Legs? Arms? This is importantbecause although you may be able to translate chair, its full range of meaningwill never overlap 100% with its equivalent in another language.

Now close youreyes and think white. If that's all I say, you are likely to think of thecolour white, perhaps on a wall or a shirt or paper. But if I say white wine,you'll think of a yellow colour, or white people, a pinkish colour, or a whitelie, no colour at all. Clearly then, the meaning of words often depends on thecontext.

In what different contexts could the speaker encountere these words? See if you can find at least two different contexts for each.

wings           right-winger

term            rate




Some of the possible contexts for thesewords are:

wings: theatre, birdor car
right-winger: football or politics
term: language, school or maths
rate: currency exchange, tax on housing, or speed of increase/decrease
bar: law, music or drinking.


You have just been thinking about differentareas of meaning for the same word. Sometimes these different areas depend onshared cultural assumptions and usage. An example of this is a British Railposter advertising their Family Railcard, depicting a jungle with some monkeysplaying in the trees. The text under this poster reads:

Grown-ups get 25% off rail fares. Your little monkeys go for only Ј1.00.

Don't drag your feet (or your knuckles). A family Railcard only costs 20 for a year swing by and pick up a leaflet from any main British Rail Station.

Note different meanings of the words usedhere and their sense.



You would firstneed to establish that the usual meaning of all the words was understood andthen explain that monkeys can be used to refer to children in English, that itcarries the idea of naughtiness but that it's used affectionately. To explainknuckles, you would have to refer to (or demonstrate) how monkeys move, usingtheir knuckles, and explain that knuckles is substituting for the word feet inthe phrase 'drag your feet'. You would need to take the same approach to 'swingby'. It might be wise to point out that the use of this sort of language canchange quite quickly and could become unfashionable in, say, ten years' time.


2. AAn advertisement for Remy Martin Champagne Cognac uses three sentences suggesting that the consumers of the product are very special. I have changed one word in each to produce unusual collocations. Identify the word and replace it with a word that collocates better. Ask another person and see if they agree with you.






2. You should have suggested:

a.    vision: sight(vision doesn't collocate with land)

b.    barbecue: party(barbecue doesn't collocate with throw)

c.    applause: a(standing) ovation (applause doesn't collocate with standing)

(Note that we need to add the indefinite article a, because ovationis a count noun whereas applause is not.)

/>Bottom of Form 1

Subject matter lessons Taking notes


ü The learners are watching a recorded universitylecture on acid rain. They are taking notes and will write a summary of thecontent, using dictionaries (bilingual and monolingual as appropriate). Earlierthe teacher had elicited from them some of the key words used in the lecture,their meaning and usage, and listed them on the board.

ü Small groups of learners are trying to matchsome cut-out newspaper headlines with the relevant articles. The teacher isgoing round monitoring each group. Earlier they listened to, discussed andnoted some news items on the radio which introduced some of the vocabulary theyare encountering.

ü Individual learners are scattered about outsidethe classroom asking people pre-prepared questions about their opinions on anew sports centre that is proposed in the area. They are talking in theinterviewees' mother tongue, and will then report their findings to the rest ofthe class in English with the rest of the students taking notes on the matterthey present.

ü Half the class are reading about the early lifeof a writer they have chosen to study. The other half are reading about thesame writer's later life. They make notes of what they had learnt about unknownpart of writer’s life.In pairs they'll tell each other what they have found outand then they'll each write an obituary.

ü In small groups, the learners are looking atexamples of different types of text. Their aim is to identify what they are andnote any differences in style, formality, length, print-size,comprehensibility, grammar patterns, etc. The examples include: a recipe, a newspaperarticle, computer instructions, diary entries, an extract from a novel, aletter to some English friends.


Each of the two methodshas its own advantages and disadvantages and their aims are quite different,that’s why I included them both in this single work. Games help students torelax, entertain and encourage them and help to develop their communicativecompetence, while note-taking is a very serious work demanding an amount ofconcentration and developing and writing practice. Both of them are to be usedin a write time and in a write place. For some students games are a bitunserious while the other part of students may find note-taking too fatiguingso the teacher must take into account all these points. All in all with allthese spots to think over I find them necessary in teacher’s work. While someof the methods are let be omitted by the teacher (like silent way, synthetic oranalytic (every teacher choose his own way to work with students)) the two ofthese in my opinion must be included in the learning process. They act likegeneral concepts giving you a full lenth of technics to apply within onemethod. They don’t give strict directions of how to apply them but a wide spacefor creative work.






<p/>French Allen, V. 1983. Techniques in teaching vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gear, J. and R. Gear. 1988. Incongruous visuals for the EFL classroom. English Teaching Forum, 26, 2. pp.43. Vocabulary picture puzzle. English Teaching Forum, 23, 4, pp. 41-42. Gulland, D. M. and D. Hinds-Howell. 1986. The penguin dictionary of English idioms. London: Penguin Books Ltd. Haycraft, J. 1978. An introduction to English language teaching. Harlow: Longman. Hubbard, P., H. Jones, B. Thornton, and R. Wheeler. 1983. A training course for TEFL. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lee, W. R. 1979. Language teaching games and contests. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rixon, S. 1981. How to use games in language teaching. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Mario Rinvolucri and Paul Davis.1992. More grammar games. Cambridge University Press. Abbott, G., D. McKeating, J. Greenwood, and P. Wingard. 1981. The teaching of English as an international language. A practical guide. London: Collins. Raimes, A. 1983. Techniques in teaching writing. New York: Oxford University Press. Games, Games, Games ( a Woodcraft Folk handbook sold in Oxfam shops in UK) Berer, Marge and Frank, Christine and Rinvolucri, Mario. Challenge to think. Oxford University Press, 1982.

Internet Key


search.atomz.com/ e.usia.gov/forum/vols/vol36/no1/p20.htm-games e.usia.gov/forum/vols/vol34/no2/p22.htm-note-taking
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