An old activity which can be used in class as a warm-up or revision exercise. It has a lot of different possibilities, not only practising vocabulary. Actually, you can revise anything you want with your students. You may ask them to give definitions, to make sentences, dialogues, or stories, to give one or five examples, to speak, or to write. You can practise all sorts of vocabulary or grammar, but also language functions or different skills. There are no limits here. And the best option is to ask your students to prepare their own games. Have fun.
Another activity which can serve as a warm-up or the whole revision lesson. It’s all up to you. You can revise both vocabulary and grammar with your students at the same time.
First, show your students some examples (easier and more difficult ones are included in the presentation below) of definitions of words or phrases you want to revise – let the students guess them.
Secondly, ask your students to make definitions themselves and let their peers guess. You may ask them to make just one or two definitions if you want it to be just a warm-up; or more if it is to be a longer revision.
Then show the students these words in context and ask them to paraphrase the sentences, translate, fill in the gaps, whatever you want.
Finally, students are supposed to prepare their own paraphrases, translations, gap-filling tasks, etc with the words and phrases they prepared in stage one. Quite a challenge even for advanced learners.
Do you find this idea useful? Let me know in the comments.
This is a presentation on the revision of the following tenses: Future Simple, Future Intention and both Present Simple and Present Continuous in reference to the future. It is in the form of Mind Maps to be completed by your students. The students have to think about the usage, structure and characteristic words of each tense. Then there is some speaking practice.
This is the third part of the series. The first part is entitled Present Tenses, and the second one is called Past Tenses. You can find both parts on my blog. Hope you’ll like the whole pack.
Are you the High School Final Matura Exam or E8 examiner? Are you thinking about becoming one but you have no idea what it is actually like to be one? Are you wondering whether it is worth it or not? Well, here is my very subjective opinion on the work of the examiner. And I do have a long and rich experience working as an examiner of both matura (basic and extended) and E8 (also Junior High School) exams.
First of all, you have to be aware that in order to become an examiner you have to take part in a workshop that lasts the whole day or two and to pass the exam at the end of it. The exam is very practical and checks if you can grade the students’ writing tasks objectively and according to the rules and requirements. If you pass the exam, you become an outright examiner, with a beautiful certificate and your own CKE number. Isn’t it wonderful?
But if you think it means that the CKE will trust you and assume you are a good examiner (after all they taught you, checked your skills and knowledge and gave you this honourable title, right?), you may be slightly disappointed. Actually, you will have to prove a couple of times every single year that you are worth the privilege by writing additional quizzes. So don’t be surprised or shocked. Enjoy every chance to show your real worth and don’t give up.
If you are persistent enough and willing to take part in the Exam Marathon after all, this is what you should remember about in May:
- forget about the weekends in the next two or three weeks. No picnics, no bikes, no family life, no time for preparing lessons for the coming weeks, no rest. But come on, you are a tough guy anyway.
- forget about a decent pay rise (this year it is a couple of groszes per test which, considering the inflation rate, is a joke). Keep in mind your mission, torch for education and so on.
- remember to buy a set of things which are an absolute must while checking the tests: a pen with some black ink (there are a lot of papers to be signed, numbers and codes to be written down, signatures to be left, etc), a pen with erasable blue ink and pen refills (to check the papers with), a pair of scissors (to cut the safe envelopes), a black marker pen to paint out the little squares and a printed set of requirements and rules. No surprises here – teachers have always been their own suppliers.
- remember to bring something to eat and drink as well. If you forget about it, you will end up checking the tests for 10 hours without a drop of water or a bite of bread. In my case that would mean a splitting headache, irritation and the lack of concentration. So I usually take a thermal mug with coffee or tea, water and some juice. Some examiners bring their own kettles, too. For eating, I do recommend all kinds of finger food – not to waste your precious time which can be spent on checking the papers.
- remember to bring some paper tissues and a disinfectant as well. There is usually some toilet paper and soap at the beginning of the first day of checking but I wouldn’t count on them in the afternoons or on Sundays. Basic needs? Come on. Teachers are sacrificers.
- develop your own checking system which will make your work a little bit more automatic. I usually start with dividing the tests into those written by dyslectic and non-dyslectic students. Then I divide them into topics. The next step is signing all the papers, writing the numbers and codes. Then there is grammar checking, essay checking, painting the little squares out and finally writing down the results. Oh, and don’t forget to count the papers after you take them out of the envelope and before putting them back again. If you decide to give a student 0 points, make sure the PKE checks if you are right.
And now, the most important thing of all is that you MUSTN’T forget it’s a student who is your priority. While checking every single work, keep it in mind. If you have any doubts whether you understand what the student has written, whether it is even in English or whether you should give any points for it or not, follow the following universal piece of advice. Make it your mantra from now on:
‘If you have a titchy suspicion that a student was just considering attempting to convey the embryo of his thought, do not hesitate – give them a point. Such efforts have to be awarded.’
Matura Christmas Set
Ho Ho Ho, Christmas is coming. And because it’s 6th December tomorrow, I have a little Mikołajki present for you. I know oral matura exam is not compulsory this year but isn’t teaching a language about practising communication skills after all (no matter the exam structure and requirements)? I prepared a version for a teacher and student so your students can actually work in pairs. I hope you will have a lot of fun, I mean ‘Christmas is coming’ fun.
This is a presentation on the revision of the following Past Tenses: Past Simple, Past Continuous and Past Perfect. It’s in the form of Mind Maps to be completed by your students. The students have to think about the usage, structure and characteristic words of each tense. Then there is some speaking practice after each tense.
This is the second part of the series. The first part is entitled Present Tenses and it’s already on my blog. The last part on Future Tenses is about to be published soon. Hope you’ll like the whole pack.
This is a presentation on the revision of the following Present Tenses: Present Simple, Present Continuous and Present Perfect. It’s in the form of Mind Maps to be completed by your students. The students have to think about the usage, structure and characteristic words of each tense. Then there is some speaking practice after each tense.
I hope you will like it cause I’m preparing (with my students) the next parts on Past and Future tenses. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to share the other parts with you too.
This is a huge revision set which you can use with your teenagers before different kinds of exams (E8, basic and extended matura, FCE, etc) as well as with your adult students. It consists of 14 parts, each one corresponding to a different exam topic: Man, House, School, Work, Social Life, Food, Shopping, Travelling, Culture, Sport, Health, Science and Technology, Nature, Crime and Society. In each part you will find 4 tasks: – SNAP: a picture connected with the topic, – VOCAB: eight words or expressions connected with the topic, – CREATE: a photo and a question or writing task – STORY: a topic for story telling
This is a very universal set. And because of it you can adapt it easily to the level of your students and your needs. You may use a certain part as a warm-up only or use it as the basis of your whole lesson. The SNAP and VOCAB tasks are just photos and words or phrases on different levels. So it’s totally up to you and your creativity what you decide to do with them.
I hope this will help you have very effective and enjoyable revision lessons with your students. Let me know whether you have found the ideas useful. So help yourself and bon appetit!
Here is the second part of the revision game for E8 and basic matura students who want to practise grammar and vocabulary. This time we are revising the following topics: Travelling, Culture, Sport & Health, Science and Technology, Nature, Crime and Social Life. Have fun.
It’s already April but there’s still plenty of time to revise before the exams. It’s a game you can play with your E8 and basic matura students to revise vocabulary and grammar of the first seven exam topics: Man, House, School, Work, Social Life, Food and Shopping. Have fun.