edochan.com

Website Review: http://www.edochan.com/teaching/level.htm

In short: Lots and lots of games for your class. They’re organized by Level, Aims, Grammar, Time, and Materials. Not sure where to begin? This game, this game, and this game are all great.

For students: You can play these games with your friends. Also, check out this article. It’s about learning Japanese, but there is lots of good advice for learning any language.

For teachers: The authors of these games make them fun to read about and easy to understand. You’ll enjoy games that start like this: “Have the students remove their shoes to prevent bloodshed…”

Note: This is the main site, but most of it isn’t interesting for teaching and studying English.

 

How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

Use this song to practice the Present Perfect verb tense.

First Listen to the song “We are the Champions” by Queen

(If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.)

Second Answer these questions: What is a champion? What kinds of champions are there?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Present Perfect verb tense. We use the present perfect to talk about past actions when we don’t know, or don’t care, when they happened. The form is have/has+third form of the verb—usually, it’s verb+ed, but not always (e.g. eaten, read, sat, etc.).

Note: You can also use the Present Perfect with “for” and “since”, but that’s not the emphasis for this song.

Fifth Answer these questions:

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song?

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean?

What does “my share of” mean?

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean?

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular?

Lyrics

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose (ain’t gonna = am not going to)

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

Answers

What is a champion? A champion is a winner. Usually, a champion wins many games or matches, so we know they’re the best of everyone.

What kinds of champions are there? There are lots of champions. You can be a champion sports player, a champion speller, or a champion in any competition.

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song? There are eight (8): I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done my sentence, I’ve…committed no crime, bad mistakes I’ve made a few, I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, I’ve come through, I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls, it’s been no bed of roses

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean? It means he has done things in the past so that he can be successful now.

What does “my share of” mean? It means a fair amount. Usually, we use this expression before bad things to say that we’ve had similar problems to everyone else. For example, I’ve had my share of fights, or I’ve made my share of mistakes.

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean? At the end of a popular show or concert, a performer will bow. He means that he’s had good, popular shows.

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular? This is an opinion question. What do you think?

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments.

tefltunes.com

Website Review: tefltunes.com

In short: £10GBP (~$15) gets you a one-year subscription to lesson plans built around songs. As of today, there are 42 plans on the site, 8 of those are free. The free ones are certainly great plans that will ensure exciting, memorable, and educational lessons. The site is well organized and easy to use.

For students: If you want to find some songs to help you improve your English, this is a great place to go. You can search for songs using level, theme, task, or artist. You’ll need to study them by yourself, though.

For teachers: Consider asking your school to pay the £20GBP (~$30) so everyone at your school can use these great materials.

How to listen to this song: Somewhere over the Rainbow

How to listen to this song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Use this song to practice the Present Simple verb tense.

First Listen to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow

(If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.)

Second Answer this question: Is this a happy song or a sad song? Why?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Present Simple verb tense. One thing we use the Present Simple for is things that are sometimes, usually, or always true. The time isn’t important. For example: Skies are blue. Yes, sometimes, the sky is black or grey or red, but skies are blue in the past, present, and future.

Sixth Answer these questions:

Can you find another example of present simple? Where? What does it mean?

What does “dreams come true” mean?

Why does the singer want to go over the rainbow?

Lyrics

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh, why can’t I?

Answers

Can you find another example of present simple? Where? What does it mean? Bluebirds fly. It’s a habit of bluebirds. It means bluebirds can fly. They fly in the past, the present, and the future.

What does “dreams come true” mean? A dream is like a wish. A dream come true is a wish the really happens. For example, Barack Obama wanted to become president. It was his dream. He became president, so his dream came true. In the song, dreams come true in the past, present, and future. Over the rainbow, dreams come true.

Why does the singer want to go over the rainbow? She thinks that she’ll be happier there.

Grammar Lesson Plans-Introduction

Grammar Lesson Plans—Introduction

Ah, grammar. If words are the building blocks of a language, then grammar is the cement that holds the words together. Though some teachers may complain that grammar is boring, this teacher has never found that to be true. Moreover, I’ve never felt it from my students. The truth is that students match their teacher’s enthusiasm.

Still, in an effort to help, these lessons will be as exiting as we can make them.

A few words on the whole debate about how or even if teachers should teach grammar.

What debate you say? Well, for one, children learn grammar in their native language quite differently from adults learning the grammar of a foreign language. No one explains the difference between present perfect and past simple to their child. So, how do they figure it out? What’s more, when a non-native speaker gets good at English, they stop thinking about the rules and just speak. Think of a diplomat at the U.N. They’re not worrying about grammar rules as they argue.

So maybe students should spend a whole lot more time using language until it becomes intuitive and a whole lot less time trying to comprehend strange rules they’re going to stop thinking about once they get good anyway.

To all this, I answer that grammar rules are good training wheels that stop being necessary once you get used to them. Students find the rules terribly useful. That said, teachers should take advantage of the human inclination to find patterns in a language (as a child does).

Also, so much depends on the specific student. Is the student trying to map English onto the grammar of their language? Those students will benefit from being told the exact rules. Students who, on the other hand, have been studying languages for years are good at seeing patterns. When you don’t tell them the rules, they’ll teach themselves. The theory is this self-explanation is a deeper, more memorable learning.

At the end of the day, though, students benefit from being told the rules and figuring them out on their own. If both elements are in the lesson, you can adjust the time you spend on each part based on feedback from your students. Like a good dancer adjusts to their partner, a good teacher adjusts to their students. The lessons on this site will try to both help students see patterns on their own and take time to explain the rules more fully (usually nearer to the end, but, we’ll switch it up).

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