a look at the following words. Which do you think could
be English words:
can easily guess but could your students? The sound - spelling
relation is a complex one in English & although some
rules may be manageable, there are a lot which are just
too complicated to pass on. When our students meet a new
written word they either use their existing knowledge of
English to guess at the pronunciation or fall back on their
native language convention for the particular letter combinations.
The task above, guessing which combinations could be possible
& then discussing why & why not, is a useful one.
idea of sound values is crucial to this. Some letters can
have one sound value while others can have two or more.
The letter 'd' has only one sound value as in 'daft', 'did',
don't' etc. The letter 'g', with very few exceptions, has
two sound values - the first as is 'g' followed by 'i',
'e' or 'y' has the sound of 'dj', as in 'imagine' &
'gent'. The second is the sound 'g' as in 'gun' & 'grey'.
(The exceptions to the first include the words 'give', 'girl',
'anger', 'eager', 'gear', 'get')
letter 'c' has two sound values. Look at the following words
& work out the rule:
is a very confusing area & one that the teacher needs
to be aware of. The best ELT reference that I have come
across is in Joanne Kenworthy's 'Teaching English Pronunciation'
Bernard Shaw gave one of the nonsense words above, 'ghoti',
as an example of the ridiculous system behind English sound
- spelling by reasoning that it could have the same pronunciation
as the word 'fish'! He got this by taking the 'gh' from
'tough' for the 'f', the 'o' from the word 'women' for 'i'
& then the 'ti' from the word 'nation' for the 'sh'
sound. A nice example for your students.
letter 'c' rule
It's the same as with 'g' - if it is followed by 'i', 'e',
or 'y' then it takes the 's' sound, otherwise it takes the
to the contents
the site there is a Year 2003 quiz to use with your students.
see the Quiz
also a brief advanced speaking lesson, '20 Big Ideas', about
ideas that might take off in the UK in 2004. To
see the plan
also time for the New Year's Resolutions lesson. Explain the
idea to the students & ask them to list five personal
things they would like to change. Then get them to compare
before asking them together to think of five to ten famous
personalities & a resolution the students think they should
make. Lots of fun.
8th January is Elvis Presley's birthday. As interest in Elvis
is still going strong, a lesson based around him would be
of interest to most adult classes. Below is first a series
of quotes by & about Elvis. Students could read &
discuss, possibly making up their own quotes about Elvis.
Then there is a gapped biography, with the missing words below.
It would be appropriate to then go on to a song - for
lyrics to Elvis' songs.
alternative biography that
could be used as an information gap task after the official
biog below. As they say on this last page, 'This biography
emphasises aspects of Elvis's life and character which do
not feature strongly in official biographies, namely: his
spiritual search and the controlling influences in his life.
Elvis had to undergo various trials and tribulations on his
journey through life.' A bit more interesting.
couple of quotes from Elvis
criticize what you don't understand, son. You never walked
in that man's shoes."
-Elvis often used this adaptation of a well-known quotation.
people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers,
and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do
'em all together, I guess."
-Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage.
few quotes about Elvis
kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac...It
fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions
in young people."
Frank Sinatra, 1950's
is something magical about watching a man who has lost
himself find his way back home...He sang with the kind
of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll
Review of Elvis, (1968 TV Special).
is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century.
He introduced the beat to everything, music, language,
clothes, it's a whole new social revolution - the 60's
comes from it."
Leonard Bernstein, 1960s.
had an influence on everybody with his musical approach.
He broke the ice for all of us."
have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders.
And there have been contenders. But there is only one
was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's
ear, and somehow we all dreamed it."
I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't
going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be
my boss...Hearing him for the first time was like busting
out of jail."
was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself,
Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his
was a unique artist - an original in an area of imitators."
Elvis, there was nothing."
was the firstest with the mostest."
any individual of our time can be said to have changed
the world, Elvis Presley is the one. In his wake more
than music is different. Nothing and no one looks or
sounds the same. His music was the most liberating event
of our era because it taught us new possibilities of
feeling and perception, new modes of action and appearance,
and because it reminded us not only of his greatness,
but of our own potential."
From his book, Mystery Train.
know, Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of
unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked
Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's
wrong with him."
During the 1992 presidential campaign.
anyone. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where
popular music would be. He was the one that started
it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for
Aaron Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, was
__________ to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room
house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935. His
twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis
to __________ as an only child. He and his parents moved
to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from
Humes High School there in 1953.
Elvis' musical influences were the pop and __________
music of the time, the gospel __________ he heard in
church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently
attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic
Beale Street as a Memphis teenager. In 1954, he began
his singing __________ with the legendary Sun Records
label in Memphis. In late 1955, his recording __________
was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he was an international
sensation. With a sound and style that uniquely combined
his diverse musical influences and blurred and challenged
the social and __________ barriers of the time, he ushered
in a whole new __________ of American music and __________
He starred in 33 successful __________ , made history
with his television appearances and specials, and knew
great acclaim through his many, often record-breaking,
__________ concert performances on tour and in Las Vegas.
Globally, he has __________ over one billion records,
more than any other artist. His American sales have
__________ him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards
for 141 different __________ and singles, far more than
any other artist. Among his many awards and accolades
were 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins) from the National
Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Grammy
Lifetime Achievement Award, which he __________ at age
36, and his being __________ One of the Ten Outstanding
Young Men of the Nation for 1970 by the United States
Jaycees. Without any of the special privileges his celebrity
status might have afforded him, he honorably __________
his country in the U.S. Army.
His talent,_________ , sensuality, charisma, and good
humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility
and human kindness he __________ throughout his life.
Known the world over by his first __________ , he is
regarded as one of the most __________ figures of twentieth
century popular culture. Elvis __________ at his Memphis
home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
- films - name - country - albums - born - served -
career - era - grow up - demonstrated - earned - good
looks - important - sold - music - died - contract -
named - racial - live
to the contents
& seasonal lessons will soon be here so this week we offer
some ideas for those Christmas lessons. At the end are some
links to previous ideas on the site.
is a lesson plan based around
a reading a text that deals with returning presents to shops
'The less than wond'rous gift'. It is a useful text for reviewing
the first conditional & as a springboard for roleplays.
is an excerpt from an article on the Guardian Unlimited site
about Xmas toys. There is a list of popular Xmas toys in the
UK going back to 1965. Clearly your teaching situation will
dictate whether this is suitable material or not. If the toys
are alien to the situation you are in you could ask the stds
to prepare their own list of popular toys over the past few
years for their country. Here's a procedure to follow:
Put up 8-10 of the toys below - obviously known ones, not
in chronological order, & ask the students in groups of
four to discuss what they are & then to try & order
when the might have been popular >> feedback.
Put the 1965 >> 2002 on the board & ask the students
to tell you the year when they were eight years old &
to discuss their favourite toys around that time in their
Handout the list below or put on oht & students discuss
if they received any of the toys round about the years given
- if the toys are unknown help out & explain. Send a student
from each group to go to each group to see what they said
& then report back to their original group >> class
feedback. You could go on to discuss which were value for
money. This all lends itself to the language of description
- it's a toy for ....that ...'
an article on Guardian Unlimited - 'When
you can't rely on Santa'
British Association of Toy Retailers has been making
a Toy of the Year award since 1965 - the criteria being
that a product must have proved popular in the past
year and excited interest among customers and retailers.
The winner should have sales success and "star
quality", but doesn't have to be the top selling
toy. Rubik's Cube, Turtles and Tracey Island were, in
fact, in short supply when they won.
James Bond Aston Martin
1966 Action Man
1969 Hot Wheels cars
1971 Katie Kopykat writing doll
1972 Plasticraft modelling kits
1973 Mastermind board game
1974 Lego Family set
1975 Lego basic set
1976 Peter Powell kites
1977 Playmobil Playpeople
1978 Combine harvester (Britains)
1979 Legoland space kits
1980 Rubik's cube
1981 Rubik's cube
1982 Star Wars toys
1983 Star Wars toys
1984 Masters of the Universe
1987 Sylvanian Families
1988 Sylvanian Families
1989 Sylvanian Families
1990 Teenage Mutant Turtles
1991 Nintendo Game Boy
1992 WWF Wrestlers
1993 Thunderbird's Tracey Island
1994 Power Rangers
1999 Furby Babies
2001 Lego Bionicle
can find previous Christmas ideas on the site at the following:
the cheats plan & Xmas links
to the contents
the Past Teaching Tips