Monthly Archives: May 2014

Grammar with comics and jokes: Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives + comic-strip style exercise

In this post we will learn comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives.
And before we start let’s meet Josh. He is very young. He is only three years old.Comparative degrees of adjectives
Josh has a baby sister who is even smaller. Her name is Betty and she is only 11 months old. She is almost 2 years younger than Josh.Comparative degrees of adjectives 3
Betty and Josh have a baby cousin. Her name is Lina and she is only 1 month old. She is the youngest of all.

Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4 Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4

When we compare two things we add  ER to the adjective.
When we want to describe something that has the highest degree of a quality among three or more things, we use the superlative degree.Comparative degrees of adjectives 5
Try to do this one. Can you form a comparative and superlative degree of COLD?Comparative degrees of adjectives 6
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 7
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 8
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 9
 Easy, isn’t it?
So what would be the comparative degree of smart?

question
Comparative degrees of adjectives 10                           

Can you form the superlative?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  11
 When an adjective is short, we add ER and the EST to it, but do we do the same if an adjective is long? Can we say “comfortabler”? What a mouthful! It is too hard to say. That’s why if an adjective has two or more syllables, don’t use ER and EST.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  12
We use MORE + adj to compare two things.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  13
 And THE MOST + adj in the superlative degree.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  14
Can you form the comparative degree of difficult?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  15
More difficult! And the superlative degree is “the most difficult”. Easy, isn’t it?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  16
And how about famous? This word has two syllables: “Fa-mous”. The majority of two syllable words form their comparative and superlative degrees with more and the most. So what is the comparative degree of Famous?

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  17
More famous! Can you form the superlative as well?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18

Of course, it is the most famous!

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18
So when we want to compare 2 things, we use the comparative degree of adjectives.When we have 3 or more things and we want to highlight one particular thing in this group which has the highest degree of a certain characteristic, we use the superlative degree.If an adjective is short and has only one syllable, we add ER to the adjective in the comparative form and the EST in the superlative. Some two-syllable adjectives also form comparatives and superlatives with ER and EST. However, if the word is long and has two or more syllables, we add MORE in front of the adjective in the comparative and THE MOST in the superlative degree. We can also use LESS and THE LEAST. They are the opposites of more and the most.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  infographic 19
Now some adjectives can be tricky when it comes to spelling.For example, try to form the comparative and the superlative degree of BIG. Since it is a very short one-syllable word we will use ER and the EST.

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  20
And we will get BIGGER. But notice that the final G is doubled. This always happens when the word ends in a Consonant – vowel – consonant sequence (CVC adjectives). We double the final consonant in order to keep the pronunciation.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  21
Now can you form the superlative form?
The BIGGEST. We will need to double the G once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  22
Now try this one. Once again it is a short one-syllable word and we need to add ER and the EST, but like in the previous example here we have a consonant followed by a vowel and another consonant. 

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  24
So we need to double the T and we will get WETTER. And what will be the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  25
The WETTEST with double T once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  26
CVC adjectives are not the only adjectives with a little bit tricky spelling in comparative and superlative degrees.For example, take a look at EASY. It is also a short adjective that forms its comparative and superlative forms with ER and the EST. Can you notice the pattern?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  27

What has changed in the comparative degree? The “Y” has changed to “I”. Can you form the superlative degree? How will you spell it?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  1128                   

It will be “THE EASIEST” with an “I” instead of the “Y”.
What about friendly? What are its comparative and superlative degrees?It is one of those two-syllable adjectives that form comparative degrees with ER and the EST but be careful with spelling.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  29
One-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or “-ST”.For example, look at “SAFE”. Can you form the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  30
It will be “THE SAFEST” with only one “E”.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  31
So, remember that one-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or the     “-ST” in the comparative and in the superlative.Adjectives ending in “Y” drop “Y” and add “I” before -ER and the -EST.CVC-adjectives double the final consonant.comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives changes in spelling infographic
There are also several adjectives that form their comparative degrees differently. You need to memorize these forms.For example, “GOOD” in its comparative form becomes “BETTER”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 34
 And in the superlative it is “THE BEST”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 35
“BAD” also changes differently in the comparative and in the superlative degree. Do you know its forms?

BAD COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE

In the comparative form it becomes “WORSE”. irregular comparatives and superlatives 36

And in the superlative it becomes “THE WORST”. “FAR” also has irregular comparative and superlative forms. There are several more adjectives in this group. For now try to remember these three irregular forms and we will learn more as we go. irregular comparatives and superlatives infographic 37 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  exercise 40 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 41 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 42   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 43 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 44 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 4145 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 45 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 46 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 48 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 49   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 50 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 51 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 52 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 53 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 54   way to go

This is also available as a grammar slideshow from Slideshare. Please, like, comment and share if you enjoyed this post, so that I can create more of what you like and find of use. Smiles 🙂

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

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Relative Pronouns with comics and jokes: who, which, that, when and where

We use relative clauses to provide more information about a person, a thing or a place.

We use WHO to give more information about people.

Relative pronouns in comix and jokes - who

We use WHICH when we want to provide more information about a thing.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - which

We can use THAT instead of WHO  or WHICH.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

We use WHERE for places.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

And WHEN for time.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

NB! When we add more information about something by using a relative clause, we use the article THE, not a/an

Also notice that we put the relative pronouns immediaty after the noun about which we are giving more information.

If you want to see all this gathered together and more, then check the  grammar s-show below that I created for my B1 students. I used comic strips and jokes to explain and to illustrate  the use of relative clauses and relative pronouns. As always, at the end of the slideshow there is an exercise to practice the skills and to check understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

To Like and To Be Like

“What does she like?” and “What is she like?”

These two questions can be very confusing for learners. This slideshow will  bring some clarity to the use of “To Like” and “To Be Like”.

The slideshow also includes an exercise to practice the skills and to check the understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Engaging Learners with Technology – collaborative online whiteboards

I had been meaning to use one of those  realtime online whiteboards for a long time and today I finally had a chance to do so. Actually, the students had such a whale of a time that I used it twice today, for completely different purposes and tasks but with equal success.

There are plenty of free realtime whiteboards and you will easily find a bunch of them on Google. I used Twiddla (twiddla.com) because it doesn’t require registation or any set-up at all.

All you need to do is to go to twiddla.com and click on “Start a new meeting” button.

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Your e-board will be assigned an easy and short web address. Your students need to type in this address in a browser on their phones, tablets or laptops, once again no registration is needed. Then all students can draw, type and chat on the same board through their devices. Everything someone types or draws on their devices instantly appears on the common whiteboard.

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On the Ipone or the Ipad the board looks exactly the same as on the computer screen. The only difference is that the text function will be available only through chat, but not on the board itself. On Android phones and tables, the students will see the following screen.

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They need to click on the draw button to be able to draw on the board, or they can click on the chat button to send a message in a chat room.

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As students open the board on their phones and tablets, automatically each new participant is assigned a name “guest###” (for example, guest1234), the students can easily change their display name (the image above shows how to do it).

Like I’ve mentioned before I used Twiddla for two different activites.

With my B2 students we “Twiddled” (not a word yet, but can become one soon) for an answer-and-guess-who activity. The students were given a set of questions about movies (since we have been talking and writing about film reviews with them lately).

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Each of the students opened the same Twiddla board on their mobile phones and tablets, I asked them not to change their display names on Twiddla to keep it secret who posts what.  Each of the students had to type their answers in a chat window. I asked them to type the answers in one line, separated by a coma so that all the answers of one student would be posted as one message and not as several messages scattered all over the chat. Since students didn’t change their display names, no one knew who were posting which answers. When everyone posted their answers to the chat, I asked the students to look at each of the messages in the chat and try to guess who wrote each set of answers. The students earned one point for each correct guess. I have to admit that this is not one of those easy-to-motivate groups but surprisingly enough, the students were truly engaged in this activity and were even ready to do one more round, which really inpired me to use Twiddla more in my classes. 

So I did. The same day actually. In a B1 classroom when students “Twiddled” (see, I am getting into a habit of using this one as a verb) during a poster presentation session. In groups of 4 the students were to prepare posters promoting any city in the world, they had to gather any information that would attract visitors to the city. The information could include anything from real airline ticket prices to famous landmarks and traditional food. During the poster session, two of the team members had to stay with their stand/poster, while two other students of each group were visiting the stands of others  and asking the presenters about each of the cities and what they have to offer. After one round the two “visiting” members of the team would swap their roles with the presenters, who would start cruising aroud the classroom. 

While the students were walking from one poster to another and asking questions  they had to comment on what they have found out about each city using the Twiddla chat. Their task was also to highlight what they liked most about each city, what they found shocking or surprising and where they would really like to go. The students were chatting in real time and I could immediately see their comments on the whiteboard. And since students love chatting on their phones, the comments were really flooding in. Here are some, to give you an idea:

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I encourage you to use realtime whiteboards in your classroom and if you do or have already done so, I would be delighted to hear how it went and how you used it. 

Happy Tuesday!

USED TO for past habits and routines

I made this slideshow to explain the use of USED TO to my B1 students, it seemed to help them quite a bit.

The slideshow also includes a gap-fill exercise to practise the skills.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Using too much/too many, (not) enough and very

Being able to express the reason, cause and result of actions is essential in any language. In English we use too, (not) enough, very, too many and too much for this purpose and they can be pretty confusing for learners. The following slideshow clearly explains the difference between them and includes a gap-filling exercise to practice the use of each in real context.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Conditional sentences, type 0, 1 and 3 – Grammar game

CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD
Aim To practise the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 and 2
Interaction Groups of 3, 4 or 5 students
Exercise type: Filling in the gaps, correcting mistakes
Language: B1
Time: 15 – 25 minutes
Materials: A marker and a whiteboard, a set of question cards for the class.
Procedure:
  1. Project on a whiteboard a slide with a 4*5 grid in which each cell is numbered in order from 1 to 20. Alternatively, you can draw a 4*5 grid on a board and number each of its cells.

Conditionals Grammar Game

  1. Cut up the questions handout so that each card features one question.
  2. Divide the class into teams of three or four. Each team needs to select an easy-to-draw symbol (a circle, a star a triangle, a smiley face) or a letter to represent them.
  3. Tell the students that the 20-square board is a piece of land that they  are  trying to conquer. In order to conquer each piece of land the students need to correctly answer a question on the card.
  4. The teams decide the order in which they will play the game (for this purpose, the students can roll dice, play rock-paper-scissors game, or draw pieces of paper with numbers corresponding to the number of teams).
  5. Each of the teams draws a question card from the pile, collaboratively, the teams decide on an answer. Allow a certain amount of time then, ask each of the teams to read their question card aloud to the class and to suggest an answer.
  6. If the question is answered correctly, the team can draw their symbol in the square corresponding to the number of the question.
  7. If the answer if incorrect, the teacher collects the question card without giving the correct answer and puts the card at the bottom of the pile, later this card has to be drawn again by one of the teams.
  8. The game is over when all question cards have been answered.
  9. The team that manages to put their symbol in the greatest number of squares, wins.

The game is available from download from Slideshare and here >>>  CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD

Conditional Sentences – Grammar Game

The aim of the game is to practice the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 , 2, and 3 as well as mixed conditionals.

The game is designed for upper-intermediate students, but you can easily modify the questions.

The game includes three types of questions:

1. Filling in the gaps, where players need to put the verbs in brackets in the correct form (Fill category);

conditionals fill in the gaps game

2. Finding and correcting mistakes. Each sentence in this category has a mistake or two in the use of conditional sentences, the task is to find the mistake(s) and to correct it/them (Fix category);

conditionals correct mistakes game

3. Choosing the most suitable option out of two (Choose category).

conditionals multiple choice game

The game has a main screen with a Jeopardy board, the students select the type of question and its value (more difficult questions value more) and click on a corresponding button.

conditionals grammar game jeorpady

This will take a student to a question slide. When the students give their answer, click on the question mark button in the bottom righ-hand corner, this will take you to an answer screen.

conditionals game
On the answer screen, click on the house icon to return to the main screen with the jeopady board.

conditionals jeopardy game

Have fun learning and teaching!

Click here to download the editable Conditional Sentences Grammar Game > Conditional Sentences Jeopardy 1, 2, 3

100 ways to say THANK YOU and to express gratitude.

Looking for a meaningful and non-trite way to show your appreciation to that special someone but are lost for words? This series of slideshows features 100 phrases and expressions to express your gratitude to your colleagues, friends and family in a unique and touching way. Make someone’s day by showing how much you appreciate them.

Conditional Sentences Type 0, type 1 and type 2 + exercises

The slideshow covers the cases of use and the structure of Conditional sentences type 0, type 1 and type 2, it also explains the differences between each type and includes a gap-fill exercise to practice all three types of conditional sentences.

And here is another comics-style exercise to practice the use of conditional sentences type 2 (unreal present, regrets about the present).

And here is a matching exercise to practice the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 and 2.  You need to  match the phrases on the left with the phrases on the right to make sentences. You also need to put the verbs in brackets into the correct form to make conditional sentences type 0, 1 or 2. 

You can cut it up for bodily-kinesthetic learners so that they can move the parts of the sentences and line them up on the table to make conditionals.

The hand out is available for download from slideshare and from here >>

 

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