Saturday, February 17, 2018

Military Vocabulary Quiz

Here is a vocabulary quiz for ESL learners interested in the military. The quiz has two parts with around 25 words in each part. The first part covers equipment and the second part covers personnel and strategy.

You can try the activity here:

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Text Analyser - Updated Version

The RoadToGrammar Text Analyzer is a free-to-use web app that will analyse the difficulty level of a piece of text.

To use it, simply go to and paste in a block of text. Click SUBMIT and the app will tell you the difficulty level according to the CEFR framework. For example, a text rated B1 is most suitable for use with students at B1 level. It can help you simplify a text because it shows picks out the more difficult words, which you can then simplify.

The app will also give a list of suggested vocabulary items, and you can even see the definitions of the items.

The upgraded version features the following changes:

  • based on a larger corpus (200,000 words) than the previous version
  • better ability to ignore proper nouns and names
  • ability to show complexity word for word
  • other statistics now shown

Step 1: Paste a text selection and click SUBMIT:

 Step 2: View the results

Step 3: Get the definitions

 Step 4: View the advanced statistics

Thursday, February 08, 2018


Here is an interesting English word:


It is interesting right away because, somehow, it does not even look
like an English word. In fact, it is a loan word from Greek.

It has a great sound to it; it is pronounced 'koodose'.

It is a way of giving praise or congratulations to someone. Here are
some sample sentences:

Kudos for losing so much weight.
Kudos to Tom for standing up to the office bully.
Lisa deserves kudos for getting a place at Oxford when everyone said
she wouldn't be able to do it.

How can this word help you as an English learner? Listen out for it
and when you feel confident enough, try using it in your own speech.
Your teacher will be impressed!

Monday, December 18, 2017


Here is an interesting English word: loot

We use the word loot in English to describe something that was stolen.

The word loot is originally from India. It is a Hindi word with
Sanskrit roots. The word loot can be a noun, referring to something
stolen or taken without permission. It can also be a verb, to loot. We
also have the word 'looter' -  a person who loots.

When used as a verb, it means to go into a place and steal everything that you can. Think of a bank robber going into a bank and grabbing
all the money. We also specifically use it for the situation where,
after a hurricane or other emergency, people have to leave town and
thieves come in to steal while the town is empty. We call these people

In slang English, we use the word loot in a playful way. For example,
if a kid returns from Halloween trick or treating with a bag full of
candy, he might call it his 'loot'.

Loot is not such a common word. You won''t hear it every day, but I
bet that if you watch a movie about a bank robbery, you'll hear it a

Friday, November 24, 2017

Xmas Vocabulary Quiz

Teachers, here is a Christmas vocabulary quiz that you can use with your students:

Suggested use: Use it with a smartboard or projector as a warm-up activity. There are 20 questions, so it will take 5-10 minutes of class time. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

New Word Game: Fonetix

Here is a new word game to try.

Use the word parts on the tiles to form a word before the timer runs out.

Try for a bonus or high score.

Play it here on PC or mobile:

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Conversation Questions

Here are 50 sets of conversation questions for ESL teachers. Each set contains 6 questions.

Download the PDF here:

Or access the smartboard version here:

The smartboard version also works on smartphones.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Word Forms

The Word Forms activity on has been reformatted to work on mobile devices, and also given a fresh look.

Try it here:

Friday, August 18, 2017

100 Warm-up Questions

One of the most popular PDF downloads on Roadtogrammar is the set of 100 Warm-up questions.

It is now available as a web page with a presentation version. You can set up a question on your smartboard at the beginning of class. The students can also access the questions on their smartphones or tablets.

The PDF is here:
The web version is here:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Salmon and Often

Salmon and Often

I've often noticed that speakers of English as a second language mispronounce salmon.

It looks like it is straightforward enough to pronounce: sal - mon, but in fact the L is silent. To pronounce it correctly, imagine that the spelling is "sammon". It rhymes more or less with 'famine' even though the spelling is quite different. (English is strange that way.)

On the other hand, 'often' is one of those words that has two accepted pronunciations - with or without the 't' sound. This is not a UK/US thing; the words simply has two accepted ways to pronounce it. There are many words in English like this. Like I said, English is strange.

You can listen to the pronunciation(s) of these words here:

The Cambridge dictionary doesn't give the audio pronunciation for 'often' with a t sound, but it lists the phonetic spelling for it.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2 Common Mistakes

Do you ever make these two mistakes in your English?

Common mistake 1:

A: Would you like a drink?
B: Yes, I like some coffee?

"I like some coffee" is not correct. The speaker means to say: "I'd like some coffee" or "I would like some coffee".

"I would like" is a polite way to say "I want". It is different from "I like".

Common mistake 2:

A: Can I have a napkin?
B: Sure, I get you one.

"I get you one" is not correct. It should be "I'll get you one". We use the future form here, even though it is the near future!

It is easy to make this mistake because "I get" and "I'll get" might sound alike to English learners. However, people who are proficient in English can easily hear the difference!

If you tend to make these mistakes, don't worry - it is quite easy to correct yourself.

Military Vocabulary Quiz

Here is a vocabulary quiz for ESL learners interested in the military. The quiz has two parts with around 25 words in each part. The first p...