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: http://roadtogrammar.com/dl/warmers.php The web version is here: http://www.roadtogrammar.com/warmers/
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:
Here is a simple and fun game for ESL learners. You are given a topic and you have to find three related words in a mini word grid. It's simple, fun, fast and it works on mobile devices too. Play it here: www.roadtogrammar.com/vocabmaze/
Patchwork is a simple game that is easy to play and suitable for low to intermediate level ESL learners. It is especially suitable for kids. To play, simply match the different parts of the word from the tiles given. There are two-part words, three-part words and four-part words, too. Topics include animals, descriptions (adjectives), actions (verbs), food, clothes and more. Play Patchwork here:
What is the size of a native speaker’s vocabulary?
The answer is not so simple. There are two sides to a person’s vocabulary. The first is the number of words they use on a daily basis. This is their active vocabulary. The second is the number of words that they recognise, but may not use themselves. This is their passive vocabulary.
For instance, most native speakers would understand the word ‘ajar’, which means ‘slightly open’, as in the door is ajar. But it is probably not a word that they use very much. Perhaps they never use it!
Lexicographer Susie Dent says that most native speakers of English have an active vocabulary of 20,000 words and a passive vocabulary of 40,000. I have seen other sources that claim most people have an active vocabulary of as little as 12,000 words.
Still, for an English learner, that is a lot of words to learn to catch up with the natives.
But there is a way to improve your vocabulary without learning new words. That is, to transfer some words from your passive vocabulary into your active vocabulary.
For example, you might be fond of the word ‘maybe’, but you can always try to use ‘perhaps’ more. Perhaps you usually write For example. You could try using For instance instead.
It’s all about making an effort and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Here is a selection of forty business English scenarios for Business English teachers to use with their students. Scenarios range from asking the boss for a raise to dealing with scheming co-workers. The PDF is free to print out and use, or try using the presentation version in class on your smartboard. PDF version Presentation version
Here are 20 short texts that are suitable for A1 - A2 level learners. Each one has vocabulary items and a few simple questions. They are free to use and work on smartphones too! Click here for the activity.