Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Slang


I noticed that some English learners really struggle with the concept of slang. Sometimes, they confuse the word with accent - I have heard my students say, "I can't understand his slang," but upon probing further, I find that they meant they couldn't understand the person's accent.

Recently, I posted about the word ain't and noticed that my students were very confused about it. They had been told that it is wrong to use the word ain't and so they couldn't understand why I would post it as a vocabulary item. They were also discussing whether or not it is correct to use gonna, wanna and hafta.

I suppose that the issue is that they were looking at it as a black and white issue. We have formal and informal English. A good example is purchase vs buy. We have spoken and written English (going to vs gonna). A word like ain't is very informal English, but not 'wrong'. We would also expect it to be used by people with certain backgrounds.

As for teaching it as a vocab item, even if it not recommended that students use it, they should be able to recognise it when they hear it in a song or on a TV show.


Friday, August 09, 2019

Microlesson: Expressive Writing

Try this quickie lesson to turn a sentence like this:

      A man was riding a horse.

...into this:

     It was a beautiful day in Montana and George was galloping on a magnificent horse, but all he could think of was Susan.
Link here:

http://www.roadtogrammar.com/microlessons/index.html?&1&aas

Monday, June 03, 2019

New Resource: Articles

Here is a new resource: an extended practice activity on articles.

There are 55 questions in total, and it covers the basic rules of articles, with notes provided. This activity is suitable for A1-B2 standard learners (A1 with guidance, A2-B1 with or without guidance).

Try it here:

http://www.roadtogrammar.com/articles/


Friday, May 31, 2019

Microlessons

Microlessons are a new feature on Roadtogramar.com. This is part of the initiative to bring more visual and picture-based content to the site.

Each one features a few quick slides with a learning point presented in a nice, visual style. Microlessons are updated every week.

You can see the current microlesson on the home page. Just click beside the dot. Or you can see the index of all available lessons here:

http://www.roadtogrammar.com/microlessons/contents.html




Monday, May 27, 2019

New Game: Word Stacks

I've uploaded a new word game which should be a lot of fun for English learners to try.

The premise is very simple: use a stack of letters to make a word. The longer the word, the more points. The game ends when the user can no longer find a word. You'll have to be careful not to let the more difficult letters (x, q, z) stack up.

You can try the game here:

http://www.roadtogrammar.com/wordstacks/







Friday, May 10, 2019

Words and Phrases for Talking about Money

Here is a new picture-based activity with words and phrases for talking about money. There are twenty phrases in total and it is suitable for A2-B2 level.

Below are screenshots from the activity on a laptop and phone.

Try the activity here: http://roadtogrammar.com/talkingmoney/






Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Two Common Classroom Mistakes

Teachers, do your students make these mistakes? If so, maybe these cards can help. Feel free to save, print or use them in any way.





Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Vocabulary: Hostage, Tied Up, Blindfolded

Here are some words to describe a hostage situation (B2+). These words could come in handy when describing or reading certain news items.

Teachers, feel free to download, copy and distribute these cards.





Monday, April 08, 2019

Vocabulary of Love

Here is an activity on the vocabulary of love, featuring 26 words and phrases. It's probably suitable for B1-B2 level learners. It consists of a presentation and quiz. Enjoy!

URL: http://www.roadtogrammar.com/vocabularyoflove/




Thursday, April 04, 2019

Understanding Sarcasm

Sarcasm can be a difficult word to understand. I've put together a short picture series to help explain. (Teachers: feel free to download and use these or any other pictures from this blog.)





Tuesday, March 26, 2019

GRE Master

The GRE Master activity has been converted from Flash to HTML5, so it now works on mobile devices. Almost all content on roadtogrammar.com now works on mobile devices.

This activity is great for people who want to improve their vocabulary range to prep for the GRE test, but it is also good for advanced level students who wish to expand their range of vocabulary. Over 3000 words are tested in the activity. It consists of a word-scramble activity and a flashcard activity.

Check it out here:

www.roadtogrammar.com/GRE



Friday, March 22, 2019

HAVE and HAVE GOT


A very common mistake is to confuse GOT and HAVE GOT. In fact, this is a mistake that even native speakers sometimes make!

GOT is simply the past tense of GET, whereas HAVE GOT means the same thing as HAVE.
Thus, we can say "I got an A on my test", but not "I got a rich uncle".

Perhaps this mistake is so widespread because people hear the shortened form 've got or 's got and don't quite process the helping verb. So these two sentences may sound very similar to some people:

(Wrong)               She got a pet poodle.
(Right)                  She's got a pet poodle.




Slang

I noticed that some English learners really struggle with the concept of slang . Sometimes, they confuse the word with accent  - I have hea...