Monday, June 26, 2017

Patchwork - ESL Vocab Game

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:






Friday, April 21, 2017

What is the size of a native speaker’s vocabulary?

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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Forty Business English Roleplays

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


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Easy Reading Activities

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.





Click here for advanced reading passages

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Jobs - Elementary Vocabulary Activity

Here is a new activity for learning basic vocabulary related to jobs:

http://www.roadtogrammar.com/jobs/

The activity features a glossary and a picture practice activity featuring 20 different jobs. Users listen to the name of the job and click on the correct picture.

This activity is perfect for beginners, or bands A1-A2 of the CEFR standards.




Patchwork - ESL Vocab Game

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....