Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Modern Slang: Bling

Bling refers to fancy, shiny jewelry of the type that rappers like to wear. Sometimes referred to as 'bling-bling', it can be a noun or an adjective.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Modern Slang: Troll

In mythology, a troll was a monster that lived under a bridge. In internet slang, a troll is a person who spends time annoying other people online. 'Trolling' can also be a verb.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Word Slamm Game

The Word Slamm game on roadtogrammar.com has been reprogrammed to work on mobile browsers. This means all the games on the site can now be played in any mobile or desktop browser.

Play Word Slamm at:


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

TKT Lexical Terms Activity

Here is an activity to help budding teachers practise the lexical terms in section one of the TKT test.

There is a question pool of around 50 questions.

Try it here:


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

TKT Section One Practice Activity

Here is an activity to help budding teachers practise the IPA phonetic symbols for section one of the TKT test.

There is a question pool of around 150 questions.

Try it here:


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Vocabulary Gym

The Vocabulary Gym is a new feature on roadtogrammar.com.

It offers bite-sized vocabulary quizzes on a range of often overlooked topics - from 'things you can do with your fingers' to 'Stationery'. Each one has five to eight questions, so it is perfect for a warm-up exercise before a class. It can also be done on a smartphone, tablet or any other device. You can filter the quizzes by CEFR level, too.

Try it here:


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TKT Section One Practice Activity

Here is an activity to help budding teachers practise grammatical terminology for section one of the TKT test.

There is a question pool of 120 questions covering about 30 grammar terms.

Try it here:


Monday, April 30, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Here's a fun little word game. It looks easy, but it can be quite challenging!


The purpose is to find all four words in the grid of 16 letters.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Word Stress

Road To Grammar's word stress activity has been reformatted to work on mobile devices. It has also been redone with simpler words so that it is easier for lower level learners to use it. There is also a feature to only look at two-syllable words (instead of 2-4 syllables).

You can try is here:


Friday, April 13, 2018

Quickie vocab quiz


Mind the Gap

Visitors to London are likely to hear the announcement, "Mind the gap" when they ride a tube train, or perhaps the longer version, "Mind the gap between the platform and the train."

This safety message has become a London icon. You can even buy "Mind the Gap" t-shirts and mugs. But what does it mean and why is it special?

"Mind", in this context, is a verb that simply means to be careful or be aware of something. A gap is a small space. It is a short and direct way of putting across the safety message.

However, "mind" used in this way sounds very old-fashioned to Americans. It is not used very much anymore in American English. Hence, to American visitors, the tube announcement sounds "cute" and very British!

In Britain, on the other hand, it is quite normal to say things like, "Mind the step" or "Mind your head" (when passing through a low doorway).

It is not only the British who use "mind the gap". You can find it in train stations across the world, from Germany to Singapore. Sometimes, the translation may be a little bit wrong, as in this ferry sign from China!

Symbolism in English: Up

In English, when something is symbolised as 'up', 'high' or 'tall', it's seen as positive.

For example, we say that life has its ups and downs – the ups are the good parts and the downs are the bad parts.

When someone feels high, it means they are feeling good. To improve your position at work is to 'move up'. A better position is a higher position.

To dress in nice clothes is to dress up. Someone who is wealthy and cultured is seen as 'high class'. An expensive product is a high-end product.

Of course, 'up' is not always used in a symbolic way. For example, when we say 'look something up in the dictionary', up has no symbolic meaning.

High Class

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Make A Sentence Tool

Here is a simple tool that ESL teachers can use to generate random words for learners to form sentences with.

From a database of hundreds of words, it generates a random verb, noun and adjective. Project this on a smartboard and challenge your students to make a sentence using the words. It also works on mobile devices.

Try it at:


Monday, February 26, 2018

Rhyming Words

The Rhyming Words activity on RoadToGrammar.com has been updated so that it now works on mobile devices.

It is a great way to explore pronunciation issues and would work perfectly as a smartboard activity in the classroom.

Try it here:


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 http://www.roadtogrammar.com/textanalysis/ 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!

Football (Soccer) Vocabulary

Here are some football words and phrases (or soccer, in US English):