Communication Activity: Phrasal Verbs Which Make Sense!

This is a grammar extension activity if you have introduced the idea of phrasal verbs to your class and they need some speaking practice, or if you want to build up confidence in this area.

The worksheet introduces 21 phrasal verbs which all make some kind of sense considering their constituent parts, e.g. “sit down” makes more sense than the more abstract “give up”. All the verbs are in common usage and the worksheet can therefore be used for pre-intermediate or intermediate level if a quick brush-up is needed.

The introduction of the verbs, grouped by particle, then leads into a speaking activity which requires the student to think about the correct phrasal verb from a context and then use it in free speech.

thumb Download the worksheet here: Phrasal Verbs Which Make Sense

eurodestination (YouTube Channel), “Visit Denmark”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video for the Nordic utopia that is Denmark. There is plenty of swooping cinematography featuring the best a Danish vacation has to offer.

The video seeks to answer the question What is a good holiday about? and would provide a nice introduction to the theme of vacations/travel if you are about to study this topic.

Language Focus and Level

The narration on this video moves at a deliberately leisured pace which, combined with the vocabulary help in the worksheet, could be suitable for pre-intermediate or intermediate level students.

There is a grammar section in the worksheet which focuses on the use of the gerund in the video.

Worksheet

capture Find the accompanying worksheet here: denmark

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

GQ’s Most Expensivest S*** (YouTube Channel), “What Does a $295 Burger Taste Like?”

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The Video

A rather different offering this time in GQ’s multi-million viewed series, the dubiously titled “Most Expensivest S***”. Far from formal, we join extravagant rapper 2 Chainz in learning about Le Burger Extravagant; a $295 offering from a fancy New York restaurant.

A rare glimpse into how the other half live, this video is bound to provoke a reaction in class. Designed for an exclusively adult audience, the video features numerous expletives.

Level and Language Focus

If your student(s) are after challenging accents then 2 Chainz is certainly coming up with the goods. The video is a good way to explore difficult accents in that a lot of what he says is either repeating or repeated by the chef who is relatively easier to understand (to a non-native speaker, at least)!  Given this challenging aspect to the diction, we recommend you only use this video with upper intermediate students who are want a challenge, up to advanced.

The worksheet below also features an activity to explore the colloquial language/slang used in the video.

Worksheet

thumb Download the worksheet here: most-expensive-burger

Availability 

Watch the video over on YouTube.

New York Times (YouTube Channel), “Why It’s Hard to Keep the Pounds Off”

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The Video

New York Times joins two previous winners of the reality series The Biggest Loser in their struggle to keep the extraordinary weight loss they achieved on the show up. The story is not all positive with experts offering support in the form of scientific theories why it is especially difficult to keep the pounds off.

Language Focus and Level

This video provides an easy to understand voice-over with more challenging, interview-style dialogue making it good for classes in which levels may vary. The video could be used with strong intermediate and upper intermediate classes.

In talking about their experience since the show, the couple use the present perfect simple and continuous and you can find activities connected to this in the worksheet below.

Worksheet

thumb A worksheet with accompanying activities is available here: The Biggest Loser

Availability

Watch the video via YouTube.

Paths Less Pedaled (YouTube Channel), “What is Bicycle Travel?”

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The Video

This is a short promotional video to try and get more people into the joys of cycling.

Level and Language Focus

The language in the video alone is suitable for use in intermediate and upper intermediate classes. Using the worksheet below you could extend the video and supporting activities to good pre intermediate classes.

The main grammar focus of the video is the use of gerunds after prepositions.

Worksheet

thumb  Download the worksheet here: Cycling.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Visa (TV Ad, USA), “More People Go With Visa”

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The Video

This is a television ad by Visa which seeks to inspire us to make some positive changes in our lives. The video has a modern feel with a pseudo philosophical twist designed to provoke reflection; a perfect starting point for class discussion.

Language Focus and Level

There is nothing complicated about the language in this video, the narration is also very slow. The video would be perfect for a pre-intermediate class, however, if you have a particularly enthusiastic elementary class you could try it with them too.

The video poses many questions using will, and is therefore a great introduction to this grammar. The worksheet below fully explains the use of will for predictions and resolutions.

Worksheet

thumb Download a worksheet connected to the video here: Visa Ad at turnitonenglish (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

watchwellcast (YouTube Channel), “How to Be More Confident”

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The Video

“You can’t always get what you want…but you can try!” watchwellcast tells us. This short but informative video gives a few helpful tips on making ourselves heard and our needs recognised. A light-hearted animation and humorous content makes the subject easily accessible and stimulating to all, especially those who need an injection of  confidence in their speaking.

Level and Language Focus

The speed and level of vocabulary make this video good for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. There are some tricky words but these are covered in the worksheet below.

A possible grammar extension you can teach using the worksheet is to look at constructions which use the infinitive, for example I want you to…, I need you to…, I would like you to… to form assertive statements and then conduct role-plays.

Worksheet

thumb Get your free worksheet here (Right Click, Save As…): watchwell worksheet.

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.

Nilofer Merchant (TED.com), “Got a Meeting? Take a Walk”

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The Video

Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a “walking meeting” — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

With over two million views on TED.com alone, this video speaks to everybody, especially professionals who maybe spend a little too long in the office.

Level and Language Focus

This video can be used with either intermediate or upper intermediate classes. As with most TED talks, the speaker presents in a clear manner which is not too difficult to understand plus you have the added bonus of subtitles and a transcript if needed.

During the talk, Merchant uses a wide array of tenses past, present and future. One idea for a grammar extension is to use the worksheet below to do a complete tense review of the majority of the tenses needed at B1/B2 level-it’s one way of dealing with the student who claims they want to learn “all the tenses”!

Worksheet

thumb ws  Find the accompanying worksheet here: Merchant WS

You can also access a copy of the transcript through the TED link below.

Availability

The video is available on TED.com or YouTube.

The Co-operative Bank (TV Ad, UK), “Everyday Rewards”

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The Videos

The videos provide inspirational stories of individuals who have made a difference in their communities. We have Richard who is a guerrilla gardener, turning grey, urban spaces into flourishing beauties. Joshua is a hairdresser who takes to the streets to give the homeless a quick trim and a much needed chat. The project “Read 2 Dogs” helps kids who need a little extra help with their literacy by providing them with a captive, four-legged audience and Lauren is a yarn-stormer on a mission!

Level and Language Focus

The videos are great for intermediate and upper intermediate levels. Of the four videos to are easier and two more difficult. This provides a good challenge if you have a range of levels in your class.

You can use the worksheet below to review the use of the gerund as the grammar focus to your class.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
Everyday Rewards (Right Click, Save As…)

 

Availability

Watch the videos on YouTube: Richard’s Story, Joshua’s Story, Read 2 Dogs and Lauren’s Story.

Mark Albion (Free Range Studios), What Is “The Good Life” Parable

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The Video

New York Times bestselling author Mark Albion’s 3-minute animated movie “The Good Life” produced with Free Range Studios (The Story of Stuff; The Meatrix) and based on Mark’s new book, More Than Money.

A young man takes a break after finishing business school in a small fishing village. He proposes a business proposition to an old fisherman who enjoys the slow pace of life and on doing so learns an important life lesson himself.

Level and Language Focus

The narration of the video is fairly slow and the vocabulary is not too complicated therefore the video could be used in pre-intermediate and intermediate classes.

An obvious grammar point in this video is second conditional, which is used throughout. A discussion point to the video could be free time and work-life balance.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
The Good Life Parable (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video on YouTube.