Bottom (BBC, UK), “Mr Gas Man!”

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The Video

Bottom was a mid-nineties slap-stick comedy with Rik Mayall featuring two professional losers and their catastrophic lifestyle. This form of comedy works well in the English Language classroom as clever wordplay is side-stepped in favor of  visual gags.

This clip features a visit from the gas man, however, Eddy and Ritchie are stealing their neighbor’s gas and aren’t so keen on letting him in. When he finally does enter, the comedy arises from their continued use of very formal constructions despite plans to hit him over the head.

Language Focus and Level

This video has been selected as a lot of the dialogue is intentionally slow, meaning students of levels intermediate and above should be able to pick up what is going on.

The worksheet below features vocabulary help and the grammatical focus is on making, accepting and refusing requests and offers.

Worksheet

gas.JPG   Download the worksheet here: Bottom

Availability

The video is available via YouTube.

Communication Activity: Relative Clauses

This is a grammar extension activity if you have taught relative clauses and feel your class needs speaking practice in this area.

Firstly, as for the main activity your class may need to use the alphabet quite heavily to complete the activity, it may be of value to recap the pronunciation of individual letters using the following worksheet (depending on how confident your students are with the alphabet).

thumb alaphabet  Find the worksheet here: Dictating and The NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Next we have the main activity which explained fully in the teachers notes at the end of the document. Crosswords are a fun way of practicing relative clauses as long as you ensure students use them in their clues: “3 Down is a city where The Beatles were born”.

This exercise features two corresponding crosswords and is a communication activity in which students for their own clues for the items from UK and USA culture listed on the worksheet.

The activity is suitable for intermediate and above, and also requires that students have at least a basic knowledge of UK and USA culture.

thumb Find the communication activity here : UK and USA Culture

Grammar Bonus: Comparatives Number Quiz

We continue our obsession with these pub quiz-style activities with these final offerings, this time designed to facilitate the use of the comparative.

The comparative can be a rather dry grammar topic so once you have gone through the rules, why not inject a little fun into the class with these quizzes?

The two activities below are designed for pre intermediate and upper intermediate + classes. If your class is intermediate level, have a look at both quizzes and you may find that one could be used with your class.

Notes on the target language (e.g. “I think a dolphin can swim faster than 20 mph”) are included on the worksheet.

Download worksheets here: Pre Intermediate Comparative Activity and Upper Intermediate Comparative Activity.

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Communication Bonus: USA Number Quiz & UK Number Quiz

Here are two more variations on our current run of quizzes, this time we have number quizzes based around fun facts about the USA and the UK.

With some vocabulary help, these resources can be used with intermediate and above level students and would be perfect for USA-based or UK-based summer schools and teaching English to migrants and refugees in the USA or the UK.

Download the quizzes here: USA in Numbers and UK in Numbers

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Grammar Bonus: How…? Questions Number Quiz

Here is another fact-based quiz this time to practice How…? questions (How many…?, How much…?, How long…?, How far…? etc.).

The quiz not only tests How…? questions but also complicated numbers including six digit numbers and decimals.

You can use this quiz with intermediate and higher level students.

As this activity could potentially take a while (30-45 mins), it is a fun activity for the end of the week/a fun class.

You can download the activity here: How…? Quiz

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Grammar Bonus: Question Formation Number Quiz

Here is an extra resource for practicing question formation, recommended for good pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper intermediate. You can also use this resource for practicing more complex numbers.

All the facts and figures come from a fun board game we were playing at the weekend that we figured would be great for the classroom.

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Download the worksheet here: Question Formation Numbers Quiz

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Inside Edition (YouTube Channel), “Twin Teens Celebrate Their Differences”

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The Video

Inside Edition is a newsmagazine with a popular YouTube channel. This story is about a set of English twins who have the curiosity of being born “one black, one white”. The news story is short and simple, and the girls  are upbeat and positive about their unique experience.

Level and Language Focus

The level of the video is perfect for intermediate classes. The worksheet below features a full transcript with vocabulary help so you could also consider the video for a strong pre-intermediate class.

A section of the worksheet is dedicated to talking about differences with focus on the word whereas.

Worksheet

tumb    Download the worksheet here: Twins

Availability

You can watch the video via YouTube.

 

 

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, USA), “A Time-Share Time Machine”

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The Video

The Big Bang Theory is an internationally popular American sitcom based around five nerds sharing a flat. In this clip, Leonard gets exited about a sci-fi film prop he sees on an online auction site and places a bid without really considering the full implications of his actions. When he is the successful winning bidder and the item is shipped to the boys’ apartment, they get a big shock, with “big” being the operative word!

A fun and inoffensive comedy series, The Big Bang Theory is perfect for most teenage and adult classrooms.

Level and Language Focus

Any learner with a level lower than strong upper intermediate will certainly struggle with the video. Pre advanced and advanced learners will definitely get something out of the video too.

The worksheet below introduces the grammar of should have and third conditional; both connected to the regret the boys feel when the time machine eventually turns up.

Worksheet

thumb A free worksheet is available here: The Big Bang Theory turnitonenglish (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

Watch the video over at YouTube.

 

The Late Late Show (CBS, USA) – Alanis Morissette Updates ‘Ironic’ Lyrics

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The Video

Chat show host James Corden invites Alanis Morissette to perform a 21st century version of her classic “Ironic” featuring references to racist Facebook friends, electronic cigarette breaks, having a house full of DVDs and getting Netflix and many more.

The lyrics include a few America-specific references, but with the help of the worksheet below the video is universal enough to appeal to audiences worldwide.

Level and Language Focus

The video could be used in intermediate, upper intermediate or pre advanced classes although it may prove a little easy for the latter.

One possible grammar extension is to use situations in the song to practice the third conditional as detailed in the worksheet below. This could then easily be extended to mixed conditionals if it is on your syllabus.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.

You Bet (ITV, UK), “Tossing the Caber”

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The Video

You Bet! is a British game show in which celebrities bet on the ability of members of the public to win challenges, which they usually plan and rehearse many times, within a limited amount of time.

This particular challenge features the Scottish tradition of tossing the caber. This video can add a little excitement to classes of all ages.

Level and Language Focus

The language of the clip is not too complicated so it is recommendable for either intermediate or upper intermediate levels.

You can use the video to teach first conditionals or the future tense for predicting as the students must predict how well the men will do in the challenge. The worksheet below features first conditional activities.

Worksheet
A worksheet can be found here:
You Bet Caber Toss (Right Click, Save As…)

Availability

You can view the video on YouTube.