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Speaking and Writing



An informal letter giving directions

Presentation - Use flash cards to revise basic building vocabulary (ie The Bank, Cinema, Shop etc). Use flannelboard to present basic directions/location/language. 'On the left, on the right' 'Turn left ......

Go down Low Street ......’ choral repetition.

Highlight imperative forms

Practice 1 Oral practice. Question and answer practice. Written reinforcement for sentences written on board.

Practice 2 Pairwork (Information Gap Activity - see speaking skills)

Pairs (A+B) have street plans with 4 buildings located on each. They must ask their partner for directions to, and locations of, the 4 buildings they do not have, and give details of those which they do have.

Reading (Text) A short passage giving directions to new students in the town is given out. Students answer 5 questions (general comprehension) and have to locate the school on the plan given in practice 2 above.

Students check in pairs.

Focus on any new verbs/vocabulary that did not come in the earlier practice such as ‘roundabout’ or ‘cross over’.

Free Writing Teacher tells students: "It's your birthday on Friday and you are having a party. You have invited your class to your house. They know where the school is, but not where you live. Write a short letter giving directions for them to follow from the language school/college to your house".

(NB If students live some distance away, you may need to pre-teach …..

take the number four bus from ..... get off at ......) A simple handout with the layout for an informal letter makes this easier. The students simply fill in the actual body of the letter giving directions.


Encourage the students to draw a small map to go with the directions as this is not only realistic but gives you a chance to check if they are accurate or not!


2. INTERMEDIATE - Writing a film review

It's useful to prepare this lesson then either take your group to the cinema or watch a movie together and ask them to write the review of the film you have seen together.

Stage 1 a) Ask students to describe different types of films (ie comedy, science fiction, etc) Teacher puts on board

b) Pairwork - students discuss 'What makes a good film' Feedback to teacher who puts ideas onto the board (ie plot, soundtrack, actors, photography etc).

Stage 2 Reading

Hand out the text of a film review with general comprehensive questions. (short exercise) You could also record a review programme such as the one Jonathan Ross has presented for higher levels. Questions should simply check understanding of characters, plot, etc. Students can also identify which of the parts raised in 1 b) above were mentioned.

Stage 3 Grammar

a) Structures to be practised = present tenses (for immediate effect)

b) Sequencing = after that, then, next, etc.

c) Passive voice and adjectives. For example:-

The direction is brilliant

It is brilliantly directed

The photography is impressive

It is impressively photographed

Exercises in these three give practice in the grammatical structures commonly found in reviews.

Stage 4 Pairwork/oral practice

Students describe a film they have recently seen or particularly enjoyed. Their partner takes notes. All the above should be included and the following basic outline followed.

a) The background to the film

b) The plot

c) A scene the student particularly enjoyed

d) The students' feelings about it, possible recommendation

Discussing these points together familiarises the group with the language, grammar and organization. If the teacher takes the opportunity to make a clear collection of notes on the board this will then provide a plan for paragraphing a piece of writing:

Stage 5 Free Writing

"Write a review of a film you have recently seen".

A word limit of, say, 300-400 words is good as this is realistically how much space they would be allowed in a magazine or newspaper!


Before you begin this lesson you should think carefully:

What do my students need to know about how a review is written?

You cannot teach review writing if you have not first understood yourself how one is structured. Be careful about the type of review you choose.


Reviews are often full of cultural references that the students will find difficult. Compare the beginnings of these two reviews. It is easy to spot which one will be easier for the students to understand.

1. Pygmalion

Anyone who sees this marvellous production will have to agree that the play is far superior to Lerner and Lowe’s sugar candied musical. It’s a pleasure to see the play that Shaw wrote and to be reminded of his serious purpose back in 1914 when the play caused a scandal. The notion that turning a flowergirl into a lady might actually be a disservice may pack less punch today, but still resonates in these days of the WAG and airhead celeb.

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Nineteen years after his ‘Last Crusade’, Indiana Jones is back on the screen. This time Indiana is in the jungles of South America trying to find an object which is the fount of all knowledge. He’s up against a female baddie, played by Kate Blanchett. Is he too old for the job?

Certainly not. Harrison Ford doesn’t look his age and is still doing all his own stunts and Karen Allen is wonderful in her part as Marion Ravenwood, who last appeared in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981.

There’s plenty of action for everyone………..


Advanced students need to recognise how signals are sent to the reader in order to guide them through how a text hangs together. Using listening passages or reading texts, or having other students giving an oral presentation can be used to present model texts for studying linking devices at higher levels.

Composition writing - expressing an opinion

Sample text

Nowadays it is difficult for students in Further and Higher Education to study as much as their course tutors would like them to. Indeed, it is unusual for students to spend anything more than a quarter of the recommended number of hours doing their coursework. Take the case of two students from Bristol University. Because of grant cuts and rising costs, they are forced to take low paid work, for example, bar work, supermarket shelf-stacking and kitchen work. For this, they can be paid less than ?5.00 per hour. In other words, an hour's work would earn them just enough to buy a sandwich.

Stage 1 Students read the text and identify

a) phrases which exemplify (for example, take the case of .....)

b) phrases which amplify (indeed,)

c) language used for rephrasing (in other words)

Stage 2 Guided Writing

Once the language for certain functions has been identified, it can be practised. A simple sentence can be given and students can be asked to amplify, or exemplify accordingly. Gradually, language can be added with different functions, for example, presenting a balanced argument (While it may be time that . . . Despite statistics which reveal that . . . Although one can understand concern about . . .) The language for counter arguments, rejecting these and leading to a final conclusion give the basics for a composition giving one's opinion.

Stage 3 Preparation for Writing

Give students a plan

  1. Topic sentence - amplify
  2. Main viewpoint - amplify

    - rephrasing

  3. Counter argument - reject it and say why
  4. Conclusion - your own opinion

Stage 4 Free Writing

"All post -16 education should be free" - Give your opinion in about 100 words.

Лилия Громова
Лилия Громова
1 октября отправила на проверку первое задание, до сих пор не проверено, по этой причине не могу пройти последующие тесты.
Светлана Носкова
Светлана Носкова