Saturday, September 29, 2012

Song exercise - Don't you want me - Human League - prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs

This exercise originally appeared in a post about prepositions, conjunctions and adverbs. I thought I would make it more 'visible' by giving it its own post. If you want to work on recognising the differences between these word classes, the original post is here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vocab quiz - sounds and the human voice

A multiple choice quiz to test your knowledge of the vocabulary of sounds. Click on an option number to select your choice.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Web tools - IPA code generator

Using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols

Probably the ideal way of using IPA symbols on a web page is to use images. But that can be a hassle. On Blogger, you would have to upload something like forty images.
For me, at least, the use of special HTML character codes is an acceptable and much more convenient alternative. The only symbol missing is the long vowel sign, but a colon does almost as well. Here's what it looks like:
The only problem is that you have to look up the codes and enter them individually. I can't be bothered with all that, so I devised this keyboard to speed up the process. First type in your symbols, optionally using the apostrophe to show stress. You can also bracket letters which only some people pronounce. There are two keyboards, one by sound type and a sort of (Q)werty one - use the 'Switch keyboard' button to toggle between them.

Pronunciation game using IPA symbols

Practise using IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols with these quizzes. You have a choice of keyboards: one laid out by letter type, the other a sort of (Q)werty board. Try individual sounds or whole words.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vocab game - Food collocations (mainly British) quiz

This game has twelve quizzes related to the food we eat in Britain.
Most natives of Britain will recognise these easily, but I have to confess it will be difficult for foreign learners. There are some links at the bottom where you can get some information, perhaps before you start. The first three are aimed at learners and will give you some idea of some of the more traditional dishes. The award-winning Woodlands Junior School website is always a good place to start when looking for information about British customs.
The section on foreign origins has some Indian dishes. After the links there is a video clip parodying British drunken visits to Indian restaurants. In fact if you watch it before doing the quiz, it will help you with a couple of questions.
The quizzes mostly consist of collocations, words that often go together, but the UK / US one is about different British and American names for the same things.
  • Simply does it - homely food
  • Various meat dishes
  • Mainly condiments
  • Puddings (desserts)
  • Baking
  • Origins - dishes etc with place names
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Foreign origins - but now totally familiar
  • Breakfast
  • Christmas
  • UK / US
  • Bits and bobs

Friday, September 14, 2012

Teacher tools - WordChanger

This is a simple program which changes words in a list in various ways. It can:

  • Remove all vowels
  • Remove all consonants except y
  • Remove every second letter from each word
  • Make anagrams
  • Show the first letter of each word and jumble up the rest
  • Show the first letter of each word and spaces for the rest
  • Show the shapes of the letters - good for children and beginners
The treated words can be shown with definitions or on their own. You can use this program to generate an exercise, or simply to treat words to be used in a Word document etc.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Non-defining relative clauses, sentential relative clauses and connective relative clauses

This post looks at non-defining relative clauses, also known as non-restrictive relative clauses, and a couple of very similar structures: sentential relative clauses and connective or coordinate relative clauses.
As these are very similar in construction, they are usually all treated as non-defining relative clauses in EFL/ESL. So for most foreign learners it won't be necessary to learn or remember the terms sentential and connective. But judging by comments in ESL forums, there are some students who are taught these terms, so hopefully this post will be able to clarify things a bit.
This post mainly consists of exercises, and we'll start by looking at the differences between defining and non-defining relative clauses.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Quick quiz - tools and equipment

Sort out these words for tools and equipment found in various everyday activities.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quick quiz - transport

Sort out some words connected with various forms of transport.

Negative prefixes with adjectives - quiz

We often use prefixes to give adjectives a negative meaning:
  • un-  The most common, can appear before any letter
  • in-   The next most common, appears mainly before the letters a,c,d,e,f,h,o,s,v
  • il-     Appears before some, but not all, adjectives beginning with l
  • im-  Appears before some, but not all, adjectives beginning with m, p
  • ir-    Appears before some, but not all, adjectives beginning with r
  • dis- Appears before certain adjectives
Unfortunately there are no exact rules as to when each one is used, you just have to learn which one is used with each adjective. This exercise should help you.

Vocab game Animal trivia quizzes

The game has eight quizzes related to animals:
  • Types of animal - match the animal to its group
  • Like with like - match two of the same type
  • Males and females
  • Groups - match the animal with its group name
  • Homes - what the animal lives in
  • Parts - match special parts of the body with an animal
  • Young - what we call their young
  • Habitats - what sort of landscape they live in