Category Archives: Ideas

Idiom of the Day: Full of the joys of spring

Idiom of the Day: Full of the joys of spring

Idiom of the Day: To be full of the joys of spring

Literal meaning:

To be unexpectedly happy.

Example:

‘You’re full of the joys of spring. What happened?’

When to use it:

Two work colleagues meet; one of them is unusually cheerful.

  • Hi Jack. You’re full of the joys of spring.
  • Oh – my granddaughter was born last night.
  • Oh, great! Wow – congratulations!

Other use:

It could also be used sarcastically, e.g. you get home from work to find your partner moaning about your credit card bill:

  • I thought you told me you were going to get rid of this card!
  • You’re full of the joys of spring!
  • I’m serious. We can’t go on like this any more, Brian.

Image: https://pixabay.com

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

Discuss the following questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is laughter? Can you spell it? Can you pronounce it? How do you write laughter in your language, e.g. ‘ha ha!’ in English, but ‘Jajajajaja!’ in Spanish?
  2. When did you last laugh? Who or what made you laugh? How often do you laugh? What would I need to do to make you laugh right now?
  3. Do you like laughing? What is the difference between laughing and smiling?
  4. How do we laugh? What happens to our bodies, especially: a) mouth, b) eyes, c) chest, d) diaphragm, e) heart, f) breath? What does laughter: a) sound like, b) look like, c) feel like?
  5. Where do you usually laugh? Why? What effect does the environment have on the potential for laughter?
  6. What effect would laughter have on the atmosphere: a) at a party, b) at a business meeting, c) in church, d) at a comedy club, e) at a funeral, f) in an exam, g) at a family dinner, h) at the doctor’s?
  7. Are you self-conscious about laughing in front of: a) friends, b) family, c) strangers? Why?
  8. Is it easier to laugh in a big group e.g. at a comedy club or at the theatre? Would you laugh as much if you were the only person in the audience? If no, why not?
  9. Is laughter ever wrong? When is laughter inappropriate? Can it be illegal to laugh?
  10. How would you feel if you couldn’t stop laughing and laughed all the time? What would life be like? Is it possible to die laughing?
  11. What is the point of laughter? Is there any evolutionary advantage? Does laughter send out useful signals, e.g. that the one laughing is not a threat? Do animals laugh? Do animals find things funny? If not, why not?
  12. Can robots laugh? Do you think machines will be able to enjoy our sense of humour in the future?
  13. Have you ever laughed till you cried? Have you ever laughed until you couldn’t breathe and thought you might black out, i.e. uncontrollable laughter? What were you laughing at? Do you like that sensation? Why? / Why not?
  14. Can laughter be subversive? Can it be used as a weapon? In what situation(s)? Does satire make you laugh?
  15. Do you prefer to laugh on your own or with friends? Do you laugh at the same things as your friends and family? Do you believe that laughter is infectious? Why? / Why not? Does the Laughing Policeman song (above) make you laugh?
  16. Is there anything that you wouldn’t laugh at? What? Is it possible to laugh when you don’t really find something funny?
  17. Do you know anybody who doesn’t laugh very often – or who never laughs? Why is that?
  18. Are you good at making people laugh? What are the best ways to make other people laugh? How do you feel when a group of people are laughing: a) because of you, b) at you? What is the difference?
  19. What are the benefits of laughter? Is laughter ‘the best medicine’, for example?
  20. How would you describe your laugh? Are you a loud, moderate, or quiet laugher? How did you learn to laugh?
  21. Describe the difference(s) between these different kinds of laughter: a) chuckle, b) giggle, c) cackle, d) guffaw, e) snigger, f) sneer, g) chortle, h) hoot, i) titter, j) snicker, k) roar, l) snort, m) howl, n) fall about laughing? Do you laugh in all these different ways? In what situations would you laugh like that? Can you give an example of each kind of laughter now?
  22. Do you know the meaning of the following idioms about laughter? a) to have a laugh, b) to have the last laugh, c) to get the giggles, d) laughter is the best medicine, e) to be laugh-a-minute, f) he who laughs last laughs longest, g) to laugh your head off, h) to burst out laughing?
  23. Do adults laugh at different things to children? Do women laugh at different things to men? If so, why?
  24. Do you agree that ‘the couple who laugh together, stay together? Is it important for married couples to have the same sense of humour? Why? / Why not?
  25. Do optimistic people laugh more than pessimistic people? If yes, why?
  26. Is it possible to change your mood from angry to happy by forcing yourself to laugh, thus releasing the feel-good chemicals endorphins in the brain?
  27. Do you make funny noises when you laugh? Do you ever say something immediately after laughing, like ‘Oh no!’ or ‘Oh dear?’ If yes, why?
  28. How would you feel if you were walking down the street and heard the following people laugh? a) a baby, b) a group of women, c) a group of teenage boys, d) a lone man, e) a lone woman, f) a lone child? Why? What would be the difference?
  29. Do the things you laugh at change as you get older, or remain broadly the same? Why?
  30. Do you agree with this quotation from the famous poem ‘Solitude’ by Ella Wheeler: ‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone’? What does it mean?
Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

 


Find 20 words about Brexit with our amazing Brexit word search!


Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

1. Brexiter (Brexiteer) vs. Remainer (Remoaner)
Brexiteer = the boldest of the three musketeers, who loved breaking things asunder. (Not to be confused with brexitear = a tear shed by Remain voters as they contemplate Brexit Britain.) Remoaner = one who wishes to run a contest again and again until they win.

2. no deal is better than a bad deal
The original name for the popular Noel Edmonds-hosted quiz show on Channel 4.

3. leave on WTO rules
A way of doing something without thinking about the consequences, e.g. ‘Shall we pay for our meal now?’ ‘Nah. Let’s leave on WTO rules.’

4. crash out
To sleep after energetic activity, e.g. after a hard day on a Remain march or painting faces with the EU flag – or both.

5. People’s Vote
Non-technical, easy-to-understand name for a referendum.

6. kicking the can down the road
A fun activity for kids after Brexit.

7. Brexit means Brexit
A very clear way of explaining what something means, e.g. book means BOOK, grandma means GRANDMA, etc.

8. the will of the people
A document stating what should happen to the people’s assets in the event that Brexit causes mass death (see Project Fear, below).

9. Project Fear
A way of making the German word for four (vier) appear on a wall by means of light passing through a thing.

10. transition period
The greatest ever album by Gerry Rafferty.

11. Northern Irish backstop
A delightful folk trio from Ballymena; their first album was called ‘Blame it on the Backstop’; their second was ‘Don’t Blame it on the Backstop’, and their third will be titled: ‘Don’t Mention the Backstop’.

12. Withdrawal Agreement
A verbal agreement in which both parties agree to be very careful and avoid having children.

13. cliff edge
A prominent leave supporter, Cliff lives alone with his mother in Ramsgate, Kent. Motto: ‘Hey ho! WTO – let’s go!’

14. Brexit fatigue
The unfortunate condition of not having heard enough about Brexit for the past three years.

15. hard border
A tough guy who lives in a boarding house.

16. divorce bill
A situation where you take all of your money and either burn it or give it to a firm of lawyers – your choice.

17. extend Article 50
What happens when you make Article 50 longer, e.g. Aaaaaaarrrrrtttttiiiiiiccccccllllllleeeeeeee5555555555000000000000000000.

18. no deal – no problem
What you say when the bank turns you down for a loan, but you want to look nonchalant then walk away whistling to yourself.

19. soft / hard Brexit
What would happen if Brexit were pillows: soft Brexit = very comfortable and nice, but maybe too squishy; hard Brexit = something is awry here; it feels like there is a rock in it, but it’s good for your back – and your morale.

20. BRINO
An extremely rare kind of Brexit Rhino, with union jack (flag) colouring and a dainty unicorn horn instead of a big rhino one.

21. future relationship
Unfortunately there isn’t any space to discuss thi…


Oops. Sorry, there was a slight error there. Gremlins in the works. Er… Right.

Below are the actual definitions. Match each definition to a Brexit term, above.


Brexit Terms Explained At Last!

a) A 21-month period after leaving the EU on 29th March 2019 when the UK remains in the EU while a trade deal is (hopefully) drawn up.

b) Leave the EU without a deal. (Remainer term)

c) The official deal for leaving the EU, drawn up by the UK Government and the EU.

d) It would be preferable to leave the EU without an agreement, if that agreement was unsuitable.

e) Leaving the EU means a complete break with the EU.

f) Acronym for ‘Brexit in name only’. The Brexiter fear that a deal will make it look as though we have left the EU, when we haven’t. (Brexiter term)

g) A second referendum on leaving the EU. (Remainer term)

h) A payment of €39 billion to be made to the EU by the UK, covering money promised for projects and membership of the EU to the end of the transition period.

i) Putting off making a decision until a future date, as the deadline approaches.

j) The idea that there are varying ‘shades’ of Brexit, from virtually remaining in the EU (soft Brexit) to leaving without a deal (hard Brexit).

k) The fear that leaving the UK without a plan will lead to the end of life in the UK as we know it – a bit like recklessly jumping off a great precipice.

l) The decision to leave the EU, which was made by the majority of voters in the June 23rd 2016 referendum.

m) The idea that Article 50 could be extended by several months or years after the legal deadline of 29th March 2019.

n) A deliberate campaign organised by certain Remainers intended to spread fear and panic regarding the implications of leaving the EU. (Brexiter term)

o) Rely on default trading rules from the World Trade Organisation, rather than having a deal with the EU.

p) A guarantee agreed by the UK and the EU that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, no matter what the UK’s future relationship with the EU may be.

q) The feeling of being sick and tired of hearing about Brexit.

r) Leave supporter (positive nickname) vs. Remain supporter (negative nickname).

s) The idea that leaving the EU without a deal would be unproblematic. (Brexiter term)

t) A border between Northern Ireland and Ireland that requires a passport, ID, or customs form to cross.

Answers:

1. r)
2. d)
3. o)
4. b)
5. g)
6. i)
7. e)
8. l)
9. n)
10. a)
11. p)
12. c)
13. k)
14. q)
15. t)
16. h)
17. m)
18. s)
19. j)
20. f)


Images: https://pixabay.com

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words - ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

This is a fun ESOL game inspired by the recent Twitter hashtag: #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words

Method:

  1. SS (students) work in pairs or small groups. They access the hashtag on Twitter and select ten (or more, or fewer) tweets. T (teacher) monitors and helps.
  2. They write the four-word phrases onto a sheet of paper, then delete one of the words from each phrase. SS could focus on deleting words from a particular word class, e.g. verbs, adjectives, or prepositions, etc.
  3. Next, SS exchange their paper with another pair or group, who have to complete each gap with one word only – or more than one word, if you want the game to be easier. Then both pairs of groups come together and compare their answers with the original tweets.
  4. Twist: SS have to suggest more than one word that could possibly fit, e.g. five words – the funnier the better!
  5. The whole class come together and different groups present their work to the class.
  6. Final quick-fire round #1: T (or a student) collects all of the four-word phrases and reads them to SS going round the whole class in a circle. The reader omits the final word and the student has to say the first thing that comes to mind, e.g. “I would buy…” “Sausages.” / “Bread.” / “A pizza.” – and so on. You could make it competitive by putting a five-second timer on each student – if they can’t think of anything, they sit out, and the game continues until there is one student as the winner!
  7. Final quick-fire round #2: T (or SS) collect a number of four-word phrases from the hashtag on Twitter. Play the quick-fire round, as above, but this time SS must come up with the real final word from the tweets. You could play it competitively too, as above.

By the way, don’t forget to follow Purland Training on Twitter! [Click here.] and let us know how it goes!


Example (with tweets below):

Education gives children __________.    e.g. headaches

Pledge to go __________!    e.g. green

Learn to love __________.    e.g. homework

__________, then laugh more.    e.g. eat

Laugh whenever it’s __________.    e.g. raining

Think about others __________.    e.g. sometimes

Go to bed __________.    e.g. late

Watch the Penguin __________.    e.g. film

A Weekend In __________.    e.g. Grimsby

Read more, sing __________!    e.g. less


#Education gives #children choices #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words pic.twitter.com/yOYzPDNfAR


Title image: https://pixabay.com

Valentine’s Day Action Game

Valentine’s Day Action Game

Idiom of the day – They’re a match made in heaven


Valentine’s Day Action Game

Celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day in the classroom with our fun action game for English students!

Why not follow us on Facebook and let us know how it goes? 

How to do it:

  1. Clear a big empty space in the middle of the classroom.
  2. All SS (students) stand in the space.
  3. Designate three corners of the space: TRUE, FALSE, UNKNOWN. UNKNOWN means that we do not know the answer: it could be true or false, e.g. “Saint Valentine was terrible at maths”.
  4. T (teacher) or a student reads out a statement from the list below. SS run to the corner which represents their chosen answer: TRUE, FALSE, or UNKNOWN.
  5. The person reading gives the answer. If SS are correct, they go back to the middle. If they are wrong they have to sit down.
  6. The game continues, with the group in the middle getting smaller,  until there is a winner, or you run out of questions, in which case all the remaining SS are winners.
  7. If there is a winner after, say, a handful of statements, you could start a new game with the remaining statements.

TIP: you could give a sweet Valentine’s Day treat to the winning student(s)!

  1. Saint Valentine lived in Rome under Emperor Claudius, who banned young people from getting married.
  2. He had green eyes.
  3. In general, teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards.
  4. He was killed on 18th February 269.
  5. He had black curly hair.
  6. He is celebrated on 14th February every year.
  7. He always had three eggs for breakfast.
  8. Every year, more than 1 million heart shaped boxes of chocolates are sold in the USA alone.
  9. He lived in the fourth century AD.
  10. He enjoyed classical music.
  11. There are fourteen churches in England dedicated to him.
  12. He is the Patron Saint of happy marriages – and also beekeepers.
  13. His favourite colour was red.
  14. He tried to stop Christian couples getting married in secret.
  15. He had a housekeeper called Martha.
  16. He helped persecuted Christians in Rome.
  17. He performed a miracle when his judge’s foster-daughter was healed of blindness.
  18. More than 9 million people buy a special gift for their pet to show them they are loved on Valentine’s Day.
  19. February 14th was officially named as St Valentine’s Day in 1537 by Queen Elizabeth I.
  20. Valentine’s Day is a special day dedicated to getting married.
Valentine’s Day Action Game - I Love You

Valentine’s Day is the day when you can show your true feelings to the one you love.

Answers:

  1. True.
  2. Unknown.
  3. True.
  4. False. He was killed on 14th February 269.
  5. Unknown.
  6. True.
  7. Unknown.
  8. False. It is more than 36 million boxes.
  9. False. He lived in the third century AD.
  10. Unknown.
  11. False. There are no churches in England dedicated to him.
  12. True.
  13. Unknown.
  14. False. He helped Christian couples to get married in secret.
  15. Unknown.
  16. True.
  17. True.
  18. True.
  19. False. It was officially named by King Henry VIII.
  20. False. It is a special day dedicated to love and romance.

Further reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine
http://www1.cbn.com/st-valentine-real-story
https://www.1800flowers.com/blog/flower-facts/valentines-day-fun-facts-2017/
https://www.womansday.com/relationships/a4702/10-fun-valentines-day-facts-103385/
https://www.idealhome.co.uk/news/valentines-day-facts-194345

Images: https://pixabay.com

200 Top English Idioms

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

200 Top English Idioms

Here are 200 of the most common everyday English idioms that native speakers use all the time. Check how many you already know, then make a conscious effort to learn the rest.

If you only ever learn 200 English idioms, learn these!

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

Title image: https://pixabay.com

Talking about... Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Get your students speaking together and enable them to learn 40 new helpful vocabulary words about Christmas with this great FREE printable worksheet.

You could use this worksheet with any of the activities on this page.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/discussion-words-christmas-.pdf

Talking about… Christmas in an ESOL Vocabulary Class

Image: https://pixabay.com

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

Join Siobhan Thompson from Anglophenia for a FREE video lesson, as she gives us an hilarious tour of the accents of the British Isles – and the celebrities who use them!

Her accents include:

  • Received Pronunciation / RP (BBC English)
  • West Country
  • Southern Welsh
  • West Midlands
  • Lancashire
  • Geordie

…and many more!