Ranting & raving – pros and cons of getting married – Level 1 & Level 2

Class objectives

  1. Ranting and raving for one minute without stopping.
  2. Ranting about marriage for 3 minutes
  3. Marriage vocabulary & idioms knowledge check
  4. Cost Benefit Analysis of marriage issues
  5. Reading & ordering a Pros & Cons essay
  6. Using linking words to connect contrasting ideas in essays: despite & whereas
  7. Writing a Pros & Cons essay (homework)

Marriage statistics & differences around the world

World Marriage Data 

Do married women live longer than single women?
Indeed, statistically speaking, men get a much better deal out of marriage than their wives—married men tend to live many years longer than single men, whereas married women live only a little bit longer than single women.
Do men live longer if they are married?
Men who have marital partners also live longer than men without spouses; men who marry after age 25 get more protection than those who tie the knot at a younger age, and the longer a man stays married, the greater his survival advantage over his unmarried peers.

Marriage discussion questions

Do a cost benefits analysis of:

  1. Age difference
  2. Getting married multiple times
  3. Age of marriage
  4. Arranged marriage
  5. Blind date
  6. Love at first sight
  7. having 4 wives or husbands (polygamy)/monogamy (single partner)
  8. Marriage vows
  9. Welfare & financial benefits of marriage
  10. Being common-law partners

Dating & Marriage vocabulary

Using contrasting linking words quizzes & explanations:


We use the conjunction whereas to indicate a contrast between two facts or ideas:

He loves foreign holidays, whereas his wife prefers to stay at home.

Whereas most new PCs have several USB slots, older ones often only had one.


Whereas means the same as while in sentences expressing contrasts. It does not mean the same as while when while refers to time:

The south has a hot, dry climate, whereas/while the north has a milder, wetter climate.

The secretary took care of my appointments while I was away from the office.

Not: … whereas I was away from the office.

In spite of and despite

In spite of and despite are prepositional expressions.

In spite of and despite have a similar meaning to although or even though. They express a contrast between two things. They are both more common in writing than in speaking. Despite is a little more formal than in spite of.

We usually use in spite of and despite with a noun:

He got the job in spite of his prison record.

[recession is a time when the economy of a country is not good]

John’s company is doing extremely well despite the recession.

We can also use in spite of and despite with –ing:

He was very fast in spite of being terribly overweight.

They arrived late despite leaving in plenty of time.


We don’t use a that-clause after in spite of or despite. We use in spite of the fact that or despite the fact that:

When they arrived at Malaga it was hot, in spite of the fact that it was only the end of April.

Not: … in spite of that it was only the end of April

In spite of is written as three separate words. We never use of with despite:

They enjoyed the rides in spite of the long queues. (or … despite the long queues.)

Not: … inspite the long queues or … despite of the long queues.


Today’s words:

rant verb [ I ]

He’s always ranting (on) about the government.
I get fed up with my mother ranting and raving (about my clothes) all the time.
tying the knot – idiom
Image result for marriage ball and chain idiom
Ball and chain – old fashioned & sexist idiom:
Image result for marriage ball and chain idiom
cost benefit analysis – used especially in business
Image result for cost benefit analysis

pro noun [ C ] (ADVANTAGE)

B2 an advantage to or a reason for doing something:

One of the big pros of living in Madrid is the nightlife.


[ C usually plural ] informala disadvantage or areason for not doing something:

One of the cons of buying a bigger car is that it costs more to run.
You have to weigh up all the pros and cons of the matter before you make a decision.

Level 1 & 2 – Last minute Reading exam revision crib sheet

Here are a bunch of question types that have turned up on the C&G Reading exam paper. The sort of questions you can expect to see in the exam.

  1. What is the meaning of the word flubalub… ? Use. See – using context clues – https://macmillanmh.com/ccssreading/treasures/grade6/ccslh_g6_lv_8_3b.html

In the context of the text what does flubalub… mean in the text? – use the dictionary BUT DON’T JUST READ THE 1ST MEANING – words mean different things. The examining board are trying to test you (obviously!)

  1. What is the purpose of the document? See – http://moveon-stage.excellencegateway.org.uk/ilr_php/hottopics/te/l1/indexfs.html?url=http://moveon-stage.excellencegateway.org.uk/ilr_php/hottopics/te/l1/intro/body01.htm
  2. What is the key theme/focus of the last paragraph? The key point of the paragraph is … ‘The writer highlights the impact of … : See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z398d2p/revision
  3. Which textual features are used in this text? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/reading/questionsrev2.shtml
  4. What is an appropriate heading for the 3rd paragraph? What is an appropriate title for the text? See – http://www.ieltsbuddy.com/paragraph-headings.html

In order to do this type of task well you must understand the gist, or main ideas, of each paragraph. These tips will help you do this task well.

  • First read all of the headings.
  • Then read the paragraphs carefully and match the ones you are sure about.
  • If you are not sure about one, leave it and move on to the next one. You may be able to match up ones you are not sure about by elimination at the end.
  • Be careful with extra options, e.g. six headings to match with four paragraphs. There will be two headings you don’t need.
  1. The final paragraph has been written in 1st, 2nd, 3rd singular/plural? See – http://study.com/academy/lesson/point-of-view-first-second-third-person.html#lesson
  2. The register/tone of the text is? / The language in the text is (Formal, polite, facetious, technical) See – https://writerswrite.co.za/155-words-to-describe-an-authors-tone/
  3. What is the perspective of the author? See – https://www.thatquiz.org/tq/practicetest?4y393q0w5n5i & http://www.mpsaz.org/rmre/grades/grade5/homework_help/files/authors_purpose_and_perspective2.pdf
  4. What layout features have been used? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/dida/using_ict/presenting_informationrev3.shtml
  5. What discourse markers are used in this text? See – http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/discourse-markers/discourse-markers-so-right-okay
  6. Why is there a paragraph break between 3 and 4? See – http://www.saidsimple.com/content/100835/
  7. What is the target audience for the text? See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/writing/genreaudiencerev4.shtml
  8. Text type – see – http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z97mxnb/revision
  9. The content of the text is: biased, factual, fictional, first hand, detached. See – Objective information does not vary, whereas subjective information can vary greatly from person to person or day to day. Subjectivity can actually be wrong, or far from the truth, whereas objectivity means being as close to the truth as possible.12 Jun 2014

Objective vs Subjective Writing: Understanding the Difference


Search for: What does it mean to be objective

  1. Inverted commas/speechmarks, commas, apostrophes. See – http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/english/spelling_grammar/punctuation/read/1/ & http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zqsyvcw/revision/4
  2. Colons & semi-colons   http://www.colonsemicolon.com/
  3. What does you/it/he refer to? See – https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/pronouns
Purpose of text questions:













give instructions/advice

offer help/advice

to show how/why


Type of text questions:

Letter (formal/informal)

Leaflet (information or advertisement)


Set of instructions

Email (formal/informal)



Text message

Article (any published text)




Sign (danger/road/shop/school etc… can be an image too!)



Guide (travel, tourist, grammar…)

Reference book (dictionary, atlas, thesaurus)

Questions about images:


Sign (can also be a type of text)







Language questions:










Features of text:

Bullet points                 Block capitals

Images (see above)     Internet links/web icon

Text box                        Bold text

Columns                       Italics

Headings                     Subheadings

Numbers                     Captions

Compare & Contrast – Things we find difficult – part 3

The difference between the verbs ‘to compare’ and ‘to contrast’ seems to have caused some heated debate. Probably more than it should. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the perenial potato debate. Which do you prefer? Sweet potatoes or old fashioned regular potatoes? Or how about yams? Surely a discussion about potatoes couldn’t cause so much argument, could it?

Let’s look at the meaning of ‘to contrast’ first because it’s easier to understand:

contrast verb

C2 [ T ]to compare two people or things in order to show thedifferences between them:

If you contrast some of her early writing with her later work, you can see just how much she improved.


C2 [ I ]If one thing contrasts with another, it is very different from it:

The styles of the two film makers contrast quite dramatically.
The tartness of the lemons contrasts with the sweetness of the honey.
So the potatoes are rounder, and obviously, the sweet potatoes are ummm sweeter. I’m not doing very well here….
Cleveland Health Clinic explain that, “Sweet potatoes provide 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fibre and fewer total carbs than white potatoes, despite more sugar. But don’t forget white potatoes — they’re more versatile in cooking and less expensive.
So that’s the contrast sorted. Fine. We’re happy with that. One is usually white the other is usually orange. Contrast! Easy… So, to compare:

compare verb [ T ] (EXAMINE DIFFERENCES)

B1 to examine or look for the difference between two or more things:

If you compare house prices in the two areas, it’s quite amazing how different they are.
That seems expensive – have you compared prices in other shops?
Compare some recent work with your older stuff and you’ll see how much you’ve improved.
This road is quite busy compared to/with ours
But – we also use ‘to compare’ – to talk about similarities and to decide which thing is better. We can make chips out of potatoes and sweet potatoes; the taste is different but overall I prefer regular potatoes:

compare verb [ T ] (CONSIDER SIMILARITIES)

to judge, suggest, or consider that something is similar or of equal quality to something else:

The poet compares his lover’s tongue to a razor blade.
Still only 25, she has been compared to the greatest dancer of all time.
People compared her to Elizabeth Taylor.
You can’t compare the two cities – they’re totally different.

does not compare


If something or someone does not compare with something or someone else, the second thing is very much better than the first:

Instant coffee just doesn’t compare with freshly ground coffee.

compare favourably


If something compares favourably with something else, it is better than it:

The hotel certainly compared favourably with the one we stayed in last year.

Things we find difficult to understand – part 2 – collective nouns

collective noun  [ C ]

a noun that describes a group of things or people as a unit:

“Family” and “flock” are examples of collective nouns.
Collective nouns are often very peculiar and very particular. You don’t need to know them all (most people don’t), but they are fun to know and make for excellent conversation starters if you’re a language geek!

A) Check out these lists of collective nouns on buzzle.com  then try the online tests:

B) Collective nouns – online tests:

Collective nouns, English skills online, interactive activity lessons

Abstract nouns. Collective nouns. Apostrophes – possession (Common and proper nouns). L.1.1.c – Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic …

Subject-verb agreement with collective nouns – Quizzes – Language …

Does a singular collective noun take a singular or plural verb? Well, it depends. If the collective noun refers to the group as a unit, then it takes a singular verb.

Collective Noun Quiz – ProProfs Quiz

This quiz was created for beginner ESL learners studying collective nouns.

Quiz: Collective Nouns – CliffsNotes

Choose the TRUE statement. Collective nouns are always singular.Collective nouns may function as verbs. Collective nouns may be singular or plural. Previous.

collective nouns 1 – Englishleap.com

COLLECTIVE NOUNS EXERCISE 1. CHOOSE THE CORRECT OPTION: … Related Exercises. Auxiliary Verbs Exercise – 1 · Collective Nouns Exercise – 2.

Things we find difficult to understand – part 1 – Subject-Verb agreement in sentences

A) Check out these PowerPoint links for a full explanation of the many difficulties with Subject-Verb agreement. If this is easy, then you’re doing pretty well, my friend:

[PPT]Subject – Verb Agreement PPT – Grammar Bytes!

SubjectVerb Agreement. Do I need an s at the end of the verb? Or should I leave the s off? This presentation covers maintaining agreement between subjects …

[PPT]Subject and Verb Agreement

SubjectVerb Agreement. A Project LA Activity. Basic Rule. Singular subjects need singular verbs. Plural subjects need plural verbs. These create problems:.

B) Advanced level videos:

Subject verb agreement BBC English explanation parts 1, 2 & 3. Listen with subtitles and watch more than once if that helps:

subscribe for more excellent and complex language advice:

bbclearningenglish bbclearningenglish

C) Now try some Subject-Verb agreement online exercises:


After each sentence select the verb form that will best fit in the blank. The explanation will describe the process of arriving at the correct choice for that sentence.

Subject Verb Agreement Quiz

Read the sentences to decide whether the verbs should be singular or plural. Then click the drop-down menu. answer. to see the answer.

ESL Quiz – Subject-Verb Agreement (Difficult) (Keith S. Folse) I-TESL-J

ESL Quiz – SubjectVerb Agreement (Difficult) (Keith S. Folse) I-TESL-J … This quiz is part of Interactive JavaScript Quizzes for ESL Students. Quiz Data …
Subjectverb agreement is one of the first things you learn in English class: “My friend is Japanese.” (singular). “My friends are Japanese.” (plural). In this English …

Advanced Grammar | Subject / Verb Agreement Exercise | esl-lounge …

Subject / Verb Agreement Exercise. Look at each sentence and think about subject/verb agreement. Which is the correct answer?

Subject-Verb Agreement: Advanced – Quizzes – Language Portal of …

An advanced English-language quiz on subjectverb agreement.
Whether you’re a native speaker of English or an advanced ESL student, these … topic: SUBJECT/VERB AGREEMENT IN ENGLISH 1 | level:Advanced Choose …

The Holstee Manifesto -make your own version.

After reading about the German woman who lives without money now it’s time for you to be a lifestyle guru and write your own manifesto for life:

This is your life ………
If you don’t like something……….
If you don’t like your job……….
If you don’t have enough time, ………..
If you are looking for the love of your life……….
Stop over-analysing, ………..
All emotions are ………..
When you eat, ………..
Life is simple.
Open your heart, mind and arms to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see ……….
Travel often; ………..
Some opportunities only come once, ……….
Life is about……….            so go out and start creating.
Life is short, ……….    your dream and ………. your passion.”

Learning to see the other side of the story & describing a process

Class Objectives: 

  1. Seeing the other side of the story – quickly creating pros & cons for new topics

  2. Sequencing words – knowledge review (relates to exam Task 4)

  3. Following a process – folding paper (exam Task 2)

  4. Describing a game show to a partner (exam Task 2)

  5. Listening to a description of a game show (every single task!)

Trinity Level 2 Speaking & Listening exam:

◗◗ Task 4 — Three candidates discuss topics based on an issue of national or global importance.
◗◗ Task 2 — Candidate listens to the examiner describe a complex process during which the candidate asks questions and makes appropriate comments to demonstrate understanding.

  1. It can be difficult to understand opinions other than your own but it’s a valuable skill. If you can see the other side of the argument you can predict what people are going to say and it’s easier to argue against their opinion. Also, it’s mature and sensible to see both sides of an argument and ABSOLUTELY necessary if you’re giving a presentation or writing a university or IELTS essay. LIST 3 ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR AND 3 TO REBUT THE IDEA.

    rebut verb [ T ]

    UK formal

    She has rebutted charges that she has been involved in any financial malpractice.

    Image result for in seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story

  2. Confidence check. How good are you at following instructions? Green is very confident, amber is unsure, and red is less confident. It doesn’t matter which you choose, it will depend on the task and your past experience. Pair up with someone with the opposite level of self-confidence for this task. Choose someone you don’t normally work with. Don’t worry it’s not rocket science!

3. List all the sequencing words and conjunctions you can think of. Can they be grouped according to function? You will need these words during the next task.

4. Game shows. How much do you know about game shows? What British and American game shows can you name?

Do you know Deal or No Deal? What are the rules? What happens? Hands up if you know the game. Explain it to your partner. Try to use sequencing words and conjunctions. The person listening should ask questions and make appropriate comments to demonstrate understanding.

.Let’s watch to see how accurate your description was:

How about this quiz? What do you think happens in this show?

Now you are going to watch a game show and explain how it works to your partner (without listening to the sound). Watch it once or twice then explain the rules and the explain what happens using sequencing words. Your partner should listen and ask questions and make appropriate comments to demonstrate understanding.

Game show 1

Game show 2

Now we are going to see if you can work in a group of 3 and create your own idea for a game show so that we can all make a million pounds when we sell it to the BBC. I will give you a list of objects to use. This will test your sequencing words skills, presentation skills and your ability to understand, explain and question processes. Good luck.

Seeing the other side + the flip side is … – student ideas:

It’s better to be good looking than intelligent.

Good looking

  1. Better chance to get a partner, but an intelligent person might be more charming.
  2. Appearance is important in society because people accept you more easily but your mind, but personality is the most important thing.


  1. Jobs look for intelligence, but you need a good appearance in job interviews.

Should some illegal drugs be made legal?


  1. It’s being sold on the Black Market. It’s available from criminals. If it’s allowed freely criminals won’t have access to it and it’ll fight crime. But if drugs are legal there will be more crimes because when they use drugs people lose control.
  2. If it was legal young people would be able to have the drugs, but young people will become dependent on the drugs and this could cause problems.
  3. If they were legal we could tax them, but there is a MORAL ARGUMENT. IS IT MORALLY WRONG to let people have drugs?
  4. Forbidden things increase the demand.

Is it time to escape the rat race? Level 2 – 17th November 2016


  1. 2nd Conditional warmers – could & would

  2. How can we be happier?

  3. Will money make you happier? What is work/life balance?

  4. What could you live without?

  5. Find out definitions for these words: freeganism, forage & road kill.

  6. Read about a life without money.

  7. Work in groups to come up with ideas to make life happier.

The 2nd Conditional explained

The Happiness Formula

Complete these sentences and be ready to explain why you are saying this

a) Happiness is …….

b) Money can’t make you happy …

What is the Rat Race? Is it possible to escape it?

consumerism noun [ U ]

politics the state of an advanced industrial society in which a lot of goods are bought and sold

disapproving the situation in which too much attention is given to buying and owning things:

He disliked Christmas and its rampant (= extreme) consumerism.
Black Friday is coming soon – this was the scene in London 2 years ago:

Are these statements true or false:

  1. People are wealthier and happier than 50 years ago.

  2. Consumerism hasn’t made people happy.

  3. Scientists think we should change our way of life

Watch the video and think about these questions:

A) Why hasn’t consumerism (the work+buy ethic) made people happy?

B) How should we change our way of life?

Life without money

Could you live without money? Think of 3 advantages of a life without money.


Look up these three words on your phone: 1. Road kill (noun) 2. to forage (verb) 3. freegan & freeganism

road kill noun [ U ]

animals that are killed on roadsby cars or other vehicles:

On average, two crocodiles a yearend up as road kill on Florida’s Highway 1.

forage verb [ I ]

to go from place to placesearching, especially for food:

The children had been living on the streets, foraging for scraps.
The pigs foraged in the woods for acorns.
Image result for freegan

freegan noun [ C ]

a person who chooses to eatfood that is not bought from a shop, especially food that other people, shops, or organizationsthrow away, so that food is not wasted

Article in The Independent about a German woman living without money

Listen to an English podcast about the German woman Heidemarie Schwermer who made a deliberate choice to live without money 14 years ago.

Present perfect revision exercises:





Today’s words:

The two words, hung vs. hanged, are both the past tense of hang but have different uses in a sentence. Hanged refers to death by hanging, whether it be suicide or execution.

the amount of respect, admiration, or importancegiven to a person, organization, or object:

high/low status
As the daughter of the president, she enjoys high status among her peers.
The leaders were often more concerned with status and privilegethan with the problems of the people.

designer label noun [ C ]


a famous company that makes expensive clothes, bags, etc. and that is a well-known brand:

Our aim is to make this one of the world’s great designer labels.

secondment noun [ C or U ]

a period of time when an employee is sent to worksomewhere else temporarily, either to increase the numberof workers there, to replace a worker, or to exchangeexperiences and skills:

secondment to/from sth My last post in the probation service was a secondment to Bristol Prison.
on secondment Next month Douglas, who has been on secondment from BT, goes back to his old job.

shadow noun (FOLLOW)

[ C ] someone who followsanother person everywhere:

“I think we have a shadow on our tail,” muttered the detective.
Ever since he was able to walk, Stephen has been his older brother’s shadow (= has followed him and copied his actions).

[ C ] uk a person who follows someone else while they are at work in order to learn about that person’s job

commuter noun [ C ]

someone who regularly travels between work and home:

The train was packed with commuters.

assumption noun (BELIEF)

C1 [ C ] something that you accept as true without questionor proof:

People tend to make assumptions about you when you have a disability.
These calculations are based on the assumption that prices will continue to rise.

I assume fish and chips is the most popular meal in Britain. No, it isn’t, that’s an incorrect assumption. The most popular meal in the UK is Chicken Tikka Masala.

diminish verb [ I or T ]

C1 to reduce or be reduced in size or importance:

I don’t want to diminish her achievements, but she did have a lot of help.
These memories will not be diminished by time.
What he did has seriously diminished him in many people’s eyes.
We’ve seen our house diminish greatly/sharply/substantially in value over the last six months.

barter verb [ I or T ]

to exchange goods for other things rather than for money:

He bartered his stamp collection forher comics.
We spent a whole hour bartering withstallholders for souvenirs.

miser noun [ C ]

 Dandelion – can be used in salads:
Image result for picking dandelions
Image result for picking nettles
Wild garlic
Image result for picking wild garlic

Writing about an heirloom & the present perfect tense – Level 2 – 7th November 2016

Adverbs of frequency exercises:






  1. Revise rules for adverbs of frequency

  2. Write about an heirloom

  3. Discuss and work in groups to explain present perfect & present perfect continuous

  4. Khalid’s presentation on Global Warming

Write an explanation for how we use the Present Perfect tense:

  1. Explain the rules, please.
  2. When do we use it?
  3. Why don’t we use past simple all the time?
  4. Can you give examples
  5. And tell us about any irregular verbs/negative/questions

explanation & games

Today’s words:

from time to time

irregularly; now and then; occasionally; sometimes; not predictably. From time to time, I like to go fishing instead of going to work. Bob visits us at our house from time to time.

telepathy noun [ U ]

the ability to know what is in someone else’s mind, or to communicate with someone mentally, without using words or other physical signals

flinch verb [ I ]

to make a sudden, smallmovement because of pain or fear:

He didn’t even flinch when the nursecleaned the wound.

thoroughly adverb (VERY MUCH)


B2 completely, very much:

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

More examples

  • All the other teachers are thoroughly disillusioned with their colleague.
  • I thoroughly approve of what the government is doing.
  • She ought to be thoroughly ashamed of herself – talking to her mother like that!

nevertheless adverb

B2 despite what has just been said or referred to:

I knew a lot about the subject already, but her talk was interesting nevertheless.

as a (general) rule

B2 usually:

As a general rule, I don’t readdetective novels.

entirely adverb

B2 completely:

I admit it was entirely my fault.
The company is run almost entirely by middle-aged men.

More examples

  • Characters in this film are entirely fictitious.
  • No working environment is entirely stress-free.

constantly adverb

B2 all the time or often:

She has the TV on constantly.
He’s constantly changing his mind.

scarcely adverb (ONLY JUST)


C2 almost not:

I was scarcely able to move my armafter the accident.
I could scarcely believe it when she said she wanted to marry me.

gradual adjective

B2 happening or changingslowly over a long period of time or distance:

There has been a gradual improvement in our sales figuresover the last two years.
As you go further south, you will notice a gradual change of climate

hardly adverb (ONLY JUST)


B1 only just; almost not:

I could hardly hear her at the back.
The party had hardly started when she left.
He hardly ate anything/He ate hardly anything.
We hardly ever (= almost never) go to concerts.

Mexican Day of the Dead – Level 1 – 2nd November 2016


  1. Mexican Day of the Dead celebration on November 2nd

  2. American vs British English quiz

  3. Should doctors deny health care treatment for smokers and the obese?

  4. Grammar – used to & would for past habits

Image result

Image result

Download  Dictionary app from Google Play Store:


Today’s words:

hip replacement:

Body Mass Index: BMI