Posts Tagged ‘Grammar’


Audience (Photo credit: thinkmedialabs)

If you’re anything like most of my English students, you’re probably constantly looking for new ways to practice your oral English and speak spontaneously.

Giving a presentation can provide that platform to practice. It can also do the following:

  •  it gives the presenting student a good opportunity to practice unaided speaking
  •  it gives the other students good listening practice
  •  it increases the presenting student’s confidence when using English
  •  it can be good practice for the real situation for those students who may actually need to give presentations in English in their professional lives
  •  it is an excellent generator of spontaneous discussion

What is a presentation, anyway?
It is a verbal report presented with illustrative material, such as slides, graphs, etc.  by one person to a group of people introducing and describing a particular subject (for example: a new product, company results or a proposed advertising campaign).

For this article we are considering the use of presentations for speaking practice.

Let’s begin exploring how to prepare an English presentation to an English language class.

1.           CHOICE OF SUBJECT

The first question that goes through any student’s head when presented with this task is ‘What will I talk about?’

If you have anything of interest that you want to share with others such as: hobbies, professional activities, past holidays etc., this can be a starting point.

Sometimes when making a presentation, a student may discover a hidden talent like performing a stand-up comedian routine, or juggling act.

Everyone has an interest or skill that is particular to them and may be of potential interest to others. After having dug a little into your mind, you can record the interests on paper as you narrow down the topic of your proposed presentation.

Only if you are at a complete loss do you need to ask for help from the teacher or a friend. But be imaginative.

2.           TIME LIMIT

It need not be a long presentation, just 5 or 10 minutes, plus questions. Practice reading the presentation with a timer to determine how long it is.

Read it in a normal tone and pace. Pause after each sentence to give yourself time to breathe and most of all relax.

In reality, it is far more difficult to prepare and give a 5-minute presentation than a 20-minute one. In addition, once underway, most students very often overrun on their time.

3.           EQUIPMENT

This will be governed by your environment. The main thing is to use support material and visual aids.

The bare minimum would be a whiteboard or flipchart. If you have an Overhead projector or data show projector so much the better.

Bring in additional materials, for example wall maps or samples or other realia like tools or objects discussed in your presentation, if allowed.

 4.           PREPARATION


No doubt, preparation is the key element of any presentation. There is no getting around this one.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. It will give you confidence on the day. You can use homework and/or classroom time for preparation. You can ask for help from the teacher to further explain what you need to speak about.

Remember that lack of preparation may lead to failure, and the last thing you want to do in front of class is to present a failure.


You may wish to read up on the principles of presentations, just to take the edge off of your nervousness.

Depending on your objective, are you giving a ‘presentation’ as an end in itself, or are you using presentations as a means to practice English? In any case, learning the value of preparation and signposting will help.

As a student, you are watching the teacher presenting all the time and probably take for granted the sheer mechanics of presentation and don’t notice the butterflies she may have before her lessons.

Learn from the presenters, and emulate them.


Remember that the objective is not to come to class, show everybody the top of your head and read a text.

The objective is speaking, admittedly prepared, but without a text.

Key words, yes! Notes, yes! But no texts, don’t read the presentation, present it.

Again, prepare your notes or keywords.

 7.           QUESTIONS

Presenters usually indicate to their audience when they will answer questions – i.e., during or after the presentation.

It may be best to encourage question-taking after rather than during the presentation.

This will give you more time for uninterrupted, unaided speech and avoid any danger of the presentation itself degenerating into a free-for-all.

A well managed Q&A session at the end of the presentation is of real value. Don’t be afraid of silence! Students need time to think of and formulate questions.

 8.           PEER FEEDBACK

Again, depending on the audience, level and culture, you may wish to invite feedback from other students on your performance.

You can give the audience a prepared feedback form, listing the points to watch out for and comment on. But be very careful, some nationalities will be unwilling to, as they see it, ‘pass judgment on’ their colleagues.

At lower levels, students may be totally deflated by such feedback. In all cases, the audience should be looking for positive points at least as much as for negative ones.

This can be a useful activity, but if in doubt, it’s probably best avoided.

The important point is that this type of verbal practice exercise should have a positive, beneficial result – Improved oral communication.

Most of all have fun doing it.

Presentations will build self confidence and give you a platform to practice speaking English.

Do you like to give presentations in any language?

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List of 150 most commonly used English Adjectives – how many can you use in a complete sentence?

1. able

2. acid

3. angry

4. automatic

5. awake

6. bad

7. beautiful

8. bent

9. bitter

10. black

11. blue

12. boiling

13. bright

14. broken

15. brown

16. certain

17. cheap

18. chemical

19. chief

20. clean

21. clear

22. cold

23. common

24. complete

25. complex

26. conscious

27. cruel

28. cut

29. dark

30. dead

31. dear

32. deep

33. delicate

34. dependent

35. different

36. dirty

37. dry

38. early

39. elastic

40. electric

41. equal

42. false

43. fat

44. feeble

45. female

46. fertile

47. first

48. fixed

49. flat

50. foolish

51. free

52. frequent

53. full

54. future

55. general

56. good

57. grey

58. great

59. green

60. hanging

61. happy

62. hard

63. healthy

64. high

65. hollow

66. ill

67. important

68. kind

69. last

70. late

71. left

72. like

73. living

74. long

75. loose

76. loud

77. low

78. male

79. married

80. material

81. medical

82. military

83. mixed

84. narrow

85. natural

86. necessary

87. new

88. normal

89. old

90. open

91. opposite

92. parallel

93. past

94. physical

95. political

96. poor

97. possible

98. present

99. private

100. probable

101. public

102. quick

103. quiet

104. ready

105. red

106. regular

107. responsible

108. right

109. rough

110. round

111. sad

112. safe

113. same

114. second

115. secret

116. separate

117. serious

118. sharp

119. short

120. shut

121. simple

122. slow

123. small

124. smooth

125. soft

126. solid

127. special

128. sticky

129. stiff

130. straight

131. strange

132. strong

133. sudden

134. sweet

135. tall

136. thick

137. thin

138. tight

139. tired

140. true

141. violent

142. waiting

143. warm

144. wet

145. white

146. wide

147. wise

148. wrong

149. yellow

150. Young

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SAT Grammar

SAT Grammar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Try to see how many sentences you can fill in correctly.

“Grammar Banging” – Review your English – 1

Choose the correct word to fill in the gap

1. Are there ______ apples in the kitchen?

                       A) much  B) any  C) some

2. That is _____ interesting book.

                       A) the  B) a  C) an

3. I went ______ church last Sunday.

                       A) at  B) in  C) to

4. What _____ he like? – He is very friendly.

                       A) does  B) did  C) is

5. I ________ a new car last month.

                      A) bought  B) have bought  C) buyed

6. How ________ money do you have in your pocket?

                      A) many  B) few  C) much

7. He came ______ home late last night.

                      A) –   B) at  C) to

8. Jack is a nice boy, and I like _____.

                      A) –  B) him  C) his

9.  I get up ______ seven o’clock every day

                      A) in  B) on  C) at

10. I like __________ music.

                      A) listen  B) listen to  C) listening to

11. What __________ in your free time?

                      A) you do  B) do you do  C) are you doing

12. My father _______ in a bank.

                      A) works  B) work  C) is working

13. Would you like _______ coffee?

                      A) any  B) an  C) some

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