Practice Body Part Names through Songs

For children, there are plenty of songs that help them learn and practice body part names. “The Hokey Pokey” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” are both great examples.

For adult learners of English, there a lots of options too. Just look at this list of songs with body parts in the title.

I’ve discovered one song in particular that includes lots of body parts in the lyrics: Rihanna’s “California King Bed.” The singer also repeats many of the body parts, making this an ideal song for listening practice.

“California King Bed” -Rihanna

Continue reading

Practice the Second Conditional through Songs

Before we listen to the songs, let’s recall what the second conditional is all about. The second conditional expresses an unreal or highly unlikely possibility. For example: “If I had a billion dollars, I would buy fifteen yachts.” Both having a billion dollars and buying fifteen yachts represent more of a dream than a probable reality.

yachts

The standard formula for second conditional sentences is as follows:

If + subject + simple past…, subject + would + base verb…

OR

Subject + would + base verb… if + subject + simple past…

Now let’s get to the good stuff. Our first song by Barry Louis Polisar is from the soundtrack of the movie Juno:

  • “If you were a castle, I’d be your moat.”

Of course a human being cannot become a castle. This song expresses unreal possibilities in a cute and romantic way. Continue reading

Fruits and Veggies

Here are some ideas on how to teach the names of fruits and vegetables to young children. I used these resources this past year when I taught English to preschoolers in Spain.

draw_fruits10208703It’s best to have flashcards or play fruit and play vegetables. You can buy them or make them, depending on how crafty you are.

When you’re first introducing the names of the fruits and vegetables, it’s good to use a lot of repetition. Continue reading

Practice the First Conditional through Songs

The formula for the first conditional is as follows:

If + present simple…, will + base verb…

OR

Will + base verb… if + present simple..

  • “If you make dinner, I’ll do the dishes.
  • “I’ll do the dishes if you make dinner.”

Listen for the first conditional in the following two songs by the Bruno Mars:

  • “If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea, I’ll sail the world to find you.” Continue reading

This Post Is on Fire

Fire is mother nature’s hottest element. When uncontrolled, fire can wreak havoc*. However, when contained, it brings us warmth on cold winter days, helps us prepare tasty treats, and makes our birthdays just a little bit more special.

smores1

Let’s take a look at some fire-related vocabulary and phrases.

  • FIRE – FUEGO, DESPEDIR/ECHAR, DISPARAR

You probably already knew what fire means when used as a noun. Nevertheless, there is a lesser-known expression that contains this word: “to be on fire.”

“To be on fire” can be literal, like you are LITERALLY ON FIRE and need to STOP, DROP, and ROLL…

stop-drop-roll

…OR “to be on fire” could mean that you’re doing something really well and are unstoppable. For example, people might say that a basketball player who scores 20 points in 10 minutes is on fire. Continue reading