In the IELTS Academic Writing Part 1, you will be asked to look at and interpret some kind of visual data such as a graph or table. IELTS candidates then need to write around 150 words about what the data represents and what they can see happening. 
Being able to explain the data with clearly and with accuracy is the key to getting a Band Score of 6 and above. There is special language you will need to know and use in order to do this well.
Many Chinese students fall flat on their face with the writing part of the IELTS test and often assume that because their English education so far has mainly been written that they can spend less time learning how to write IELTS answers adequately. This can have disasterous effects on their overall IELTS score. 
One common type of graph which is found in IELTS Writing Part 1 is a line graph. IELTS candidates need to be able to discuss what is happening over time in the graph and use appropriate language to discuss how the line is behaving. 
For example, the IELTS candidate may say something like this: 
"The number of people applying for teaching jobs in China began to rise in 2014, but saw a decrease in 2015".
A better answer would have been:
"The number of people applying for teaching jobs in China in 2014 saw a sharp rise but saw a steady decrease in 2015." 
IELTS candidates need to paint a very clear picture of what is happening in the graph in the Academic Writing Task 1 and discuss rises and falls with confidence and fluency. In order to do this, your IELTS student will need to be using quality verbs adverbs in their written answers....declined, bottomed out, sharply, dramatically, gradually, etc. 
Download the free Academic Writing Task 1 worksheet on rises and falls below. 
by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen China
Published in Exam preparation
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 11:47

The TEFL Lemon 'Juicy Warmers' Pack

Are you looking for TEFL warmers and ESL games for your English classes? You've come to the right page! Scroll to the bottom to download the free Juicy TEFL Warmers PDF Pack!

What is The Big Juicy Warmers Pack?

The TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers Pack is a massive Warmers and Games PDF, crammed-full of TEFL warmers, TEFL games, ESL activities, English speaking activities, TEFL roleplays and more English games than you can shake a stick at!

This free PDF is pack is 100% TESL teaching GOLD!!!!

Whenever you teach English classes, you should always consider starting off your class with a fun warmer to raise those energy levels in your students and to help them relax and get ready for your classes.

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Download the TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers pack below and Like our TEFL Lemon Facebook Page here. We have fresh TEFL games and warmers daily.
Lord of the Flies was a brilliant novel about a group of boys stranded on an island after their plane crashes on a school trip. All the adults are killed in the crash, leaving the large group of boys to survive and fend for themselves. Divisions soon appear in the group, leadership battles ensue and the film looks at our natural dark natures.

This movie lesson for teaching English is for Interediate/Advanced level mature students and has six different activities for you to use in classes. It will require your ESL students to think outside of the box and look critically at the scenes and language. Lord of the Flies is a GCSE text in British schools.

For this Lord of the Flies ESL movie lesson, you'll need the movie - you can get that here. You'll be helping us out too.

Lord of the Flies Classroom Activities

1. Discussion about Lord of the Flies and why the boys turned that way. Discussion lead questions are included in the free Lord of the Flies lesson plan PDF below.

2. Symbolism - what do different things represent in the film? For example, the conch, the logs, Piggy's glasses, etc. 

3. Students roleplay different parts in the story

4. Homework essay about what students feel about the film

5. Students roleplay an alternative ending to the film - what might have happened?

6. At the end of the film the police arrive (sorry, spoiler!), and it's clear that many of the boys are in trouble. Students roleplay possible police interviews and write police questions.

Lesson written by Stuart Allen

Published in Movie lessons
Po is an overweight panda, who works in his uncle's noodle shop in China. He is a martial arts fanatic and dreams of one day leaving his boring job in the restaurant and becoming a Kung Fu master! He eventually leaves his job selling noodles and goes to a mystic temple, high in the Chinese mountains to study Kung Fu with the grand master.

Up high in the mountains is a mystic scroll, and legend has it, that whoever has the scroll and reads its contents, will be endowed with supreme knowledge!

Kung Fu Panda is fantastic for children and in this ESL craft activity for writing, your students will be making their own aunthentic-looking ancient scroll (with real ancient-looking paper!) and writing their own 'mystic message' inside. This Kung Fu Panda craft activity lends a perfect platform for your students to do some creative writing and then can give their scroll to their parents after; perfect for English school activities.

Want to instantly download Kung Fu Panda movie file for this craft activity? Click here - you'll be helping this website to keep going.

For the English Teacher

Aims: Students have to make their own mystic Dragon Scroll with their own poem to show and display
A large bowl of strong tea (cold)
A4 paper (one per scroll)
Lots of sticks/chopsticks (two per scroll)
Kung Fu Panda Craft Activity: Getting Ready

The night before, prepare your ancient scroll paper by soaking the A4 paper in the tea for 30 minutes and then allow to dry. This will leave you with really authentic ‘ancient’ paper! This part is optional, of course. You will also need two sticks for the top and bottom of the scroll, chopsticks or paintbrushes will do, but real sticks look better!

What to Do in Class
Show the following clips to the students. This will set up the background of the film, how special the scroll is and make them ultra excited about making it! It will make them feel like their own scroll has an ‘aura of magic’!
First scene shown (05:05 - 07:30)
From when Shifu is playing the flute and the temple is first shown. This scene introduces some of the characters in the film and, more importantly, introdueces the fabled Dragon Scroll. It tells that the holder of the scroll will have limitless power and only the Dragon Warrior can hold it.
Second scene shown (18:55 – 25:50)
Po enters the Secret Hall of Warriors. The scene develops the feeling of magic and sorcery in your students. It shows Po checking out secret weapons and generally getting into mischief. The story of the Dragon Scroll is furthered and Po gets into trouble when first trying Kung Fu. The students will love this scene!
Third and final scene shown (1:00:00 – 1:03:52)
This scene shows Tai Lung, the evil snow leopard, defeating the other five warriors. The scene moves on to the temple where Po finally takes the Dragon Scroll. Master Shifu tells Po that the poem on the scroll holds the secret to limitless power and will help Po to defeat Tai Lung.
Important! Be sure stop the movie before the scroll is totally unravelled (just before Po gets the shock)! There is nothing on the scroll and your class won’t be as good if the students know this! 
Teaching tips
As with any movie lesson, try to watch the scenes of the movie well in advance. This will help you to get your mind ready for the class and you will feel far more comfortable teaching the lesson. 
With this particular lesson, don’t feel under pressure to make the special paper beforehand. It is a nice touch and the scrolls will look better, but it doesn’t enhance any language skills, so don’t get too worked up over doing it if you haven’t the time or materials.
Before you start making the scrolls, talk with the class what kind of things will be in the poem on the scroll. Write any student ideas on the board as they throw them at you. This part is crucial to give students some clear ideas on how to write their poems on the scroll. Don’t rush this part, even though the students will be eager to get started making the scroll. Stay in control of what goes on.
Make sure the students write the poem (or whatever they can write according to ability) first before attaching the sticks at the top and bottom. The students will be keen to construct the scroll first and then write the poem (kids are kids!), but it will be difficult to write on the paper after the sticks are attached! Kids usually aren’t that practical!!
There is no need to show the clips in 100% English (without the help of first language subtitles). Having first language subtitles aids their understanding and enjoyment of the movie. The main language aim of the class is the poem writing; the students will miss the ‘feeling’ of the class and the whole lesson won’t be as stimulating if you insist of doing everything in English! 

Lesson by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen

Published in Movie lessons
In the autumn of 1888, Victorian London was gripped by a terror which it had never known before or since. Street prostitutes were being picked up by an unknown man and ripped to pieces before being left in the streets. To this day, the mystery of Jack the Ripper still intrigues and mystifies millions around the world. 

In this very dark ESL lesson strictly for adults, students will learn more about Jack the Ripper, what it was like to live in London in Victorian times and have their English lesson venture into the macbre. A real twist on the normal English lesson!

To buy the Jack the Ripper DVD to go with this ESL movie plan click here

You have a choice of ways to go with this compelling Jack the Ripper lesson. There is a Jack the Ripper reading comprehension exercise for your adult students as well as some macabre creative writing activites, one where students write a gory letter to police and the newspapers, and another where students write a newspaper article about recent Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel, London. A third activity is where your ESL students design their own Police Wanted Poster bearing the face and crimes of the bloody killer.

Finally, there is a gruesome Jack the Ripper ESL roleplay, where adult students can play Jack the Ripper himself, eyewitnesses, publicans, prostitutes, police, journalists and other Victorian London vagabonds! Great for Halloween!

I hope you enjoy this very cool and very sinister ESL lesson about Jack the Ripper!

Written by Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the supernatural has a big grip on our interests and we've all seen ghost and horror films on TV and in the cinema. Who doens't like tales of monsters, ghosts, UFO's and vampires. Particularly for teens learning English, the supernatural is a great ESL topic or unit for Intermediate+ level students.

In this movie lesson, students will discuss the supernatural, share ghost stories that they have heard or know, listen to the teacher tell a ghost story in English or roleplay a ghost tale. Students can even write their own ghost tale; perfect for creative writing classes or a Halloween ESL class theme.

Play clips of Ghostbusters and then choose the activities you want to run for your own ESL supernatural class.

If you'd like to show the movie clips from Ghostbusters but can't download it you can buy it here

What to do in class
Get your class to sit in a group on the floor and sit down with them to create a close, team atmosphere. Show your class the ghost photos below and ask them what they think the photo shows. Ask them to look again more carefully and they will notice an eerie ghost figure.
Discuss with them what they think it might be, whether it is a camera trick or it’s real. If your students think it’s real, ask them who the ghosts might be and from which year they lived. Your students should be really interested in this topic, so use this to your advantage in getting language from them. If they can’t produce the exact word they need, encourage them to explain the word.

Share Ghost Stories

Do any of your ESL class have any ghost stories to share? Maybe someone has seen a ghost or knows someone that has. The more story telling and talk you can get out of your students before the movie the better!
After you have finished your ‘on the floor’ chat, your class will be fully ready and keen to watch the movie. Show the selected movie clips and choose one or some of the suggested Ghostbusters classroom activities.

Activity 1: Ghost discussion quesions

Activity 2: Write your own ghost story

Activity 3: Students write and act out their own ghost story

Lesson by Stuart Allen

Published in Movie lessons
Atlantis....the lost empire! The hundreds of years, this mythical kingdom has captured the imagination of both children and adults alike. In this ESL movie lesson, you'll be using parts of the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire to create a fun platfrom for your students to do some creative writing. 

In the film, the hero finds a hidden map with a secret code on it. If he can decipher the code, then he can find Atlantis. Your kids will be making an Atlantis-style hidden map using the code in the Atlantis ESL movie lesson plan. They'll be practicing the alphabet and spelling skills. Perfect for a special craft activity in your school. Awesome fun for children learning English!

You can rent or buy Atlantis: The Lost Empire direct from Amazon right here if you need. You'll be helping us out as well!

What to Do in Class
After introducing the topic and playing parts of the DVD (clips detailed at the bottom of this plan), it is time to get on with your class activity.
The activity is for the students to make an ancient map showing the way to the treasure buried under Atlantis – which child wouldn’t get excited about that?!
The difference about this map is that it is written in the old Atlantis language, so groups of children will need the Key of Language (in the lesson plan PDF below) to complete their maps!
Making the Map Paper 
This part is entirely optional! You can do this on standard white A4 if you lack time or materials, but with just a little bit of preparation, you can make really authentic map paper!
The night before class, soak your white A4 in strong tea and leave for 30 minutes. Carefully take out the paper and leave to dry. When it’s dry, screw the paper up into a ball to form creases, straighten it out and carefully burn the edges with a cigarette lighter. Two points I would like to make here – first, don’t burn too much otherwise you’ll have to start again from scratch and secondly, burn the paper outside in an open area. Setting fire to your home, your school, or yourself is definitely not cool!
Drawing the map in class 
This is where the kids can be really creative. They get to choose the shape of Atlantis and the features that Atlantis has!
Before drawing, perhaps you could pre-teach them several things which Atlantis might have i.e. waterfall, cave, river, monsters, mountains, forest, dragon, treasure…you are only limited by your imagination! Remember that any features that the kids want to label on the map must be written in Atlantis words. For this, each group of students will need a Key of Language to decipher the code.
Alternative Activities
Before class, get a giant A3 or A2 piece of paper and make your own ‘ancient’ map at home. Draw and label lots of fantasy places on your map, for example, Skull Mountain, Ghost River, etc. Label it in Atlantis language! 
Bring the map to school and tell them that there is hidden treasure somewhere on the map which the kids need to find. Hand out some directions to find the treasure in Atlantis language and the kids have to translate it into English to locate the treasure.
This is perfect when teaching directions or prepositions of place! This is also a good activity for students just getting into using full sentences, where their spelling and word order might be a problem. 

Lesson written by Stuart Allen

Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered by many to be the Beatles' finest album. 'She's leaving home' was the sixth track on the album and is about a girl who is unhappy at home and so runs away. Her parents do not understand why she has run away.


Activity One (Listening) – students are put into small groups to listen to the song and put the lyrics into the correct order.
Activity Two (Teacher/student talk) - short discussion about the song and why she ran away.
Activity Three (Writing) – students write the letter that the girl left at the top of the stairs for her parents to read.

Before class, copy and cut into strips a set of song lyrics for each group of three students.

Also copy out one blank letter page per student.

To download the free She's Leaving Home song lesson plan, then scroll down to the bottom of this page to find the download link.

Part One

In class, ask students what kind of problems teenagers might have with their parents i.e. homework conflicts, what they are allowed to wear, what time they are allowed to stay out until, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. Ask the students why parents get annoyed; try to get your students to look at the problems from both sides.

Tell your class that they are going to listen to a song about a girl who has trouble sharing her feelings with her parents. Her parents love her, but don't always know how to show this love. Hand out one set of sentence strips to your students and explain that they must listen to the song and put the sentence strips into order. Give your students a few minutes before you start the song to read the strips and lay them out so they can read them properly as they listen. Play the song twice and then check to see if they have put the sentence strips into the correct order.

Part Two

This is your chance to discuss the song with the students and to ask questions about feelings. Ask each group of three to talk with each other about the song and why the girl ran away. Allow the class to chat away and circle around to listen and help with language. As you begin to hear the groups quiet down, stop them and direct the conversation yourself (don't wait for absolute silence!!)
Ask the whole class questions about the song. Here are some sample questions you might ask, although you might think of other questions!

Why did the girl run away?
Why did she leave a letter?
What does it mean when the song says 'stepping outside she is free'? How could she 'live alone' when she was living with her parents?
Do you think the girl was at fault?
Were her parents wrong?

Part Three

Your students are going to write their own letter that the girl left at the top of the stairs!

Ask your class what might have been written in the letter that was left at the top of the stairs for her mum to find. Would it have been a horrible letter or do your class think that it might have tried to explain her reasons for leaving? Will the girl ever come back?

Take lots of ideas from your class and don't rush this part as this will give your students ideas for what to put in their own letter! The blank letter page follows the lyric sentence strips.

To download the full She's Leaving Home lesson plan click below.



Published in Song lessons

ESL Movie Lesson: All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front was a brilliant book written by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran, just after World War One. It tells of World War One from the German point of view, where there is no good or evil; just war started by governments but has to be finished by ordinary people who don't really want to kill anybody. It is a story of war, as simply as we can tell it.

War and conflict is part of both modern life and the past and is an excellent discussion point for many adult ESL classes. History has been built on the back of war. This lesson has an excellent and unusual mix of activities which your English students will enjoy.

All Quiet on the Western Front was a ground-breaking novel and later made into film. This ESL Movie lesson is good if you are stdying a topic about war or conflict. In the free movie lesson PDF for Intermediate+ students, you'll find different writing activities and debate / discussion activities for speaking.

Simply click the download link below to get the All Quiet on the Western Front movie lesson.
Published in Movie lessons

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