Showing posts with label -ing form. Show all posts
Showing posts with label -ing form. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Liam Payne &Rita Ora- "For You"

"For You" is a hit with a catching refrain, no matter if your students love this kind of music or not, I'm pretty confident that they will learn it immediately and they will even sing it on their own for the whole day. This song may be adapted for the various level of your classes, starting from the revision of the-ing form of verbs- as in this case- or practicing on present continuous, up to the different uses of the continuous form in grammar. The choice is yours!

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: the -ing form

Activity: put the verbs given between bracket at the -ing form

Lyrics taken from: AZ lyrics

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Coldplay- "Up & Up"

I'm so glad to take up this blog again!One year has passed and now that my baby is almost one year old, I can say that it was the best time ever spent with my family. Nevertheless I missed this blog so much that I looked forward to updating it with my hits and here I am. 
What better way than working on "Up & Up" by Coldplay? I loved this song, since I listened to it for the first time and once I watched the video clip, I was totally in bliss. I think this song is fit for adult teenagers as it gives a good chance to think about how much we as human beings are interactive and connected to our environment. Moreover, if you're also teaching literature, the line "See the forest there in every seed" may be used as a link to William Blake's poem "To see a World in a Grain of Sand". If you're planning a CLIL activity, this song is perfect to introduce the concept of globalization and environmental awareness, too.

Level: intermediate/ upper-intermediate

Grammar focus on: -ing form

Activity: fill-in the gaps (items provided in scrambled order)

Lyrics taken from: Google Play Music


Monday, 23 September 2013

Katy Perry- "Roar"

A few days ago I was reading Laine Redpath Cole's article about slang and txt speak on, when I suddenly thought of Katy Perry' s unofficial video of her latest hit, "Roar". As you will see, in this video a girl is chatting with her friends in a language full of emoticons, rather than plain words and everyone's attention is directed to the bright pictures on her phone screen. Considering that these days many teachers are coming back school and they are often looking for enjoyable activities, why don't use this video to stimulate your students' natural talent in associating new visual material to their familiar vocabulary?

Level: intermediate

Focus on: simple past, vocabulary

Activity: after watching the video, students are invited (relying on their good memory) to fill in the song with the missing words. Compare their results, listen to the song once again and finally show them the complete lyrics.

Video used for this activity:

Katy Perry's official video:

Tips for teachers:as a follow-up activity, read together the above mentioned article on Macmillan Dictionary Blog and ask them to write down a list of five other English colloquial words, used everyday in social media. 

From personal experience I know that students love this topic and often ask you to explain the meaning of other text words and slang they have read but cannot understand, so be prepared for any type of question!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Bastille- "Pompeii"

What are we up to today?A breath of fresh air is filling our lungs, thanks to "Pompeii". This is the latest hit released by the new British band, Bastille. Just out of curiosity, the band was named after the Bastille Day, i.e. the day Dan Smith (frontman and songwriter) was born.

Level: intermediate

Grammar focus on: vocabulary

Activity: word order, fill in the grid with words related to prepositions, -ing form, wh-questions and find opposites 


Lyrics taken from:


Linguistic aspects: a short guide today to highlight some aspects. 

First, I was left to my devices: here it is to say that I was alone and I was allowed to fool someone else.

Secondly, days fall away every time you realise that time goes by, but that is almost insignificant to you. You can also say that a poster can fall away, in case it breaks off from the thing it has been fixed to. Otherwise a piece of land falls aways when it slopes down. In a figurative way, if you examine that sales have fallen away recently, you get to the point that shops have sold less products lately. In addition to this, in literary British a sound (or feeling)   falls away as long as it becomes weaker (see Macmillan Dictionary for further information).

Thirdly, you reduce something to rubble anytime you destroy it completely. Literally, a rubble is any piece of broken stone.

In the end, the expression: "Let the dust settle" is an excellent tip to give whenever you suggest that a person needs to calm down, after a violent outburst or breakdown.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Michael Bublé- "It's a Beautiful Day"

Who said that breaking up is only a painful experience? In "It's a Beautiful Day" Michael Bublé tells us how much relieved one can feel once his/her love story is eventually over, so happy listening to every "broken heart"!

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: phrasal verbs

Activity: listening with fill in the gaps (prepositions)

It's a Beautiful Day

Lyrics taken from: Direct Lyrics


Tips for teachers:  as a warm-up activity, you can write down on the class board a list of synomys of the phrasal verbs presented by the song and ask your students to make predictions.

Linguistic aspects: this song describes personal feelings in a very detailed way. For instance, you hold your breath when you see something unexpected in front of you and you are taken by surprise but you have to control yourself

Futher, an other metaphor is used in saying that you tear the seam of someone's dream, i.e.  you want to destroy someone's desire. Let's examine the original meaning of the word: in origin a seam is a line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together but once it is removed,  the two pieces are no longer joined and that piece of fabric is inevitably torn. The noun is also used in the expression bursting/ bulging at the seams meaning a place full of people or objects.

Then you come up with a specific line or  you come up with the goods when you do exactly what you promised to do or what people expect you to do. Similarly you get/come/ fall into line with everytime you agree with or you adjust to a precise idea or concept.

If you cage someone you keep that person in prison. Here is an example of a  verb deriving from a noun: the cage is a container made of wire or metal bars  used for  birds. In colloquial language a caged bird is someone imprisoned.

As for the statements used to introduce an evidence, you can say: "There's no denying that..." when you want to say that "it is clear that../ there is no doubt that/ it goes without saying that...".

Finally,  after breaking up with someone you can feel refreshed again if you take up or start a new hobby, like going to the gym, a new habit, like going to the cinema, or a new job.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Fun- "We Are Young"

This song  inspires many activities on grammar: in fact you can listen to it if you want to study the comparative, the imperative, the present perfect, the -ing form etc. I am focusing on the study of prepositions, as many of you already know that phrasal verbs are a thorn in students' flesh :-((

Level: pre-intermediate

Grammar focus on: prepositions

We Are Young

Activity taken from:


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Planet Funk- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin' "

This song is a classic: from time to time it is rediscovered, remixed and partially renewed. For this reason you can't miss it! If you want, you can listen to it and work on present perfect continuos, contractions, colloquial English. Today we are simply focusing on verbs with -ing form.

Level: intermediate

Grammar focus on: -ing form

These Shoes Are Made For Walkin' .

Lyrics taken from:


Cultural hint: Do you know that this song was sung by Nancy Sinatra for US servicemen during the war in Vietnam?
 It also inspired Kubrick ....learn more at