Language Skills Focus Archives

Gang of Rhythmn by Walk off the Earth

Song Artist: Walk off the Earth

This song is performed by, “Walk off the Earth”.  This band has a unique and fresh style. The energy that comes from their songs, especially this one, is enough to make most people jump up and sing and dance! Enjoy.

The song’s message is about being happy and freeing your mind to enjoy. Living life and being happy with what you have including the people you are with. This is demonstrated from the very first verse, which describes an old guitar with rusty strings.  Normally a first impression would be that the guitar is no good because it is old and rusty. Then he describes that it is ‘all i need’.

There’s no worries on the earth tonight” – this represents a feeling of freedom, escape from the things that normally would burden you. Stress, money problems, worrying about learning English, :)

Once you get on this ‘train‘ (locomotive is the engine that drive, moves a train. “We’re like a locomotive” means that once you get started on this path, you will be unstoppable and others will join.

 

Lyrics

I got this old guitar
The strings are rusty
But it’s all I need
Bring in the kick drum
It can back the beat
Let’s gather ’round and sing a song
I got a shaker too
The kind of sound
That wants to make you move
Bring in the uke
We’ll complete the groove
Let’s gather round and sing a song

There’s no worries on the earth tonight
We’re all walkin’ off the world tonight

Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
We’re like a locomotive
Under the big hot sun
We’re chained to the gang of rhythm
The song is never done
Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
Come on everyone

We got this melody
Bring in the harmonies like CSNY
To write a tune you know will never die
Let’s gather round and sing a song

There’s no worries on the Earth tonight
We’re all walkin’ off the world tonight

Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
We’re like a locomotive
Under the big hot sun
We’re chained to the gang of rhythm
The song is never done
Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
Come on everyone

And when the night is done
These chains will hold us strong
The chords will carry on
Long after we’re gone oh oh

There’s no worries on the earth tonight
We’re all walkin’ off the world tonight

Come on now everyone yeah
Come now everyone
We’re like like a locomotive
Under the big hot sun

Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
We’re like a locomotive
Under the big hot sun
We’re chained to the gang of rhythm
The song is never done
Come on now everybody
Come on now everyone
Come on everyone

We got this melody
Come on everyone
Bring in the harmony
Come on everyone

I got this old guitar
The strings are rusty
But it’s all I need…

FacebookTwitterShare

This is an amazing song, covered by an amazing band.

Song Name: Royals
Song Artist: Lorde

This song is being performed by a band called, “Walk off the Earth”. I chose to use this video for this lesson because of the creative way in which it is performed. I think you will all like it as much as i do.

  • A “Royal“, which is this song’s title, refers to a member of the Royal Family. The song’s artists, Lorde, is a New Zealander, which is a member of the British Commonwealth, so we can assume that she is referring to the British Royal Family.

This is a very interesting song which begins with the singer describing how she/he has not had a privileged life (as would a “Royal”). For example, she had never seen a “diamond in the flesh”. She’s not “proud of her address”, and is not envied for her ‘postcode” (a postcode is also known as a postal code (Canada), zip-code (USA) and other similar phrases which is how your neighborhood is identified by the mail delivery service. Your “postcode” represents your home, where you live.

The second verse has the singer describing a lavish way of living, such as would a Royal perhaps. Reckless, waste, no regard for others. Although the singer doesn’t really live like that, their expression and attitude has the freedom to imagine as if she/he did. Although its not true, “we don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.

ESL Phrases:

  • We crave a different kind of buzz.

A “buzz” is a feeling that a person experiences from excitement. When people do something that excites them, the feeling, usually a feeling that they like, is described as a ‘Buzz”.

  • … we’ve cracked the code

To Crack a Code, means to figure something out. In the fourth verse when the singer says this, she is saying, that she and her friends have figured out the way, or the trick, to doing something and is likely referring to living the fantasy, and accepting, as the song suggests, that she is not and never will be Royal. The whole point of the song is that, hey, we don’t care, we are happy with who we are and in our own minds we are all we need to be. We don’t need to be something we cannot be.

Share This Link with others on Facebook

Lyrics

I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I’m not proud of my address,
In a torn-up town, no postcode envy

But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,
We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like Cristal*, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.

And we’ll never be royals (royals).
It don’t run in our blood,
That kind of luck’s just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

[Verse 2]
My friends and I—we’ve cracked the code.
We count our dollars on the train to the party.
And everyone who knows us knows that we’re fine with this,
We didn’t come for money.

But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom.
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room,
We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

And we’ll never be royals (royals).
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luck’s just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

Ooh ooh oh
We’re bigger than we ever dreamed,
And I’m in love with being queen.
Ooh ooh oh
Life is great without a care
We aren’t caught up in your love affair.

And we’ll never be royals (royals).
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of luck’s just ain’t for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me queen Bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

Some of the best advice you’ll receive today.

(This requires advanced listening and comprehension skills).

Share This Link with others on Facebook

1. What does the speaker mean by the word, “closet”? What is a ‘closet’?
2. What are some examples of a ‘hard conversation’?
3. What does it mean to be “real” with someone?
4. What are some ‘hard closets to come out of’?
5. Can you think of some people in the news who have experienced some ‘hard times’?
6. What does it mean to stay in your closet?
7. What are some of the risks of staying in your closet according to the video?
8. What are the 3 steps to come out of the closet and explain how to do each.
9. Do you have a ‘closet’ to come out of? Consider if you are ready.

Topic: Being able to face your fears and make admissions and state truths about yourself you held inside.

Keywords: face your fears, coming out of the closet, acceptance, self love

Click on Video and Listen:

Thanksgiving is a wonderful Fall holiday celebrated in North America (Canada and the USA).  However, although very similar in how it is celebrated, it is celebrated on different days in Canada and the USA. We hope that this Thanksgiving ESL Lesson will help you to enjoy this holiday and learn at the same time.

This is a list of common vocabulary used for the Thanksgiving theme. ESL teachers and students can use this as a warm up or backdrop for further ESL lessons and activities about the Thanksgiving ESL theme, an enjoyable ESL themes to teach. Printable PDF of this Halloween ESL lesson

Thanksgiving is on different days in Canada and the USA. In Canada, thanksgiving is on the 2 nd Monday in October every year, while in the USA it is on the 4 th Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving VocabularyThanksgiving is the day reserved to give “Thanks” for what we have. Traditionally, the purpose was because when the pilgrims came to the “new world” to start their new lives, they depended on the earth for their food. They planted vegetables and raised crops and animals for food such as turkeys, chickens, cows, etc.

In order to pay respect to the ‘creator’, “God”, they celebrated thanksgiving for the good harvest. This type of holiday is celebrated in many countries. In South Korea they have “chusok” which is a harvest festival and also happens in the early fall in Korea.

New world: this is how North America was described by those settlers from Europe, also known as the pioneers and pilgrims, because it was a new world compared to the very populated Europe.

Pilgrim: these were the first Europeans to come to the new world to settle and start new lives. The aboriginal people, or first nations people were already here of course and they and the pilgrims learned from each other and traded goods and services with each other.

Turkey Dinner: traditionally and today still, we all look forward to a turkey dinner at Thanksgiving. It is delicious and served with mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato, gravy, vegetables and pumpkin pie for dessert. After we eat our turkey dinner we are always tired because we ate too much and because turkey makes people sleepy.

Fall /Autumn: this is the season in which Thanksgiving takes place. The leaves change colour and are very pretty in autumn.

Pumpkin Pie: this is a common dessert at thanksgiving. It is delicious and made from pumpkins.

Stuffing: this is a potato, bread, sage and other spice combination which is usually put in the turkey while it is cooking. It is really delicious and has lots of good flavour, it is one of the best parts of the dinner because we only have it on the special occasions when we have turkey.

Mashed Potatoes: potatoes which are boiled and smashed and mixed with a little milk, salt and butter are called mashed potatoes. To mash means to crush and mix.

Gravy: this is a fatty sauce which is often made after the turkey is cooked and some people like to put on potatoes and turkey. It isn’t very healthy, in spite of its good taste, luckily people only have it on occasion and in little portions.

Cranberry sauce: sweet sauce or jelly made from boiled cranberries. It is red in colour and put on turkey, potatoes and stuffing. Most turkey dinners have cranberry sauce served together.

Questions:

  • What/who are you thankful for?
  • Example: I am thankful for my parents, they work so hard and care for me and my brother so much. I am also thankful for all of the nice food we can eat everyday, I realize that not everyone is fortunate enough to have the same. I am thankful for my health and happiness. Etc..
  • What is a pilgrim?
  • What does it mean to settle? (note – to settle within the meaning of this lesson, i.e. what the pilgrims and pioneers did).
  • Do you eat turkey dinner in your country? When?
  • Do you have a holiday similar to thanksgiving? Tell me about it.
  • What special food do you eat on holidays?
  • What other holidays do North Americans eat turkey on?

Halloween Words / Halloween Vocabulary

Halloween Words – Vocabulary 

This is a list of common words used at Halloween. ESL teachers and students can use this as a warm up or backdrop for further ESL lessons and activities about the Halloween theme, one of the most enjoyable ESL themes to teach.

Halloween: Halloween day is every year on October 31 st. On Halloween day children go trick-or-treating(see below).

Jack O Lantern: This is the most significant / important Halloween symbol. This is a pumpkin which has been carved and cleaned. The most common way is to have a face on it, like in the picture. These days there are all kinds of different designs which people make.

Trick-or-treat / trick or treating: This is when children dress up in Halloween costumes and go to their neighbours houses and say – trick-or treat. Then the people will come from the house and give the children candy. Kids love trick-or-treating because they get lots of free candy (treats) every Halloween.

Goblin: This is a generic name for a weird, half monster creature. Sometimes they are short, sometimes like a human in size. They are always ugly and sometimes have some kind of black magic power. Just about any weird monster costume you make can be called a goblin, if it doesn’t have any other names.

Witch: Witches are Halloween symbols as well, they are scary old ladies with green faces, a mole on their nose and a loud and scary laugh. Ahhhhh, haaaaa, ha ha ha ha ha hhaaaaaa! They fly around at night on their broom stick and wear a black cape and pointy black hat.

Spell: witches cast (make) spells, which are black or bad magic formulas they use to harm people. For example, a witch can cast a spell to turn a handsome prince into a frog until a beautiful princess frees him.

Magic Potion: this is what someone makes in order to drink it to give them magic powers. A witch or a magic wizard will make a potion for good or bad reasons. For example they can make a potion to make them strong or invisible or to sleep for a hundred years.

Haunted house: a haunted house is an old and dark house, usually on top of a hill and it is full of ghosts.

Halloween costume: this is what children wear when they go trick or treating. Many common, or traditional costumes include vampires, witches, ghosts, werewolves, zombies. However, it is also common to see famous superheroes and celebrities as costumes such as batman, superman, etc. costumes can be store bought or home made.

  

Zombie: this is mythical a dead body which walks around at night looking for brains of humans to eat. They are stupid and scary creatures and they walk with their hands and arms out in front of them. In Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video, there were lots of zombies.

Black Cat: A black cat is a Halloween symbol. Usually we see black cats with witches. There is a saying that you don’t want to cross the path of a black cat because it will bring you bad luck.

How to write a cheque

How to write a cheque

What is a cheque: A cheque is form of “currency”, which is a different word for money. A cheque is a form of money that you can use to buy something very similar to cash.  In Canada the spelling used most commonly is ‘cheque’.  In the United States it is spelled ‘check’.  You can use either spelling in Canada without any problems.


Personal Cheques
:  When you open a chequing account at a bank, you will have an option to receive `personal cheques`.  Personal cheques are a book of cheques that you can use as currency for purchases and payments you wish to make.

A chequing account is the most common type of bank account that most people will have.  Chequing accounts are now called different things sometimes such as “day to day banking account’, ‘daily banking account’, or other similar names.  The reason is that it is becoming rarer to write personal cheques these days. Cheques are now replaced by debit cards for most daily purchasing in Canada and the United States.  When you make a purchase with a debit card, you will be asked to choose your account type and will be given an option between chequing and savings.

Sample cheque

A Sample cheque from Raccoon English.

Paycheque / Paycheck:  This is the pay you receive for doing your job at your workplace. Although it is rare to receive an actual cheque these days we still commonly use the word ‘paycheck’.  Usually, your paycheck is deposited directly into your bank account (most likely a chequing account).

Post dated cheque:  a post dated cheque is a cheque which is dated payable for a future date.  Usually when you enter into a lease to rent an apartment you will be asked to provide post dated cheques.  For example, if you rent an apartment, at the beginning, you will probably be asked to provide 12 ‘post dated cheques’ for the monthly rent, each dated for the first day of each month for the entire year.

Write a cheque / cash a cheque / cheque clearing: We use the expression, “write a cheque”, because that is exactly what we do, we write in the information including the date, people to pay to and the amount of money on a cheque.

When you write a cheque and use it to pay someone for something, you are actually giving that person permission to make a demand on your bank account to pay the amount you write in the cheque. This is called cashing a cheque.

When the payee (person you make the cheque payable to) cashes the cheque, your bank will take money in the amount you indicated on the cheque from your bank account and give it to the person. This is called the cheque clearing process. If you have enough money in your account the cheque will clear, if you don’t have the money, the cheque will “bounce.” This means it will be sent back to the payee from the bank with a message saying that there is not enough money in the account.

Cheque writing role play: You can set up role plays such as in a department store or an open air market, the options are endless. ESL students can barter or negotiate over the price in English and seal the deal with a cheque.

Extra lesson / vocabulary / discussion: What happens if a cheque bounces? Will you charge an NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fee? Did the cheque clear yet? Use your imagination and use our props to make it happen. Do you have to give post-dated checks for your rent, or other purchase?

Cheque Tips & Vocabulary:

  • Date: always be sure to date your cheque to ensure you, as the cheque writer, state when it is valid. What could happen if you don’t date the cheque?
  • Payee: You, as the cheque writer are the payor, and the person you give it to is the ‘payee’. This means that the payee can “cash” the cheque, or “deposit” the cheque into his or her bank account. What could happen if you leave the payee blank?
  • Pay to the Order of: a cheque is a type of demand currency note. In other words it upon the demand by the payee, the cheque is treated as money. However, the person or bank cashing the cheque does not have to accept it. There is risk involved to the person taking a cheque, it may “bounce”.
  • Bounce a cheque: for a cheque to bounce means that the bank returned it, after depositing or cashing it and said that the payor has not enough money in his or her account to pay the amount of the cheque.
  • Post dated cheque: this means you date the cheque for later, in the future. Often in Canada and the USA, when people pay rent for their apartment they have to give their landlord post-dated cheques for the rent payments.

Use the below sample cheques to learn how to write a cheque. 

Practice cheque

April Fool’s Day

April Fools DayPre-Reading Task

Discuss these questions in groups

  • Have you heard of April Fool’s Day?
  • What is a fool?
  • What do you think the day is about?

Pre-Reading Vocabulary

Match each word or phrase to the correct definition. There is a choice of two for each word.

Hoax
  • An idea or activity tintended to deceive
  • An idea or activity intended to entertain
Non-official
  • No celebrated
  • Not recognized by an authority
Practical joke
  • A physical joke
  • A joke played on a person to laugh at them
Misunderstand
  • Confuse
  • Mistake
Edict
  • A law
  • A piece of text
Mass media
  • Media like newspapers and TV that reach many people
  • Media like newspapers and TV that are big corporations
Unsuspecting
  • Someone doesn’t realize what is happening
  • Someone doesn’t care what is happening

April Fools’ Day, celebrated every 1 st of April is a non-official but widely popular holiday celebrated in many countries where people can play friendly practical jokes on one another or set up elaborate tricks and hoaxes. April Fools’ Day is widely celebrated in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and most of Europe.

The first recorded mention of April Fools’ Day can be found in the 1392 classic The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer when readers misunderstood his line ‘thirty-two days after March’ which meant may 2 and interpreted it as ‘March 32’ or April 1. The most popular origin of the holiday goes back to the middle ages when New Year’s Day was celebrated on April 1. The Edict of Roussillon changed the New Year’s Day celebration to January 1 but many still associated April 1 with the New Year. Those who complied with the edict considered those who celebrated on April as April fools.

The day is lightheartedly celebrated by everyone and victims of practical jokes would laugh when they realize the date. Practical jokes, tricks and hoaxes are done by individuals, groups and even mass media. Fake, outlandish but sometimes convincing stories would be newscast on TV and published by newspapers and websites to an unsuspecting public who are often amused when they realize the date.

Comprehension Check

Decide if the statements are true or false.

  • April Fool’s Day arose from a mistake in literature.
  • Is a holiday celebrated throughout the world.
  • The public always enjoy the fake news reports on this day.
  • April Fool’s Day was originally New Year’s Day.

Free Discussion

Tell your partner about a time when someone played a trick on you or you played a trick on someone else.

Phrasal Verbs

‘set up elaborate tricks and hoaxes’

Look at the phrase taken from the text above. It contains a phrasal verb, where is it?

Phrasal Verbs with ‘set’

Match the phrasal verb with the definition.

Set offSet upSet downSet upon To trap someone either in a joke or a crimeTo start to attackTo identify rules or place something on a surface (common in the US)To begin a journey

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrasal verb.

  • The gang _______ him in the alleyway
  • We _____ town before lunch.
  • Although Franco Varini was in prison for murder, he always claimed he had been ______.
  • I _____ the television on the table because it was so heavy.

Formal and Informal Language

What makes a text a formal or informal? Complete the table below.

Formal Informal
Use of the passive Regular use of phrasal verbs

Text Focus

Look at the text above, is it formal or informal? Use the table above to help you and underline examples of what makes the text formal or informal.

Look at the type of texts below and decide whether they should be written formally informally.

  • A letter to your parents
  • A letter of complaint to a shop or service
  • A cover letter for a job
  • An article for a student newspaper
  • An email to your friend

Writing: A Letter of Complaint

Write a letter of complaint to the principal of your school about an April Fool’s trick that caused damage in the school.

Research

Google Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds.

What is this?

How is it connected with this lesson?

What made it such a successful hoax?

 

Present participle – Expressing a progressive action

The present participle in English is a very easy and useful verb form to learn.  It is simply formed by adding ing to the verb ending.

The present participle allows language users to express the following:

  1. A progressive action.  For example:  Beth was sleeping.  She was dreaming about the future.
  2. As an adjective.  For example:  He is an inspiring speaker. His talk was captivating.

Exercise 1: Make sentences using the present participle with the following verbs:

  • Fall
  • Achieve
  • Tell
  • Hear
  • Ask
  • Laugh

 

Exercise 2: Complete the story using the present participle of the verbs listed.

My friend ______________ (name of your friend) was _____________ (walk) home from English class when he/ she saw a __________________ (sing) ________________________ (name any animal).  The _______________ (same animal) was ____________________ (sing) out loud.  My friend started  ___________ (think) of how to let other people know about this special ___________ (sing)  ________________ (animal) .  He / She then thought that the best way to let other people know was by ____________ (post) the story on Facebook. That was the best was of _______ (let)  the world know about this special (animal)  and he / she did just that. The next day he / she saw that her Facebook post went viral, and now everyone is __________ (talk)  about this special, and talented ____________ (animal) .

Learn to Read with phonics.

Words that begin and end with the letter /d/

 Letter D

The Letter /D/

Part 1:

A)     Read the following words that begin with the letter /d/: 

  • Dan
  • Dad
  • Dot
  • Dig
  • Dog
  • Dim
  • Dip
  • Disk
  • Dark

Part 2:

  • How many new words can you make that begin with the letter /d/?
d___________
d___________
d___________
d___________
d___________
d___________

Part 3: wordsearch


D Word Wordsearch 

Part 4: Questions / Trivia

  • We use a shovel to d____ a hole in the ground.
  • At night time it is d______ outside.
  • Can you name a singer whose name begins with D?
  • Name a food that starts with the letter D.
  • Name a winter sport that starts with the letter D.
  • Name two foods that start with the letter D.

BONUS:  Name three countries which start with the letter /D/.

Learn to Read with phonics.

Words that begin and end with the letter /c/ (hard /k/ sound)

The letter C - Phonics

The Letter /C/

Part 1:

A)     Read the following words that begin with the letter /c/:

  • Cat
  • Cab
  • Cup
  • Cot
  • Cut
  • Core

What do these have in common?  The vowels used are /a/, /u/ and /o/.  When these vowels follow the letter ‘c’, at the beginning of a word, the ‘c’ usually has a hard /k/ sound.

B)     Also, when a consonant follows the letter ‘c’ the ‘c’ will usually have a hard /k/ sound too.

  • Crab
  • Crank
  • Crow
  • Cry
  • Clap
  • Cross
  • Crown
  • Clown
  • Clock

Part 2:

  • How many more words can you make that begin with the letter /c/?
c___________
c___________
c___________
c___________
c___________
c___________

Part 3: Questions / Trivia

  1. An English and French speaking country in North America: C_________.
  2. It makes milk and says “moo”: c_________.
  3. Look both ways before you c_________ the street!
  4. If you are close to a freshly cut onion you might c_________.
  5. You can color in your coloring book with a c_________.
  6. You can go for a long drive in a c_________.
  7. Ronald McDonald is a famous c_________.
  8. A c____________ turns into a butterfly.
  9. Tigers have big, sharp c_________.
  10. I enjoy learning English on my c_________    .
  11. When I was 4 years old I had 4 c_________ on my c_________.

*bonus – a map maker is also known as a c__________________.

 

 Page 5 of 6  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 »