Monday, 22 June 2015

T.V Commercials Lesson plan B2 +

Advertising - Are T.V adverts on their way out?

Listening and speaking
What’s your most memorable television advertisement?

What do you think of these? What makes them successful do you think?


Compare the

Top 10 British adverts

Talk about the adverts Levis and Compare the Market; What makes them successful?

What do you normally do when an advertisement comes on in the middle of your favourite T.V programme?

Reading and speaking - This is part of an article from The Guardian… read and discuss.

The 30-second television commercial, once a cultural touchpoint, has lost its relevance in today’s world. It’s doomed to be relegated to the dustbin of 20th-century artefacts, right up there with cassette players and dial telephones.
TV commercials had their heyday in the 1960s when people had a surplus of time, particularly in the evenings after work. There were no emails, text messages or social networks to keep up with. Work and life had distinct boundaries, and TV was limited to a handful of stations that only broadcast during certain times of day.
Commercials were a part of the TV experience, a window onto the new world of packaged goods, automobiles and airline travel. They were an efficient way to learn about these products without having to get up from the couch.
Commercials were a part of the TV experience, a window onto the new world of packaged goods, automobiles and airline travel. They were an efficient way to learn about these products without having to get up from the couch.

Discuss modern advertising - smartphones, tablets, etc.

TV commercials won’t disappear overnight – they’re still far too effective – and they won’t disappear for all the usual ”TV is dead, the internet is king” reasons. They’ll disappear because the modern consumer no longer has the patience to sit through a four-minute pod of eight 30-second sales pitches. As a result, their effectiveness will slowly wither away, leaving them as artefacts for historians as they study the latter half of the 20th century.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Diets B2 +

Extreme lives - B2 / C1

For more information about Skype classes send an email to

Let’s talk about diets…

What kind of diets do you already know about?

Atkins diet - High protein low carbohydrates
Weight watchers - Points system
Green day Red day - Eating certain combinations of food to increase metabolism.

Have you ever met anyone that has lost weight on one of these diets? And if so,  do you know anyone who has successfully lost weight by following these diets?

Now, let’s take a look at the following video:

1. Listen to the video and list the advantages and disadvantages to becoming a fruitarian.

2. What are the 5 steps you should take to become a Fruitarian?

3. Would you like to become a Fruitarian? Why? Why not?


Could you live like this? Do you know anyone who would want to live this way? What personality traits would you need to have in order to take on this kind of lifestyle?

Play Devil’s advocate (debate)

Convince the other person that this is the best diet in the world! This diet could save the human race and our planet...

Vocabulary: (make a list of vocabulary you have learnt from this class)
You can practice new vocabulary, by using it as often as you can, also by using these words in sentences.  Write down a few sentences with your new vocabulary to help you remember.

iFriendly loves learning languages!
For more information about skype classes send an email to

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Recover your Confidence - C1

Class 1: Summer classes on Skype

For more information about skype classes send an email to

C1 Reading & Speaking

Main article:

Want to look smart? Don’t say this.

Read the article out loud, underline the words you are not sure of.
Your teacher will make a note of the words you are mispronouncing, then practise these words with you.

Vocabulary builder: 
(make a note of the words you have learnt).

(make a list of words you need to practise).

Recycle the vocabulary you have learnt in the above text, by discussing the text with your teacher.
Your teacher will lead the discussion, by asking some questions.

Further reading:

A list of words we all get confused with:

Three different steps to build confidence:


Write about an event which has taken place recently, where you or someone you know have had their confidence knocked. Where the embarrassing situation take place? How did you or your friend overcome the embarrassment? Do you or your friend still think about it?

175 - 200 words.
Loves learning languages online!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A running commentary

This is a fun way to practise using the Present Continuous:

First, watch the video and write a list of actions you see in the video.

For example: Chewing, walking, looking, watching, etc.

Next, watch the video again and describe what is happening?

Can all the verbs be used in the continuous form? Watch out, some verbs cannot!

Now, do the same with this next video:

Now that you have had some practice... 
Try describing the video to a friend (who has a higher level of English than you do) but don't let your friend see the video. 

After you have described the video, show it to your friend.

Ask them if your description was accurate or; if they could have done it better than you?

Take it in turns to describe the videos and have fun!

Loves Learning languages!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Loves learning to sing...

"Educate the nation with a song and a vision."

Make yourself a promise that you'll eat better food...

Please watch this superb video about food revolution;

1. Name the actors, singers and people you recognise.

2. Listen to the lyrics and summarise the song.

3. How can this video help people to eat better food?  
Well, in my opinion it won't, but it will raise awareness, which in turn will encourage people to make better decisions about the food they eat. 

iFriendly Tip: Learn the lyrics, sing the song. This way you can learn new vocabulary through singing.

Over the next few weeks iFriendly will look at a series of songs and videos to help you learn from songs in English.

Loves learning languages!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Learn the iFriendly way...

What is the best way to learn a language?

Sorry, but there is no easy way to answer this...

However, I do believe that finding out what makes a student tick, what sparks an interest in them, is the key to helping them learn.

From my experience a good way of finding out what pushes their buttons is to give them a projects instead of a text books.  Sometimes a book can offer lots of different subject matters that could appeal to a wide range of students, but will that small section of the text book capture their imagination? I seriously doubt it. Text books have a place, they live in the classroom.  I rarely come across a student who reads their text books for fun.  I don't argue the fact that they are a good learning tool, but they belong in the classroom. iFriendly believes that project work is the best way to learn outside the school as an extra-curricular activity.

From my experience project work has the ability to bring out the best (strengths) in people and the worst (weaknesses). If you can identify your strengths early on in life then that will be a  fantastic advantage in many aspects of your life. The same goes for your weaknesses, if we can identify our weaknesses early on we can try and improve on them. iFriendly believes that if we don't improve on our weaknesses then they could turn into fears. 

When we start work on a project, we must think of;

How to go about it?
Where to start?
What tools are needed?

These questions alone give us the motivation to start work on the project and discover what we are good at along the way. As an individual working on a project, we could discover that we are good at prioritising, organization, research, etc.  As part of a team we could discover if we have leadership skills, or if we are good at building rapport.

During the chosen project you will find that you learn English in a natural way, not because you have to fill in the gaps or answer a difficult grammar question about the 3rd conditional, but because you have had to read about the given subject, research and investigate the ideas in order to complete the project. The end result is a finished piece of work that you have learnt from and above all you are proud of your effort.

I recently watched a video about an educational programme in the United Kingdom, which has been an inspiration to this iFriendly project... 

Please click on the link below:

I do believe that taking anyone out into the wilds or countryside could have a tremendous affect on their self esteem. Learning out in the open through project work could bring out other qualities you didn't know existed! Whether you or your children are learning a language... iFriendly wants to help you find out how you can learn and enjoy learning. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Music Festivals - English Practice for B1

The one and only Glastonbury Festival!

A greener Festival

What does Glastonbury festival need to do to become a green festival?

"We’re delighted to announce that Glastonbury has been Highly Commended in the A Greener Festival 2014 Awards, by the environmental campaign.
Festivals that apply for the scheme must prove to the judges that the festival has meaningful and effective environmental policies and practices to deal with traffic and transport, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and recycling, water conservation, noise pollution, ethical policies and environmental protection. The festivals should also have sustainable office policies. Each event is inspected by one or more independent environmental assessors. The festivals are also invited to provide supporting evidence such as environmental policies, waste management plans, analysis of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions."

Try looking up the following words and phrases;
(Answers will be posted in two weeks from now)
Highly Commended

Environmental Campaign



Effective environmental Policies

Green house gas emissions

Waste and Recycling

Water Conservation

Noise pollution

Sustainable office policies


You would like to go to Glastonbury this summer...
Write a letter to a friend, asking him/her to join you...
Please include:

1. Tell them who is performing
 2. what they need to bring
 3. How you are going to get there and pay for the festival

Take a look at the website below, you can use this website to get the information you need;

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Lethal Frogs - B2 +

Lethal Frogs

Frogs fascinate me! They are truly fascinating creatures... And I would love to know more about them...

I found this recording on the BBC website, why don't you have a listen?

Zoologist Lucy Cooke shares her terrifying encounter with the Golden Poisonous Frog.

Now try to answer the questions...


Where does this creature live?

How many minutes does it take to kill you?

What does Lucy mean by a 'loaded gun'?

Where does the frog get it's lethal toxin from?


B2: Find out about another lethal creature and write an article about it. 150 words.

C1: Write an article about an encounter with a lethal creature, try to make it entertaining. 200 words


Friday, 27 February 2015

ifriendly lessson plan B2 +

ifriendly aims to:

"Provide you with an English lesson which will not only help you to learn English, but will also guide you into making the right career choices...
ifriendly will motivate you, challenge you and above all will not rip you off!! 
It does not have to cost a fortune to learn English!

Good teachers need their students to work at a their own pace, learn at their own rhythm... Homework should not be compulsory, but a way to learn faster".  Your ifriendly teacher ...Lisa Jane Grant

Here we will work together to make English accessible for everyone! Not just for those of you who are lucky enough to afford private tuition.

Lesson plan...

The history of film making:

Listen to the first 3 minutes of this BBC Radio 4 programme and answer the questions below;


*Remember: Don't worry if you can't understand every word!

1. How did the Lumiere Brothers frighten their live audience?

2. What do you think Penny means by the phrase "mind jumps"?

3. When and where was the very first film shot?

4. What does Penny claim was in the North of England in the early years of the 20th Century?

Now discuss a film you have enjoyed... could be a romance, a comedy or another action film. Talk about the location of the film.

Now watch a clip of your chosen film on Youtube, make some notes about the location it was made.

If you are in a group, discuss your ideas...

Creative Writing: C1+
Imagine you are a film maker; Write a short essay about a made up film and include; film title, story line and plot. Also think of a location you would like to visit in order to make this film. 200 words

Lumiere Brother's Arrival of the train

Good luck!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Expressions to describe being poor...Adult 18 +

Poor Expressions.... 

Ok, so it's still February... Christmas seems like it happened a year ago and miserable January is finally over... Thank goodness!  But February is still a nightmare, why? because our January salary was spent paying off Christmas.  

Here are some expressions to express how poor you are:

I am piss-poor; without money, broke. "I'm not going out tonight... I'll be piss-poor until payday."

I haven't got a pot to piss in; Before we had toilets we used to piss in a pot...
"I am so poor I can't even afford a pot to piss in!"

I am skint; A person who has no money, broke, poor. "I am so skint right now... Could you lend me a fiver?"


1. Find some more expressions/ slang that express being poor and practise using these expressions.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

United Kingdom accents... B1 +

United Kingdom accents...

Personally, I love accents... But they can be a little difficult if you are trying to learn any language.
You are even required to understand a variety of accents in the Cambridge exams!! Unbelievable! But... this does make sense.  Learning a language is all about communication and if you can understand the other person it makes life so much easier... Trust me... Not everyone speaks the 'Queens English'.

Click on this video below...

Take a look at the website too...

Class discussion:

Which accents can you understand?
Which one makes you laugh?
Is there an accent you are not too fond of?

Task: Look at a map of the United Kingdom and talk about the accents, weather, landscapes, cities, etc.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Splinter, Sprinter, Spinster, Speedster - Words that sound alike! B2+

Splinter Sprinter Spinster Speedster...

What do they mean? Have you tried saying these words quickly? Difficult, right?

Splinter; (noun) that tiny little piece of wood that gets stuck in your hand, finger, foot or toe... 

Jack: "Ouch! I have a splinter in my finger and I can't get it out!"  

Jill: "How did you manage that?"

Jack: "I was lifting up that wooden table, when I felt something sharp go into my middle finger,"

Sprinter; (noun) someone who runs really fast.  Sprinting; (verb) Running really fast.

Jack: "I wanna be a 100 m sprinter when I grow up".

Jill: "You know you have to train really hard to be a sprinter!"

Jack: "Yeah, I know... It'll be a piece of cake."

Spinster; (noun) an unmarried woman, who lives on her own nor has a partner.

Jack: "If you don't go out with me, you're gonna end up an old Spinster!"

Jill: "So be it... I'd rather be a spinster than put up with you!"

Jack: "How rude!"

Speedster; (noun) a person or a thing that operates well at high speed, for example a fast car!

Jill: "Please don't speed in the car Jack! It's dangerous!"

Jack: "No need to worry Jill! I'm a speedster!"

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

iFriendly tour - Please save the Koala! B1, B2, C1 level.

Please save the Koala...

This is not a plea for funding...

I fell in love with Koalas on our trip... We saw them in the wild and we got to cuddle a tame one too... Her name was Wilma and (as far as I was concerned) we bonded immediately!

Here are some facts you should know about the Koala:

They are not bears, so the term Koala bear is incorrect... they are really marsupials, they've been around for 42 million years. Yet today they're in danger.

1. Not a bear but a marsupial with a backwards pouch.

2. A blind jelly bean at birth, the baby Koala climbs unaided into its mother's pouch. Six months later it pops its head out.

3. They're main threat is us... Our farms, cars, pets... and their diseases...

Koala in the wild

A little cuddle from Wilma

Paul and Wilma


B1: Find out two more facts about the Koala. 70 - 100 words

B2: Reasearch and write an essay about the Koala.. Find out why they cannot be found anywhere else in the world; What they eat; Where they sleep; What could we do to save them from extinction?  150 - 200 words.

C1: Research and write a report about another endangered animal. 

Vocabulary builder:

a plea; (noun) a request made in an urgent and emotional manner.

a tame koala; (adj) not wild.

pouch; (noun) a small bag in which Koalas carry their babies... For further reading, click on the link below.

Friday, 16 January 2015

iFriendly goes on a cruise and meets the Yellow eyed Penguins!

iFriendly tour of New Zealand continues...

We are two weeks into our iFriendly tour of New Zealand... only 5 more days to go! 

We are quite tired from all the driving... on average we drive for at least 3 to 5 hours a day. However, the scenery is  amazing...  I especially enjoy talking to the Kiwis a long the way (not the fruit, the money or the animal).  They are a friendly bunch...

Here are some photos from our Cruise on the Milford Sound... It should really be called Milford Fjord but by the time the English realised it was a Fjord, the name 'Sound' had already stuck!  

F.Y.O Fjords were formed by the melting glaciers and Sounds were formed as a result of earthquakes...

Here we have some Sea Lions chilling out on the rock... catching some rays (Sun rays).

Photo of the mountains surrounding the Sound.... No, its not a postcard!

A stunning waterfall pouring its water into the Sound

Now for the Yellow Eyed Penguin, which is the rarest and most anti-social Penguin in the world!

Here is some information about their breeding cycle... 
This is a tunnel leading to the Penguins... we had to keep quiet and stay hidden, so as not to disturb this rare Penguin chick...

Baby Penguin! They wait all day for their parents to come back with their Fish Chowder (a mixture of fish, squid and vomit!)


B1 Describe one of the photos in detail... What do you see? 70 words

B2 Compare two photos in detail... How do they differ?  What are the similarities... Were they taken in the same place? 150 - 200 words

C1 The Yellow-eyed Penguin organisation is funded by tours... Write about an endangered animal. Is there a privately funded organisation helping them?  How do they fund this organisation? 200-25 words

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

iFriendly tour Kayaking and bird watching

Ratanui, Kayaking and bird watching...

Ratanui, Kayaking, bird watching and home grown mussels! (That's right, mussells grown on an underwater farm...)

Ratanui Lodge...  (A.k.a Ratatui lodge, which is what I kept calling it!)

So far the most luxurious place iFriendly has stayed in so far...

A short walk across the road to the nearest beach and a short drive to Golden Bay Kayak, where you are greeted in the Kiwi way (super friendly way) and given instructions on how to manoeuver the kayak, given a spray skirt (this is the coolest most useful invention I have seen in the world of Kayaking) which is essentially a skirt. it grips on to kayak preventing you from getting wet or burnt by the sun.. GENIUS!

We steered around the coves, between the rocks and got some superb shots of the birds and seals in the area. Shag birds and sea gulls were the predominant and we saw two seals enjoying the sun.  They do smell a bit, but that is because they are in the sea a long time and because they eat octopus, which they tear apart... leaving the leftovers to rot in the sun... Nice!

In the evening we checked out a place just outside of Takaka, called the Mussel inn... Delicious big fat juicy mussels.. Yummy!


B1/ B2/ C1 Write a letter to a friend describing a place you have been recently ...
Include an interesting fact about the place.
Advise your friend to visit the place, suggest what they should do whist they are there.

B1 - 70 words

B2/ C1 200 -250 words. For extra reading, click on the links in the texts.

Friday, 9 January 2015

iFriendly visit to Hobbiton - B1 B2 C1

The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movie trilogies

iFriendly visit to Hobbiton

Our visit to The Shire was much better than we had ever imagined... It was awesome... Far out! (as they like to say in New Zealand).

(Far out: Sounds American if you ask me, but pronounced with a New Zealand accent!)

Apparently, when film scouts found the Alexanders' sheep and beef farm just outside of Matamata, they knew it would be the perfect setting for Sir Peter Jackson's adaptation of the classic works of J.R.R Tolkien.  The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movie trilogies.

For those of you who are fans of the book or the movie, it is an amazing experience...

The coach picks you up and drives you straight to the film set, then it drops you off so that you can walk around.  A guide walks around with you and tells you the best place to take a photo.

Walking around was a very cool experience... You could probably imagine how I felt when we went to see the third part of the Hobbit Trilogy in Wellington.... a mere two days later! Very exciting, and seeing the movie set on the big screen was thrilling! To think I had actually walked around there and sat outside Bilbo Baggin's house...

Here are some shots from our visit...

Hobbit house... Did you know that this is just a facade??  There is actually nothing behind the door but earth.

 Knock knock!  Who's there? iFriendly.  iFriendly who?  iFriendly teacher!

 Peter Jackson employed staff to walk around the village everyday... to wash clothes, do some gardening etc... To make it look like people actually lived there.
 The Honey Maker's house...

Bilbo Baggin's house... Bag End!


B1:  Underline all the vocabulary that you do not understand and look up the words in a dictionary.

B2 / C1:  Have you had the opportunity to visit a movie set?  Why don't you tell me about it?
or; find out about a movie set near you and write about it.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

ifriendly tour of New Zealand & Australia - (in Spanglish)

Plan definitivo

The plan is to visit all these places, make a note of all our the amazing experiences and blog, blog, blog away!! 

Some rest and recuperation is needed after a tough 12 weeks as a freelance teacher... but I feel that 2015 is going to be even better... well, it looks like it's gonna start off well! 

Dia 2: Llegada a Auckland. Salida el mismo día y alojamiento en Hahei. Playa.
Día 3: Cathedral Cove. Hot water beach. Salimos para Cambrigde y nos quedamos allí.
Día 4: Waitomo Caves. Hobbiton. Rotorua 
Día 5: Waimangu. Wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland. Lago Taupo de camino.
Día 6: Tongariro Alpine Crossing y dormimos en el mismo sitio.
Dia 7: Ruta en coche hacia Wellington. Podemos ver el lago Taupo si no lo hemos visto antes y luego salir, o llegar a Wellington temprano y pasar el día allí. Podríamos comer en Martinborough, the “gourmet capital of the north island

Día 8: Ferry por la mañana y llegada a Abel Tasman National Park.
Día 9: En Abel Tasman National Park y dormimos en Ratanui Lodge 
Dia 10: Salir de Abel Tasman. Dormir en Hokitika pasando por Punakaiki y Greymouth 
Dia 11: Hokitika hasta el Franz Josef glacier 
Dia 12: Desde el glaciar hasta Queenstown pasando por Wanaka 
Día 13: Queenstown excursiones por allí y segunda noche
Dia 14: Salir hasta Te Anau, podemos comer allí y seguir hasta Milford Sound que son 2 horas. Crucero nocturno en Milford Sound

Día 15: Desde Milford Sound. Intentar llegar lo más cerca posible de Catlins. Pendiente de que me confirmen en Curio Bay, si no reservar otro sitio.
Día 16: Catlins- Dunedin- Península de Otago 
Dia 17: Dunedín-Monte Cook- Tekapo 
Día 18: Glentanner - Monte Cook- Lake Tecapo- Christchurch 
Dia 19: Vuelo de Christchurch a Auckland.
Dia 20: Según nos apetezca entre quedarnos por Auckland y Paihia-Cabo Reinga 
Dia 21: Volver a Auckland y vuelo hacia Melbourne.

Día 22: Great Ocean Road y dormir por el camino 
Dia 23: Volver a Melbourne 
Día 24: Vuelo a Hamilton Island y 3 noches allí 
Día 25: Playa
Día 26: Playa 
Día 27: Vuelo a Sydney 
Dia 28: Sydney (pensar si ir a las Blue Mountains).
Día 29: Sydney Opera house
Dia 30: Vuelo de vuelta.