What is this "innit" I hear everywhere?
Somebody stopped me in the street and asked me for a "ciggie".
Why do people say "Cheers, mate" all the time?
Why do young people say "I'm not bothered".
I heard someone say they were having bangers and mash for their dinner.
I often hear "Are you gonna watch the footie tonight?" What is" footie"?
The "Y" Factor
I would like to share one lesson I will be doing next week. The focus will be on groups of words which end in -y or -ie. These tend to crop up a lot in everyday conversation.
I introduce the topic by reading out the dialogue below at normal speed, without showing the words. It is a dialogue, which I actually heard a few years ago. I then ask my students to tell me what the dialogue was about. I am usually met with some bemused looks!
A Bickie, Polly?
B Cheers, mate!
A Choccy bickie?
B Oooh! Fab!
A Here you go.
B Cheers, mate.
A No probs!
I ask my students to "translate" this brief dialogue into more formal English:
A Would you like a biscuit, Polly?
B Thanks, my friend.
A Would you like a chocolate biscuit?
B Ooooh! Fabulous!
A Here you are.
B Thank you!
A My pleasure.
The next stage is to get students in groups to brainstorm words that the students may have come across, which feature these 2 particular endings. Groups then feedback to the whole class and words are written up on the board.
Using Authentic Materials
Next I ask students to stand up and look around the classroom walls, where I have stuck some articles from newspapers/magazines/the Internet, which show concrete examples of words or phrases ending in -y or -ie. In pairs, students jot them down in their noteboooks and they try to work out the meaning from the context. General open class feedback follows with definitions and explanations of the 20 or so words from the authentic materials.
I have copied some examples below, taken from the Internet:
David Cameron egged by a hoodie
Heatwave to end today with thunderstorms
Bring in the barbecue and get out the brolly - the heatwave will end today with thunderstorms. And temperatures will plummet to a chilly 13C (55F) in the North next week.
Gourmet tour of Britain: Nicholas Roe enjoys a foodie safari through the UK countryside.
One of the most enjoyable ways of exploring the highways and byways of Britain is to follow a regional food trail - of which there is an ever increasing number. These involve touring restaurants, farm shops, delis, vineyards and cider producers in some of the most scenic areas of the country. Here's a selection to whet the appetite this summer.
Via the Telegraph
Taxman demands share of Oscars goodies
Those who hold a rose-tinted view of the entertainment industry may wish to look away now. It turns out that the eye-poppingly expensive gifts showered upon the film stars who present the Oscars are not given purely out of a spirit of generosity.
America's tax authorities are cracking down on the "goodie bags" handed out to awards presenters, which now frequently include luxury holidays, expensive hi-tech gadgets, designer clothing and even free laser eye surgery, and are valued at up to $100,000 (£53,000) each. The free items are a marketing tool and a de-facto payment for the stars' services, the internal revenue service insists, so do not count as gifts and are liable for tax.
I then have a few more activities to practise the new words. For example, a wordsearch created on www.puzzlemaker.com. Students have to find the 17 words in the puzzle. The answers are directly below.
H U T R T R K W G J X W Z H HBROLLY
R U H C S Y C C O H C G I C Y
J W Z C R A T J H S X H U E G
R I B D Y B B J K W D I B W C
E P I B U E I N R A S E P B U
S E B B O M E P V H H C J I W
B U L A I R Y L L K M B Z E S
E U O F L L P E E K W G L M Q
Y I S D T E G Z K E P C O M L
C F T Y I C T J E Q B B R U U
L O H O I E F O Y R K I B Y U
Y F M G O O V L L L K C E N N
B W G F O F B O S I C K I E W
H T Y L V J F F C D Z Z Y C J
U O F L P K G R J V X L L Y Y
17 of 17 words were placed into the puzzle.
H + Y + + + F + + + + + Y + +
+ O + L + + + R + + + + L Y +
E + O + L + + + E + + + L M +
+ I + D + E + + + E + + O M +
C + T + I C T + + + B B R U +
+ O + O I E F + Y + + I B Y +
+ + M G O O + L + + + C E N +
+ + G F O F B + S I C K I E +
+ I + D Y B + + + + + I + W +
E + I B U E I N R A S E + B +
+ E B B + + + + + + + + + I +
+ U L A I R Y + + + + + + E +
H + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + Y C C O H C + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
TELLY = TELEVISION
BROLLY = UMBRELLA
COMFY = COMFORTABLE etc
I hold up the informal words and students shout out the formal words. I then hold up the formal words and students shout out the informal words. I do this slowly the first time round, but much quicker the second time.
Memory games can be played by placing all the cards face down on the floor. In teams, students have to pick up 2 cards to make pairs. The team with the most pairs, is the winner.
Write each new word on a small bit of paper. Put them in a hat. Go round the class inviting a student to pick a card from the hat. The student has to begin a story using the word. A second student picks out a word and has to continue the same story incorporating their word and so on, until all the students have taken part in the group story building activity. Depending on the number of students, I sometimes get them to repeat the same story several times verbally and then ask them to write it up using the words as a visual prompt. For this activity, you may like the students to create their stories as a newspaper article. The Newspaper Generator from fodey.com is excellent for this purpose. See an example below:
Students could also create short dialogues to practise the new phrases and read them out to the class.