Articles and sentient animals

New Zealand now recognises all animals as sentient beings!

Discuss with a friend.. If animals are sentient beings (they can think and feel pretty much like humans can), how does this affect our attitude to:

  • animals as food
  • scientific experimentation involving animals (vivisection)
  • animals in sport and entertainment

After your discussion, read the following text and select articles as appropriate. Continue reading

IELTS Disco Descriptors

IELTS Speaking and IELTS Writing scores are decided by an examiner who refers to descriptions of people’s ability at ten levels, or bands, from 0 up to 9. Candidates are not allowed to see the official descriptors used by examiners, but IELTS do allow you to see a public version of the descriptors that is very similar.

I thought it would be fun to add some colour and clickability to the dreary old public band descriptors! Put on some disco music and click away! Continue reading

Sustainable articles

There was confusion in class recently about the meaning of ‘sustainability’, so let’s take a few minutes out to get our heads around this extremely important social issue. Below is the opening of the Wikipedia entry on sustainability. Find out what sustainablity actually is and at the same time practice using articles!

A related practice activity focusing on the effects of plastic on the environment can be found here. And if you need ideas about how to choose articles to go with nouns, read this.

As usual, if you think an article isn’t needed, just leave the drop-down menu blank! Continue reading

Plastic articles

Just as plastic causes problems for our planet, articles cause all kinds of problems for students of English, especially when their first language doesn’t really have them (Indonesian!).

In a more recent practice activity the focus is on sustainable development and how that relates to the envirnoment. Meanwhile if you’re not sure about how to use articles in English (a, an, the), read this first, and then try the activity below!

In addition to the instruction given, if no article is suitable then don’t make a selection. Good luck! Continue reading

Articles and/or ‘s’

WARNING to lazy students! This post includes tricky grammar rules and there’s a challenging practice activity for you to try at the end!

Articles and nouns

For every noun you speak or write, you need to use grammar to communicate one of the meanings in the ‘meaning’ column in the table below. Continue reading

How ‘academic’ is your vocabulary?

Disclaimer: I didn’t create the Academic Word List. That distinction goes to a lady called Averil Coxhead. And I know there are other sites offering academic word highlighting, but I need my own app because I’m planning to integrate the AWL with other @guruEAP posts and pages in the near future.

So, you wanna know how ‘academic’ your vocab is?

Type or paste some text into the field below, then click ‘Check for academic words!’ Continue reading

Mangkunegaran – recounting an experience

I already know the theory – give me the gapfill!


In IELTS speaking part 2 you are required to speak for between 1 and 2 minutes about a topic given by the examiner. Although it is difficult to predict the topic, the generic features of your spoken text are likely to follow one of two types. Here I demonstrate one of these types – recount.

First I’ll talk you through the predictable features of recount and then we’ll look at an example. Continue reading