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’

[alert type=”danger” dismissable=”true”] WARNING to lazy students! This post includes tricky grammar rules and there’s a challenging practice activity for you to try at the end![/alert]

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

Linkin’ Text – A pronunciation app

Note! I’m still working on the algorithm and I’d very much appreciate your feedback on how it’s working so far!


Indonesian flag Indonesian students are used to separating – when they speak Indonesian – every single syllable, and therefore every single word, so that the boundaries between words are always easy to identify. Unfortunately, native English speakers try where possible to join words together in speech, making the boundaries between words less obvious.

Indonesian flag Indonesians are aware that they can still communicate well in English without linking words the way English native speakers do. However, forcing yourself to link words has at least two important advantages:

  • Identifying word boundaries (when listening) becomes much easier if you are able to produce – in speaking – word boundaries!
  • Linking – or connecting – words gets you a higher score for pronunciation in IELTS Speaking!

Linkin’ text highlights 4 link types:

  • Red shows that a sound has been moved.
  • Blue shows that a sound has been added.
  • Green shows that a sound has been changed.
  • Faded shows that a sound has been omitted.

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Boys and girls in school + expert opinion

Do boys and girls benefit from being taught together? Richard Cairns, head of Brighton College, says ‘yes’, Helen Fraser, chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust, says ‘no’.

  1. Consider the claims below and discuss them with a friend. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Read the text and decide who the claims belong to – Richard Cairns, Helen Fraser, or both!
  3. Add comments! Tell us about schools in your culture. What works best – single sex or coeducational?

Remember to read the instructions carefully before you begin! ×
Continue reading