Adding Emphasis – Inversions

Use an appropriate word to complete the following inversions:

  1. No sooner …………………… the firemen extinguished one forest fire than another started.
  2. Never before ……………….. i been so petrified as when i did a parachute jump.
  3. I suspect that only much later from now ………………we find out the cause of the explosion.
  4. Little …………….. we know at the moment where the ability to clone humans might lead.
  5. Under no circumstances ……………………….passengers permitted to smoke on the flight.
  6. At no time ………………… you leave your luggage unattended at airports.
  7. Rarely …………………. anyone have witnessed such an amazing sight as the view from space.
  8. Not until they were sure that everyone was safe ………………. the soldiers leave the building.

Which words or phrases make the sentences emphatic?

Now say the sentences without adding emphasis


Correct the errors in the following sentences:

  1. Scarcely the band had announced their world tour when they were forced to cancel it.
  2. The planet not only is becoming polluted but is getting warmer too.
  3. In no way the lorry driver was to blame for the crash.
  4. No sooner the prince arrived in the ski resort than he was besieged by reporters.
  5. Little Shakespeare’s contemporaries can have guessed how enduring his plays would prove to be.
  6. Nowhere in the world they serve such delicious foods in Italy.
  7. Not until a few years ago anyone knew about the existence of the buried treasure.
  8. Botanists only by chance discovered the rare plant growing under a rock.


Rewrite the following sentences using the emphatic structures from the previous task:

  1. We drove off to the coast and got a puncture almost immediately.
  2. I couldn’t find a pencil anywhere in the house.
  3. They’d only just got to the summit when a thick fog descended.
  4. The flat is damp and draughty as well.
  5. It’s only recently that we found out his true identity.


Fantasy Dinner Party

You are hosting a dinner party for four famous people (dead or alive)

Choose 3 people from the following list to attend your Dinner Party.  Choose one other famous person of your own choice.  Give reasons for your answers.

  • Stephen Hawking,
  • Martin Luther King,
  • Alan Turing,
  • Mark Zuckerberg,
  • Oskar Schindler,
  • King George VI of England,
  • Kurt Cobain,
  • Oscar Wilde,
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Steve Jobs

All of these famous people have had movies made about them.

  • Can you name them?
  • Have you seen any of these movies?
  • How have these people made a contribution to society?








You see the following announcement on a website.  Great Lives

Reviews Wanted

Send us a review of a book or a film that focuses on somebody who has made an important contribution to society.

Did you learn anything new about the person’s life from the book or film?  Did the book or film help you understand why this person made their important contribution?



CAE Use of English Part 3 Introduction Lesson

  • Where does language come from?
  • How does language evolve over time?
  • What slang words/text speak do you know?
  • What do the following examples tell us about how English is growing? adorkable, bromance, chillaxing, frape, staycation, defriend)


CAE Speaking Part 2 Practice

“Candidates will always be asked to speculate about something which relates to the focus of the visuals. They will never be asked to merely describe the visuals” (CAE Teachers’ Handbook)

Use these wonderfully evocative images to inspire discussion in order to practise Part 2 of the CAE or FCE Exams

40 of the Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken

  • Tell me something about the image...(What is happening? What can you see?)
  • When might the photo have been taken? / What could be happening?  (speculate – It may/might/could have been + past participle, they may/might/could be + present participle)
  • What makes the photo powerful? (give your opinion e.g personally, in my opinion)



The photo is black and white and there is a long line of soldiers, for this reason, i think it was taken during World War II.  There is a boy running up to one of the men in uniform, it is probably the boy’s father.  He could be running to say goodbye if his father is going to fight in the war.  The photo shows the personal sacrifice of war like fathers having to leave their families, not knowing if they will see each other again.  I feel as though the impact of the photo comes from the length of the queue, as we ask ourselves how many families are torn apart due to war?

Get students to peer assess each other and jot down examples of the following language that they hear their partner use…



Give Opinion:

After the exercise, students can give feedback on how effectively their partner covered each of the three areas and examples of language they used.  As a plenary, students could pool together all of the different examples of the target language (describe, speculate, give opinion) on the board and then take a photo.

Sisters pose for the same photo three separate times, years apart.

A Russian war veteran kneels beside the tank he spent the war in, now a monument.

Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis is arrested for participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011.

A monk prays for an elderly man who had died suddenly while waiting for a train in Shanxi Taiyuan, China.

A dog named “Leao” sits for a second consecutive day at the grave of her owner, who died in the disastrous landslides near Rio de Janiero on January 15, 2011.

The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of their protest. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result.

Jewish prisoners at the moment of their liberation from an internment camp “death train” near the Elbe in 1945.

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the uprisings in Cairo, Egypt, in 2011.

A North Korean man waves his hand as a South Korean relative weeps, following a luncheon meeting during inter-Korean temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort October 31, 2010. Four hundred and thirty-six South Koreans were allowed to spend three days in North Korea to meet their 97 North Korean relatives, whom they had been separated from since the 1950-53 war.

Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela.

A 4-month-old baby girl in a pink bear suit is miraculously rescued from the rubble by soldiers after four days missing following the Japanese tsunami.

Robert Peraza pauses at his son’s name on the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center.

Tanisha Blevin, 5, holds the hand of fellow Hurricane Katrina victim Nita LaGarde, 105, as they are evacuated from the convention center in New Orleans.

The iconic photo of Tank Man, the unknown rebel who stood in front of a column of Chinese tanks in an act of defiance following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Harold Whittles hears for the first time ever after a doctor places an earpiece in his left ear.

Pele and British captain Bobby Moore trade jerseys in 1970 as a sign of mutual respect during a World Cup that had been marred by racism.

Earthrise: A photo taken by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.

Movie Lesson


Everyone loves talking about movies, right?  Well, here’s a two-part lesson based on genre.

Begin by showing your students these fantastic ‘movie poster cliches’ from 22 Words



I think these images are a great lead into a brainstorm on different movie genres and their codes and conventions.  Elicit the typical characteristics that you would find in different genres e.g

  • Props
  • Music
  • Character types
  • Narrative

At this point watch a couple of movie trailers to confirm typical features such as The Quest, boy meets girl, hero/villain, damsel in distress etc…

Then use the Trailer function of iMovie and get the students to make their own movie trailer.  It’s really easy to use; as it tells you which camera angle to use and how long each shot needs to be.  Then you simply add your own text and it does the rest.  They look great and the students love the end result.
Here are the versions that my students came up with. Fantastic examples of horror and action/adventure movie trailers.

Tackling Homophobia in Schools.

This could not be more important…This is a job for all us


This post is a way of helping to publicise the excellent materials that are produced by Stonewall to help school tackle homophobia.  The website resources are superb: I’m also keen to seek out advice from others who have already been down this road with some success.

As these graphics from a Stonewall leaflet show, homophobia in schools is a very serious issue.  But there are some simple steps schools can take. (Download the pdf here: Secondary cornerstone )

The ten point plan seems like an excellent path to follow:

A Stonewall leaflet. The five step plan is clear and simple. A Stonewall leaflet. The five step plan is clear and simple.

And the second page:

The  Stonewall plan for tackling homophobia The Stonewall plan for tackling homophobia

At KEGS, we are planning to launch a campaign, primarily focusing on eliminating the pejorative use of ‘Gay’. This is one of Stonewall’s campaigns and they have excellent resources. We’ll be getting students to help plan and deliver the…

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My Idiom/Vine lesson has proved to be a winner with all age ranges and levels.  It has worked well as a cover lesson, as it needs hardly any preparation; I just put the lesson on the screen and it’s good to go.  In bigger groups, when i didn’t have enough ipads, the students used their own phones and many already had Vine accounts.  It’s quick and simple and best of all…the students love it!!

Here’s a selection of my favourites so far…

You’re pulling my leg

At Death’s Door!

Kick the Bucket!

No point crying over spilt milk!

Which is your favourite?

Check out My Vine Page to see other attempts