Kosova English Teachers' Network
Hello everybody. I’ve been asked by the designers of this site to prepare a few language lessons to keep you occupied during the summer. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, you’ve earned some time off, but for those who want to continue learning, I hope you’ll find the lessons helpful.
Frankly, I think birds are a lot more interesting than people, but you’re entitled to your own opinion. For those who find it useful to associate with people, here are some common expressions, all of which originated as slang, that will help you to describe them. Many of these terms are probably familiar to you, but even if they are, you might want to teach them to your students. Let’s get started!
1. GO-GETTER – someone who is very active, who takes action, and does lots of things
2. JERK – a person who isn’t nice; he’s rude and sometimes cruel
3. BLABBERMOUTH – this person can’t keep a secret; he tells it to everybody
4. GOOD SPORT – someone who doesn’t complain when he loses, but instead congratulates has the winner
5. WORRY-WART – a person who worries about everything
6. HAS-BEEN – this person was once popular or successful, but isn’t any longer
7. SHOW-OFF – a person who likes to display his skill or talent to other people in order to attract their attention and get their approval
8. SMART-ALECK – a conceited person who thinks he knows everything and tries to demonstrate this, often in a rude way.
9. TATTLETALE – a young child who likes to tell adults about another’s child misbehavior
10. CLOWN – a person who tries to be amusing by telling jokes or behaving foolishly, sometimes at inappropriate times; this term is sometimes used to criticize someone
11. EAGER BEAVER – a person who often volunteers to do extra work, sometimes to win another person’s approval
A PEOPLE TYPE CLASSROOM ACTIVITY
Here’s an activity that can be used with intermediate level learners or higher. Place students in groups of three or four. Give one of the people terms to each person in the group and instruct them to design a brief skit (only one or two minutes long) in which a “people type” is demonstrated but not mentioned directly. After the performance, the rest of the class must guess the people type that each student was demonstrating. If your class is large, add several more terms to the list but no more than 15. It’s all right if the people type is demonstrated by another person in a different group. That will help everyone to become more familiar with the term.
NICE WORDS AND UGLY WORDS
Have you ever noticed that some words have a pleasant sound, but others don’t. For example, “chandelier" slides off the tongue. "Serene” is also a very nice word. “Mellifluous" sounds mellifluous and “tranquil” sounds tranquil. “Fluffy” is fun to say.
Ugly English words include "diarrhea," “shriek,” and I’m sorry, “pedagogy.” One of the ugliest words that I know begins with the letter H and ends with the letter R. Can you guess what it is? I’ll tell you below.
If you have a favorite word or one that you always find unpleasant, please use this blog to tell others about it. It will be interesting to learn about the ones you like and dislike.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Here are the last words that famous people are believed to have said just before they died.
1. “Am I dying or is this my birthday? – Lady Nancy Astor of Great Britain (when she awoke briefly during her last illness and found her family around her bedside).
2. “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” - Oscar Wilde, British writer and wit.
3. “I am about to—or I am going to—die. Either expression is correct.” – Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian.
4. “Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.” - Queen Marie Antoinette of France, after she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner as she went to the guillotine.
5. “Dammit. Don’t you dare ask God to help me.” – American actress Joan Crawford (said to her housekeeper who began to pray aloud.)
6. “I can’t sleep.” - J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan.
7. “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.” – Richard Feynman, American physicist.
AN ESPECIALLY UGLY WORD
You might have a different opinion, but I’ve never liked the word “hunter.” I don’t understand humans who get pleasure from killing animals.