Partners or Partners’ or Partner’s? (Helpful Examples)

Have you been partnered up and asked to write the possessive form of “partner?” Perhaps you’re wondering where to place the apostrophe in either “partner’s” or “partners’.”

Don’t worry; this article will have all the answers!

Partners or Partners’ or Partner’s?

“Partners” is plural. It is not possessive, but it still works to refer to more than one partner. “Partners'” is the plural possessive form (i.e. “multiple partners’ addresses”). “Partner’s” is the singular possessive (i.e. “my partner’s name”). The possessive forms show ownership of certain objects.

partners' or partner's

Here’s a quick reference to help you understand the forms we’re working with:

The simple trick is to remember how many “partners” you’re talking about. While “partners” generally refers to a group of two, it can still be used in the singular form.

The singular “Partner” can become “partner’s” when possessive grammar rules are applied. You only need to add an apostrophe and an “s” to the end of the term. This allows you to show one partner owning an item.

The plural “Partners” becomes “partners'” when possessive rules apply. This time, only an apostrophe is added. You don’t need a second “s” as “partners” already end with one. This time, it shows that many partners own multiple objects.

“Partner’s” is the simpler possessive form of the two. It’s the one you’re more likely to come across since “partner” generally refers to the second person in a group of two (with you being the first).

“Partner’s” is the singular possessive form. This form is used when one partner owns an object .

It works similarly to the plural possessive form. You can add an item after including the apostrophe and “s” at the end of the word.

  • I’m going to need his partner’s name. We can’t do this without knowing more about them.
  • This is your partner’s house, right? Do you mind giving me a tour of the place?

Unlike the plural form, you may also add the item before the possessive:

  • That name is my partner’s, not mine.

“Partners'” is the plural possessive form . This means that many partners own multiple objects. This form is great to use when referring to more than one partner, as long as they own something.

But how do you show ownership in your writing? That’s where the apostrophe comes in.

The apostrophe offsets the ownership. It allows you to place an item directly after the plural possessive form. The object that comes after the form is now owned by “Partners:”

  • I need to know the partners’ names before I can move forward with this. How many do you have ?
  • We have all the partners’ addresses here. I think that’s going to help us figure out our next steps.

“Partners” is the plural form of “partner.” It means that more than one “partner” is present. That’s it. There’s no possession to it, but it’s still grammatically correct.

You should use it on its own to show how many people you’re talking about.

  • I have two partners that could help me understand what to do with this project.
  • His partners aren’t going to be much use for this exam. Maybe he should go elsewhere.

As you can see, “partners” only refers to the plural form. To add possession, you need apostrophes.

“Partners” is not possessive. It is only the plural form.

For possessive forms, you have either “partner’s” or “partners’.”

“Partner’s” is the singular possessive form. This shows only one partner owning an object.

“Partners'” is the plural possessive form. This time, multiple partners own the same object (or group of objects).

martin lassen dam grammarhow

Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here .

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How to Use Correct Subject-Verb Agreement in Your Presentations

  • By: Gabrielle Reed

Every expert writer needs an equally expert editor. Why? Because studies have shown that over time, our brains will begin to read a piece of text the way we want to read it. As writers, we become intimately involved with the words we have produced. We develop such an intense relationship with our content that we oftentimes overlook mistakes – like ensuring subject-verb agreement among the copy used in the speaker’s script and on the slides. Applying correct subject-verb agreement establishes the credibility of a presenter and demonstrates care for presentation content. Let’s review the standard subject-verb agreement guidelines, highlight a few situations you might run into, and reveal the impact following the grammar rule will have on your deck.

The Basic Rule

With subject-verb agreement, opposites do not usually attract. A singular subject prefers to be paired with a singular verb, while a plural subject wants to be included with a plural verb. In the following examples, the subject and verb of the sentence are italicized.

The current projections for our future earnings is trending positively.

The current projections for our future earnings are trending positively.

As long as you use the “opposites don’t attract” rule when thinking about subject-verb agreement, you will likely minimize the grammar issues on your slides. But, there are a few situations that could throw you through a loop.

Common Tricky Scenarios

If you are having trouble with a phrase you have included in your speaking script or as part of the copy on a slide, ask yourself the following questions to determine the scenario at hand.

1. Is the subject separated from the verb?

Oftentimes, presenters may use prepositional phrases or relative clauses in their speech or slide content. Doing so can create an instance where the subject of a sentence gets separated from the verb – possibly by a plural.

Each of the departments owns a part of the project.

Each of the departments own a part of the project.

2. Is the subject an indefinite pronoun?

As a presenter, you are more likely to talk about indefinite pronouns in your speeches. For example, you may sell a proprietary product called Bangor Bottles. Let’s say you include the following sentence describing Bangor Bottles in a speaking script:

Only some of our Bangor Bottles were damaged in the manufacturing plant accident.

In the sentence above, Bangor Bottles is a countable noun, therefore, you would use the plural. If you are handling an uncountable noun, you would use the singular.

3. Are collective nouns serving as subjects?

Collective nouns involve a group of individual elements. Generally, this type of countable noun will incorporate a singular verb. The only exception to this rule is if the noun becomes plural. You’ll most likely run into a collective noun issue when integrating countable nouns of amount or measurement. Review sample usage below:

A one-time installment of $500 is enough to benefit from our basic services.

The majority of the time, a collective noun will take a singular verb.

For more information about the outlined rules, as well as a few others you may need to know, check out a few of LinguisTech’s tips and tricks .

Impact on Your Presentations

Using the correct subject-verb agreement helps a presenter sound more confident in his or her content and creates mistake-free slides for viewers. Take a look at the following example slides. The top slide contains incorrect subject-verb agreement, while the bottom slide displays correct subject-verb agreement.

your partners' presentation grammar

Although it may seem like a small change, it could be a huge error in the eyes of many presentation attendees. By checking the accuracy of your subject-verb agreement, you eliminate a factor that could turn a potential customer, client, or investor away from your product, service, or concept.

More from the Ethos3 blog:

When to Stand By Your Content: The Colbert-FCC Controversy

The Psychology of Metaphors in Presentations

Using Intertextuality in Presentations

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Making a presentation: language and phrases (1)

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This is a list of phrases to help you make a professional presentation in English.

Clear structure, logical progression

Good presenters always use language (sometimes single words, sometimes phrases) which shows where they are in their presentation. These ‘signposts’ make it easier for the audience to:

  • follow the structure of the presentation
  • understand the speaker more easily
  • get an idea of the length and content of the presentation.

We’ve divided the phrases and sentences into sections which follow the logical progression of a well-balanced presentation.

1. Welcoming

  • Good morning and welcome to [name of company, name of conference hall, hotel, etc.].
  • Thank you all very much for coming today.
  • I hope you all had a pleasant journey here today.

2. Introducing yourself

  • My name is Mark Watson and I am responsible for … .
  • My name is Mark Watson from [name of company], where I am responsible for … .
  • Let me introduce myself; my name is Mark Watson and I am responsible for … .

3. Introducing your presentation

  • The purpose of today’s presentation is to … .
  • The purpose of my presentation today is to … .
  • In today’s presentation I’d like to … show you … . / explain to you how … .
  • In today’s presentation I’m hoping to … give you an update on… / give you an overview of … .
  • In today’s presentation I’m planning to … look at … . / explain … .

You can also outline your presentation to give the audience a clear overview of what they can expect:

  • In today’s presentation I’m hoping to cover three points:
  • firstly, … , after that we will look at … , and finally I’ll … .
  • In today’s presentation I’d like to cover three points:
  • firstly, … , secondly … , and finally … .

4. Explaining that there will be time for questions at the end

  • If you have any questions you’d like to ask, please leave them until the end, when I’ll be happy to answer them.
  • If there are any questions you’d like to ask, please leave them until the end, when I’ll do my best to answer them.

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There have been many famous Partners. They have become famous because they work together seamlessly and take advantage of one another's strengths. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Brooks and Dunn, Abbott and Costello, Sonny and Cher, Martin and Lewis, and Batman and Robin are examples of perfect Partners. How many keynote speakers are Partners? How often do teachers or professors Partner to deliver a class or lecture? It's really not something we see everyday, except in the world of business. It's not unusual to see two presenters at staff meetings, conventions, conferences, and seminars. Often, the boss or a more experienced presenter is the lead person and their "Presentation Partner", is learning from their tutelage.

As anyone who has delivered a day long seminar knows, it is difficult to stay fully engaged and focused all day. That is another reason people team up with another to present a topic.

There are many reason's people provide Partner Presentations and the "Partnering Pro," Terry Wisner shares his seven key success factors for presentation Partners need to consider.

1) First and foremost, introduce yourselves and explain why the two of you are there. Tell them what each of you bring to the party and how they, the audience, will benefit. A great way to begin the presentation is to literally introduce your Partner and tell the participants what portion of the content they will cover. Then, of course, your Partner will deliver an introduction of you and the points you will discuss.

2) As always, the audience needs to know where they are going. Share an agenda and tell them what each Partner is doing. It's a good idea to post this or have a copy on the table for everyone. Here's a tip: Alternate the font (style and color) between speaking Partners on the agenda. This will serve as a visual aid to help the audience see where they are going.

3) The famous Partners mentioned earlier were, and are, successful for many reasons. They often talk about chemistry and how they know what the other Partner is going to do. Make certain you and your Partner know exactly what the other plans to do and say. Don't trip over each other and make sure you display confidence in one another. Meeting attendees will sense any confusion or frustration from the stage and your message will be lost.

4) Abbott and Costello were great Partners on radio and later on the Silver Screen. One of their most famous radio bits was "Who's on First?" Unlike those two in the classic skit, it is extremely important that you agree on which Partner is on first. The alternation between Partners striking a balance of time and content. One of the biggest distractions, in joint presentations, is when the Partner seemingly stands around waiting for their turn, and then gets up on stage, says a few words and just as quickly exits the stage. If there isn't balance, there probably isn't a reason to have the second person on stage.

5) In order to perform #2 well, be sure to make clear transitions. When one Partner has completed their section or topic, make a physical and literal "handoff" to the other Partner. Some ideas that work here are: Handover the microphone, check off the item on the agenda that was just completed, and then introduce the Partner and their topic. Wrap-up your topic and ask your Partner what they are going to talk about. Have a different template or look on your visual aids. There are many ways to make a clear shift during a presentation while maintaining the attention of the listeners.

6) When you're not there! Often, people who regularly co-present or deliver training violate this rule. Have you ever seen a co-presenter go to the back of the room, sit at the "instructors table", and read the USA Today? Partners need to stay in the game. Baseball players don't sit in the dugout reading the paper when their fellow players are up to bat. Neither should a presentation Partner. In fact, the Partner should sit off to one side and actively listen. This also allows them to watch the addresses and evaluate how well they (the audience) are getting the message. It is also important to note that Partners should never interrupt the other. The point you want to make can wait until you get up and make the transition. Besides, the audience probably won't benefit enough to outweigh the distraction.

7) Always wrap-up the presentation with both Partners on stage. Show sincere appreciation for and thank each other. My presentation Partner and I will summarize the other's points, check for acceptance of the audience, and then encourage listeners to implement their action plans.

There are many reasons why most of us don't like to hear Partner Presentations. Basically, they come off as clumsy and awkward. If you find yourself in the discomfited position of having to give one, implement these seven steps. You, your Partner and your audience will be glad you did. Your audience will walk away having enjoyed a Perfect Partner Presentation. Partnering is the hottest thing in the personal change strategy arena. Try it and become more successful.

Terry Wisner is the founder and President of “Partnering To Success.” [] His knowledge of and experience in both organization and individual development is extensive. He holds a BBA from University of Michigan and a Masters in Organization Science from Central Michigan University. However, his true learning has come from working with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals to improve performance. This understanding has generated the “Partnering” process. This process will help business partners, spouses, life partners and roommates become more successful. His energetic, interesting and informative style makes Terry a very popular keynote speaker. Whether before an audience of 8000 or in one of his remarkable retreats, he makes everyone comfortable, engaged, and ready for change. As a consultant, Terry works with organizations to specifically improve the training and organizational developments ROI. After working with a Fortune 500 company, Terry has developed a passion for helping others become more successful, and “Partnering” is just the ticket.

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18 ESL Pair Work Speaking Activities That Get Students Psyched

You really must get your students to speak .

That’s the only way they’ll achieve English fluency and find their own voices in their new language.

It’s not good enough if it’s just in their heads.

It’s not good enough that they’re mumbling along while the whole class chants together.

You’ve got to get your ESL students in the zone and get them talking.

We’ve got some ESL pair activities for your lessons to help you do just this!

1. Read a conversation script together

2. act out a drama or role-play, 3. information gap, 4. line up role plays, 5. getting to know each other, 6. two team games, 7. picture dictation, 8. rhythm games, 9. grammar chants, 10. who’s who, 11. puppet plays, 12. telephone conversations, 13. memory cards, 14. story retelling, 15. short story creation, 16. acting out, 17. great debate, 18. picture portrayal, why you should have esl pair work in your lessons, considerations for choosing partners.

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If you’re using a textbook or creating your own materials, you’ll often want students to practice a conversation to shake things up. To help them learn good spoken English and also use proper conversational intonation rather than a flat reading voice, give them these instructions:

“Always look at your partner when you speak.”

To achieve this they must first read the line they’re going to say, hold the words in their memory, look up at their partner and then say the line . When they’ve said their line(s), their partner can look down, read and prepare to say theirs.

This may seem slow, at first, but they’ll retain the language much more effectively and they can practice good English intonation (which is so different from many other languages).

This involves more action than just reading through a script. The students may or may not have prepared the words themselves—it’s up to you if you want them to draft a script together at some point.

They could be improvising or repeating learned words. They could be moving around and acting things out. They could even be using props ! But the one thing that they’re not  doing is reading. Students love being active, and this could be a good follow-up activity to the previous one. This really takes speaking to another level.

This could also be a very quick activity for an in-class review of recent lessons. For example, your students could quickly pair up and practice asking each other the time, complaining about the lateness of the bus or discussing something else involving vocabulary you’ve just been studying.

This is often referred to as a “jigsaw” activity. It involves getting pairs to converse naturally about a topic. When you speak to someone in real life, you don’t know the whole story already—and a script will give away the whole story.

In this activity, you’ll be giving each student in a pair half of the information for the conversation. Then you’ll let them talk about it until they both have the complete story .

Many textbooks include information gap activities, and there are worksheets for this that you can take from ESL websites. However, you can also create your own worksheets and stories to suit what you’re presently teaching in class. Some examples are:

  • A filled-in crossword puzzle with each part missing different letters or words.
  • A story or series of sentences with gaps for different words in each.
  • Two pictures with different items or details removed from each.

For more ideas, visit this post: 

Are you looking for great information gap activities for your ESL class? Then you’ve come to the right place. These fun and effective activities are always popular with…

In this activity your students get to pair off several times with different people and have a similar conversation with each new partner. They get to practice improvising a little bit instead of just repeating the same things over and over. Students are divided into two groups and each group is assigned one of two roles, such as:

  • Buyers and sellers
  • Complainers and listeners
  • Policemen and offenders
  • Doctors and patients

Or anything else that you’ve been working on teaching in class.

Students in one group pair up with members of the other group, each for a few minutes, and then move on to another at your call. They could have specific guidance from the teacher about what to discuss at each position or they could improvise, depending on their level of ability.

For example, in a buying and selling role play each Seller could have a list (or pictures) of what they’re selling. This could either be devised by the teacher beforehand or created by them during the activity. The Buyers could each have a shopping list (words or pictures) also devised by the teacher or created by students. The Sellers could be seated, and the Buyers could each approach a Shop and ask about something(s) on their shopping list: do they have the item, how much is it, etc.

When the students hear the signal or call from the teacher, each Buyer moves on to another Seller’s table. It’s kind of like speed dating!

One of the first things that any ESL teacher does with a new class is have students introduce themselves to one another. Introductions can be done in pairs to reduce the pressure and possible stress of being in a new group . You can even add new layers to the whole “getting to know you” phase, as students can swap partners and tell their new partner about their old partner.

With partner swapping activities, it often works to have the students sit in two circles, one inside the other. When a change is called, one circle can move to the next partner in a specified direction.

If this isn’t one of the very first lessons, the students can use the same partner swapping movement but instead ask about other topics such as hobbies, favorite foods, family. As before, have them move on to tell their next partner about their last partner (using appropriate pronouns and verb tenses).

After pairing up, partners can compete against each other.

The class lines up in two lines, one from each pair in each line. As they arrive at the front of their lines, they’ll be competing with one another to answer a question, spell a word, write something on the board, fill in a blank or whatever competition you set up that’s relevant to your lesson at the time.

Alternatively, after pairing up each pair can be a team and work together. When their turn comes, they’ll approach the board and try to list the greatest number of food words beginning with the letter B. Of course, you’re welcome to change this up according to your recent lessons’ thematic focus.

You could also lead into this activity by having partners sit together momentarily to discuss options and ideas.

After pairing up for this activity, partners will need to sit facing each other, one with a blank sheet of paper and the other with a simple picture held so that their partner can’t see it. (Make sure that the light doesn’t shine through so that their partner can see it.) The student with the picture dictates to their partner what to draw .

Dictation vocabulary will depend on what stage your students are at. If the picture is very simple then it can be described in terms of shapes (circle, line, straight, etc.), sizes and spatial relationships (next to, under, etc.). For a more complex picture, the elements could be described as they are (man, dog, house, hill, etc.)

To make it interesting, the students could both have the same background picture in front of them to start. One student in the pair will have simple stick figures or animals in the foreground that the other student doesn’t have. The student with the more elaborate illustration will then attempt to describe how to complete the drawing.

Young students especially enjoy a sense of rhythm , and becoming aware of rhythm is actually an important part of their general language development, not just second language acquisition.

In pairs, they can improve their concentration and coordination with clapping games where they follow a sequence of clapping their own hands and then their partner’s hands, possibly adding another body percussion, such as knee pats and shoulder taps. You may remember some of these sequences from your own playground days, or you could create some of your own.

Choose an English poem or song (which maybe they’re already learning) and increase their appreciation of it as well as improve their learning by getting them to practice saying it with their partner while following a clapping sequence.

Grammarchants: Student Book (Jazz Chants)

Grammar chants and jazz chants were famously introduced to the ESL community by Carolyn Graham.

You can find many examples of her original works as well as similar offerings from others on the Internet, and you can very easily create your own based on what you’re teaching in particular. (There may even be some examples in a textbook that you’re using.)

Chants are different from other practice conversations, mostly by virtue of their strong rhythmic nature. They can be practiced as a “Call and Respond” whole class activity, but the best way to get students familiar with them is by working in pairs. It’s recommended that students be encouraged to click their fingers (if they can) or move to the strong beat of the chant.

There’s a well-known game out there called “Guess who?” or “Who’s who?”. I’m betting you’ve heard of it!

One student selects a character. The other student looks at a collection of character pictures and asks questions about their appearance or clothing until they can guess the right character.

Along with practicing the appropriate usage of vocabulary and pronouns, practicing questions and answers is always an excellent basis for a classroom activity.

The student holding the complete set of character pictures, the one who’s trying to guess which character has been selected, must ask yes or no questions. Students often do a lot of practice with “Wh- questions” but fumble over using auxiliary verbs (such as “do” and “does”) in yes or no questions.

There are many downloadable versions of this game available such as this Guess Who Matching Game , or you can create your own set of characters from clip art or printed-out celebrity photos to suit the concepts you’ve been teaching.

To add extra interest, you could even have your students create simple pictures of people and scan them into a printable set for this game.

Whether reading a script or simply improvising, using puppets can help shy students as well as add excitement. When practicing dialogue with a partner, each student can manage two puppets—one in each hand—or even more if finger puppets are used .

Creating the puppets themselves first gives added interest and opportunities to practice English. A picture of the character printed out (or drawn by the students) can easily be cut out and stuck onto a Popsicle stick, chopstick or drinking straw. The picture can be stuck or drawn onto a paper bag for a quick hand puppet. If small enough, puppet characters can be sticky-taped onto fingertips.

In this paired activity, partners sit back-to-back to have a phone conversation . This requires careful speaking and careful listening as a lot of the usual visual cues are missing. They could be given specific questions to ask each other and information to find out.

Of course, nowadays many students actually have their own phones, and maybe if the situation is suitable—for example, they aren’t paying too much for calls, and you can trust them to speak only English—you could send one group outside or into another room and they could actually phone each other.

Students in pairs can practice vocabulary and even some rules or concepts by playing the well-known game of “Memory” or “Concentration” using cards with relevant words and/or pictures. The matching pairs could be identical pictures or words,  a picture and a word, or two things that go together in some other way.

The cards are spread face-down in a grid. Each student takes a turn and turns over two cards. They should then say the word out loud and make sure their partner sees and hears it . If the cards don’t match, they’ll turn them back over in the same positions and the partner takes their turn. If the cards do match, then the student picks them up, keeps them, gains a point and has another turn.

Everybody loves a good story! As an ESL teacher, you’d do well to tell stories as often as you can. They don’t need to be long, or even particularly significant, but you’ll notice as soon as you start to tell a story (even about something that happened on the way to work) that your students will “prick their ears up.” Even if they don’t understand all of it, they’ll want to listen.

After telling a story, especially when you’ve noticed interest, reinforce it by pairing students up and seeing if they can retell the story to each other. They may have slightly different—correct or incorrect—memories of the story to compare.

You can use a short video from YouTube to find a great topic (and clip) for a story-retelling activity. There’s also FluentU ,  a language learning program that offers authentic content, so your students can watch clips such as movie clips, commercials and more, that were made by and for native speakers. 


FluentU has features such as interactive subtitles, flashcards, vocabulary lists and personalized quizzes. It supports your students so that they can learn on their own, and you can assign clips for them to watch and retell.

In this activity, students can watch a clip and then summarize it for their partner as best they can. They’ll love the authentic connection to everyday spoken English from the content.

You could even ask them to change the ending. Young students could then go on to illustrate the story and tell their versions to the class.

In most cases, your students might have had the chance to read a few stories and understand the flow needed for a story to work. Now all they need is a writing partner to craft an exciting, concise story with. This ESL pair activity is a perfect way to get in multiple skills at once.

Have your students pair up and create a story together. A great way to do this is to present a place and some interesting characters (maybe people, animals or both), and evoke a conflict for your students to use in their story . Conflict will help your students to develop a dialogue between the story’s protagonist and supporting characters.

Once they have a well-developed short story, let the dynamic duo share it with the rest of the class. This will give them great public speaking practice and further their presentation skills in English. You can also have your students put together an illustration for their story, depending on how far you want to take the activity.

In this ESL pair activity, you will let your students craft scripts and later act them out. There is a twist that will add an element of fun: The partners develop their dialogue separately and act it out together without collaborating first or discussing how it will flow .

You will want to whip up a very concise worksheet for this ESL activity, which the students will work on alone before acting out in pairs. This worksheet will help guide your students in a specific direction relating to a scenario. The dialogue your students create will be of their own imagination, but they will have a small guide to follow in their development.

Here is one example of how this could work:

  • Set the scene. First, you will need to set the scene where the dialogue will take place. For this example, we will use a neighborhood park on a sunny day. This will give your students an image to help their creativity flow.
  • Guide the conversation. Each student will read a set of short questions and develop their dialogue sentences from these. The first question on the worksheet could be, “How do you introduce yourself to someone new?” or “How do you open a conversation with a stranger?” From these questions, they can craft a working dialogue. For example, “Hello, do you come to this park often?”
  • Add layers.  Next, you will add layers to the situation. In the park example, you could add dogs into the mix. Here your students will see the next set of questions to help them build more dialogue: For example, “How do you ask what breed a dog is?” or “How do you compliment someone on their dog?” Your students may develop dialogue like, “Your dog is so cute, what breed is he or she?” The important thing to focus on is the natural flow and language of a conversation, like in these examples.

In order to get fun dialogue, it’s essential to guide your students a bit toward some more specific areas. Again, you will give your students a specific scenario, for example, a sunny day at the park or waiting for the train.

This is an excellent chance to run over a few vocabulary words they can use in their dialogue as well. For our dog walking example, using words like “breed” or “leash” may be beneficial in overall understanding for your students. Once you have gone over vocabulary, you can have them fill out a dialogue sheet silently by themselves.

After they have crafted their scripted lines, it’s time for the fun to begin . One student will read their first line and then their partner will follow with their first line. The two lines may have nothing to do with each other, which is sure to draw a laugh or two from the peanut gallery. You can have the class chime in afterward and help the two actors piece together a more well-developed and coherent dialogue.

Here, you will give your students a chance to use all their English superpowers and go head-to-head with their partner over an important and interesting issue.

Let them debate topics covering things happening in their communities, cities and countries . This will allow them to apply English to the issues that directly affect them. The class period before having the debate is the perfect time to brainstorm a few issues your students are interested in. Make a list of topics on the board, discuss them each briefly and let your students make notes and suggestions about what is important to them.

After all the issues are on the table, employ your students to build a working outline of the key attributes they will cover during their debate. Go over the importance of “pros and cons” with supporting evidence to back what they say.

This activity is a slightly more advanced version of the picture dictation activity above. It’s a delicate balance of fun, challenge and philosophical breakthrough, so you should be on the lookout for pictures that help develop deep thought and allow your students to have mentally exciting ideas. They should be able to craft several ideas from a single photo. An example of photos that could be good for this is from National Geographic . 

Ask your students to write down what the photo means to them . The key to this activity is to let your students first individually view the photo and craft their own thoughts about it without outside interference. Putting a time limit on the individual part of this activity will benefit your students’ quick response abilities.

After your students have developed and recorded their ideas surrounding the photo, put them into pairs and let their ideas collide in a perfect ESL storm of subjective thought and collaborative discussion . Your students will enjoy discussing unique and thought-provoking insights with their partners as you float around the classroom, listening to their words and perceptions.

It’s a great idea to use pair work in your ESL classroom because:

  • Individual students will be speaking out loud and getting a chance to exercise their English speaking skills.
  • Working with a partner is less threatening for shy students.
  • All students will be involved, not just a select few.
  • While the students are all occupied with their partners, the teacher can walk around and observe.
  • It can be a lot of fun, and the students will be motivated.
  • It’s an opportunity for repetition without boredom, and as such is super useful for practicing grammar  and vocab.
  • It doesn’t need to go for very long. There could be several short sessions in one lesson .

This is the moment that can make or break your lesson. If you simply say, “Choose a Partner!” some students will excitedly grab their best friend, while others will slump in their seats feeling that no one will want to choose them. It’s time to be creative, have a bit of fun and take your students by surprise.

Take a look at the following ideas for assigning partners and letting students organize themselves. You’ll need to take into consideration the size of your class, the age of your students, how familiar they already are with each other and your teaching style.

  • Let them just choose their own partners from time to time. They can work with the people they’re most comfortable with, and they can even work in threes if that makes them comfortable.
  • Make it a lottery. Each student writes their name on a scrap of paper, puts their name in a container and then you—or they—pull out the names to decide who works with whom (this time).
  • Have a different kind of lottery. Make a card for each student in your class. Half the deck of cards will have English words written on them, and the other half of the deck with have pictures that correspond to these words. Of course, this could relate to recent vocabulary they’ve learned. Pass out the cards and then let the students move around and find their partner (the student with the card that matches theirs).
  • Have fun and practice language by getting them to pair off after lining up according to height, age, birthday or alphabetically by first (or last) name.
  • Get them to pair up with someone who’s wearing a similar color shirt or shoes, or something that follows on from a vocabulary category that you’ve already been teaching. Always allow leeway so that no one ends up feeling left out.
  • Prepare the classroom ahead of time by sticking colored post-its under chairs or desks. There could be numbers, words or pictures to match up as with the lottery cards. The surprise of looking for their sticker adds to the fun.

The important thing is to make sure that no one dreads pair work, including the teacher!

Pair work is never an end in and of itself. It’s a practice time where all of the students get to be involved.

Sometimes, especially if they’ve been working on a drama or play, it’ll be suitable to finish the session by having a few pairs come forward and demonstrate what they practiced in front of everyone.

Generally speaking, not everyone will want to do this. As with any speaking activity, they should be encouraged to speak up but not forced to do so (and there should never be ridicule from the rest of the class).

The key is to make things fun, and the learning will follow!

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The 9 Main Techniques For Presenting Grammar In The Classroom

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There is a variety of techniques for presenting new grammar items. Below is an overview of nine of those most commonly used. Note that no one technique will necessarily prove better than another, so the general rule when it comes to presenting grammatical rules is to combine a variety of techniques.

1. Direct Explaining (Explicit Approach).

You can explain a grammar rule directly using the students’ mother tongue. This has the advantage of allowing students to contrast an item of grammar in English with an item of grammar in the student’s own language. For example, the two languages might use past tenses in different ways. On the other hand, some teachers believe that it’s more effective to present and explain the grammar directly by using English at all times. Certainly, in classes where the students already have learnt some English, it’s usually possible to build on what they already know to introduce a new grammar point.

2. Discovering the Grammar (Implicit Approach).

Often, it’s helpful to have students discover the grammar rather than tell them what it is. Do this by choosing a text which contains lots of examples of the target grammar. For example, if the text includes regular verbs in the past simple form (e.g. lived, travelled, moved , etc), ask the students to underline all the verbs in the text. Then ask them to say what they notice about the verbs – which will be that they all end in -ed.

3. Using Pictures or Drawings (Illustrating Grammar Points).

A quick sketch on the board can illustrate a grammar point very quickly. For example, a picture of a person dreaming of a future ambition can be used to introduce “be going to” to talk about future intentions.

4. Drawing Timelines (Teaching Tenses).

Timelines are useful for teaching grammar structures that refer to aspects of time. Timelines are a simple and visual way to clarify the actions and events described in a sentence. They are often used by teachers for presenting the meaning of verb tenses in English.

The basic form of a timeline shows a horizontal line with a point in the middle indicating NOW or the moment of speaking. Before that point is the past and after it is the future. Some teachers also write the words PAST and FUTURE along the line. You can indicate single actions with an X and periods of time with an arrow. Continuous actions are often indicated with a wavy line.

5. Asking Concept Questions (Checking Understanding).

Write a sentence on the board containing the grammar structure. For example, this sentence uses the past simple: He left university in 2008 . Next, ask the students concept questions which check their understanding of when the action happened. So, the teacher/student conversation would sound like this:

  • T: Is he at university now?
  • T: Was the action in the past?

Note that concept questions should usually be designed to elicit the answer Yes or No from the students because the aim is only to check their understanding.

6. Using Tables (Showing the Form).

Tables are very useful for showing the form of the grammar on the board. For example, these tables show the affirmative and negative forms of a verb in the present simple tense. You can refer to the different features of the tense when introducing it, and the students can copy the table for future reference.

  • I/You/We/They live in England
  • He/She/It lives
  • I/You/We/They don’t live in England.
  • He/She/It doesn’t live in England.

7. Using Objects (Presenting the Meaning).

Sometimes using objects can work as quickly as anything to present the meaning. For example, if you want to present the comparative form (… is bigger than …), the simplest way is to find two objects and contrast them. Alternatively, ask two students to stand up and compare their height to produce a sentence like: Hany is taller than Tom. Write the sentence on the board and underline the comparative form so the students notice the construction. Similarly, if you teach prepositions (in, on, next to, etc), using a selection of objects in different positions from each other is a very effective starting point.

8. Contrasting Structures (Showing the Difference in Meaning).

With higher-level grammar, it’s useful to ask students to contrast two grammar structures which are similar in certain ways, but which have an important difference in meaning. For example, these two sentences contrast two different meanings of the present perfect tense.

  • He has been to London.
  • He has gone to London.

A teacher could ask the students to compare these sentences and say what the difference in meaning is.

(Answer: A means: He went to London and returned back whereas B means: He went to London and he is still there).

9. Choosing the Correct Sentence (Correcting Common Grammatical Mistakes).

This is similar to the previous technique because you give students two sentences, but one sentence has a mistake related to grammar. You write them on the board and get students to say which they think has the mistake and why. For example:

  • I’ve lived here since three years.
  • I’ve lived here for three years.

Students discuss the sentences in pairs. Sentence A. is wrong because we use “since” to refer to a fixed point in time (e.g. March 1989, etc.) whereas we use “for” to describe the duration of time.

Thanks For Reading.

There are more featured articles on grammar teaching I’ve already published. Such as:

The 3 Main Types Of Grammar Practice Activities

The 3 Most Widely Used Grammar Teaching Methods And Approaches

The 2 Most Important Things You Must Consider When Planning For Grammar Practice

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Article informative. However, teaching Grammar using The Mother tongue is NOT recommended in Morocco. It is useful in France for example because the main objective of teaching English there is to reinforce French which is not the case in Moroccan high schools. In Morocco teaching Gr is better when teachers provide real-like situations whereby the language constituents are used . The pragmatic aporiach to Language. The Standard based education promotes enabling learners to use English in real life situations …

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Great articl

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Good .. I prefer the second and third approaches to make Ss interact and get involved in activities till they themselves discover and elcit the rule so it will be more memorable than spoon-feeding them by giving the rule first.

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very good article. but I would like to know the tips on a good reading comprehension lesson.

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Annual skilled trades competition builds technical and professional skills for Iowa students

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024
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Skills USA

Southeast Polk senior Simon Frohock (R) competed in the cabinet making contest for a second year.

High-quality career and professional skill development took center stage last week as over 600 high school and college students took part in the annual SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference . Held in Ankeny at the Des Moines Area Community College campus, this two-day competition featured over 50 different leadership and technical competitions for students to test their technical skills and knowledge, explore career pathways and make valuable connections with local industry leaders.

skills usa

Southeast Polk High School seniors Delvis Kouete and Simon Frohock, both 17, were well-prepared for the competition, which featured timed activities related to industrial technology, carpentry, robotics, automotive repair and job interview techniques, among many others. For this year’s skills competition, Delvis competed in architectural drafting and was a member of the school’s quiz bowl team. Simon, the 2023 state champion in cabinet making, returned for a second year in the cabinet making contest. Both students competed well in their individual competitions, with Delvis placing fifth and Simon serving as this year’s runner-up.

“The skills competition can help you strive for excellence in your work and learning,” Simon said. “Even though it’s a competition and there is pressure to do well, it’s a good, low-risk way to see what an employee in this work has to do every day.”

Both Simon and Delvis noted that the competition not only helps to strengthen a student’s technical skills, but it also engages students in career pathway discovery and professional skill development.

“Being a part of SkillsUSA and competing in the skills competition has helped me learn new skills with my hands and work on teamwork, communication and leadership skills,” Delvis said. “You learn how to work with other people that aren’t like you and get your mind thinking about your future career.”

Along with the individual contests, all competitors at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference were required to submit a resume and take a professional development test that focused on workplace, professional and technical skills as well as overall knowledge of SkillsUSA.

“SkillsUSA helps provide real-world context to the content being taught by classroom educators,” said Kent Storm, state director for SkillsUSA Iowa. “Taking the learning beyond the classroom allows students to grow and learn next to industry partners and gain valuable experience."

As one of Iowa’s career and technical student organizations (CTSO) , SkillsUSA champions the skilled trades industry and provides opportunities for students to apply the skills they have developed in classrooms through conferences, competitions, community service events, worksite visits and other activities.

“Participation in a CTSO like SkillsUSA helps students gain hands-on experience and connect classroom curricula to careers,” said Cale Hutchings, education consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “Through CTSOs, students can become leaders and strengthen their employability skills, which is valuable as they explore potential next steps in their college and career pathways.”

SkillsUSA boasts a roster of over 400,000 members nationwide. In Iowa, over 1,300 students and advisers in career and technical education programs participate in local SkillsUSA chapters.

At Southeast Polk, 21 student members are a part of their SkillsUSA chapter. Led by industrial technology teachers and chapter advisers Ryan Andersen and Brett Rickabaugh, the students have been involved with several community service projects, employer presentations and opportunities to work closely with instructors.

“Any time a student participates in SkillsUSA, it gives us more time with that student to elaborate on what we’ve learned in class,” Andersen said. “They can connect the idea to the planning, design and completion of a project and how that activity fits into a real career. That’s something we can’t replicate without a CTSO.”

Anderson also stated that students who participate in SkillsUSA and activities like the State Leadership and Skills Conference build confidence through their experiences.

“It really helps students to have the confidence to rely on their skills and what they know,” he said. “The skills competition requires them to use problem-solving skills and build off their knowledge to continue to learn and persevere.”

This year’s first-place winners at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference will move onward to compete with 6,000 other students at the national conference in Atlanta this June.

Skills USA

For Simon and Delvis, the skills competition was another step in building necessary skills and acumen for their futures. Simon, with his penchant for cabinet making, already has a full-time job lined up after graduation with a local cabinet shop. Additionally, Delvis would like to pursue something within the computer science field, perhaps in the coding or software engineering areas, and although he is changing fields, he believes SkillsUSA has helped him feel more prepared for the future.

“It has definitely helped me with skill-building and problem-solving,” he said. “What I’ve learned will be beneficial no matter what I decide to do next.”  


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