Instructions: Go through the vocabulary below with your students. Next, ask them to use this vocabulary in the conversation section below.
- To cram
Useful Phrasal Verbs
Pick up: To acquire a new skill or knowledge gradually.
Example: “I hope to pick up some Spanish during my trip to Barcelona.”
Catch on: To understand or grasp a concept.
Example: “It may take a while, but eventually, you’ll catch on to the grammar rules.”
Set aside: To allocate time or resources for a specific purpose.
Example: “It’s essential to set aside time each day for language practice.”
Sink in: To be fully understood or realized.
Example: “It took a while for the importance of the lesson to sink in.”
Dive into: To start doing something with enthusiasm.
Example: “I’m ready to dive into learning about quantum physics.”
Useful Phrasal Verbs
Hit the books: To study intensively.
Example: “I have exams next week, so I need to hit the books.”
Bite off more than one can chew: To take on a task that is way too big or difficult.
Example: “I think I bit off more than I can chew with this advanced language course.”
Back to square one: Having to start over from the beginning.
Example: “After losing my notes, I’m back to square one with my research.”
ESL Conversation Questions
1. How many languages do you speak?
2. What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?
3. Why do some people have more difficulty than others when learning a language?
4. To speak its language well, how important is it to know something about the culture of a country?
5. How can the Internet be a helpful tool when learning a foreign language?
6. Can a person learn a language by watching television or a movie?
7. Can a good teacher influence how well you enjoy learning a language?
8. What personal qualities do you need to be an effective language learner?
9. Have you ever made a telephone call in a foreign language? If yes, how did it go?
10. Have teaching methods for language learning changed over the last 50 years?
11. Have you ever had to cram for a presentation or project? How did you manage your time?
12. What study habits do you think are more effective than cramming?
13. Can you share a time when cramming helped you succeed? Or a time when it didn’t work out well?
14. What advice would you give to someone who tends to cram for exams? How can they improve their study habits?
15. Have you ever tried to pick up a new hobby or skill? How did it go?
16. Do you believe it’s easier to pick up physical skills (like playing an instrument) or mental skills (like learning a language)?
17. How can someone effectively pick up slang or informal language when learning a new language?
18. Can you share a time when you struggled to understand something but eventually caught on?
19. How do you decide how much time to set aside for studying or personal activities?
20. What are some challenges people face when trying to set aside time for personal development?
21. What activities or hobbies do you try to set aside time for each week?
22. How do you set realistic goals to avoid biting off more than you can chew?
23. Can you share a personal experience where you realized you had bitten off more than you could chew?
24. How can going back to square one be an opportunity for growth and learning?
25. Can you share a personal or professional experience where going back to square one led to a positive outcome?
26. How do you motivate yourself to hit the books when you have a challenging assignment or exam?
27. Where do you find it most productive to hit the books — at home, in a library, or somewhere else?