Category Archives: Listening

Exercises designed to test your listening skill. Any materials enhancing your knowledge about listening strategy during exam. Examples of original Polish military tests.

Meeting in progress

Meetings – an essential part of the modern army

Like it or not, you will have to deal with it. Contemporary military personnel spend much time on meetings, either preparing them, either participating or reporting. You can call them sometimes briefings (sounds more military-like), but they are similar in nature to business or political level meetings. They have a lot in common so you cannot get away with not knowing its basic elements and related vocabulary. You’d better acquire some useful phrases, then you will be able to handle any meetings. For your convenience, the full lexical summary (a cheatsheet in an alphabetical order) is provided at the end of the article.  Continue reading “Meeting in progress” »

level 3 listening test

STANAG 6001 test derived from the Central Examination Board for  Foreign Languages of the Ministry of National Defense (CEBFL) in Poland. It was adjusted a little to make it easier for the site visitors to practise on-line. The whole test is designed to test your listening comprehension within 40 minutes. Any time the break is required, you will be informed and must count this time yourself. Recordings from task 1&2  are played twice during exam with a short break between. The third task includes short recordings which are played only once! For those who wish to have a script of the recordings, there is a pdf version Continue reading “level 3 listening test” »

Military patrols and radio communication lesson plan

Military patrols

As the base for pre-class students’ preparation I used the article from “The Guardian.” It is about the British troops serving in Afghanistan and their problems there. A big portion of the article online deals with British patrols‘ experiences and the problems they faced in Sangin. In subsequent slides of my presentation below, I dealt with radio communication in English and the basic rules every radio traffic features.

English radio communication

As an illustration for the radio communication exercise I used assorted Internet sourced pictures. Each picture requires from students reporting different events and settings. There is a theory of radio communication provided along with some examples how the communication could possibly look like.

The links to the article and recording were sent before the classes. During the classes I shared on Skype the following presentation:

The students had necessary details already in the pictures provided or in additional notes/graphics included. It’s up to the students to decide what to use and how to compose the radio messages. Skype works perfectly when simulating radio traffic, especially in a conference mode with more than just one attendee.

Speaking exercises – level3 – terrorism topic

Terrorism-related topics

Here are some exercises, designed for level 3 students. The main topic is terrorism. As the base for online discussion I chose the recent article from www.duffelblog.com. This way I combined the source of required vocabulary with a funny approach to a serious subject.

Below you will find my lesson plan, that is how to approach terrorism-related class. Enjoy and share any feedback from your classes.

Terrorism – English vocabulary enhancing class

1) First, I send a link to an article online I chose as the base for further discussion. (see the link above). Along with the link I sent the same article but copied to Word file with some words in bold and underlined. It’s up to you to decide which aspect/element of the article you want to stress.

2) During the meeting I shared my desktop with the students, showing them the presentation you can find below.

3) Then we start discussion from expressing students’ opinion on the article. (slide #2)

4) Then I asked students to group all bold words into two groups of synonyms. (slide #4)

5) Subsequently I encoured students to find out/list any other synonyms to those already listed. (slide #6)

6) Slide #7 shows some possible topics you can offer to discuss further the terrorism and its aspects.

7) Slide #8, a thought provoking drawing is a funny break in the discussion. Another example how you can demand from students expressing their opinions.

8) The next slide just reveals what were the lesson objectives and what they have just practised. To check the students’ performance you can proceed to next slides.

9) On slides #10 and #11 I suggested some useful expressions the students may have already used or would learn as the new ones.

10) To force them to use those expressions on lide #12 are given some controversial statements they may agree or disagree with.

11) The word cloud on slide #13 is just one of the possible representations of the vocabulary needed for any discussions about terrorism.

12) Slide #14 – just a reminder how the proper conditional sentence should be constructed. Tell students to finish the sentences.

13) Another grammar drill is presented on the last slide # 15. When it comes to reporting some events, the students for sure will use one of the presented structures and tenses.

Car-related vocabulary

English vocabulary exercises

Describing military vehicles – resources for teachers

Military vehicles - exercises on describing vehicles. English practice for military learners.There are two purposes of the presented exercises. First, I wanted to introduce vocabulary related to vehicles, including the military ones, and second, to practice positioning objects in space.

If you decide to use the presentation provided I suggest the following plan for the classes:

1) Show two sets of pictures – they depict different types of vehicles (slide #1, #2).

2) Give the students words and expressions from slide #3 – all of them cut out seperately.

3) Ask the students to assign each word to a vehicle it fits best, e.g. “family” should go to the picture of spacious, luxurious car with a family inside.

4) Then, ask them to desrcibe each vehicle and/or justify their choice of words. They should already know the vocabulary required for describing the striking features of each vehicle.

5) Now the positioning part of the lesson. Print slide #4 and #5 on the same sheet of paper, on different sides though (double side print mode). Cut it along the lines on slide #4.

6) Introduce basic expressions to position objects in space. Put special emphasis on collocations and definite articles: on the page, on the paper, in the picture, on the left/right, in the middle, in the centre, at the top, at the bottom, in the background/foreground, etc.A small 9-fields diagram with instructions where to put each part.

7) Give students the previously cut pieces and tell them to put it into the right space of 9-fields diagram (like in ‘noughts and crosses’ / ‘tic-tac-toe’ game).

8) If they are sure that all pieces went to the right place, ask them to turn over each piece – a smiling face should appear – a small reward for a well done exercise. 🙂

9) Now distribute the 9-fields empty diagrams from slide #6 (there are four diagrams to be cut out). They will be used for students’ notes.

10) There are two sets of pictures for working in pairs (slide #8 and #9, slide #10 and #11). The pairs of students will have the same set of vehicles, however, placed in differend cells of the table provided.

11) Tell students to discover the location of each vehicle from the partner’s diagram. Who completes the diagram first – he wins. Students do not have to answer to wrongly constructed questions. They cannot show their diagrams to the other students. While asking for a location they MUST use at least one word from the vocabulary provided on slide #3 and #7 (some new, useful expressions). Whenever any word is used, it cannot be used again, so with each question asked, the next person has a more limited choice of words to ask the question. This trick forces students to use new vocabulary. What’s more, to win this little competition, one should use as many words in his/her question as possible, limiting the opponent’s choice and chances.

Useful vocabulary to describe vehicles

12) Draw students’ attention to the fact they must be precise in describing vehicles they are asking about because there are pairs of vehicles similar to each other (2 bicycles, 2 quads, 2 howitzers, etc.).

Radio communication rules

Today, I present a summary of radio correspondence rules. This topic popped up while I was writing instruction for a tactical game “The Patrol.” Since the game is almost ready, you can expect it to be available soon.

Radio communication – basic rules

Military radio communication procedures and basic data.While exchanging the messages over the radio you should follow some basic rules to comply with international standards, both in the civil and military conditions alike. Below you will find the basic, fixed radio phraseology used for the purpose of radio transmissions along with some military procedures to follow.

Universal rules of radio communication

1)    Before you press the transmission button, gather your thoughts about what you are going to say. Many people with radios have a tendency to talk and/or repeat too much. Say what you need to say without unnecessary repeats. Keep in mind that your message should go through the first time – you may not have any opportunity to repeat it. Continue reading “Radio communication rules” »