Tag Archives: speaking

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.).

Briefing – examples

Briefings in the military

Since the ability to present your own ideas is one of the essential skills you should master in the military, I propose some exercises for you. To practise your presentation skills and speaking in front of the audience, try to prepare the following topics and brief them to anybody around. It will prepare you for public speeches or any briefings you may be required to deliver.

Military briefings - the art of speaking in public

Image source: http://www.army.mil

The English teachers may treat the following topics as the classroom activities while practising speaking skills. If you combine these presentations with classroom discussions, you have ready-to-use resource for asking, responding, speculating, giving opinions or arguing activities – you name it. Each topic is a perfect reason for searching for and mastering the specialized vocabulary from your field of expertise.

This is the list of topics covered in the post:

Continue reading “Briefing – examples” »

Speaking task – level 4 exam

Below, you will find another speaking task from the English exam, organized in Poland according to STANAG 6001 principles. Courtesy of the Central Examination Board of MoD.

Speaking – level 4 (SLP 4444)



You are an officer at the MoD Logistics Department tasked with the purchase of a new truck for all types of terrain. There are 3 models of trucks to choose from. Your budget is limited. Make a short formal presentation at a meeting. (1) Briefly describe the trucks’ most important features essential for your decision. (2) Present general pros and cons of each offer. (3) Choose the best one and justify your choice. (4) Speculate about the long-term effects of the purchase. Below are some visuals and ideas that may help you. Elements 1 to 4 must be included.  

Each feature in the chart and in the graphs has been graded from 1 to 5 where:

1. is the best
5. is the worst

truck model capacity range fuel consumption usefulness in rough terrain maximum road speed
A 1 2 3 5 1
B 4 1 2 3 3
C 2 4 4 1 3

trucks characteristics in two charts.

Other issues to consider:

• offset
• technology transfer
• form of payment
• servicing and spare parts
• maintenance cost

Level 4 speaking (SLP 4444)

Level 4 exam – speaking



You serve in an Air Force military unit, and you think it would be a good idea to organise an international air-show in the base. You are to give a formal presentation about it. (1) Tell your superiors about your idea, (2) present its advantages and (3) try to predict problems. (4) Convince your superiors of the feasibility of the project. Below are some visuals and ideas that may help you. Elements 1 to 4 must be included.
A picture with citizens' opinions in it

2009 Kłobuck air-show:

  • advantages:
    • new experience/information
    • Polish companies (promotion)
    • town (promotion)
    • renovation of base
    • seminar/workshop
  • problems
    • not enough hotel rooms
    • railway far away
    • no experience
    • safety
A sketch map with Kłobuck airfield

A sketch map with Kłobuck airfield and nearby Poznań