Tag Archives: vocabulary

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” »

Coffee break exercises

coffee_cupI’m tired of listening to people complaining about lack of time for studying languages. It’s nothing extraordinary. Everyone has the same problem nowadays. If you want to change it start from a single, short step and use your coffee break (for example) for some activities which will move you forward a bit. The aim of this article is just to give you some hints how you can spend short breaks, still developing your language skills. Here is the short lists of activities you can do Continue reading “Coffee break exercises” »

Conjunctions – introduction to compound and complex sentences

FANBOYS conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, soConjunctions – introduction

Whenever you want to show your proficiency in writing or speaking you should demonstrate that you are capable of writing longer, more complex sentences. It is not possible without a proper conjunction though. Putting two ideas from seperate single sentences into one sentence requires from writers/speakers to use conjunctions. Today, I will present the basic set of conjunctions to use to make logical connection between the ideas you want to sell. This basic set, often described as a mnemonic FAN BOYS, Continue reading “Conjunctions – introduction to compound and complex sentences” »

Arms industry and defence projects – speaking

Arms industry and defence projects – yes, it is military related!

This time I’m presenting an English lesson focused on arms industry issues and vocabulary. The lesson which can be conducted via Skype or any other platform online, contains a few speaking topics with exercises on specialized vocabulary. The base of the initial, warm-up discussion is the article from www.foreignaffairs.com. Although it is an old article (written over 20 years ago), it’s worth reading because some of the author’s predictions came true and most of the author’s observations are still valid, 20 years later. Below you will find the presentation which I utilized during classes and my explanation how each slide can be used/exploited during the lesson. Enjoy and share your comments.

Google Chrome users must use different browsers to see the presentation or go to SlideShare website where the presentation is played properly (link).

Slide number and comments: Continue reading “Arms industry and defence projects – speaking” »

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.).

Military Visual Dictionary

Visual dictionary for the military

I’m moving my house, so I’ve been quite busy recently (and happy :-) ). The move to another location, among other things, requires a lot of packing of your belongings. That’s how I found an old box with my handouts from various language courses. One particular set of sheets drew my attention. It was a pile of visual materials I was once given to practice military, specialised vocabulary. Today I would like to share those resources. Since the pictures I have do not contain any labels, captions, etc., I cannot, unfortunately, give the credit to the authors of the pictures. If you recognize your work here, let me know – I’ll publish the proper recognition on the website.


Click on big titles or tumbnails to open an image in a separate window. To help you search for a proper English term, all featured vocabulary is mentioned below each title. Continue reading “Military Visual Dictionary” »