EFL / ESL Teaching Tip: Practice for look like/be like/like


This week’s teaching tip video focuses on a practice activity to contrast like, look like, and be like. I don’t know about your students, but my students always confuse these 3 words, especially be like and like. I find it is a really common error to stick an ‘am’ or an ‘are’ along with another verb by accident. However, I find that if students can build an awareness of what be like means through meaning-based repetitive practice, it helps nip this habitual error in the bud!
For this activity you will need a few things:

1. Access to computers: at least 1 computer per 2-3 students. (You can totally use smart phones/tablets if your students have them instead of going to a computer lab.)

2. Access to Facebook.

3. A class of students (who have Facebook profiles) who are willing to show their classmates photos on their Facebook profiles.

You could easily adapt this activity to focus on celebrities or another more general topic, but I have found that the students are more than willing to chat with each other while looking at Facebook and really enjoy feeling the rush of success that the repeated practice in this activity affords them.

Steps (this is practice, so you have already completed your presentation and perhaps a few controlled practice activities for like/be like/look like):

1. Break students into groups of 3 or pairs. Remember that each student will need time to show their Facebook profile, so pairs often work better if you have enough computers available.

2. Have one student (student A) log in to Facebook and bring up their Facebook profile (the students will eventually switch who is logged in to Facebook). Then you can either have student A explain who she is like, who she looks like, and who she likes the most (this is the only one that can be a little weird because, ideally, you should ‘like’ everyone you are friends with on Facebook…) OR you can have student B interview student A (Who are you like? Who do you look like?, etc.). I usually don’t have to do this, but if you are worried the students will stop talking or won’t stay on topic give student B a chart (with maybe spaces for 8-10 people) to fill out about student A. This way student B must make notes on who student A likes, looks like and is like.

3. Students switch roles and continue practicing.

4. Have a whole class synthesis and give/ get feedback on the activity and the language use.

5. If you don’t have access to computers or you are not allowed to access Facebook on school grounds, but you still have a willing group of students with Facebook profiles, you can assign part of this activity for homework. Have students find Facebook photos of friends and family and write little summaries of who they are like, who they like, and who they look like for 3-5 people. Have them print this out and bring it in OR have them email you and you can print it out. Then in class students can make Facebook posters, put them up around the room and the walls of the room can be your ‘computer screen’. You can then do the same activity as above!

I hope you have found this helpful and can use this activity with your students :).


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