Adjectives for Young Learners. Level 1

24th June 2022

This short blog introduces young learners to adjectives, and how they can start to build longer sentences.

First, let’s start an adjective word bank:

big // small

cute // dangerous

strong // clever

yummy // healthy

plus colours

Game 1:

Who can tell me a colour beginning with the letter y ?

Letter b ? Letter o ? g ? r ? p ? Letter w ?

Game 2:

Tell me an animal begins with the letter d Letter g Letter e Letter s Letter l Letter c Letter w Letter z

Game 3:

What is it ? Tell me about these animals. Use 2 adjectives.

EXAMPLE

It’s a cute white sheep

Now … your turn

Finally – tell me about the food

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Screen Test Compilation: Video clips for classroom games

23rd June 2022

Contents:

1 Summer Holiday

2 World’s tallest buildings

3 Egyptian Gods

Here’s a compilation of video clips that can be used in class for listening skills, observation, collecting information, and for fun.

‘Screen Test’ was a children’s TV show on the BBC from 1970 – 1984. A group of children were shown short clips of films, then asked questions about what they had seen.

First up is a clip I’ve used several times, ‘Summer Holiday’ starring Cliff Richard and his backing band The Shadows.

1 Summer Holiday

  1. What colour was the first car behind the bus ?

red // white // blue ?

2. What was the number of the bus ?

9 // 19 // 28 ?

3. What was the road sign at the beginning of the clip ?

London // Berlin // Paris ?

4. How many children wore a hat ?

1 // 2 // no children ?

5. How many men were riding bicycles ?

3 // 4 // 6 ?

6. What did Cliff, the driver, eat ?

a sandwich // a biscuit or cookie // nothing ?

BONUS POINTS – Can anyone sing the song – just two lines

“We’re all going on a summer holiday // we’re all going for a week or two.”

2 World’s tallest buildings

Questions

1) How tall was the Philadelphia City Hall ?

2) Where was the Singer Building ?

3) What year was the Bank of Manhattan Trust finished ?

4) How tall is the Chrysler Builder ?

5) The Empire State Building has two different heights – why ?

6) In what year did Chicago have the tallest building ?

7) What was the first tallest building in Asia ?

8) How tall is the Dubai Creek Tower planned to be ?

foundations of the Dubai Creek Tower

Answers: 1) 167m / 548 ft 2) New York City (NYC) 3) 1930 4) 319m / 1046 ft 5) first is height of building, second is height to the tip. 6) 1973 7) Petronas Tower in Malaysia 8) 1321m / 4351 ft

3 Ancient Egyptian Gods

Questions

1) What was the name of the Sun God ?

2) Which God was a writer ?

3) Anubis had the head of which animal ?

4) Would you see Nut in the day or night, and why ?

5) What was the name of the lioness ?

6) What animal was Bastet ?

Answers 1) Ra 2) Thoth 3) a jackal 4) night because she was the star goddess 5) Sekmet 6) a cat

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Teenage IELTS Challenge

21st June 2022

The Three Johns, a Rock band from the UK

Can a young teen class have better English than an IELTS class ? That is the challenge. Without pushing the students too far, and with realistic expectations, let’s introduce some low-frequency words (L-FW), phrases and idioms.

Furthermore, students will also be expected to speak in longer sentences, using connectives as well as a wide range of adjectives.

The subject of our current unit is very dear to my heart: music. Let’s rock !

First match the new words with the meaning

ubiquitous // over the moon // genre // extremely

kind of or type // to feel very, very happy // everywhere // an adverb that means very, very

Roll up your sleeves and practice: Fill in the gaps using the new words AND your own ideas.

Today, music is ______________ . We can hear music on our _______ and when we go to _______________.

Yoyoka, a Japanese drummer, is ____________ talented. She must ________ many hours, every day to be so skillful.

If I pass my English test with A+, I will be ___________________ . My parents will be so happy, they will _______________.

My favourite _______ of music is ____________ because it makes me feel ___________ and ____________ .

Genres (types) of music:

Jazz / rap / pop / rock / classical / electronic

Look at the photos. What genre are they ?

Why do you think so ?

Kraftwerk from Germany
T-ara from South Korea
Chloe Chua from Singapore
Miles Davis from USA
Rolling Stones from the UK
Cassper Nyovest from South Africa

Grammar exercise. Rewrite the following blog post in the Past Tense (verb 2)

EXAMPLE: Yesterday I go to school and I have a speaking test. I do very well and my parents are over the moon.

Yesterday I went to school and I had a speaking test. I did very well and my parents were over the moon.

Now … your turn

Last week I see a concert on TV. The group is Blackpink and they play for 30 minutes. They sing many songs and dance extremely well. It is so exciting I am over the moon. The next day I buy their music and decide to be a pop star too !

Watch this concert and write your own blog using Past Tense (verb 2) as well as adjectives and new words. Let me help you with the start:

This morning I watched a video from T-ara. The band … (what song did they play ? Did they all sing ? What else did they do ?

Did you like the music ? Why or why not ?

Were they alone on stage ? What did they wear ?

How did the audience feel ? Do you wish you were there ?

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Hello Korea – 안녕하세요

19th June 2022

Jeonju, 2011

Last week, to my delight and amazement, I saw I had nearly seventy hits on one day, most of which came from South Korea.

To say thank you, here are some of my memories of your breathe-taking country, it’s films and literature.

Hope to come back again one day.

The Flying Bird Tea Room in Insadong, Seoul
Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul
The Gate of Deoksu Palace – The Palace of Virtuous Longevity, Seoul
Namsan Tower through the National Museum, Seoul.
Buddhist shrine, Jeonju

Some of my favourite Korean films:

Lovers ‘ Concerto 2002
… ing 2003
My Sassy Girl 2001
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors 2000

Some of my favourite Korean books:

This one’s cheating – my favourite Korean restaurant in London, near the British Museum.

Goodbye my Korean friends

All street scene photos by Thay Paul. Book and film images from Google

‘L’ Assommoir Perdu’ Part 1- Berlin films 1995 – 1997

15th June 2022

In 1995 I began making a series of short, silent Super 8 films that would be collectively known as ‘L’ Assommoir Perdu’.

The first film made in March 1995, after a particularly bitter Berlin winter, was called ‘Igor or the Young Person’s Guide to Berlin.’ The title refers to the music chosen to accompany the film: ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ by Benjamin Britten.

Igor, played by Martin O’Shea (who was my main actor in many films, and later theatre projects), is an idealistic Socialist and Brecht fanatic. The young man visits Berlin, making pilgrimages to the Brecht Haus and grave, as well as various locations associated with Socialist Berlin.

We began the film quite seriously but at one point, when Igor reaches into his pocket to find a toffee, it took on a more light-hearted tone.

The climax, with a cast of dozens, was totally unplanned. The boy band Take That were playing two gigs in Berlin and the weekend before, for some reason, a large group of teenage girls marched up Unter Den Linden, from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate, singing Take That songs.

Following ‘Igor’ was a more modest film, shot in about an hour in a small park at the end of my street.

In ‘Kleingeld und Dulcimer’, Martin O’Shea plays Mr Kleingeld (German for small change), a loner of indeterminate age. After going shopping in a cheap supermarket, Mr Kleingeld sees a busker and is so impressed, he gives the musician some small change. Very small change. However, Mr Kleingeld has no idea about social behaviour and Mr Dulcimer, played by Detroit musician Jeff Tarlton, reacts to having his space invaded.

This film won first prize at the Prenzlau International Film Festival in winter 1995, which was held on a farm north of Berlin.

Cultural nod – the character of Mr Kleingeld was based on British comedian Eric Morcombe.

The third film, featuring a cameo from Mr Kleingeld, is ‘Les Aventures de Bruno Dalle’. Bruno tries to be French cinema icon Jean-Paul Belmondo. His girlfriend, Iris, brings him back to reality. She needs him to get a job. Angered, Bruno decides to take his Belmondo fascination further. He meets his friend, Richard Rastignac (who will appear in a later film), and is given a gun and told to go rob a bank. Will Bruno go through with the plan ? How will he appease Iris ? What exactly is Mr Kleingeld doing in this movie ?

Cine transfer organised by Martin O’Shea with the assistance of Screenshot Berlin (www.screenshot-berlin.de).

Butterfly Decal: ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’ EP

12th June 2022

A still from Niall’s Red Ribbon: A Short Story video

Butterfly Decal, the band I am in along with my dear friend Niall Keohane, are finishing the final mix on our debut EP.

The Jazz-inspired EP, entitled ‘Red Ribbon in Long Hair’, has four tracks:

1) Red Ribbon: A Short Story

2) Red Ribbon Suite

3) Swing, Princess, Swing

4) Miles et Juliette

Track 1 is a piece of first-person prose over a Jazz background and sound effects, a collage of film, music and poetry.

The video features Niall’s stunning B&W photography, (from the UK), while I add some shots from Sai Gon, Viet Nam. As the track nears the end, a theme from the next cut appears, low in the mix, leading to …

Track 2, an instrumental piece in three movements. Parts 1 and 2 share a melody but have a tempo change, whereas Part 3 leads to a melodic resolution.

Track 3, ‘Swing, Princess, Swing’, is based around a two-chord guitar structure. I’m only playing a $40 acoustic guitar here but Niall’s production makes it sound (almost) professional. Niall also adds backing vocals.

Track 4 is another story set to music. In the late 1940s, Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis travelled to Paris where he met, and fell in love with, singer Juliette Greco. As with Track 1, this cut features narrative, music and effects.

We plan, once we have enough material, to make our music available online on Bandcamp or SoundCloud, as well as posting more videos on YouTube.

The production was by Niall at his home studio in Birmingham, UK

Thank you so much for visiting this site. If you have time and interest, please view the videos and share them with your friends. The ‘Likes’ and views really help.

“Because it’s my nature.”

2nd June 2022

The fable of the frog and the scorpion

One day a scorpion was out walking when it came to a river. The scorpion, who couldn’t swim, wanted to cross the river, and saw a frog resting on a stone.

“Hello, frog, can you carry me to the other side ? I can ride on your back.”

The frog refused.

“You are a scorpion. You will sting me.”

“Why would I do that ? We would both die,” asked the scorpion.

The frog thought, then agreed. The scorpion climbed onto the frog’s back.

However, half way across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog, in pain, asked the scorpion,

“Why did you do that ? Now we will both die.”

“I know,” replied the scorpion, “I couldn’t help it because it’s my nature.”

A modern day tale

Classes of students who are undisciplined, disrespectful and physically or verbally abusive.

The centre makes rules. The students start each lesson reciting them.

Rules such as not saying, “No,” to a teacher when asked to do something, not calling a teacher by a disrespectful name, no running, no eating in class.

Yet, forty minutes later, masks are off and half the class are eating, running in the halls, shouting. Students say, “No,” to polite requests, and call teachers disrespectful names.

They have been told if they break these new rules, they will be sent home, and if the offense is repeated, they will be expelled. Still they continue.

Why … because it’s in their nature.

Mr Orson Welles in ‘Mr Arkadin’ 1955

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.