17th January 2020
A collection of exercises and features aimed at the advanced student.
British culture (Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare)
Here’s a little video about the famous short story, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by the British writer (start video at 1.27 – 1.55):
Debtor’s prison = people were sent to prison if they couldn’t pay their debts.
Famous Shakespearean quotes:
Match the quote to the play !
To be or not to be // Romeo and Juliette
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears // Hamlet
Now is the winter of our discontent // A Midsummers’ Night Dream
A plague on both your houses // Julius Caesar
Lord, what fools these mortals be ! // Richard III
Watch an excerpt from a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe in London
How much can you understand ? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WiVaQheUfE
In December 2019, The UK had a general election. USA have their election at the end of 2020.
Idioms and collocations
campaign / victory / vote / party / voter
It was a long and dirty election _________which divided the country. The Conservatives won a landslide _________ in the last general election. I usually cast my _________ for the candidate who is more business friendly. The problem with two _________systems like the USA’s, is not all views are represented. I’m a typical floating _________ , I never decide how to vote until the day of the election.
If you elect me for President, I will make a difference. I will lower taxes for every citizen and I will make sure that every worker gets a fair deal. I will not stand by and watch the poor and the needy being downtrodden.
How long is a political term in your country ?
Do you think it’s important to vote?
If you were elected leader of your country, what law would you change first?
Watch this clip. Could this happen in your country ? (politicians attacked) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKdDnMwnV_o
Build a character
You will see some character information. Use this to create a character for yourself.
Take some time to think. Put some effort into this by using the facts and incorporating them.
Lee Morgan 27 musician born Chicago resides Sai Gon not married
Likes music ! barbecue and spicy food cinema going to clubs and dancing
Dislikes early mornings 9 – 5 jobs Vietnamese food traffic no-smoking ban
Hi, my name’s Morgan, Lee Morgan. I’m 27 and I hail from Chicago, Illinois, which is a dynamic city, but pretty damn cold in winter; icy winds and snow. I’m currently living here, in HCM or Sai Gon, whatever. I’m still single, haven’t found the right girl yet but there are a heap of cute ladies in Vietnam, right ?
I’m a professional musician so, of course, I love music, it’s my passion. I also really love barbecue and hot, spicy food like chilli or gumbo. Yeah, what else … oh, I also enjoy taking in a movie, but at the cinema, not on DVD … no atmosphere at home. Because I finish work late, I often find myself going to clubs and dancing the night away. Great way to meet women, too !
What I’m not crazy about is getting up early. I never get up before noon, no way ! Oh, yeah, sorry to say, I really can’t find any Vietnamese food I like, hey, sorry. Some of it’s OK, but it’s just soup and noddles and bones ! The traffic is another pet hate, it’s hellish and absolutely dangerous. Lastly, I’m a smoker and I want to smoke where and when I want. I hate that I get told not to smoke.
If you have just met, what questions could you ask Lee ?
Remember – nothing too personal. When he answers, show interest, maybe add information about yourself.
BACKCHANNEL – say ‘yeah’, ‘oh, right’, ‘really ?’ etc
I was born in Hue but I grew up in Na Trang.
Really ? I’m from Na Trang. When did you move to HCMC ?
I like sports.
Me too. I play badminton every week and football every Sunday.
We’ve been married for three years but no kids.
Why not ? What is wrong with you, or is your wife too lazy to have kids ?
(this is not considered a correct or polite thing to say. Instead, change the subject)
Kenjie Ozu 24 medical student born Tokyo resides Sai Gon engaged
Likes Jazz music / keep fit / karaoke / meeting friends / computer games
Dislikes noise and pollution / smoking / animal cruelty / fast food
Rob Forster 31 lawyer born Sydney resides Sai Gon married, 2 children
Likes barbecue and beer / jogging / investing money / repairing cars / rugby
Dislikes lazy people / Vietnamese traffic / nagging wife / housework / liars
Vu Nugyun 43 security guard born HCMC resides HCMC married, 2 kids
Likes sitting / sleeping / smoking / beer / karaoke / gambling / shouting
Dislikes work / his boss / exercise / when his wife asks for money / foreigners
Hank Douglass 30 shop manager born San Francisco resides Ha Noi single
Likes investing / gambling / baseball driving / fast cars / action movies
Dislikes housework / romantic films / tipping / drunk people / police / recycling
Boz I don’t get much time to read, but I’d like to improve my English. Any tips ?
Pip Well, maybe you could give Dickens a go. Oh, some of his books are 1000 pages.
Boz Bloody hell ! Who has time or energy to read 1000 pages !
Pip Hold your horses, he also wrote short stories. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is very famous.
Boz Hang on … yes, I know … Ebenezer Scrooge, right ? I’ll download it later.
Pip Of course, the most famous writer is Shakespeare. ‘To be or not to be…’
Boz Not sure that’s my cup of tea. I prefer something a bit more modern.
Pip Conversely, watch a version. I went to see a play in London, at the Globe.
Boz The reconstructed theatre ? I saw it on the news. It looks really cool … and cold !