16th July 2020
Words and expression to use, tips, phrases and idiomatic language
Recap: to pass IELTS with flying colours, you will needs to demonstrate a command of everyday English, the ability to express it with stress and intonation, as well as being able to link your ideas with appropriate discourse markers.
I need to hear nouns described by interesting adjectives, verbs intensified by adverbs and conversation enlivened by low-frequency vocabulary.
Piece of cake, right ?
Low – frequency words (LFW)
Boring: tedious // forgetful: absent-minded // expensive: sky high // what will happen: predict // everywhere: ubiquitous.
Activity 1: Make sentences using the above five LFW
Introduce your answer by:
Let me think // How can I put it // Well, that’s an interesting question
In my opinion // From my perspective // For me // Allow me to explain // By which I mean //
as well as // furthermore // additionally // on the other hand // having said that // however // although // despite that
Activity 2: Give each student a discourse marker and they have to use it in a sentence
EXAMPLE ‘in addition’
I have a busy life; I have to study, work my part-time job and help my family. In addition, I go shopping for my neighbour because he is too old to go out.
NOTE: use of ‘because‘ to explain why you do something … and therefore construct a longer sentence.
It’s raining cats and dogs // It costs an arm and a leg // piece of cake // I’m burning the candle at both ends.
Activity 3: Who can use these idioms correctly ?
Relative pronouns – who / which / where / whose
Activity 4: Use the correct relative pronoun:
We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.
A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know how to switch it off.
The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.
Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.
This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.
Could you repeat that, please // I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that // Would you mind rephrasing the question
Model answer: What do you do in your free time ?
One of my favourite things to do, if I have some spare time, is to hang out with my closest friends and just catch up on our news, maybe hit a mall because they are air-conditioned and have a wide array of amenities such as shops, cafes and, if I may say, bathroom facilities, as well as services like ATM machines and free wifi. My closest friends are Sheila, who is from Japan and studies here in Sai Gon, and Kerry, who is a gorgeous Thai lady. As we all come from different countries, there can be issues. Allow me to explain; we have to communicate in English, however Kerry is just starting her studies, so we have to use Google translate frequently. Having said that, it’s such tremendous fun to be with my best friends. It helps me forget about the pressure and stress of work.
Use this an a plan – now tell me what YOU do in YOUR free time … DO NOT just copy the above example !
Now … Your turn
Conversation Practice: In pairs or small groups, ask each other these questions. If the answer is too short, ask the person to tell you more, to explain with more details.
Ask each other about your families
How many siblings do you have ?
[You can give names, ages, jobs, what and where they study, what they look like, what their personality is like, if you have something or nothing in common with them]
Do you live with your parents and grandparents ?
Do you often meet your cousins ?
Who is the youngest member of your family ?
Who is the oldest ?
Who is your favourite person in your family and why ?
Can you tell me more ? // In what way ? // Why do you say that ? //
Oh, that’s interesting … // well, // actually // in fact …
on the other hand // having said that // although
Keep the conversation going
Oh, really ? Tell me more Why do you say that ?
Could you explain what you mean ? Why did you do that ?
Coffee shops in Sai Gon are _________________________ .
I always forget my keys, I’m so __________________ .
In an IELTS listening test, we can sometimes _______________ the answer.
We wanted to stay at the Hotel California but the prices were _____________ .
The meeting was so long and extremely _____________________ .