Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Going shopping, looking for a bargain.

7th April 2020

A Guide For Shopping In Macau For All Shopaholics In 2020!
Shopping in Macau

This lesson aims to introduce students to a wider range of vocabulary, phrases and expressions, and then gives them an opportunity to role play and act out the language.

A plan such as this only works with motivated students, and can be very fun for both learners and the teacher.

Print outs or photos of various consumer items will enhance the lesson, but first:

vocabulary

SHOPPING

Which shops do you like and why ?

Use these words and phrases to help you write your answer: 

big, small, fresh, clean, cheap, expensive, near my house, convenient 

range of choice, quality, cost, location, crowded

store layout (what does it look like ? Is it easy to find things ?)

staff helpfulness: average (normal), exceptional, non-existant !

value for money (good quality at a good price)

bargains (good quality and great price)

waitrose-little-wimbledon-convenience-store-interior.gif 700×450 ...
Interior of a Waitrose supermarket in the UK
19 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Grocery Store Workers In The ...
Food shopping is not always a pleasant experience

Haggling

This is the practice of trying to get a better or lower price for an item. This doesn’t happen in shops, which have a fixed price, but is common, indeed even expected, in markets, depending on the location and culture. Be careful – too much haggling can upset the trader.

7 Tips on Haggling in the Arabic World | TravelGeekery
haggling can be an art – there are many guides online

Vocabulary: fixed price / negotiate / bargain / rip-off / no deal !

Expressions: I wasn’t born yesterday / you’re having a laugh !

[I will pre-teach these expressions in a class, but online students will have to look them up. If you ever need help, just leave a message]

Legian, Bali, Indonesia - August 13, 2018: Indonesian Souvenir ...
What do you think is meant by ‘GENUINE FAKE’ ?

Make a conversation:

One is a market-trader, the other a customer.

You can choose the item(s): watch, phone, T-shirt, food etc.

The language is informal, intonation can be strong but still be polite.

EXAMPLE:

Here, the trader sells ‘genuine fake’ sunglasses

Customer: How much are these sunglasses, please ?

Trader: Oh, those are genuine Gucci, made in France. I can let you have for the special price.

Customer: Gucci … really ?

Trader: Absolutely, look … it says ‘Guchi’ here. Try them on … they are perfect for you.

Customer: Hhhmmmm, ‘Guchi’ … OK, how much are they ?

Trader: To you, my first customer, special price. Only $50

Customer: Are you having a laugh ! I’ll give you $5 tops, no more.

Trader: These are genuine Gucci … OK, OK, just for you, $45. They come from France.

Customer: Gucci are ITALIAN ! What a rip-off. I’m out of here.

Amazon.com: Gucci Sunglasses GG 0448 S- 001 Black/Grey: Clothing
Genuine Gucci sunglasses

With a larger class, have three students selling the same type of item but in different setting, for example:

a department store,

Selfridges has just opened its Christmas shop 145 days early

a shop having a sale

Japanese department store makes grovelling apology after ...

and a street market

Brick Lane Market | London Guide | Qbic Hotel

To make it more realistic, the students have to alter their vocabulary to suit the store, that is, polite standard English for the department store, everyday English for the shop and more slang and idioms for the street market.

The items could include:

Handbags:

Beautiful weaved dried water hyacinth lady handbag for sale on the ...
Branded Luxury Handbag Women Bags Designer Handbag Logos Designer ...
Mumu Korean Back Pack Mini Sling Bag Sale Cute Bags Women Ladies ...

Set your own prices to reflect the realities of where you live.

Watches:

Street markets | Xian china | pbruch | Flickr
Mens Wooden Watches for Sale | COBB & Co. USA
Rolex 16233 - Buy and Sell used Rolex Watches and Jewellery in ...
A genuine Rolex

IELTS (Mindset): Why do you like the film ?

6th April 2020

A typical IELTS question could be:

Talk about a film you like. Why do you like it, and what is the story ?

The 15 Most Moving Film Endings in Cinema History | Taste Of ...
Cinema Paradiso 1988 Italy

This blog will serve as a model to IELTS students to help with their speaking and writing skills.

IELTS has lots of ‘open’ questions, to enable the student to speak freely on subjects about which they feel comfortable.

In my last online lesson, I mentioned a film that I though a student would like, as she had chosen to speak about Scarlett Johannsson.

Loạt vai diễn làm nên tên tuổi Scarlett Johansson - VnExpress Giải Trí

The film in question is ‘Lost In Translation‘. Here is a little piece about the film.

Lost in Translation (2003)
An iconic shot from the opening of the film

NOTE:

Short introduction – do not answer the question immediately

Organised structure – one point per paragraph

A change of attitude – a critical view

Short conclusion

LOOK OUR FOR

Low-frequency words

Complex sentences – combining two or more bits of information in the same sentence.

Discourse markers – words to link ideas together

Adverbs and less common adjectives

So, without further ado, the question:

Talk about a film you like. Why do you like it, and what is the story ?

Lost In Translation - Tiếng thở dài của những tâm hồn lạc lối

INTRODUCTION – talk about cinema or films in general DON’T immediately talk about your favourite film.

Watching films and going to the cinema is one of my passions, so choosing just one film is going to be terribly difficult, not to say impossible. However, if I have to select one film, it would be ‘Lost in Translation’, with Scarlett Johannsson.

First paragraph. Information about the film and the main charcters.

The film, directed by Sophia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, was made in 2003, and takes place in Tokyo. A young, newly-married girl, named Charlotte, is alone in her hotel because her husband is constantly out working. Staying at the same hotel is a middle-aged, world-weary American actor, Bob Harris, in Japan to make a commercial for Japanese whiskey.

Second paragraph. The plot – what happens … and why.

Both characters appear to be suffering from culture shock and seem afraid to leave the security of the hotel. For example, despite seeming to be impressed by all the neon and energy of the city, Bob spends his night in the hotel bar with other tourists, while Charlotte reads and listens to music in her room.

Third paragraph. Develop the plot.

They meet in the hotel where age difference notwithstanding, they seem to get on extremely well, extremely quickly. Furthermore, they give each other energy and courage to venture outside. We learn that Bob is less than happy in his current life, while it becomes apparent that Charlotte is doubting her own marriage. At one point it look like they will get together. However, Bob decides to go back to the USA, leaving Charlotte, but not before they share an embrace on the street, in which Bob whispers something in her ear. We, that is the audience, do not get to hear what he said; we have to speculate.

Fourth paragraph: Something negative for balance.

Some people could be irritated that the final words are a mystery, other could be severely disappointed by this love story that never quite happens. The two protagonists return to their lives which will, possible, be unfulfilling. This negativity is like a black cloud on an otherwise bright, sunny day.

Conclusion: A short summary.

‘Lost in Translation’ is described as a romantic-comedy-drama. The characters are totally believable and likeable, while, technically, the cinematography is stunning. Furthermore, in my view, it is a charming, heart-warming, and life-affirming movie.

35mm Contest #22] Lost In Translation (2003) Cho Thời Gian Ngơi ...

Listening Exercises: Corona special.

6th April 2020

Virus corona: 'Khả năng cao' sẽ lây lan diện rộng ở Anh Quốc - BBC ...

Firstly, let me start by wishing you all the best. I hope you are staying safe and well. Aside from the medical implications of this pandemic, the widespread lockdown is affecting people’s psychological health, their jobs and therefore their financial security.

As the death toll in my native UK approaches five thousand, our Prime Minister has been hospitalised, and people are being advised to stay indoors, self-isolate and maintain social distancing.

Against this backdrop, I have two recent clips to help my students.

I appreciate that learning English isn’t a priority at the moment, but my school remains open (for online teaching) so people can continue working and therefore have money to pay living costs and help the economy continue.

So, without further ado, the first of clips:

If the clip doesn’t open, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE4Cmr1j0tA

On the 5th April, Queen Elizabeth II addressed (spoke to) the nation.

For students, this is a chance to hear Queen’s English, as spoken by the Queen. Not only will this assist your pronunciation, but you will also encounter many new words and expressions.

As listening is very hard, I suggest only playing ten or twenty seconds, then replaying until you feel confident that you understand. After, copy, imitate the accent, listen for stress and intonation.

Queen’s Address 5th April 20202:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/05/queens-coronavirus-speech-full-will-succeed-better-days-will/

The text of the speech is below

I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.

I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.

I also want to thank those of you who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones. Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.  

The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children. 

Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort.  

And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.

It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do. 

While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us. 

We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.

But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.  

The second clip is from the newly-appointed leader of the Labour Party, Sir Kier Starmer. This clip has English subtitles:

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOakNL-XqE&t=300s

New vocabulary and expressions:

anti-Semitism: prejudice and hatred towards Jewish people

NHS: the National Health Service

poignant:feeling of strong sadness

play its full part: to do a job properly

we will shine a torch on: we will look carefully at something and discuss it if we disagree.

to call something out: to speak if you think someone has made a mistake or is doing something wrong.

You will hear many new expressions in this speech. Write down words and phrases you don’t know, look them up online, then try to use them in your English.

Love Is GREAT Britain: A Welcoming Country For All

Everyone stay safe, stay well

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Remembering April 30th

5th April 2020

WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS IMAGES OF WAR THAT ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG READERS

April 30th is a national holiday in Vietnam. My Vietnamese students should know why, other students can probably guess.

A Guide to Vietnam's Reunification Day | Student Exchange Vietnam ...
Vietnam celebrates 40th anniversary of Saigon's fall

Describe this photo:

What is the subject ? What is the background and history ? Why is this picture significant ?

What happened after this snapshot?

background– recent story or history to some event.

significant (adjective) – very important or large. 

significance (noun) / significantly (adverb)

snapshot– a moment in a photo – captured by time.

In this photo we can clearly see …

The photo shows …

The photo depicts …

Vocabulary:

war / conflict / civil war / agent orange / reunification / peace treaty / ceasefire / chemical warfare / the seat of government / reeducation / education growth / Le Duan / public opinion / anti-war sentiments / Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC / My Lai / Kim Phuc

Use the above vocabulary to describe the following photos. Organise your thoughts, then employ discourse markers to link your ideas together.

If you are not certain, you may use expressions such as:

I’m not entirely sure, but I think …

This would seem to show …

I’m not familiar with this image …

Practice speaking in complex sentences by using relative pronouns (who, where, which, whose)

Đồng chí Lê Duẩn - Nhà lãnh đạo kiệt xuất của Đảng - Sputnik Việt Nam
Le Duan ( right) with Ho Chi Minh in 1960

A picture of Le Duan with Mao Zedong but it doesn’t appear on the blog. Vietnamese students can read more here: https://baotiengdan.com/2020/02/21/le-duan-va-chien-tranh-bien-gioi-1979/

Effects on Environment - Defoliants Used During the Vietnam War
What does this landscape depict ?
Give Peace a Chance | Dissent Magazine
What is going on here ? Where is this taking place ?
The Paris Peace Accords - The Vietnam War - Edexcel - GCSE History ...
Fall of Saigon to Communist troops marks the end of the Vietnam ...

Read more at this site: https://erenow.net/ww/vietnam-war-an-intimate-history/11.php

Read the article about education in Vietnam here: https://wenr.wes.org/2017/11/education-in-vietnam

This is a great opportunity for IELTS students to interpret the information represented on this graph. What is the trend ? What is the anomaly ? How would you categorise the fluctuation in figures from 2007 – 2010 ?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial - WorldStrides
War Memorial in USA
50 Years On, My Lai Massacre Remains A Gaping Wound : NPR
To commemorate the My Lai massacre in Vietnam

WARNING:

NEXT PHOTO MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC PHOTOS, NOT JUST OF THE WAR IN VIETNAM, BUT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

THERE ARE NO ADJECTIVES CAPABLE OF DESCRIBING THE IMAGE.

THE PHOTO HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH TURNING AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST THE WAR.

Love to Kim Phuc | worldpoet546
Ms Kim Phuc, aged 9, after her village was bombed June 8th 1972
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ms Kim Phúc Phan Thi meets Centre staff ...
Ms Kim Phuc now, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
The Girl in the Picture by Denise Chong: 9780140280210 ...
Ms Phuc’s story can be read in this (highly recommended) book.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 1: How was your day ?

5th April 2020

How was your day ? How was your weekend ?

What is a get Together? (with pictures)

Today was:

Great / good / so so / terrible / horrible / boring

because … (tell me why)

Now change from good to bad, or bad to good:

However… / On the other hand … / Having said that …

Example:

Today was terrible because I overslept and had no coffee. However in the evening, I have football on TV so I feel very happy.

My weekend was …

My weekend was great because I only worked on Saturday. Having said that, I had to do cleaning and food shopping on Sunday.

Tell me about these people:

This man is happy because … / however he will be …

This man is happy because … / however he will be …

These woman are …

This lady is very … because (why is she angry ? What do you think ?)

When two friends meet after long time - Picture of Ceylon Epic ...

The monkeys are …

Adult Class Level 3: Storytelling, part 3

31st March 2020

The story so far … we have two young Asian cousins who are about to meet each other, after a long time. Boram, a caring, thoughtful young music student, is going to the train station to meet Leon, also a musician, who is travelling to Seoul but doesn’t know the city. Despite having a busy schedule, Boram insists upon meeting Leon and making sure he is safe.

After his journey, Boram feels certain Leon must be hungry and in need of coffee. She decides to take him to a great cafe near the station. They can talk and get to know each other.

CafeHopping in Korea – 6 Cafes You Must Not Miss In Seoul ...

Boram pays for the drinks, and they go to find a table:

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Image & Photo (Free Trial) | Bigstock

Here, there are introducing themselves. The conversation may go something like this:

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: No, I’m Ok, thanks. This coffee looks great. Wow, how long has it been ?

Boram: Hhmmm, let me think … it must be six years since we last meet. How are your parents ?

Leon: Both very well, thank you, and they send you a little present. So, mum says you play piano ?

Boram: Violin. I play in the university orchestra. You’ve grown so much !

Leon: Of course, I’m not ten anymore haha. You play ? Can I hear you sometime ?

Boram: Actually, I’m playing this afternoon. If you like, I can take you and introduce you to some of my friends.

Leon: That would be cool. You are so kind. I insist on buying you lunch to say thank you.

That was a fairly natural exchange of pleasantries. They both appear nice people, and very polite. However, it is not very exciting or interesting. So, let’s make Leon less grateful and more self-centred:

Korea's Unique Coffee Culture | Seoulinspired

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: Oh, man … it was like … boring, you know. No hot girls on the train.

Boram: Oh. Sorry. How is your coffee ?

Leon: It’s terrible, We have much better in Busan. This place is lame. Don;t you know any cooler joints ? You look a bit boring. Mum says you’re a musician ?

Boram: Yes, I play vio…..

Leon: I’m a musician, I play bass in a radicle hip-hop, thrash-metal band.

Boram: I’d love to hear your band.

Leon: Ha ! I don’t think so. We don’t make music for little girls. This is real music.

Boram: Oh, well, would you like to hear my orchestra play ?

Leon: Yeah.

Boram: Great ! We are playi …

Leon: No, idiot, I’m joking, I can’t listen to that old crap ! Hey, can you give me some money ?

What do you think of Leon now ? Not so nice, hey ? See how he interrupts Boram, mocks her music and then demands money ? He’s a ‘nasty piece of work.’

Let’s turn the tables. How about if Boram, despite looking angelic and ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt- in-her-mouth’ appearance, is in reality arrogant, impatient and thoughtless.

Leon: It is so nice of you to meet me. I haven’t been to Seoul before on my own.

Boram: I had no choice. My mum made me, I don’t want to waste my time here.

Leon: And thank you for buying the coffee. I was really tired.

Boram: Mum gave me the money. Come on, drink it then I can go. I’ve got more important things to do.

Leon: Oh, I don’t want to keep you if you’re busy …

Boram: ‘Busy’ ? I have rehearsals in two hours and I have to go all the way across the city to meet you. Ridiculous, a grown man like you needs me to hold his hand.

Leon: Really, if you need to go, it’s ….

Boram: Well, if you say it’s Ok, I’ll go. You know the way ? If not just ask someone or, I don’t know, get a taxi. Do you have my phone number ?

Leon: No, what is i… ?

Boram: Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m to busy to pick up. I gotta go.

That should change our perception of Boram. Not so friendly now, is she ?

Try writing short dialogues for different situations:

1: Leon really wants to see the top museums

2: Boram wants Leon to meet her friend, she thinks they would be good together

3: Leon is having an interview for a job and he is very nervous. Boram supports him.

4: Boram wants to take Leon shopping for new clothes. Leon likes his clothes and they have a playful argument.

5: They discover they really don’t like each other but they have to stay together because they are family.

I'm Stuck At Home. So I'm Making Dalgona Coffee! - YouTube

And now … what to do if you’re stuck at home, self-isolating, and have lots of time to kill. My internet friend, Rachel Kim, from South Korea has a tip about a new craze sweeping her homeland:Dalgona coffee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mw3qbSjBQ&t=735s

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Storytelling part 2

30th March 2020

This is a continuation of the previous post. This time, we will concentrate on the first couple, create personality backgrounds and start to prepare a rudimentary dialogue. You can find said post here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/29/adult-speaking-class-level-3-storytelling/

To recap, we have two young Asians:

Boram
Leon

The two young people are cousins

First, physical descriptions so you will need to utilise your knowledge of adjectives … and learn more (ABL … always be learning).

With adjectives, we always start with our opinion; what do YOU think of Boram ? How does she look ?

For me, I think she is beautiful … oh my God, she is BEAUTIFUL !

Do you see how the second sentence is so powerful. It not only tells you about Boram, but also about the writer !

Having said that, ‘beautiful’ is a basic word, learnt early, so we need to be more creative. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms:

Beautiful: cute, gorgeous, adorable, breathe-taking, sensational … have a check: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/beautiful?s=t

Synonyms for beautiful

Wow, hot dog ! What a list, extensive, exhaustive, exhilarating. See how your language can improve. However, it is always a good idea to check the definition first, as the words are all slightly different, and some may not be appropriate. For example, ‘foxy’ and ‘shapely’ are more sensual, while ‘refined’ and ‘angelic’ are more innocent.

You may be as descriptive as you wish, for example, Boram has:

stunning, high cheek bones / luscious almond-shaped eyes / long wavy brown hair, enticingly and charmingly wrapped in a soft pink bow.

Continue by describing her clothes and setting (where she is). Now, compare this with Leon. Follow the pattern, tell me what you think of Leon, what he looks like, how he’s attired (dressed), where he might be and what that tells us about his character.

Next: personality

In a standard lesson, I would emphasis that we DON’T know the person, so we cannot say, for example, Boram is sweet and cheerful. Instead, we have to use expressions such as:

In my opinion / I feel Boram is / Boram seems to me / I get the impression that Boram is …

But we are now in the realms of creative English and this is YOUR story … use your imagination … tell me what Boram is like.

The following are my thoughts – you may well disagree, in fact I hope you do. I want YOU to think and create your own character.

In MY story, Boram is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. She is such a caring lady, the radiance of her face is a physical manifestation of the purity and honesty of her heart.

However, she will often put other people first and can be disarmingly vulnerable and perilously innocent.

Do you see how the adjectives were intensified by adverbs – ‘disarmingly vulnerable’, ‘incredibly sweet’. By now, you should be able to use basic adverbs such as:

very / so / extremely / unbelievably / incredibly /

Therefore, try to find new adverbs. Watch out for adverbs as you listen to music, watch films or TV, read books, newspapers, online media and even this humble blog.

Now, repeat with Leon. This is YOUR story, so Leon can be whatever you decide.

Finally today, think about the story. Boram lives in Seoul (but you are free to change her name, location etc) and her cousin Leon (again, change his name if YOU wish) is coming to visit.

Boram is worried that Leon will be lost in the big city when he arrives (by bus, or train, or even plane), so she insists on meeting him, despite having commitments (she is a musician and needs to rehearse with her orchestra in the afternoon).

They meet at, for example, the train station. Leon is very hungry and tired, so Boram takes him to a cafe for some food and coffee. Here they have a chance to catch up (to talk about what they have been doing). What do they say ? What phrases or expressions could they use ? Is Leon grateful or arrogant ? Will be look after Boram, or exploit her kindness ?

Inside Seoul station, Seoul - Picture of KTX (Korea Train Express ...

We can decide that in the next blog … so get thinking !

Stay safe, stay healthy. From Thay Paul in Sai Gon … Goodnight and good luck

Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Storytelling

29th March 2020

This lesson is to encourage students to think creatively, and to help them with sentence buildings by encouraging the use of discourse markers and complex sentences.

Additionally, here is a golden opportunity to utilise adjectives and adverbs, so often conspicuous by their absence, not to mention a chance to create dialogues where characters can use idioms, expressions and features of everyday real English.

Let’s kick off (start) with an example.

Storytelling

Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ? How do they meet ?

Students can here perform a task suited to their level.

Firstly, just describe the photos. Remember do not start with a pronoun (he, she, it). Instead, tell me what you see.

Example: I see a young lady with a bow in her hair NOT She has a bow in her hair.

For more advanced students, explain more about the young lady. Do you think she is beautiful (or pretty, cute, adorable, gorgeous) ? What are her origins ? She looks Asian, but she could live anywhere in the world. Describe how she looks and what she’s wearing. What do you think her personality is ?

After, do the same with the young man.

For advanced students, look at the background. The young lady is standing in a white room, with a book and some flowers. What does that suggest to you ? White is often associated with purity and innocence. Flowers could be sweet and feminine (although different flowers have different significance in different cultures), while the book indicates education and intelligence. Her hair bow appears to have musical notes as a pattern, so possible she is a musician ?

As for IELTS students, write a description then replace any basic words with low-frequency vocabulary (example, replace beautiful with gorgeous, stunning etc).

Now, let’s get creative:

Write a short story using dialogue and adjectives.

MOTIVATION: why do the characters do what they do ?

PLOT: what happens … and why ?

CHARACTERS: make sure each one is an individual and speaks differently.

Ideas:

Where do they meet ?

How do they meet ?

How do they know each other ?

What do they think of each other and how do they express it ?

EXAMPLE:

Boram, a young Korean lady, is at home getting ready to go out. She has put on her favourite white and pink dress and, with her lucky pink bow in her luscious chestnut hair, looks absolutely stunning.

Today she is going to meet her cousin who is coming to Seoul for the first time. Boram needs to practice violin, because she plays in the university orchestra and they have an important concert coming up, however, she is concerned about her cousin getting lost in the big bewildering city. That is typical of Boram, always putting other people first. She is a very sweet and thoughtful caring lady.

[In the first sentence I named the lady – Boram. Therefore, we can use a pronoun – she – because we know the subject]

Tell me about her cousin, Leon.

Now, try the same exercise with any of these situations:

Ethnic indian mixed race girl and black guy in library | Premium Photo
American Jewish Committee | The Electronic Intifada
Lost Pensions – SJ Financial Solutions Blog

Next time, we can work on dialogue … have fun and STAY SAFE

IELTS 4 – 5 (Mindset). Implementing precautions

25th March 2020

Life goes on as normal … or does it, indeed can it, should it ? The Scottish MP and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, addressed the issue in a recent press conference. In her view, we all have to change our lifestyles and accept that there is a pandemic sweeping the globe.

Image result for nicola sturgeon

The measures, including closing down restaurants and cinemas, are intended to stop the spread of Covid 19. The virus can easily spread in big cities such as New York, Tokyo and London.

Different countries have imposed different restrictions, and I’d like to focus on Vietnam where, as of 14.00 today, the 25th March, there are 134 reported cases but no fatalities. We shall examine what steps the Vietnamese government has taken, after a quick revision.

Remember, IELTS students have to be able to use these low-frequency words in order to pass the exam.

isolate // implement // significant // rely //

precautions // quarantine // regulations

Students are given three minutes to write three sentences using three of these words.

Now, once these words roll off the tongues of the students, we can move on; actions taken by the Vietnamese authorities.

Image result for vietnam coronavirus

Latest Updates from the Vietnam- Briefing.com website

What do you think about these measures ?

To what extent do you agree with them and why ?

As a resident of Sai Gon, do these measures make you feel more secure, or more scared ?

  • As of March 25, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 134 cases of COVID-19. The latest cases were all linked to international flights. 19 cases were announced on March 22 itself – the biggest single day total.
  • Ho Chi Minh City authorities have ordered the closure of all restaurants (with a capacity of 30 people or more), gyms, beauty salons, barbershops from March 24 to March 31.
  • Vietnam has stopped exporting rice from March 24 to ensure national food security.
  • All international airlines have been asked to stop transporting overseas Vietnamese to Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City from March 25 to March 31 to prevent overcrowding at quarantine facilities.
  • Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreigners from March 22 to limit the spread of COVID-19. The measure will not apply to diplomats and officials as per Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Prime Minister also ordered the suspension of all international flights, though it’s unclear exactly when this will take effect.
  • The Health Ministry has advised all arrivals from March 1 to self-isolate at home if they have not been quarantined in a centralized zone in the past 14 days.
  • Vietnam and Cambodia have closed their borders from March 20 to further prevent the spread of the epidemic. The measures do not apply to official and diplomatic passports. 
  • The Vietnamese government is expected to unveil a credit package of US$10.8 billion and a fiscal package of US$1.3 billion in March for businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more here: https://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/vietnam-business-operations-and-the-coronavirus-updates.html/

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The government also made an educational video. You can watch it here: https://observers.france24.com/en/20200306-government-clip-inspires-coronavirus-safety-dance-challenge-vietnam

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Beginners' English: Present perfect

25th March 2020

Grammar: Present Perfect

To talk about something that happened in the past – but we don’t say when:

Subject + have/has + past participle / verb 3

I have been to Ha Noi // You have eaten sushi // He has worked in Germany

NOT He has worked in Germany last year 

Can use ‘for’ and ‘since’

I have lived in Sai Gon for 5 years // We have been working since 6.00 am

POSITIVE I have seen 

NEGATIVE I haven’t seen

QUESTION Have you seen … ?

Practice: Make these sentences present perfect

EXAMPLE – I / study / French // I have studied French

  1. She / tell / her boss she wants a holiday (tell  told)
  2. They / walk / to the shop [ verb ‘walk’ is regular so add -ed]
  3. You / work / with David for four years. regular (add -ed)
  4. His wife / not make / dinner [make made]
  5. You / take / the engineering exam ? [take took taken]