IELTS: Final Run Through

25th March 2021

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Students at 23/ 9 Park, District 1, Sai Gon

OK, let’s hit the ground running, no time to shimmy shammy, speaking test is next week, let’s go !

A previous blog has exercises for you to test your adjectives as well as your ability to link ideas fluently with discourse markers. Said link may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/08/ielts-last-chance-saloon/

Thus, a quick warm up featuring standard, run of the mill IELTS topics such as:

FAMILY

Who do you live with ?

An all too familiar answer would be, “I live with my mum, my dad and my brother.”

Remember, you have to impress the examiner with your impressive command of all aspects of English, so get those complex sentences working, flex those adjectives and act out your answers.

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly, there is my mother, who has a heart of gold, always caring about others before herself. My father, who is an engineer, burns the candle at both ends, so I rarely see him. He works extremely hard for his family, I look up to him. Finally there is my brother. Well, what can I say about him ? Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a slacker by which I mean he’s very lazy. Hopefully he’ll turn over a new leaf and start contributing more to family life.

Notice the complex sentences – I explain just a little about each member, while adding two idioms and some fixed expressions into the mix.

Think how you would pronounce this – the mother is positive and sweet, the father is busy, the brother lazy.

NOW … Your turn … are you ready ?

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Yes, Thay Paul, we’re ready !

FAMILY

Who do you live with ? Compose an IELTS-style answer

You live with your mother (makes you study very hard), your grandfather (loves swimming) and your sister (spends time making herself beautiful, buying clothes and taking selfies).

Onwards and upwards, try a Part II question. There will be a topic followed by four points for you to include in your answer (here you have a minute to make notes, so try to think of suitable idioms and L-FWs). You are expected to speak for up to two minutes, and the examiner can not assist you.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time ?

You should say what the activity is

Who you do it with ?

Where you do it

And why you enjoy it

Make It Easy on Yourself – Dionne Warwick – 1970 | seventies music

Make it easy on yourself

Choose a topic you can speak about at length, one that has many avenues to explore, such as music:

Do you listen to music ? If so, what genres do you like and why ?

Who are your favourite artists ?

Can you play an instrument ? Have you tried ?

Would you like to in the future ?

Have you ever been to a live concert ?

Do you listen or play alone, or with friends ?

We can work on this in class. Remember, if you get under 6.5 in my class, I will KYA !

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Jammin’ in the park with the guys

IELTS Mindset 1, Lesson 2 Review

24th March 2021

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Photo by Thay Paul, Sai Gon

I took this photo on Nguyễn Huệ Street, which is in District 1, during Tet Holiday. As this is the biggest celebration in Viet Nam, the streets are bustling and vibrant, furthermore it is so uplifting seeing happy, smiling people. Many ladies simply adore dressing up in traditional Áo dài, dresses which are made from silk. In my opinion, these two friends look so beautiful although they tell me that their dresses, which cost an arm and a leg, can be terribly hot and uncomfortable. However they only wear them once in a blue moon. They were so happy when I took their photo as it will enable me to share some Vietnamese culture with the world.

A quick recap – we have encountered these words so far in our 1000 mile journey:

lingua franca / genre / obligatory / compulsory / uplifting

enable / bustling / vibrant / generated / derived from / enable / purchase (buy) / devour (eat or consume a lot)

utterly depressing / simply adore

Not forgetting our arsenal of idioms:

it’s raining cats and dogs

it costs an arm and a leg

piece of cake

I’m burning the candle at both ends

once in a blue moon

pass with flying colours

turn over a new leaf

put your nose to the grindstone

bear with me

kick the bucket

NOW … your turn

Write me a short IELTS-style piece (only three or four sentence) about Tet Holiday – what you do, what you eat, special traditions, personal stories … having said that … you have to include:

two idioms // at least two L-FWs // two adverbs // two great adjectives //

use of pronunciation features

Are you ready ? Yes, Sir !

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My adorable friend Hanna. Photo by Thay Paul, Ha Noi

Piece of cake, right ?

Quick fire quiz – what idioms could you use for ?

money, cost, prices // working or studying //

changing behaviour or bad habits // no problem

weather // something that happens very rarely

TOP 14 FRENCH CINEMA QUOTES | A-Z Quotes
World famous director Jean-Luc Godard

Speaking practice – work in pairs or small groups and ask each other about cinema – but – at IELTS standard. To wit, include:

Types of films you like (genre). Give examples.

Where you go or how you watch movies and why

Favourite actors or directors

REMEMBER – give as much information as you can – complex sentences, L-FWs, idioms; remember to speak fluently with discourse markers and, not forgetting, express your emotions in your voice.

Next Lesson, we shall assist Countess Dương in boosting her vocabulary, as well as focusing on listening to native speakers and endeavouring to imitate their speech patterns:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/06/ielts-be-industrious-hard-working-incredible-energetic-students/

If you have missed the first classes, catch up here –

Lesson 1: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/10/28/ielts-my-hometown/

The review for that lesson can be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/03/17/ielts-hitting-the-ground-running-an-introduction-to-idioms-for-a-new-class/

A special thanks to my sweet friend Ms Hanna for graciously allowing me to use her photo.

Goodbye, see you next week

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Goodbye from students in Ha Noi

Love and Chaos Part 5(b) Chris 1

23rd March 2021

Image by Harald Ansorge from the music video ‘dwot’. Watch, like and subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxJBbyKLlp0

Part Five. Berlin. Autumn 1994

“I just don’t know what to do. One minute everything’s fine the next, Armageddon, four horsemen charging through the flat.”

“Still doesn’t like that it’s Ute’s flat ?”

“Her friend’s flat ! C’mon, I’ve been with her six months, doesn’t she get it, yet ?”

Chris had taken Richard out drinking, ostensibly to celebrate, but another argument with Monika had dampened the atmosphere.

They had walked, without purpose, along Stargarder Strasse, taking a random right turn into one of the side streets that leads into Danziger Str (which they had christened the most boring street in the world, after they had once taken an interminable Strassebahn journey along it’s interminable characterless length).

They saw another new bar that had emerged overnight and which may go on to be a legend, or closed and forgotten by winter. Being still mild, they decided to sit on the wooden benches outside, against the large, single pane of glass, facing the street. Knowing how suddenly the Berlin summer turns into Autumn, this could well be their last chance for open air drinking.

There were only a few other drinkers at a table on the other side of the door, and some individuals inside. The waitress had curly blonde hair and was friendly, so it would do.

The celebration was due to the fact that Chris had managed to orchestrate the job switch. Last night, a Friday, had been his last shift. He would work at the studio full time, or at least twenty-five hours a week, starting Monday, the same day that Richard would begin washing-up, Monday to Friday, seven till midnight.

It wasn’t until Richard began working that he could really consider himself living in Berlin and the timing couldn’t have been better; he was just about out of money. Chris would have to pay for tonight’s session.

Once again, a projected evening out with The Gang had splintered into sub-sects along partisan lines. While the girls discussed if Monika should leave Chris, he was desperately trying to explain the latest argument, but was unable to give a reason himself.

“I just don’t know how it starts. We’re talking, suddenly, one wrong word, or look, and all hell breaks loose. I can’t even repeat the conversations, they are so banal. I know there is a language barrier, but, hey, c’mon, it’s not that. It’s not even the flat. No matter what I do, it’s wrong, no matter what I say … “

“Wrong ?”

“Right. I mean, you’re right, I’m wrong. Obviously. I’m always wrong. Have you heard her ? Every time I say something, ‘No !’ whatever, doesn’t matter, ‘No !’ Sky is blue, “No !’ ‘Course, we know it’s not blue, it’s just the only colour that filters through, ‘No !’. Darling, I love you,’ No !’, Monika, ‘No !’. Bloody tin-pot dictator.”

At this, Richard couldn’t hold-in his laughter any longer, and almost choked on his beer, which, naturally, set Chris off on a laughing fit of his own. Richard had noticed that the angrier Chris got, the funnier he became, and it was hard to lend a sympathetic ear while listening to Chris’ inventory of abuse, his serious countenance only making it funnier.

The waitress walked past, so they ordered more beers, an action repeated four or five times.

The young, curly-haired, blonde girl was returning with more beers for them, on a large tray with several other drinks, as the bar was getting busier. Meanwhile, three other men were now sitting opposite Chris and Richard.

She walked to the side of the bench and balanced the tray on her right hand, leaving her left free to hand out the bottles and glasses.

And then it happened.

Richard jumped up as a Glass of Coke and something went over his jeans. This initial spill was enough to upset the whole equilibrium and in a microsecond, the entire tray had fallen, and although most of it fell on the table or floor, Richard got his right leg and waist soaked in an unsavoury cocktail of alcohol and sticky fizzy drinks.

The men opposite jumped back, avoiding the streams of liquid, and Chris had been covered by Richard, who was now doing his best to comfort the waitress, holding her hand and telling her it was all right. She began to dry him with a small bar towel, while Chris and another man were constructing intricate sluices for the alcohol to flow away, using beer mats, approaching the subject as if it were a major hydraulics project.

Still the waitress apologised, not that Richard could understand much of it, and he held out his hands to calm her, then asked the way to the Toilette, where he did his best to dry up, using paper towels. There was no hot-air dryer.

When he came out, he found Chris relocated at the bar, with two fresh beers. The waitress was seen outside, still mopping. The barman, who was probably the owner, also apologised, Richard again waving it away, as he did when the waitress returned and started her routine all over.

“I’m kinda liking the attention,” he said to Chris, with a wink, because the waitress was getting cuter by the minute.

He was also glad that The Gang hadn’t gone out, as he didn’t really want to see Lorelei, except, of course, that he really, really did.

The highlight of the evening was yet to come. When they asked for the Rechnung (the check), they were only charged for the last two beers. The waitress was still apologising as they left.

Outside, Chris said,

“Good thing, too. I only had enough for two or three beers.”

“So … I don’t have much money, either … what were you going to do ?”

Chris shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and walked on.

“Damn, I should have asked her out,” exclaimed Richard.

“She wouldn’t have said ’No !’ Unlike another German girl we know.”

“Quite right. She would have been morally obliged to say ‘Yes’”

The exchanged a knowing glance, and nodded to each other.


“Anyway,’ said Chris, “too late now.”

“I could always go back and … “

“No, you had the chance …”


“And blew it. Damn, she was cute.”

“They’ll be others.”

“Doubtless.”

“Maybe a new waitress at Biberkopf. There’s always Ully.”

“With the thing ?”

“Wouldn’t notice with the lights out.”

“You probably would.”

“You’re probably right. You know what ya shoulda done ?”

“What ?”

“Asked out that waitress.”

“Damn, she was cute … “

Young Learners: Class Rules from Confucius

18th March 2021

Big Thinker: Confucius - The Ethics Centre Article

To help my young learners have a better classroom experience, I have to introduce some basic rules, based on the teaching of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC).

RESPECT

Your parents

Your grandparents

Your teachers

If your teacher asks you to do something, you must not say, “No.”

You will be sent out of the class and the centre will tell your parents.

Sit nicely. Listen to your teacher.

Write down new words.

Do not shout or disturb the class.

I will give you two warnings. On the third warning, you will be sent out of the class and Student Care will tell your parents.

You will then have to bow to your teacher and the class and say sorry.

Education is one of the most important parts of life

Confucius said,

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

Confucius said,

“Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?”

The Analects, Chapter I

From my visit to Ha Noi, 2014.

Students come to this temple, which was built in 1070, to bring good luck and success in exams. The temple, an oasis of calm in the bustling metropolis of the nation’s capital, has been rebuilt and restored several times over the centuries.

No photo description available.
Temple of Literature, Ha Noi.
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Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius
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Some of my students in Ha Noi 2014

IELTS: Hitting the ground running. An introduction to idioms for a new class.

17th March 2021

WGN TV - Happy St. Patrick's Day, Chicago. | Facebook

Happy St Patrick’s Day – St Patrick being the patron saint of Ireland, a country famous for enjoying a drink … and then some ! In Chicago, which is a bustling, vibrant city in USA’s mid-west, the river is coloured green. However, too much

Is locally brewed Guinness up to scratch? - Brews News

Guiness will give me a bad headache the following morning. I will definitely have a hangover. That means it’s time to stop drinking so much, I need to change my bad habits … which brings us to an idiom for my new class; it’s time to turn over a new leaf.

Luck Of The Irish Four Leaf Clover Custom Shape Metal Sign 16 x 19 Inches

In this case, a four leaf clover for good luck.

So, we have a new class and they need to start learning language that will help them ace the IELTS test.

Let’s hit the ground running and recap the basic idioms you’ll be using every week, as well as the new vocabulary from last night. Are you ready … ?

Event History – Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2021
Let’s go !

First off the bat, some basic idioms:

it’s raining cats and dogs

it costs an arm and a leg

piece of cake

I’m burning the candle at both ends

once in a blue moon

pass with flying colours

turn over a new leaf

put your nose to the grindstone

These are the basic idioms I introduce, as they can be employed in many situations.

A good introductory blog, with IELTS tips and advise may be accessed here:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/22/ielts-mindset-2-first-review/

Let’s hit the ground running and put it to the test – what idioms would you use ?

Taxis in Sai Gon are very expensive, they _______

I want to get a high score, I want to ______

We can’t go out in the rainy season because it’s always ____________

You need to stop going out every night and missing school. You need to _____________

The test was so easy, it was a __________

She works all day, then studies all night; she’s _________________

I must be more serious about learning Vietnamese. I have to _______

Ms Liêu simply adores Champagne however, because it _____________ , she only drinks it __________________________________.

Last night’s class also generated some additional idioms, expressions and vocabulary, to wit:

bear with me – please wait a very short time

like a madhouse – a place or area that is crazy, too noisy, too busy etc

Kick the bucket – UK idiom, very informal, means to die

My hands are tied – I am obliged to do something, I have no choice

An expression – to kill two birds with one stone – to achieve two different results by doing one action:

“Hey, let’s meet at the coffee shop. We can meet up and work on the project at the same time.”

Premium Photo | Two asian woman talking about business and using laptop in  coffee shop

I also introduced you to borrowed words – vocabulary from other languages. Our first example derived from Italian – lingua franca (a common language)

EXAMPLE:

I am studying English, which is incredibly important, because it is a lingua franca meaning it will enable me to communicate with people from all over the world.

Furthermore, we covered some adjectives to describe various neighbourhoods:

gritty / industrial

quite / safe / residential

boring / peaceful / suburban

bustling / vibrant / city centre

Extra advise – any time you hear a new word or expression:

Twin Peaks | Streams of Consciousness

Finally for Ms Dương, who expressed concerns over the amount of vocabulary one needs to learn, here’s the quote from the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (C6thBC) :

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step | Lao Tzu

OK, onwards and upwards. Next lesson’s notes can be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/06/ielts-be-industrious-hard-working-incredible-energetic-students/

See you next week

Say goodbye to Christianity in 2019
Lost in the Movies: La Dolce Vita
International Group Of Happy People Waving Hand Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty  Free Image. Image 71052411.
Google royalty free image

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Review game

11th March 2021

FIFA World Cup 1966 | England 66 | Football | Athlet.org

To review recent lessons, try these questions – answers at end of blog.

For teachers, you could add these into a computer game, assigning different points based on the difficulty of the question.

A) Name two famous artists

B) If you study hard, you will ______________ a qualification

C) Tell me two kitchen appliances that are useful but not essential

D) What kind of painting is this ?

Laughing Cavalier - Wikipedia
‘The Laughing Cavalier’ by Franz Hals

E) What two types of electromagnetic radiation can be found in a home ?

F) English Tests can make you (a negative adjective)

G) Give your view on this work of art:

Ý nghĩa đằng sau bức tranh "Persistence of Memory" - Salvador Dalí | Almond  Blossom
‘Persistence of Memory’ by Dali

H) Hyper means: i) more than average ii) average iii) less than average. Give two examples.

I) Which is correct i) She loves reading books ii) She loves to read books iii) Both

Premium Photo | A cute asian woman is sitting reading a book on the sofa or  a chair happy smiling at home during relax time

J) This young lady is in a coffee shop. Such shops are ________ in this city. What big word (low-frequency word) means ‘everywhere’ ?

K) What type of painting is this ?

Meadow with Two Large Trees by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Hand Painted  Oil Painting | Landscape paintings, Oil painting landscape, Landscape art
By the French artist Corot, and if you can’t appreciate the beauty of art, then I feel sorry for you.

L) A student who comes to English class and then refuses to speak English is i) wasting their time ii) wasting their money iii) normal in Vietnam iV) all of the above

M) One small town in Virginia, USA has banned … what … and why ?

N) A great adjective we use when we can’t describe something that we really like.

O) A word meaning ‘to light up’. Can you give an example from Viet Nam ?

Here are some helpful Hoi An travel tips, just for you!

P) Mark Zuckerberg growed up in New York, and drop down of Harvard University … correct the two phrasal verbs.

Q) Teaching unmotivated students is boring, t_______ & m_______.

R) A term for someone who wants to be a powerful decision-maker is a ___________________________

S) An idiom meaning one has no choice

T) What type of art is this ? Give two expressions to indicate that you don’t like it

Jackson Pollock: The face of abstract expressionism
by Jackson Pollack (USA)

U) How often does Thay Paul smile in class ?

V) A nurse will hold a patient’s wrist to check the _______

W) Say this:

The brother bit the sister so the mother beat the brother

X) Time to think and use your imagination. What feelings does this painting inspire in you ?

‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper

Y) Why are you studying English ? Seriously … why ?

Z) What is the name of this effect ?

Lady Silhouette - Vector Etch

A) Picasso, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Renoit, Dali, Munch etc …

B) attain

C) blender, sieve, potato peeler, whisk, egg-timer, meat slicer etc

D) a portrait E) radio, microwave F) nervous, scared, anxious etc

G) start with ‘In my opinion …’ or ‘As far as I’m concerned …’ etc

H) i) more than: hyper-market, hyperinflation, hyper-sensitive

I) both are correct (check Cambridge Dictionary for confirmation)

J) ubiquitous K) a landscape L) all of the above

M) cell phones and WiFi as they interfere with the radio telescope.

N) ineffable O) illuminate, such as the lanterns in Hoi An.

P) grew up & dropped out of Q) tedious & monotonous

R) a mover and a shaker S) my hands are tied

T) not my cup of tea, I wouldn’t call that art, it leaves me cold, I don’t get it at all etc

U) in this class, NEVER (except at 9.00 pm)

V) pulse

X) [no irony intended … well, maybe a little] ‘Nighthawks’ is often interpreted as showing loneliness, sadness, depression, urban alienation. I could explain more, but nobody in this country gives a hoot about art.

Y) beats the hell out of me.

Z) silhouette

Students hate TO BE corrected, but teachers like TO ADDRESS issues.

9th March 2021

Socrates

Furthermore, she loves to wear Givenchy perfume but I prefer to spend my hard-earned* on Dior.

In the modern parlance, ‘Did you see what I did there ?’ I followed four auxiliary verbs (‘hate,’ ‘love,’ ‘like’ & ‘prefer’) with infinite verbs. I sense that I’ve already lost the interest of 90% of my readers with these grammar terms, but hold your horses and I’ll explain, I’ll ‘cut the crap‘, if you will.

Language bullies, pedants, and grammar nerds who correct people all the  time: Cut it out.

OK, breaks down like this: an auxiliary verb is a ‘helping’ verb; we need more information to understand what the speaker means e.g.

I want … (what do you want ?) // He needs … (what does he need ?) // She loves … // We want … etc

An infinite verb simply means a verb in no tense (past, present or future). It is simply formed thus:

to + base verb

Examples: to eat / to go / to study / to procrastinate

Infinite has no tense, by which I mean it is incorrect to say,

“Last night I to see a film,” (past tense)

“She to go home,” (present) or

“Tomorrow he will to take a test.” (future tense).

We can combine an auxiliary verb with an infinite verb, as demonstrated in the heading and subsequent paragraph.

So what's the problem? - david lynch 1 | Meme Generator

Occasionally, a student may question my use of grammar, or mention that they have been told a different rule, to wit, last night a student informed me that, according to a different teacher, auxiliary verbs such as ‘like,’ ‘love.’ ‘hate,’ HAVE TO BE followed by a continuous verb:

I hate shopping NOT I hate to shop

He loves watching films NOT He loves to watch films

We like drinking wine after work NOT We like to drink wine after work

To Quote Dr Johnson:

PPT - 1. Get Real: An Introduction to Plato PowerPoint Presentation, free  download - ID:2610551

“I refute it thus,” :

I like to play guitar / I hate to hear karaoke / I love to listen to my friend Pete’s online radio show

But don’t take my word for it; here’s a link to an appropriate page on the Cambridge Dictionary site: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/hate-like-love-and-prefer

Hatelikelove and prefer

Grammar > Verbs > Verb patterns > Hatelikelove and preferfrom English Grammar Today

We can use hate, like, love and prefer with an –ing form or with a to-infinitive:

hate to see food being thrown away.

love going to the cinema.

prefer listening to the news on radio than watching it on TV.

He prefers not to wear a tie to work.

In American English, the forms with to-infinitive are much more common than the –ing form.

There is a very small difference in meaning between the two forms. The -ing form emphasises the action or experience. The to-infinitive gives more emphasis to the results of the action or event. We often use the –ing form to suggest enjoyment (or lack of it), and the to-infinitive form to express habits or preferences.

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth.

What can we learn from this ? Well, teachers are only human (mostly) and can make mistakes. Non-native speaker teachers often teach from books that may simplify grammar and may therefore, inadvertently, be incorrect in their assertions. The books may be outdated; they may even be wrong.

Just because something is written in a book, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Check for yourself, be proactive in your learning; if you have internet access, check reputable websites.

Furthermore, even native-speakers can be wrong and I’ll be the first to admit this (even if I don’t have the wisdom of Socrates, not by a long chalk).

And now, a shout-out to a dear friend, the aforementioned Pete, who has a magnificent online radio show entitled ‘Flatwound’s Sounds‘. I listened to his most recent offering as I typed this blog and I’d like to recommend it to y’all: https://www.mixcloud.com/flatwoundssounds/flatwounds-sounds-miscellany-show-19-4th-march-2021/

flatwounds.sounds | Mixcloud
https://www.mixcloud.com/flatwoundssounds/flatwounds-sounds-miscellany-show-19-4th-march-2021/

* hard-earned cash = money or wages from a hard job.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Art for art’s sake

3rd March 2021

International Women's Day (8th March) | Days Of The Year
Happy International Women’s Day
A Conversation with Tracey Emin CBE RA, Artist. – Thought Economics
The British artist Tracey Emin
The Empty Bed: Tracey Emin and the Persistent Self - Image Journal

‘ My Bed’ by Tracey Emin, created in 1998 and first exhibited in 1999 at the Tate gallery, London.

Tonight’s class is on a subject close to my heart – art. I have several blogs on art which you can access on these links:

Art: giving opinion // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Art // 13th April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/13/adult-speaking-class-level-3-art-what-do-you-think/

This is the link I’ll be using tonight. Other blogs include genres of art, early C20th surreal art, and finally an introduction to art for younger learners.

Portrait, Landscape, Still Life (Wyndham Lewis, John Constable, Paul Cezanne) // Adult Class, Level 1 // 19th December 2018: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2018/12/19/adult-class-level-1-lessons-1-2/

Art: DaDa & Surrealism // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Dali, Dada & Surrealism // 23rd April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/23/adult-speaking-class-level-3-dali-dada-and-surrealism/

Art: types of art // Young Learners, level 4 (Dali, Alice in Wonderland) // 16th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/16/young-learners-level-4-art-for-arts-sake/

Let’s dive in ! To my classroom students, look at the quote from Tracey Ermin … do you recognise any words from last week’s lesson (on electromagnetic waves) ? Did you notice ’emit’ & ‘pulsing’ ? Do you recall what they mean ?

With art, you can be honest and say what you feel – is it not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ situation. Quite simply, do YOU like the art ? Can you express why ? What does the art say to you ? What feelings does it evoke ?

You don’t have to know anything about art – but it is a useful way to extend your English. Here are some expressions you could use:

“As far as I’m concerned…” // “Speaking for myself…”

“In my opinion…” // “Personally, I think…”

“I’d say that…” // “It really appeals to me …”

I don’t get it at all // It leaves me cold

It’s not my cup of tea // I wouldn’t call that ‘art’.

What do you think of these Vietnamese works, as an introduction to unusual art:

Abtract vietnamese artist
‘Happy Market’ by NGUYEN QUY TAM
by Thanh Chuong
Showcase "Collection of Vietnamese Contemporary Paintings" - Hanoi Grapevine

Finally, a very famous Norwegian painting, which I was lucky enough to see in Oslo:

The Scream, c.1893' Art Print - Edvard Munch | Art.com
‘Skrikt’ or ‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch

How do you respond to this ?

Here’s what sunset looks like in Oslo:

File:Solnedgang over Oslofjorden Sunset Oslo Fjord Norway.jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

Suddenly, the blood red sky ceases to be abstract and becomes realistic. Hope you can practice using opinion phrases, as well as incorporating new words into your everyday English. Tonight, from the book we had:

abstract

artificial

illuminate

layer

silhouette

IELTS: Complex sentences – Practice and more practice

4th March 2021

Beautiful Asian Woman Playing Piano Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free  Image. Image 68225263.

The ability to use complex sentences, fluently and naturally, will greatly improve your IELTS score (in both speaking and writing). Therefore here’s a little exercise I used in last night’s class. Test your ability to speak in IELTS-style sentences.

Quite simply, take a basic subject and see how complex you can make it by adding information to every noun.

Show Don't Tell' -Providing the Power to Improve Student Writing

Good idea. Here is my friend Tony:

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Tony is from Liverpool. He is 32. He is a reporter. He works on ‘The Daily Talk’. This is shown on ICB network.

Remember, relative pronouns who / which / where / whose

Tony, who is 32, is from Liverpool, which is famous for football as well as The Beatles. He occupation (or profession) is reporter, working for ‘The Daily News’ which is a show broadcast on the ICB network, which is located in London, where Tony now lives.

You wouldn’t usually include so many clauses, but it is an exercise, similar to a musician practising scales. Ideally, in the speaking test, you will be able to use complex sentences at the drop of a hat.

NOW … YOUR TURN

Make a complex sentence about your hometown.

Sai Gon / Tp HCM

Travel to Ho Chi Minh City

Sai Gon: in southern Viet Nam / largest city in VN / population over nine million / many museums (such as History, War Remnants, Independence Palace) / traditional food (such as Phố) – what is Phố ? What is it served with ?

The Best Phở in Saigon - Vietnam Coracle - Independent Travel Guides to  Vietnam
Traditional Phố for my friend Silk Cords

Next, tell me about someone in your family.

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Who is that person ? What relation to you ? Where do they live, what is their profession ? Describe their physical appearance and personality and try to add an anecdote, to make your presentation more personal.

Finally, in last night’s listening practice, there was mention of the Hearst Castle in California:

Hearst Castle | San Simeon, CA 93452
William Randolph Hearst - Children, Quotes & Joseph Pulitzer - Biography


William Randolph Hearst, who was a very famous newspaper tycoon, lived in this castle, which is in California. Hearst was immortalised in the film ‘Citizen Kane’, a classic movie from 1941 by Orson Welles, who directed and starred in the film which is often cited as being the best film ever made.

New vocabulary and expressions:

Last night’s class produced these:

The weather is Sai Gon is sweltering and terribly humid

monotonous (mono = one) = very tedious

I don’t give a monkey’s = I really don’t care

occupation (better word for job) / profession = need to be qualified such as doctor, nurse, lawyer, pilot, chef etc

most notably = Orson Welles made many films, most notably ‘Citizen Kane’.

Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Breaking the silence.

2nd March 2021

Social interaction
The future of social interactions | by UV | Medium

Ôi Trời ƠiOy Vey! – Are you kidding me ! Last night’s class was chockablock with new, high-level vocabulary:

I don't underStand - Confused asian lady | Meme Generator

Ok, take it easy, let’s break it down. Firstly, you were not expected to learn or remember everything; I told you to … well, you tell me. Try to complete the sentences with the new words. If you need help, the vocabulary box follows the questions, while I’ll put the answers at the end of the blog.

1) I didn’t understand everything, but I got the ________

2) Light and sound travel in ___________

3) X-Rays and microwaves are a form of (type of) __________________

4) For me, trying to pronounce Vietnamese words is a real ____________

5) Can you buy twelve eggs ? Yeah, buy me ______________

6) I don’t understand the Zoom instruction video, there’s so much computer __________

7) One of y tá (nurse) Cam’s duties is to take a patient’s ________ , to measure their heartbeat.

8) They love each other dearly, but they don’t always see __________________

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) - Full HD Movie For Free | hdbest.net
A scene from ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe ?’ with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor who actually were married … twice, in fact.

VOCABULARY: a dozen // gist // struggle // pulse // jargon // waves // eye to eye // electromagnetic radiation //

Types of Electromagnetic Radiation | Tnuda

Despite the jargon, there were some useful, everyday phrases that you can start to use:

lack of ..

for the sake of …

actually quite …

away from …

there’s no chance of …

NOW … YOUR TURN – complete the sentences, then make your own examples (in pairs or teams).

A) I need a holiday, I have to get ________________ the city.

B) She thought the film would be tedious but is was ____________ interesting.

C) Unless you study harder, _______________ you passing the test.

D) People can be very unhealthy due to a _________ vitamins in their diet.

E) He always agrees with his wife _______________________ peace and quiet.

Finally, for extra practice:

i) I don’t phone the UK on my mobile because it’s ___________

Been struck down by a mobile phone bill shock? – Which? Conversation

ii) If my Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting, I will ______________________

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iii) Things that can affect society and how people behave. For example, the original ‘Star Wars’ films were an incredible ____________________

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Answers

1) gist 2) waves 3) electromagnetic radiation 4) struggle 5) a dozen 6) jargon 7) pulse 8 ) eye to eye

A) away from B) actually quite C) there’s no chance of D) lack of E) for the sake of

i) prohibitively expensive ii) lose my mind iii) sociological phenomenon

A piece of cake - APC Languages