A variety of speaking exercises and pair work to help you on your travels.
Booking a hotel room
adjoining rooms– rooms next to each other
amenities– services, shops, transport
bed and breakfast – small hotel or a room in someone’s house.
complimentary breakfast– free, included in the price.
Deposit – money paid in advance
High season / low season– popular times
housekeeping– cleaning staff
late charge– extra fee for not checking out on time.
Rate– the fee per room per night, per person.
vending machine – machine that sells snacks, drinks.
You are going to Bangkok and need to book a hotel. What questions would you have ?
How much is the rate for 4 people ? What time is check-in / out ?
Could I book adjoining rooms ? What is in the area ?
Where exactly is the hotel ?
How do we get to the hotel from the airport ?
Approximately how much is the taxi ?
Make a list.
Take turns being a tourist and working on front desk / booking.
Language to use:
Receptionist: Greet the guest / Ask for ID (passport, ID card). Check how many nights the guest(s) are staying / Ask to see booking confirmation /
What else could you ask ?
Guest: Explain you have a reservation / Present ID and booking confirmation. Ask about amenities in the hotel and what to see in the local area.
You could check if the hotel has a laundry service // can they book a taxi ? / do they organise tours ? Are there vegetarian restaurants in the area, or banks, money exchange, hairdressers ? What else could you need ?
Now … your experiences:
What was your favourite hotel room and why ?
Conversely, what was your worst room ?
What was bad about it ? In what way were you disappointed ?
How did the service excel ? Was it good value for money ?
Would you strongly recommend it ?
How did you find the staff ? Was it easy to get to ?
A compilation of train-related videos to help you improve your listening skills and to increase your vocabulary.
Listening skills. Native and non-native speakers talking in English. English subtitles.
Shinkansen – 10 cool facts:
Listening to native and non-native speakers.
High-speed trains in China:
Listening skills. English pronunciation & vocabulary.
London Tube at rush hour:
A glimpse of London life.
Why trains can’t go uphill:
Listening skills. English pronunciation. Science vocabulary.
Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train
Vocabulary for very young learners.
Travelling – The Trans-Siberian Railway
Write down new expressions / vocabulary.
Do you understand the gist (the main points / keywords)
Would this appeal to you ? Why or why not ?
What would you need to bring ?
Shinkansen:Bullet Train – top ten facts:
This is as much as listening exercise as an engineering one. How much can you understand ? Which presenter is easier to understand, the young lady or the man from USA ?
High-speed trains in China:
London Tube at rush hour:
James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?
What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him.
What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?
What do they struggle to do ?
What are the scientific reasons for this ?
What was the problem with James May speaking ?
James normally speaks quite clearly, but there were problems. This was due, I feel, to the speed and the amount of language. Look at this conversation analysis: (0. 10 – 0.42):
“And now, ‘Why can’t trains go uphills ?’ Well, the smarter ones amongst you will have recognised already, especially if you’re a qualified railway engineer, this is a bit of a trick question because of course, train can go uphills … they’re just not very good at it.
If you think about the topography of most of the world, this is clearly a bit of a problem. Human being can, albeit rather sweatily, motivate themselves up a gradient of around eighty degrees, or one in a quarter.”
Listen again– hear how James:
uses expressions (bit of a)
adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses.
Creative use of adverbs – ‘sweatily’ shows how words can be made into adverbs by adding –ly to the end
Think – does James need to add the clauses ? What is the purpose ? Consider the medium (TV, internet, blog etc) and the target audience.
James is speaking to a fluent, English-speaking audience, probably native speakers, or people who have lived in the UK for a long time. Therefore, they will be more used to this natural way of speaking.
This is why I recommend student put their text books down and read real English books, watch English-speaking films and TV shows and sing English songs. It really helps.
He does make allowances for non-British audiences by showing two fifty-pence coins, but his language isn’t downgraded.
Yes, keep on Rockin’ in the Free World … but first, you’ve got to get there.
As spoken, we would say:
“First, ya gotta get there.”
So today’s lesson will be in the form of a game, a challenge or quest, if you will, where the students, assigned to one of two teams have to get from:
What a prize ! The dirty filthy insalubrious streets of Ha Noi to the cozy comforts and warm welcome of east London, and my local, the Birkbeck Tavern.
Said task is achieved by earning points, said points are earned by answering questions, and using a wide range of linguistics features namely: adjectives, adverbs, discourse markers, relative pronouns, low-frequency words, expressions, idioms and, naturally, displaying a wide array of para-linguistic attributes, to wit: intonation, stress, eye-contact, body language, gestures, clear pronunciation, turn-taking and rhythm because, contrary to popular belief, when it comes to speaking English, NOT all God’s children got rhythm.
(Yes, the above sentence contained an example of non-standard English, but the vast majority of people do not speak pure standard English all the time).
Now, we have a massive task to undertake … without further ado … let’s go !
First up, a revision and practice. In the last lesson, the class learnt (a-hem!) four new words: ubiquitous, significant, consequently and, it was on my blog, extrapolate. The teams, and let’s name them after famous English explorers, Drake and Cook:
… the teams have to use all four words in sentences. One point for each correct sentence. However; incentive, three points for using two in a grammatically-correct sentence, five for using three words and TEN points for using all words words in one sentence. That should get them some air miles and off the runway.
Next up, the teams challenge each other. They offer points to the other side if they can use these words or expressions correctly:
however / with that in mind / quantum leap / in order to / cats and dogs / kick the bucket / therefore / dribs and drabs
It works like this. Team Drake will say, “We offer 5 points for Team Cook to use the word ‘however’ in a sentence.” If the task is accomplished, Cook gain the 5 points. If the team is unable to use the word, then Drake win the points. The skill is in guessing which words or expressions will be hard to use, and offering high points accordingly.
Moving on, creative writing. My class can use relative pronouns IN THEORY, but not so much in practice. One may even say, NOT AT ALL in practice. Thus, I will give information about our two friends from last week. The teams have to compose a short piece combining all the information, but in the form of complex sentences with relative pronouns and discourse markers.
Johnny Rotten, Real name John Lydon. Born 1956. Was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978. Formed band PIL. Changed name back to Lydon. Married Nora Forster in 1979. He was going to be on the Pan Am flight that crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland. He wrote a book, published in 2008.
John Lydon, who performed under the name Johnny Rotten while he was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978, is married to Nora Forster, and has been married since 1979. After leaving the Sex Pistols, he formed a new band, PIL, and wrote a book which was published in 2008. He escaped death by missing his flight on the Pan Am flight that exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland.
Our young lady is
Sakuri. 21. Born in Tokyo. Studies History at university. Works as waitress. Wants to be a film star. Has two sisters. One sister elder, one younger. Her father is a piano salesman. Mother designs clothes. Sakuri likes reading, films, anime, shopping, going out with friends. Uses Apple iPhone X. Always on Instagram, FB, and Yalo. Is learning English.
Haruto. 23. Born in Okasuka. Left school at 16. Plays keyboards in a band. Likes Beethoven, Jazz and Elton John. Works different jobs. Was TA in a school but was sacked after four hours. Has no siblings. Father left home when Haruto was 4. Mother works 6 days a week in a factory. Uses Samsung Galaxy. Hates social media sites. Listens to music all day.
Points awarded for creativity and relative pronouns and complex sentences.
And now for something completely different: London.
Quick-fire round: I want a list of three. Start a sentence and give THREE examples
In London, you can eat British food …
In London there is public transport …
London has many famous buildings …
There are many famous football clubs in London …
Plan a day for my friends Tina and Michael:
I have two friends arriving in Sai Gon. They want a typical, authentic experience. Plan a day for them. It must include:
Somewhere for a snack
An interesting building or location
Something to do in the evening
Give tips and advice.
How do they travel around ? What are the pros and cons ?
What are their options and estimate the prices.
Try to use as much new vocabulary as possible, words and expressions.
Finally, pronunciation. I will show Drake and Cook two clips, one from ‘Twin Peaks’, the other of the actor Peter O’Toole being interviewed. The teams, all members, have to imitate or copy the voice, gestures and intonation. Points out of 50 for this task.
The quote is, “Oh, I’ll shuffle through my memory.” Said quote appears from 0:45 – 0:51 in the clip.
And that, as they say, is a wrap. The remainder of the lesson can be devoted to book work, possibly, had-outs, unlikely, or general chit-chat, undoubtedly. Who says English can’t be fun … probably my students !
Tonight’s subject is relationships, and the book work seems well-balanced, with vocabulary, listening and speaking exercises. However, this is quite a strong group and appear motivated. With that in mind, I push them to learn more, in order to prepare them for their next class, which will be the quantum leap into IELTS.
However = discourse marker, better than just saying ‘but.’
With that in mind = expression meaning ‘because of that.’
in order to = to help for the future – I am learning Vietnamese in order to speak to my students.
quantum leap = massive (very, very large) jump forward or progression
Bearing in mind that Vietnamese operate on ‘elastic time’ (a polite way of saying the students turn up in dribs and drabs, ie, ten, twenty or thirty minutes late), so I can’t start any serious teaching until the whole class is present. Therefore, I use some warm up activities.
Warm Up: Call My Bluff.
This is a vocabulary-building exercise. I introduce a new word, then give three possible definitions. Students have to deduce, or just guess, the correct meaning.
– adj means something that is very common, everywhere
– noun equipment used in scuba diving
-name used towards close friends or family
– noun a small built-in safe in a hotel
– adj something very special, different or important
– verb to paint Chinese or Japanese characters with great care
– adverb discourse marker meaning because of that, this happened
– noun a person who cheats other people to get more money
– verb a type of pass in football that leads to a goal being scored.
– noun a chair used by a dentist, that can be lowered or raised
– verb to get only important information from a lot of text
– adj something made from different materials or many different colours
Then students have to write four sentences using the new words, as well as trying to repeat them throughout the lesson.
I’m not going to give you the answers – look up the definitions yourself, it will help you to learn.
Warm Up: What is the name, to you, of …
What is the name of your mother’s husband ?
What is the name of your mother’s sister ?
What is the name, to you, of your mother’s brother’s son.
What is the name of your father’s mother ?
What is the name of your father’s mother’s father
Next stage is sentence building:
I am from London. It is an expensive city.
To combine these pieces of information, we use the relative pronoun ‘which‘:
I am from London which is an expensive city.
We replace the pronoun ‘it’ with a relative pronoun ‘which’ and create a longer sentence. This skill is important / vital / imperative to attain a good IELTS score.
Kimmy is from Tokyo. It is very crowded.
Tony is from New York. It is a vibrant city.
Scott wants to visit the War Museum. It is in District 1.
Lisa teaches in Beijing. It is the capital of the PROC (People’s Republic of China).
Moving on … My friend
When we link information about a person, the pronoun, ‘he’ or ‘she’ is replaced by the relative pronoun ‘who.’
On the left is my friend Peter. I met him in 2010. I met him in London.
On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in London ten years ago.
On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in 2010 in London.
Try linking these: Remember to replace ‘he’ and use ‘who’ but you have to change the sentence.
Peter is Irish. He was born in Dublin // Peter, who is Irish, was born in Dublin
Peter loves music. He can play saxophone, keyboards, guitar and bass.
Peter is 40 years old. He is bald, and wears glasses.
Peter plays bass. He has a video on YouTube.
Peter is with the drummer Kenny Jones.He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s.
Be careful with the last one. The pronoun ‘he’ is about Kenny Jones.
Be careful with the next two. We only need ONE relative pronoun:
The drummer Kenny Jones.He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s. He is withPeter.
The Manager Mr Smith. He is from Australia. He is going to travel to Mexico.
The manager, Mr Smith who is from Australia, is going to travel to Mexico.
Students, working in pairs or small groups, must come up with a storline for these couples.
Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ?How do they meet ?
Be creative and feel free to use dialogue.
How do they know each other ?
What will happen when they meet ?
Will they get on ?
Will they have a terrible time ?
How about these
Try to invent an interesting, fascinating story line. Maybe they haven’t met since there were born ?
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.
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 ?
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]
This is a review blog, a chance to take stock of recently acquired language, and to practise using it. First, a shout out to some of my students … I have a young lady who looks remarkably like the magnificent French actress, and a personal favourite, Ms Julie Delpy:
My lovely student is very interested in learning British culture, notably the art of drinking tea:
As opposed to the rather uncouth, uncultivated drinking habits of Vietnamese men:
Is this true of ALL Vietnamese men … of course not, hell no !
I also have another lovely young lady, but sometimes she can look a little scary, like the ghost from the Japanese film, ‘The Ring’:
This is a very strange film so all Japanese films are weird. Is that a fair statement ? No way, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
always // frequently // usually // sometimes // occasionally // rarely // never
From the blog, we studied agreeing:
To what extent do you agree ?
I agree / I agree 100% / I agree to an extent / There may be some truth there /
I disagree / I totally disagree / That is very unfair / That is offensive /
That’s just a stereotype / I know for a fact that isn’t true !
Now combine to form some stunning, well-constructed responses.
Example: Apple computers never break
Generally speaking, I would tend toagree as I have had a Mac Book for several years without any serious problems, whereas with my Windows laptop, I frequently have issues such as waiting for updates or very slow downloads.
Exercise – How do you react to these contentions:
Men should earn more money than women for the same job.
Everything from Korea is top quality.
All tourists from USA are obese and unhealthy.
All British people are exceptionally polite, helpful and utterly charming.
You will ONLY get a good job IF you speak English.
All Vietnamese students are lazy, disrespectful and only want to sleep.
And finally, Thay Paul is always friendly, kind and helpful with Vietnamese students.
Genres (types of music): pop / rock / country and western / punk / classical / jazz blues / opera / R ‘n’ B / techno / rap
What kind of music do you like ? Ask your classmates, and try to keep the conversation alive for as long as possible. You can say what genres you like, then give examples of artists and special CDs or records. How do you buy music, how do you listen to it (computer, CD, iPhone, MP3 player ?) Do you play an instrument ? Would you like to play something ? Do you ever go to concerts ?
give in / turn off / start off / put out / cut down/ cut out/ put up with
1 I’m working too much, therefore I must _________ on my hours.
2 You can’t smoke here ! ____________ that cigarette.
3 We have to _________ so much noise and dirt here in Cat Lai (industrial area).
4 I always __________ to my wife when she demands something; it is easier !
5 Time to knock off. Before you go, make sure to _________ your computers.
6 For health reasons, my doctor advised me to _________ fatty food.
7 The film ___________ great, but soon became too complicated.
You are at a job interview and have to introduce yourself. Start by giving some facts, your educational background and how long you have worked in your current/ present job. Describe your personality and finish by saying what you like to do in your spare time.
I was born in …. and I graduated from …. University in 2019 with a major in Business Administration. Since then I’ve had two year’s experience in administrative work at ATHA and followed that with a stint in SLH Corporation.
I’m a very organised person, well-balanced and efficient. I’m hard-working and dedicated.
In my free time, I like to travel and I love to paint. In addition, I enjoy going out and having coffee with friends. I also support Barcelona and enjoy playing badminton after work.
I live in a:
quiet, residential street. Peaceful at night.
lively and busy commercial area, many shops
dirty and dusty industrial part of town. Very noisy.
My home is a / an:
apartment and I live alone
rented room share with friends
house live with family
pros and cons – advantages and disadvantages
adverbs of degree (very, extremely, incredibly, remarkably, unbelievably)
I travel to work by:
Motorbike. It’s quite / rather far and extremely stressful.
Use Grabbike. It’s very convenient albeit rather expensive.
On the bus. Although it’s incredibly cheap, it’s not very pleasant.
Idioms and expressions
At work I find myself doing the same thing day in day out. It’s tedious.
Learning English is, for me, easy, a piece of cake. It’s very important and fun.
In my free time:
I enjoy watching films and playing sports. I am competitive !
adore hanging out with my friends and family.
love shopping. I can spot a bargain and I hate being ripped off !
in my opinion, is vital for the future. It’s imperative we learn.
is a necessary task. It’s awkward and frustrating, but I need it.
is highly enjoyable and relaxing. I love to improve my mind.
The War Remnants Museum is
extremely popular with tourists, a major attraction in the city.
well laid-out and organised. The exhibits are fascinating.
very sombre and thought-provoking. Well worth a visit.
educational and essential. We can discover much there.
not suitable for children, though I would recommend it to adults.
Increase your word power
Part 1: Match the basic words with others of similar meaning
For example boring = tedious
interesting / on time / forgetful / live (I live in) / smart (clever) / get (by hard work) attain / absent-minded /fascinating / punctual / intelligent / reside
unhappy / honest / not often / tired / place / reliable // exhausted / seldom / miserable / trustworthy / dependable / environment
small or unimportant / try / make / great / happy / not nice / / endeavour / jovial / prepare / insignificant / nasty / brilliant
John is so forgetful; he is _______________
German manufacturers are reliable; they are ____________
The increase is very small; it is _______________
The plane was on time; the service is very _____________
She is so clever; she is very ______________
Now make sentences with the new words. Put class into teams and they have to make sentences with five new words e.g. (for example):
After studying for three years, John attained his BA Degree.
Use these phrasal verbs in new sentences – BUT in the past or continuous tense.
give in / give up / put up with / put off / take off / start off
how can I put it ?
a fair comment ?
peer pressure ?
willing = happy to do something
concise = short and to the point.
sneaky = crafty, cheeky
I am __________ to help you with your homework.
Please be short and _________ when you give a speech.
The audience was only _____________ after the band played.
People can get cancer just by _________________ .
I have so much work to do and have a meeting with my boss; it’s a ______________
I’ll deal five cards to a student then ‘read’ their future. For example, a student is dealt:
2, 7, 10, Jack, Queen
I will choose a male student and say, “You will pass a big test in two year’s time. You will have seven beautiful girlfriends and then you will find your Queen. Together, you will have ten children and the eldest boy you will name Jack.
I shall then ask some of the more creative students to ‘read’ their partner’s fortune.
Finally, this is Dynamo. How is he able to do this ?
3rd December for 4th December 2019 AEF 7B pp. 70 – 71
Tonight we focus on a reading, extrapolating information from a chunk of text, and listening. Additionally, there is a test which may occupy thirty minutes so we’ll need to hit the ground running (not so easy when students arrive at various times but it’s Viet Nam … what ya gonna do ?) … so let’s test their knowledge of Mother Russia:
Word Bomb: Russia – Famous people / cities / famous for / history / food / language / artists /
2nd December for 3rd December 2019 AEF Listening p. 72 & Review p. 103
This block of lessons is something of a mixed bag; there’s a long listening piece, a review with a chunk of text, and a printed scenario for speaking practice. Listening is perhaps the hardest. Consequently, the students can be less than engaged with the lesson, faces fall and participation plummets. Although my hands are tied – I have to teach this assigned lesson – I can endeavour to bring it alive, take it off the page and into context.
To kick off – let’s go over the highlighted text and focus on ‘less than’.
In plain English, I would say, “The students will be bored.” This is rather hard and sets a negative tone so, using British politeness, I soften the language. We practised a similar technique in a previous lesson. To recap, how would you describe this gentleman:
We can all see that the gentleman could benefit from going to the gym and maybe reducing his intake of unhealthy food, but we want to be polite and not blunt (or indeed, rude). Consequently, we would say:
“He’s not the thinnest man in the world.”
Here’s how it works – we take the negative adjective (here, and excuse the impolite word, it would be ‘fat’, maybe even ‘obese‘), then apply the opposite (‘thin’) and use it in the superlative form (thin, thinner, thinnest). We simply form the sentence by saying that the subject IS NOT the opposite superlative form – he IS NOT the thinnest man … Try these two for practice – there may be more than one negative adjective you could use:
Now, today’s expression (and expressions are vital for boosting students’ English up to the next level) – ‘less than’ – what sentences could you make here ? The subject could be the man, the film or, more generally, cinema today.
Examples: The man is less than excited by the film // The man is less than engrossed with the movie // The film is less than thrilling // Films today are less than intelligent.
This item comes from China:
Products from China are less than perfect // less than top quality // less than well-made. Finally:
Movin’ on; Tonight’s listening is about a ‘boys’ night out’. What do you think that means ? If they had a friend visit Sai Gon and he asks for a ‘boys’ night out’, where would they take him ?
How do you think this man spent his boys’ night out ?
And now for something completely different; what do you think of this man ?
What’s My Line. I will pretend to be this man answering questions truthfully, and the class have to guess what this man does.
Firstly, are the following true or false ?
This man is said to be worth $180 million.
He is married to the Queen’s grand-daughter
He was arrested in 2009 because the police thought he was a homeless person.
He travels a lot for work, around the world.
In 2016, he tried to become President of the USA
He has a Noble Prize for Literature in 2017 although he has only published two books.
Class must now ask open questions and from my responses, have to guess why I am famous.
He is, of course, a singer-songwriter, an icon of the 1960s, and still releasing music to this day.
Now the students chance. In small groups, they can select a famous person and the other team(s) have to guess who they are. We can limit the guessing to a certain number of questions, or fix a time limit.
A variation on this game is to have a student sit in front of the board and write a name behind them. The student has to ask question and the rest of the class can only answer ‘Yes,’ or ‘No.’ For example, I could write HARI WON and the student could ask:
Am I a man ? // Am I alive // Am I famous ? // Am I old ? // Am I on TV ? // Do I play sports professionally ? // Do I act ? // Am I in the news a lot ? // etc
Tonight I’m covering a new class so I don’t know the ability of the class, their motivation, nor their willingness to talk English. There is a lot of book work but, to cover myself, I’ve prepared a list of activities to help get the students involved and producing English.
Hence, a compilation of adult activities:
First up – Family Fortunes
This seems to be a small class, maybe just seven students. Rather than ask them for introductions, we’ll jump straight into a game. Class divided into smaller groups and given a writing board and marker. I ask a question and then want four answers. Points for each answer that matches mine. Questions can include:
Not counting Sai Gon, I have been to four places in Viet Nam … which four ?
My four favourite things to eat in VN // Four things I LOVE about VN // Four things I HATE ! // Four instruments I can play (it’s a game, not the actual truth) // Four types of film that I like // Name four cities in Europe // Which four languages can I speak //
Moving on …
Mobile phone survey:
The students will be arranged in small groups. One member will be responsible for gathering the information, then reporting back to me.
Next up – a new persona.
Students are put into two or three groups, with each member given a card with some information about their new identity. They read the information to the group, who have to try to understand and write down details such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook accounts. Example:
Hello, my name is Tony
I’m 23 and I love shopping for shirts and ties.
I’m not into reading or books. I find them boring.
My mobile number is 0943 552 8207
It’s highly probable the other students will need to hear some of the information again, so they can use the following:
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your phone number (email address etc)
Could you repeat that, please ?
Could you spell that, please ?
Would you mind speaking slower, please.
Putting students into small groups helps to take the pressure off the students, as they speak to a limited number of classmates, not alone and in front of the whole class. this is highly effective in motivating shy and quiet class.
No rest for the wicked … Call My Bluff
Class divided into small teams. Each team reads out a low-frequency word, followed by three definitions (hopefully, they will be able to embellish and add some of their own ideas). The opposing team has to review the three definitions, maybe ask for examples in a sentence, and then decide which definition is correct. Example:
In danger, in danger of losing or failing (noun)
A small car used by the army (noun)
A bird in Australia that can speak fluent English (noun)
People who order food in a restaurant but run away without paying (noun)
A large vehicle for carrying heavy things (noun)
People who enter (take part in) a competition (noun)
Others words include: maximum // in the form of //reduce // actual // smart // except the last one // obnoxious // broadsheet // charismatic // convinced // stain
Just a Minute
Students are put in pairs. They have to speak for one minute on a subject without hesitating, repeating or deviating (speaking about a different subject). This will test the students’ ability to speak fluently, as well as giving opportunities for using discourse markers and new vocabulary learnt so far. Subject are deliberately open, for example:
food // travel // work or study // life in Sai Gon // their family // their house.
Viet Nam presentation – where should I go on holiday ?
Three teams, representing Ha Noi, Hue and Nha Trang.
This exercise encourages team work and, furthermore, allows the students to develop their intonation skills; they will have to sound excited and optimistic.
To assist, here are some words and phrases to embellish their speech:
cultural centre // historical importance // breathe-taking scenery // tranquil // relaxing // hustle and bustle // mouth-watering food // never to be forgotten //unforgettable // once in a lifetime experience.
To give some help, I can perform a quick example:
COME TO LONDON, UK’s magnificent capital city and one of the world’s GREAT cities.
SEE such iconic, historical sights such as:
Buckingham Palace, home of our Queen, Tower Bridge over the Thames river.
Visit the world-famous British Museum to see the wonders of the world, or watch a football match at Wembley Stadium, in the country that invented the sport.
There is something for everyone:
Shops; you can buy everything here, to suit all budgets, from street markets to high-end department stores. To relax, London has so many tranquil parks, right in the centre of the city. Maybe see famous movie stars at one of London’s many, beautiful theatres, or dine out at restaurants cooking traditional British food or anything from anywhere.
A plane crashes in the desert. No one is hurt, but they cannot stay by the plane. They need to be rescued and to stay alive. The plane has a lot of items but they can only select FIVE:
first aid kit // matches // rope // knife // compass // cigarettes // blankets // barrel of water // flare gun // torch (flashlight) // magnifying glass // Beatles CD // dried food // make-up set // Angry Birds game // air rifle // sun cream (sun block) // English grammar book
Factors to consider: food, drink, heat, cold, attracting attention, wildlife
Class put into teams and each team must choose their five items. After, they must compare their selection with the other team(s) and argue their reasons. Here we can practice negotiation language:
I see your point, however I disagree because …
That’s interesting, however …
I respectfully disagree
I’m not sure about that
I don’t feel that is entirely right …
Class interact and practice agreeing, disagreeing and making convincing arguments.
Here I show five pictures of men or women. Students, just by appearance, have to guess the personality and occupation of my friends.
This is a good way to teach new adjectives and jobs … and, in case you’re wondering, their jobs are: unemployed (looking for a job so is sending out CVs) // DJ // Actor // self-employed plumber and … doctor (photo taken on holiday).