Adult Class, level 3: The Russian Soul

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 /

Image result for russian food
Image result for russian doll
Image result for russian church

Do they know this man ?

Image result for tchaikovsky
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Maybe they know this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cNQFB0TDfY

Because we have a lot of reading and comprehension, I want to create opportunities for speaking. Here is a short dialogue practice:

New vocabulary:

surprised // surprising

disappointed // a disappointment

confused // confusing

Image result for disappointed date
This man is … ? Why ?

DIALOGUE


Excuse me, sorry to bother you but do you speak English ?

Yes, a little. Are you German ? Your accent sounds German, maybe Czech …

No, I’m Russian. My name is Anna. I come from Moscow and it is freezing.

I’m Tony. Pleased to meet you, Anna. What do you do ? (what is your job)

I’m a student, reading architecture. How about you ?

I’m a musician. I play piano, guitar, clarinet but mostly cello.

Wow, how interesting. Do you know any Russian music ? We have great composers.

I simply adore Tchaikovsky. Are you surprised ? However modern music is confusing.

Yes, I agree. I went to a concert but I was very disappointed. It was just tuneless noise !

What can the students tell me about this famous house:

Image result for ho chi minhs house

Then depending on the time remaining, we can choose some activities from this list: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/27/adult-class-level-3-games-without-frontiers/

Adult Class, Level 3: The Times They Are A-Changing

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:

Image result for fat man

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:

Image result for Urkel
Image result for confused by computer

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.

Image result for bored by film

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:

Image result for bad product from China

Products from China are less than perfect // less than top quality // less than well-made. Finally:

Image result for Terrible karaoke singer

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 ?

Image result for Food shopping
Shopping in a supermarket ?
Related image
Bui Vien backpacker street ?
Image result for saigon opera
Sai Gon Opera House ?
Image result for visiting relatives in hospital
Visting elderly people in hospital ?
Image result for clubbing in Asia
Going to a club and meeting new people ?
Image result for library
Late night at the library ?

How do you think this man spent his boys’ night out ?

Image result for massive hangover

And now for something completely different; what do you think of this man ?

Image result for bob dylan in hoodie

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.

Here’s one of Dylan’s early songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90WD_ats6eE

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

Adult Class, Level 3: Games without frontiers

27th November 2019 AEF 7A pp. 64 – 65

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:

One of many online review posts

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.

Related image

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

Image result for 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:

jeopardy

  1. In danger, in danger of losing or failing (noun)
  2. A small car used by the army (noun)
  3. A bird in Australia that can speak fluent English (noun)

contestants

  1. People who order food in a restaurant but run away without paying (noun)
  2. A large vehicle for carrying heavy things (noun)
  3. 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. 

Image result for ha noi
Image result for hue postcard
Image result for nha trang postcard

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:

Image result for london postcard

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.

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn for more information

🙂

Special discount 10% for my students 

Desert Survival

Image result for the desert

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

Image result for flare gun
Image result for first aid kit
Image result for beatles CD

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.

Friends

Here I show five pictures of men or women. Students, just by appearance, have to guess the personality and occupation of my friends.

Image result for business man headshot
Image result for DJheadshot
Image result for angry bouncer
Related image
Image result for crazy man

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).

Adult Class, level 3: A diva … moi ?

26th November 2019. AEF 3 Listening Part 2 & Units 5 & 6 review (p.63)

Tonight, the lesson is heavy on listening and review. I try to get as much student-talking time as possible, so I’m got some ideas up my sleeve to, hopefully, lighten and brighten the class.

The topic is celebrity interviews, especially interviewing famous people who may be:

arrogant // self-obsessed // pretentious // obnoxious // full of themselves

Which of those words would, in your opinion, apply to these people:

Use opinion phrases (In my opinion, For me, He seems to be, I get the impression she is …)

Image result for arrogant lawyer
a lawyer
Image result for ronaldo celebration
Ronaldo celebrates a goal … but is this too much ?
Image result for obnoxious bieber
Image result for prince philip quotes
and The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip.

A celebrity is anyone famous, but most often it’s an actor, musician, TV personality or just a regular person who has made the news (had a story about them in the newspaper, online media etc). Sometimes they can be arrogant or full of themselves in interviews. However, occasionally the interviewer may upset the star. What do you think is happening here [start at 04:23] in this Robert Downey Jr interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUX-CCmQeOk

Now we have the same interviewer with film director Quentin Tarantino:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTE8FPgHeE4

Image result for im shutting your butt down
Quentin Tarantino

So now the class are prepared for the book work.

I have an assortment of activities for the speaking.

First up – small talk

I’ll hand out some papers with a short dialogue of small talk. This is basically learning how to keep a conversation going by using appropriate responses.

Students can use the following:

Really ? // I see // Are you ? // Right // That’s interesting // That’s a good point // Where is that exactly ? // Oh, me too // Do you enjoy it ? // Do you like it there ?

Then the students can pair up and ask each other questions such as:

Why are you studying English ?

Where do you live ?

Where would you like to visit ?

What do you do in your free time ?

What do you want to do in the future.

Students can change partners for each question.

Next up – Call My Bluff

Class put into two or three teams. Each team has a sheet with four words or phrases, followed by three definitions. A different member of the teams reads out a definition, embellishing the wording to make it more convincing. The opposing team have to guess the correct definition.

Finally, for a fun ending, the students can interview each other, but one pretends to be a difficult celebrity. They can use language from tonight’s lesson, or preferably, invent their own.

Adult Class, Level 3: Tell me more, tell me more …

19th November for 21st November 2019 AEF 2B pp. 18 – 19

Tonight’s lesson will focus on listening, which is always a challenge for the students so, to lighten the load, not to mention the mood, I’ll organise a lot of speaking activities.

First up, a mobile phone survey:

One of many online review posts

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 about four in a group. Each member is 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.

And then, to book work and listening exercises.

Grammar: Past perfect (for and since)

Why is this young lady so upset ?

Image result for angry asian woman

Maybe this is the reason …

Image result for man renovating

Her neighbour has been renovating his house the whole day !

He has been making a lot of noise since 8 o’clock in the morning.

He has been drilling for six hours, non-stop !

First, the past perfect formulae

Subject + have or has + been + verbing

Since used for a given time or date

For used to tell how much time.

Example – John joined his company, LPR Productions in November 2018.

He has been working for LPR since 2018

OR

He has been working for LPR for one year.

Students than have a chance to practise by asking each other a variety of questions, on subjects ranging from work or school, to friends, holidays, sports, interests etc.

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.

Image result for ha noi
Image result for hue postcard
Image result for nha trang postcard

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:

Image result for london postcard

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.

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn for more information

Special discount 10% for my students 🙂

And that should be a wrap !

Image result for londoners waving

Adult Class, Level 3: Can’t buy me love.

14th November 2019 AEF 2A pp. 14 – 15.

Tonight, attitudes to money: What does the first singer think about money ? What is important in his life ?

Image result for beatles can't buy me love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKfALmKL0VU

Now, compare with this attitude:

Image result for flying lizards money

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-P2qL3qkzk

The first song is romantic; the man doesn’t care about money, he wants love. However, the lady sings, “I want your money !” This is called being materialistic, wanting expensive things and money.

Vocabulary – p. 154. Verbs pertaining to money.

Activity. You inherit a small fortune and want to splurge out (spend a lot of money). Working in small groups, tell what how you would spend your luxury day.

Plan a luxury day

To develop narrative writing and speaking skills, use words or phrases such as:

Firstly // Initially // I would start // It would kick off with …

secondly, thirdly etc

after that // afterwards // following that // and then …

for a change // as a contrast// for a break // to take a break from all the …

lastly // I’d end up // I’d round the day off with

You could:

luxury breakfast // luxury spa treatment // horse-carriage ride

shopping // luxury yacht

See Barcelona play // Attend a play at a London theatre

OR add your own ideas

Where would you go ? What would you do ? What would you buy ?

Activity: Devil’s advocate.

This is to develop argument skills, how to politely disagree with someone.

Example: one student wants to buy a beautiful, luxurious Rolex watch. It really is an outstanding timepiece:

Image result for Rolex

Without doubt, this is a luxury item. The pros …

It is gorgeous and so elegant. I will feel so special wearing it. People will admire and look up to me. They will think I am wealthy and have a great career. I will attract many cute women (or handsome men, whatever !). I may feel superior to other people who only have cheap watches or nasty fake knock-offs – like Thay Paul 🙂

Now play Devil’s advocate. Say what are the cons of owning such an item. Firstly, agree with the first student – it is without question a luxury item. Having said that

It will attract attention … but maybe from thieves or pickpockets. It is a lot of money, maybe an obscene amount of money when so many people are poor. Can you justify living in a Socialist country and owning such a materialistic item ? Will it make you arrogant ? Will you think you are better than other people BECAUSE of a thing ? Finally … what does it DO ? Fundamentally, it tells the time. My fake Rolex will tell the same time … but it cost $20 NOT $ 5 000 !

Now students’ turn. Similar concept but this time, the latest iPhone:

Image result for iphone 11

The iphone 11 (woooooowwwwwwww !)

One student wants to buy it, the other must give reasons why it is not such a good idea.

Useful phrases: a waste of money / not necessary // a fashion accessory // you can’t afford it //

Image result for neither a borrower nor a lender be

Role play game:

Three students will act out working in a department store, a shop with a sale on, and a street market. Other students have a set budget (say £100) and have to buy three items.

They can practice with the following language:

How much is this, please ? // Could you bring the price down for cash ? // Do you take plastic (credit cards) ? // If I smile, can you take off 10% ?

Wow, that’s a bargain ! // Sorry, that’s too much // Is that your best price ?

I’ll take it ! // Wrap it up ! // Let me think about it and come back // Sorry, that’s too much.

Image result for van heusen shirts store
A department store selling expensive designer shirts
Image result for clothes on sale
Clothes on sale – ‘to clear’
Image result for london street market
London street market.

NOW – to make it more animated – the people working in the shops will no doubt be using different varieties of English. Let’s see if the students can alter their voices to portray an upper-class, well-spoken salesperson; a basic shop worker and a working-class street trader. I (old ham actor that I am) shall demonstrate. Yes, it’s not a conventional lesson but maybe the students will appreciate something different (even if the management don’t).

To end, I really want the students to gain confidence in speaking, so a lot of talking in small groups. I have various talking points they can discuss, and once they feel relaxed, we can play:

Just a Minute: students are given an open subject and must speak for one minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition. Other students time them and judge their performance.

Language review: students must give the correct word to a definition pertaining to tonight’s theme.

And then … take care, see you next week, later, dude !

Image result for lighting cigar with money

Adult Class, Level 3: Is was the butler, wasn’t it ?

11th November 2019 for 12th November 2019 AEF 10B pp. 98 – 99

Image result for hitchcock quotes

In the UK, we do have a morbid fascination with murder. This man is Alfred Hitchcock who made films from the 1920s to the 1970s, mostly suspense, thriller or murder dramas. ‘Hitch’, who was born where I live in east London, made many famous films but in my opinion ‘Psycho’, which was filmed in black and white in 1960, is his best.

Image result for hitchcock psycho

Do you know these British characters ?

Image result for sherlock basil
Image result for agatha christie books
What do the book titles mean to you ?

Sentence building:

Do you like to read murder mystery books or to watch murder films ?

Plan – don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ! Make a short introduction, just one or two sentences:

I enjoy all types of films, however I especially like a good mystery ….OR

I don’t really read much because I am so busy studying. However …

Say what film or book you like, tell me about the author and other books.

Tell me about the story and then why you think it’s good

Conclusion – “Maybe this book is not for everybody, but if you enjoy a great mystery story, then I would recommend it.”

Vocabulary building: Some useful words –

thrilling // suspense // gripping // well-written // superbly acted // atmospheric // creepy // scary // a page-turner // I was on the edge of my seat.

However, we must move from the world of fiction to the world of fact. Before we move onto a true story from the USA, let’s keep it closer to home.

What can the students tell me about Lê Hoàng Hùng ?

Image result for le hoang hung

Students can work in small groups. They have five minutes to make a short presentation. Information can be found on these sites:

https://freedomforvietnam.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/goodbye-to-another-journalist-in-vietnam/#comments

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lê_Hoàng_Hùng

Then it’s time to get to tonight’s topic – murder, unsolved crimes and mystery. The lesson focuses on the mysterious death of the actress Natalie Wood. To introduce her, I’ll show a short clip of her acting, then the actual news report on TV on her death: 

Image result for natalie wood 1955

That clip, which has English captions, is from the film ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, from 1955. Now for the news footage:

Grammar: tag questions

Are you from Korea ? (a normal question, where we don’t know the answer)

You’re (you are) from Korea, aren’t you ? (using the tag ‘aren’t you’ to confirm what we think or know)

Take the pronoun (here it is ‘you’) and then the verb (‘are’). Invert the verb, that is, make it negative then add the pronoun. Hence ‘are’ becomes ‘are not’ = aren’taren’t you ?

Try these: First, decide on the appropriate pronoun (he, she, it, we etc).

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, ……….. ?

Natalie Wood was American, …………….. ?

We still don’t know who killed her, ………….. ? (here the verb is negative, so make it positive)

He’s a brilliant actor, ………….. ?

For the remainder of the lesson, I want the students to talk, talk and talk (and, yes, I mean in ENGLISH !)

Firstly, they can review tonight’s book work and air their views, thus enabling them to review negotiation language (I see your point but …. // I can’t go along with that // you raise an interesting point // I’m not sure I entirely agree … etc).

Questions:

What did they think of the subject ? (interesting, relevant, morbid, inappropriate)

Do they enjoy reading as part of class time ? Do they feel that is a good way to learn ?

How was the listening ? How much could they follow (understand ?)

What is their opinion on the amount of new vocabulary encountered ?

Naturally, I expect other students to play Devil’s advocate – to argue a point even if they personally don’t fully agree with it.

EXAMPLE: “Playing Devil’s advocate, I would say the best way to learn vocabulary is to read new words and see how they are used in a sentence.”

Activities – Just a minute

Here, students work in pairs – there are given a very open subject (work, food, family, their hometown etc) and have to talk for one minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Students can be given new questions and then made to change partners regularly.

Also, encourage peer help – allow the students to correct each other, as well as giving advice and encouragement.

And finally … Mysteries – what do you think ? True or false or … ?

Image result for loch ness monster

The Loch Ness Monster from Scotland

Image result for area 51

Area 51 in Nevada, USA. Did an alien spaceship crash here and aliens come to earth ?

Image result for man from taured

The mysterious man from Taured

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bizarre-news/taured-mystery-when-a-mysterious-man-arrived-at-japanese-airport-from-unknown-country

Adult Class Level 3: we are family.

6th November for 7th November 2019 AEF 1B pp. 8 – 10

Tonight is a new class, assigned to level 3. However in the past my centre has been somewhat optimistic in their placements; teachers, expecting the students to be able to engage in conversation are confronted with students who can’t string four words together (and three of those words are undoubtedly wrong).

Subsequently, I now play down my expectations. The first lesson is just to assess the ability … and the behaviour and motivation of the students.

So, to warm up, a little game. I want the students to interview each other and then tell the class about their partner. Just basic facts such as age, if they work or are at university, what is their job or where and what subject do they study … additionally, what do they like to do in their free time. Finally, one thing they hate !

We can later use some of these ideas as a basis for sentence building:

Mr Thi likes football as well as K-pop however he dislikes romantic films and maths.

Next, I’ll show some pictures and the students in pairs and discuss them. I want them to be able to describe what they see, so I’ll be looking for adjectives, and what the subjects are doing. Additionally, I want to see if they are able to form their ideas into basic sentences.

Image result for Vietnamese family
Image result for Vietnamese family
Image result for arguing family

Look at the last picture … a young girl arguing (shouting, fighting) with her mother; is this something people would do in Viet Nam or is the culture very different ?

Sometimes people get angry (even teachers !) – some advice is to count to ten, and calm down.

Image result for counting to 10 to calm down

In English, we use the word ‘should‘ to give advice or helpful information.

EXAMPLE: A student is naughty in class. A teacher should:

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Help the studentCount to ten and be calm … OR …

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Hit the student // punch the student // knock the student out.

Something less painful. My friend Andy is coming to Sai Gon.

Using ‘should’ to give advice or information, make suggestions for Andy.

He loves history … what should he visit or see ?

He loves traditional food … what should he eat ?

He can’t ride a motorbike … how should he travel ?

He likes a beer a night (!) … where should he go ?

NOW – onto the book. It’s a bit heavy tonight, so I’ll try to lighten it with fun activities in between.

Activity break: Family Fortunes

I put class into small teams and ask them questions to which I want four answers. These are very basic things such as four places I’ve visited in Viet Nam (so they hear my appalling pronunciation) // my four favourite Viet food // four things I love about HCMC and, conversely, four things I hate // four instruments I can play (I’m generous with the truth here) // four languages I can speak … Vietnamese is clearly NOT one of them.

GRAMMAR: FUTURE TENSE

We use either I will or I am going to …

I will (I’ll) is for quick ideas or suggestions.

I’ll do my bookwork, then I’ll go for a coffee.

I’ll help you with your English

I am going to (I’m going to) is more for plans

Next year, I’m going to Thailand

I’m going to pass my IELTS then study in Australia.

Predictions (thinking what will happen in the future) use both.

I think Vietnam will win the football World Cup by 2050.

I believe Vietnam is going to be the richest country in Asia soon

Negative:

You’re not going to like Thay Paul’s music !

We will not (won’t) learn English unless we study.

Communication activity – describing a friend, co-worker or family member.

Here is my friend Pete:

He was born in Ireland but now lives in Liverpool with his wife and son.

He is an accountant and works for a large bank. His job is safe but boring. He is going to look for a new job.

He is bald and wears glasses. He always smiles so he looks warm and friendly.

Because UK is cold, especially now in November, Pete has to wear jumpers or sweaters, even inside. He loves jeans and cowboy boots.

As you can see, he loves music and playing the bass and piano. He also likes drinking strong beer. However, he hates people who are bad to animals.

He is very calm and helpful however, he works a lot so he is not always reliable.

His favourite sport is football and he enjoys swimming.

He listens to Jazz music, David Bowie and Irish folk music.

He speaks Gaelic (Ireland) and a little French.

We never see each other because we live so far apart.

When we meet, we drink, talk and laugh together. Sometimes we write songs together.

Hopefully, I will see Pete in 2020 because I am going back to London.

I will be friends with Pete all my life … I hope 🙂

NOW … students’ turn – with a partner, talk about someone close to you.

Here, I will just walk around and listen, giving help where needed. I may board some incorrect phrasing so at the end of class, we can go over it together and all learn.

And now …

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Adult Class, Level 3: business icons.

4th November for 5th November 2019 AEF 10A, pp. 94 – 95

Tonight we’ll discuss modern icons, titans of the business world, in both USA and Vietnam. It’ll be no surprise that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, who are both from the USA, are included although Vietnam also has a number of wealthy, super-rich who may not be as well known on the global stage. However tonight, which is a special day in the UK, we’ll warm up with the story of Guy Fawkes whose image is now iconic. He is part of the history of London where I was born. If you don’t know the name, maybe you’ll recognise these:

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In 1605, a group of people wanted to blow up (like a bomb) Parliament (where the government meet) during a visit from the King. The group were caught; Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. All the conspirators were executed for treason.

A good history, with notes for English-language learners, can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soe8Z_Ej4Ck

This event is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks:

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Here’s an example of what happens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OttNo41ab0

Now, without further ado, tonight’s lesson: modern icons and, for grammar, relative clauses, hence the bold font earlier on the words who, where, which and whose.

I’ll be honest with you – this can be a little complicated, although it should be easy:

Relative pronouns

Who // for a person. Mark, who is from Chicago, is working in Ha Noi

Where // for a place. Ha Noi, where Mark works, is in north Vietnam.

Which // for a thing. The guitar, which is Japanese, was a bargain at £35.

Whose // possessive. The man whose guitar was stolen was very upset.

So far so good BUT … check this out:

London, where I was born, is the capital of the UK

London, which is in the south of England, is my hometown.

In a practice, we have an example similar to this:

London where I was born is the place which I love the most.

I’ve tried to think of a way to explain this in clear simple English … here goes !

In the first clause (London where I was born) we can ask “Where were you born ?” The answer is London. However, in the second clause (the place which I love the most) try the same pattern … “Where do you love the most ?” Here, the answer is “The place.” That is not a suitable answer – it is not a real location, so it becomes a thing – therefore we use which.

Oi troi oi ! English grammar !

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Now, let’s put it into practise.

Mark Zuckerberg: born 1984 in NY, USA. Studied at Harvard. Co-founded Facebook. Net worth estimated at 70.3 billion USD (wow !).

Mark Zuckerberg, who was born in 1984, grew up in NY state which is in the USA. Harvard, where he studied, is the oldest university in the States (USA). Zuckerberg, whose net worth is estimated at over 70 billion dollars co-founded Facebook which is used all over the world.

Speaking of Facebook, one of my favourite films is ‘The Social Network’ about how the company was founded. The film, which was made in 2010, is scripted by Aaron Sorkin who is, in my opinion, a fantastic and highly talented writer.

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Now try with Steve Jobs: born San Francisco // was a college drop out // first worked at Atari, a video games company // Apple computers were the first to utilise a mouse // co-founded Pixar in 1986 (what is Pixar ?) // died 2011, aged 56.

Now … team work. Class in two teams and they have to make a presentation about two Vietnamese business icons: Pham Nhat Vuong & Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.

Students may use the internet and their own knowledge to tell me about these icons.

https://www.citypassguide.com/blog/vietnams-richest-business-people

Give me the facts (where and when were they born, how did they get rich, what is their area of business ?) and use relative clauses to produce longer, complex sentences.

richest business people
richest business people

Students may, indeed I would encourage them to, use the internet and projector to bring their presentation alive. All members of the team must speak.

Team discussion:

Last week we covered negotiation language, phrases such as, “I see your point, but …” “I’m not sure I entirely agree with you,” “That’s interesting, however have you considered.

Today, the topics will be:

  1. Do people spend too much time on Facebook ? Is it a good or bad thing ?
  2. I need a new laptop; what should I buy, an Apple or Windows ?

I want to hear different points of view and people playing Devil’s advocate (arguing or making a point, even if you don’t personally believe it … just to encourage the opponent to develop their idea).

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15-inch Macbook Pro at $2 399
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HP Intel Pentium 15.6 inch screen. $299 Windows 10

To encourage students, and to give them lexical resources, elicit some answers and ideas first, and board them, as well as introducing new concepts. What are the pros and cons ? The decisive factors ? What points should I consider.

With Facebook – is the answer binary (yes OR no ?) … it’s more interesting to discuss the middle ground, and illustrate it with personal examples.

I recently went on a short break to a nearby beach resort where I took many photos. I need to upload them to Facebook … or do I ? Does anybody REALLY care ? Can I really afford to spend the time doing it ? Or is it relaxing and pleasurable ? Does it enable my European friends to see a little more of my life here in Vietnam … what do YOU think … ?

Adult Class, Level 3: If he had known it was International Woman’s Day …

21st October for 22nd October 2019. AEF 9A pp 84 – 85

Warm up: Hit the ground running (or at least talking).

As always a model is a good idea; hence my Thai friend is coming to Vietnam:

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Ms Namsum is young and energetic. She’s into (really enjoy) clubs, sightseeing and shopping.

I suggest she starts the day with a traditional bowl of pho then goes to Sai Gon centre. She can walk there from her hotel in District 1 or take a taxi (Vinasun or Malin ONLY). She will be out of the heat and has a lot of shopping choices and places to eat or grab a coffee. She could rest at her hotel in the afternoon, then go to Nguyen Hue walking street when it gets cooler in the evening. She has many restaurants in this area. Furthermore, there are many English-language menus. Finally, she can go to Bui Vien street where there are many clubs and bars, as well as many tourists speaking English.

What do they students think ? Is that a good plan ? Have I missed something important ?

Language to use:

I see your point

That’s a good idea but …

If I may make a suggestion …

I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.

For example – That’s a good idea but you haven’t thought about sightseeing.

Or

Bui Vien can be very noisy so I’m not sure that’s such a good idea for a young lady on her own.

Two of my friends are coming to Sai Gon; the students, in two groups, have to arrange a fun day including sightseeing, shopping, eating and transportation. Then they have to compare their itineraries and exchange views and opinions. The students learn how to politely disagree with each and put forward their ideas and support their choices.

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Tom and David

PLAN A DAY FOR TOM & DAVID

Where can they eat ?

What could they see or visit ?

How can they travel around ?

What can they buy as souvenirs ?

Where could they go at night ?

What safety advice would you give ?

What you need to know:

Both are 45-years old. They have good jobs and a good income. They like history and culture. They really enjoy good food and wine. Neither speaks any Vietnamese. They are too old for very loud clubs but they don’t mind having a few beers and maybe seeing some live music.

The students can make a presentation, and use the computer for images or maps to illustrate their plan. Then the other team can explain what they have organised, and the reasons why. I will decide which team has made the best choice.

Tonight’s main focus is the third conditional

This means speaking from hindsight.

We talk about something that happened to us in the past and how we would have changed it IF we had known some information.

A basic example: A visit a friend and it is her birthday, but I didn’t know. If I had known it was her birthday, I would have bought her a present.

Yesterday was Woman’s Day but …

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Alan didn’t know it was Woman’s Day subsequently his girlfriend, Ms Nhi, was extremely upset !

If he had known it was Woman’s Day, he would have bought her a present, some flowers and taken her out to eat.

However, it is too late NOW ! He’s in the doghouse (in trouble).

Notice all the past tense verbs. Furthermore, would is commonly used in conditional sentences.

Now, this example is based on a true story that my history teacher told me back in London.

My teacher was a somewhat dishevelled gentleman in his mid-30s. Let’s call him Mr Bowditch:

Mr Bowditch, history teacher at an east London school

Mr Bowditch lived in a bedsit, which is basically renting one room in a large house and sharing the kitchen and bathroom with other tenants. His room was not particularly comfortable:

One night, Mr Bowditch was in his room and began to feel a little hungry. He wanted some chocolate so decided to go to the off-license and buy some sweets (an off-licence is a shop that sells basic food and sweets but also alcohol and cigarettes. It used to be open until 11.00pm when most shops would close around 6.00 pm). He decided to buy, among other items, some ‘Fry’s Turkish Delight’ a sort of jelly covered in chocolate:

OK, so far so good. However, Mr Bowditch lived in a rather bad part of London, it wasn’t always safe to walk alone at night. Unfortunately, on the way home, Mr Bowditch meet the following young men:

They called out to Mr Bowditch and stopped him walking. They demanded:

Mr Bowditch had none, as he had just spent his money on sweets (candy). They didn’t believe him and began to search him. He showed them:

That was all he had … a few pounds, about 100 000 VND. The men became very angry and aggressive. Suddenly, they heard a police car siren. The men tried to drag Mr Bowditch into the tunnel, away from the road but he is very tall and stopped them. As the police car got closer, the men ran away. Mr Bowditch has never eaten ‘Fry’s Turkish Delight’ again.

There are several instances of the third conditional in the above story.

If Mr Bowditch had bought sweets on his way home, he wouldn’t have gone out later and been mugged (mugged means being robbed, often with violence or the threat of violence).

If Mr Bowditch had gone to a different shop, he wouldn’t have meet the muggers.

If the police car hadn’t been passing, Mr Bowditch might have been seriously hurt.

If Mr Bowditch hadn’t been so tall, he would have been dragged into the tunnel and maybe beaten or worse.

The structure is the first clause starts with ‘If’ then using a comma before completing the sentence. The first verb can be positive or negative (in the examples, I use ‘had’ and ‘hadn’t’).

We use this to talk about things that DIDN’T happen. 

And so to book work and communication activities.