Adult Professionals: Mechanics, Part 4

12th February 2020

Contents

Conspiracy theories

Engineering marvels

Why trains can’t go uphill

Conspiracy Theories:

Have you heard of film director Stanley Kubrick ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR_e9y-bka0

Did we REALLY go to the Moon ?

Are there ALIENS ?

DID the Wright Brothers actually invent the airplane ?https://www.businessinsider.com/10-items-not-invented-by-who-you-think-2011-8

WRIGHT BROTHERS

Which of these surprised you ?

Engineering marvels

Which ones impressed you most ?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFbug8as10U

James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?

Image result for james may train uphill

What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbUsKWbOqUU

What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?

What do they struggle to do ?

What are the scientific reasons for this ?

Image result for steepest railroad in uk

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:

  • links words
  • uses expressions (bit of a)
  • adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses. 
  • Creative use of adverbs – sweatilyshows how many words can be made adverbs

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.

Intonation – SO important to assist in conveying meaning.

Adult Professionals: Mechanics, Part 2

23rd January 2020

Various exercises and features aimed at science professionals, mechanics and engineers.

Contents

Engineering fails

Heat transfer

The internal combustion engine

Reading exercises: condensing text, looking for relevant information.

Turbulence

Engineering fails

Engineering fails – bad engineering decisions and designs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPhVZExcGXg

Image result for bad engineering
Image result for bad engineering

Heat transfer

These are three methods of heat transfer.

Explain what is happening in each case (situation).

What method is used by:

The sun

An air-conditioner / radiator

Heating water in a can by fire.

The internal combustion engine

Image result for internal combustion engine

How does a car engine work ? Watch this video and then explain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKF5dKo_r_Y

Vocabulary / jargon / engineering terms:

crankshaft piston / piston rods / valves / cam shaft / timing belt

tension pulley / idler pulley / momentum

What does four stroke mean ? What does crank to camshaft ratio mean ?

What are spark plugs used for ? What stops the crankshaft stopping ?

How is this different from a diesel engine ?

Starting an old car

From ‘Top Gear’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWTcPdYfsAc

Why is it hard to start these early cars ? Where was this car made ?

New vocabulary: 

particular / original / hill-start / rapidly / brutality / you what ? 

Image result for earliest car

Firstly, a look at some vintage cars:

According to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, United Kingdom, the definition for each category is the following:

Veteran– officially a car made up to and including December 1918.

Vintage– officially a car made between 1919 and 1930. Although, the term is often used to describe any car made before World War II.

Classic– generally any car that is no longer in production that is still popular. For classic car events organised by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) eligibility is set at 20 years. Generally this term is applied to cars from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. However, no definition is universal.

Turbulence

When I flew from London to Sai Gon, I experienced light turbulence: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/turbulence-air-travel-1.3385566

There is some great new vocabulary in this article, as well as expressions and collocations (‘potentially dangerous’ / ‘do their best’).

What are the causes ? Can turbulence be predicted ? How do air-traffic controllers gather information ? 

Reading exercise

Selecting important information

We want to condensethis article so we only need the main facts:

This is about the British engineer Isabard Kingdom Brunel

Image result for i k brunel

Isambard Kingdom BrunelFRS(/ˈɪzəmbɑːrd bruːˈnɛl/; 9 April 1806– 15 September 1859), was an English mechanical and civil engineerwho is considered “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history”,”one of the 19th-century engineering giants”,and “one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions”.Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel’s projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when built in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859), was an English engineer who is regarded as a major figure in engineering history. His designs, which were considered ground-breaking and ingenious, included bridges and tunnels, railways and ships.

Despite some engineering fails, he was an innovator and achieved many firsts in enginnering. His ship, the SS Great Britain (1843), was the largest ship of its time.

Now, your turn:

Landmark 81

How to look for important information. Read this Wikipedia entry and re-write in just 3 or 4 sentences, inclusing only the most important information.

Landmark 81 is a super-tall skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam, that was designed by the British design, engineering and consulting firm Atkins.The investor and primary developer for the project is Vingroup, a Vietnamese corporation that is also the country’s largest real-estate company. Landmark 81 is the tallest building in Vietnamthe tallest completed building in Southeast Asia as of July, 2018 and the 14th tallest building in the world.

The 461.5 metres (1,514 ft) tall, 81-storey building is built on the western banks of the Saigon River in the city’s Binh Thanh District, located just north of Ho Chi Minh City’s historic center and to the immediate south of Saigon Bridge. The tower is at the heart of the $1.5 billion high-end mixed-use urban area called Vinhomes Central Park, and was scheduled to be inaugurated in July 2018. The development comprises hotel and conference facilities, luxury apartments, high-end retail spaces, restaurants, bars, and a multi-story observation deck at the tower’s crown.

Image result for landmark 81

Adult Professionals: Architecture and engineering

7th January 2020

Architecture in history

Gothic Architecture

The Gothic style of architecture first emerged in Northern France during the 12th century. In engineering terms, it was a major step forward from the Romanesque style that had dominated European architecture up to that time. It allowed people to construct cathedrals, churches and other buildings on a scale that dwarfed anything that had gone before. The technological superiority of the Gothic approach was the result of three engineering breakthroughs: the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

The pointed arch offers benefits in terms of structural engineering: A greater proportion of the weight above thearch is channeled down into the ground, instead of exerting a sideways force: https://www.theclassroom.com/engineering-breakthroughs-gothic-architecture-12682.html

Ribbed Vault

The stone ceilings of Romanesque buildings were heavy and inefficient, and placed severe limitations on the size of buildings that could be constructed. The situation changed dramatically with the advent of the Gothic style.

One of the greatest innovations was the flying buttress. This system allowed builders to construct soaring cathedrals with massive interior spaces, while allowing walls to exhibit expansive stained glass windows. 

The engineering innovations of pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses meant such buildings could be the longest, widest and tallest of their day.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. An example of the Gothic style. Note the flying buttresses.

Fillipo Brunelleschi (1377 – April 15, 1446)

Early in his career as an architect, Brunelleshi came forward as a mover and a shaker. He discovered, or rather, rediscovered the lost Greek and Roman rules of perspective, such as the principle of having a single vanishing point. His (re)discovery of these rules had a profound influence on the artists of his time

In 1420, the church awarded Brunelleschi the commission to design a dome to top the Florence Cathedral, which had been left, for many years, with a 140″ diameter hole gaping atop. The problem was not a new one to the world of architecture; for decades architects had been trying to design the perfect dome to crown the Cathedral but had been defeated by the restrictive structural limitations inherentin the Cathedral’s design. Brunelleschi, managed to succeed, however, were all others had failed by 1446.

Brunelleschi’s dome for the Cathedral in Florence, Italy.

Mies van der Rohe, 1886 – 1969

Famous for his saying “less is more,” was one of the preeminent modernist architects, well known for pioneering the extensive use of glass in buildings. His works introduced a new level of simplicity and transparency, and his buildings were often referred to as “skin-and-bones” architecture for their emphasis on steel structure and glass enclosure.

Adult Mechanics: What can possibly go wrong ?

A boxed-set of lesson notes and exercises initially designed for professional engineers and mechanics. The levels vary from beginner to advanced.

Contents:

Listening: Far Flung Floyd BBC TV (advanced)

Listening: Robot dog (advanced)

Listening: World’s strongest robot (beginner to advanced)

Listening: Top Gear BBC TV program (advanced)

Speaking practice and vocabulary (advanced)

breaking the law / Coffee shop talk / going green / buying a motorbike /

Video clip: China’s high-speed train.

Vocabulary: Cars / Car manufacturers / Environmental concerns (advanced) / tools (beginner)

Listening

Keith Floyd (TV chef) ‘Far Flung Floyd’

Image result for keith floyd vietnam"

Floyd in Vietnam (12.53 – 15.29): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6cSQ8Vly8

What ingredients does he use ?

What does he say as he starts cooking ?

How long does it simmer for ?

What does ‘moisten’ mean ?

Listening: robot dog (advanced) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op0bhZNUJFE

Image result for robot dog"

Do you understand any of the engineering terms / words in English ?

Newsinlevels.com (World’s strongest robot – choose your own level, 1,2 0r 3) https://www.newsinlevels.com/products/strongest-robot-in-the-world-level-2/

What country produced this robot ?

How much can it lift ? That is the same as … ?

Is it delicate or sturdy ? What word is used to describe this ?

Top Gear

Image result for top gear"

Break for the border part 1: (0 – 0.52)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0K8AXUEH8E

How much petrol do the chaps (men) have ? How many points for getting to the border ?

What is the phrasal verb for using all the petrol ? What is the punishment for this ?

What does Richard say about this ? Which country has the closest border ?

Break for the border part 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3StTHXS2Ic&t=3s

What word does James use to mean ‘the winner’ ?

What expression does Richard use to mean he will stop trying to beat James ?

What expression does James use to show he is in trouble ?

We hear the word ‘gloat’ twice … what does it mean ?

What is the phrasal verb for using up ALL the petrol ?

What is the ‘hard shoulder’ ?

What does Richard say when he sees Jeremy ?

Top Gear: £1500 Porsche challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jPaYnaKVDk&t=317s&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=16

Top Gear in Vietnam

Image result for top gear vietnam"

Full video on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/richardhammondtgt/videos/706329819546314/?v=706329819546314&external_log_id=45059a07d87e44e56f7250b63bf526de&q=top%20gear%20special%20episodes

Vietnam clip (39.00 – 43.00)

New Vocabulary / expressions

set about = to do something

pay someone back for something = to get revenge

cross = angry / furious = very angry

(people have) turned out = arrived

borrow = to get something from someone, then give back

hang on = wait a little

metaphor = phép ẩn dụ

What does Jeremy say is a metaphor for Vietnam ?

What phrasal verb does James use to mean he stops trying ?

What does the Viet lady do to the bikes in the car park ?

Speaking & vocabulary practice

Exercise 1: New vocabulary:

prosperity / represent / footage/ annoyed / superior / essentially

to sue / suing / law suit / (law) case / ruling / embezzle/ lawyers / judge

pocketing (UK slang) / cost of living (rent, food, travel etc) / can vary

therefore / out and about / basically / you see / obviously /though (although)

Dale Sorry I’m late. Hope you’re not annoyed, I’ve been out and about.

Gordon Not at all. It’s been very exciting here. Mr Smith was caught

embezzling company money. The boss is suing.

Dale What the hell !How much was he pocketing ? 

Gordon Who knows ? A lot, that’s for sure. Basically, he’s been stealing

for the last six months.

Dale I know the cost of living is increasing, but he was essentially a

great worker though he did always drink superior cognac.

Gordon And buy superior clothes, particularly designer shirts.

Mr Kim and Mr Chi also discuss this incident 3rdMarch 2018

Kim He was caught on CCTV footage. He’s had to engage a lawyer.

Chi If the ruling goes goes against him, it could mean a fine and prison.

Kim Yes, it can vary from two to twenty years. When’s the case ?

Chi The suit will be heard later this year. The company are shocked.

Kim Obviously. You see, they trusted him, he had been here for years.

Chi That’s awful. This year has started out terribly, therefore it can only

get better !

Kim Yes, it mustn’t get us down, we need to learn from this experience.

Exercise 2: Coffee shop talk / talking shop / the environment

Don, Joe & Tim are on break at work. Tim looks stressed. 

Don Hi guys, what’s happening ? What’s wrong with Tim ?

Joe The supervisor has been giving him a hard time because of his punctuality.

Tim Sorry, I’ve gotta lot of things on my mind … and tons of work.

Don In my experience, work’ll lighten up. Do you agree, Joe ?

Joe Spot on ! Although, less work, less money, obviously.

Tim Actually, it’s my girlfriend; she has a terrible habit.

Don Oh, what is it ?

Tim She has a habit of spending MY money !

Later, at lunch at Coffee House

Joe We should think more about the environment. Our company should go green.

Tim What’s on your mind ? What do you recommend ?

Don Yeah, aside from recycling what steps can we take ?

Joe Well, switching to unleaded petrol, saving water and making sure we turn off …

Tim Our brains ? No, I’m pulling your leg. In fact, those are brilliant ideas.

Don I agree totally. Anyway, what are you having to eat ?

Joe I’m not hungry, I had a snack earlier. I’ll just take a coffee.

Tim Ah, here comes our coffee. Things are looking up.

Joe WAIT ! … mmmmm, this is a damn fine cup of coffee !

NOTE: the colour green is associated with the environment

Exercise 3: buying a motorbike

Jim is talking with his buddy (friend) Kev about buying a motorbike. He asks for advice.

Jim Which do you suggest ? The Honda or the Yamaha ? I’m miserable without a bike.

Kev Buy both … no,I’m pulling your leg.In my opinion, Yamaha looks cool.

Jim Yeah, I agree totally. Blue and white. However, Yamahas are uncomfortable.

Kev Good point. In my experience, Hondas are very reliable. Good engineering.

Jim Maybe I should buy a German bike ? Sounds good ?

Kev Sure, buy a luxury BMW, really cool … but really, really expensive !

Jim Ok, so I’ll take the Honda. Wait … what is that awful sound ?

Kev Oh no ! The karaoke has started. All day, every day. I want to scream !

Video Clips

AC / DC current explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN9aR2wKv0U

High-speed trains in China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JDoll8OEFE

Tech flops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Rzd21U-1c

Vocabulary

Cars:

Car parts vocabulary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aazWo7OeJJY

Which of these cars would you like ? 

Land Rover / Toyota / Volva / Dacia 

Image result for land rover"
Land Rover
Image result for Toyata"
Toyata
Image result for volvo"
Volvo
Image result for darcia car"
Darcia

I choose the …

because it’s …. cool /economical /fast / beautiful / reliable

however, it’s also … expensive / ugly /unreliable /uneconomical /slow 

Vocabulary: Car parts

How many parts can you name ?

Automobile companies

1. Abarth16. Ford31. MG46. Smart
2. Alfa Romeo17. Honda32. Mini47. Ssangyong
3. Aston Martin18. Hyundai33. Mitsubishi48. Subaru
4. Audi19. Infiniti34. Morgan49. Suzuki
5. Bentley20. Jaguar35. Nissan50. Tesla
6. BMW21. Jeep36. Noble51. Toyota
7. Bugatti 22. Kia 37. Pagani52. Vauxhall
8. Cadillac23. Lamborghini38. Peugeot53. Volkswagen
9. Caterham24. Land Rover39. Porsche54. Volvo 
10. Chevrolet25. Lexus40. Radical55. Zenos
11. Chrysler26. Lotus41. Renault
12. Citroen27. Maserati42. Rolls-Royce
13. Dacia28. Mazda43. Saab
14. Ferrari29. Mclaren44. Seat
15. Fiat30. Mercedes-Benz45. Skoda

This is a list of the 15 largest manufacturers by production in 2016.[35]

RankGroupCountryVehicles
1ToyotaJapan10,213,486
2Volkswagen GroupGermany10,126,281
3HyundaiSouth Korea7,889,538
4General MotorsUnited States7,793,066
5FordUnited States6,429,485
6NissanJapan5,556,241
7HondaJapan4,999,266
8Fiat Chrysler AutomobilesItaly / United States4,681,457
9RenaultFrance3,373,278
10PSAFrance3,152,787
11SuzukiJapan2,945,295
12SAICChina2,566,793
13DaimlerGermany2,526,450
14BMWGermany2,359,756
15ChanganChina1,715,871

Tesla, Inc. (formerlyTesla Motors) is an American multinational corporation that specialises in electric vehicles, energy storage and solar panel manufacturing based in Palo Alto, California. Founded in 2003, the company specialises in electric cars, lithium-ion battery energy storage, and residential photovoltaic panels(through the subsidiary company SolarCity).The additional products Tesla sells include the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack batteries,solar panels and solar roof tiles.

CEO Elon Musk said that he envisions Tesla as a technology company and independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer.

Tesla Vs Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KEN-cxmGw8


Some famous UK car companies

Rolls-Royce and Bentley have been owned by VW since 1998

The Mini is owned by BMW

Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by Tata Motors (India)

Who owns the ‘British’ car companies ? https://www.borro.com/uk/borro-blog/british-car-brands-owners

The second biggest car manufacturer is VW. Why are they so big ?http://The second biggest car manufacturer is VW. Why are they so big ?

BMW = beemer

Cadillac = Cadi = gas guzzler (guzzler = drink a LOT!)

Environmental concerns / issues (advanced) http://shanghaiist.com/2017/06/15/polluting-companies.php

Does this news story surprise you ? Is China worse than Vietnam (in your opinion).

recent/ investigate / emission standards / specifically

ignore / strict / established


World’s biggest polluters

Which countries do you think are in the top ten worst ?https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/who-are-the-worlds-biggest-polluters-idUSRTXRKSI

Any surprises here ?

I’m surprised to see …. on the list / make the list

It doesn’t surprise me that …

Identify these tools. What are they used for ?

There is one black and red hammer. It is used …

Adult Mechanics: Olympics – going for gold.

10th February 2019

This is a lesson plan for an adult class I teach comprised mainly of professional engineers and mechanics. The level is mixed, as is natural with all classes, but I would place most students at Intermediate level. In order to boost them to the next stage, I will introduce more expressions, higher vocabulary and more student talking time.

I’ll be trying to implement a CELTA-style plan: ‘Present, Practice, Produce’ (PPP) which basically means I demonstrate some new language, allow the students to practice and then use the language on their own, checking for pronunciation, intonation and context. The key word is PRACTICE; whatever your field, whatever natural talent you may possess, you have to be disciplined and work, train … which brings us (neatly, I thought) to our subject – the Olympics.

Aside – the themes aren’t really that important, they are merely a starting point for learning. Having said that, they have to hold some measure of interest for the student. Allow me to quote the C15th monk John Lydgate, “You can’t please all the people, all of the time.” Even if some of the students aren’t big sports fans, they will at least be aware of the Games, and should find the videos interesting and beneficial.

I’ll begin with a video about the Olympics. It’s aimed at young native speakers, which is helpful for English – learners as the language will be easier to follow. Additionally, it will introduce some European history to my Vietnamese learners, and afford them the chance to listen to native speakers at a natural pace. And now, without further ado, the video:

Video: Listening practice

Try to watch before the lesson, and make a note of any new vocabulary.

listen for: gather together/ for the length of the games/ common ground/ truce

in honour of/ originally/ ancient/ off and on/ alternating / interlocking/ myth/

Questions – Ask each other Speaking practice

When were the first Games ? When were the final (ancient) games held ?

Who was Zeus ?

How many events were there at first ? What events were later added ?

What were winners given ? 

Where and when were the first modern games staged ?

What are the Paralympics ?

What are gold medals made of ?

Why were the five colours of the rings chosen ?

What is the goal of the Olympics ?

“The most important thing is not to win but to take part.” Do you agree ?

Video:

What do you think of the video ? Give positive and negative reactions.

Try to use some of the following expressions:

specular / impressive / co-ordinated / visually stunning / well-organised / you get what you pay for

a waste of money / a drain on natural resources / spectacle but no substance

Team work speaking practice

The Olympics are going to be held in Vietnam. Is this good or bad ?

Divide the class into two teams, one ‘for’, the other ‘against’.

Points to consider:

The cost – how will it be financed ?

How can it generate revenue for Vietnam ?

Impact on the environment 

Does Vietnam have the infrastructure to cope ?

Is south-east Asia a good choice in terms of climate ?

Is Vietnam a good choice ? 

Does it have big cities ? 

Does it have space for an Olympic village ?

What about crime and petty theft ? 

Are the police able to deal with the influx of crowds ?

Do the Vietnamese people care enough about sports ?

Is Vietnam enthusiastic about sports ?

Politics – people from all different countries and political beliefs will arrive. Could that be an issue ?

The legacy – what will happen after the Games are over ?

Raising awareness of Vietnam on the world stage. 

What do people think when they hear ‘Vietnam’ ?

Encourage overseas investors

Is the cost worth it ?https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2012/oct/23/london-2012-olympics-cost-total

This is from a ‘high-brow’ newspaper and quotes a figure of £8.921 billion. Can Vietnam afford this kind of money ? In China, a lot of money went on infrastructure such as improving airports, subways and roads, and it has been claimed that a profit of $146 was generated. However, Montreal took over 30 years to pay off debts incurred by hosting the Olympics.

Part of the London Olympic complex with the athletes village and, in the distance, the Olympic Stadium, now home to West Ham football club.
Sir Paul McCartney at the Olympic opening ceremony in London 2012

What could Vietnam organise for an opening ceremony ?

Make a plan for the next lesson. Think about celebrating the country’s traditions, nature, economy, history, beauty. What would attract people to Vietnam ?

Welcome to Vietnam – the image
Welcome to Vietnam – the reality