Object: encourage creative thinking and sentence building.
Vocabulary: expressions related to money
What would you do IF you were a millionaire ?
What would you do IF you were a millionaire for a day ?
Second conditional – this is used for a situation that is not impossible … but not very probable.
If I had a million pounds, I would … (stop working !)
If you had a billion $, you could … (buy an island)
If + Sub + had …, Sub + would / could
If you had unlimited money, what would you do ?
Plan a luxury day
How would you spend a luxury day ?
To develop narrative writing / speaking – use words/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
To kick off, I would have salmon breakfast at a five-star … no, seven-star hotel. After that, I would go shopping for some suits and ties and then drive around London in a Rolls-Royce car, chauffer-driven, of course.
To take a break from the hustle and bustle, I’d relax at my hotel spa, then go for afternoon tea at another top hotel.
Lastly, I’d round the day off with a helicopter trip around the city and then fly direct to a stadium and go to my VIP (Very Important Person) seat to see one of my favourite bands play live.
OR add your own ideas
Where would you go ? What would you do ? What would you buy ?
Expressions connected to money
A ton of money = very much money
Having money to burn = having more money that someone needs
It costs an arm and a leg = something very expensive
Money talks ! = having money can solve many problems
Rolling in it = having so much money (‘it’ refers to money)
Swanky = slang for very expensive or elegant (it’s a swanky restaurant)
However, as Shakespeare said,
Would money make you happy ?
Can money buy you health, love or happiness … maybe that is for another lesson.
Can I get a bus to the city centre from here ? Is it possible ?
Can you hit the lights, please ? request – turn on/off the lights
Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation
You have to get over 60% or Thay Paul will KYA (kick your ass !) Obligation
Oh, you must see the new Iron Man film. Suggestion
Will you help me with my tieng Viet ? Request
May I go to the party ? Permission
You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Obligation
You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion
You should all read English books. Suggestion
….. I use my mobile phone in class ? Asking permission
You ………. answer all three questions. Obligation
It’s too heavy; …… you help me lift it ?
Don’t wait too long – he ……. not come.
… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?
This activity makes students speak English to each other, exchanging information and giving them practice in taking down facts such as dates, phone numbers etc.
Arrange class into small groups and give them each an information sheet. They take turns reading aloud to their group, using natural rhythms and intonations.
It’s highly probable that other students will not understand all, so they must use some of the following phrases:
I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please.
I didn’t catch your phone number.
Would you mind speaking slower, please.
How do you spell that ?
Let me confirm, your name is …
Hello, I’m calling from Los Angles and I want to know what time does your office open ? I’m arriving on the 10th July so can you meet me at the airport ? My cell is 555 – 0743 – 9291. Also, can you recommend a good hotel downtown ?
Hi, this is Mr Muller from the Berlin office. We are waiting for your design for the Audi components. Could you email them as soon as possible. We have an important presentation on the 12th so we need them.
Hello, I’m looking for … Mr nnngggg yyyyyuun ?? Sorry, I cannot pronounce Vietnamese. This is Jack Ginsberg from the Beijing factory. We cannot meet your order by the deadline. We need at least three more days. Sorry for the inconvenience.
London calling, this is Mr Thompson for Mr Thanh. We need to rearrange the time of our conference Skype call. We must bring it forward to 11 o’clock your time. Hope that is not an issue. Any problems, give me a bell on my office number or drop me an email.
My doctor told me to cut down on fast food and to cut out alcohol completely. I also have to hit the gym, go swimming and take up a sport. I tried jogging but I gave up, it was too damn hot. My girlfriend is always on at me to loose weight.
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.
Shakespeare ‘As You Like It’ Act 2, Scene 7
Just A Minute
Can you speak for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition ?
Students work in pairs, using a stopwatch. One student has to speak for one minute on a subject but must not repeat information, take too long to answer or to speak about different subjects.
school or work / local food / Asian women / great things about your city / bad things in your city / your family / your hometown/ free time
I agree totally / I agree to an extent // I disagree // I disagree strongly
She makes a good point // She misses the point
She is spot on // She is way off // In my experience …
wierd = unusual / strange
Now, your turn. Do you agree with these statements:
Learning English is so important if you want a good job.
People who drink and drive should go to prison.
An African football team will win the World Cup before 2040.
Nobody should have to work more than 25 hours a week.
Men and women should earn the same money for doing the same job.
New Vocabulary / expressions
looking up = getting better (things are looking up).
Since we got a new manager, things are looking up.
Match the basic words on the left with words on the right, then complete the sentences with the right-hand words:
interesting // intelligent
on time // fascinating
forgetful // miserable
tired // punctual
smart (clever) // exhausted
unhappy // absent-minded
John forgot his keys again; he’s so _________
The documentary about ocean life was __________
Tony has been very ____________ since his girlfriend left him.
It would be incredible if Vietnamese students could be __________
ubiquitous = everywhere. In Viet Nam, coffee shops are ubiquitous.
incessant = never ending. The karaoke noise is incessant.
rewarding = doing something that makes you feel better about yourself. Nursing doesn’t pay much but it is tremendously rewarding.
Use these new adjectives with some of these nouns:
coffee shops / motorbikes / Vietjet / construction work / German trains
charity work / AI (artificial intelligence) / swimming / British weather
Meaning, pronunciation, structure
What is happening here?
I am thinking about a holiday.
Meaning: Am I having a holiday ? Where will I go ? Is it certain ? Alone / with friends ?
Pronunciation: In speech, we would contract “I am” to I’m and link “abouta“
Structure: What tense is being used … why ? Will it happen ?
Try these: Make as many questions / possibilities as possible
He’s having his car repaired
She having a dress made
He looked at a new apartment
My cousin will be applying for universities
I’m not sure about taking the new job.
stories that maybe aren’t true but people believe them
[urban = city // rural = countryside // haunted = a place with ghosts ]
Ten scary Vietnamese urban legends:
Project: Do you know any of these tales / legends ?
Do you know any other Vietnamese legends ?
Have you even been to the places in HCM City ?
Painting by Ferdinand keller ‘Scheherazade und Sultan Schariar’ (1880).
The main frame story concerns Shahryār ruling in “India and China”. He is shocked to learn that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering that his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed.
In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him.
Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees.
On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. This goes on for 1,001 nights.
This is quite a long introduction; how could you reduce it to three sentences ?
A good way to keep a conversation going (to continue speaking) is by asking questions.
Look at this picture, then try to ask questions using:
who / where / when / why / how / what / do \ did / which whose ?
Who are they ?
Where do you think they are ?
How do they know each other ?
Be creative ! Make up a story about them; are any of them boyfriend/girlfriend ? How did they meet ? What do they have in common ?
who = people (Who is the pretty lady ?)
where = places (Where were you born ?)
which = things (Which motorbike is more reliable ?)
whose = possessives (Whose iPhone is this ?)
The Asian lady, whose name is Zhi, is studying Law.
Zhi, who was born in China, has lived in London for one year.
Ask each other about their day or their weekend
How was your day ? How was your weekend ?
good. On the other hand …
Today was so-so because ……….. However ……….
terrible ! Despite that
horrible / awful / dreadful
boring / tedious
My weekend was …
Today was terrible because I overslept and had no coffee. However in the evening, I have football on TV so I feel very happy.
Notice how the passage mixes past tense (‘was terrible’) with present (‘I have’ …. ‘I feel.’)
How was your day ? (use past tense)
Today, I was very happy at work because I got my salary as well as a bonus (extra money).
When do you get your salary ? When do you get paid ?
Salary = career, professional job – usually once a month
Paid – for a job, can be daily, weekly, monthly – low-income job
Building longer sentences:
Relative pronouns – who (person), which (thing), where (place).
Adverbs – add information
Opinions – I feel, I believe, in my opinion, from my point of view.
Turn and link – but, although, however, having said that
I teach at public school which can be extremely tiring because there are many students who, I feel, do not want to learn. Having said that, there are also many wonderfully gifted students who make me feel happy.
(I have taught in two different public schools. As in the above Google Images stock photo, we had a blackboard and chalk, fans, not air-con, and windows open onto the street or the quad where students would play sports or keep fit or synchronised shouting. However, my classes were seldom as organised as this, and I often had forty-plus students. )
Make long sentences by answering these questions:
What are you working on at the moment ?
Do you enjoy your latest project ?
Would you like to work abroad ?
Is it good to have a car in a city ?
Can you live without a motorbike in Sai Gon ?
How important is the internet in your life ?
Try to make a short presentation on a subject of your choice.
Include adverbs and adjectives, new vocabulary, idioms, phrasal verbs – parts of English that you have learnt so far.
Examples – family / music / films / motorbikes / your childhood / myths of your home country
Many people ask how to progress from intermediate level to becoming fluent in English. One way is to learn collocations – these are groups of words that usually go together to make a new meaning – and so much of everyday English is made up of collocations, idioms, slang, colloquialisms etc.
Collocations – ‘make’
In the above paragraph I used ‘made up’. This is a good example.
‘Made up’ came means invented (we make up a story to tell children) & it can mean containing (my fb group is made up from people from all over the world). We can use it in the past tense or present – ‘made’ or ‘make’.
You probably know some phrasal verbs; If two people argue then become friends again, they make up. When a woman puts on lipstick, she is using makeup.
Here are some common collocations with ‘make’:
Make up your mind (decide about something).
Make dinner / make a sandwich.
Make time (find some spare time to do something).
Make it through the night (be able to do something after some bad news OR keep working for a very long time).
Make it through a long book (finish it, read it to the end).
Try these exercise … use make / made / make up / made up.
‘Infinite Jest’ is a very long book but I ……. my way through it.
I forgot my homework, so I had to ………. a story to tell my teacher.
When you come home, can you …… dinner for the children.
My teeth hurt; can you …… an appointment at the dentist for ?
The architect Gaudi never used to …… his buildings with straight lines.
Should I wear the black or green tie ? I can’t …… my mind.
This is so confusing ! I don’t know what to ……. of it.
Your room is so messy – can’t you even ….. your bed ?
You kids ….. me crazy !
I ………. a pig’s ear of the whole business (past tense – to do something completely wrong).
I did OK in the test, but ……. some silly mistakes.
He drank several coffees to help him …… it through the night shift.
the cat out/ the fire out / on your red shoes /on a happy face
it in your own words / up or shut up ! / it away / it another way
well soon / over it ! / on with it / away with murder / on the bus /
stuffed ! (impolite) / with the program (US) / some fresh air
a career move / your move / a pig’s ear of something /a wish /
up for lost time / the best of something / fun of someone
the right thing / away with that old technology / your best /
a funny walk / the dishes / your hair
it on ! / it to me / “my bow of burning gold” (poem) / about change
it up at the next meeting / a smile to my face / up children well
turns speaking / it up with the manager / up my trousers a little /
a good look at yourself / a hike ! / medicine / a deep breathe
What do these collocations suggest ?
Widely available // routine check-up
disperse the crowd // boost employment
catch up with the news / / catch up with friends
Find longer definitions for these collocations.
Adequate supplies to meet demand
Major turning point
Set realistic aims
Cause insurmountable difficulties
1) Enough things so that everyone that wants one can have one
2) Know what you want to do but it must not be too much for you to be able to do it.
3) Make problems which people will not be able to solve or cause problems that people are not able to work properly.
4) A very important moment when things changed completely
5) A new book, similar to the old one but with more up-to-date information, or mistakes have been corrected.
Boss Jim, can I see you for a minute ? It’s about your punctuality.
Jim Sorry, Boss, I’ll make up the lost time after work.
Boss Damn right you will. Now, what was this email about ? I couldn’t make sense of it.
Jim I made a few mistakes because I rushed. I wanted to make sure you read it.
Boss You made a right pig’s ear of it ! Anyway, have you made your mind up yet ?
Jim About the new job ? Well, the other company made me a fantastic offer.
Boss I’m not giving you a raise; I’m not made of money ! Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Jim I’ll make my decision later and let you know.
Boss If you leave here, you’ll be making a big mistake, Buster !
Many people over the years have tried to buy the Mask of Tutankhamen from the Egyptian Museum, but unsurprisingly the authorities here believe it is priceless so they won’t sell it
Ebenezer Scrooge was such a stingy man, so much so that in English, we sometimes use the word Scrooge to describe people with this characteristic (who are like this). A miser is someone who hates spending any money.
He spent a lot of money on what he thought was a gold watch but when he had it valued, it turned out to be worthless.
I sometimes disagree with stall holders, so I haggle which sometimes gets the price down
Big companies like Pepsi make a killing. They should put their prices down. I sometimes like to splash out on new clothes, but not very often
When I was a student I didn’t have enough money to live on so I took out an overdraft at the bank. I paid it all off in the end (finally)
The men were sent to prison for forgery, that is, making counterfeit money
This dialogue has a lot of expressions and phrases.
Joe Hi Bill. Why so glum ? You look down in the dumps.
Bill Oh, just worrying about money. The cost of living keeps going up …
Joe And our wages stay the same. Tell me about it. I’ve had to economise.
Bill Same here; no more beer or Highlands coffee. I feel so stingy !
Joe I always haggle at the market now, try to get the price down. I hate being ripped off.
Bill I’m worried about paying off my overdraft. The interest alone is crippling me.
Joe We should invest in land. My friend sold some land recently and made a killing.
Bill But we’ll need money to invest in the first place. Then there’s always bills.
Joe Yes, my bike’s in the shop, so I’m having to use Grabbike and that ain’t cheap !
2. This is to practice wedding and money phrases.
Tom Congratulations ! You’re finally tying the knot and getting spliced.
Bob Yeah, it’s time to settle down. I’ve taken out a mortage and a loan for the wedding.
Tom It must be costing you an arm and a leg: catering, hall, flowers, photos, invitations.
Bob Absolutely, I’ve withdrawn all my saving and gone into the red. I hate being overdrawn; the interest is sky-high. And, not forgetting, the honeymoon.
Tom You can put down a deposit and pay later. Cheer up ! Don’t be a Scrooge
Bob That’s easy for you to say. I’m gonna be broke and in debt … until I retire !
Use more interesting adverbs and linking words e.g.
although / as well as / somewhat / therefore
Rearrange these basic sentences to make more interesting ones (we use ‘one’ as a pronoun for the noun instead of repeating ourselves)
I went to the market today. I bought fish and chicken and vegetables.
Today I bought fish, chicken as well as vegetables in the market.
Last night I stayed at home because it was raining.
It was raining last night therefore I stayed at home.
I saw the new action film. It was a little boring.
Peter was tired but he met his friends for a drink.
Sophie studied very hard. She passed her test.
For western people, Thailand is cheap. Vietnam is cheaper.
To help you improve your speaking skills, here is a small project:
Write a short piece about something you love or adore.
Start with an introduction
Say why you like it
Maybe tell some history or an anecdote (a short, personal story)
Give some examples
End with a short conclusion
I love all types of music, but one of my favourites is Jazz. It can be exciting, or slow, but it’s always different.
Unlike other types of music, Jazz is spontaneous. This means that you never hear the same song the same way; each performance is different.
Jazz started in New Orleans but moved up to Chicago, New York and even west to California. The first records were made in 1917 and the first true Jazz genius was Louis Armstrong. If you want to hear jazz, you should listen to his records from the 1920s.
You may know some famous Jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. I can recommend these musicians to you as first-rate examples of Jazz.
I hope this has made you curious about Jazz, and that you go online to listen for yourself. Who knows, maybe you too will learn to love Jazz.
good as gold / butter wouldn’t melt in his\her mouth / a little rascal / a handful
well-behaved / a little madam / a young gentleman / full of him\herself
What are the pros and cons (The benefits and drawbacks ) ofhaving children ?
Pros: makes us responsible / patient / sometimes they can be funny
they can enrich our lives
Cons: sometimes they misbehave ( are naughty) / no free time / they need a lot of energy / need a lot of money for toys, sweets, uniform, books, equipment.
Is there pressure from family to have children in your culture ?
Niece (girl) and nephew (boy) = children of my brother/sister
How would you describe these children ?
She has an angelic smile.
Remember – for sentence building, use adjectives and discourse markers (linking words or phrases). Never start with a pronoun (she, it, he, they) but say what the subject is – in this example, the subject is a girl. Now we can keep building up more information:
The girl has an angelic smile.
The young girl has blonde hair and an angelic smile.
The young girl, who has long straight blonde hair, has lovely big green-grey eyes, and is smiling angelically. She wears a multi-coloured T-shirt as well as some flowers around the neckline.
Now – your turn:
Here, you can also add some verbs and background information. Where do you think he is ? How is he feeling ? Who taught him this behaviour ? Do you think his mother is with him ?
These young gentleman attend a very expensive, possibly elitist, private school. Such schools are named ‘public schools’ in the UK. they include Eton, Harrow and Gordonstoun.
How would you describe the emotions / feelings of these people ?
FREE SPEAKING: What is a traditional wedding in your country ?
In the UK and many western countries, the bridegroom waits in the church next to the Best Man, who has the rings. The church music starts and the Bride walks down the aisle next to her father, who will ‘give her away.’ Behind the Bride are her Bridesmaids. The Vicar will start the service. At the end, the Bride and Groom kiss.
Pictures of typical UK wedding.
Identify Bride, groom, best man, vicar, bridesmaids, father of the bride.
The lady speaks slowly and clearly; try to understand without subtitles.
to consider / to decide / to weigh up (phrasal verb) / to mull over [all mean ‘to think about’]
let me sleep on it (idiom = need time to think).
the final call / the final decision on a subject
logistics (n) // logistical (adj) organising people at the same time.
co-ordinating // arranging things to happen at the same or at an arranged time
It’s a logistical nightmare ! (very hard to co-ordinate all the different factors).
likewise / also, in the same way
therefore / so, for that reason
value for money /deciding if something is good quality and good price.
a multitude / so many
not to mention / additionally, adding a stronger point (expression)
potential minefield / an area of possible dangers and serious trouble (metaphor)
There are a multitude of things to consider when organising a wedding. The tasks range from choosing the dress and accessories, to booking the cars and flowers, not to mention the potential minefield of the food. What do people like to eat, what do they hate ? Are they on special diets, do they have allergies, are they restricted by religious considerations ?
What sort of things have to be planned for a successful wedding ?
Put them in order of importance – if that is possible ! (they are ALL important)
These vary (change) from country to country, but a traditional UK wedding would be something like this:
A church for a Christian service (synagogue for Jewish, mosque for Moslems)
Vicar to perform the service
Bride and Groom
Bridesmaids and Best Man
Father of the Bride
Order of Service
The minister will give plenty of advice on hymns to choose, but order of service is basically broken into six parts:
Entrance of the bride,
Hymns, marriage vows and prayers
Hymn or psalm blessing
Signing the register
Leaving for the reception (party, lunch)
As the party leaves the church, the order should be bride and groom, chief bridesmaid and best man, bride’s mother and bridegroom’s father, bridegroom’s mother and bride’s father, bridesmaids and other attendants.
At the party or reception, people are usually told where to sit. Before the food, there are a number of speeches. Some are serious, but the Best Man usually makes a humorous one, saying funny things about the Groom :