Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Describing people

27th May 2020

Adjectives to describe people

Bob Dylan Announces New Album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Shares New ...

What are your first impressions of the man above, Mr Bob Dylan. What do you think of first – his appearance or his personality ? Probably the way he looks.

First impressions count

Today we’re having an advanced class using new words and expressions to describe both the physical and personality attributes of famous musicians.

So, as a warm up, how would you describe Mr Bob Dylan ?

Start with his looks, which are more factual, though subjective (i.e. to some young people, he will look ancient, while to older people, he may look distinguished and wise).

Then, tell me what you think he is like. You probably don’t know Mr Dylan, personally, so you can’t say, “He is incredibly friendly,” or, “He is extremely stand-offish.”

Therefore, you must employ opinion phrases:

He seems to be …

In my opinion …

I don’t know him personally, but I would say he is …

However, would it surprise you to know that Mr Dylan won the Noble Prize for Literature in 2016, and that his music has been unbelievably influential all over the world ?

The many lives of Bob Dylan | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle ...
Mr Bob Dylan receiving an award from President Obama

Your Turn:

I will show you some photos of rock stars, and you will practice sentence building. tell me what they look like, and what you think they are like as people. Can you explain why ? Finally, to practice complex sentence, I will give you basic information, and you have to incorporate these facts into long sentences using discourse markers and relative pronouns.

New Vocabulary: Look up any words you don’t know

Negative

unreliable // aggressive // arrogant // dishonest // talkative // stingy // selfish // rude // nasty // lazy // over-rated

Very positive

inspirational // role-modal // intellectual // philosophical //down to earth // influential // under-rated

Adjectives to describe appearance

tall // giant // diminutive // medium height // average height //

fat // overweight // chubby // slim // thin // skinny // bony // anorexic-looking

blonde hair = fair // brown hair = brunette // red hair = redhead

hair – straight // curly // wavy // crew-cut (army, very short) // bald //

freckles // wrinkles // crow’s feet // scars // spots 

normal-looking // weird- looking // looks more dead than alive // bags under eyes

How would you describe these rock stars ?

David Bowie 1947 – 2016
Keith Richards (@officialKeef) | Twitter
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones born 1943
Peter Mars Gets Groovy with Jerry Garcia Collab | licenseglobal.com
Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead 1942 – 1995
Robert Johnson and The Crossroads in African and African American ...
Robert Johnson, legendary Blues man 1911 – 1938
Wake County Schools on Twitter: "She'd be so proud of the ...
Dolly Parton born 1946
Johnny Rotten on Museum of Arts and Design's Punk Exhibit ...
Johnny Rotten (John Lydon) born 1956

Johnny Rotten, Real name John Lydon. Born 1956. Was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978. Formed band PIL. Changed name back to Lydon. Married Nora Forster in 1979. He was going to be on the Pan Am flight that crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland. He wrote a book, published in 2008.

John Lydon, who performed under the name Johnny Rotten while he was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978, is married to Nora Forster, and has been married since 1979. After leaving the Sex Pitols, he formed a new band, PIL, and had a book published in 2008. He escaped certain death by missing his flight on the doomed Pan Am flight that exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland.

Look at how much information I pack into the first, complex sentence:

Name – John Lydon

Stage name – Johnny Rotten

Band name – Sex Pistols

Time of band – 1975 – 1979

Marital status – married

Wife’s name – Nora Forster

How long married – since 1979

Now – how does he look ? Friendly ? Sweet and quiet ? What do you think ?

Make complex sentences:

David Bowie born 1947 and died 2016. Born in Brixton, south London. First big record was ‘Space Oddity’ in 1969. Record was in the Top 5. ‘Ziggy Stardust’ was released in 1972. It was incredibly influential. Many musicians say it is one of their favourite records. In 1976 he was in a film called ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth.’ In 1977 he moved to Berlin, Germany and made two important records, ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes.’ He was married to the super model Iman. She is Somali-American. Bowie made records up until his death in 2016. He died of Cancer.

Choose a musician; what do you think they are like ?

Which one would you like to meet, and why ?

Which one makes music you would like to hear ?

If these musicians are too old for you, tell the class about your favourite modern musician. Is it …

T-ARA sau 2 năm đóng băng hoạt động: người chăm chỉ đóng phim ...
CD9 (band) - Wikipedia
CD9 from Mexico
2
SANAM from India

Now, a last word from Neil Young:

KEEP ON ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD Poster | Orange | Keep Calm-o-Matic

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Grammar Review

20th May 2020

I usually start a class with a review or warm up exercise, so here’s a selection of short activities.

English School EC London - English Courses for all Ages

Subject:

Adverbs (frequency & probability)

For / since / ago / already

Past Perfect & Past Perfect Continuous

Phrasal verbs

Re-writing sentences

Quick-fire corrections

Verbs into nouns

Vocabulary booster

Adverbs

Notice how a native speaker will alter the sound of the adverb, from a high ‘always’ to a deep ‘never’.

Encourage the construction of sentences with this exercise

always

usually / often

sometimes

rarely

never

Subject + adverb + verb + object …. when ?

I always drink coffee … in the morning

I usually read books … after work

I sometimes go swimming … in the afternoon

I rarely study Vietnamese … ever

I never play music … late at night (OK, maybe sometimes)

NOW … Your turn

Have students work in pairs, making their own sentences. Weaker students can copy the examples, but stronger ones are expected to introduce different vocabulary.

Listen out for the final -s sound, notably in sometimes

Similarly, introduce adverbs of probability

definitely

probably

possibly

unlikely

definitely not !

It will definitely rain soon

He will probably be late tonight

I will possibly go shopping after class

It’s unlikely that he will play for Barcelona, ever OR He is unlikely to play for Barcelona, ever.

I will never go back to that terrible restaurant.

Past perfect simple

Past <____X________X__________Present_________>Future

Something happened before another action BOTH in the past

Sub + had + past participle : I had seen the film before I read the book

She had finished the test before I was even half way through it !

Had you visited the museum before Jane arrived ?

BUT there is a time gap

past perfect continuous

something was happening when another thing started

Sub + had + been + verbing // I had been playing games when he called

How do you Find the Best Video Games for your Child to Play
I was playing games AND THEN the phone rang.

You had been laughing until she stopped you.

No laughing matter: Critics and audiences debate whether Joker and ...

Had you been waiting long when she emailed you ?

Waiting for an Email from Recruiters? Read This | Blog | TalentWorld

NOW … Your turn

Write sentences using the past perfect continuous for these photos:

Kids crash their parent's teleconference call - YouTube

Man on Skype … then his daughter walks in

SEAGULL ATTACK: Fury as angry seagull targets man because he's ...

Just looking at the church … then a bird attacked

for / since / ago / already

I have lived in HCM … 4 years // She has been here … 2014

We came here 7 hours … // They have … seen the film

Students – make four sentences, using the four words

Quick fire corrections

Maths is / are very exciting and beautiful. History is / are fascinating

There is not many / much space in my car. Mr James has much / many fb friends

Can you buy a few / some milk  and a few / some oranges ?

Rewriting sentences

Tony started in 2010. will By 2025, Tony will have been working here for 15 years.

Pam went to Japan and is returning in June. the It’s the second time that Pam’s been to Japan

I woke at 10am and have worked all day. will

By 6 pm, I …………………. for 8 hours

Julie has never seen Star Wars before.   the

It’s ………………… she’s seen Star Wars

Verbs into nouns

Assist / reside / help / inspire / exhaust / attract / repute / inhabit / enthusiastic 

One verb doesn’t change its form

Phrasal Verbs

Call in sick   //  call off // call back //   call out // calm down // take under consideration //     bottle up

Live up to //  look down on //  move out // move on up //   settle in // settle down // settle up //  start off

Students – use as many of these phrasal verbs as you can.

Alternately, hold a contest. Put class into teams. Give them a minute or two to do the activity.

Vocabulary booster

Students confused over Japanese school banning ponytails for ...
Is she about to fly soon ?

Anxiety   // eagerness  // enthusiasm // fear  // joy // optimism

The students are sure they will pass. There is a lot of …………

Flying can cause ……….

Horror films use people’s love of …..  to entertain

Can you remember the ……………… we had for collecting comics ?

Character or personality ?

Are they real people or characters in a film or book ?

Brad Pitt / Iron Man / Hamlet / Donald Trump / Ronaldo / James Bond

What Happens When an Assignment Is Unclear? | The Teaching Professor

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: USA … sun, surf & sand.

18th May 2020

Holidays Stateside

Surfin' USA! On the trail of the Beach Boys in the sun-kissed ...
The Beach Boys exemplified the American dream of fun, fun, fun !

You are going to the USA. How will you prepare ?

Before you go 

What do you need to do ? Use the following words to build long sentences with linking words (also, as well as) and adverbs (extremely, absolutely, quite):

research // compare // vaccination // insurance // thermal underwear // sunblock // visa // traveller’s cheques // adapter // currency // medication reservation route // travel books (fiction and/or guides)

EXAMPLE: Before I book my ticket, I will need to research flight prices online as some airlines charge considerable more than others.

Look at this website:

http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com/blog/top-20-travel-gift-ideas-2016/

30 Inspiring Gap Year Travel Ideas
Meeting the locals is part of the travel experience

[A ‘gap – year’ is when young people travel before, or during, their university studies. It creates a gap – a space – between school and university or between the three or four years of study.]

Make a short presentation – what do you think of the items ? 

Which do you consider to be:

essential / useful / unnecessary / a waste of space ! / totally useless

You are allowed to choose five items – which would you choose and why ?

GRAMMAR

‘Have to’ and ‘must’

When packing, which items do you HAVE TO bring ? Which items MUST you bring ?

Remember: have to = requirement // must = personal choice

EXAMPLE: to travel, I have to bring my passport and I must buy some shampoo.

Travelling to USA

Usa Tourism Map - Tourism Company and Tourism Information Center

Make a list. Be sure to include paperwork, important personal items and non-essential personal items.

I have to bring // I must bring

At passport control

You will hear questions like these. Write them down. Practise asking and answering: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=RFV0hZpmmr4&index=1&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM

However, where to go ?

The USA is enormous, stretching from the sun-kissed Hawaiian Islands to the bitter winters of New England.

Tahitian woman making the traditional welcome gesture. Polynesian ...
Aloha from Hawaii
5 Winter Activities in Portland Maine That Will Get You in the ...
Winter in Maine

In the next blog, we’ll focus on three cities: Boston, Chicago & San Francisco … what do you know about them ?

Have a good day 🙂

I miss you already

Always See You Later Never Goodbye SVG, JPEG, High Definition, DXF ...

Cheerful young female african american college student waving ...

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Cultural differences

24th April 2020

IELTS Examination Jakarta

This blog is aimed at IELTS level students, or anyone who wants to learn how to speak or write in longer sentences.

This involves the use of complex sentences and discourse markers. Furthermore, a wide vocabulary is necessary to prevent repetition and to maintain interest as well as, of equal importantance, to make you feel that you are able to express what you really want to say.

One must not forget that when speaking, intonation, stress and body language will all help to make you sound more like a native-speaker.

To recap, a complex sentence uses different clauses (part of a whole sentence) to make a longer, more interesting sentence.

(I will write a blog just about complex sentences, with examples and exercises, in the near future)

Example: Thay Paul plays guitar. Thay Paul is from London. London is the capital of the UK

Thay Paul, who plays guitar, is from London which is the capital of the UK.

The bold text is the main clause, the plain text is a supporting clause. Which and Who are relative pronouns (Paul = who, & which links London to “capital of the UK”). Therefore, we have three pieces of information in one complex sentence.

Discourse markers link ideas together. Look out for ‘although’, ‘therefore’, ‘furthermore’ which should all be part of your everyday vocabulary.

For vocabulary, you can look at your work; could you replace a basic word with a better one ? Make use of a thesaurus, and note down any new words you encounter.

Now, moving on, today’s theme is cultural differences. This doesn’t have to mean travelling to a different country or continent, but even in the same country. For example, one of my neighbours told me about a business trip she took. Ms Phuong is from south Vietnam, but she had to travel to Ha Noi in the north. This is her account of the journey:

BIS Hanoi Students Ambassadors Raise Focus on Sustainable Issues ...

I asked Ms Phuong to tell me what happened.

What to do in Hanoi for 5 days – Hanoi guide for first-time ...
Hanoi old quarter

Last week I went to Hanoi and it was partly business, partly pleasure.

I wanted her to elaborate:

I went to Hanoi, last week, and it was partly business, partly pleasure. Although my expectations were low it turned out to be a greatly rewarding experience.

That was a great introduction, please continue:

I have mixed feelings

I was curious, so I allowed Ms Phuong ten minutes to gather her thoughts, write notes, then tell me:

I have a love-hate relationship, as I believe many south Vietnamese do, with Hanoi. On one hand, I really enjoy the cuisine, the flowers and the colonial architecture. Good points notwithstanding, I have one serious issue with the city and that is the work culture.

Being born in the south, I am used to long working hours, up to ten hours a day and, if need be, working on Saturday mornings. Southern workers tend to be highly focused on work and are always seeking ways to improve their performance. In contrast, workers based in the north seem to lack such a strong work ethic. The working day is limited (is capped) to eight-hours a day and, in my experience, this is a common practice. Furthermore, staff frequently go out for refreshment or leave early.

I noticed this while I was living in Hanoi, and when I return to the city on business. Fortunately, my staff comply with a strict office working policy; I encounter this issue when dealing with suppliers. I have to waste time waiting which makes me feel frustrated as there is nothing I can do to expedite matters.

NOW – what did you make of Ms Phuong’s answer ? I’m speaking in terms of the English, not necessarily the point she makes about Ha Noi.

(make of = think about).

How many complex sentences did you notice ? How about discourse markers ? Were there any words you didn’t know ?

Ho Chi Minh City - Wikitravel
Work meetings are more about therapy than productivity, study ...

Oh, no … we are not finished, not by a long chalk (not by a long way). Now it’s your turn. Write a short piece based on cultural differences or, if you prefer, write a rebuttal to Ms Phuong’s experience.

Guidance:

A short introduction

First point with reasons to support your view.

A contrary (opposite) view.

Short conclusion.

For those studying for IELTS, read it to yourself, and use a stopwatch … can you speak for two minutes ?

Say “Good bye” với 10 cách thú vị và ý nghĩa - EIV Education

Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Dali, DaDa and Surrealism

23rd April 2020

Dali

EXERCISE: What do you think of this painting ? It is by Salvador Dali; what do you know about him ? Prepare a short presentation for next class 🙂

The Persistence of Memory 1931

How to ‘read’ a painting.

Firstly, as with a poem, the title, not to mention the time it was created, can supply us with vital clues and information.

Memory – how well can you remember what you did last night ? Maybe last week ? Last year ? How about what you did at junior school or even, what are your earliest memories ?

Our memories can be unreliable, a mixture of truth, half-truths and maybe fabrications. Therefore, Dali could be saying that the past, as we remember it, may not be the truth – it can be distorted, warped or mutated.

This can be shown by the main subjects: watches. The closed (protected ?) watch is overrun with ants. Could this mean that the ‘truth’ will never be revealed ?

The remaining watches appear to have melted. Have they stopped ? We can see that two of the watches show different times.

What do you associate with watches; time, naturally. Is Dali warning us about how fast time flies, or how we can so easily waste time ? Alternately, is the artist pointing out that human time is nothing compared to time in the universe, which is measured in millions of years and light years ?

How about the image in the centre ? This looks like a self-portrait, also distorted, of Dali himself:

A new Florida art installation reanimates Salvador Dalí - Axios

The ‘Dali’ portrait is covered by a distorted watch. Could Dali be telling us how he feels his own mortality – his time left on Earth – or is he being forced down by forces beyond his control – how we can’t escape time ?

Such possibilities show how we can interpret a work of art.

We can say anything we feel provided we can support our ideas.

This makes for some very interesting points of view; even if we don’t agree with the point, we can appreciate the argument.

Now let’s focus on the colour and background. Dali was born in the Catalonia region of Spain, and take a look at this photo of the coastline:

Catalonia Discovery - cycling & walking in Catalonia | Inntravel

Do you see, it is not entirely unlike the cliffs in the top right of the painting.

Additionally, we have what appears to be the natural realities of sea and sky.

This mixture of reality and distorted, dream-like images is termed Surrealism. It is not pure fantasy, nor is it strict reality, but a hybrid (mix) of the two.

How about the tree ? It looks dead, destroyed, more like a human skeleton. This could be a reference to the horrors of World War I (1914 – 1918), when vast areas of French forest were bombed and shelled into grotesque nightmares worlds:

Woods in Wartime - Trees on the Front Line - Picturing the Great ...
Photograph by Frank Hurley: ‘Chateau Wood 1917’

Interestingly, many of my young students now interpret the tree in environmental terms, how nature is being destroyed by deforestation, by pollution, by human encroachment on the land.

I find that to be a justification for the importance of art; we project our own concerns and issues, factors that affect our current lives onto art that may have been created hundreds of years ago. The art still speaks to us.

SIDE EXERCISE: Which do you prefer, the painting or the photo ? Or, develop your argument to state the positives of both.

Now, let’s move on to the colours. What do you associate, or what is the symbolism of bright blues and yellows ? Conversely, what do you think of when you see dark colours, deep browns and black ?

Finally, let’s focus on the ‘Dali’ image; it is placed at the centre of the painting, like a sun in a solar system about which, everything moves. We have a hybrid of reality (sky, sea, cliffs) and surreal images (the melted, disfigured watches) not forgetting the (war-scarred ?) tree, both real and surreal.

With Dali being the central image, is the painting saying that is a view of Dali’s imagination ? Maybe a dream (don’t dream have a surreal quality ?), maybe his statement on how the world is going ?

All things considered, how do you react now ? Is this optimistic or pessimistic ? Do you consider it realistic or fantastic or surreal ?

Now you try

Dada

Dada | Definition & History | Britannica

I previously mentioned World War I. For the first time, war was industrialised, soldiers died in incomprehensible numbers from heavy artillery, bombs, machine guns, gas, flame-throwers, airplane attacks, as well as hand to hand fighting.

Despite the huge loss of life the politicians and leaders persisted in fighting. As a reaction to this madness, a new art movement was formed in Switzerland, central Europe, and was named Dada.

The Dada artists wanted to attack all in modern life that had lead to, and was prolonging, the war.

In my home city, London, we have a great Museum with a significant Dada collection. If you’re interested, here’s a link: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/d/dada

What do you think of these ? Analyse them and DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION

Man Ray, ‘Cadeau’ 1921, editioned replica 1972
Man Ray Cadeau 1921
Dada Movement Overview and Key Ideas | TheArtStory
Marcel Duchamp LHOOQ 1919
idesign dadaismphongtraonghethuatdada 07
George Grosz ‘The Pillars of Society’ 1926

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Food

19th April 2020

To whet your appetite, have a look at these traditional British dishes. Do you know what they are ?

Top left: Sunday roast – roast meat, potatoes, vegetables and yorkshire pudding.

Top Right: cornish pasty – baked pastry filled with meat, potatoes and carrots.

Bottom Left: traditional English breakfast – fried bacon, sausage, egg, tomato and mushrooms, with baked beans and toast.

Bottom right: fish and chips, with mushy peas (the green paste in the small bowl).

Idioms and collocations 

Food Idioms Bulletin Board Kit by Apples to Zippers | TpT

tea / cherries / nutshell / cucumber / carrot

Growing up is hard, life isn’t always a bowl of _________ . 

He walked in, as cool as a _________ , and told the boss he wanted a pay rise.

We’re going to try using a _________ and stick approach 

I’m not a fan of karaoke, it’s not my cup of _________ at all. 

To put it in a _________ , philosophy is very difficult.

Answers at end of the blog

Language

Prefer and rather

Which do you prefer ? Which would you rather eat ?

Spicy Chicken Curry for the Slow Cooker | A Glug of Oil
20 Meat and Potato Dishes You Need to Make This Father's Day

I prefer Indian food to English food. I’d rather have a good spicy curry than boring old meat and potatoes. 

Now you try: Which do you prefer … which would you rather have ?

Greek Salad Recipe (VIDEO) - NatashasKitchen.com
Greek salad
Pot Noodles prove too much for Japanese taste buds | SoraNews24 ...
Instant noodles

Traditional British Christmas. What do you think of this food ?

Christmas menu: Classic dinner | BBC Good Food

Roast turkey with stuffing, roast vegetables (sprouts, carrots, potatoes, parsnips), baked ham

Traditional British Christmas Pudding (a Make Ahead, Fruit and ...
The 8 Best British Christmas Desserts
Our most indulgent vegan Christmas desserts | BBC Good Food

Christmas pudding with brandy cream, mince pies, gingerbread men

What traditional food do you eat in your country ?

Sentence building

What is the most unusual food you have tried ?

Challenge Your Taste Buds With Beijing's Top 10 Most Unusual Foods ...

As a Brit abroad I have often had comments and questions, such as, ‘So what do you actually eat ?’, ‘I hear British food isn’t so great …’ or ‘Do you even have a traditional meal ?’ At first I thought this was just a stereotype that existed in Europe, but I have recently begun to ask myself, is our food really that bad?

In comparison to our neighbours, British food has never been seen as a delicacy like French cuisine. Perhaps when people think of British food they think of sandwiches, or the simple and unhealthy fish and chips. Although perhaps simple and unhealthy, fish and chips is delicious, as is a cornish pasty(meat and vegetables in pastry).

We have a meal for breakfast: the incredible combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and bread (the cooked Breakfast), we have a meal for Sundays (roast lunch) with meat, vegetables and gravy (sauce), and we even have a tradition for between lunch and dinner (afternoon tea) with the two best things: cake and tea.

So it may be because I’ve eaten British food all my life, but I personally think that it is much better than its reputation!

4 Best Afternoon Teas in Hong Kong - Where to Go for High Tea in ...

Vocabulary to learn: look these up if you don’t know the meaning.

in comparison to …

stereotype

delicacy

cuisine

combination

reputation

Idioms:

bowl of cherries / cool as a cucumber / carrot and stick / not my cup of tea / in a nutshell.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Art – what do you think ?

13th April 2020

Giving Opinions

The following is a list of opinion phrases, aimed at expanding your vocabulary as well as enabling you to practise the linking sounds required in order to sound like a native speaker.

“In my experience…” // “As far as I’m concerned…”

“I’m absolutely convinced…” // “Speaking for myself…”

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

“I’d say that…” // “I’d suggest that…”

“I’d like to point out that…” // “I believe that…”

“What I mean is…” // “It’s obvious to me…”

“It seems to me …” “This could possibly …”

What do you think of the following works of art ?

The Last Supper by Leonardo 1490s

As far as I’m concerned, this mural painting is one of the greatest achievements of European culture.

Personally, I think the painting is overrated. I can’t see what is so special about it.

Now, your turn. Use the above expressions; what do you think about …

Dance at Bougival by Renoir 1883
Chinese landscape
Man Pointing by Giacometti 1947
Socialist Realism from Viet Nam
Starry Night by Van Gogh 1889
Lobster Telephone by Dali 1936
Traditional Korean Painting. Life Of Ordinary People Painting ...
Traditional Korean painting
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Hirst 1991

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Remembering April 30th

5th April 2020

WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS IMAGES OF WAR THAT ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG READERS

April 30th is a national holiday in Vietnam. My Vietnamese students should know why, other students can probably guess.

A Guide to Vietnam's Reunification Day | Student Exchange Vietnam ...
Vietnam celebrates 40th anniversary of Saigon's fall

Describe this photo:

What is the subject ? What is the background and history ? Why is this picture significant ?

What happened after this snapshot?

background– recent story or history to some event.

significant (adjective) – very important or large. 

significance (noun) / significantly (adverb)

snapshot– a moment in a photo – captured by time.

In this photo we can clearly see …

The photo shows …

The photo depicts …

Vocabulary:

war / conflict / civil war / agent orange / reunification / peace treaty / ceasefire / chemical warfare / the seat of government / reeducation / education growth / Le Duan / public opinion / anti-war sentiments / Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC / My Lai / Kim Phuc

Use the above vocabulary to describe the following photos. Organise your thoughts, then employ discourse markers to link your ideas together.

If you are not certain, you may use expressions such as:

I’m not entirely sure, but I think …

This would seem to show …

I’m not familiar with this image …

Practice speaking in complex sentences by using relative pronouns (who, where, which, whose)

Bác Hồ đã chọn đúng những vị trí lãnh đạo | Báo Dân trí

A picture of Le Duan with Ho Chi Minh (top) and Mao Zedong (bottom). Vietnamese students can read more here: https://baotiengdan.com/2020/02/21/le-duan-va-chien-tranh-bien-gioi-1979/

Effects on Environment - Defoliants Used During the Vietnam War
What does this landscape depict ?
Give Peace a Chance | Dissent Magazine
What is going on here ? Where is this taking place ?
The Paris Peace Accords - The Vietnam War - Edexcel - GCSE History ...
Fall of Saigon to Communist troops marks the end of the Vietnam ...

Read more at this site: https://erenow.net/ww/vietnam-war-an-intimate-history/11.php

Read the article about education in Vietnam here: https://wenr.wes.org/2017/11/education-in-vietnam

This is a great opportunity for IELTS students to interpret the information represented on this graph. What is the trend ? What is the anomaly ? How would you categorise the fluctuation in figures from 2007 – 2010 ?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial - WorldStrides
War Memorial in USA
50 Years On, My Lai Massacre Remains A Gaping Wound : NPR
To commemorate the My Lai massacre in Vietnam

WARNING:

NEXT PHOTO MAY DISTURB SOME READERS

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC PHOTOS, NOT JUST OF THE WAR IN VIETNAM, BUT OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.

THERE ARE NO ADJECTIVES CAPABLE OF DESCRIBING THE IMAGE.

THE PHOTO HAS BEEN CREDITED WITH TURNING AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST THE WAR.

Love to Kim Phuc | worldpoet546
Ms Kim Phuc, aged 9, after her village was bombed June 8th 1972
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ms Kim Phúc Phan Thi meets Centre staff ...
Ms Kim Phuc now, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
The Girl in the Picture by Denise Chong: 9780140280210 ...
Ms Phuc’s story can be read in this (highly recommended) book.

Adult Class Level 3: Storytelling, part 3

31st March 2020

The story so far … we have two young Asian cousins who are about to meet each other, after a long time. Boram, a caring, thoughtful young music student, is going to the train station to meet Leon, also a musician, who is travelling to Seoul but doesn’t know the city. Despite having a busy schedule, Boram insists upon meeting Leon and making sure he is safe.

After his journey, Boram feels certain Leon must be hungry and in need of coffee. She decides to take him to a great cafe near the station. They can talk and get to know each other.

CafeHopping in Korea – 6 Cafes You Must Not Miss In Seoul ...

Boram pays for the drinks, and they go to find a table:

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Here, there are introducing themselves. The conversation may go something like this:

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: No, I’m Ok, thanks. This coffee looks great. Wow, how long has it been ?

Boram: Hhmmm, let me think … it must be six years since we last meet. How are your parents ?

Leon: Both very well, thank you, and they send you a little present. So, mum says you play piano ?

Boram: Violin. I play in the university orchestra. You’ve grown so much !

Leon: Of course, I’m not ten anymore haha. You play ? Can I hear you sometime ?

Boram: Actually, I’m playing this afternoon. If you like, I can take you and introduce you to some of my friends.

Leon: That would be cool. You are so kind. I insist on buying you lunch to say thank you.

That was a fairly natural exchange of pleasantries. They both appear nice people, and very polite. However, it is not very exciting or interesting. So, let’s make Leon less grateful and more self-centred:

Korea's Unique Coffee Culture | Seoulinspired

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: Oh, man … it was like … boring, you know. No hot girls on the train.

Boram: Oh. Sorry. How is your coffee ?

Leon: It’s terrible, We have much better in Busan. This place is lame. Don;t you know any cooler joints ? You look a bit boring. Mum says you’re a musician ?

Boram: Yes, I play vio…..

Leon: I’m a musician, I play bass in a radicle hip-hop, thrash-metal band.

Boram: I’d love to hear your band.

Leon: Ha ! I don’t think so. We don’t make music for little girls. This is real music.

Boram: Oh, well, would you like to hear my orchestra play ?

Leon: Yeah.

Boram: Great ! We are playi …

Leon: No, idiot, I’m joking, I can’t listen to that old crap ! Hey, can you give me some money ?

What do you think of Leon now ? Not so nice, hey ? See how he interrupts Boram, mocks her music and then demands money ? He’s a ‘nasty piece of work.’

Let’s turn the tables. How about if Boram, despite looking angelic and ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt- in-her-mouth’ appearance, is in reality arrogant, impatient and thoughtless.

Leon: It is so nice of you to meet me. I haven’t been to Seoul before on my own.

Boram: I had no choice. My mum made me, I don’t want to waste my time here.

Leon: And thank you for buying the coffee. I was really tired.

Boram: Mum gave me the money. Come on, drink it then I can go. I’ve got more important things to do.

Leon: Oh, I don’t want to keep you if you’re busy …

Boram: ‘Busy’ ? I have rehearsals in two hours and I have to go all the way across the city to meet you. Ridiculous, a grown man like you needs me to hold his hand.

Leon: Really, if you need to go, it’s ….

Boram: Well, if you say it’s Ok, I’ll go. You know the way ? If not just ask someone or, I don’t know, get a taxi. Do you have my phone number ?

Leon: No, what is i… ?

Boram: Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m to busy to pick up. I gotta go.

That should change our perception of Boram. Not so friendly now, is she ?

Try writing short dialogues for different situations:

1: Leon really wants to see the top museums

2: Boram wants Leon to meet her friend, she thinks they would be good together

3: Leon is having an interview for a job and he is very nervous. Boram supports him.

4: Boram wants to take Leon shopping for new clothes. Leon likes his clothes and they have a playful argument.

5: They discover they really don’t like each other but they have to stay together because they are family.

I'm Stuck At Home. So I'm Making Dalgona Coffee! - YouTube

And now … what to do if you’re stuck at home, self-isolating, and have lots of time to kill. My internet friend, Rachel Kim, from South Korea has a tip about a new craze sweeping her homeland:Dalgona coffee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mw3qbSjBQ&t=735s

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Storytelling part 2

30th March 2020

This is a continuation of the previous post. This time, we will concentrate on the first couple, create personality backgrounds and start to prepare a rudimentary dialogue. You can find said post here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/29/adult-speaking-class-level-3-storytelling/

To recap, we have two young Asians:

Boram
Leon

The two young people are cousins

First, physical descriptions so you will need to utilise your knowledge of adjectives … and learn more (ABL … always be learning).

With adjectives, we always start with our opinion; what do YOU think of Boram ? How does she look ?

For me, I think she is beautiful … oh my God, she is BEAUTIFUL !

Do you see how the second sentence is so powerful. It not only tells you about Boram, but also about the writer !

Having said that, ‘beautiful’ is a basic word, learnt early, so we need to be more creative. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms:

Beautiful: cute, gorgeous, adorable, breathe-taking, sensational … have a check: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/beautiful?s=t

Synonyms for beautiful

Wow, hot dog ! What a list, extensive, exhaustive, exhilarating. See how your language can improve. However, it is always a good idea to check the definition first, as the words are all slightly different, and some may not be appropriate. For example, ‘foxy’ and ‘shapely’ are more sensual, while ‘refined’ and ‘angelic’ are more innocent.

You may be as descriptive as you wish, for example, Boram has:

stunning, high cheek bones / luscious almond-shaped eyes / long wavy brown hair, enticingly and charmingly wrapped in a soft pink bow.

Continue by describing her clothes and setting (where she is). Now, compare this with Leon. Follow the pattern, tell me what you think of Leon, what he looks like, how he’s attired (dressed), where he might be and what that tells us about his character.

Next: personality

In a standard lesson, I would emphasis that we DON’T know the person, so we cannot say, for example, Boram is sweet and cheerful. Instead, we have to use expressions such as:

In my opinion / I feel Boram is / Boram seems to me / I get the impression that Boram is …

But we are now in the realms of creative English and this is YOUR story … use your imagination … tell me what Boram is like.

The following are my thoughts – you may well disagree, in fact I hope you do. I want YOU to think and create your own character.

In MY story, Boram is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. She is such a caring lady, the radiance of her face is a physical manifestation of the purity and honesty of her heart.

However, she will often put other people first and can be disarmingly vulnerable and perilously innocent.

Do you see how the adjectives were intensified by adverbs – ‘disarmingly vulnerable’, ‘incredibly sweet’. By now, you should be able to use basic adverbs such as:

very / so / extremely / unbelievably / incredibly /

Therefore, try to find new adverbs. Watch out for adverbs as you listen to music, watch films or TV, read books, newspapers, online media and even this humble blog.

Now, repeat with Leon. This is YOUR story, so Leon can be whatever you decide.

Finally today, think about the story. Boram lives in Seoul (but you are free to change her name, location etc) and her cousin Leon (again, change his name if YOU wish) is coming to visit.

Boram is worried that Leon will be lost in the big city when he arrives (by bus, or train, or even plane), so she insists on meeting him, despite having commitments (she is a musician and needs to rehearse with her orchestra in the afternoon).

They meet at, for example, the train station. Leon is very hungry and tired, so Boram takes him to a cafe for some food and coffee. Here they have a chance to catch up (to talk about what they have been doing). What do they say ? What phrases or expressions could they use ? Is Leon grateful or arrogant ? Will be look after Boram, or exploit her kindness ?

Inside Seoul station, Seoul - Picture of KTX (Korea Train Express ...

We can decide that in the next blog … so get thinking !

Stay safe, stay healthy. From Thay Paul in Sai Gon … Goodnight and good luck