Speaking Practice – warm up game

7th October 2020

An activity for all levels

Teaching speaking skills 1 | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC

A major problem for students is pronunciation and also, in some classes, it can be rather tricky to get the students talking. Obviously, many learners are scared of mispronouncing and ‘losing face’ by their mistake.

This activity helps with both issues.

Arrange the class in small groups and hand each member an card. The students have to read out the information, while the other write down what they hear. Many of my students feel that work is something to be done as quickly as possible, but that will not work in this situation.

Instead, the other team members will need to check what is being said. This encourages slow, clear and careful pronunciation. To assist, use expressions such as:

Can you speak slower, please.

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

How do you spell that ?

Could you repeat that, please.

Sorry, I didn’t catch the phone number.

Let me confirm …

Is that ‘b’ as in blue or ‘p’ as in pink ?

Teachers: adapt to suit the level of your class. Add email address, specific requests etc

Asian Women Are Not For You. Many years ago, at a tech/startup… | by J Li |  Medium

Hi, my name is Jane

I’m 22 and work as DJ

I’m really into dancing and parties

I don’t like reading or housework

I hang out with my best besties

We go to clubs and bars

I get there by motorbike or taxi

My email is jane98@aol.com

25-Year-Old Black Man Running Through Suburban Georgia Neighborhood Killed  By Two White Men

Hi, I’m James

I’m 27 and I’m a football coach

I like to watch films. I’m a gamer

I’m not into shopping or dancing

I meet up with my brother

I go to the gym and the cinema

I have my own motorbike, Yamaha

My mobile is 098 724 5628

Beautiful Mexican Women And How To Date Them

Hello my name is Anna /

I have just turned 19

I’m studying chemistry

In my free time, I eat out I love hanging out with my friends

My blog is AnChem@wordpress

Indian Women Have Come a Long Way' - India Real Time - WSJ

Hello, I’m Carole

I’m 35 and a university lecturer

I’m really into reading

I hate playing sports I detest clubs and loud music

My fb page is CaroleCambridge.

Long Straight Layer Style Wig For Young Lady - Rewigs.co.uk

Hi, call me Sarah All right ?

I will be 24 next week

I work in a shopping mall

I go to work by bus

I love eating out. Chinese food.

My cell is 089 428 1015

Genomind Blog | teen girls

I’m Tammy

I’m sweet 16

Next year I go to university

I love sitting in the park, reading

I enjoy listening to music & singing

Email me on tam16@yahoo.com

Womens Soccer League / Soccer Girls USA

Hello everyone, I’m Jill

I’m 16 …. no, I’m actually 27

I play football in USA

I go to the park on foot

We eat at Mexican restaurants

My number is 555 207 8291

French Style Slouchy Wool Felt Beret Women Fashion British Chic Girls Beret  Hat Lady Solid Color Winter Hats Women Dropshipping|Women's Berets| -  AliExpress

Hi. You can call me Billie

I don’t want to say my age !

I am a professional dancer

My partner gives me a lift to work

I want to work in the theatre

Contact on billie09@gmail.com

Herr Deutschland is a Berliner - EXBERLINER.com

My name is Harry Brown,

I come from Berlin, Germany

I listen to music and play football

I love shopping with my girlfriend

I usually grab a taxi

My phone is 39 402 4951

Pin by Darlene H on Eye Candy #4 | French man, Handsome men, Lines for girls

My name is Peter

I was born in France

I watch movies at home and read

I hate theatre, it is so boring

I always use Grabbike.

Facebook me Peter of Paris

Littératures internationales Littérature Livres en français African lady  Kenya crownhotel.com.vn

My name is Julie

I’m an actress and I’m 31

I love theatre more than cinema

I often hang out in the park

Call on 38 703 8946

Chinese Students Need Faith | Christian Reformed Church

My name is Eric

I am only 18

I love football and playing piano

I never read books or go shopping

My iPhone was stolen in the park

Teaching Notes: Thank you, Miss Linh

22nd September 2020

A quick shout-out to a great student, Ms Linh. Very briefly, I teach a 90-minute speaking class; the work is prepared form me, I just have to deliver the lesson, and check for pronunciation, intonation and stress.

Now, although the students choose which lessons and subjects to attend, they can find the subject rather tedious, the work repetitive and therefore, they get bored and when students get bored, they may project their annoyances onto the teacher, such as mumbling or whispering a response, yawning and sighing (loudly), avoiding eye contact or outright refusing to answer.

I had such a situation last night, a miserable wet Monday. I’m supposed to make the students repeat the target language until they can pronounce it perfectly … but it just wasn’t happening.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.” – English  proverb | Free English Materials For You

Eventually, like pulling hen’s teeth, the class began talking more and trying to use the new expressions I had offered them.

At the end of the class, while some students couldn’t wait to split, one or two came up and were complimentary. The aforementioned Ms Linh said that although the subject was less than fascinating, she could see that I was really trying to make it interesting.

That was such a lovely thing to say, so now I say to you, Ms Linh:

Different Ways of Saying "Thank You" with Flowers ⋆ FloraQueen

IELTS Listening Notes

20th September 2020

Some notes I found as I was cleaning my old Apple Mac. I’m not sure where they are from; a book, website or centre notes. I thought they may be of some use to teachers of IELTS.

IELTS Listening Test - Error Correction

IELTS Listening

Before I do a listening practice, I tell my students to R.U.P.

read, underline key words and predict the answer.

TOP-DOWN LISTENING

(Going from meaning to language, using background knowledge to understand the meaning of a message).


Activities:

     Students generate a list of things they already know about a topic and things they would like to learn more about, then listen and compare.

     Students generate a set of questions they expect to hear about a topic, then listen to see if they are answered.

     Students look at the question sheet and identify its structure before listening.

     Students read a list of key points to be covered in a talk, then listen to see which ones are mentioned.

BOTTOM-UP LISTENING

(Going from language to meaning, using linguistic knowledge clues to understand the message).


Activities:

     Students listen and distinguish between positive and negative statements.

     Students listen and identify key words that occur in a spoken text.

     Students listen to a conservation and complete a form.

     Students use stress and intonation to identify word and sentence functions.

IELTS Listening Test – 10th June to 15th June 2019



Everything you need to prepare for IELTS Listening | IDP IELTS

SOME EXAMPLES OF MICRO LISTENING SKILLS:

     Discriminate among the distinctive sounds

   Recognize the functions of stress patterns, intonation contours

     Recognize reduced forms of words (contractions)

     Recognize grammatical word classes (noun, verb, etc.), systems (tense, agreement, pluralization), patterns, rules and elliptical forms

     Recognize that a particular meaning may be expressed in different grammatical forms

   Recognize cohesive devices in spoken discourse

Beautiful chinese female student Stock Photos, Royalty Free Beautiful  chinese female student Images | Depositphotos®


So, I made a lesson plan for teaching section 4 of the listening test like this.


Pre-listening:

1.       read the instructions carefully to see what they are expected to do (especially the number of words they can write for each answer) R.U.P.

2.       identify the topic of the lecture. Teacher can activate their background knowledge by asking them what they know about it, maybe showing a short video clip

3.       identify the structure of the test (how many parts, key words) so that students do not get lost in the middle of the listening

4.       pair a weak student and a strong student so that they can help each other in predicting the answers

a.       part of speech (e.g. expressions or idioms)

b.      collocations

c.       meaning (make a list of guesses to help the weaker students)


While-listening:

1.       Students listen to the recording and do the task individually.

2.       Peer check

3.       Task correction (the teacher then plays the recording again bit by bit to check the answers)


Post-listening:

1.       Students work in group to share their experience after doing the task. What difficulties they had or how they could recognize the answers. (5minutes).

To build confidence, I often play a recording up to three times, highlighting new vocabulary or expressions. I then let the students write the answer on the board, so everyone can see, correcting if necessary.

2.       sharpening the macro skils:

Activity to help students recognize paraphrases:


Students stand in 2 lines. There are 2 circles in front. The teacher shows 1 word (e.g crowded) and plays the recording. When the students hear the paraphrase of that word (e.g a lot of people), the first pair jump into the circle. Who can do that first gets 1 point for his team. The first pair then go the back and the procedure is repeated with another word. This can be adapted for older and adult students.

Activity to teach new vocabulary after listening:


The teacher can choose 5 or 6 words that he would like to teach and print them out. Then, put students into groups with a set of words for each group and play the recording. When students hear the word from that set, they have to quickly knock on their desk and take that piece of paper. Who gets the most words wins. The students in group read the words and explain the meaning. Teacher checks the pronunciation and meaning as a class.

The Teacher may wish to set a speaking task related to the topic as a post-listening  activity

I believe the students can do better if they are well-prepared in ‘pre-listening’, and for ‘post-listening’, if we can make use of the recording to teach them some skills in doing the task, they will perform better the next time.

Canadians anticipate rise in demand from Mexico - Languages Canada

Thank you, Princess

4th August 2020

Last night, after a three-hour IELTS class, another IELTS student was waiting to speak to me. It was one of my ‘Top Cats’, someone of whom I’m expecting great things.

The student, who I call Princess as she is so elegant, polite, refined and respectful, presented me with the following gifts:

September is a special month in Vietnam what with Independence Day (2nd), the anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s death (also the 2nd, though some say 3rd) and the Mid-Autumn festival which this year falls on the 13th.

Why you should visit Hanoi for Mid-Autumn festival | The Independent
Mid-Autumn Festival in Ha Noi
Mid-Autumn Festival - Be completed with moon cakes
Mid-Autumn Moon cakes

Thank you my Princess … see you next week 🙂

Quotes for the classroom

2nd September 2020

Today is Independence Day in Vietnam, so let’s start with Uncle Ho, Ho Chi Minh (1890 – 1969). He has some very sage advise, especially for Vietnamese students:

Ho Chi Minh quote: I'm very moved to be here today, ... Our lives...

“We need to work much harder.”

Don’t take my word for it, listen to Uncle Ho. Now, let’s go back to Ancient China and listen to Master Kong … Kong Fuzi … Latinised as Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC):

Pin by Kelly Ferrara Carlson on point to be noted.... | Confucius quotes,  Philosophical quotes, Philosophy quotes

Moving forward, and westward, we come to Ancient Greece and the philosophy of Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC). I think he deserves two quotes n’est-ce pas ?

Aristotle quote Best Quotes – Quotes – BestQuotes
Pin by F. M. on Man Made History...the Good and the Evil | Aristotle quotes,  Philosophy quotes, Teaching quotes

Our inspirational journey takes us my homeland, a “Precious stone set in the silver sea,” (Shakespeare, and more from the Bard, later). The court of Queen Elizabeth, and her adviser and alchemist, the mysterious John Dee (1527 – 1608 or 1609), furthermore, the man credited with coining the phrase “British Empire.”

TOP 10 QUOTES BY JOHN DEE | A-Z Quotes

As promised, something from Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to  heaven – William Shakespeare - Quotes

I totally agree. The quote is from Henry VI, Part II.

Finally … Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013):

Nelson Mandela Education Quote Gallery - Basecampatx

Young Learners classroom games: word battleship, snakes and ladders.

24th August 2020

I’ve spent so much time reading books about classroom activities, looking at websites and blogs only to reject the vast majority as not being suitable for my level of students. Here are a couple of games that have been successful over the years, in different centres and with different ages, though I usually employ them with students aged between 6 and 10. Adapt them as you wish, and have fun.

Word Battleship

This is based on the old paper and pencil game (later upgraded for the electronic and computer age).

Oversized Battleship Game
ABCD
1
2
3
4
Word Battleship

Board a grid as above (add more cells as required). Put the class into teams.

[I let them choose their own names, and if a student says, ‘Errrrrr,” then that’s the name I give them … additionally, this always gets a laugh]

Ask the teams questions based on previous lessons, general knowledge, whatever suits your class. You could either elicit an answer from the team as a whole, or individual members.

If the student answers correctly, they are allowed to choose a cell, example “C3.” On a separate sheet, have the same grid with scores assigned to each square. In the example that follows, C3 would score 25 points.

The following questions were used to review past tense grammar, as well as forming collocations:

Put the sentences into the past tense (simple past). Say complete sentence.

1 Last week we learn about technology

2 I buy a new iPhone last night.

3 Michael Jackson write many good songs.

4 Oh, no … I do not do my homework !

5 Have they decide what printer to buy ?

6 He see all the ‘Avengers’ films in one day !

7 It’s Friday ! I think today was Wednesday !

8 On holiday, I walk along the beach.

9 My grandmother send me an email.

10 Have you play the new video game ?

Complete the collocation

11 (go) to the cinema [I _______ to the cinema]

12 (play) guitar

13 (take) a photo

14 (chat / go) online

15 (do) voluntary work

16 (make) a decision 

ABCD
12550105
2102510025
35010255
45251050

Snakes and ladders

The Timelessness of Snakes and Ladders | by Doug Bierend | re:form ...

Another activity based on a classic game. I first used this in a very energetic class of 9 – 11 year olds and, thanks to the size of the room, I was able to draw a grid on the floor and use students as ‘counters’, to move around the ‘board’.

If that isn’t possible, just board a grid like so:

STARTGO FORWARD 2
GO BACK 1
GO FORWARD 1
HA HA
BACK TO START
GO BACK 3FINISH

All you need is a die or dice and different colour board markers. As before, arrange the class in teams, then ask each team a question. The student who answers then throws the die (preferably NOT at the teacher but one thing at a time), and I chart their progress on the board. You can decide whether or not the students need an exact score to land on Finish or not … play it by ear.

[ ‘dice’ is generally accepted for both singular and plural. For English-language learners it’s probably better to use ‘dice’.]

Culturally Responsive Teaching: A Guide

iTalk Lesson Structure: What to expect

7th August 2020

For my iTalk customers, there have been some changes to the lesson structures.

The lessons will focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. We want you to sound like a native-speaker and that means hard work.

From now, the lesson will be arranged as follows:

A quick warm up to practise recent phrases or vocabulary, and to pass the time until all the students arrive.

This will be a chance for you to do some extended talking to develop sentence-building skills, incorporate idioms, expressions and prepare yourself for a speaking lesson.

The main lesson will be the handout ONLY.

Firstly you will learn new vocabulary and practice:

pronunciation, stress and intonation

Next there is usually some listening so you can hear native speakers use these words. The recording will be played two or three times for you to hear and copy.

Next up is the main language of this lesson. You will repeat these expressions several times and test each other. During this time, the teacher will listen and give guidance.

The idea is for you to sound like a native-speaker. You will ONLY achieve that by practice and practice.

Finally, the remainder of the lesson is for YOU to practice using the language, in various scenarios. I recommend changing speaking partners. Practice means repeating and improving.

Practice does NOT MEAN saying the text once, as quickly as possible, then declaring, “Teacher, finished !”

The teacher is here to help YOU learn.

We are not here to entertain you.

I will not tolerate any sarcasm, rudeness, insults or disrespect.

In the event that I have been insulted or disrespected, I shall end the lesson and you can answer for your actions to the management

I do not plan these lessons – it is just my job to deliver them and help your pronunciation

YOU chose the lesson … if you are bored, that is not my problem. This is a language school not an entertainment centre.

QI: Quite interesting

27th July 2020

QI – Interesting facts

Surprised Shocked Excited Asian Woman Face Isolated On White ...

1 Under extreme high pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter.

2 Women buy 80% of everything that is for sale.

3 In ancient Greek the word “idiot” meant anyone who wasn’t a politician.

4 Just like humans, British cows moo in regional accents.

5 Until 1913, children in America could legally be sent by parcel post.

Sending Children by Parcel Post

6 Americans eat 10 billion doughnuts every year.

I'll Bring the Coffee and the Donuts' | by Lillian Brown ...

7 A group of kittens is called “a kindle”.

8 Albert Einstein claimed that his second best idea was to boil his eggs in his soup, thereby saving on washing up.

The Fascinating Eating Habits of Notable Geniuses - What Did ...

9 Science students who wear white lab coats perform better in tests.

10 Hewlett Packard printer ink is 20 times more expensive than 2003 Dom Perignon

Which is cheaper - the most exclusive champagne in the world... or ...

For the teacher:

Silent letters in words such as “knife” and “psychic” are called aphthongs.

Three English poems and some Shakespeare

19th July 2020

W.H. Auden

1907 – 1973

Reading the Maps: Yesterday the struggle: EP Thompson, Auden, and ...

Are you there ?

Each lover has some theory of his own
About the difference between the ache
Of being with his love, and being alone:

Why what, when dreaming, is dear flesh and bone
That really stirs the senses, when awake,
Appears a simulacrum of his own.

Narcissus disbelieves in the unknown;
He cannot join his image in the lake
So long as he assumes he is alone.

The child, the waterfall, the fire, the stone,
Are always up to mischief, though, and take
The universe for granted as their own.

The elderly, like Proust, are always prone
To think of love as a subjective fake;
The more they love, the more they feel alone.

Whatever view we hold, it must be shown
Why every lover has a wish to make
Some kind of otherness his own:
Perhaps, in fact, we never are alone.

John Betjemin

1906 – 1984

John Betjeman was a mediocre poet – but he wrote one brilliant poem

This poem is about a small industrial town, outside of London. The poet criticises the place for its lack of culture and atmosphere, and the people for being mediocre. The place is pronounced ‘sl – owl’ to rhyme with ‘cow’ and ‘now’.

Slough

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who’ll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women’s tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It’s not their fault that they are mad,
They’ve tasted Hell.

It’s not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It’s not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren’t look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

Slough Trading Estate bosses at SEGRO launch £10million fund ...
Mars bars, Ford GT40s and David Brent: The Slough Trading Estate ...

Slough

Philip Larkin

1922 – 1985

Philip Larkin and Me: A Friendship with Holes in It | The New Yorker

Toads 

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can’t I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off ?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison –
Just for paying a few bills!
That’s out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don’t end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets – and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don’t say, one bodies the other
One’s spiritual truth;
But I do say it’s hard to lose either,
When you have both.

William Shakespeare

1564 – 1616

How to read Shakespeare for pleasure

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

 Ham.  I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.

William Shakespeare quote: What a piece of work is a man, how noble...
133 Best Withnail And I images | Withnail and i, Paul mcgann, Film
From ‘Withnail & I’