How to use this blog: Thay Paul’s Notes – a users’ guide.

19th March 2020

This blogsite, aimed mainly at English-language students, contains lesson plans, listening exercises, video clips and suggestions for improving skills and ability.

With nearly two hundred blogs, the site may be a little hard to use, so I hope this page will explain.

When you click on this site, you will see the most recent post. Scroll down to see other posts. However, the blogs will appear by date, not by level or category.

If you want to find blogs that are aimed at your level, scroll down (go to the very bottom of the page) until you see:

Classes

Then a box that says:

Select category

Click on the blue arrows and you will see a menu – a list of different classes and subjects.

Adult classes Level 1, 2 and 3

These are lesson plans and extra notes, work and information for students who are over 16. They are based on the text book my centre uses (‘American English File’).

Adult Professionals

English at a higher level, and specifically aimed at engineers and mechanics. The subject are often science-based, including various video clips for the English terms as well as an opportunity to hear native-English speakers.

Adult Speaking Classes, Levels 1 – 3

My own plans and teaching notes aimed at increasing the students’ skill, as well as affording the chance to use English, construct complex sentences, listen to ‘real-world’ English speakers and be introduced to various types of music. Many blogs are theme-based, focusing on different countries or subjects. The higher level blogs are primarily for my online followers.

Beginners’ English

Simple lessons for students who have started learning English. Lots of photos and basic grammar, vocabulary and help with speaking in sentences.

Business English

Exercises for people who have a good command of English, but want to cultivate their skills especially with regards to business, such as email-writing or interview techniques.

IELTS (4- 5.5 & 5 – 6.5)

Lesson plans for IELTS students, emphasising the requirements and expectations needed in order to pass the test with superb results. Contains extra work not covered in the class. Highly recommended for students who are serious about passing IELTS.

Kindergarten

Lesson plans with video links, photos and pictures to introduce young learners to English

Teenagers

Various lesson plans and links, photos and music.

Young Learners Beginners, Levels 1 – 5

Based on the ‘Everybody Up’ text book. Extra work and links to help bring the lesson alive and engaging for students aged 5 – 11.

Young Teens

Lesson notes for students aged 12 – 15. Ideas for class games and activities, video links and suggestions for improving language skills.

Additionally, there are various personal sections, recording various aspects of life in Sai Gon in general and Viet Nam in particular. These are generally written in a more natural style, so students will encounter new words, phrases and expressions.

These sections include posts on food and coffee … I LOVE coffee … accommodation, my holidays and general life here in Asia.

In terms of tone, I have chosen to adopt the attitude of Godard, Truffaut et al when they were writing their ‘Cahier du Cinema’ articles; why waste time writing about bad films, when you can write so much about GREAT films. To avoid any unnecessary argy-bargy or aggro, I try to focus only on the positives. Furthermore, I do NOT mention any schools or centres by name although if any prospective teacher has a question, I will answer in a direct mail.

Following on from the above, I do not post any photos of my current centre as it is private property and I have to respect their wishes. Ok, full disclosure, I did it ONCE and … there was a request that it be removed. Said photo highlighted the reality of teaching in Viet Nam … let’s just say that not all students are attentive, motivated and respectful.

Alternately, you may wish to study up on a particular subject.

At the top of the page you will see ‘Subject Index’

Click and you will see a blog page:

The contents are:

Subject:

Dialogues: short conversation pieces for natural language practice.

Famous Quotes: used in the lesson: Shakespeare, philosophy, Bible, politics.

Films, TV & Theatre: list of media referenced in the blogs.

Grammar: blogs for all levels.

Games: activities and games for classes of all ages, including student surveys.

Music: list of artists and songs featured in the blog posts.

People: famous people mentioned or included in the lessons.

Photos: interesting photos used in the plans.

Thay Paul Photos: photos of the blog author. Not recommended !

Reading exercises: a very useful resource. Where to find English literature online, but in simple English, specifically for language students.

Sentence building: exercises to help students speak and write more fluently.

Speaking exercises: including grammar practice.

Video Clips: a one-stop list of all videos used in the blogs. Please note, sometimes video are removed from YouTube, or a certain clip will not play in a certain region.

Vocabulary building

Vocabulary exercises

Writing exercises and reading exercises links: a brief collection of useful links for students at a higher level.

So … how does it work, Thay Paul ?

It’s Easy.

Find a subject that interests you, look at the category and then the date.

Go to Classes and ‘Select category’.

Click on category

When that page appears, scroll down until you find the date.

You may have to click on the ‘older posts’ button to see more posts:

Hey, Thay Paul, can you give me an example ?

Sure can … OK, say, for example, you have an interest in seeing my blog on Apple iPhones. It is on an Adult Class, Level 3, from the 14th November 2019.

Go to Classes

Select category

Select Adult Class, Level 3

Scroll down, look down the page until you see 14th November 2019

And … Bob’s your uncle. Oh, sorry, that’s an English expression which means ‘there you are’ or you have finished your job or what you need to do.

So … hope this helped

This is Thay Paul saying … “Good Night … and Good Luck”

Image result for goodnight and goodluck

Vocabulary building exercises

A compilation of games and exercises to increase your word power

Image result for Dr Johnson

Match the words with the meanings

Give the students some new vocabulary, teach them pronunciation and see if they can match the word to the definition. After, give them a chance to use the new words.

describe                        planned, in order, not a mess

imagine                        having to do too many things

typical                          feeling you have too much work

pressure                      normal, usual

organised                    to tell what something looks or like

community                 to think about something

stressed                       the place or area where you live

Practice:

The student was under ______ to finish the project on time.

All the neighbours are friendly. It’s a nice ________ to live.

Can you __________ what the man looked like ?

After teaching 20 young children, I felt very _________.

The German workers all knew what to do, they were so _______

Close your eyes and _______ you are relaxing on a beach.

On a _________ day, I drink coffee, go to work, come home and watch TV.

Exercise 2

disparity // tongue in cheek // consider // extrapolate // significance 

And we need to increase the frequency of discourse markers:

subsequently // therefore // consequently

First, elicit the meanings, then decide which words or expressions fill these gaps ?

You must scan the article quickly in order to ……….. the relevant information.

There is a huge ………. between the super rich and the poor in many countries.

Image result for super rich super poor

The students just played with their phones in class. …………. many failed their test.

I need time to …………. your proposal.

What was the ………… of 30th April 1975 ?

He refused to ask directions and …………. was completely lost.

“Vietnam is such a clean, environmentally-friendly country,” John said, ……………..

Friend: personality and occupations

Expression – don’t judge a book by its cover

Friends (men). Here are five of my friends. Guess their personality and occupation:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2018/12/28/friends-men-teaching-sheet/

Personality adjectives and idioms

funny / aggressive / dependable / generous / serious / reliable / intellectual / dull /unreliable / unpleasant / scary / witty / arrogant / boring / friendly/ light-hearted a push over / mean / bossy / impatient / a screw loose / solid as a rock / tough cookie life and soul (of the party) / nice / shy / confident / arrogant / hard-working / lazy / aloof, /kind / unkind / sweet / nasty / generous / mean (1 nasty, 2 not generous) / unfriendly / awkward – difficult, hard to please

Jobs

White collar doctor, accountants, teacher, lawyer, professional / office worker

blue collar chef, factory worker, mechanic, shop workers, fix machines, plumber

arts artist, actor/tress, painter, musicians, DJs, poets, writers

estate agent / consultant / plumber / PR Public Relations / HR / volunteer worker / unemployed / therapist / bouncer / shoe-shine boy / market trader / dog-walker /stockbroker / interior decorator / gambler / self-employed / psychic /road sweeper /security guard / pollster / politician / postal delivery / barista / quantity surveyor / criminal /

Forming opinions:

I think he could be a … / She seems to be …/ I get the impression that she is … / From his build, I’d say he was a … / Because of her appearance, I feel she must be a …

Personality adjectives (negative – arrogant). These are strong adjectives:

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

Relative Pronouns

Let’s kick off with some basic information about my friend Pete:

Pete (left) with drummer Kenny Jones of The Small Faces & The Who

Pete’s family are Irish. He was born in Kent, south England. He loves music especially Jazz and he can play saxophone, keyboards, guitar and bass. He is 40 years old. He is bald, and wears glasses. Currently he plays bass in a band called ‘The Deep Six’. They have a video on YouTube. In the photo, Pete is with the famous 60s drummer Kenny Jones. He was in The Small Faces. Later he joined The Who after their original drummer died.

Example:

Pete, who was born in Kent in the south of England, is of Irish heritage. Although he is just forty, Pete looks older, probably due to the fact that he is bald, as well as having to wear glasses. His great passion in life is music, especially Jazz, but his interest is not merely passive; he plays several instruments. In addition to saxophone and keyboards, Pete is proficient on guitar. Having said that, he actually plays bass now in a band named The Deep Six, who have a video on YouTube. Pete is seen here with the legendary drummer Kenny Jones who rose to fame in the 60s as drummer for chart-topping band The Small Faces before joining The Who following the death of their original drummer.

Now, a quick practice:

This is Wei Minzhi. She was born near Beijing. She was chosen to be in a Chinese film called ‘Not One Less’. She was 13. She played a substitute teacher but had no experience teaching (and no experience acting). The area is very poor. Some of the children have to leave school to work. The film was shown all over Europe, even at special film festivals. She was famous. She did no more acting. She studied in USA. She lives in Hawaii. Wei is married and has two children.

Small talk responses

A great way to increase conversation and use more natural language is to practise keeping conversations going for as long as possible. Think of it as verbal tennis – keep ‘hitting’ questions and responses at each other.

Example:

What do you do ?

I’m a student ?

Really ? Where do you study ?

Engineering.

That’s interesting. What branch (what area) of engineering ? Mechanical, electrical ?

And this be continued – where does the person study, does the student like the course, the university, the teachers, the fellow students etc.

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

Tourism

Now was a chance for some new vocabulary, words and phrases associated with holidays and travel.

breathtaking / stunning/ sensational / incredible / remarkable/ exclusive / inspiring / spectacular / 

once in a lifetime experience/ never to be forgotten / unbeatable prices

book now to avoid disappointment/ best decision you’ll ever make

Structure: To begin with / furthermore … additionally / the fact is … / therefore

As an Example, I made a short presentation about London:

VISIT LONDON TODAY !

SEE

Buckingham Palace // Tower Bridge

British Museum // Wembley Stadium

Shops, parks, theatres, restaurants

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

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

From this, I made a short presentation:

Now is the perfect time to visit London, England’s glorious capital. The weather is perfect for walking, so you can enjoy the lush parks, world-famous museums and incredible, unbelievable shops. There is something for everyone … and more ! Like sports ? Go to one of the many Premier League football games. Love shopping ? Everything is here – shop till you drop ! Adore culture – soak up hundreds of years of history.

NOTE – the use of adjectives to really bring the presentation alive and make it exciting.

Flights from TSN airport daily. Seven-day all-inclusive package tour starting from only 50m VND ! All transfers and transport included. Air-conditioned mini bus with Vietnamese-speaking guide.

Travel

Students are put into small groups and take turns speaking. The topic shall be travel, and the students have to use the following:

amazing / attachment / incredibly / predict / first impressions / you’ve come to the right place

With all speaking exercises, it helps if the teacher or a top student models first, so that all the students understand what they have to do. I shall use the same words but my theme shall be food:

On Saturday, I was out shopping and I felt very hungry. I went into a restaurant and my first impression was not encouraging. It looked a bit dirty and I predicted that the food wouldn’t be very exciting. However, they had an interesting menu with vegetarian options, which was amazing ! I ordered some pho and salad and it was incredibly delicious. I thought to myself I’ve come to the right place. I took some photos so I’ll send them to you by attachment on my next email.

Travel – hotel recommendation

I’m planning a trip to Nha Trang (a beach town in South Vietnam, about an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City). I have two hotels in mind, but I need advise from some Vietnamese. They also have to use as many of these words as possible:

visually stunning / mouth-watering / you get what you pay for / spectacular / a waste of money / significantly / somewhat / according to / how can I put it ? 

Students must tell me about the hotels, the area, the food and which one they would choose for me:

Victory Hotel 2* Rooms not very clean, no view. No complimentary breakfast.

Sandy Bay Hotel 4* Much more expensive, although it has breakfast buffet, and room has a balcony with view of the sea. 

Trip Advisor recommends Sandy Bay, but they said Victory was dirty and very over-priced.

Local food is great

WILF (What I’m looking for): can the students describe the scenery and food ? Can they compare price and quality difference ? Can they use expressions appropriately ? 

With the adjectives, I’ll be listening out for intonation – ‘spectacular !’

To quote another source of information, ‘according to’ and for the prices, the 4* is ‘significantly more’ expensive than … Then, in conclusion, can they make a judgement – ‘a waste of money’ or accepting that high quality means high prices, ‘you get what you pay for.’

Travel: Life in Sai Gon

ubiquitous everywhere, very common

naïve innocent, inexperienced

stroll a gentle walk, for exercise (collocation: take a stroll)

a bazaar (noun) a permanent, covered market 

bizarre (adjective) very strange, unusual

absent-minded extremely forgetful

sky-high, astronomical very expensive, maybe too expensive

messy untidy

laundry / laundromat dirty clothes / a place to wash clothes (collocation: do laundry)

predictable it is possible to guess the answer, people doing the same thing

hawkers

Street _______ are common in Vietnam, and they are _________ in District 1. It is nearly impossible for a westerner to take a ________ without being approached. Some claim to sell Ray Bans or designer sunglasses, but you would have to be extremely ________ to believe they are genuine ! They are all fake, probably made in China. Many people try to _____(collocation) money by selling to tourists especially around Ben Thanh Market, a kind of _______, though this is strictly for tourists as the prices are ____________ !

What Difference Does It Make ?

I give students a paper with two words or phrases that are related but different. They have to clarify the distinction, for example

teacher / headmaster

educate / bring up

take an exam / retake an exam

do homework / do housework

quite common / ubiquitous 

required subject / optional subject

similarity with / disparity between

skim / extrapolate

Adult Class, level 3: A diva … moi ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for im shutting your butt down
Quentin Tarantino

So now the class are prepared for the book work.

I have an assortment of activities for the speaking.

First up – small talk

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

Students can use the following:

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

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

Why are you studying English ?

Where do you live ?

Where would you like to visit ?

What do you do in your free time ?

What do you want to do in the future.

Students can change partners for each question.

Next up – Call My Bluff

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

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

Young Learners, Level 4: We’re all going on a summer holiday

21st November for 23rd November 2019 E Up 4 U8 L2 (updated from June 15th 2019)

Warm Up: Summer Holiday and ‘Screen Test’ game. First watch the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DxqdIA75sc

Class put into groups of three or four. Each team given a name of a European city, such as London, Venice, Barcelona and Paris.

First question – in which countries are your cities ?

Next ‘Screen Test’: The students watch the opening song then have to answer multiple choice questions.

1) What was the road sign at the beginning of the clip ?

London // Berlin // Paris ?

2) What was the number of the bus ?

9 // 19 // 28 ?

3) What colour was the first car behind the bus ?

red // white // blue ?

4) How many children wore a hat ?

1 // 2 // no children

5) How many men were riding bicycles ?

3 // 4 // 6 ?

6) How many women were in the car ?

3 // 4 // 5 ?

BONUS POINTS – Can anyone sing the song – just two lines

“We’re all going on a summer holiday // we’re all going for a week or two.”

Image result for cliff richard driving bus

Last lesson the subject was future tense and activities. Therefore, I shall board some times – this afternoon /  tomorrow / next Monday / next Thursday / next weekend / next month

Under these, I shall write some scrambled nonsense, e.g. ‘who as ees’. The students, placed in teams, have to elect one person to find the corresponding flash card somewhere in the room (‘see a show’) and then say a third-person sentence e.g. “He’s going to see a show this afternoon.’

Information gathering: Class into three or four groups. One member will be going away and the others in the team have to get information from him or her, then present to the class.

Team 1: Going to Phu Quoc island / is going next month / will be staying in a hotel near the beach / will be going swimming / is going with family

Team 2: Going to London / is going next week / is going to see a show / is staying with family / is going with older sister.

Team 3 : Going to Ha Noi / is going next Tuesday / is going on a bus tour / is going to stay in a big hotel / is going with school

Team 4: Going to Dak Lak Province / is going tomorrow / is going to ride an elephant / will stay in a tent / is going with VUS TAs

The selected member will stand at the front of the class with the information sheet. One teammate must run up, ask one question then tell the rest of the team, who will write the information down. Then a different teammate will run up and ask.

Planning a day out

I have a niece and nephew coming to Saigon. The teams have to plan a day for them including what to see and do, how to travel and what to eat. Of course, they need to but some souvenirs, so where are the best places ?

My ‘niece & nephew’.

We shall probably have to board many ideas first. Where do tourists go in HCM ? What is traditional food ? How can they travel ? Do the girls want to take the niece and the boys take the nephew only ?

Hopefully, this will encourage a lot of speaking and ideas and I can show a map of HCM to help.

And if the students are still drawing a blank (or being too lazy to think), this could inspire them: It’s spoken in English, with text, but with Viet accent (can start at 0:20 seconds)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0tncoIxT1s

As with all ‘real-world’ videos, the film should be stopped and new words or expressions boarded. The students are later made to write the words down (the majority will simply NOT do any kind of writing unless pressured), and then encouraged to use them where appropriate.

That should easily cover the first hour. After the break, we hit the books, do the workbooks and fast-finishers get an activity sheet, while I can spend at least some time checking the pronunciation and grammar.

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

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

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

First up, a mobile phone survey:

One of many online review posts

The students will be arranged in small groups. One member will be responsible for gathering the information, then reporting back to me.

Next up – a new persona.

Students are put into two or three groups, with about four in a group. Each member is given a card with some information about their new identity. They read the information to the group who have to try to understand and write down details such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook accounts. Example:

Hello, my name is Tony

I’m 23 and I love shopping for shirts and ties.

I’m not into reading or books. I find them boring.

My mobile number is 0943 552 8207

It’s highly probable the other students will need to hear some of the information again, so they can use the following:

I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your phone number (email address etc)

Could you repeat that, please ?

Could you spell that, please ?

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

And then, to book work and listening exercises.

Grammar: Past perfect (for and since)

Why is this young lady so upset ?

Image result for angry asian woman

Maybe this is the reason …

Image result for man renovating

Her neighbour has been renovating his house the whole day !

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

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

First, the past perfect formulae

Subject + have or has + been + verbing

Since used for a given time or date

For used to tell how much time.

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

He has been working for LPR since 2018

OR

He has been working for LPR for one year.

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

Just a Minute

Students are put in pairs. They have to speak for one minute on a subject without hesitating, repeating or deviating (speaking about a different subject). This will test the students’ ability to speak fluently, as well as giving opportunities for using discourse markers and new vocabulary learnt so far. Subject are deliberately open, for example:

food // travel // work or study // life in Sai Gon // their family // their house.

Viet Nam presentation – where should I go on holiday ?

Three teams, representing Ha Noi, Hue and Nha Trang.

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

This exercise encourages team work and, furthermore, allows the students to develop their intonation skills; they will have to sound excited and optimistic.

To assist, here are some words and phrases to embellish their speech:

cultural centre // historical importance // breathe-taking scenery // tranquil // relaxing // hustle and bustle // mouth-watering food // never to be forgotten //unforgettable // once in a lifetime experience.

To give some help, I can perform a quick example:

Image result for london postcard

COME TO LONDON, UK’s magnificent capital city and one of the world’s GREAT cities.

SEE such iconic, historical sights such as:

Buckingham Palace, home of our Queen, Tower Bridge over the Thames river.

Visit the world-famous British Museum to see the wonders of the world, or watch a football match at Wembley Stadium, in the country that invented the sport.

There is something for everyone:

Shops; you can buy everything here, to suit all budgets, from street markets to high-end department stores. To relax, London has so many tranquil parks, right in the centre of the city. Maybe see famous movie stars at one of London’s many, beautiful theatres, or dine out at restaurants cooking traditional British food or anything from anywhere.

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

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

Special discount 10% for my students 🙂

And that should be a wrap !

Image result for londoners waving

Young Learners, Level 5: Cracking the Enigma.

16th November for 17th November 2019 E Up 5 U 8 L2 pp. 74 – 75

Image result for geeks nerds dorks

Geeks, nerds and dorks – these are words for people who really understand computers, or play computer games all day. Maybe most of their life is spent online.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ? DO YOU SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON COMPUTERS ?

What are computers good for ? Why could they be bad ?

Here we could board the pros and cons, just to get the students talking.

Then an unscramble game: What are these websites and what are they for ?

espyk // nsgtarmia // oftsypi // uubotye

Vocabulary review:

I always play music in my class. If I like a song I will ………………… the volume

When I finish checking my emails, I ……………… from Google

If my manager thinks the song is too loud, I have to ……….. the volume

At the end of class, I always …………………. the computer.

Let’s compare – the past and now:

Image result for computers from 1950s
Image result for latest apple desktop computer
Image result for computer technicians 1950s
Image result for asian child using ipad

Can you crack a code ?

I will write an animal in code … can you tell me what the animal is ?

dbu

What animal is this ?

Look at the first letter – ‘d’. what is the next letter in the alphabet ? … e. The next letter after b is c, and after u comes v … so we have ecv – but that is not a word. Instead, go back a letter each time. Before d is c, before b is a and before u is t. Therefore, we have ‘cat‘.

In groups, students make their own coded animals. Using the same pattern (the letter before), put these animals into code:

goat // dog // elephant // Godzilla

But what happens if the code has no pattern … and it is changed every day ? That is exactly what happened during World War II, and the German Enigma machine.

Germany was winning the war in 1940 and 1941 … only the UK were fighting them

Image result for map of germany 1941

The Germans were sending secret messages in code. This video explains the Enigma machine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qcOCBfRRzg&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=29&t=0s

Image result for enigma machine

Some of the greatest scientists and mathematicians tried to break or crack the code. Remember … they only had one day because the code was changed at midnight. The scientists worked outside of London at Bletchley Park

Image result for bletchley park

Many people worked there but the most famous person today is Alan Turing

Image result for alan turing

Can you crack a complex code ? I have made a random code which I will give to the groups. They have to break my code and read my message. The coded message is:

LWM QM IWV

If that is easy, then try this:

VE MAEWJQVK QV YURMM

To review recent vocabulary, I can ask the students if they have finished yet ?

Finally, before the book work, students can ask each other what they use computers, smartphones or tablets for. Personally, I upload photos, post them on Instagram and Facebook, listen to music on Spotify, chat on Skype and Viber as well as using Grabbike to book my ride home. Moreover, I write these blogs.

What do you think of these ?

Image result for first apple computer
Image result for pong game
Image result for 1960s mobile phone

And this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQIYEPe6DWY

Related image

And next week, our penultimate lesson, extensive reading – ‘Just a minute’

Image result for twin peaks just a minute damn fine coffee

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

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

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

Image result for beatles can't buy me love

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

Now, compare with this attitude:

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

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

Vocabulary – p. 154. Verbs pertaining to money.

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

Plan a luxury day

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

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

secondly, thirdly etc

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

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

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

You could:

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

shopping // luxury yacht

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

OR add your own ideas

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

Activity: Devil’s advocate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The iphone 11 (woooooowwwwwwww !)

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

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

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Role play game:

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

They can practice with the following language:

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

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

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

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A department store selling expensive designer shirts
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Clothes on sale – ‘to clear’
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London street market.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you know these British characters ?

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What do the book titles mean to you ?

Sentence building:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vocabulary building: Some useful words –

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

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

What can the students tell me about Lê Hoàng Hùng ?

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

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

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

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

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

Grammar: tag questions

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

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

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

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

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

Natalie Wood was American, …………….. ?

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

He’s a brilliant actor, ………….. ?

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

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

Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Activities – Just a minute

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

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

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

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

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The Loch Ness Monster from Scotland

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

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The mysterious man from Taured

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

Young Learners, Level 5: Because it’s there !

7th Nov for 1oth November 2019 E Up 5, U7, L 4 pp. 70 – 71

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George Mallory was a British explorer who wanted to climb Mount Everest. This is such a dangerous activity, a journalist asked him why … to which, Mallory is said to have responded, “Because it’s there.”

Warm up: Runaround.

Class in three teams, named Polo, Cook and Buzz

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General knowledge questions about the world:

A – Mount Everest is the tallest mountain … where is it ?

1 – Tibet and Nepal // 2 – France and Germany // 3 – Kenya and Tanzania

B – The longest river is … ?

1 – Yellow in China // 2 – Amazon in South America // 3 – Nile in Africa

C – The largest city – most people living there – is … ?

1 – Delhi, India // 2 – Tokyo, Japan // 3 – Shanghai, China

D – Tallest building in the world ?

1 – Landmark 81, HCMC // 2 – Burj Khalifa // 3 – Taipai 101, Taiwan

E – Marco Polo was Italian but he travelled to … ?

1 – China // 2- South Africa // 3 – Canada

F – The first man on the Moon was … ?

1 – Buzz Aldrin // 2 – Neil Armstrong // 3 – Thay Paul

G – Captain Cook discovered … ?

1- Vietnam // 2 – Egypt // 3 – Australia

H – Which Greek hero fought skeletons ?

1 – Jack // 2 – John // 3 – Jason

British Culture

This class likes exciting stories, so I think they will enjoy this:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FGmYNCGW4

The story happened in 1605 when the king was James I. A group of men wanted a new king so they planned to kill James.

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One of those men was Guy Fawkes. He knew a lot about bombs and gunpowder. the plan was to put 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building where the powerful people would be waiting for the King. Maybe you know Guy Fawkes … ?

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Guy Fawkes was waiting at night, under the building …

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However, guards and soldiers discovered him.

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The King was so grateful, he told people to make huge bonfires all over the country. We still do this today, and have fireworks as well as making a dummy we call ‘Guy’, from old clothes and old material. We put a mask on him to look like Guy Fawkes. Children take this ‘Guy’ around and ask people to give them some money:

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Now book work … reading about climbing Everest.

Comprehension quiz:

How tall is Everest ?

Who tried to climb it in 1924 ?

Who were the first people to climb it ?

When did they achieve it ?

Who was the first woman to reach the top ?

Where would YOU most like to explore ?

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The Great Wall of China … like Marco Polo ?

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Australia and New Zealand like Captain James Cook ?

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The Moon … like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ?

Next time … computers: geeks, nerds and gamers..

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Young Learners, Level 4:Tell me what you want !

7th November for 9th November 2019 E Up 4, U7 L2 pp. 66 – 67

It’s early Saturday morning … need some high-energy music to wake up !

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And the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJLIiF15wjQ

For natural speech patterns, we can copy –

‘Tell me what you want, what you really, really want,’ in standard English or –

‘Tell me whatya want, whatya really, really want,’ in non-standard, with the linking sounds as well as the swallowed ‘t’ in ‘want’.

To counter the argument that this is not appropriate for an English lesson, I would say that students need to be exposed to a variety of Englishes … the linking and swallowing of words and letters is how many native speakers speak … as students will discover listening to films, TV and, as is the case here, music. What I listen for in my students, of all ages, is NOT a robotic, flat repetition of an abstract sentence, but intonation, linking and natural rhythm.

Speaking of music … we need (as always) to review previous work, but to make it interesting I’ll try to make the review into a sort of game. Last week, they learnt six occupations. Which one does Thay Paul want to be ?

Next, I will board the remaining five jobs, but scrambled. The students, placed into two teams, must unscramble the chosen word (one student per team). One point for the first to complete, bang the board and shout out the word. Then, to add a variance, I will hold three flash cards, one of which will be the job. If they guess correctly, they earn an additional five points.

The words: ocart // tasiri // eamg reedgins // airtolujsn // iinstctes

Continuing the theme, a Runaround game:

Where does an actor work ?

1 – a hospital // 2 – a bank // 3 – a theatre

A journalist can use …

1 – a microphone // 2 – a piano // 3 – a paintbrush

Who uses clay, paint or metal in their work ?

1 – a scientist // 2 – a musician // 3 – an artist

Brad Pitt, Kirsten Stewart, Emma Watson and Robert Downey Jr are all famous …

1 – musicians // 2 – game designers // 3 – actors

Angry Birds and Candy Crush and Donkey Kong were made by …

1 – game designers // 2 – actors // 3 – Thay Paul

One student from each team will run to the board and slap a number … they can change their mind for five seconds but then they have to stay where they are.

British culture.

As a break, a little introduction to the UK and its history and traditions. The beginning of November sees Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night

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In 1605, a group of men wanted to kill the King of England, James I. They wanted to blow up the building where the King was going to be, so they hid 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building. However, the King’s soldiers found one of the men, Guy Fawkes, and arrested him. The King was safe ! To celebrate, people made giants fires called bonfires.

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We still do this today. Also, children help to make a Guy Fawkes from old clothes and old bags, and then adults put it on the fire. Finally, there are fireworks, sometimes at home, sometimes in parks so everyone can see.

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Many different types of fireworks are used:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FGmYNCGW4

Some young children are holding sparklers – they have to wear gloves and be VERY CAREFUL.

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5th November fireworks in London

All good things must come to an end … and so to bookwork. Today, the theme is things people want to do (when they’re older, as this is a young-learners’ class). After drilling the six phrases, I’ll show two photos and ask:

What does Thay Paul want to be or do ?

I will give the students boards and they have to write the three future plans. The last one (making movies, make a movie) is from a previous lesson, while the photo was taken in Berlin, Germany … long before my students were even born !

And now farewell … but next week, we leave the planet and go into space …

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