Young Learners, Screen Test game

23rd December 2020

Screen Test (TV Series 1970–1984) - IMDb

I adapted this warm-up from a British television show from the 70s and early 80s. Just show a short clip, then ask the students some questions. The game can be quite fun, and has proved very popular. Being December, I’ve chosen a Christmas-themed clip, a TV advert made by the John Lewis Company:

The Questions:

What colour was the girl’s umbrella ?

How many buttons (not eyes) did the snowman have ?

Name three shops that you saw.

How many snow people were on the street ?

What was on the wall in the man’s kitchen ?

What toy did the old man have in the bath ?

What was the old man’s job ?

How many pigeons were standing on the street ?

What fruit was the man on the subway (Tube train) holding ?

What was the number of the bus ?

Complete the slogans: Give a little _______ Together we can make a big ____________

John Lewis Christmas advert 2020 is unveiled | Daily Mail Online

The Answers

Red // 5 // Scarf Hut, Pharmacy, Opticians, Florist // 8 (one in the window doesn’t count) // a fish, a picture of the family, a shelf // a toy duck // a barber or haircutter // 4 // an apple // 222 // ‘love’ & ‘difference’

Another clip I have used is from the British film ‘Summer Holiday’:

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) What does Cliff, the driver, eat ?

a sandwich / a cake / nothing

7) 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

Young Learners: A Christmas compendium

18th December 2020

Merry Christmas & the Happy New Year!! - Adobe Experience League Community  - 287020

Warm up game (for younger students): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_EUtiDZglg

Introduction (for more advanced students): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzSGEeaYvJc

At Christmas we have decorations, Christmas cards and a lot of food ! Have the students study the photo for one minute, then turn off the projector and ask them to write down all the food they can remember.

The 8 Best British Christmas Desserts
mince pies
All Professional English: Traditional British Christmas Foods
Gingerbread Men
Image result for traditonal uk christmas dinner"

Best of all, in my opinion, is the Christmas pudding:

Image result for traditonal uk christmas pudding"

We have a Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with lights and bells and also there are presents on the floor around the tree. In the west, at the top of the tree, traditionally there is an angel.

Pin on Shabby Cottage Romantic Christmas
See the presents at the bottom of the tree ?

How about Christmas in other countries ? This is Germany at Christmas

Image result for german christmas market"
Image result for german christmas"
Image result for germans celebrating christmas santa lucia"

From Sweden, the children’s story Pettson och Findus by Sven Nordqvist

POSTCARDS | Pettersson and Findus | Findus dressed as Lucia - Postcard |  Taurus - Kunstkarten

Activity

Make a Christmas card for one of your classmates (or teacher hahaha)

Need: paper / crayons / scissors / glue sticks / colour pens or felt-tip pens

Examples:

Trees Christmas Card Pack of 6 by Lauren Radley | Jersey Trees for Life
Set Of Funny Christmas Cards Stock Illustration - Download Image Now -  iStock
Christmas Greeting. African American Girl Holds Christmas Card... Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 85948359.
Pettson och Findus som Sankta Lucia | Illustration, Vintage illustrationer,  Teckningar
Dickens Christmas Journey - Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad
Scrooge (1951) Review – SimplyHE

We can’t possibly do this without some Christmas carols, so … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVB4hwi6VkE

And now, for older students … ‘A Christmas Carol’. One of the most famous Christmas stories is by Charles Dickens, a short story about a miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts, after which he decides to change his life.

The Life of Charles Dickens - Historic UK
Charles Dickens
Are you more Scrooge than Cratchit?
Scrooge before Christmas …
Scrooge | George Eastman Museum
Scrooge after Christmas

A Christmas Carol for young learners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxKE308POP8

Finally, today (18th December) is the last day of Chanukkah for those of the Jewish faith, so:

Jewish Hebrew Chanukkah Hanukkah | Custom-Designed Graphics ~ Creative  Market
Happy Hanukkah

Young Learners, Level 2: I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear

11th November 2020

A step up in the musical education of my younglings. After teaching them to say … to scream, “I feel good,” a la James Brown (because I cannot stand the pre-programmed, “I’m fine,”) we’re moving on to one of my favourite bands: The Smiths. This song has a reference to clothing albeit in rather high-level English. However, the motivated students, with repetition, can absorb so much and really boost their vocabulary. So, without further ado … The Smiths with ‘This Charming Man’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJRP3LRcUFg

The lines in question start at 0:45 – 0:51

“I would go out tonight but I haven’t got a stitch to wear.”

This means that the singer doesn’t has any nice clothes to go out or has no money to buy new clothes

Play the song and the younglings have to shout out every time they hear the lyrics.

Bonus questions:

What is the singer wearing ? What is he doing ?

What instruments are the band playing ?

Clothes: a previous blog covered clothing vocabulary. Select what is appropriate for this level, e.g. for material just choose cotton, silk and plastic : https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/19/adult-speaking-class-level-2-describing-clothes/

What are they wearing ?

The Smiths The Queen is dead Us tour 86 T Shirt Summer Casual Fashion Fun  New T-shirt Harajuku Women's Short Sleeve Tops tees | Wish

She is wearing a white cotton T-shirt with ‘The Smiths’ in blue as well as a brown skirt and a white headband.

Now … your turn

School uniforms by country - Wikipedia
Why Crazy Socks? Because every year a million patients lose their doctors
Swan dress - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia
Flyguy Pimpin' * Antonio Fargas as Flyguy * From the Movie * I'm Gonna Git  You Sucka* - YouTube

Design your own T-shirt:

T Shirt Coloring Page - Coloring Home

Young Learners, level 5: What were you doing when … ?

4th November 2011

E Up 5 Unit 2 review

First up, divide class in two teams, after playing a warm-up song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMcWldfg28s

One of my students has chosen the English name ‘Cherry’, so this song goes down well (especially when I try, and fail, to hit those high notes).

Now, down to business

Past tense – what is the past tense for:

eat // drink // see // become // live // travel // ride // sleep

Moving on – complete the sentence:

Why Do Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas? | The Nosher
The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi - Vox

Last night I _____ Chinese food

How Young Mountain Tea helped change the tea industry with Indian farm –  Aldea Coffee

Yesterday he ______ hot, sweet tea

Research seeks to help Black women sleep better - DefenderNetwork.com

She ______ all night

The Travels of Marco Polo - YouTube

Marco Polo _______ famous for his travel stories.

He ______ from I___ to C________

Thay Paul's Notes – General Notes about my English lessons and life in Viet  Nam.

In Thailand, Mr Paul _____ a large grey intelligent elephant.

20 Must-See Temples in Bangkok - Bangkok's Most Important Temples and Wats

Also he _____ many beautiful colourful temples

Now, past continuous

Make sentences using continuous form. Remember – verb + ing

Telling Stories | Heroes and villians Wiki | Fandom

What are they doing ? They are telling stories

Use flashcards. Have students ask and answer the questions. Call two students, one from each team and have them stand on a mark. Awards points for pronunciation as well as correct answers. Drill class to make sure everyone is taking part.

Next hand out six flashcards, three to each team.

Ask them, “What were you doing when I drank coffee ?” They must answer in the present continuous e.g. I was setting up the tent.

Finally, have a student mime an activity. Only that student’s team may answer.

Moving on, today’s subject is a reading exercise about exploring a cave. As a lead-in, show this video about a famous cave in Viet Nam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3zIhJrPHDQ

New vocabulary:

massive // discover (discovered) // breathtaking // even // skyscraper

Map Since 2001, we've provided sophisticated travelers with authentic  one-of-a-kind private luxury journeys, s… | Vietnam tours, Adventure  holiday, Vietnam holidays

Young Learners, Level 2: Review … and Buster Keaton !

30th October 2020

A quick recap of recent language. Tell me what you like.

Example

I like playing guitar as well as playing with elephants.

I love playing loud music as well as playing with big grey intelligent elephants.

Elephants are very strong as well as very hungry.

Sometimes Mr Elephant is so clever, he can play piano

Elephant decides to give piano playing a try while listening to man play

What does he like ?

Estrellas de cine clásico pasando tiempo con sus mascotas
DVD Talk

NOW, who works in a:

hospital // a school // a restaurant // a bus ?

Does she work in an airport ?

Free Photo | Smiling asian doctor with stethoscope and folder

Does he work in a school ?

The black cop who has a problem with 'Black Lives Matter' - BBC News

Do they work in a school ?

ETE Teacher Interview Questions (2018) - Isrg KB

Do they work in a school ?

la-solidaire-du-chocolat_mexican cooks – TIMEZERO Blog

What do you want ?

I want some delicious spaghetti

Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil - Veggies Save The Day

Why ? Because I’m very hungry.

I want some delicious spaghetti because I’m very hungry.

What does he want ?

Vietnamese Food - The BEST Breakfast I Ate in Saigon (Bánh Mì Hòa Mã) -  YouTube
The Best Breakfast I Ate in Vietnam - Banh Mi Hoa Ma

He wants _______________ because he’s ______

What does she want ?

Why women need to drink water, especially when pregnant - Sanford Health  News

She __________________ because she’s _______

Does he want salad ?

How to Eat Healthy When You Don't Like Vegetables

Does she want steak ?

Disgust Emotions: Woman Raw Meat Hater - Stock Picture I3875973 at  FeaturePics

What do you want to eat ?

192,733 Sushi Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
The Ultimate Hamburger recipe | Epicurious.com
GIANT ICE CREAM CONE! Kids Pretend Play Ice Cream Truck In Real Life -  YouTube
This pub has put the UK's biggest steak on its menu costing £125 | Metro  News
What are the top 10 foods you must try once visiting Bangkok Chinatown? -  BestPrice Travel
Full English breakfast – The Nosey Chef

What does Buster Keaton want to eat ?

What happens ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH13qaKrsHQ

Start video at 1:21

Young Learners, Level 4: Safety First … and the gunpowder plot !

29th October 2020

E up U 1, L4 & U 2, L1

Objectives:

review recent vocabulary

sentence building

develop the use of intonation and stress in natural speech.

Warm Up:

Two teams – on the board, six sports but the letters are tangled. One member of each team has to write the correct spelling.

kis // odosabrnw // cie-etksa // ni-niel akste // aabkrdoset // furs

Next up:

Three boys and three girls holding the six sports flashcards. Three hold the cards the right way up, the others hold their cards upside down.

If the card is the right way up, it means the student is good at the sport.

First I will ask: Is he or she good at (surfing) ? The class will answer, using previously taught vocabulary,

“Yes, he’s / she’s very good at it.”

“No, he’s / she’s not very good at it.”

Partner work:

Ask each other, or in small groups, “What are you good at ?”

Examples:

Safety Last (Harold Lloyd, 1923, USA, 73', BW, silent) | BOZAR Brussels

I’m very good at climbing

67 Best Big Fish images in 2020 | big fish, fish, monster fishing

I’m very good at fishing

I was so happy': 8-year-old Japanese drummer talks viral fame, Robert Plant  and the secret to great drumming | CBC Radio

Is she good at playing drums ? Yes, she ….

frank spencer is rollerskating.wmv on Make a GIF

Is he good at in-line skating ? No, he …

Adjective round up:

A chance to encourage students to extend their English skills.

First, opposites

Big _______ // huge ________ // scared ________ // dangerous _______ // happy ______ // cheap ________ // boring ________ // hard-working ____

Next, tell me about the man. What does he look like ? What does he wear ? What is he doing ? Is he scared ? Is he brave ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEcTjhUN_7U&t=148s

start clip at 03.00

Which brings us to the theme of safety and the book work for the Saturday Class.

E up U 2, L 1

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

Image result for guy fawkes mask

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 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnq7aqHLCSM

Start and play up to 0:52 to explain the background, then from 3:25 and have the class copy the children in the video. This helps with pronunciation as well as learning new words, and learning about Britain.

Image result for guy fawkes dummy

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.

Image result for guy fawkes dummy

Many different types of fireworks are used:

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

Image result for 5th nov fireworks
5th November fireworks in London

Where shall we go ? Young Learners & Adult Speaking Class, Level 1

8th October 2020

Here are five famous sites from around the world.

What do you know about them ?

Taj Mahal reopens after three-month lockdown
Taj Mahal, India

7 different ways to see the incredible fjords in Norway
Fjord in Norway, north Europe
10 Best Malls in Singapore for an Ultimate Shopping Experience |  TheBestSingapore
Shopping mall in Singapore
How To Survive (And Enjoy) #Disneyland #california With A Toddler #usa  #disney via brunchwithmybaby.com | Disneyland trip, Disneyland tickets,  Disneyland rides
Disneyland, USA
Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2020 will take place in Sankt Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
Name
Which site do you want to visit most
Why ?
What is the weather like there (use adverbs)
What can you do there ?
What could be a problem ?

I would like to visit all the sites. However, if I have to choose one, I will visit St Petersburg in Russia.

St Petersburg is a very beautiful city, with many amazing buildings. The city is very famous, and I have read about it in many books.

I think the weather is quite hot in summer, and also it stays very light, even at night. However, it can be extremely cold in winter.

St Petersburg has so many museums and galleries. I want to see all of them. Also it would be fun to walk around and take many photos.

I don’t speak Russian so that could be a problem if people can’t speak English. Also, it may be extremely cold, so I will need a lot of thick clothes. Finally, I will need to buy some Russian money.

Unusual London Buildings. What do you think they are ?

6th September 2020

A lesson for all ages and all levels, just adapt to suit your students’ ability. First, show the photos and try to elicit what the buildings are for, or their original function.

For Speaking Level 3 or IELTS-standard students, they can explain their reasons and use target language, adjectives, adverbs and LFW (low-frequency words). Furthermore, it shows students a different aspect of London (it’s not just Big Ben, London Eye and Tower Bridge).

Now, without further ado, the photos:

 

Tate Modern

Was built 1947 – 1963 to be used as a power station (designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who also designed Battersea Power Station and the iconic red phone boxes).

Gallery opened in 2000 by the Queen

Shows British and international art

One of the largest museums in the world

in 2018, there were 5.8 million visitors

Globe Theatre

Was built 1599, burnt down 1613.

Rebuilt and opened in 1997

Has plays by Shakespeare, as well as modern plays.

Has 857 seats and 700 standing spaces. People who stand are known as ‘groundlings.’

“To be or not to be,” is from Hamlet.

Police Station

Was built in the 1920s

Only big enough for two people

Has a telephone inside

Made from an old lamppost

Now used for storing brooms

Lloyd’s Building

Completed in 1986

Architect was Richard Rogers

Lloyds are a world famous insurance company.

The lifts are on the outside to make more space inside.

It is 95.1 m tall or 312 ft.

New Zealand House

The building was opened by the Queen in 1963

It is the only tall building in the area.

The House has 18 floors.

However … there is something very special for Vietnamese … can you see the blue circle ?

There used to be the Carlton Hotel here, but is was destroyed in World War II

Ho Chi Minh worked in the kitchen at the hotel

Carlton Hotel, London - Wikipedia
The old Carlton Hotel where Ho Chi Minh once worked

Activities

Young Learners

Stick fact sheets around the classroom. Students, in groups, have to collect information about basic facts such as when the building was opened, and an interesting fact, then present to the class.

Adult Speaking Classes

Elicit uses of bulidings, then ask them if there are any similar buildings in their city. What interesting buildings would they show tourists ? A student has to describe one of the buildings and the other have to guess which one.

IELTS

Students are assigned a building and they have to make a presentation of up to two-minutes in length (to practise for the speaking test). They may be allowed to use the internet for additional information but they are NOT allowed to merely read verbatim from Wikipedia !

As this is an IELTS exercise, we are looking for;

Good, strong introduction

Creative use of adverbs + adjectives

Low-frequency words

Opinion phrases

Idiomatic language

Anecdote or a personal review, giving reasons for their thoughts

Target Language:

Quite unusual / eye-catching / remarkable / innovative / quintessentially British / controversial / brilliant /

It’s not to my particular taste / / I have my heart set on visiting / a unique experience (now add an adverb) / a truly unique experience / a magnet for tourists /

17 Signs That You Probably Need A Break From London - Secret London

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

Public Speaking for Young learners: Theseus and the Minotaur

17th August 2020

Today, we shall learn the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. This story is over 3 000 old, and comes from the country of Greece. Here is the flag of Greece:

Image result for greek flag

Greece is in Europe. It is a very hot country, and has many stories from history. The capital city is Athens.

Map of Europe with Facts, Statistics and History
REMARKABLE RUINS - Parthenon, Greece
Athens, the capital of Greece

Have you ever seen something like this before ?

Image result for greek minotaur

This is the Minotaur, half man, half bull. He was extremely strong, extremely angry and very, very scary. He lived near Greece, on the island of Crete:

Heraklion, Crete, Greece | Greece map, Greece, Crete

The Minotaur lived underground in a big maze called the labyrinth. Every year, the King of Athens had to send 14 children for the Minotaur to eat. This is a labyrinth, a huge maze. It is very easy to get lost inside a labyrinth.

Image result for labyrinth

The king had a son called Theseus. He was a hero. He decided to go and kill the Minotaur.

Image result for Theseus

The King of Crete had a daughter called Ariadne. When she saw Theseus, she decided to help him. She gave Theseus a big ball of string. He tied it to the door of the labyrinth, then used it so he wouldn’t get lost:

Ariadne and Theseus at the entrance to the labyrinth by Angelika ...

Theseus found the Minotaur.

Image result for Theseus with ariadne's string

They had a long fight because both Theseus and the Minotaur were very strong. Finally, Theseus won and killed the Minotaur.

Theseus – Wikipedia tiếng Việt

Then he returned to Athens with Ariadne. The people were so happy, and Theseus became a hero in Greece.

Now watch the lego film of the story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zWkDElTyc

Remember:

Speak a little slower than normal.

Look at your audience.

Make your voice interesting.

Use great adjectives.

Act out the exciting parts of the story

Public Speaking Classes for Children in San Diego |

GOOD LUCK !