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 ?

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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 !

Young Learners: Warm-up questions and surveys

2nd August 2020

What Is the Model Minority Myth? | Teaching Tolerance

Some sample questions to help get a class speaking to each other IN ENGLISH, and prepared to do some work. I use these with students aged about 9 – 12, at lower-intermediate level.

We start with a survey where the students have to walk around, speaking to each other and trying to …

Find 3 people who:

Name // 1 // 2 // 3 //

Hobby

Play an instrument
Draw or paint
Read books
Watch films
Learn English
Have a pet
What pet ?
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For advanced students, encourage them to probe for more information – what books are read, what instrument(s) are played, etc.

Bright Young Things | High Wycombe Tuition Centre - Red Kite Days

Speaking exercise

This can be done in pairs, small groups or as a class survey.

What was the last film you saw ? Did you like it ?

How many people live in your house ?

What is hard about learning English ?

How often do you chat online ?

Which social media sites do you use ?

What is your favourite food ?

Do you often eat western food ? Do you sometimes eat fast food ?

Have you tried Korean or Japanese food ? What did you think ?

What sports do you play ?

What would you most like to buy ?

Do you like living in the city or countryside ?

What country would you like to visit ?

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South Korea / India / New Zealand

Public Speaking for Young Learners: Bring your speech alive.

31st July 2020

Speech by Kuoch Someth, ACE Children Program Student - YouTube

Some tips on giving a great speech, aimed at students aged from 8 – 12 who are using English as their second language.

First, introduce yourself, and say what you will be speaking about.

Second, speak a little slowly than normal.

Third, look at your audience, smile, make eye-contact.

Fourth, use notes or drawings but do not just read from a paper. That will be BORING !

Fifth, use body language. Use your voice to make the speech more exciting.

What Cinderella Tells Us About Life, Love and Happiness ...

Last week, we used the story of Cinderella, and focused on using special words to tell a story.

They included:

Once upon a time // A long time ago //

One day // soon after that //

then // when // next // after //

Finally // In the end

Encouraging Students to Own Their Work | Edutopia
ARE YOU READY ?

Introduce yourself:

Hello, my name is …

Introduce your subject:

Today, I want to tell you the story of Cinderella

Now bring your speech alive – use your voice and body language.

Try saying these adjectives:

beautiful // old // evil // handsome // ugly // sad

Now act them:

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Or your audience will be:

Vladimir Putin's state of union speech caps a bad year for Russia ...

Finally, let’s have some help from my two friends, Matt and Ben:

Lion face … AAArrghhhhhhhh,

Lemon face … OOOOoooohhh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rngjZ10yUyA

Signs, symbols and icons: information and worksheet

21st August 2019

I actually prepared this for my top students in a Young Learners’ Level 3 (ages from 9 – 11) class; university-level semiotics. While most of the class just do the assigned work – no more, no less – others make no effort at all and are unable or unwilling to answer a question to which I have just given the answer. Then we have the top cats … I’m lucky to have two exceptional students in my class as well as two others who, with some effort, could also reach those Olympian heights.

The following is a very simplified, breakdown of everyday signs, symbols and the modern use of the word ‘icon’ as related to technology. The original categorisation into ‘icon, index & symbol’ was devised by Charles Sanders Peirce, and more information can be found on this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotic_theory_of_Charles_Sanders_Peirce#II._Icon,_index,_symbol

The following I have printed out as a three-page activity worksheet for my top cats (who generally finish bookwork before others have even started).

A sign uses pictures to give information or to tell people what they can or can not do:

What do these signs mean ?     ///   The first sign means no smoking.

The second sign means … /// The third sign means … 

A symbol is a picture or things that represents a place, city or country.

The ao dai and non la are symbols that represent Viet Nam

What do these symbols represent ?

Icons are used on computers and smartphones. For example, this icon:

  represents a dictionary. How about these ?

Draw two more icons from a computer or smartphone.

Draw two signs that could be used in Vietnam

What do these signs from Singapore mean ?

What do you think of these signs ?

Do you agree ? Do you disagree ? Tell me why …

Young learners (ages 4 – 6)

9thDecember

First class with a new post-KG (Kindergarten) class. 21 students and a new, young TA. There was going to be a lot of class management and, as a teacher-friend formerly  said, ‘crowd control’.

I used some illustrations to show basic class rules and the procedure (one black mark for breaking the rules, two black marks and the name is in the book) if they transgress.

Almost immediately, three boys were on the board; shouting and screaming (usual behaviour for a young class).

In this type of class, we usually introduce some new vocabulary and grammar, then drill it for pronunciation and meaning. The students will practice speaking, listening and more speaking … ideally.

The challenge here is to make warm up games fun and get everyone involved. At least the room was quite large, so I was able to hide some flash cards and ask some students to run and find them. These would be words learnt from a previous lesson(s) so the game also serves as a review. At this age, the students like active games, it gets them excited and prevents boredom from sitting in chairs for long periods.

Naturally, not all students can be involved at the same time, especially in running games, so a good plan is to break the class down into smaller groups (maybe four or five students per group). One member from each group can do an activity while the others will, hopefully, encourage them. I name the groups after English football clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs. Manchester United are having more success in my classroom than in the Premier League.

However, getting the students to speak in English was a bit of a problem. Most of them didn’t seem to understand my instructions, or didn’t want to speak. I’ll need to get the TA involved more, translating and giving instructions in Vietnamese.

Not a great success but realistic for a first lesson. I spent some time one-to-one with the students, checking their work and letting them speak to me, repeating what they had learnt.

In such a large group, there will be mixed abilities, motivation and energy. It’s a good idea to have some work sheets prepared for fast finishers. These include new vocabulary  and word searches; they appear as games, but also have pedagogic value, especially if the students work together and ask each other questions in English.

At the end of the lesson, the students should have learnt new vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation … and how I expect them to behave in class. It can be a slow process, but it works.