Present perfect I have been to Ha Noi / I’ve been to Ha Noi
Idioms and expressions – bucket list
A: Hello, how’s it going ? Long time no see.
B: Yes, I’ve been in Ha Noi.
A: Amazing ! I want to go. I’ve never been there. It’s on my bucket list.
B: Really ? You must go, the food is great.
A: I’ve heard the people are not nice.
B: They are not the friendliest people in the world, but they are not so bad.
A: What were you doing there ?
B: Knocking on doors ! I had interviews for new companies.
This conversation is more complex and features more idioms and expressions
A: I’m sick of my job ! I need to change.
B: I’ve also been on the lookout for a new job. My job is so tedious !
A: Mine too. Same thing, day in, day out. But … it’s a job. Oh, Tom was fired.
B: No ! Why ? I’ve known him for a long time.
A: He was cooking the books.
B: You’re pulling my leg !
A: Yes ! Really, he went to Boston. He’s got a new job.
B: Good for him ! Now we should go to Boston.
cooking the books = writing false numbers in the accounts – a serious crime
You’re pulling my leg ! = joking with me
Now, a quick customer service dialogue:
Try acting this out in the classroom, encouraging body language and appropriate intonation.
Café worker: Next, please! What would you like? Andi: Can I have a burger, please? Café worker: A cheese burger or double cheese burger? Andi: Double cheese burger, please. Café worker: Anything else? Andi: Yeah, I’d like some banana cake. Café worker: Would you like a drink? Andi: Yes, can I have an apple juice, please? Café worker: OK, so that’s one double cheese burger, one banana cake and an apple juice. What’s your table number? Andi: Table 3. How much is that? Café worker: That’s £8.37, please. Andi: Here you are. Café worker: Thank you … that’s £10.00 … and £1.63 change. Next, please …
Last week, I showed my class how to speak, and think, in longer sentences. I chose a basic question as an example:
Where do you want to visit in Vietnam ?
I showed them a plan:
Introduction / First good point / second good point / something bad / conclusion.
I choose Hoi An
Introduction: DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by repeating or rephrasing the question:
Vietnam has many beautiful places but my choice would be Hoi An.
First Good Point:
Firstly, Hoi An is a historical city with a wonderful Japanese bridge and lovely old shops. At night, the shops use romantic lanterns.
Second Good Point:
Hoi An is close to Da Nang, so I can fly there easily and quickly. There are many things to see and do in the local area.
Now, something negative
However, Hoi An is very small and can be extremely crowded in summer. Maybe it will be difficult to find a hotel or a table at a good restaurant.
In my opinion, Hoi An is a very special place to visitbecause it is a town of Vietnamese culture.
How to build sentences:
Use adjectives to describe nouns (beautiful, historic, romantic)
adverbs to describe adjectives and verbs – give more information (very, easily)
opinion phrases (in my opinion)
linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative – discourse markers (however)
reasons why an action is being done (because)
Now – your turn: Where do you want to visit ? This can be in Vietnam or anywhere.
I like coffee
I like coffee so much because it tastes great and makes me wake up although too much will stop me from sleeping at night but, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
I teach a brother and sister; the sister is a bit of a handful always chatting or texting during class. In complete contrast, the brother is a really good student as well as being a young gentleman. I feel he is an ideal student.
Now – your turn. Try these:
Living in Sai Gon or in your city
Working and studying.
Sentence building – becoming fluent and coherent
EXAMPLE: I like coffee
how MUCH do you like it (adverbs) ?
What kind of coffee (adjectives) ?
What do you think about this ? (opinions)
WHY do you like it (give reasons)
interesting words, phrases, idioms
I really enjoy hot milky coffee because it helps bring people together as well as making our minds become quite active and somewhat excited. Coffee, in my point of view, is essentially useful if we use it in moderation. On the other hand coffee can be a dreadful waste of money as well as having a detrimental effect on our health. Despite the negative aspects, coffee makes me feel over the moon!
Sometimes the best way to learn is just to see mistakes … and correct them. Look at this letter:
grammar – simple or continuous form ?
tenses – are verbs in the right tense ?
Right phrases or idioms
Every days I wokes up at between 6.00 am and 6.15 am. I always usually do the same thing namely get up, brush my tooth, put the kettle in and make coffee. Nowever, on last yesterday I getted up at 5.00 because I must to go to the airport to meeting my friend.
I had a hard time get a taxi because it was cats and dogs raining. On the airport there was so much people, all looking exhausted and depressed by the weather bad. I have never come on a plane without one time when I flyed to Ha Noi.
I seemed to wait forever for my friend. Maybe she had a problem immigration. But no I seed her and she looked very cute but also exhausted and also a little smelly.
Instead of wenting to home, we came to a nice coffee shop with great coffees and good music and also so many people so we having to waited for a sit. The coffee made us to wake up so then we came to home but first she wants to doing some shop.
I taked her to Diamond plaza and we saw many shops, a whole multitude of things to see and do. We saw beatiful dress from silk made but it was too very expensive; it cost a leg and an arm. So instead we did window shopper which is more cheaper.
Class activity. Assign each student, or group, a paragraph and see who can correct the mistakes first. Other teams listen to make sure the answers are correct.
Hi Thay Paul
I want to talk about our next class schedule. Handy for the rest of you on Sunday. I think we can study on Saturday night. I finish work at 5pm and go back home. Therefore, we can start studying English at 7pm.
How do you think about that schedule? May you think and get back to me anytime?
Thank you and hope you have a great day!
This is a real email I received.
Can you write a better version ?
“I want” = can be too strong … “I would like” sounds better, more polite
“Handy for the rest of you on Sunday.” What does this mean ?
Ask a question rather than tell the time.
Reply to me but don’t write “anytime” – give me a time (“before tonight.”)
OK … you try:
I would like to ask about our lesson time tonight.
Today, I finish work around 5 so would it be possible to have our lesson at 7 ?
I hope this is more convenient for you so you can rest on Sunday.
Could you get back to me before tonight?
See you later
Ms Na xo
(xo in the west is a friendly way to end a letter between close friends; it means kiss and hug)
Correct this text: a young lady is talking about her likes and her best friend.
For higher level students, try to rearrange making complex sentences, using clauses, relative pronouns and discourse markers.
I very like pineapple and all fruits. Because it are healthy. Today was wet very, it rained cat and dog. Sometime I read book and watches movie. My work is very boring, same thing, day out, day in. I wants to play badmington with my friend. She am very good, she play for the school team. Together, we is the bestest. She is more tall as me but I am pretty more. We likes to see movie Korean on cinema.
Upper – Intermediate Level
A teacher writes to his HR manager recommending a new teacher.
How would you reply ?
What do you think of the email ?
Could you improve it ?
Dear HR, this is John Smith. I wanna let you know of a super cool friend of mine who would be a brilliant teacher here She’s 24 full of energy and enthusiasm. I know she will be well good. Her names Agnieshzska … Agneeszka … or something like that and she’s from Poland, but her english ain’t bad. She went to high sChool and got sum exams in geography and cooking. I hope you take her on the students will love her like, yer know, lots. See ya
Activity 2: you don’t feel the candidate is suitable. Write an email back to Johnny
CORRECT THE MISTAKES IN THIS EMAIL:
[A sample answer follows the photo.]
Thank you for your introduction.
Unfortunately, We need experience teaching teacher, over 2 years. Beside, they must have degree, Tesol,… Especially, native speakers.
It’s so sorry. Ms Agnieshzska is not suitable for this position.
If you have any friends, who satisfy necessary conditions as above, please introduce to us.
Have a nice day!
Penny Lane English School
Dear Mr John (Johnny could be a little too informal)
Thank you for your introduction.
Unfortunately, we only employ teachers who have at least two year’s experience. In addition, they have to hold a degree and a recognised teaching certificate. Finally, we only hire native speakers.
As such, your friend would not be suitable for this position.
If you have any friends who satisfy the necessary conditions, please feel free to introduce them to us.
Have a nice day!
Penny Lane English Centre
NOTES: see ‘year’s experience’ – possessive
I didn’t use the friend’s name because John couldn’t write it properly !