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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Adult Class, Level 3: business icons.

4th November for 5th November 2019 AEF 10A, pp. 94 – 95

Tonight we’ll discuss modern icons, titans of the business world, in both USA and Vietnam. It’ll be no surprise that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, who are both from the USA, are included although Vietnam also has a number of wealthy, super-rich who may not be as well known on the global stage. However tonight, which is a special day in the UK, we’ll warm up with the story of Guy Fawkes whose image is now iconic. He is part of the history of London where I was born. If you don’t know the name, maybe you’ll recognise these:

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In 1605, a group of people wanted to blow up (like a bomb) Parliament (where the government meet) during a visit from the King. The group were caught; Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. All the conspirators were executed for treason.

A good history, with notes for English-language learners, can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soe8Z_Ej4Ck

This event is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks:

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Here’s an example of what happens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OttNo41ab0

Now, without further ado, tonight’s lesson: modern icons and, for grammar, relative clauses, hence the bold font earlier on the words who, where, which and whose.

I’ll be honest with you – this can be a little complicated, although it should be easy:

Relative pronouns

Who // for a person. Mark, who is from Chicago, is working in Ha Noi

Where // for a place. Ha Noi, where Mark works, is in north Vietnam.

Which // for a thing. The guitar, which is Japanese, was a bargain at £35.

Whose // possessive. The man whose guitar was stolen was very upset.

So far so good BUT … check this out:

London, where I was born, is the capital of the UK

London, which is in the south of England, is my hometown.

In a practice, we have an example similar to this:

London where I was born is the place which I love the most.

I’ve tried to think of a way to explain this in clear simple English … here goes !

In the first clause (London where I was born) we can ask “Where were you born ?” The answer is London. However, in the second clause (the place which I love the most) try the same pattern … “Where do you love the most ?” Here, the answer is “The place.” That is not a suitable answer – it is not a real location, so it becomes a thing – therefore we use which.

Oi troi oi ! English grammar !

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Now, let’s put it into practise.

Mark Zuckerberg: born 1984 in NY, USA. Studied at Harvard. Co-founded Facebook. Net worth estimated at 70.3 billion USD (wow !).

Mark Zuckerberg, who was born in 1984, grew up in NY state which is in the USA. Harvard, where he studied, is the oldest university in the States (USA). Zuckerberg, whose net worth is estimated at over 70 billion dollars co-founded Facebook which is used all over the world.

Speaking of Facebook, one of my favourite films is ‘The Social Network’ about how the company was founded. The film, which was made in 2010, is scripted by Aaron Sorkin who is, in my opinion, a fantastic and highly talented writer.

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Now try with Steve Jobs: born San Francisco // was a college drop out // first worked at Atari, a video games company // Apple computers were the first to utilise a mouse // co-founded Pixar in 1986 (what is Pixar ?) // died 2011, aged 56.

Now … team work. Class in two teams and they have to make a presentation about two Vietnamese business icons: Pham Nhat Vuong & Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.

Students may use the internet and their own knowledge to tell me about these icons.

https://www.citypassguide.com/blog/vietnams-richest-business-people

Give me the facts (where and when were they born, how did they get rich, what is their area of business ?) and use relative clauses to produce longer, complex sentences.

richest business people
richest business people

Students may, indeed I would encourage them to, use the internet and projector to bring their presentation alive. All members of the team must speak.

Team discussion:

Last week we covered negotiation language, phrases such as, “I see your point, but …” “I’m not sure I entirely agree with you,” “That’s interesting, however have you considered.

Today, the topics will be:

  1. Do people spend too much time on Facebook ? Is it a good or bad thing ?
  2. I need a new laptop; what should I buy, an Apple or Windows ?

I want to hear different points of view and people playing Devil’s advocate (arguing or making a point, even if you don’t personally believe it … just to encourage the opponent to develop their idea).

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15-inch Macbook Pro at $2 399
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HP Intel Pentium 15.6 inch screen. $299 Windows 10

To encourage students, and to give them lexical resources, elicit some answers and ideas first, and board them, as well as introducing new concepts. What are the pros and cons ? The decisive factors ? What points should I consider.

With Facebook – is the answer binary (yes OR no ?) … it’s more interesting to discuss the middle ground, and illustrate it with personal examples.

I recently went on a short break to a nearby beach resort where I took many photos. I need to upload them to Facebook … or do I ? Does anybody REALLY care ? Can I really afford to spend the time doing it ? Or is it relaxing and pleasurable ? Does it enable my European friends to see a little more of my life here in Vietnam … what do YOU think … ?