IELTS: Speaking Practice

10th August 2020

To pass IELTS with flying colours you need to use low-frequency words, idiomatic language, discourse markers AND speak with natural intonation, stress and rhythm.

This means PRACTICE, PRACTICE & PRACTICE

TwoSet Violin Perfects Their Practice

So, without further ado, complete these idioms:

Once in _______________

Put (my, your etc) _______________     to the ______________

Burn (ing) __________________   at ______________

It’s raining _____________________

It costs ___________________________

Piece ________________

Now use them in a sentence:

A 4star hotel in Singapore _______________________ (very expensive)

Wear boots and a coat; it’s been ____________________ (very bad weather)

He parties all day and night! He can’t ________________ forever. (doing something for too many hours)

She is not academic, she’ll read a book ______________ (hardly ever).

If you are serious about IELTS, you’ll need to _____________________ (start working much harder).

Now – give me an adverb and a low-frequency word

EXAMPLE:

Teaching unmotivated students is terribly tedious.

Lazy Student Quotes, Quotations & Sayings 2020

Thai food is ______________ _______________

(very tasty)

After failing her test, she was _________ _________

(very sad)

Marvel films are _____________ _______________

(very popular)

My poor old grandma is getting ___________ _______

(very forgetful)

Practice saying these for correct intonation

Swami Vivekananda quote: Everything is easy when you are busy. But ...

Speaking Practice – use discourse markers to extend your speaking and to link ideas.

Try to use: although / consequently / therefore

Describe something you own which is very important to you. 

You should say: 

where you got it from

how long you have had it

what you use it for

explain why it is important to you. 

  • You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. 
  • You can make some notes to help you if you wish. 

Rounding off questions 

  • Is it valuable in terms of money? 
  • Would it be easy to replace? 

This could be a physical object, a memento with sentimental value, or an abstract noun such as health, happiness etc.

Small talk …. Try to talk for as long as possible – then change subjects:

your home town / your favourite holiday / family / favourite hobby / a great place to visit in your city / some terrible things about your city /

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 ?
Student painting mural - art - Warren Wilson College
Stories from the Field: One Teacher's Experiences in Tajikistan ...
Are all pets harmful for kids

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

Adult Speaking Class, Level 1 / Young learners level 5: Around the world (in 80 minutes)

26th July 2020

Working in pairs or small groups, gather information about these countries, then make a presentation. Add something about yourself ;would you like to visit these countries ? Why ? What would you do there ? What would you eat and buy ?

Flag of Brazil image and meaning Brazilian flag - country flags
Flag of South Korea image and meaning South Korean flag - country ...
Canadian Flag | Canadian Tire
Egypt Flag, Egyptian Flag

Capital cities

Brasilia (Brasil) Seoul (South Korea)

Ottawa (Canada) Egypt (Cairo)

South Korea launches new meetings package PLUS SEOUL - CMW
Seoul, South Korea

Population

Brasil 183 888 841 // South Korea 51 047 000

Canada 37 000 000 // Egypt 97 055 000

Brasília travel | Brazil - Lonely Planet
Brasilia

Language

Brasil – Portuguese // South Korea – Korean

Canada – English & French // Egypt – Arabic (Egyptian Arabic)

Ottawa was the coldest national capital in the world over the ...
Ottawa, Canada

Famous for

Brasil – Amazon River & football

South Korea – K-pop, films and Samsung

Canada – Most educated country. Friendly

Egypt – Pyramids and Nile River

Cairo Egypt The Historic City - travel connection tours
Cairo, Egypt

Weather

Brasil – hot and dry, humid

Canada – very cold winter, cool summer

South Korea – 4 seasons, cold winters

Egypt – very hot summer, very cold winter

7 Restaurants In Luxor You Must Visit For Trying Egyptian Food
10 Foods “Born And Made In Canada” | Chopsticks + Forks
Vegan Brazilian Bowl - The Wanderlust Kitchen
10 Korean Food Facts! – SnackFever

IELTS: use adverbs frequently, correctly and confidently

3rd July 2020

IELTS students need to know an incredibly wide array of adverbs so, with that in mind, here’s an exercise which can be easily adapted as a team game. Complete the sentences with suitable adverbs. Piece of cake, right ?

Use a thesaurus and dictionary to boost your vocabulary.

Asian University Life Concept Group Young Asian College Students ...

Word Fill

Adverbs of manner & ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘even though’

(Fast or quickly – both can be used as adverbs, fast more for speed, quickly for time e.g. the animal runs fast and eats quickly.)

Note: ‘well’, ‘fast’ and ‘hard’ are irregular adverbs of manner.

Use a positive adverb for (+) and a negative one for (-)

Example: She sings (+) beautifully but plays piano (-) terribly.

It is raining (-) heavily so I will bring an umbrella

UK weather forecast: London | London Evening Standard
WELCOME TO LONDON

I will go along with you ……I am not really hungry

……….I am not hungry, I will go with you to KFC

Grabbike is cheap …..they drive so (-). 

She failed her test ……..she studied (+)

Do I look like Batman ? Then why are you speaking so …..(-)

Christian Bale says Heath Ledger 'ruined my plans' for Batman and ...
Batman has amazingly good hearing … but not all teachers have so SPEAK UP !

We have learnt many idioms ….that is just the tip of the iceberg.

He loves music …much ….he sings (-).

She never eats the food ………she works there.

……..she speaks English very (+), she is afraid to speak to westerners.

Rosé (BLACKPINK) confessed that she used to be a terrible singer ...
She sang terribly even though she loves music

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: in order to improve

30th June 2020

Undergraduate Programs offered by Asian University for Women | AUW ...

New vocabulary for ‘great’

outstanding / magnificent / marvellous fantastic / brilliant / excellent

top marks / top of the class / first class / A1

idioms

I’m under the weather not feeling well

I’m down in the dumps unhappy, depressed

I’m over the Moon extremely happy

Turn over a new leaf to start again, try to be better

cook the books – cheating with accounts ! Making false numbers

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They are very happy … they are ________________________
Man flu does exist as men suffer more from high temperatures when ...
He’s feeling __________________
Symptoms of Depression in Women: Types and Causes
She’s feeling ___________________
Enron — FBI
A man is arrested. He is alleged to have made false accounts, to have _________________

The schwa / ə /

most common sound

important words, nouns, adjectives, adverbs are stressed

linking words, pronouns, articles, prepositions, auxiliaries not stressed

unstressed words tend to be quicker and lower in volume. Vowel sound often ‘swallowed’

Example: How much is that laptop ? How muchis that laptop?

English can be described as soft and hard – a soft syllable followed by hard or vice versa.

To sound like a native-speaker, use your face, body and voice. With questions, your voice goes up on the last word.

Read following sentences:

Do you have a brother ? Do you havea brother ?

How often do you play badminton ?

What kind of music do you like ?

What time do you wake up?

These Women Badminton Players Are Making India Proud

Try saying these sentences:

When is your birthday ? // Today was so hot ! // I don’t like beer but I love wine.

I’m learning English in order to get a better job and have a brilliant future. 

Main clause / infinite verb / subordinate clause

‘in order to’ links a main clause to a subordinate clause. 

Verb will always be base form / infinite … 

In the mornings, I drink coffee in order to wake up.

Happy beautiful asian woman smiling and drinking a cup of coffee ...

I don’t dance after 10 pm in order not to annoy my neighbour downstairs.

Happy Smiling Young Man Dancing at Home by dolgachov on Envato ...

NOW … YOUR TURN:

Why do you keep fit ? Play computer games ? Drink beer ? hang out with friends ? Buy your wife/husband presents ?

Why don’t you smoke ? Sing Karaoke ? Talk on your phone when riding your motorbike ?

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: London – how do I get to … ?

29th June 2020

How do I get to … ?

London: Inside Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard ...

Asking and telling directions

Direction language

Expressions

Adverbs

Idioms

Look at the map. 

How to get to Buckingham Palace | Royal Collection Trust | Lugares ...

You are standing outside the Palace, at the corner of Birdcage Walk. You want to get to (go to) Victoria Station.

Excuse me, how do I get to Victoria Station ?

Walk straight down Buckingham Palace Road. Walk across the street and you can’t miss it (you will see it easily).

You are outside the front door of Harrods and want to visit the Royal Albert Hall

Harrods' 10 Secrets - Luxury Shopping in London - Black Platinum Gold
Pin by Karin Evans on London | Buckingham palace, London, Hyde park

WELCOME TO LEYTONSTONE

Leytonstone is an area in east London, and was the birthplace of the film director Alfred Hitchcock, footballer David Beckham and singer Damon Albarn of the band Blur.

Damon Albarn unveils blue plaque at childhood home in Fillebrook ...
Damon Albarn showing where he lived in Leytonstone
File:Damon Albarn (Waltham Forest Heritage).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Next, asking for local directions:

Sorry to bother (disturb) you, but I’m looking for a pub. Is there one near here ?

Yes, there is one quite close, ‘The Birkbeck Tavern’, maybe five or ten minutes’ walk away. Turn left until you come to Bridge Street. Turn left again, and keep walking, past the park, until you reach the bridge. Cross over, and Bob’s your uncle (there you are). It’s on the corner, you can’t miss it.

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leytonstone | Layers of London | Recording ...

NOW: A local map

Bushwood Area Residents' Association

You are in LISTER ROAD (at the bottom) and want to get to GROVE ROAD.

Take turns asking each other questions.

The red circle with a blue band is the symbol for an underground station, which we call ‘The Tube.’ Here is Leytonstone Tube:

Man charged over Leytonstone tube stabbing remanded - BBC News
Leytonstone | Central line : London Underground ( 1992 Tube Stock ...

Plan a day

What would you like to do, where would you like to visit ?

Things to consider:

Time / lunch / travelling around / a variety of activities

London video

Adult Speaking Class, level 1: What do they like ?

22nd June 2020

An exercise for lower-intermediates. Help to use basic verbs, and to build long sentences.

We can see five people:

Andrew, Fiona, Helen, Mark and Tina

We see what they eat (dinner), their job (occupation), what they do in their free time (hobby) and what that do on Saturday and Sunday (the weekend).

For example, Andrew likes to drink beer, Tina like to do karate

What do they do ?

Name // dinner // occupation // hobby // weekend 

Andrewsteak and chips
spaghetti
brewerfootball & beersports & cinema DOESN’T like shopping
Fionatuna salad
soups
accountantreading
driving
visits family & shopping DOESN’T like sports
Helensushi
Korean BBQ
marketingyoga & keep fit
craft beer 
exercises & cinema DOESN’T like loud clubs
Markfish and chips
kebabs
civil servantcars and bikes
sports
fixing cars & drinking beer DOESN’T like loud clubs
Tinapasta
pizza
dentistkaraoke
clubs
shopping and meeting friends DOESN’T like beer or sport.
Couple watching a football game | Royalty free photo - 404574
Andrew likes to watch football but his girlfriend does not (doesn’t)
CMA - Lady accountant - (S) - YouTube
Fiona is an accountant
Dara eating sushi (Line play 053115) | 2ne1, South korean idol, Yg ...
Helen likes to eat sushi
Buy his bikes, bee-cause! - Los Angeles Times
Mark likes to ride a bicycle
Taekwondo Girl - Bing Images | Martial arts girl, Taekwondo girl ...
Tina likes to do karate

Make sentences

Use so does with positives, neither does with negatives.

EXAMPLE:

Mark eats chips and so does Andrew. 

Helen doesn’t drink beer neither does Tina.

Tina likes shopping …

Mark doesn’t like loud clubs …

Make questions

EXAMPLE:

Who likes beer ? Who eats Italian food (pizza, pasta, spaghetti) ?

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: What type of person are you ?

19th June 2020

Free Images : person, people, woman, flower, asian, model, asia ...
Angry Arabian Businessman, Arabian Businessman Expressing Anger ...
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Discourage Policy and Procedure Non-Compliance in the Workplace

I feel I am …

an easy-going person // a very generous lady or man // highly motivated //

outgoing // short-tempered // kind // lazy // bone-idle ! // introverted // wise //

unmotivated // easily bored // open and friendly // stand offish // organised //

The wise son's question and answer | The Jewish Star | www ...
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Read the questions then discuss.

1 Are you organised ? Can you always find your keys, books, phone, papers ?

2 Do you ever lend people money ? When and why or why not ? Do you ever borrow money ? In what situation ?

3 Do you mind, does it bother you if someone borrows your … ?

clothes // sports equipment // camera // bicycle // CDs // money // food // computer games // project workbooks //

Is there anything you would NEVER lend ?

4 Do you correct people when their English is wrong ?

Do you correct people when their Vietnamese is wrong ?

5 You feel very ill / have the flu or a cold. Do you:

go to school or work or stay in bed ? (call in sick)

stay at home but not in bed ? (catch up on TV shops, online shopping)

put on a brave face and carry on as usual ?

Carry on but let everyone know you are ill ?

6 At a shop counter, do you try to get served first (push in) or do you wait for your turn ?

7 If you have bad food in a shop, do you complain, or just leave and decide never to go back ?

8 Do you give money to street beggars ? Charities ? Do you buy things from people because they look poor ?

9 You are shopping with a full trolley. The person behind you has just one item. Do you let them go first ?

Japan's obsession with cuteness - Without Baggage

Phrasal verbs and collocations: The next level. Dialogue practice

15th June 2020

General English - Shakespeare | British Council

This level of English is for students who live, or plan to live, in English-speaking countries.

I advise my students to learn Standard English, as that will help them to communicate with other non-native speakers. Clarity in both pronunciation and meaning is paramount (of most importance).

However, that is NOT how everyday people speak in everyday situations. Therefore, here’s a set of examples and new vocabulary that you will need. Furthermore, you will feel more confident, using the language and vernacular of those around you.

Dialogue practice

phrasal verbs / collocations / idioms / adverbs

vocabulary:

fond – to like something.

more than likely = very probably, about 90% sure. 

sip – to drink a very little.

rival – competitors 

Two friends are athletes meet each other Stock Video Footage ...

A: Hi, how’s it going with you ?

B: It’s going incredibly well today. I want to celebrate. Fancy a beer ?

A: I’m not so fond of beer, I prefer coffee. How does that sound ?

B: Brilliant ! Highlands or Coffee bean ? Which one ? I can’t make up my mind.

A: Is Highlands far ? They are Vietnamese, a rival to the American company.

B: It’s quite far. We ‘ll have to take a taxi. More than likely it will rain.

A: Let’s get a move on before it rains cats and dogs. 

B: Too right ! We’ll have to give up getting a taxi once it rains. Let’s go !

At the coffee shop

Juan Ferrer on Twitter: "Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Coffee and ...

A: Watch out! The coffee’s incredibly hot. Just sip it. What are you up to now ?

B: Just texting the office. They seem rather busy. 

A: You should take a break. Tell them to just do their best.

B: Hold your horses… there ! Finished. Piece of cake.

A: You want some cake ?

B: No, hahaha. ‘Piece of cake’… means no problem. Having said that …

A: Right ! The cakes look amazingly tasty. Shall we … ?

They buy two gloriously large cakes

Top 15 Things to See and Do in Ahmedabad, India - David's Been Here

A: Let’s dive in ! Wow … I must admit, this is remarkably good. How’s yours ?

B: I think it’s too big for me. Let me try some … oh, blimey, that’s awful !

A: Yes, afterwards, we’ll need to work out. 

B: A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips !

A: Do you have a minute ? I’d like to go over something with you.

B: Sure, what’s on your mind ?

A: Which video do you think is better for the students ? We need to inspire them.

B: This one looks good … oh, hold on … the vocabulary is very difficult … good !

NOW … YOUR TURN

Write a short dialogue scene about planning a holiday

1: Have you decided where to go on holiday ?

2: No, I haven’t made up my mind yet.

1: Well, have you thought about …

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Two friends talking in Nigeria

Phrasal verbs and idioms: Dialogue practice

15th June 2020

Continuing the series of short dialogues, to help students see how idiomatic language can be used in everyday conversation.

Depending on the students’ motivation, these scenes can be acted out, which is generally more fun than simply learning from text books.

I have included many expressions and idioms – ask your teacher for the meaning or look up the answer online.

To warm up, elicit some collocations with ‘take’ and ‘make’ then ask the students to listen out for which ones are featured.

Two asian muslim woman standing and talking in the office with a ...

Dialogue: Bear with me

To practise simple past/ past continuous and collocations with ‘make’and ‘take’.

A: How’s it going ? You look busy.

B: Sorry, can you bear with me a moment ? I just need to finish off this report. Take a seat.

A: Sure, take your time. I was making plans with John last night.

B: Really ? What did you decide to do ?

A: We couldn’t make up our minds. I wanted to go to the cinema, he wanted to stay home.

B: There ! All finished. Now I’m going to take a break.

A: Good for you ! 

Two asian business women having a meeting with laptop in modern ...

A: Did you go out ?

B: We were leaving when it began to rain cats and dogs. Also, the traffic was chockablock.

A: So what happened ?

B: We stayed in and ordered take out. We tried English food.

A: Was it delicious ?

B: It was OK, nothing special. The menu was in English … I couldn’t make it out.

A: You should have taken a photo of the food.

Top 10 famous English foods - By food author Howard Hillman
Traditional British food – fish and chips
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Fika – coffee and cakes in Sweden

A: I was thinking about ordering some food. Have you had lunch ?

B: No, I’m starving … I could eat a horse.

A: Let’s go eat. After, we can check out the stores. I’m on the lookout for a pair of trainers.

B: OK, I’ll take my break now. We can take a taxi to SaiGon Centre.

A: Super ! So many shops … but I won’t be able to make up my mind.

B: I’ll help you – piece of cake.

Saigon Centre Tower 1 - The Executive Centre