IELTS: Planning a day out

16th December 2020

17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Beijing | PlanetWare
The Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

A compilation of exercises for students to plan a day out for visitors to their city.

Firstly, an example demonstrating an IELTS-style structure:

Where would you like to visit in Viet Nam (or your own country) and why ?

I show them a plan:

Introduction / First good point / second good point / something negative / conclusion

I choose Hoi An

Hoi An: Vietnam's most charming city - Exoticca Blog

Introduction: DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by rephrasing (paraphrasing) 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

HoweverHoi 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.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Hoi An is a very special place to visit because 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, furthermore, consequently, therefore)

reasons and examples why an action is being done (because) or such as

For IELTS students, ALWAYS think how you can use an idiom e.g.

I have been burning the candle at both ends, so I really need a break

I only take a holiday once in a blue moon

Travelling can be extremely expensive, but a bus ticket to Da Nang, although time-consuming, doesn’t cost and arm and a leg.

Now – your turn:

Where do you want to visit ? Where would you most like to visit ? This can be in Vietnam or anywhere … think BIG.

Women wearing Vietnamese ao dai granted an imperial favor
Hue
Getting Around Hanoi [2019] Guide to Get Around Hanoi for ...
Ha Noi
The History of the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, India
Where to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico
Day of the Dead, Mexico

Activity:

Present a holiday using a mixture of advertising slogans and practical information. Remember:

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

Make your voice sound excited, as if this were the best holiday ever ! You have to use intonation and stress.

Holiday terms:

transfers / half-board / all -inclusive / amenities / package tour / itinerary /

Language:

breathtaking / visually – stunning / sensational / incredible / remarkable / exclusive /

once in a lifetime experience / never to be forgotten / unbeatable prices / book now to avoid disappointment / best decision you’ll ever make

holidays to suit all budgets , from 7* luxury to backpacking

Structure:

To begin with / furthermore … additionally / the fact is … / therefore

Demonstration with an advert for London:

Let's visit London - презентация онлайн

Now is the perfect time to visit London, England’s glorious capital.

To begin with, the weather is perfect for walking, so you can enjoy the lush parks, world-famous museums and incredible, unbelievable shops such as Harrods, Selfridges and so many more. 

Furthermore, there is something for everyone … and more ! Like sports ? Go to one of the many Premier League football games. Love shopping ?

The fact is, everything is here – shop till you drop !

Additionally, if you adore culture – soak up hundreds of years of history.

Flights from TSN airport daily. Seven-day all-inclusive package tour starting from only 50m VND ! All transfers and transport included. Air-conditioned mini bus with Vietnamese-speaking guide.

Therefore, don’t delay … book TODAY !

Sell a holiday

Advertising vocabulary and intonation

Prepare a presentation to market / sell a holiday.

Review: New vocabulary

sensational / once in a lifetime / luxury / all-inclusive / unforgettable experience / mysterious / majestic / breathtaking / visually-stunning

book now to avoid disappointment / exhilarating / world-famous

local food / new cultures / visit our website / worth every penny

fun for all the family/ the perfect getaway /

Plan a tour of your city for my friend

Ethan Hawke Sticks Up For Texas, Reps Beto and Turns a Dead ...
My friend Ethan is coming to visit your hometown

It is his first time in your hometown. He likes history, traditional food, and he wants to buy souvenirs.

Think about:

What time to start

What to do first 

Logistics – how Ethan can get around the city (subway, bus, taxi, Grab or Uber)

Food – where to eat and what to choose. Remember, he only speaks English

Where to go (remember the heat OR the rain could be an issue / a problem).

Explain your choices

Try to incorporate (use) these adjectives:

interesting // historical // fascinating // authentic

typical // bustling // lively // thought-provoking

Mind map – Travel

I start by writing the word ‘travel’ on the board, and see how many avenues spread out from it. Start with the grammar; what type of word is it (noun) but it can be made into a verb (to travel, travelling) and the students should remember how to apply it to a person (traveller).

Then we have expressions such as ‘travel broadens the mind.’

We have this quote which introduces metaphor – the world as a book:

Then more pedestrian aspects of travel; how do we travel (transportation), preparation (booking tickets, hotels, visas etc), what do we bring with us (different clothes, sun cream, currency, sun glasses etc). How about culture shock ?

Next, what are the positive aspects of travelling (new cultures, fun, adventure, relaxation) and conversely, the negatives (delays, waiting in soulless airports, getting ripped off, tourist traps, bad hotels etc)

Pair work: students have to write a short passage using ‘although‘ and ‘despite‘ to encapsulate their travel experiences or wishes.

EXAMPLES: Although I absolutely love travelling, there are many drawbacks. Firstly, there is the cost; it can be incredibly expensive what with plane tickets and hotels not to mention having to eat out in restaurants. Despite these issues, travelling can be so relaxing or exciting, seeing new places and doing new things or simply as a break from our normal lives.

Vietnam has many beautiful towns and places of interest although I have only been to a few of them despite travel being relatively cheap in this country. We can fly everywhere within one or two hours, at very reasonable prices although some cheap airlines, such as Vietjet, are notorious for delays.

I have always wanted to visit Beijing in China which is not excessively far from Sai Gon. Despite that, I haven’t been because I am not sure about the visa and how expensive it would be to visit. Additionally, I hear some negative things such as terrible pollution and many tourist scams. Despite the drawbacks, I really want to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace and all the temples. Although Vietnam and China have a complicated relationship, most Vietnamese would agree that Chinese food is delicious.

These exercises help to increase vocabulary and confidence. Furthermore, the repetition helps to make the target language part of the students’ lexical resources.

As a break from the book work, I’ll show the class a vlog from YouTube, two tourists who come to Sai Gon and what they think of the city:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iw_K-1AmVk

How do the tourists feel about the city ? As residents, do you agree with the review ?

Students can discuss the video using the following language:

I agree totally // I agree to an extent // I disagree // I’m not entirely sure // No way ! They don’t know what they are talking about !

optimistic // uninformed // delusional // open-minded // enthusiastic

Group work: Prepare a guide to Sai Gon for tourists.

Allow students access to the class computer for Google images if required.

Include

What to see and do // where and what to eat // what to buy //

What they can do for entertainment

Travel tips

Safety and scams

Cultural differences – what should people do or NOT do in Vietnam ?

Use of interesting adjectives to describe the city centre.

Groups can then present to the class, with all students taking turns speaking. I shall be listening for relevance, pronunciation and use of expressions and discourse markers. Furthermore, I may learn some interesting tips.

 My friend Andy is coming to Sai Gon

Using ‘should’ to give advice or information, make suggestions for Andy.

He loves history … what should he visit or see ?

He loves traditional food … what should he eat ?

He can’t ride a motorbike … how should he travel ?

He likes a beer a night (!) … where should he go ?

My Thai friend is coming to Vietnam:

Image result for two thai ladies

Ms Namsum is young and energetic. She’s into (really enjoy) clubs, sightseeing and shopping.

I suggest she starts the day with a traditional bowl of pho then goes to Sai Gon centre. She can walk there from her hotel in District 1 or take a taxi (Vinasun or Malin ONLY). She will be out of the heat and has a lot of shopping choices and places to eat or grab a coffee. She could rest at her hotel in the afternoon, then go to Nguyen Hue walking street when it gets cooler in the evening. She has many restaurants in this area. Furthermore, there are many English-language menus. Finally, she can go to Bui Vien street where there are many clubs and bars, as well as many tourists speaking English.

What do they students think ? Is that a good plan ? Have I missed something important ?

Language to use:

I see your point

That’s a good idea but …

If I may make a suggestion …

I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.

For example – That’s a good idea but you haven’t thought about sightseeing.

Or

Bui Vien can be very noisy so I’m not sure that’s such a good idea for a young lady on her own.

Two of my friends, Tom and David who are both actors, are coming to Sai Gon. The students, in groups, have to arrange a fun day including sightseeing, shopping, eating and transportation. Then they have to compare their itineraries and exchange views and opinions. The students learn how to politely disagree with each and put forward their ideas and support their choices.

Image result for two english men
Tom and David

PLAN A DAY FOR TOM & DAVID

Where can they eat ?

What could they see or visit ?

How can they travel around ?

What can they buy as souvenirs ?

Where could they go at night ?

What safety advice would you give ?

What you need to know:

Both are 45-years old. They have good jobs and a good income. They like history and culture. They really enjoy good food and wine. Neither speaks any Vietnamese. They are too old for very loud clubs but they don’t mind having a few beers and maybe seeing some live music.

The students can make a presentation, and use the computer for images or maps to illustrate their plan. Then the other team can explain what they have organised, and the reasons why. I will decide which team has made the best choice.

Activity: Plan a day out for my friends.

Thay Paul with Tina and Michael.

I have two friends arriving in Sai Gon (or your city). They want a typical, authentic experience. Plan a day for them. It must include:

  • Breakfast
  • A museum
  • Somewhere for a snack
  • An interesting building or location
  • Lunch
  • Souvenir shopping
  • Something to do in the evening

Give tips and advice. 

How do they travel around ? 

What are their options and estimate the prices.

Try to use as much new vocabulary as possible, words and expressions.

Directions to Pham Ngo Lao Street District 1 // Directions to a city centre street.

Ask for help. Other must offer as much help – how to get there, the best way, the price, the dangers. Body language – distance, expression, intonation, eye contact etc

Is Sai Gon safe ?

Can you understand Vietnamese people speaking English ?

Do you agree with their points ?

Are there any words you didn’t understand ?

Do you have any bad experiences ? Tell the class your anecdote.

Hotels

Image result for hotel london

Word bomb– what do you think of when I say ‘hotel’ ?

Image result for hotel vocabulary

Checking in to a hotel

Vocabulary:

reception / lift or elevator / single or double room / king size bed or twins /

first floor / complimentary breakfast / key deposit / luggage storage / safe / mini bar

What would the conversation be ?

Reception: How may I help you / May I ask your name ? / Can I see your reservation code ? / That’s fine. You stay for three nights ? / May I have your passport, please ? / You’re in room 237. That’s on the second floor / Thank you. Sign here, please / Yes, the lift is just over there. / Naturally, as well as a hair dryer, coffee machine and mini bar. / Enjoy your stay.

Guest: Hello, we have a reservation / We booked a room online / My name’s ….. / Certainly, it’s on my phone. / Yes, that’s right. / Absolutely. / Correct. / Just a second; here you are./ Is there a lift ? / The second floor ? / Is there a safe in the room ? / Perfect. Thanks very much

Make a conversation. One student will be the reception, the other(s) a guest or guests.

Write your own conversation

You are in a hotel bar and you meet another guest. Start a polite conversation, but you have to use your English.

Image result for two people in a hotel bar

Greet each other

Why are you in this city ? (holiday or on business)

Offer to buy a drink (accept or decline – maybe you don’t drink alcohol)

How long are they staying ? What do they think of the hotel ? What can they do in the area around the hotel ?

Small group work

You are two married couples who meet on a tour and are staying at the same hotel OR you are on a business trip and meet some other business people.

Use the following sentences, as well as your own, to make a conversation. try to keep speaking for as long as possible by using small talk techniques (oh, really / that’s interesting / tell me more / what do you do exactly ? / where is that ? / Sounds interesting)

Image result for young people meeting in a hotel
Image result for people meeting in a hotel

My wife and I are delighted to meet you

Shall we go to the bar or cafe ?

Can offer name first (I’m Simon, what’s your name ?)

Would you fancy a drink … ?

Is there anywhere special to do here ?

Sorry, I have to get my head down, it’s been a long flight (I need to sleep).

My colleague and I were going out to eat.

I fancy a beer or something alcoholic 

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t ask where you are from.

Reasonable (cheaper)

Would you like to join us ?

Peckish (little hungry)

What do you think of these hotel rooms ?

What do you think of the design ?

Would you like to stay in any of these ? Why, or why not ?

How much do you think they cost per night ?

Bangkok

Image result for cheap  hotel Bangkok

Ice hotel, Sweden

Image result for ice hotel sweden china

Backpacker hostel, Indonesia

Image result for overcrowded hostel

Shopping: Vocabulary, speaking exercises, fixed prices & fixed expressions

14th December 2020

A compilation of Shopping blogs, for all levels

Vocabulary:

range of choice / quality / cost / location / crowded

store layout (what does it look like ? Is it easy to find things ?)

staff helpfulness / average (normal), put themselves out (very helpful) surly (unhappy)

value for money (good quality at a good price)/ on offer / sale /over-priced / bargains

Vocabulary for malls:

lift / elevator/ display /salesperson / free parking /restroom / lost property /receipt

credit cards / take away / fitting room / returns policy / shoplifting /Black Friday

Speaking practice:

When was the last time you went to a mall ?

Why did you go ? What did you buy ?

Did you buy more than you intended ?

Was it a pleasant experience ?

Which do you like and would you recommend them to a friend … why ?

Where would you go to buy these shirts or T-shirts ?

How much would you expect to pay ?

Can you haggle (argue over the price ?) or are they fixed price ? How would you rate the quality ?


What was the last thing you bought ? Was it for yourself, or a present ?

Don’t you love a bargain ? When is the best time to buy at discounted prices ?

In the UK, after Christmas we have the sales – many items are MUCH cheaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSKrVh-3U3E

Black Fridayhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlPVAUulKZE

What do you think about these scenes ?

Are they dignified / horrific / shameful / appalling / materialism gone mad ?

Dialogue:

Ben Did you pick up anything on Black Friday

James Yeah, one or two things. I got a cool new shirt and shoes, half price.

Ben Sounds a bargain ! I was after a big screen TV but the store was crowded

James Tell me about it ! It was crazy. Apparently, it was the busiest day ever.

Ben I’m not surprised. That’s why I detest shopping; no where to park …

James People screaming and pushing, can’t even get in the lift …

Ben When you do find something, you have to queue for ages.

James I wanted to pay by credit card but the salesperson was really surly.

Ben Must have been rushed off her feet (very busy).

James She could have been more pleasant. Could have smiled once !

Ben What did she look like ?

James You decide … I tried out my new phone camera:

angry woman blowing steam coming out of ears | Canadian Contractor

Deciding what to buy

You are on a shopping trip to the USA

Which of these items would you buy ? Which appeal to you ? Which hold no interest ?

Vocabulary

That looks wonderful // I need to try it (them) on first // That’s good quality

No, that’s a rip off (too expensive) // That’s not my style // That really suits me

You must be joking ! // Brilliant ! // Wrap it up ! // Do you take credit cards ?

$75
$200
$145
$ 8,435
$47
$2,800
$9.95
$91.99
$25

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

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Dialogue practice

14th June 2020

An extended scenario that can be used for three speakers, or two, whatever the class needs. Here, a student goes to an expensive private language centre to enquire about course requirement and prices.

The English for Secondary School Preparation course is ideal for ...

You will notice a lot of idiomatic speech as well as expressions. These are designed to show you how to use them in everyday conversation … have fun !

Nottingham Language Centre | Nottingham Trent University

Dialogue Practice

A student comes to the office to get some information about courses

Objective: practice expressions and pronunciation of contractions.

Student Good evening, I’m looking for an English course

PEC 1 You’ve come to the right place !

PEC 2 How may we assist ? What exactly are you looking for ?

Student Well, I’d like to improve my pronunciation, as well as my grammar.

PEC 1 Seems to me that you are already quite good at English.

Student You’ re most kind, but one can always better oneself.

Cambridge English

PEC 2 We’ve an interesting class starting soon … it’s upper-intermediate.

Student Yes, I’d prefer to hit the ground running. When does it start ?

PEC 1 Hold on, let me check …..

telephone rings 

PEC 2 Hello, PEC … oh, hold the line please, she’s busy. OK, she’ll call back soon.

PEC 1 There’s a class commencing the day after tomorrow .

Kings College – Chào mừng bạn đến với English Language Centre – Du ...

Student Or maybe a private lesson ?

PEC 2 I can check … bear with me … yes, with teacher John. He’s passionate about teaching.

Student Sounds good. May I ask the fee ?

PEC 2 Certainly ….  she writes the price down on paper and hands it to the student.

Student Blimey ! I’ll have to think it over and get back to you. I must work now.

Student leaves.

PEC 1 Think he’ll come back ?

PEC 2 Over my dead body !

Hands up if you like this blog:

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Long time no see.

12th June 2020

Dialogue Practice

Fleeting Friends: On Making Friends While Traveling | A Nomad on ...

LOOK FOR:

Past simple – I saw a film

Past continuous – I was watching a film

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.

15 Ways To Become Closer To Others | Psychology Today

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

Historic Downtown Boston | Attractions, Tours, Hotels | Boston ...
Downtown Boston, a very historic US city
Ten ways to spend a night out in the South End - Boston.com
A night out in Boston

Now, a quick customer service dialogue:

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US restaurants serve LARGE portions

Speaking practice:

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 …

The Social List Restaurant - Long Beach, CA | OpenTable

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Coffee shop chat

11th June 2020

As always, I use these exercise to introduce idioms and expressions, as well as demonstrating how adverbs and adjectives can be used in everyday conversation.

Speaking practice:

Old Compass Cafe Saigon - Vietnamese cuisine, wine, cafe, events

Pat Well, I’m exhausted. I need a damn fine cup of coffee and a big piece of pie.

Sam There’s a Highlands over the road, or we can go to Coffee Bean or Milano.

Pat I’d prefer Tran Nguyen but it costs an arm and a leg. Highlands is also incredibly expensive.

Sam But great quality and superb cakes. Come on, I’m starving, I need coffee now !

Pat OK, hold your horses hahaha. After we can meet up with Thay Paul.

Sam Sounds good. Now … shall we have chocolate cake or fruit cake … ?

costs an arm and a leg = very expensive

hold your horses = please be patient and wait

Inside Highlands

Quán cà phê “trong mơ” của những người Việt trẻ có gì? | Báo Dân trí
Highlands Coffee, a Vietnamese coffee chain

Sam Hi, I’ll have a large cappuccino, please. What do you fancy ?

Pat Tough decision. I’m going for the cheesecake and a slice of blueberry pie.

Sam Oh, me too. Big slice, no, only joking, I have to watch my weight.

Pat I think you look great. Lets also get some chocolate cake and we can share.

Sam Brilliant. Oh, did I show you my recent photos ? Here, on my phone.

Pat Let me see … oh, so funny. Who’s that ? The man next to Niall ?

Sam That’s Jimmy, he’s in Niall’s band. He plays drums and drinks like a fish !

Pat And that’s you, a selfie. You look adorable. Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth !

VietnamCupid on Twitter: "Selfie tip of the week: Know your angles… "
A very sweet young lady – butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth

drinks like a fish = drinks a lot of alcohol

Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth ! = looks very sweet and nice … but can be very naughty

Drinking Too Much of This Kind of Beer Might Be Giving You Man ...
Don’t invite him to your party – he drinks like a fish !

Speaking practice: Adverbs of probability

definitely / probably / possibly / unlikely / definitely not !

Toni What are you doing tonight ?

Anna Not sure. I’ll probably go home and watch TV

Toni Sounds boring. Do you want to see a film ?

Anna Let me think … possibly. Where will we go ?

Toni Lotte Cinema. We will definitely get tickets on a Thursday night.

Anna Great idea. I’ll ask John but it’s unlikely he’ll be free

Toni Cool ! Then we’ll (we will) meet at 6.30. Don’t be late.

Anna Me ? Definitely not ! I’ll call you if I’m late.

How to start exciting conversations with women in girl random chat

Gil & Zoe are on a coffee break

This has many new words and expressions for you to learn and practice.

Gil Who’s that in the photo ? The tall bald guy ?

Zoe That’s Peter. He works in IT. I get him to fix my laptop when it crashes.

Gil Have you seen our IT guy ? He’s so arrogant, and very bossy.

Zoe Really ? In what way is he bossy ? Give me an example.

Gil Well, he shouts at everyone and tells them how to use their computers.

Zoe A real computer geek. I bet he has no friends. Do you like Peter ?

Gil He seems nice, honest and reliable. Will he be at the party later ? 

Zoe If he’s free. His office is just over the road. Maybe he’ll play piano for you.

Gil Cool, I adore music. Karaoke, however, is not my cup of tea. Will there be karaoke?

Zoe Oh, I hope not. Anyway, how was your day ? Another fun happen ?

Gil In my job ? No way, same thing day in, day out. Total boredom, in a nutshell.

Zoe Oh, poor you. I hope you will find a better job … and very soon.

Geek GIFs | Tenor
Peter, the tall bald computer guy
Left wing politics should be kept out of schools, say right wing ...
Arrogant and bossy IT computer geek

Beginners’ English: Short dialogues.

5th June 2020

BEGINNERS Conversations

Two women on lunch break meet in urban park - Stock Video Footage ...

Two women meet in the city centre

Anna Excuse me, do you speak English ? 

Jane Yes, I speak a little English. 

Anna Sorry, I don’t speak Vietnamese (or Arabic, Spanish, etc)

Jane Are you English ?

Anna No, I am American. Nice to meet you.

Jane Nice to meet you too.

Pronunciation of the schwa / ə/ sound: mother / teacher / banker / banana

Conversation

11 Things You Should Know About Vietnamese Culture

Two women meet at a street restaurant

Lyn Do you understand English ? 

Mia Sorry, I don’t understand English. 

Lyn I understand a little Vietnamese. 

Mia What’s your job ?

Lyn I’m a teacher. What’s your job ? 

Mia I’m a doctor

[Culture note – in English, we always say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ & ‘sorry’]

Adult Class, Level 2: Dialogue practice.

4th June 2020

ปักพินในบอร์ด Stock photos ☆

A sample of different speaking situations to help you practice:

Past simple

Idioms

Picture description

Going to a bank

Coffee shops

Talking about your children

Easter in UK

Elderly people talking - The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Simple Past

To kick off, two friends, Kim & Lyn are catching up, asking what they have done recently.

Kim Good evening, how are you ?

Lyn Very well, thank you. Long time no see.

Kim Yes, I’ve been out and about.

Lyn Really ? What did you do ?

Kim Well, I found a great restaurant in District 1. I went there with Peter and Jenny. We tried food from England. 

Lyn Yes, I heard about it. I got an email from Mary. What did you eat ?

Kim We ate roast beef and potatoes, and drank lots of hot, sweet tea.

Lyn Wonderful! Did you try the beer ?

Kim You know beer’s not my cup of tea !

Lyn How about Peter ?

Kim Oh, my goodness, he drank so much. He nearly fell over. What he didn’t drink, Jenny finished off.

Lyn I didn’t know she drank.

Kim She drinks like a fish. I spoke to Mary as well. She went to Thailand and brought back some gifts. The children loved them.

Lyn She is very sweet. I began to write her an email but then Peter phoned me. Would you like some tea ?

Kim Oh, now you are like an Englishperson.

Lyn Certainly !

Idiom: bear with me = wait a little time / a few minutes / a moment

Describe what you see in this photo. Use as many adjectives as you can.

I notice a lack of adjectives and adverbs in my students’ speech; they are able to complete abstract exercises, but I want to hear them incorporate what they’ve learnt into everyday talk, a natural feature. Therefore, the best way is practice … and practice.

Tell me what you see in the above photo. Adjectives can apply to what YOU think of the ladies (beautiful, gorgeous, plain, ugly), their age, origin, size, hair, clothes. However, I want to hear sentences.

Example: The gorgeous young Asian lady with the long black hair, is wearing a cute floral dress

(floral = flower pattern)

Now, verbs … describe their actions

Subject first; do NOT start with ‘She,’ or ‘They.’

Where are they ? What are they doing ? What have they been doing ?

How are they dressed ? How do they look (emotions)

What do you think they are talking about ?

Conversation practice Bank

Two friends are in a coffee shop

Cath This is a great cup of coffee ! Ok, what shall we do next ?

Di I have to run to the bank. I need to deposit some money.

Cath Good idea, I want to use an ATM. I also need to buy some dollars.

Di You can check the exchange rate at my bank. It’s not far, we can walk.

Cath Oh, I love your earrings. They are so cute. Mine are so ordinary !

Di No, yours are sweet. Mine look valuable but they are fake.

Cath Really ? They look amazing. A very unique design.

Di So kind. OK, have you finished your coffee ?

Cath Bear with me … oh, no … it’s started raining cats and dogs !

How many adjectives can you see ?

Speaking practice:

25 Best Mother-Daughter Songs That Celebrate Their Special ...

Pam Your daughter is gorgeous. Like an angel. She looks like you.

Uma Yes, but she takes after her father. She is very grumpy when she’s tired or hungry.

Pam My son is usually very good, he sleeps like a log, but now he’s teething.

Uma Ahhh, poor little thing but it will pass. Does he still keep you up at night ?

Pam Well, a little but not too much. I give up reading or watching films.

Uma I get it ! We have a reading group. Sounds good ?

Pam Hmmm … let me think about it and get back to you. OK, I must run … bye.

Speaking practice:

100 Instagram Captions for Friends - Cute BFF Caption Ideas for Insta

Bea What a day ! It was non-stop. No time to think. I need some coffee

Lyn Here you are. Tell me all about it, from start to finish.

Bea Firstly, I overslept, so I had to jump in the shower and skip breakfast. I was grumpy.

Lyn You ? No, you are always so sweet. Nearly always haha.

Bea Then I nearly got into an accident with some stupid Grabbike man.

Lyn Oh, some are so nice but others are total idiots !

Bea Exactly. Afterwards, my computer crashed at work and my boss yelled at me

Lyn What a terrible day. Now you need some coffee and a big piece of pie.

Speaking practice:

Aldi to donate almost half a million easter eggs to local ...

Nina Have you seen this western tradition ? They give chocolate eggs at Easter.

Eva Are you serious ? I adore chocolate. Who gives them ?

Nina Well, parents give to children, husbands give to wives, boyfriends to girlfriends.

Eva I haven’t seen them. Can you tell me about them ?

Nina Sure, it’s a large piece of chocolate shaped like an egg.

Eva I like the sound of that. A giant chocolate egg, sounds like heaven.

Nina That’s only part of it. Inside the egg, there are more chocolates.

Eva Ok, next year I am going to England. I will eat like a pig. A chocolate pig !

Easter in uk

IELTS: Speaking exercises

12th May 2020

Speaking exercises

In Israeli City of Haifa, a Liberal Arab Culture Blossoms - The ...

Today’s theme is the use … the correct use … of discourse markers.

Furthermore, speakers MUST NOT say ‘like’ or ‘kinda’.

It is a pet peeve of mine to hear people interrupt the flow of a conversation with the unnecessary and incredibly irritating application of the word ‘like’ as a … totally incorrect … discourse marker [or discourse particle]. To illustrate, at a previous centre, a centre with a very prestigious reputation, I heard some US teachers say the following:

“I went out last night and had, like, two beers.”

“Are you looking for, like, an apartment

This filters down to the students, some of whom deliberately say ‘like’, because they think it makes them sound American and cool. I correct that misconception; it makes them sound that they are unable to complete a simple sentence. When I notice this as a problem, I tell the student to listen to themselves and count how many times they use ‘like’ erroneously.

Why Do People Say "Like" So Much? | Grammar Girl

And so, to work …

Practice how to speak fluently and with the correct use of linking words. For example:

however // having said that // although 

firstly // following that // after that // and then finally

Just a minute

Students must speak for a minute with no deviation, hesitation or repetition.

Students can select a subject and then ask another student or team to speak for a minutes. Otherwise, choices could be:

books // local food // foreign food // clothes shopping // music // siblings //

Top 5 Yoshoku: Western style Japanese dishes | TokyoTreat ...
5 things only siblings of a disabled person would know

Platinum Fashion Mall: Bargain Shopping for Clothes and Accessories
Italy's bookshop crisis: 2,300 stores close in 5 years
Jazz it up: Arab musicians bring their songs ... | Taiwan News

Speaking Test

You meet a fellow traveller at the airport when your flight is delayed. Make small talk conversation including idioms and expressions.

To make this more of a competition, award two points for every idiom, one for every expression, and additional points for discourse markers.

Colleagues discussing over business card while sitting in waiting ...

Topics can be:

Talk about the flight. How bad the airline is, frequently late. Do they fly often ?

Introduce yourself. Why are they flying ? Business or pleasure ?

Ask about work – do they like it ? Where do they work ?

Ask about family … but not too personal

Ask about where they live

REMEMBER to react, and to use stress and intonation.

Oh, really // how interesting // tell me more // where is that exactly ? // Oh, right // Me too ! // I had a similar experience //

Conversation practice

You have plans to go to a new restaurant but one of you can’t make it because something turned up. Apologise and give the reason why you must change the plan. Offer alternative suggestions. 

Example:

Search for new partner leaves me wondering where she's waiting ...

Hello, Sharma ? I’m so sorry, I can’t make it tonight.

Sharma will ask why. Give your reason

Have to work late // family member is ill // have an exam tomorrow // missed bus // not feeling well // have to attend a family event //

Activity 2

In the UK we try to hide our emotions, keep a stiff upper lip, but sometimes people can get angry. Repeat the exercise, but this time, the person waiting is in a bad mood.

The Myth of the 'Angry Black Woman' — Her Culture

Now the person waiting does not accept your excuse.

This the the third time you’ve cancelled ! // I’ve already been waiting 30 minutes // You only tell me NOW ! // I don’t care, get here now or never call me again ! //

How could you apologise and offer to make it up to her ?

6 Creative Ways to Say Sorry Using Flowers

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Causing offence.

3rd February 2020

Hailing a taxi in New York, USA

Image result for hailing a taxi new york

This is the normal procedure (way / method) to hail a taxi in NYC. However, this would not be acceptable in Bangkok.

Hailing a taxi in Bangkok

Image result for hailing a taxi bangkok

Notice how the hand points down. In Thailand, people beckon (call) a dog with their hands up, so a taxi driver would think this was very impolite and rude. The driver would be offended; the hand signal would cause offence.

Cultural differences are one way of inadvertently causing offence. However, some people can say, write or do things that upset other people:

Image result for Trump offensive tweets

The 45th President is famous for his somewhat un-presidential tweets. He is referring here to the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-il:

Image result for president trump kim jong un

However, in the interests of fairness, North Korean leaders have made comments that could be offensive to the USA. The former leader, Kim Jong-un:

Image result for kim jong il quotes on america

And sometimes, within the same country, people can disagree with each. This is all part of a free society. The problem arises when people stop arguing the facts or beliefs, but start to attack people for their looks, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation. Some times, people can go too far in what they say:

Image result for offensive Morrissey quotes on china

This is the singer, and animal-rights supporter, Morrissey. He is talking about the treatment of animals in China, which he feels is intolerable. He can object. However, in this quote, he insults the entire country as seeming to be “a subspecies,” that is, not quite human. He makes his point, but do people understand his message, or get offended by his words ?

Vocabulary and expressions

Image result for brexit clashes

Collocation – to cause an offence

respect / disrespect (noun) – respectful / disrespectful (adjectives)

insult / offence (n) / / to offend (v) // offensive (adj)

doubt – when you are not sure about something but don’t think it will happen  (will England win the World Cup again ? I doubt it !)

swoop – to grab something quickly – a bird swoops down and grabs the bread.

Expression – to give someone the benefit of the doubt

Expression– in one swoop – something happening very quickly

Expression – to cut ties – to stop having contact with someone.

Practice:

I think Mr Smith took my iPhone but I didn’t see him. Therefore, I have to give him _____________

His comments were ________ to women.

John was talking to Jenny but Peter _____ in and took her away.

I had to __________________ with my colleague after he posted some racist tweets online.

Japanese students are famous for being so _____________ to their teachers. On the other hand, in Viet Nam, some students talk during class which is very ____________________ .

In Asia, it is the custom to show ________________ to old people.

Conversation practice

Time to use these new English words, speaking to each other.

Ask each other questions. Ask for more details (probe) Give full reasons. 

Make people explain their answers.

Use opinion expressions.

Which of these would cause offence ?

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but you know it’s a joke.

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but is serious.

Image result for boss insults staff

Your neighbour has a loud party but doesn’t invite you.

You are riding your bike and a taxi honks for no reason.

A foreigner says that your local food is terrible.

Image result for i hate your food

A Chinese says that one day Viet Nam will be part of China again.

A restaurant manager shouts at you to leave as soon as you finish your food.

You buy your girlfriend a present … and she says it’s too cheap !

Image result for gf hates present