Subject Index: English Sentence Building

4th December 2020

Sentence building

Adult class exercises (various) // Adult Class // 17- 19 December 2019

Create a narrative

Bad Day – create a narrative // IELTS, Lesson 3 // 19th January 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/14/ielts-lesson-3-may-the-force-be-with-you/

Bad Student – create a narrative // IELTS Speaking Class 4.5 // 7th January 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/06/ielts-4-5-speaking-class/

Bangkok in pictures – create a narrative // IELTS // 10th February 2019:  https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/02/10/ielts-have-love-will-travel/

Basics // Adult Speaking Class, level 1: Sentence building // 27th June 2020

Beginners: helping verbs // Beginners’ English: Sentence Building // 16th March 2020

Character // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Character development // 18th June 2020

Coffee in Viet Nam // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 /// Adult Class, Level 3 // 8th October 2019

Creative writing // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Storytelling // 29th March 2020

// Adult Class, Level 3 // Relationships // 26th May 2020

Describing people // Adult Speaking Class, L 3: Describing people // 27th May 2020

Describing photos (Vietnam War) // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: April 30th // 5th April 2020

Describing photos (police etc) // Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Tell what you see // 23rd April 2020

Discourse Markers activity // IELTS 5-6.5 // 25th September 2019

Expressions // Adult Class, Level 3 // 3rd December 2019

Expressions // Adult Class, Level 2 // 28th June 2020

Film review // Adult C, L 3 // 12 November 2019

Fixed expressions // Adult Class, Level 1 // 26th February 2019:

Food (most unusual) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: food // 19th April 2020

Future plans // wish + discourse marker + reason // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 11th January 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/11/adult-speaking-class-level-2-future-plans/

General // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 Part 2

Giving directions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: London // 29th June 2020

How was your day ? // Adult Speaking Class, Level 1: sentence building // 27th June 2020

IELTS Level

IELTS sentence building // IELTS //22nd July 2019 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/07/22/ielts-sentence-building/

IELTS basic sentence building // IELTS // 28th January 2019 // // IELTS // 14th January 2019

IELTS complex sentences // IELTS, Mindset: Complex sentences // 30th April 2020

IELTS complex sentences // It’s not that complicated // 24th May 2020

IELTS describe a film // IELTS // What do you like this film ? // 6th April 2020

IELTS describe a gadget // IELTS 5 – 6.5. Writing example // 15th March 2020

IELTS // Quick-fire talking // Part 2 questions // 12th May 2020

IELTS // Review // vocabulary, discourse markers, sentence building // 25th June 2020

Narrative structure // Adult C, L 3 // 14 November 2019

Past time expressions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 2

Photography and photos descriptions (advanced) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, // 25th April 2020

Sentence building plan // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Ideas for sentence building // 6th June 2020

Travel and holidays

Travel talk // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Travel talk // 5th May 2020

Travel: holiday plans // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // Holiday Plans // 20th May 2020

Travel review // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Travel language revisited // 22nd June 2020

What is happening // Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 2

Word order // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 2

Everyday idioms, everyday

3rd June 2020

Test your idioms, expressions, phrasal verbs and creative writing

London Migrant Communities: a city made and moved by migrants ...

The hustle and bustle of everyday life, seen in this photo of Liverpool Street Station in London. People coming and going, jumping on trains, rushing to work, running around like headless chickens.

An everyday scene, with everyday expressions. This article is for you to test your knowledge of idioms, after reading the previous two blogs.

Without further ado …

Don’t just stand there ! Let’s get down to some work

Life in London: blogging through time studying abroad - The Daily ...
Chop chop, jump to it

Write short sentences, or dialogues, using the following idioms and expressions.

what have you been getting up to ? // raining cats and dogs

chockablock // hold your horses // under the weather // chop chop // vicious circle

// can you follow me ? // a screw loose // not my cup of tea // kick the bucket //

cut and dry // turn over a new leaf // pull your socks up //

as much use as a chocolate teapot // let’s call it a day

You may not know some of the above, so just ask your teacher, or do an online search

Southeast Asian Student Enrollment Up 85% in Taiwan|International ...

Next up, using phrasal verbs

Write sentences using as many of these phrasal verbs as you can:

Phrasal verbs with ‘get’:

get back to studying / get on with work / get down to some work/ I get it ! (idiom) // get on with people /get on in life / get ahead in business /

Phrasal verbs with ‘make’:

make a decision / make your mind up / make a career move / a make-over /  make an effort / make or break time / what do you make of it ?

Creative Writing

Determined Latina Student Works On Stock Footage Video (100 ...

Scenario One: Two people meet on their first day at an English centre

Scenario Two: A manager has a meeting with a staff member who is always late

ONE

Introduce yourself // Where do they live // Why are they here ? //

What do they like ? // Compare music and films // What they plan to do //

Agree to be friends and study together

Transfer Students Meet & Greet: 2-3:00 p.m. - Undergraduate ...

TWO

Quick hello // Reason why staff was late today //

Manager is unhappy – wants change // Manager suggests less wages //

Must renegotiate new contract // Staff has problems at work //

Staff apologies, promises to be better

6 Ways to Keep Things From Getting Worse When Your Boss Starts ...

You can decide what the characters are like – are they:

friendly, shy, out-going, arrogant, funny, dependable, reliable, moody … ?

This will affect HOW they speak – their stress & intonation and body language.

You can decide what the locations are like – are they:

small and intimate / large and impersonal / pleasant environments / dirty … ?

GOOD LUCK !

Adult Class, Level 3: Keep on rockin’ in the Free World !

30th May 2020

Yes, keep on Rockin’ in the Free World … but first, you’ve got to get there.

As spoken, we would say:

“First, ya gotta get there.”

So today’s lesson will be in the form of a game, a challenge or quest, if you will, where the students, assigned to one of two teams have to get from:

In Vietnam, Beer Is Big Business.

To …

Popular pub the Birkbeck Tavern saved from closure | East London ...

What a prize ! The dirty filthy insalubrious streets of Ha Noi to the cozy comforts and warm welcome of east London, and my local, the Birkbeck Tavern.

Said task is achieved by earning points, said points are earned by answering questions, and using a wide range of linguistics features namely: adjectives, adverbs, discourse markers, relative pronouns, low-frequency words, expressions, idioms and, naturally, displaying a wide array of para-linguistic attributes, to wit: intonation, stress, eye-contact, body language, gestures, clear pronunciation, turn-taking and rhythm because, contrary to popular belief, when it comes to speaking English, NOT all God’s children got rhythm.

(Yes, the above sentence contained an example of non-standard English, but the vast majority of people do not speak pure standard English all the time).

Now, we have a massive task to undertake … without further ado … let’s go !

Flights from London to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

First up, a revision and practice. In the last lesson, the class learnt (a-hem!) four new words: ubiquitous, significant, consequently and, it was on my blog, extrapolate. The teams, and let’s name them after famous English explorers, Drake and Cook:

Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake
10 Things You May Not Know About Captain James Cook - HISTORY
Captain James Cook

… the teams have to use all four words in sentences. One point for each correct sentence. However; incentive, three points for using two in a grammatically-correct sentence, five for using three words and TEN points for using all words words in one sentence. That should get them some air miles and off the runway.

Next up, the teams challenge each other. They offer points to the other side if they can use these words or expressions correctly:

however / with that in mind / quantum leap /  in order to / cats and dogs / kick the bucket / therefore / dribs and drabs

It works like this. Team Drake will say, “We offer 5 points for Team Cook to use the word ‘however’ in a sentence.” If the task is accomplished, Cook gain the 5 points. If the team is unable to use the word, then Drake win the points. The skill is in guessing which words or expressions will be hard to use, and offering high points accordingly.

Moving on, creative writing. My class can use relative pronouns IN THEORY, but not so much in practice. One may even say, NOT AT ALL in practice. Thus, I will give information about our two friends from last week. The teams have to compose a short piece combining all the information, but in the form of complex sentences with relative pronouns and discourse markers.

Example:

Johnny Rotten on Museum of Arts and Design's Punk Exhibit ...

Johnny Rotten, Real name John Lydon. Born 1956. Was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978. Formed band PIL. Changed name back to Lydon. Married Nora Forster in 1979. He was going to be on the Pan Am flight that crashed in Lockerbie, Scotland. He wrote a book, published in 2008.

John Lydon, who performed under the name Johnny Rotten while he was in the Sex Pistols from 1975 – 1978, is married to Nora Forster, and has been married since 1979. After leaving the Sex Pistols, he formed a new band, PIL, and wrote a book which was published in 2008. He escaped death by missing his flight on the Pan Am flight that exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland.

Our young lady is

Sakuri. 21. Born in Tokyo. Studies History at university. Works as waitress. Wants to be a film star. Has two sisters. One sister elder, one younger. Her father is a piano salesman. Mother designs clothes. Sakuri likes reading, films, anime, shopping, going out with friends. Uses Apple iPhone X. Always on Instagram, FB, and Yalo. Is learning English.

Haruto. 23. Born in Okasuka. Left school at 16. Plays keyboards in a band. Likes Beethoven, Jazz and Elton John. Works different jobs. Was TA in a school but was sacked after four hours. Has no siblings. Father left home when Haruto was 4. Mother works 6 days a week in a factory. Uses Samsung Galaxy. Hates social media sites. Listens to music all day.

Points awarded for creativity and relative pronouns and complex sentences.

And now for something completely different: London.

Quick-fire round: I want a list of three. Start a sentence and give THREE examples

In London, you can eat British food …

In London there is public transport …

London has many famous buildings …

There are many famous football clubs in London …

Plan a day for my friends Tina and Michael:

I have two friends arriving in Sai Gon. 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 the pros and cons ?

What are their options and estimate the prices.

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

Finally, pronunciation. I will show Drake and Cook two clips, one from ‘Twin Peaks’, the other of the actor Peter O’Toole being interviewed. The teams, all members, have to imitate or copy the voice, gestures and intonation. Points out of 50 for this task.

For Team Drake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvs7pmISe8I

The quote is, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. You know, this is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee.”

For Team Cook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fl3bOeXvyI

The quote is, “Oh, I’ll shuffle through my memory.” Said quote appears from 0:45 – 0:51 in the clip.

And that, as they say, is a wrap. The remainder of the lesson can be devoted to book work, possibly, had-outs, unlikely, or general chit-chat, undoubtedly. Who says English can’t be fun … probably my students !

Theory into practice – it’s all relative (pronouns)

29th May 2020

Earlier this week, I had a teenage group in what could be termed a pre-IELTS class; at the end of this book, they progress to IELTS. That is, as mentioned in the blog for that lesson: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/05/26/adult-speaking-class-level-3-relationships/

a quantum leap (which allowed me to introduce the idea of quantum mechanics into an English class). My centre is a business, so needs to generate revenue which is accomplished by getting as many students as possible. This is especially vital after the enforced lockdown.

Students, teachers practice social distancing on return to school ...
Stock photo from Google, but it depicts social distancing

However, not all students who enter an IELTS class are IELTS material … but that is another matter. I’ve decided to treat this class, which I really enjoy, as an IELTS class. Therefore, I push them to use language and style employed at that level.

To come to the crux of the matter, I set a relative pronoun test in the aforementioned class. Everyone was able to do the lesson, the theory, linking two or three pieces of information into a longer, single complex sentence. For example:

Jumping Jack cash: how young Mick Jagger planned his pension ...

Mick Jagger is in the Rolling Stones. He was born in London.

Mick Jagger, who was born in London, is in the Rolling Stones.

However, during the free practice session, the students reverted back to simple sentences.

Allow me to elucidate … wherever possible, I avoid working directly from the book, or using handouts (although that would save me about 80% of my dwindling energy). Instead, I look at the book, see what subjects are to be covered, and incorporate them into my blog.

Naturally, this only works with ‘top cat’ students, those who are motivated and willing to work (and I’ve noticed, telling students we will not be using the books boosts moral and energy off the chart).

Top Cat - Wikipedia
I’m not allowed to film inside my campus, so here are some top cats 🙂

To return to the case in point; the students can understand the grammar in theory but totally forget it, in practice, and Tuesday’s class afforded ample opportunity to practice. I showed a picture of a young beautiful Asian lady and a young Asian guy … here, see for yourself:

I wanted to the class to be creative, write a backstory for the two characters (the theme of the lesson was relationships), how they know each other, what are their jobs, how they get on together.

The class, which is only small, elected to work together and I was heartened to see Ms X, who normally spends the lesson playing with her phone, taking an active part and volunteering answers.

The upshot was that the beautiful Asian lady was a model, the guy a photographer and both were Japanese. As to be expected, this being a teenage class, someone (you know who you are) said they went to a hotel … but maybe so – in order to do a photo shoot.

From a teaching point of view, I was disappointed that in their speaking, they didn’t apply relative pronouns, enough adjectives or adverbs, all points that will be addressed in the next lesson … and covered in my next blog.

May a say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who visits my site and scrolls through the posts.

Adult Class, Level 3: Relationships

26th May 2020

AEF 5B pp 50 – 51

Latin American Community Center launches new Family Immigration ...

Tonight’s subject is relationships, and the book work seems well-balanced, with vocabulary, listening and speaking exercises. However, this is quite a strong group and appear motivated. With that in mind, I push them to learn more, in order to prepare them for their next class, which will be the quantum leap into IELTS.

However = discourse marker, better than just saying ‘but.’

With that in mind = expression meaning ‘because of that.’

in order to = to help for the future – I am learning Vietnamese in order to speak to my students.

quantum leap = massive (very, very large) jump forward or progression

Bearing in mind that Vietnamese operate on ‘elastic time’ (a polite way of saying the students turn up in dribs and drabs, ie, ten, twenty or thirty minutes late), so I can’t start any serious teaching until the whole class is present. Therefore, I use some warm up activities.

Egyptian students protest against examination leaks – Middle East ...
Egyptian students preparing for their lesson

Warm Up: Call My Bluff.

This is a vocabulary-building exercise. I introduce a new word, then give three possible definitions. Students have to deduce, or just guess, the correct meaning.

1. Ubiquitous

– adj means something that is very common, everywhere

– noun equipment used in scuba diving

-name used towards close friends or family

2. Significant

– noun a small built-in safe in a hotel

– adj something very special, different or important

– verb to paint Chinese or Japanese characters with great care

3. Consequently

– adverb discourse marker meaning because of that, this happened

– noun a person who cheats other people to get more money

– verb a type of pass in football that leads to a goal being scored.

4. Extrapolate

– noun a chair used by a dentist, that can be lowered or raised

– verb to get only important information from a lot of text

– adj something made from different materials or many different colours

Then students have to write four sentences using the new words, as well as trying to repeat them throughout the lesson.

I’m not going to give you the answers – look up the definitions yourself, it will help you to learn.

Warm Up: What is the name, to you, of …

What is the name of your mother’s husband ?

What is the name of your mother’s sister ?

What is the name, to you, of your mother’s brother’s son.

What is the name of your father’s mother ?

What is the name of your father’s mother’s father

Next stage is sentence building:

I am from London. It is an expensive city.

To combine these pieces of information, we use the relative pronoun ‘which‘:

I am from London which is an expensive city.

We replace the pronoun ‘it’ with a relative pronoun ‘which’ and create a longer sentence. This skill is important / vital / imperative to attain a good IELTS score.

Try these:

Kimmy is from Tokyo. It is very crowded.

Tony is from New York. It is a vibrant city.

Scott wants to visit the War Museum. It is in District 1.

Lisa teaches in Beijing. It is the capital of the PROC (People’s Republic of China).

Moving on … My friend

Peter on the left, with famous drummer Kenny Jones

When we link information about a person, the pronoun, ‘he’ or ‘she’ is replaced by the relative pronoun ‘who.’

On the left is my friend Peter. I met him in 2010. I met him in London.

On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in London ten years ago.

On the left is my friend Peter, who I met in 2010 in London.

Try linking these: Remember to replace ‘he’ and use ‘who’ but you have to change the sentence.

Peter is Irish. He was born in Dublin // Peter, who is Irish, was born in Dublin

Peter loves music. He can play saxophone, keyboards, guitar and bass.

Peter is 40 years old. He is bald, and wears glasses.

Peter plays bass. He has a video on YouTube.

Peter is with the drummer Kenny Jones. He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s.

Be careful with the last one. The pronoun ‘he’ is about Kenny Jones.

Be careful with the next two. We only need ONE relative pronoun:

The drummer Kenny Jones. He played in The Small Faces in the 1960s. He is with Peter.

The Manager Mr Smith. He is from Australia. He is going to travel to Mexico.

2018 - Mexico City - OJ, Man | Another day of wandering the … | Flickr

The manager, Mr Smith who is from Australia, is going to travel to Mexico.

Creative writing.

This is a simplified version of an IELTS blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/29/adult-speaking-class-level-3-storytelling/

Students, working in pairs or small groups, must come up with a storline for these couples.

Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ? How do they meet ?

Be creative and feel free to use dialogue.

How do they know each other ?

What will happen when they meet ?

Will they get on ?

Will they have a terrible time ?

How about these

Ethnic indian mixed race girl and black guy in library | Premium Photo
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C-Cap Recap: Indians, Twins & Indian Twins | Waiting For Next Year
How do these two know each other ?

Try to invent an interesting, fascinating story line. Maybe they haven’t met since there were born ?

Now, let’s get creative:

Write a short story using dialogue and adjectives.

MOTIVATION: why do the characters do what they do ?

PLOT: what happens … and why ?

CHARACTERS: make sure each one is an individual and speaks differently.

Ideas:

Where do they meet ?

How do they meet ?

How do they know each other ?

What do they think of each other and how do they express it ?

EXAMPLE:

Boram, a young Korean lady, is at home getting ready to go out. She has put on her favourite white and pink dress and, with her lucky pink bow in her luscious chestnut hair, looks absolutely stunning.

Today she is going to meet her cousin who is coming to Seoul for the first time. Boram needs to practice violin, because she plays in the university orchestra and they have an important concert coming up, however, she is concerned about her cousin getting lost in the big bewildering city. That is typical of Boram, always putting other people first. She is a very sweet and thoughtful caring lady.

[In the first sentence I named the lady – Boram. Therefore, we can use a pronoun – she – because we know the subject]

Tell me about her cousin, Leon.

Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Storytelling

29th March 2020

This lesson is to encourage students to think creatively, and to help them with sentence buildings by encouraging the use of discourse markers and complex sentences.

Additionally, here is a golden opportunity to utilise adjectives and adverbs, so often conspicuous by their absence, not to mention a chance to create dialogues where characters can use idioms, expressions and features of everyday real English.

Let’s kick off (start) with an example.

Storytelling

Describe these two people. What are they wearing ? What are their personalities ? What do you think they do ? How do they meet ?

Students can here perform a task suited to their level.

Firstly, just describe the photos. Remember do not start with a pronoun (he, she, it). Instead, tell me what you see.

Example: I see a young lady with a bow in her hair NOT She has a bow in her hair.

For more advanced students, explain more about the young lady. Do you think she is beautiful (or pretty, cute, adorable, gorgeous) ? What are her origins ? She looks Asian, but she could live anywhere in the world. Describe how she looks and what she’s wearing. What do you think her personality is ?

After, do the same with the young man.

For advanced students, look at the background. The young lady is standing in a white room, with a book and some flowers. What does that suggest to you ? White is often associated with purity and innocence. Flowers could be sweet and feminine (although different flowers have different significance in different cultures), while the book indicates education and intelligence. Her hair bow appears to have musical notes as a pattern, so possible she is a musician ?

As for IELTS students, write a description then replace any basic words with low-frequency vocabulary (example, replace beautiful with gorgeous, stunning etc).

Now, let’s get creative:

Write a short story using dialogue and adjectives.

MOTIVATION: why do the characters do what they do ?

PLOT: what happens … and why ?

CHARACTERS: make sure each one is an individual and speaks differently.

Ideas:

Where do they meet ?

How do they meet ?

How do they know each other ?

What do they think of each other and how do they express it ?

EXAMPLE:

Boram, a young Korean lady, is at home getting ready to go out. She has put on her favourite white and pink dress and, with her lucky pink bow in her luscious chestnut hair, looks absolutely stunning.

Today she is going to meet her cousin who is coming to Seoul for the first time. Boram needs to practice violin, because she plays in the university orchestra and they have an important concert coming up, however, she is concerned about her cousin getting lost in the big bewildering city. That is typical of Boram, always putting other people first. She is a very sweet and thoughtful caring lady.

[In the first sentence I named the lady – Boram. Therefore, we can use a pronoun – she – because we know the subject]

Tell me about her cousin, Leon.

Now, try the same exercise with any of these situations:

Ethnic indian mixed race girl and black guy in library | Premium Photo
American Jewish Committee | The Electronic Intifada
Lost Pensions – SJ Financial Solutions Blog

Next time, we can work on dialogue … have fun and STAY SAFE