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
WATCH: Can this viral Swedish fika hit create world peace? - The Local
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

Business English: Accountancy

6th May 2020

Jan Sanders van Hemessen (Hemessen c. 1504-1556 Antwerp) | Double ...
Jan sanders van Hemessen 1504 – 1556, Antwerp
1950s Office | Office with typewriters, adding machines, vertical ...
A 1950s office with adding machines, filing cabinets and typewriters
How to Become an Accountant: Skills, Degrees | All Business Schools
Property Management Accounting & Reporting Software - AppFolio

Cách giữ chân nhân tài của Big 4 - unitrain.edu.vn

New vocabulary

Look up any words you don’t know.

loophole

firm

audit

involvement

stock

None of the Big Four firms is a single firm; rather, they are professional services networks. The Big Four are the four largest professional services networks in the world, offering audittaxation, corporate finance and legal services. They handle the vast majority of audits for publicly traded companies as well as many private companies. They used to be the Big Five until the fall of Arthur Andersen in 2002, following its involvement in the Enron scandal.

Enron used loopholes and poor financial accounting to hide billions of dollars of debt. The company’s stock which rose to over $90 a share in mid 2000, fell to less than $1 by November 2001.

Enron - The Biggest Fraud in History - YouTube

Accountancy words / expressions

annual accounts // I am working on our annual accounts

asset // Make a list of all our assets

budget // We need to increase our budget

business expenses // We must reduce our business expenses

cash flow // Keep an eye on the cash flow

New idioms / collocations

Change of plan = to stop what you are doing and start something new

to handle something = to take care of something

to get hold of someone to speak to or meet someone

Hell breaks loose = will be a lot of trouble

to be into something = to like something very much

more or less = not 100% but almost.

I beg to differ = polite way to disagree

Dialogue Practice:

Two friends are chatting about their work day:

Two asian businesswomen talking during coffee break in modern ...

KIM: Hello, how’s your day been ?

Tina: Oh, so-so. And you ? Did you finish off the reports ?

KIM: Yes, more or less. 

Tina: You better make sure they’re finished. You know what the Director’s like.

KIM: I know. If things aren’t done, all hell breaks loose !

Tina: Better keep on his good side. What else do you need to do ?

KIM: File some invoices, send off some emails and I need to get hold of Anna in HR.

Tina: I think she’s off sick today. 

KIM: That’s a pity. Did you finish the wages ?

Tina: Yes, piece of cake ! Now I’m going through all the bank statements for the last quarter.

KIM: Not cooking the books I hope. Are we still going out tonight ?

Tina: Oh, sorry, I can’t know. Something’s come up.

KIM: What ? I thought you wanted to see the film. Johnny Depp’s in it.

Tina: I know, but I have to work late. Why don’t you ask the Director ? He’s really into cinema.

KIM: I don’t think so !

Tina: Why not ? He’s such a charming man.

KIM: Well, I beg to differ. He’s an old windbag and he drinks like a fish !

Portrait beautiful indian business woman smiling happy ...

New expressions:

off sick = not at work because of illness

old windbag = someone who speaks and speaks and speaks !

drinks like a fish = drinks a LOT of alcohol

cooking the books = making false entries in the accounting

Beginners’ English: Short dialogues.

8th April 2020

Beginners dialogue 1

Here are some short speaking exercises to help you practice speaking.

Hope you enjoy them.

4k, Two Friends Talking and Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty ...

I’ve chosen names that can be for a man or a woman.

7 Reasons To Make Friends From Around The Globe | Between the ...

Kim: Hello, how are you ?

Jan: I’m very well, thank you. How are you ?

Kim: I’m great ! What are you doing ?

Jan: I am reading a book. I am learning English.

Kim: Oh, excellent ! I am surprised. Me too. I love English !

Butternut Box | How to help your dog lose weight

Jan: I am very happy today.

Kim: Why ?

Jan: Because I have a dog. I love dogs. What animals do you like ?

Kim: I like dogs, cats and elephants but I don’t like geckos.

Common house gecko - Wikipedia
A normal house gecko
Canvas Prints of cristian Art - GalleryDirect.com

Kim: Where is your iPhone ?

Jan: It is on the table. Where is your phone ?

Kim: In my bag. I don’t want to loose it.

Jan: Good idea. You are very clever.

Adult Class Level 3: Storytelling, part 3

31st March 2020

The story so far … we have two young Asian cousins who are about to meet each other, after a long time. Boram, a caring, thoughtful young music student, is going to the train station to meet Leon, also a musician, who is travelling to Seoul but doesn’t know the city. Despite having a busy schedule, Boram insists upon meeting Leon and making sure he is safe.

After his journey, Boram feels certain Leon must be hungry and in need of coffee. She decides to take him to a great cafe near the station. They can talk and get to know each other.

CafeHopping in Korea – 6 Cafes You Must Not Miss In Seoul ...

Boram pays for the drinks, and they go to find a table:

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Image & Photo (Free Trial) | Bigstock

Here, there are introducing themselves. The conversation may go something like this:

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: No, I’m Ok, thanks. This coffee looks great. Wow, how long has it been ?

Boram: Hhmmm, let me think … it must be six years since we last meet. How are your parents ?

Leon: Both very well, thank you, and they send you a little present. So, mum says you play piano ?

Boram: Violin. I play in the university orchestra. You’ve grown so much !

Leon: Of course, I’m not ten anymore haha. You play ? Can I hear you sometime ?

Boram: Actually, I’m playing this afternoon. If you like, I can take you and introduce you to some of my friends.

Leon: That would be cool. You are so kind. I insist on buying you lunch to say thank you.

That was a fairly natural exchange of pleasantries. They both appear nice people, and very polite. However, it is not very exciting or interesting. So, let’s make Leon less grateful and more self-centred:

Korea's Unique Coffee Culture | Seoulinspired

Boram: How was the journey ? Are you tired ?

Leon: Oh, man … it was like … boring, you know. No hot girls on the train.

Boram: Oh. Sorry. How is your coffee ?

Leon: It’s terrible, We have much better in Busan. This place is lame. Don;t you know any cooler joints ? You look a bit boring. Mum says you’re a musician ?

Boram: Yes, I play vio…..

Leon: I’m a musician, I play bass in a radicle hip-hop, thrash-metal band.

Boram: I’d love to hear your band.

Leon: Ha ! I don’t think so. We don’t make music for little girls. This is real music.

Boram: Oh, well, would you like to hear my orchestra play ?

Leon: Yeah.

Boram: Great ! We are playi …

Leon: No, idiot, I’m joking, I can’t listen to that old crap ! Hey, can you give me some money ?

What do you think of Leon now ? Not so nice, hey ? See how he interrupts Boram, mocks her music and then demands money ? He’s a ‘nasty piece of work.’

Let’s turn the tables. How about if Boram, despite looking angelic and ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt- in-her-mouth’ appearance, is in reality arrogant, impatient and thoughtless.

Leon: It is so nice of you to meet me. I haven’t been to Seoul before on my own.

Boram: I had no choice. My mum made me, I don’t want to waste my time here.

Leon: And thank you for buying the coffee. I was really tired.

Boram: Mum gave me the money. Come on, drink it then I can go. I’ve got more important things to do.

Leon: Oh, I don’t want to keep you if you’re busy …

Boram: ‘Busy’ ? I have rehearsals in two hours and I have to go all the way across the city to meet you. Ridiculous, a grown man like you needs me to hold his hand.

Leon: Really, if you need to go, it’s ….

Boram: Well, if you say it’s Ok, I’ll go. You know the way ? If not just ask someone or, I don’t know, get a taxi. Do you have my phone number ?

Leon: No, what is i… ?

Boram: Oh, it doesn’t matter, I’m to busy to pick up. I gotta go.

That should change our perception of Boram. Not so friendly now, is she ?

Try writing short dialogues for different situations:

1: Leon really wants to see the top museums

2: Boram wants Leon to meet her friend, she thinks they would be good together

3: Leon is having an interview for a job and he is very nervous. Boram supports him.

4: Boram wants to take Leon shopping for new clothes. Leon likes his clothes and they have a playful argument.

5: They discover they really don’t like each other but they have to stay together because they are family.

I'm Stuck At Home. So I'm Making Dalgona Coffee! - YouTube

And now … what to do if you’re stuck at home, self-isolating, and have lots of time to kill. My internet friend, Rachel Kim, from South Korea has a tip about a new craze sweeping her homeland:Dalgona coffee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mw3qbSjBQ&t=735s

Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme: Germany

26th February 2020

Germany – what do you know about the country ?

Image result for germany

What do you associate with it ?

(I associate Viet Nam with rice, motorbikes, Uncle Ho etc)

Image result for germany
Image result for german beer and football

This is a travel guide (‘Lonely Planet’ are guides for independent travellers):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7e8sv7lFeY

Which of the ‘Top 5’ appeals to you the most ?

How much do they recommend you need per day ?

Is the train network good ?

Image result for german attractions

There is a lot of new vocabulary, so write down any new or interesting words.

Did you notice how many adjectives are employed (used) ? This is very common in travel writing and guides.

WHY ?

Why do you think travel guides use so many powerful adjectives ?

Listening-skills-practice: Germany

Top ten facts about Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEYvi4kl-f4

while you watch, try to write your own question(s)

How many kinds of bread are there ?

Name the top three beer-drinking countries – what is interesting here ?

What do the Germans call a motorway (UK) / freeway (US). Why is it different ?

Image result for german autobahn

What was the first printed book ?

Historical note – this was in 1455. How do you think books were made before printing ?

Where is German spoken ? Would you considerGerman a global language ?

How long did Cologne (Köln) Cathedral take to build ?

Listening-skills-practice: German Music

Image result for german krautrock

Krautrock– what is krautrock ? Listening – a non-native speaker. (0 – 4.34): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNouEqTBPtw

Notice all the discourse markers– expressions that don’t add any information, but allow him to think while he keeps talking (examples: all right, yeah,) and expressions (it hit the $300 mark – means the price was $300).

Dialogue

Present perfect, past continuous and questions. Listen for adverbs

Mark: Have you been to Germany ?

Amy: No, not yet. Have you ?

Mary: Yes, twice. I have (I’ve) visited Berlin and Munich.

Amy: Which did you like best ?

Mary:Well, Munich is very clean, elegant and stylish, but quite expensive.

Amy: And Berlin, the capital ?

Mary: I was working there for six months. It was really cool.

They continue after eating a big piece of pie.

Amy: Sounds like you had lots of fun !

Mary: Oh, yes ! The food was cheap and the people were incredibly friendly.

Amy: How about the weather ? I have heard it can be cold.

Mary: It was terrible ! Every day it rained cats and dogs.

Amy: You must have been so glad to get back to Vietnam. (glad = happy)

Mary: Yes, but I miss the German trains and buses; they were so reliable.

How different is England to Germany ?

This is an interesting question because, despite both being Northern European countries with similar climates and a shared language root, both nations have very strong national identities. 

Historically, there is an obvious difference; the two World Wars. This originated from economic conflicts to actual conflicts which consequently altered the map of Europe.

There are many cultural differences, the English see the Germans as very efficient, hard-working, punctual albeit lacking any sense of humour.

Putting myself in their shoes, and based on my experiences of Germany, we Brits are seen as aloof and isolated, preferring tea-breaks to solid work.

These factors notwithstanding, the two countries have a lot in common; protestant religion, not Catholic (mostly), a love of both football and beer. Even our Royal Family has German blood.

Now with Brexit, it will be interesting to see what develops over the next generation. We can only speculate whether the nations move closer together or further apart.

Adult Class, level 3: The Russian Soul

3rd December for 4th December 2019 AEF 7B pp. 70 – 71

Tonight we focus on a reading, extrapolating information from a chunk of text, and listening. Additionally, there is a test which may occupy thirty minutes so we’ll need to hit the ground running (not so easy when students arrive at various times but it’s Viet Nam … what ya gonna do ?) … so let’s test their knowledge of Mother Russia:

Word Bomb: Russia – Famous people / cities / famous for / history / food / language / artists /

Image result for russian food
Image result for russian doll
Image result for russian church

Do they know this man ?

Image result for tchaikovsky
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Maybe they know this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cNQFB0TDfY

Because we have a lot of reading and comprehension, I want to create opportunities for speaking. Here is a short dialogue practice:

New vocabulary:

surprised // surprising

disappointed // a disappointment

confused // confusing

Image result for disappointed date
This man is … ? Why ?

DIALOGUE


Excuse me, sorry to bother you but do you speak English ?

Yes, a little. Are you German ? Your accent sounds German, maybe Czech …

No, I’m Russian. My name is Anna. I come from Moscow and it is freezing.

I’m Tony. Pleased to meet you, Anna. What do you do ? (what is your job)

I’m a student, reading architecture. How about you ?

I’m a musician. I play piano, guitar, clarinet but mostly cello.

Wow, how interesting. Do you know any Russian music ? We have great composers.

I simply adore Tchaikovsky. Are you surprised ? However modern music is confusing.

Yes, I agree. I went to a concert but I was very disappointed. It was just tuneless noise !

What can the students tell me about this famous house:

Image result for ho chi minhs house

Then depending on the time remaining, we can choose some activities from this list: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/27/adult-class-level-3-games-without-frontiers/