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

Adult Class, Level 2: Travel language revisited

22nd June 2020

Dahab travel guides 2020– Dahab attractions map – Qesm Saint ...

Vocabulary review:

Use these new words in a sentence

breathtaking / spectacular / unforgettable / magnificent / unique / exhilarating

once-in-a-lifetime / never-to-be-forgotten / unmissable / natural beauty 

Hoi An is …

(where else?)

I went swimming with sharks – it was … (What else is ?)

The views are …

Versailles Palace is … (What palaces or castles have you seen ?)

The Palace | Palace of Versailles

Seeing the Pyramids is a / an …… experience

Pyramids of Giza | National Geographic

Water puppets are ….. to Vietnam.

10 great places to see water puppet show in Vietnam

England’s Lake District is an area of …

10 things to do in the Lake District | The Independent

Gaudi was a … architect 

Architectural Marvels by Gaudí | Essential Marbella Magazine

NOW – add adverbs

Adverbs add more information and description to verbs and adjectives.

It is expensive HOW expensive It is so / very / extremely expensive

Most adverbs end in ‘-ly’ extremely / unbelievably / incredibly 

Some common adverbs: so / very have no ‘-ly’ ending

Some good mild adverbs: quite / somewhat

Seoul is quite expensive.

5 Trendy Shopping Areas in Seoul - Alexis Jetsets – Travel Blog ...

The film was somewhat confusing

Un-Cannes-y Valley: The Double Life of Veronique | The Long Take
‘The Double Life of Veronique’

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Holiday project – Egypt

9th June 2020

Sheet 2 for the holiday Project

EXOTIC EGYPT

Ancient Empire

Home of Pharaohs and queens

View the breathtaking pyramids

Solve the mystery of the Sphinx

A holiday you will NEVER forget

Stay in Cairo. Visit Egypt Museum. Day trip to Pyramids

Camel-rides. Experience local cuisine. 

Half-day boat ride on the enchanting Nile river

Return flight, hotel, half-board, transfers, private bus

Best prices !!!

A Holiday You Will Never Forget

Mr Paul Tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn

Teenagers: Architecture and mythology

13th March 2020

Image result for architecture and mythology

Contents

Art – giving opinions

Collocations

Expressions

Egyptian pyramids

Greek mythology

Music (naturally !)

Hello everyone, I welcome you to my blog page, and may I take this opportunity to thank ALL OF YOU who have visited my site. Having nearly 100 visits for a teaching blog is extremely gratifying.

Now, without further ado, let’s jump straight in, “Time waits for no man.”

Image result for time waits for no man quote
A famous quote from the English writer Geoffrey Chaucer

First off the bat, a little plug for my friend ‘Pete’ who has an online radio show on Mixcloud. If you’re interested, you can listen here: https://www.mixcloud.com/flatwoundssounds/

Show 4, 29th August 2019

The playlist is a mix of Jazz, Blues, Soul, R ‘n’ B & Rock ‘n’ Roll. However, in terms of an English lesson, listen to his narrative between songs. Although Pete lives in Birmingham now (central England), his accent betrays his Kent, (south-England) origins. Listen to how his voice deviates from Standard English.

A Propos (speaking about) of music, my last lesson featured two songs, one Nubian, the other a 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll number:

Nubia is a region that encompasses south Egypt and north Sudan
One of my online students has chosen the English moniker ‘Ivy’; consequently, this song is for her.

Now, time to get down to work. I introduced the class to some expressions; therefore we need to revise and practice:

between you and me // let’s get it over and done with // my hands are tied // off the cuff

I would like to let you go home early but …..

……… I think students have too much homework

Jazz musicians are famous for their spontaneity; they often play ………..

Oh, man ! We have to clear up after the party. Oh, well, ……….

Collocations

collect / raise / undertake / boycott

Charities run campaigns to ……….. money

I’m going to ……….. shops that treat their staff poorly

Scientists need to ……. further research into the Corona Virus

There is little recycling, if any, in Vietnam. We need to ……… awareness of the importance to the planet.

ART

Giving opinions – remember, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer; the exercise is to help you express what YOU feel when you see these works of art.

Expressions:

It’s not my cup of tea // it doesn’t appeal to me // I just don’t get // I see no artistic value // I have no time for it.

OR … positive:

It’s very uplifting // the picture speaks to me // I’m drawn to the image // it is ineffable (unable to be expressed in words) // it transcends language.

Image result for constable haywain
John Constable 1821
Image result for wyndham lewis as a tyro
Wyndham Lewis 1921
Image result for basquet artist
Jean-Michel Basquet 1980s
Image result for ancient egyptian art
Ancient Egyptian art

NOW – a curious point … how can a civilisation that can construct these:

Image result for pyramid of giza

only represent the human form like this:

Image result for ancient egyptian human form

How perfect are the Pyramids ?

“The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc, or one-fifteenth of one degree,” Glen Dash, an engineer who studies the Giza pyramids, wrote in a paper published recently in The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture … ” https://www.livescience.com/61799-great-pyramid-near-perfect-alignment.html

Now, take a look at his ariel view, showing the layout:

Image result for aerial view of pyramids

At this juncture, let’s take a little diversion, from ancient Egypt to ancient Greece.

The night sky has 88 constellations, many named after characters or creatures from Greek mythology. I’d like to focus on one, the giant hunter Orion. This is his constellation, and is one of the more easier groups to see, especially at this time of year:

Image result for orion constellation

These random stars (which may in fact be many millions of light years apart) were seen by the Greeks thus:

Image result for orion constellation

You see the hunter with his bow and arrow, but I wish to draw your attention to the three stars arranged diagonally in the centre, the ‘belt’ of the hunter. Compare those with the arrangement of the Egyptian pyramids:

Image result for orion constellation and pyramids
Image result for orion constellation and pyramids

How would you account for this ? Coincidence or conspiracy ?

Let’s leave the last word to our National Poet, William Shakespeare, with this famous quote from Hamlet:

Image result for there are more things in heaven and earth

Young Learners, Level 2: Group work and review.

21st August for 25th August 2019. Everybody Up 2, U 7 L2

This is an early morning class, and quite typical; one or two very good girls, one, possibly two good boys. The rest range from those who cannot speak without shouting at the top of their voices (the Vietnamese, bless them, are not the quietest nation on Earth), those who pay attention to anything save the lesson, and those who are so inactive and immobile as to be positively catatonic.

One way to counter this negativity is to make the lessons more kinetic, more active, though the size of the class and the dimensions of the room are not conducive to much activity. It is also important to realise that these are children, ‘forced’ to come to extra school on their weekend, and their motivation levels plummet from, “Please teach me English,” to “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn … I REALLY don’t give a damn.”

We recently had a project activity, cutting out and colouring a room. This proved quite successful, and even those who are permanently seated, chin in hand, yawning thick and fast, were engaged and doing something. So, today, I’m going to mix things up a little. We’ll start by rearranging the chairs into islands of four, as opposed to the traditional horseshoe arrangement.

Warm Up: A quick game. I’ll give each island a board and marker and I’ll review the last lesson, ‘time’. I’ll call out a time and the students have to write it, in figures. This can be extended to cover other lessons, including basic maths (to practise the use of the words ‘plus’, ‘minus’, ‘times’ and ‘divided by’. Also, for general knowledge, do they know any countries where English is spoken (as first language) ? What countries are there in Asia … Africa … South America ? Then look at this picture for 30 seconds. Write down what you remember. I’ll be listening for adjectives as well as nouns, and encourage the use of full sentences, e.g. I see a big white mirror, I see a small green cupboard etc.

Image result for bedroom in anime film

Now I’ll go straight into bookwork, subject ‘meals’. Here, I’ll follow a standard school lesson plan:

Show the four flashcards and review as a class, especially pronunciation, then pass them one by one around. First student (make sure said student is a top cat, or the activity goes down like a lead Zeppelin) takes the card, says the word, then passes to the next … after the third student has spoken, introduce a new card to the first student and so on.

Next, a run ‘n’ write. Two students must run to the board and write one of the new words. For the top cats, they can write two words, or even all four.

There are four pictures, but I prefer to say the words myself rather than play the audio (which is often a monotone, transatlantic drone). Students shout out (this class like shouting, to a fault !) the words.

Grammar structure – focus on the key sentence – have students repeat.

Book work, page 66. Elicit information about the pictures, just try to get the students speaking English as much as … Encourage them to ask each other. Use a top cat to start e.g. “What do you see in picture 2 ?”, “What are they doing here ?”, “What time is it in picture 3 ?” etc.

This should take us up to break time, with drilling and substituting pronouns, noticing how the verb changes i.e. I eat breakfast at 7:00, He eats breakfast at 7:00.

After break, in their gangs of four or threes, I’ve prepared an activity sheet; some questions, some things to do, some information to gather, something that requires the students to listen:

Everybody Up 2  Activity sheet

1) Write five buildings that you find in a city

2) Write three words that begin with th … / ch … / sh … / wh ….

3) On a clock, show:  10.15 / 2.30 /     quarter to five

4) Draw a picture of your bedroom. What do you have in your room ?

5) Tell me three things you like to do after school.

6) Draw a girl wearing a yellow hat, pink coat, green pants and blue boots.

7) Draw a bald man playing guitar wearing an orange jumper and black pants.

8) What does Teacher Paul like ? Write two things ?

9) What are the five senses ?

10) A doctor works in a hospital.    Write a sentence.

Where does a teacher work ? / Where does a cook work ?

11) Look at the picture: Which flag is which country ?

Brazil / South Korea / Canada / Egypt

12) What do you eat for breakfast ?  When do you eat Breakfast ?

13) What did Mr Mark eat for breakfast ? Did he like it ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crPVJ3CXs1g&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=20&t=0s

What words did he use ?  Can you smile like him ?

And then … work books, work sheets and the bell … and only two more classes !

Young Learners, Level 5: Feelings (nothing more than feelings)

20th August for 25th August 2019. E Up 5 U1, L2 pp 6 – 7

A new class (for me) which I hope to be substituting, not taking full-time (this is an afternoon class and I already work all morning with young learners, and THAT is enough in spades). I will need to assess the levels of ability and motivation, as well as spot the trouble-makers, the big mouths and those who are committed to disrupting the lesson (believe me, there’s always at least one).

Last week they learnt some past tense, mostly irregular verbs. As our text books are published by the USA office of Oxford University, they favour American spelling i.e. learned as opposed to the more commonly used learnt in British English (both are correct). Furthermore, the books are printed in China, making this a real global enterprise, so that will form part of our activities.

Warm Up: A kinetic run ‘n’ write exercise. I will say a simple sentence in the present tense; students have to write the past tense. Class can be split into two or three, depending on size, each with a different colour marker.

You act in a play / I ride an elephant / She win a competition / He read a big book / We learn English / … and what happened here :

And yes … I DID ride an elephant:

With my friend in Thailand

Information gathering:

Last week, the students were introduced to the continents. Now I will develop that further by focusing on four different countries: Brazil, Canada, Egypt and South Korea. To give an example, I will use Vietnam:

Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam

95.54 million people live in Viet Nam. The population is 95.54 million.

The government of Viet Nam is in Ha Noi. The capital city is Ha Noi.

People speak Vietnamese. The language of Vietnam is Vietnamese.

Vietnam is very hot but also has a rainy season. The weather is very hot then very wet.

Ladies in Vietnam wear ao dai and non la. Ho Chi Minh is the most famous Vietnamese person.

Related image
Vietnam is famous for beautiful ladies in the traditional dress, the ao dai.

First, elicit comments about the four countries; where are they, in which continents ?

Image result for Brazil postcard
Canada
Image result for egypt pyramids
Egypt
Image result for South Korea
South Korea

The class will be split into four groups, each representing one country.

One member can draw the county’s flag, the others have to gather information. Around the room I will stick information sheets. One member has to run to the sheet, then tell his team the information. This practises reading, talking and writing skills and most importantly, allows the students to communicate with each other in English.

The drawing is also useful, as the students are still children, attending classes on weekend, so they need some diversion from book work.

As such, and as a way of introducing new vocabulary and expressions, I will show a children’s guide to London, my hometown and the UK’s capital city.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrJNIUp2izQ&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=24&t=0s

Image result for duck tours london
Duck Tours, London … a bus that turns into a boat – it’s brilliant.

I will play the video once, writing down new words. I will then make the students write them down and then, when I replay the video, they can shout out when they hear the new vocabulary spoken. These will include:

loads and loads / I reckon / really / very / amazing

And so .. to book work. The theme is ‘feelings’ and then using them in basic sentences.

With six flash cards, I will drill the pronunciation and meaning. One game is to pass the first card to a top student and let the student say the word out loud before passing on to the next student; when the third student has said the word, I pass the first student the second card and so on …

Additionally, there is (for Johnny Cash fans) ‘Walk the line’: I spread the six cards out on the floor, in a line. Two students, one at each end has to say the word then move on to the next. First to finish is the winner – or even have the whole class line up, in two teams, so everyone gets to join in.

Finally, once students are confident (one of the feelings) of meaning, we can have a game where I tell a student a feeling and said student must mime or act out for the class.

At this level, I’m hoping for good speaking abilities and students able to form basic sentences and read short passages.

As usual, I’ll be supplied with some additional worksheets about feelings for those who finish the workbook section quickly. These can easily be found online – the British Council have a great supply on their website: https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/worksheets