Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 3.

26th January 2020

Contents

Conversation practice: favourite possessions.

Small talk

Vocabulary booster

Small talk

Image result for talk about the weather

This is polite conversation, to pass the time, or to get to know some basic information about people. Do not ask anything too personal; this will differ from culture to culture, but in the UK and the west in general:

DO NOT

Ask why someone is not married or has no children.

Ask how much money they earn, get from their job.

Ask how much something cost. “I like your shirt. How much was it ?”

Talk about politics. “You’re from China ? Chairman Mao was a disaster !”

PLAY IT SAFE – talk about music, football, food or … in the UK … the weather.

Very warm for this time of year.

Did you see …….. last night ? (the football game, the news etc)

How long have you worked here ?

The traffic was so bad this morning.

What team do you support ?

Echo questions 

John: I can speak German. Peter: Can you ?

Bella: Ms Nguyen went to Thailand. Carole: Did she ?

Bill: He likes K-pop. Harry: ______________ ?

We are going to the pagoda later. ______________ ?

Ms Thinh has a new job.______________ ?

Conversation Practice

Talk about: 

house prices in your city / why you have or don’t have a pet 

Image result for strange pets

an interesting program you saw recently

What you want to do in the future. / Somewhere you would love to visit.

Keep conversations going:

I see / Do you really think so ? /

That’s good point / I hadn’t thought of that 

Oh, that’s interesting/ Yeah, right ! / Sure / OK May I just add something ? /

Oh, where is that exactly ?

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

Describe something you own which is very important to you. 

Image result for possessions

You should say: 

where you got it from how long you have had it what you use it for and explain why it is important to you. 

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

Rounding off questions 

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

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

Image result for possessions

For my Vietnamese students:

How different is Vietnam from other Southeast Asian countries?

What do you think Vietnam will be like 50 years from now?

What do you think Vietnam’s neighbours think of you ?

Image result for vietnam future
The future of Vietnam ?

Vocabulary booster

You have to use these words:

obviously / consequently / notwithstanding / therefore / speculate

We can only (guess) on what will happen in the future

The student did no work __________ he failed the exam.

It rained several days. That fact ____________ (despite), we still had a good holiday.

If you visit Canada in winter, _________ (of course) you will need jumpers, coats and gloves.

Expressions:

cultural differences / one can only imagine / putting myself in their shoes

There are many _____________________ for Asian students who go to study in the USA.

It can be hard learning English. Many students have to work all day. I try ___________________ and seeing what I can do to make the lessons more interesting.

Being a celebratory isn’t always fun; always having your photo taken. ___________________ what it must be like.

Try using these expressions:

There is so much work, I just can’t take it anymore !

A plague on both your houses ! (from ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Shakespeare)

Are you serious ? What possessed you to come up with such a stupid idea ?

I’m speechless … the film was just so moving and emotional; I’m almost in tears.

Image result for speechless
He’s speechless !

Discourse markers: Try to learn new words / expressions here to help you link idea.

Use these words: First, find the meaning for yourself, then use them in a sentence. After, try to use them in your everyday English.

Practice, practice, practice …

For instance / conversely / above all / alternatively / similarly / therefore as revealed by

Image result for for instance
There are many things I enjoy about writing this blog, for instance receiving notes and likes from people all over the world.

For a case in point, I see I have some readers in Nepal, so, just for them:

Image result for hello nepal

Adult Professionals: Architecture and engineering

7th January 2020

Architecture in history

Gothic Architecture

The Gothic style of architecture first emerged in Northern France during the 12th century. In engineering terms, it was a major step forward from the Romanesque style that had dominated European architecture up to that time. It allowed people to construct cathedrals, churches and other buildings on a scale that dwarfed anything that had gone before. The technological superiority of the Gothic approach was the result of three engineering breakthroughs: the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

The pointed arch offers benefits in terms of structural engineering: A greater proportion of the weight above thearch is channeled down into the ground, instead of exerting a sideways force: https://www.theclassroom.com/engineering-breakthroughs-gothic-architecture-12682.html

Ribbed Vault

The stone ceilings of Romanesque buildings were heavy and inefficient, and placed severe limitations on the size of buildings that could be constructed. The situation changed dramatically with the advent of the Gothic style.

One of the greatest innovations was the flying buttress. This system allowed builders to construct soaring cathedrals with massive interior spaces, while allowing walls to exhibit expansive stained glass windows. 

The engineering innovations of pointed arches, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses meant such buildings could be the longest, widest and tallest of their day.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. An example of the Gothic style. Note the flying buttresses.

Fillipo Brunelleschi (1377 – April 15, 1446)

Early in his career as an architect, Brunelleshi came forward as a mover and a shaker. He discovered, or rather, rediscovered the lost Greek and Roman rules of perspective, such as the principle of having a single vanishing point. His (re)discovery of these rules had a profound influence on the artists of his time

In 1420, the church awarded Brunelleschi the commission to design a dome to top the Florence Cathedral, which had been left, for many years, with a 140″ diameter hole gaping atop. The problem was not a new one to the world of architecture; for decades architects had been trying to design the perfect dome to crown the Cathedral but had been defeated by the restrictive structural limitations inherentin the Cathedral’s design. Brunelleschi, managed to succeed, however, were all others had failed by 1446.

Brunelleschi’s dome for the Cathedral in Florence, Italy.

Mies van der Rohe, 1886 – 1969

Famous for his saying “less is more,” was one of the preeminent modernist architects, well known for pioneering the extensive use of glass in buildings. His works introduced a new level of simplicity and transparency, and his buildings were often referred to as “skin-and-bones” architecture for their emphasis on steel structure and glass enclosure.