// sel____ // tal________ // unu_____ // valu____ (costs a lot of money)
// wea______ (if you can buy the Mona Lisa, you must be extremely wea_____) // Xenop_______ (do not like people from other countries) // ye__ – _____ (lasts for 12 months) // Zamb___ (person from Zambia)
Today is Hung King Festival, a free day in Viet Nam
“The holiday is dedicated to the memory of the Hung line of kings who ruled Vietnam as priestly kings for over 2,500 years up until around 250 B.C. These kings are counted as the nation’s ancient founders.” Read more on:
Elaborate (verb) … tell more, expand on your answer
Significant (adj) significance (noun) significantly (adv) … very important or different from the rest. Special, notable.
Simile … to compare something e.g. he drinks like a fish, she eats like a pig, our campus is like a bloody madhouse.
White collar job … professional, desk job or requires mental skills e.g. lawyer, doctor, office worker, teacher
Blue collar job … manual work, although these jobs can also need a professional qualification, and can be extremely well-paid.
Now, on with the show. Last night was based around the typical IELTS question, “Tell me about your family,” and its derivatives. I tell classes until I’m blue in the face, just saying, “I live with my mum, my dad and my sister,” is not a great IELTS answer, not to mention being tedious in the extreme.
The students mulled it over and came up with the reasonable response that there really was nothing else to say. Au contraire (on the contrary) there is so much to say, and every journey, as my Duchess knows, starts with a single step to wit, a great introduction.
The students, somewhat perplexed, offered:
Well, I don’t know how to give an interesting answer because I just live with my mum, dad and brother …
Even that would qualify as an introduction, but how about:
Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly there is …
Here’s where relative clauses really come into their own. Basically, every time you mention a subject, a noun, elaborate; tell the examiner more about said subject.
Oh, you know I will. Let’s start with the matriarch, Mommie dearest. You could say:
My mother has a heart of gold …
…then explain why
… she’s always thinking of other people before herself, as well aslistening to all my problems and trying to help me with everything.
On the other hand, your mother may want you to excel at everything …
Although I love her dearly, my mother is what they call a Tiger Mum by which I mean she always makes me study, do homework and learn piano. I really burn the candle at both ends and sometimes it can be too much for me.
Now, let’s turn to pater, Daddy;
My father, on the other hand, is firm but fair …
My father has a white collar job. He works long hours to provide for his family, he really has his nose to the grindstone …
He’s a little loud and on holidays, he loves singing karaoke with his friends, who are all blue collar workers, and hedrinks like a fish.
Now, a borrowed word to describe sister …
My sister, who is younger than me, is such a prima donna, always (doing what ?) …
My sister is so sweet, she’s like a little angel, and she loves playing with our puppywho is just six weeks old.
How about brother ?
My brother really looks out for me, giving me advice and guidance. I totally look up to him.
On the other hand …
My brother is an absolute slacker, lazy beyond belief. He never helps in the house, or cleans his room. He does his homework once in a blue moon, preferring to play stupid computer games instead.
How was that ? Happy now ?
Now … Your Turn
Last night you encountered these adjectives and occupations:
Encourage students to speak in long, interesting sentences.
Making the use of adjectives and adverbs a natural part of their English
Develop their ability to express themselves, giving reasons (because) and examples (like, such as)
Show them how much fun English can be by the use of idioms (once in a blue moon, it’s raining cats and dogs)
Match the word(s) to the meaning
gigantic / enormous __________ everywhere
tiny / petit _____________________on time
delicious / mouth watering ___very rarely
difficult ________________________ yummy / tasty
once in a blue moon ______ big / huge
intelligent ____________________ hard
ubiquitous ____________________ very small
once in a blue moon
piece of cake (very easy, no problem)
it’s raining cats and dogs (very heavy rain)
NOW … practice:
Street food in Vietnam is (everywhere) ___________________ .
Thay Paul loves fish and chips because it is (yummy)_________________ and _____________________. However, it is not very healthy so he only eats it __________________________________________(very rarely)
The man is (very big) however the lady is (very small)
Mr Paul is saying hello to an elephant which is a very (clever) __________________ animal.
This rabbit is always (on time) _________________
Is it (hard) ____________________ for a gorilla to play drums ? No, it is easy – it’s a piece of cake.
Ensure students have learnt the Unit adjectives (as well as new vocabulary from class)
Give students confidence to build longer, more interesting sentences
Give students sense of security to speak in class
Stress the importance of practice and practice and practice
A Warm up game:
Split class into teams. Read out a sentence in the present tense. Students have to write using the past tense. Depending on class size, students can run to the board, or work in small groups on a board in which case, make sure the writers are changed each turn.
massive // discover (discovered) // breathtaking // even // skyscraper
Have students shout out the words as they hear them.
1) Who discovered the cave ? 2) What kind of forest is in the cave ? 3) How long is it ? 4) How long would it take to walk ? 5) A skyscraper of how many stories (floors) could fit inside ? 6) How old is the cave ?
1) a farmer 2) a rainforest 3) over 5 kms 4) a week 5) 40 stories (floors) 6) 2- 5 million years old
Which adjectives could describe the four types of area ?
Speaking exercise – imagine you live in the first picture. Describe the neighbourhood and your life. However, when you get a high-paying job, you want to take out a mortgage and move to the second picture. Describe that neighbourhood.
Introducing and expanding your answer
Do you like coffee ?
I like many drinks however coffee is my favourite because it tastes great and makes me wake up although too much will stop me from sleeping at night but, in my opinion, the benefits far out weigh the disadvantages.
NB (Latin – nota bene = note well, please read, important information)
I didn’t answer immediately but introduced the question.
Use of discourse markers to extend the answer
Saying something positive and negative about the subject
This was all one sentence – a complex sentence which you will need to start using in order to pass IELTS with flying colours
Living in HCM
Working and studying.
ubiquitous everywhere, very common
naïve innocent, inexperienced
stroll a gentle walk, for exercise (collocation: take a stroll)
a bazaar (noun) a permanent, covered market
bizarre (adjective) very strange, unusual
absent-minded extremely forgetful
sky-high, astronomical very expensive, maybe too expensive
predictable it is possible to guess the answer, people doing the same thing
Street _______ are common in Vietnam, and they are _________ in District 1. It is nearly impossible for a westerner to take a ________ without being approached. Some claim to sell Ray Bans or designer sunglasses, but you would have to be extremely ________ to believe they are genuine ! They are all fake, probably made in China. Many people try to _____(collocation) money by selling to tourists especially around Ben Thanh Market, a kind of _______, though this is strictly for tourists as the prices are ____________ !
First time in Viet Nam – First impressions of Viet Nam
A vlog by Divert Living, posted just over two years ago and which has already received more than a million hits:
[American English accent]
Try 04:44 – 04:53
” … and I asked them, ‘How much is aqua (water) ?’ Aqua’s fifteen thousand, beer’s twenty thousand … of course I’m gonna get the beer, now … it’s just as expensive as the water.”
09:00 – 0913
“Fun fact, Vietnamese cuisine is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world … and, to go with the food, the size of the dining tables and chairs are super small.”
Which brings us to the theme of safety and the book work for the Saturday Class.
E up U 2, L 1
As a break, a little introduction to the UK and its history and traditions. The beginning of November sees Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night
In 1605, a group of men wanted to kill the King of England, James I. They wanted to blow up the building where the King was going to be, so they hid 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building. However, the King’s soldiers found one of the men, Guy Fawkes, and arrested him. The King was safe ! To celebrate, people made giants fires called bonfires : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wnq7aqHLCSM
Start and play up to 0:52 to explain the background, then from 3:25 and have the class copy the children in the video. This helps with pronunciation as well as learning new words, and learning about Britain.
We still do this today. Also, children help to make a Guy Fawkes from old clothes and old bags, and then adults put it on the fire. Finally, there are fireworks, sometimes at home, sometimes in parks so everyone can see.
Many different types of fireworks are used:
Some young children are holding sparklers – they have to wear gloves and be VERY CAREFUL.
A database of idioms that my physical classes covered previously as well as new idioms plus a reminder of some low-frequency words that are guaranteed to impress the examiner. Let’s kick off with some vocabulary building: