Young learners, level 6: Adjectives and grammar review

5th July 2022

First, let’s build a word bank of incredible, useful and unusual adjectives:

amazing / beautiful / Chinese / colourful / cute / dangerous / difficult / energetic / English / famous / fantastic / generous / greedy / great / hard-working / healthy / intelligent / interesting / Japanese / kind / lazy / loud / messy / naughty / nervous / outgoing / popular / quick / quiet / rich / rude / selfish / talkative / top cat / unhealthy / unusual / valuable / wealthy /

Game 1 – say are these adjectives positive (good) or negative (bad) or neutral (neither good nor bad)

Game 2 – make sentences using present continuous and two adjectives

EXAMPLE: She is reading a heavy, interesting book.

I ___ play ___________________ , ______________________ music.

You ___ watch a _______________ , ________________ film.

He ___ talk to a ____________ , _____________ film star.

She _____ study every day because she ___ __________ and ___________.

Ms H ____ smile because she is so _________ and ___________ .

The fat cat ___ not share her food because she is ______ and _________ .

We ___ learn ________ grammar but it is _____________ .

President __ wear a _________ dress. She ____ very _________ .

The boy ___ leave school because he was __________ and _____ to the teacher.

The teacher ___ laugh because the ________ , _________ student was sent home !

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

IELTS: Relatives, relatively speaking

17th February 2022

One perennial IELTS speaking topic, an old chestnut in fact, is family. You will, no doubt, encounter such questions as, “Who do you live with ?” or “Which member of your family do you feel closest to and why.”

So, continuing on from the pervious posting, here are some exercises designed to increase your speaking prowess, and boost your score.

To kick off, a recap of expressions:

a heart of gold // firm but fair // as good as gold

life and soul of the party // a little angel // is a good sport

he looks out for me // he has my back //

never has a bad word to say about anybody

On the other hand

a real tiger mum // is a bit of a wallflower

is a little devil // drinks like a fish

is a real prima donna // is very touchy

Exercise 1

Tell me about your mother, using a subordinate clause and at least one of the above expressions.

Asian Mother Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash
Image from unsplash.com

EXAMPLE:

My mother, who works as a medical secretary, has a heart of gold.

Exercise 2

Tell me about your father, brother, sister, grandmother and uncle. Make sure you use a subordinate clause for each person. Endeavour (try) to make longer, jaw-dropping sentences.

Safe Houses – South Africa – Emmanuel Relief & Rehabilitation International  of Canada
Image from eicanada.org

Now, let’s kick it up a notch. Add at least one of the personality adjectives from below:

Personality adjectives:

aggressive / arrogant / calm / domineering /extrovert / fastidious / generous / honest / humorous / kind / mean / modest / outgoing / polite / quiet / reliable / rude / selfish / serious / thoughtless / trustworthy / unreliable

First, decide if these adjectives are positive or negative, then match with the expressions accordingly.

EXAMPLE:

My mother, who is very fastidious, is a bit of a tiger mum. By that I mean she always wants me to pass every test with flying colours. However, I know, deep down, she wants what’s best for me, and that she has a heart of gold.

Image from theprouditalian.com

Exercise 3

Tell me about your family. You have to speak for two minutes, and tell me what the members look like, their personality, their occupation, and an anecdote about them.

EXAMPLE:

My uncle Michael, who lives in Ha Noi where he works as a tour guide, is the life and soul of the party. He is so outgoing and a real extrovert. I recall one time he came to Sai Gon for Tet Holiday and he really enjoyed himself. To be honest, he drank like a fish, singing karaoke and dancing with everybody. My uncle, who is my mother’s brother, actually looks nothing like her as he is very tall and thin, and has a receding hairline.

Mens Receding Hairline Hair Cuts - Stylist225.com of Baton Rouge : Salon  Hair Stylist
A receding hairline. Image from stylist225.com

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 6: Sensational sentence building

28th October 2021

Crosby Scholars receives $10,000 from Duke Energy to support STEM  programming for African American and Latina girls - Crosby Scholars Forsyth
Image from crosbyscholars.com

Who can build the highest word tower ?

Arrange class into small groups, named after famous architects from English speaking countries, e.g. Christopher Wren, Frank Lloyd Wright & Amanda Levete

Sir Christopher Wren
St Paul’s Cathedral, London
Frank Lloyd Wright
Fallingwater Building, Pennsylvania, USA
Amanda Levete
MAAT Museum, Lisbon

Therefore we have Team Wren, Team Levete & Team Wright

Game 1 Synonyms: give me a better word for …

yummy // good // big // very small // smart // very friendly // someone from Korea // scared // not easy // not clean // has a lot of money //

(1 point for each correct answer)

Game 2: Correct these sentences …

The Science book is very boring or bored.

I feel so excited or exciting about learning English.

She was disappointed or disappointing about the Japanese film.

(2 point for each correct answer)

Game 3: Make sentences using adj + noun

EXAMPLE:

Qri from K-pop band T-ara

The beautiful lady is a popular singer in a Korean group.

The Korean woman is smiling. She is cute and happy. She has long, brown hair.

Qri is a popular singer. She is Korean and is a fantastic dancer.

Team Wren:

The scientist Albert Einstein. He was born in Germany.

Team Wright:

Happy rich woman Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images | Depositphotos
This lady was born in Russia

Team Levete:

Dean of School - Job by Unicaf University Zambia
This lady was born in Zambia

(2 point for each adjective + noun structure)

Game 4: Adjective salad bar.

Look at the photos. Choose one you like and make a sentence or sentences. However, you will earn more points by using higher-level adjectives.

Earn 1 point for using these adjectives:

big, fat, friendly, happy, new, old, sad, small, young, yummy

Earn 2 points for using these adjectives:

amazing, angry, beautiful, clean, clever, cute, dangerous, easy, English, fast, funny, great, Greek, healthy, high, Japanese, kind, Korean, quick, Russian, shy, sleepy, tired, Zambian

Earn 3 points for using these adjectives:

bored, boring, delicious, electric, excited, exciting, fantastic, greedy, hard-working, huge, intelligent, lazy, messy, nervous, outgoing, polite, popular, rude, selfish, talkative, tiny, ugly

Earn 5 points for using these adjectives:

Asian, confident, curious, difficult, disappointed, European, Indian, important, Portuguese, outgoing, spicy, Swedish, talented, unusual, valuable, wealthy, xenophobic, year-long

Ronaldo from Portugal
Teacher from India
chummy - Search - Larastock Stock photos, royalty-free images, vectors
Very Old Lady In Funny Fur Hat With Two Tentacles With A Bored, Sulky  Expression Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 32431557.
Sweden's Indigenous Sami People Held Their First-Ever Pride Event
The Sami people from Sweden

Game 5: Where would you like to live or visit ?

We have ‘visited’ many amazing and unusual places in our lessons, and met many friendly, outgoing people.

So, where do YOU want to go ?

Tell me where, tell me why and tell me something about the country.

EXAMPLE:

I want to visit Korea because it is a very beautiful country and has many friendly and outgoing people. The food is spicy but delicious and very healthy. The history is amazing and the museums are very interesting.

(2 point for each adjective + noun structure, 1 point for every other adjective.)

adjectives

amazing, angry, Asian / beautiful, big, bored, boring /clean, clever, confident, curious, cute / dangerous, delicious, difficult, disappointed /easy, electric, English, exciting / fantastic, fast, fat, friendly, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, hard-working, healthy, high, huge / important, Indian, intelligent / Japanese / kind, Korean / lazy / messy / nervous, new / old, outgoing / polite, popular, Portuguese / quick / rude, Russian / sad, selfish, shy, sleepy, small, spicy, Swedish /talented, talkative, tiny, tired / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy, wide-awake / xenophobic / year-long, young, yummy / Zambian

Are Vietnamese hard working? - Quora

Bye bye from these hard-working Vietnamese ladies

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

IELTS: Focus on India

18th October 2021

Image result for hello India

Firstly, a big hello to all my readers and followers in India. I want you all to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. Thank you so much.

Exercise one: Find out some basic information about India from the internet, such as capital and major cities, population, food, religion, imports and exports.

I give you four minutes to do an Internet search, then present to class. DO NOT simply read from Wikipedia.

Exercise two:

Adjectives: look at the photos and describe what you see.

Try these adjectives:

exotic / mysterious / exquisite / captivating / enchanting

How Narendra Modi inaugurated Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple | Condé Nast  Traveller India
Image result for Indian culture
Image result for Indian culture

Exercise two: compare and contrast

Does this look like YOUR city ? What is similar, what is noticeably different ?

Image result for Indian city scene
Image result for Indian train station
School, Colleges to Reopen From Next Month? What we Know so Far

Vocabulary building and listening

In the real world, most students will not be communicating with English-language teachers, but probably with other non-native speakers, so learning to appreciate and understand English spoken with a ‘new’ accent is an extremely useful skill. Here’s a great video which features a charming young Indian lady teaching new vocabulary: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKUxuD0m5A8

New Vocabulary:

Instead of using ‘very’ + adjective (I am very tired), use a single word:

Try to use ‘sagacious’, ‘exquisite’, ‘colossal’ and ‘spacious

The classrooms in Block D are ……….. (big)

The furnishings are perfect, they are ……….

Building an underground train network is a ………… undertaking

The old man was ………. People came to him for advise.

This is also a listening skills exercise. 

  • Do you have any problems understanding her ? Why ?

What to do in India

The American foodie and blogger Mark Wiens travelled to Kolkata: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvNdOJMDMyQ

Listen for at least five words you didn’t previously know. In small groups ask each other:

What impressed you ? What disturbed you ? Would you like to go there ? If so, why, if not, why not ?

Here is a chance to practice adjectives, linking words and using the word ‘because’ – giving reasons, supporting your comments.

Famous Indians

In small groups, you have to make a short presentation about one of these famous Indians:

Mahatma Gandhi
Image result for famous indian siddharta buddha
Siddhartha – the Buddha
kalpana chawla
Kalpana Chawla

The class have five to ten minutes to research information, speed read and extract relevant facts with which to enlighten the class. Follow up, tell me about some Indian artists or sports stars.

And now, goodbye from this mysterious, exotic land. Hope to meet you very soon …

Image result for Indian sunset

This is an edited blog that first appeared on 24th January 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/24/ielts-hello-india/

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 6: sensational sentences – great games

15th October 2021

Glad diverse students taking notes while working on project
Free Images from pexels.com

Outline:

To promote the natural use of adjectives in order for students to speak in longer, more detailed sentences.

To increase vocabulary by introducing new words and replacing basic adjectives with synonyms.

Increase general knowledge.

Inspire students to aim higher, to produce more elaborate answers without prompting.

So, let’s have some games.

First, a warm up. Describe these pictures in one or two sentences. I want three adjectives for each photo.

Cheerful man with coffee laughing together with woman
Free Images from pexels.com

EXAMPLE: The man is drinking coffee and he is friendly and happy. His mustache is unusual.

NOW … YOUR TURN

Young beautiful hispanic sad woman serious and concerned in worried  depressed facial expression — negative, ethnicity - Stock Photo | #141206126
lightfieldstudios.net
6,667 Angry Japanese Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime
Dreamstime.com
How did the Russian kids made the world angry? - Luxury Topics luxury portal
luxurytopics.com
wortfm.org

What’s the story ?

Write a short story about the two photos

Set 1

abc.net.au
9 benefits of football, it makes you healthy!
newsbreezer.com

Set 2

nbcnews.com
Crazy Cajun Crabs, seafood restaurant from Fat Boyz Barbecue owners, opens  in Pompano Beach - South Florida Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Set 3

bitlanders.com
deviantart.com

Set 4

Zambia Geography - Where is Zambia, What's in Zambia?
victoriafalls-guide.net
Zambia – A Vietnamese missionary among the street children of Africa
infoans.org

Our valuable and useful collection of adjectives

amazing, angry, Asian / beautiful, big, bored, boring /clean, clever, cute / dangerous, disappointed /easy, electric, English, exciting / fantastic, fast, fat, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, hard-working, healthy, high, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing / polite, popular / quick / rude, Russian / sad, selfish, shy, sleepy, small / talkative, tiny, tired / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

4,000+ Goodbye Pictures
freepik.com

Bye Bye from the beautiful young Asian lady

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners, Level 4: Tell me a story

12th October 2021

10 Must-Read Novels & Short Story Collections By Asian American Authors |  restitchstance
Image from restitchstance.

Top Cats – I’ve shown you a lot of adjectives. Learn them, practice them, use them.

Look at these pictures. Tell me a story. Use adjectives to tell me what you see and what you think.

Here is our list of adjectives, and remember, colours are also adjectives.

amazing, angry / beautiful, big, boring /clean, clever, cute / dangerous /easy, electric, exciting / fantastic, fast, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, hard-working, healthy, high, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing /popular / quick / rude / sad, selfish, shy, sleepy, small / talkative, tiny, tired / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

We have a young lady and a man.

Let’s go to work ! What can you see in the first two pictures ?

Tell me about the lady. Who is the man ? How does he feel and why ? What does the lady do ? How does she look ?

Then the lady … ?

Finally the lady … ?

OK, Top Cats, give me your answers.

Points for using adjectives, correct grammar, and pronunciation.

Fact Check: Who's this man disrespecting the Indian national flag? - Fact  Check News
Image from India Today

EXAMPLE:

A young lady with long straight dark hair is at school. She is very tired and sleepy. She has a lot of boring homework.

Her daddy is very angry. He wants the lady to be intelligent not lazy.

The lady is nervous because she is so shy. She reads many big books. She is unhappy. However, she is hard-working.

Sometimes the books are exciting and she thinks it is important to learn.

She has a high score and her family are very happy.

The beautiful clever young lady has a great job. She is wealthy and has many valuable things. However, she is not selfish. She buys her family amazing presents.

NOW … Your turn

Tell me a story

Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad in Zambia | GoAbroad.com
Zambian-boy-studies-using-a-solar-lantern_Patrick-Bentley-Solar-Aid |  Lighting Global
Despite Hunger, Poverty, Zambian Boys Enjoy Fun of Sports - en.chinagate.cn
Hakainde Hichilema: the Zambian “cattle boy” who became president

Tips: Tell me what the boy looks like. Tell me how he feels. Tell me what he does. Finally, what happens to the boy when he grows up ?

How about this story ?

447 Baby Dolphins Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Notes and links

The ‘Young Lady’ story was originally used in an IELTS blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/06/ielts-4-5-speaking-class/

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images and are used for educational purposes. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners 4: Let’s build some sentences. Part 2

6th October 2021

Photo found on Google Images

Let’s start to use some verbs. We’ll start with:

I have // you have // he has // she has // we have

I have a sister. She is funny and talkative.

two girl molding a snowman during daytime
Royalty-free image from Google

Now … Your Turn.

I have a brother. He is …

amazing, angry / beautiful, big /clean, clever, cute / dangerous /easy, electric / fantastic, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, healthy, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing /popular / quick / rude / sad, selfish, shy, small / talkative, tiny / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

Royalty-free image from Google

Tell me about your mother, father or cousin.

Let’s move on

I have + adjective + noun. Pronouns + is + adjectives

EXAMPLE: I have a Japanese friend. She is clever and shy.

Royalty-free image from Google

The sentence has 3 adjectives. Tell me about your friend:

I have a … friend. He or She is … and …

Tell me about these people:

This man is Greek. I have a Greek friend. He is …

Royalty-free image from Google

This lady is English. I have an ….

Royalty-free image from Google

This man is Japanese. I have a …

Royalty-free image from Google

Now, let’s talk about pets.

Royalty-free image from Google

I have a cute puppy. He is small, quick and happy.

Tell me about your pet.

Tell me about these animals:

Royalty-free image from Google
Royalty-free image from Google
Royalty-free image from Google
Royalty-free image from Google

Bye bye from the friendly bear.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images and are used for educational purposes. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners 4: Let’s build some sentences. Part 1

5th October 2021

26,846 BEST Asian Construction Woman IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe  Stock
Photo found on Google Images

Some activities to help young students and beginners build longer sentences, and to identify the word types such as verbs, nouns and adjectives.

Are you ready ?

Iron Man, are you ready ?

8 Actors Considered for Iron Man Before Robert Downey Jr. - E! Online
Yes, Thay Paul, I’m ready !

Wonder Woman, are you ready ?

Born Ready || Diana (wonder woman) - YouTube

Muddy Waters, are you ready ?

Muddy Waters – I'm Ready (1994, CD) - Discogs

Let’s go ! First – what is this ?

A lot of students will just shout out, ‘Kangaroo,’ but we need to answer in a sentence – ‘It’s a kangaroo.’

However, let’s use some adjectives. Look and tell me what you see.

The Kangaroo is brown and grey // big // strong // beautiful or ugly // happy or angry //

It’s a big brown and grey kangaroo.

Now … Your Turn. What is this ?

For younger classes, just ask for ‘It’s a / an …’ For higher levels, aim for adjectives.

African elephant calf is born in Mexico during pandemic, they call it  'Zoom' | Web24 News

Remember, elephant begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) so we have to use ‘an‘ – It’s an elephant.

With adjectives ‘It’s an amazing elephant’, or ‘It’s a cute elephant.’

Moving on … who knows an adjective beginning with … ‘a’ ? With ‘b’ ?

3 Times as a Man When Thinking Small Is Good - Michael Holland

Let’s have a collection of adjectives:

amazing, angry / beautiful, big /clean, clever, cute / dangerous /easy, electric / fantastic, funny / greedy, great, Greek / happy, healthy, huge / important, intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / old, outgoing /popular / quick / rude / sad, selfish, shy, small / talkative, tiny / ugly, unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long, young / Zambian

Make sentences using 2 or 3 of the adjectives.

Indian princess by VeraVoyna.deviantart.com on @DeviantArt | Indian princess,  Indian disney princess, Disney princess movies
5 ways to live like Crazy Rich Asians in Singapore | Travel - Hindustan  Times
Check out the pretty selfies from T-ara's Qri | T-ara World
Singer from Korean band T-ara
Bye to favour as Zambia brace for COSAFA Cup Draw - 2021 COSAFA Cup
Football team from Zambia

Next time, using verbs. See you soon.

Venice Film Festival: Jimmy Page Attends Led Zeppelin Doc Premiere |  Billboard
Bye bye from Mr Jimmy Page

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images and are used for educational purposes. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Young Learners: Amazing Adjectives

9th August 2021

Movie and TV Cast Screencaps: Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow / Hero (2002) /  32 Screencaps
The amazing Asian actress Maggie Cheung in the famous film ‘Hero’.
The brilliant breathtaking Blues musician Robert Johnson

Adjective Game 1

Let’s start with ‘A’, the first letter. Who knows these adjectives ?

Am__________ (This word means very good, wonderful)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘a’ ?

Be___________ // (This word means very pretty)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘b’ ?

Cu__ // Dan______ // ele_____ // fan_______ (very good) // gr_______

// he________ // int_________ // Ja____ (from an Asian country) // ki___ //

la__ // me____ (not clean. Also the name of a talented footballer) //

ner___ // outg______ (opposite of shy) // pop_____ // qui__ // ru__

// sel____ // tal________ // unu_____ // valu____ (costs a lot of money)

Here Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Paintings In The World Right Now

// 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)

Zambia
Zambia country profile - BBC News

Suitable answers: amazing / beautiful / cute / dangerous / electric / fantastic / greedy, great, Greek / healthy / intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / outgoing /popular / quick / rude / selfish / talkative / unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long / Zambian

Adjective Game 2

Sentence building using adjectives is very easy. Even using basic adjectives can improve your English. Colours, sizes and where someone is from are all easy adjectives. Look at this example:

The flag is very large and is white with a red circle in the middle. The flag is Japanese.

Look at these flags. Choose one and describe it to the class. Points for the students who guess which flag. Extra points if they know the country.

Adjective Game 3

Describe these people:

Albert Einstein, born in Germany
Usain Bolt, born in Jamaica
Park Soyeon - T-Ara - Posts | Facebook
Park Soyeon from Korea
Omar Sharif born in Egypt
Dr. Vandana Shiva DS.jpg
Vandana Shive from India

IELTS Mindset 1, lesson 6 Review

21st April 2021

Today is Hung King Festival, a free day in Viet Nam

Hung King Festival | All about Hung King Temple Festival 2021
Hung King Festival (Kings’ Day) Viet Nam (Google Images)

“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:

https://publicholidays.vn/hung-kings-commemoration-day/

New Vocabulary

Cheap as chips … very inexpensive (UK expression)

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.

May be an image of 4 people and people smiling
Good old boys from Atlanta, Georgia back in the day. Three have blue collar jobs, one is white collar … can you guess which ?

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.

May be an image of 3 people
Hold your horses, Thay Paul. Will you give me an example ? Photo in Manila.

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 as listening 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 he drinks 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 ?) …

Conversely:

My sister is so sweet, she’s like a little angel, and she loves playing with our puppy who 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 ?

No photo description available.
Yes, that’s a great help, Khob khun (khap/ka). Two Thai friends in London.

Now … Your Turn

Last night you encountered these adjectives and occupations:

aggressive / arrogant / calm / funny (haha) / funny (crazy) / generous / honest / humorous / kind / mean / modest / polite / quiet / reliable / rude / selfish / serious / thoughtless / trustworthy /

estate agent / plumber / DJ / mechanic / bouncer / surgeon / accountant / actor / cook or chef / removal man / insurance agent / bank clerk / detective / businessperson / barista / lawyer / slacker shop manager / unemployed /

Exercise 1: Write and then present your own IELTS-style answer to the question, “Tell me who you live with ?” Use new words as well as your own ideas.

Here’s some help, should you require it:

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly there is my mother who … (where is she from OR what is her job OR what is she like, by which I mean physically or in terms of personality ?).

My father, on the other hand, is …

As for my younger sister, I worry about her because she …

Now, let’s mix it up a little … say you live with an aunt, a grandparent, a cousin … impress me; I know you can do it.

For more about introductions, check out this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/28/ielts-please-allow-me-to-introduce-myself/

For last night’s lesson blog, click here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/20/ielts-mindset-1-lesson-6-speaking-speaking-and-more-speaking/

See you next week

Hung King Festival | All about Hung King Temple Festival 2021
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