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.
Part One: Give six students a flashcard from U3, L1 (e.g. buy balloons, order pizza). Model a question, then have a student act as teacher:
What will Tom do ? He’ll order pizzas
Six new students. They close their eyes and are given flashcards. Students open their eyes, at the same time, and have to say what they’ll do e.g.
I’ll bring fruit juice
Part Two: Mime the actions from U3, L2
Student teacher will ask, “Will she set up the music ?” Class will shout out, “Yes, she will,” or, “No, she won’t.” Give three students a flashcard. Ask, “Who will pour the juice ?” Class shout out the answer.
Part Three: Vocabulary check – on writing boards,
What is a better word for yummy,
The coffee costs £2, I only have £1.50 so I don’t have _______
I want to ______ up to buy a new video game.
We can _____ money by working.
We can _____ the floor or ____ the car
Part Four: Last week’s writing highlighted some glaring errors. here’s a chance to fix some schoolboy errors.
Let’s use Green Lantern
Ireally like Green Lantern. He wears a mask and has a magic ring. He travels very fast but the Flash is faster.
NOTES: Capital letter for a name, when you write about your self (I) and the first letter of a new sentence.
Verbs: add -s for 3rd person = I wear, you wear, he/she/it/name wears
I really like NOT I very like
NOW … Your Turn
Correct the writing:
i very likes black widow. she am very intelgunt and she wear a bracelet. also she fight good. she can karate and judo
I really like Black Widow. She is very intelligent and she wears a bracelet. Also she fights well. She can do karate and judo.
For work on the Amazon Rain Forest, click on this link:
One of the benefits of over-planning is that the work can be carried over to the next lesson; such is the case now. Also, we have a chance to refine the activities, find ways to improve them and eradicate our (i.e. ‘my’) mistakes.
A common problem I make is to over-estimate creativity in students. Some people find it hard to be imaginative in their native language, let alone in a foreign tongue. To solve this, I shall provide some assistance in the form of notes, taped to the walls.
As a warm up, we learnt colour association last week; have they remembered ?
What emotion or feeling do you associate with
Can they give me a sentence or an example ?
Now … The show must go on
I will use the talk show format as blogged last week but with some amendments.
This is a compilation of clips from David Letterman, who speaks in a very quick, New York style. We can start around 2:41 and play about 30 seconds. Drinking the perfume should amuse my students:
In groups of five, one person can pretend to be famous, either an artist, scientist, sportsperson or actor. The rest of the group have to interview the student, each member asking a question such as:
When did you start (acting, playing sport, learning an instrument, acting) ?
How long did you practice or How many hours a day do you rehearse ?
How old were you when you won your first award or medal ?
Tell us about yourself – where were you born ?
Do you have any brothers or sisters ?
What do you want in the future ?
Who do you like or who inspires you ? Why do you say that ?
Next, we need to create a studio set. We’ll do a ‘word bomb‘ or ‘mind map’ game. Who works on a TV show ?
We have a host and of course, we need a guest.
But we need someone to work the camera (cameraperson), the sound (sound engineer) and a director to shout ‘Action !’ We’re in HCM City, so we need a great backdrop for our show:
To arrange groups, and get a mix of students who don’t usually sit or work together, I will arrange the desks in islands of four or five chairs. Each island has a number. The students must choose a card numbered 1 – 5 and sit at that island. Here my TA will be invaluable in making boys sit with girls, and dealing with all the petty squabbles that WILL ensue.
To prevent paucity of ideas and therefore an excuse to do nothing, I will make information sheets and have them pasted around the room. The students have to gather information, but I will expect them to provide basic information themselves.
However, by putting text on the wall, the students will have to read and transmit the information to their team and arrange it in a proper sentence:
First performance: School play at age 5. Actor forgot the words !
Teacher told student to be an actor because was a bad and noisy student.
Was in a TV advert at age 8 for ice cream
First film at age 9
Next work is a film with Hari Won.
Wants to go to Hollywood and be in a big action film
Got a microscope for birthday present at age 6. Used it every day
Favourite subject at school science, biology and chemistry
Went to Sai Gon Zoo every weekend in summer
Won District 2 science contest when was 7
Has an uncle who works for English medical company
Wants to work with animals in the Asian jungles
Began painting at 2 years old with hands !
Grandmother bought a paint set for birthday at age 4
Always won best painting at Kindergarten and school
At age 6, went to HCM City art gallery
Paints the stage for all school shows
Wants to study art in Paris, France
Began playing table tennis when only 3 on a special small table
Could beat older brothers and sisters when was only 5
Neighbour said join a club. Was best player in 10 weeks.
Won first contest at age 6
Could beat most adults by age 8
At 9, joined the Vietnam national team
Wants to represent Vietnam at the Olympics and win gold medal.
The students will then have to present their work in the form of a TV chat show, with a director, cameraperson and sound boom (a plastic fly swat can easily stand in for a boom, while the director can pretend to have a headset, and shout, “Three, two, one … action !”
To continue the fun, we can have the students drink tea in the ‘British’ fashion – I model the typical way to drink tea, raising the pinkie, and sipping quietly and without a Vietnamese, “AAAHhhhhhhhhh !” after each gulp. Points, naturally, awarded for the best tea-drinker.
Finally, we can watch and imitate one of my favourite actors, Mr Peter O’Toole, also from the Letterman show. The students must copy this line: (0:46 – 0:50)
By this stage, the students are able to form basic sentences, though they need constant encouragement to develop speaking skills, as well as being told to write down new words and expressions … and then USE them.
The lesson should involve all skills, and allow the students some active sections, to break the monotony of sitting for two hours. New vocabulary should be introduced and recent lessons should be revisited and revised. Today’s theme is ‘be creative’ so we’ll start with:
Warm up: Word Bomb (mind map)
Board ‘Free Time’ and ask the students what they do for fun, making them speak in sentences, not just shouting out single words. We can develop this by asking secondary questions for example, ‘I play football,’ ‘Where do you play ? With whom do you play ? Are you in a team, or play with friends ?’
Pre-teaching: New vocabulary
Today we have six flash cards, all in the present simple (e.g. sing songs, write stories). The class repeat the text and I check for pronunciation and meaning.
Activity: What do my friends do ?
Around the room, I stick six sheets of paper, each with a single word:
Fashion / Art / Music / Cinema / Models / writing
I then show a single Powerpoint Slide with six of my ‘friends’ and ask the students to match the friend to the activity. I will board the six names on two sides of the whiteboard and the students, divided into two teams, have to match them. My ‘friends’:
My friends are: Nicky, Ian, Stella, Bill, John & Frida.
After the students have guessed, I’ll show the following pictures:
Next, a chance for the students to get up and mingle, so I’ve prepared a questionnaire, utilising a lot of past tense verbs:
What did you do on December 31st ?
What was the last film you saw ? Was it good ? Did you enjoy it ?
Do you like painting or drawing ? Do you go to museums ?
Have you ever lost anything ? What was it ?
We can listen to some answers, and the class can correct any errors in grammar. This will also help the students speak to each other in English, so that not all communication goes through the teacher.
Next up: Student description
In a previous lesson, the class learnt about basic adjectives to describe appearance. I will therefore choose a student and describe the physical characteristics, e.g. this student has long straight hair, is not very tall, and wears black glasses. I will choose some students and give them a student to describe, while promoting the value ‘be polite‘.
Video time: listening & new vocabulary
In our first class, we watched a kids’ guide to London and I boarded the following:
I reckon / huge / a little bit / brilliant
The students were told to ALWAYS have a notebook and pen handy, and to write down new words. However, this is not a common practice in Vietnam, so they have to be told … and retold.
We only need show the first minute, but the students can be asked to identify various creative activities that they see. Then it’s time for some action !
I’ll stick three of today’s six flash cards on the cards and select three students. They’ll be given a swat, and they have to run to the board and swat or slap the card they like best, saying, “I like … movies, painting etc.” This leads into:
One of the top students plays the role of teacher. They come to the front and ask students, “Do you like …. songs, models etc ?” Students must answer in a sentence: “Yes, I do,” or “No, I don’t.” Thay Student will follow-up by asking why or why not …”Because it’s ….”
Here we need some good adjectives. To give them a good pool of words, we can have a quick hangman game first, so we have adjectives such as:
This is Lykke Li, and we can start the video around the 1-minute mark. The title, and the key phrase is something the class should, by now, be familiar with; ‘a little bit’. It’s also a good lesson in how Standard written English differs from spoken English, as we often swallow the ‘t’ sounds. Have a listen … you don’t need to play the whole song if it’s not your cup of tea … just a little bit.