Can I get a bus to the city centre from here ? Is it possible ?
Can you hit the lights, please ? request – turn on/off the lights
Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation
You have to get over 60% or Thay Paul will KYA (kick your ass !) Obligation
Oh, you must see the new Iron Man film. Suggestion
Will you help me with my tieng Viet ? Request
May I go to the party ? Permission
You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Obligation
You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion
You should all read English books. Suggestion
….. I use my mobile phone in class ? Asking permission
You ………. answer all three questions. Obligation
It’s too heavy; …… you help me lift it ?
Don’t wait too long – he ……. not come.
… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?
This activity makes students speak English to each other, exchanging information and giving them practice in taking down facts such as dates, phone numbers etc.
Arrange class into small groups and give them each an information sheet. They take turns reading aloud to their group, using natural rhythms and intonations.
It’s highly probable that other students will not understand all, so they must use some of the following phrases:
I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please.
I didn’t catch your phone number.
Would you mind speaking slower, please.
How do you spell that ?
Let me confirm, your name is …
Hello, I’m calling from Los Angles and I want to know what time does your office open ? I’m arriving on the 10th July so can you meet me at the airport ? My cell is 555 – 0743 – 9291. Also, can you recommend a good hotel downtown ?
Hi, this is Mr Muller from the Berlin office. We are waiting for your design for the Audi components. Could you email them as soon as possible. We have an important presentation on the 12th so we need them.
Hello, I’m looking for … Mr nnngggg yyyyyuun ?? Sorry, I cannot pronounce Vietnamese. This is Jack Ginsberg from the Beijing factory. We cannot meet your order by the deadline. We need at least three more days. Sorry for the inconvenience.
London calling, this is Mr Thompson for Mr Thanh. We need to rearrange the time of our conference Skype call. We must bring it forward to 11 o’clock your time. Hope that is not an issue. Any problems, give me a bell on my office number or drop me an email.
My doctor told me to cut down on fast food and to cut out alcohol completely. I also have to hit the gym, go swimming and take up a sport. I tried jogging but I gave up, it was too damn hot. My girlfriend is always on at me to loose weight.
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.
Shakespeare ‘As You Like It’ Act 2, Scene 7
Just A Minute
Can you speak for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition ?
Students work in pairs, using a stopwatch. One student has to speak for one minute on a subject but must not repeat information, take too long to answer or to speak about different subjects.
school or work / local food / Asian women / great things about your city / bad things in your city / your family / your hometown/ free time
Irregular verbs are all different. A lot of common verbs are irregular:
have /had // do / did // say / said // be / was/were// go / went // get / got // make / made // take / took
Here are 7 verbs in the PRESENT.
Choose the correct verb AND use it in the correct tense.
teach / live / go / see / drink / am / have
Ms Ha (1) …….. drinking tea yesterday
when she (2) ……. an idea.
I haven’t (3) …….. my neighbours how to drink tea. I am sure they will be happy.
They have not (4) …… to the UK yet.
I have (5) …. in many cities in England.
Now I am in Viet Nam. I have (6) …. many wonderful sights,
but I have never (7) …… a cup of good, English tea.
Grammar – verb practice
Here’s the 15 most common:
infinite / present / past /past participle (verb 3)
1 to be / / am // was /been
you are / / were / been
2 to have / / have / had / had
3 to do // do / did /done
4 to say // say / said / said
5 to go //go / went / gone
6 to get // get / got / gotten
7 to make //make / made / made
8 to know // know / knew /known
9 to think // think / thought / thought
10 to take // take / took / taken
11 to see // see / saw / seen
12 to come // come / came / come
13 to want // want / wanted /wanted
14 to use // use / used / used
15 to find // find / found / found
Grammar: must or have to ? mustn’t or don’t have to
must or have to ? don’t have to or mustn’t
have to = other people tell you // must = your decision
don’t have to = not necessary // mustn’t = is forbidden
You have to have a degree in order to be an engineer
I must stop eating at Lotteria (an Asian fast-food chain like McDonalds) !
You don’t have to bring any beer to the party.
You mustn’t run a red light or use your mobile phone on your motorbike.
The new James Bond film may be sold out.We ______ buy tickets NOW !
I hate parties ! Do I _____ go ?
You _______ eat too much popcorn; it’s bad for you.
You ________ be over 18 to see this film
You don’t ____ bring your passport to get intoa cinema in Viet Nam.
Answers: must / have to / mustn’t / have to / have to
Grammar: Phrasal verbs
Phrasal Verbsand collocations
up with / the fire out / up / on a happy face
it in your own words / up or shut up !/ it away / it another way
well soon / over it ! / on with it / away with murder / on the bus
back to work ! / with the program (US) / some fresh air
Complete the sentences:
She looks so sweet but she never does her job ! She gets …….. at work,
Come on, cheer up ! Put ……. and smile.
If you are so good, you do it ! Put ………..
We are all going to work on the new project together, so get …….. or get a new job !
She is not the thinnest lady in the world. OK, let me put ………. she’s fat !
Stop playing and do your homework. Get ……….
His Thai girlfriend left him. He needs to get ……….
she gets away with murder (is allowed to do bad things) // put on a happy face // put up or shut up (don’t just talk about it – do it OR stop talking) // get with the program (do what everyone wants to do) // put it another way (to say something differently) // get back to work // get over it (stop being sad, and forget the past).
Linking words: and / as well as / and also / along with
These link positives sentences:
I like tea as well as coffee He plays football and also badminton.
How are they dressed ? How do they look (emotions) ?
Tesco Lotus is quite cheap and also has a great choice.
but / however / having said that / on the other hand
These link positives to negatives / negatives to positives:
Jet Mart is convenient. Having said that, it is (it’s) extremely expensive.
Czech beer is fantastic quality, however it’s not easy to find in Sai Gon.
‘therefore’ is a conclusion word:
The Spanish supplier is reasonable (so-so) quality, but more expensive. Therefore, we will use the German supplier in future.
These can be a great way to encourage students to speak and build longer sentences and therefore become more confident in speaking and using English.
Describe what you see in this photo. Use as many adjectives as you can.
Subject first – Do not use a pronoun (he / she / they) Say what you see.
Where are they ? What are they doing ? What do they look like ?
How are they dressed ? How do they look (emotions) ?
What do you think they are talking about ?
I see two young ladies … now try to add more adjectives:
I see two beautiful young Asian ladies. One has very long, straight brown hair. Her friend has medium brown hair, a little wavy.
The lady on the left has a white dress with flowers. The lady on the right wears a blue cotton dress.
Now what are they doing – use continuous verbs – verb + ing
They are talking, laughing and drinking coffee. They are in a nice coffee shop. I see some bags, one yellow, one orange, so I think they like shopping.
Now – your turn. Describe these photos:
I would normally read this aloud and then ask the students the questions. You can alter the speed, the natural chunking sounds, etc, to suit the ability of your class.
I usually go shopping once a week. I sometimes go to Big C but I like shopping at Mega Market. CitiMart is good but it’s a long way from my house. Mega Market is quite near my house so it’s easy to get there. It’s a big supermarket and it has everything I need, which is great. The best thing is that it’s not expensive so I can save money.
How often do I go shopping ? Where do I like shopping ? Why ?
What is the best thing about Mega Market ? Why don’t I go to Citimart ?
Come is where you are NOW: Come here ! Go is for somewhere else: Go away !
I am in Vietnam so – I will goto Thailand, then comeback to Sai Gon.
Always ‘go to’ EXCEPT go home / go shopping / go swimming / go fishing
Kitchen items: What is it for ?
Look how native-speakers link words together:
What is a knife for ? What’s aknife for ? / Sounds like, ‘Whatsa kinffor ?’
A knife is for cutting meat and fish and also vegetables as well as fruit and, not forgetting, bread.
What is a spoon for ? Whatsa spoon for ?
A spoon’s for eating as well as stirring drinks and not forgetting cooking.
What are they for ? They are / they’re scissors (sis zerss) a pair of scissors
Many people over the years have tried to buy the Mask of Tutankhamen from the Egyptian Museum, but unsurprisingly the authorities here believe it is priceless so they won’t sell it
Ebenezer Scrooge was such a stingy man, so much so that in English, we sometimes use the word Scrooge to describe people with this characteristic (who are like this). A miser is someone who hates spending any money.
He spent a lot of money on what he thought was a gold watch but when he had it valued, it turned out to be worthless.
I sometimes disagree with stall holders, so I haggle which sometimes gets the price down
Big companies like Pepsi make a killing. They should put their prices down. I sometimes like to splash out on new clothes, but not very often
When I was a student I didn’t have enough money to live on so I took out an overdraft at the bank. I paid it all off in the end (finally)
The men were sent to prison for forgery, that is, making counterfeit money
This dialogue has a lot of expressions and phrases.
Joe Hi Bill. Why so glum ? You look down in the dumps.
Bill Oh, just worrying about money. The cost of living keeps going up …
Joe And our wages stay the same. Tell me about it. I’ve had to economise.
Bill Same here; no more beer or Highlands coffee. I feel so stingy !
Joe I always haggle at the market now, try to get the price down. I hate being ripped off.
Bill I’m worried about paying off my overdraft. The interest alone is crippling me.
Joe We should invest in land. My friend sold some land recently and made a killing.
Bill But we’ll need money to invest in the first place. Then there’s always bills.
Joe Yes, my bike’s in the shop, so I’m having to use Grabbike and that ain’t cheap !
2. This is to practice wedding and money phrases.
Tom Congratulations ! You’re finally tying the knot and getting spliced.
Bob Yeah, it’s time to settle down. I’ve taken out a mortage and a loan for the wedding.
Tom It must be costing you an arm and a leg: catering, hall, flowers, photos, invitations.
Bob Absolutely, I’ve withdrawn all my saving and gone into the red. I hate being overdrawn; the interest is sky-high. And, not forgetting, the honeymoon.
Tom You can put down a deposit and pay later. Cheer up ! Don’t be a Scrooge
Bob That’s easy for you to say. I’m gonna be broke and in debt … until I retire !
Use more interesting adverbs and linking words e.g.
although / as well as / somewhat / therefore
Rearrange these basic sentences to make more interesting ones (we use ‘one’ as a pronoun for the noun instead of repeating ourselves)
I went to the market today. I bought fish and chicken and vegetables.
Today I bought fish, chicken as well as vegetables in the market.
Last night I stayed at home because it was raining.
It was raining last night therefore I stayed at home.
I saw the new action film. It was a little boring.
Peter was tired but he met his friends for a drink.
Sophie studied very hard. She passed her test.
For western people, Thailand is cheap. Vietnam is cheaper.
To help you improve your speaking skills, here is a small project:
Write a short piece about something you love or adore.
Start with an introduction
Say why you like it
Maybe tell some history or an anecdote (a short, personal story)
Give some examples
End with a short conclusion
I love all types of music, but one of my favourites is Jazz. It can be exciting, or slow, but it’s always different.
Unlike other types of music, Jazz is spontaneous. This means that you never hear the same song the same way; each performance is different.
Jazz started in New Orleans but moved up to Chicago, New York and even west to California. The first records were made in 1917 and the first true Jazz genius was Louis Armstrong. If you want to hear jazz, you should listen to his records from the 1920s.
You may know some famous Jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. I can recommend these musicians to you as first-rate examples of Jazz.
I hope this has made you curious about Jazz, and that you go online to listen for yourself. Who knows, maybe you too will learn to love Jazz.
I am John = I’m John // You are Anna = You’re Anna
Past Continuous exercise
Write positive sentences in past continuous.
I was reading a great book
subject + was / were + verb ing (+ noun, adjective + noun)
you / play / cards /// you were playing cards
Alice / walk / around the lake
Fiona and Sam / visit / the castle
we / read / a book about Australia
my sister / feed / the birds
Greg and Phil / count / their money
Write in the past tense
Andrew (am) born in New York and (come) to Viet Nam in 2016. He (live) in District 1 but it (is) too expensive so he (move) to District 9. Last week, he (have) a party and he (dance) all night and (drink) too much Tiger and Sai Gon Special beer. In the morning, he (catch) a plane and (go) to Ha Noi.
In Vietnam’s capital he (see) Uncle Ho, (hear) traditional music and (buy) many Rolex watches … but they (are make) in China.
Present simple & Present continuous
Present simple & continuous exercise: use always + ing
Tony has lost the key again. He’s always losing the key. [This is permanent.]
My motorbike has broken down again. It is ………… (break + ing)
The rice is burnt ! She is ………. the rice. (burn + ing)
The security guard is asleep. He is ……………… on duty. (sleep + ing)
powerful (very strong), flood (big water), missing (we do not know where these people are, or if they are alive).
Hello, my name is John and I’m from New York. I’m a taxi-driver, and I have been in Vietnam for one year. My hobbies are dancing, watching films and playing computer games. In Asia, I have been to Thailand and Laos and I really want to visit Japan and Korea.
continuous verbs (verb + ing): I like reading.
How many continuous verbs can you see ?
Interests / hobbies
Now you write something and introduce yourself.
Name / Job / How long have you been at (your company or school ?)
Hometown / Hobbies/ Where you want to visit
Try to learn these words / expressions:
like / love / adore /
dislike / hate / detest /
and / as well as / additionally
but / however / on the other hand /
usually / normally / often /
And these adverbs: very / really / extremely / highly / quite / somewhat
Now make short sentences. For example:
I adore coffee as well as tea (I like coffee and tea)
London is extremely expensive. On the other hand, Thailand is quite cheap.
Match the words or expressions:
tired // considering
sometimes // selfish
thinking about // kind of
type of something // exhausted
Not generous // occasionally
Now practice using them:
I can’t go out tonight, I’m ………..
Bill is ……………. buying a new motorbike
Ms Vi only goes to visit her family in Hue ………….. because it is so far.
What ………… laptop are you using ?
Share your sweets with your friends ! Don’t be ……..
What is the best word ?
want / like / need / prefer
She likes coffee but …….. tea
I ….. to speak English to study in USA.
He …. to buy a new Yamaha Exciter but he …… to save up money.
realise / suppose / understand / remember
I ……. we could go shopping and then go swimming.
Do you ……… when you were at school ?
She didn’t …… he was Chinese, so she spoke Korean to him !
I’ll deal five cards to a student then ‘read’ their future. For example, a student is dealt:
2, 7, 10, Jack, Queen
I will choose a male student and say, “You will pass a big test in two year’s time. You will have seven beautiful girlfriends and then you will find your Queen. Together, you will have ten children and the eldest boy you will name Jack.
I shall then ask some of the more creative students to ‘read’ their partner’s fortune.
Finally, this is Dynamo. How is he able to do this ?