IELTS students need to know an incredibly wide array of adverbs so, with that in mind, here’s an exercise which can be easily adapted as a team game. Complete the sentences with suitable adverbs. Piece of cake, right ?
Use a thesaurus and dictionary to boost your vocabulary.
Adverbs of manner & ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘even though’
(Fast or quickly – both can be used as adverbs, fast more for speed, quickly for time e.g. the animal runs fast and eats quickly.)
Note: ‘well’, ‘fast’ and ‘hard’ are irregular adverbs of manner.
Use a positive adverb for (+) and a negative one for (-)
Example: She sings (+) beautifully but plays piano (-) terribly.
It is raining (-) heavilyso I will bring an umbrella
I will go along with you ……I am not really hungry
……….I am not hungry, I will go with you to KFC
Grabbike is cheap …..they drive so (-).
She failed her test ……..she studied (+)
Do I look like Batman ? Then why are you speaking so …..(-)
We have learnt many idioms ….that is just the tip of the iceberg.
He loves music …much ….he sings (-).
She never eats the food ………she works there.
……..she speaks English very (+), she is afraid to speak to westerners.
Today’s blog, or activity sheet, is about persuasion; the ability to change someone’s opinion or make them do what YOU want THEM to do. This is known as having ‘the gift of the gab.’
This skill is mostly associated with salesmen who, without cheating or lying, make their product sound so wonderful that you simply HAVE TO buy it … and then you get home and realise you have parted with your hard-earned money for something you don’t want, don’t need and will never use.
Before we kick off, let’s roll out some new expressions:
One born every minute = negative, means that the person is an idiot, who bought something useless.
He/She saw you coming = negative, means the seller thought you would buy the poor quality item or pay too much for it.
Paid over the odds = negative, means paying too much for something.
Could sell sand to an Arab = positive, means the seller is so persuasive, he could sell anything to anyone (here, people who live in the desert do NOT need to buy sand).
Unique = positive, only one or something totally different and special.
You paid £50 for that shirt ? He must have seen you coming !
The hotel was $75, I think I paid over the odds.
She’s such a great seller, she could sell sand to an Arab.
I can’t believe he though it was a real Rolex watch … for €30. Oh well, there’s one born every minute !
Mr Paul’s Wonderfully useful store
Here, you can find all sorts of incredibly useful and wonderful items.
The students have to practise their selling and persuasive skills, in order to sell these … ‘wonderful’ … items. As always, an example:
One grey sock
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up, I have an absolute unique items for you. As you see, I have, just today ONLY, one beautiful delightful almost never-used silver-coloured sock, perfect for men, women or even children, yes, they can grow into it !
This amazing item, one of a kind, can be used for so many things, for example … have crying children ? Simply put the sock on your hand and … a PUPPET ! Guaranteed to stop all tears. Been shopping and have so many dirty, heavy coins ? No problem, simply put the coins in the sock. Having a party ? What would look better than this magnificent sock hanging proudly above the door ? Can use it for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Tet Holiday, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Birthdays, Weddings … you name it … You CANNOT live without it …
You can have this priceless item for just £100 … OK, to you, today only … £75
Now … your turn
Write a ‘sales pitch’ for one of these items, think of some uses for it, then set a price. Try to convince your classmates to buy your unique item.
Some ideas for uses are at the end of the blog
Tips and ideas:
teabag – mint tea – gets rid of spiders & mice : put on eyes to reduce puffiness
This lesson aims to introduce students to a wider range of vocabulary, phrases and expressions, and then gives them an opportunity to role play and act out the language.
A plan such as this only works with motivated students, and can be very fun for both learners and the teacher.
Print outs or photos of various consumer items will enhance the lesson, but first:
Which shops do you like and why ?
Use these words and phrases to help you write your answer:
big, small, fresh, clean, cheap, expensive, near my house, convenient
range of choice, quality, cost, location, crowded
store layout (what does it look like ? Is it easy to find things ?)
staff helpfulness: average (normal), exceptional, non-existant !
value for money (good quality at a good price)
bargains (good quality and great price)
This is the practice of trying to get a better or lower price for an item. This doesn’t happen in shops, which have a fixed price, but is common, indeed even expected, in markets, depending on the location and culture. Be careful – too much haggling can upset the trader.
Expressions: I wasn’t born yesterday / you’re having a laugh !
[I will pre-teach these expressions in a class, but online students will have to look them up. If you ever need help, just leave a message]
Make a conversation:
One is a market-trader, the other a customer.
You can choose the item(s): watch, phone, T-shirt, food etc.
The language is informal, intonation can be strong but still be polite.
Here, the trader sells ‘genuine fake’ sunglasses
Customer: How much are these sunglasses, please ?
Trader: Oh, those are genuine Gucci, made in France. I can let you have for the special price.
Customer: Gucci … really ?
Trader: Absolutely, look … it says ‘Guchi’ here. Try them on … they are perfect for you.
Customer: Hhhmmmm, ‘Guchi’ … OK, how much are they ?
Trader: To you, my first customer, special price. Only $50
Customer: Are you having a laugh ! I’ll give you $5 tops, no more.
Trader: These are genuine Gucci … OK, OK, just for you, $45. They come from France.
Customer: Gucci are ITALIAN ! What a rip-off. I’m out of here.
With a larger class, have three students selling the same type of item but in different setting, for example:
a department store,
a shop having a sale
and a street market
To make it more realistic, the students have to alter their vocabulary to suit the store, that is, polite standard English for the department store, everyday English for the shop and more slang and idioms for the street market.
The items could include:
Set your own prices to reflect the realities of where you live.
A: My laptop is so slow. B: Buy a new one. A: I would if I had the money. B: Why is it so slow? A: That’s a good question. B: Did you take it to a computer shop? A: I would if I had the money. B: Well, I guess you have to live with it. A: Sometimes I want to throw it out the window. wanna B: You don’t want to do that. A: Why not? B: You might hit someone on the head.
Re-write but with smart phone instead of ‘laptop.’
Being a bit short – not having much or enough money.
A:Can I borrow £5? quid B: Sure. Why do you need it? A: I want to buy lunch. B: Where’s your money? [Pronunciation: Wheres yah monnnee ?] A: It’s not in my wallet. B: Your wallet is empty? A: I don’t have even one quid in it. B: Being broke is no fun. [Broke = having no money] A: Even if it’s only for a short while. B: It’s always good to have friends. A: Friends will lend you money when you’re broke. B: As long as you pay them back.
Write a similar dialogue but with different situations.
Look up the meaning of these words and expressions, then see how they’re used in the following dialogue.
Sentence order – exercises for you to practice rearranging the words in a sentence to make your English more interesting. This is especially useful for IELTS students.
Vocabulary – a feature just on boosting your command of the English language, and finding higher, or better, low-frequency words for basic English.
Increase vocabulary. The average native-speaker uses about 2 000 words. You can boost your vocabulary by learning verbs, adverbs and adjectives which can be easily found by a Google search. Also, use an online thesaurus.
Speak in longer sentences. Say what you want to say (make your point), then elaborate by giving examples, adding reasons and maybe an anecdote. Along with this, give the opposite view by using conjunctions such as ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’ etc.
Pronunciation. Many native speakers have a problem understanding English learners, so we will practise slow and careful enunciation, intonation and stress.
24th January for 30th January 2020. IELTS Bands 4 – 5.5 Unit 7
Firstly, a big hello to all my readers and followers in India. Yesterday I had over fifty visits from students from the sub-continent and I want you all to know how much I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. Thank you so much.
My Indian friends – what is the standard of behaviour in your classrooms ? In my centre, in Sai Gon, Vietnam, we have to employ classroom management (normally reserved for ‘young learners’) to adults. Namely, we have to continually tell the class:
No mobile / cell-phones in the classroom UNLESS it has been sanctioned by the teacher for educational purposes.
No eating, chewing gum, slurping drinks
NO CHATTING WHILE THE TEACHER IS TALKING. THE TEACHER IS HERE TO HELP YOU. FURTHERMORE, IN MOST CULTURES, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY RUDE AND UNACCEPTABLE.
Take notes, write down new words, practice using them
The teacher is here to help YOU learn. We are not here to entertain you.
These are not MY rules – they are the rules of the centre. If you cannot abide by them, then stop coming to class, stop wasting everyone’s time and money.
Let’s leave the last word to Uncle Ho, bác hồ:
Understand, my Vietnamese classes ? Even Uncle Ho says you,
“need to work much harder.”
And now, without further ado, a warm up exercise to see how much the class has remembered from the last lesson … if anything.
Firstly, complete these phrases and then use them in sentences:
over the ______ // under the ________ // under ________ // more or ________
I’m over the …… because I passed my IELTS test.
Ms Linh is not here, she’s feeling under ………..
The class understood the video, more ……..
So many tests at school, the pupils were under ………
Secondly, what do these words mean, the make a short sentence using them:
I shall try to incorporate some teaching points about India in this blog which, although written before the Lunar New Year (Tet Holiday), is for next week.
The above sentence is an example of the type of English that is expected in order to pass the IELTS exam. As you can plainly see, it isn’t too difficult; I inserted a low-frequency word (‘incorporate‘), used a relative pronoun (‘which‘) in order to make the sentence longer and more fluent, then employed a discourse marker (‘although‘) to link contrasting ideas together in a coherent sentence.
To recap, what you will need to use in both writing and speaking are:
adjectives (but not just the most basic, common ones)
complex sentences (introduce extra information in supporting clauses)
Does this look like YOUR city ? What is similar, what is noticeably different ?
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
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 ?
Remember: you can increase sentences by using adjectives – just say what you see. Basic adjectives such as colours, sizes or materials will all add to your word count and make your speech more interesting (as well as improving scores in tests).
I was delighted when I received your wedding invitation. (FIRST PERSON ‘I’, or use the THIRD PERSON – he/she/it/ a name)
The lady was delighted.
The young lady was delighted.
The beautiful young lady with long straight blonde hair, and wearing a pretty pink top, was delighted.
The young woman, who has long straight blonde hair, was delighted by the invitation.
Look at the photos of the three men and three women.
Read their likes and dislikes, and what they want out of life.
Try to arrange matches.
How successful will the dates be, do you think ?
PETER. Age 46. Lawyer. Likes cooking, travelling, wine, driving, tennis. Divorced, 2 children. Looks for quiet lady with no children, to look after the house and him.
JAMES. Age 26. IT worker. Likes music, dancing, going to clubs, beach holidays. Single. Looks for young lady who is loud and fun, likes to party.
David. Age 22. Model. Likes fashion, clothes, cocktail bars, smoking cigars. Looking for a women who is a model so we can look great together. Must be very beautiful and wear expensive clothes.
And now the ladies: which woman would be the best match for these men ?
Jane. Age 22. Likes fashion, clubbing, kittens, holidays in the sun. Looks for a man with a steady job and ‘down-to-earth’. Non-smoker only.
Lisa. 28. Banker. Likes quiet restaurants, badminton, travelling. Looks for a mature man with good income for long term relationship. No boys, please !
Emily. 20. Likes dancing, fashion, going out with my friends. Movies. Wants a young, cute boy-friend so we can go to parties together. No boring old men, please !
If the dates are successful, they could lead to weddings, married life and children … but we’ll save that for the next blog. In the meantime, here’s some clips of when the big day doesn’t go to plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCkcU9h5ggc