Train kept a-rollin’: Train videos for listening and vocabulary.

12th September 2020

A compilation of train-related videos to help you improve your listening skills and to increase your vocabulary.

Contents:

Trans-Siberian Railway:

Listening skills. Native and non-native speakers talking in English. English subtitles.

Shinkansen – 10 cool facts:

Listening to native and non-native speakers.

High-speed trains in China:

Listening skills. English pronunciation & vocabulary.

London Tube at rush hour:

A glimpse of London life.

Why trains can’t go uphill:

Listening skills. English pronunciation. Science vocabulary.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train

Vocabulary for very young learners.

Travelling – The Trans-Siberian Railway

Write down new expressions / vocabulary.

Do you understand the gist (the main points / keywords)

Would this appeal to you ? Why or why not ?

What would you need to bring ?

Shinkansen: Bullet Train – top ten facts:

This is as much as listening exercise as an engineering one. How much can you understand ? Which presenter is easier to understand, the young lady or the man from USA ?

High-speed trains in China:

London Tube at rush hour:

James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?

What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him.

What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?

What do they struggle to do ?

What are the scientific reasons for this ?

Image result for steepest railroad in uk

What was the problem with James May speaking ?

James normally speaks quite clearly, but there were problems. This was due, I feel, to the speed and the amount of language. Look at this conversation analysis: (0. 10 – 0.42):

“And now, ‘Why can’t trains go uphills ?’ Well, the smarter ones amongst you will have recognised already, especially if you’re a qualified railway engineer, this is a bit of a trick question because of course, train can go uphills … they’re just not very good at it.

If you think about the topography of most of the world, this is clearly a bit of a problem. Human being can, albeit rather sweatily, motivate themselves up a gradient of around eighty degrees, or one in a quarter.”

Listen again– hear how James:

  • links words
  • uses expressions (bit of a)
  • adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses. 
  • Creative use of adverbs – ‘sweatily’ shows how words can be made into adverbs by adding –ly to the end

Think – does James need to add the clauses ? What is the purpose ? Consider the medium (TV, internet, blog etc) and the target audience.

James is speaking to a fluent, English-speaking audience, probably native speakers, or people who have lived in the UK for a long time. Therefore, they will be more used to this natural way of speaking.

This is why I recommend student put their text books down and read real English books, watch English-speaking films and TV shows and sing English songs. It really helps.

He does make allowances for non-British audiences by showing two fifty-pence coins, but his language isn’t downgraded.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train:

Beginners’ English: useful sounds

20th May 2020

These blogs are for students who have started to learn English.

Today some sounds:

…en

and the letter ‘G’

pen

men

ten

Who', 'What', 'When'… Interrogative Words Rated — The Wheeler Centre

G

goldfish

gold

glasses // goat

goal !

Practice:

I have a pen

You have a pen

He has a pen

She has a pen

John has a pen

Anne has a pen

We have a pen

You (plural) have a pen

They have have a pen

Now … with an adjective: a gold pen

I have a gold pen

You have a gold pen

He has a …

She has a …

John has a …

Anne has a …

We have a …

You (plural) have a …

They have a …

Goodbye

CREAM - Goodbye (remastered) - Amazon.com Music

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 6

8th February 2020

Contents

Conversation practice: New person at work // past-time expressions

Photo description

What is happening here ?

Image result for two people laughing

Never start a story with a pronoun (he, she, they, it). Tell what the subject is, or tell what the people are doing.

NOT ‘They are laughing.”

I can see two ladies (add adjectives – their age, their background), what they are wearing, where they are and what do you think they are doing … how do they know each other … are they close friends ?

Warm up game:

Show these pictures. One student sits facing away from the image, and the others have to describe it. See how accurate the student can be.

Woman Holding Chin Sitting Beside Table in Room
Image from https://www.pexels.com

Conversation

Work in pairs. One is new to your company and the other has to show him / her the ropes (show the new staff what to do, how the job works, where things are).

Group of People Sitting Indoors

Make conversation:

First – small talk (general questions, where did he work before, where does she live)

Next – explain about the subsidised lunch (lunch is not free but is much cheaper than a normal restaurant).

New staff can ask about the food at local coffee bar or restaurant.

Older staff can offer suggestions to eat somewhere or a great local cafe.

New staff can ask about shopping, coffee shops, watching football in cafes.

Bonding – seeing what you have in common.

What (films, books, music) are you into ?

Would you like a coffee / tea / water ?

Pronunciation Quiz

What words are being said ? Teacher, or a student, reads out these pairs of words. Students must decide which is being said.

Image result for ship or sheep

Cheese or cheers // Ship or sheep // close (the door) or close (near) //

work or walk // heard or hurt // house or ours // open or a pen 

Past time expressions

Not for a long time / not recently / oh, I can’t recall it was so long ago

quite recently / fairly recently / about a month or so ago 

last week / last month / last year / yesterday / just this morning

the day before yesterday / a fortnight ago / ages ago / I’ve never done that

People Sitting Beside Tables Indoors

What could these two friends be saying to each other ?

Put class into two teams (or more depending on size). They have to write and then act out a conversation using FIVE of the above time expressions.

Example: Let’s call them Yen and Haamida

Yen: Have you seen Anthony ?

Haamida: Not for a long time. How about you ?

Yen: Yes, I saw him the day before yesterday.

Haamida: Didn’t he go to Scotland last month ?

Yen: No, that was ages ago. Oh, did you finish your essay ?

Haamida: Yes, just this morning.

Do not use any of the examples !

Now try this situation. The two people are not so amicable (friendly).

To help: what is the relationships between the two ? Boyfriend / girlfriend ? Husband & wife ? Brother & sister ? Neighbours ? Actors rehearsing or actors in a play ?

Beginners’ English, Part 2

Various exercises designed for people who have just started learning English.

Contents

Grammar / contractions & questions / past continuous exercise / past tense exercise / present simple & continuous /

Pronunciation

Snow (listening & vocabulary). Theme: the weather.

Speaking practice

Vocabulary

What’s your name and basic introductions (listening & vocabulary)

Grammar

Contractions & questions (31.35 – 42.16): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeaadwctbD4

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)

  1. you / play / cards /// you were playing cards
  2. Alice / walk / around the lake
  3. Fiona and Sam / visit / the castle
  4. we / read / a book about Australia
  5. my sister / feed / the birds
  6. Greg and Phil / count / their money

Past tense

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)

Pronunciation

Long vowels part 1: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation/longvowel1

Snow

Listening Practice: (0.20 – 1.30) cartoon – snow – beginners https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emQSVdW-Ee4

What is the date ? Listen for the adverb ‘finally’. Why doesn’t Mum like the snow ?

What does the boy ‘put on’ ? Listen for ‘My sister and I’ What happens to the jacket ?

What do the siblings do outside ? What do they do at night and why ?

Vocabulary

shovel / mitten / scarf / jacket / zipper

What is happening here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp3p539C2f4

Image result for wenger zip gif"

Theme: the weather

Vocabulary:

storm = heavy rain // heatwave = time of very high temperature

flood = lots of water on the roads and streets. The street is flooded.

Idioms– it’s raining cats and dogs = it raining very heavily. 

I’m melting = I’m very hot

Reading & listening

There are often powerful storms in Vietnam. There are floods in Vietnam every year, too. This year’s floods are very bad.

Over 16,000 homes are covered in water. The situation is the worst in Yen Bai and How Bing provinces. Thousands of people are homeless. Forty people are dead. Forty people are missing: https://www.newsinlevels.com/products/floods-in-vietnam-level-1/

powerful (very strong), flood (big water), missing (we do not know where these people are, or if they are alive).

Speaking practice: 

Image result for new york cab driver

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

Vocabulary

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 /

sometimes /occasionally

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.

Vocabulary booster.

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 !

What’s Your Name (Introductions)

What is your name ? / Possession. (listening & vocabulary 0.00 – 5.03) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeaadwctbD4