Where shall we go ? Young Learners & Adult Speaking Class, Level 1

8th October 2020

Here are five famous sites from around the world.

What do you know about them ?

Taj Mahal reopens after three-month lockdown
Taj Mahal, India

7 different ways to see the incredible fjords in Norway
Fjord in Norway, north Europe
10 Best Malls in Singapore for an Ultimate Shopping Experience |  TheBestSingapore
Shopping mall in Singapore
How To Survive (And Enjoy) #Disneyland #california With A Toddler #usa  #disney via brunchwithmybaby.com | Disneyland trip, Disneyland tickets,  Disneyland rides
Disneyland, USA
Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2020 will take place in Sankt Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg, Russia
Name
Which site do you want to visit most
Why ?
What is the weather like there (use adverbs)
What can you do there ?
What could be a problem ?

I would like to visit all the sites. However, if I have to choose one, I will visit St Petersburg in Russia.

St Petersburg is a very beautiful city, with many amazing buildings. The city is very famous, and I have read about it in many books.

I think the weather is quite hot in summer, and also it stays very light, even at night. However, it can be extremely cold in winter.

St Petersburg has so many museums and galleries. I want to see all of them. Also it would be fun to walk around and take many photos.

I don’t speak Russian so that could be a problem if people can’t speak English. Also, it may be extremely cold, so I will need a lot of thick clothes. Finally, I will need to buy some Russian money.

IELTS: Pre-speaking Test Review.

30th September 2020

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Review. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”… | by  Dillon McCarty | incluvie | Medium
revenge is a dish best served cold- -The Godfather-Don vito Corleone |  Godfather quotes, Revenge quotes, Gangster quotes

Indeed … next week is the speaking test, so I get to interview the students, one-to-one, to see how much they have listened to me and retained the information.

For some students, the biggest test will be NOT using their phones for ten minutes. Be that as it may … No time for learning anything new, tonight will just be as many activities as reasonable, and then practice.

I shall offer my help to those that request it.

So, let’s kick off with the first game:

Two teams … on the board, single words. Teams have to complete the idiom and give the definition.

mouth // candle // cats // piece // arm // grindstone // sky // blue //.

Next, one team selects a word, then asks one member of the other team to use it in a sentence.

Moving on up: Complex sentences. I shall give the names of some famous companies and the teams have to compose a complex sentence using relative pronouns and discourse markers.

For example:

I have my heart set on buying a pair of Converse, which is an American company with a star logo, who make very fashionable, not to mention very cool, footwear.

The teams have to choose from:

The rare vintage Rolls-Royce that once carried the Lord Mayor of Manchester  and royalty - Manchester Evening News
Rolls Royce
McDonald's joins the plant revolution - New Food Magazine
McDonalds
Oppo mobile A9 2020 (Space Purple, 4GB RAM, 128GB Storage): Amazon.in:  Electronics
Oppo Chinese phone company
Ikea sells on external platform for the first time | RetailDetail
Ikea Swedish furniture

Keep the ball rolling with a pronunciation game. I’ll play two clips of native speakers. The teams, one by one, have to copy using correct intonation and stress.

First write down what they say. Then … say it.

For the young gentlemen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxwcQ1dapw8

For the young ladies: (from 6:24 – 6:34) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq7Sx4VOJa0&t=407s

Keeping things truckin’ next activity is:

‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Word ?’

The following is a list of words and expression I’ve used, and blogged, over the course of this course. How many do the teams know … I want definition and an example in a sentence:

without further ado // tricks up your sleeve //inevitably // ace the test // pass with flying colours // pertinent // do yourself proud // you are in the driver seat // occur

Think on your feet

The dog ate my homework - Family and Fertility Law

A classic excuse for British schoolchildren, when they haven’t done their homework, is to tell the teacher that their dog ate their homework.

I will give the teams some scenarios and they have to come up with a creative response:

You are late to class … why ?

You have been using your mobile phone the whole lesson, despite knowing the centre rules … why ?

You have been riding a motorbike with three people on it … why ?

You only got a 3.5 in your IELTS test … why ?

And now, it just remains to wish the teams all the luck they deserve.

See you next week … revenge is a dish best served cold

BBC Two - Mastermind - The history of Mastermind

Teaching Notes: Thank you, Miss Linh

22nd September 2020

A quick shout-out to a great student, Ms Linh. Very briefly, I teach a 90-minute speaking class; the work is prepared form me, I just have to deliver the lesson, and check for pronunciation, intonation and stress.

Now, although the students choose which lessons and subjects to attend, they can find the subject rather tedious, the work repetitive and therefore, they get bored and when students get bored, they may project their annoyances onto the teacher, such as mumbling or whispering a response, yawning and sighing (loudly), avoiding eye contact or outright refusing to answer.

I had such a situation last night, a miserable wet Monday. I’m supposed to make the students repeat the target language until they can pronounce it perfectly … but it just wasn’t happening.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.” – English  proverb | Free English Materials For You

Eventually, like pulling hen’s teeth, the class began talking more and trying to use the new expressions I had offered them.

At the end of the class, while some students couldn’t wait to split, one or two came up and were complimentary. The aforementioned Ms Linh said that although the subject was less than fascinating, she could see that I was really trying to make it interesting.

That was such a lovely thing to say, so now I say to you, Ms Linh:

Different Ways of Saying "Thank You" with Flowers ⋆ FloraQueen

Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Married Life; phrasal verbs & new expressions

19th September 2020

A varied lesson plan. Firstly, we’ll (we will) start with a talk about married life. After, we’ll focus on phrasal verbs and finally we’ll conclude with some new expressions.

Naturally there will be many opportunities for you to practise, and I’ll (I will) include the answers at the end of the blog.

Married life

Conversation Practice

Shu Qi & HK-star Stephen Fung are getting married!! Congratulations 👏👏 |  Wedding, Pre wedding photos, Wedding shoot
Getting Married in Denmark, No 1 for international couples

What advise would you give to someone getting married ?

How does life change after marriage ?

What is the normal marriage age in your country ?

Are married people expected to have children ?

How many children are expected ?

Is there pressure from family to have children ?

Is marriage ‘give and take’ ? Is it a continual compromise ?

How important are families in your country ?

Do you live in a nuclear or extended family ?

(nuclear = parents & children / extended= parents, children & grandparents, maybe aunts, uncles, nieces etc)

Britain should learn from India's family values
An extended family

Phrasal verbs

Learn more here: http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/vocabulary/advanced-vocabulary/family

Phrasal verbs: coming out // look after // hang up // turn down // give up // hang out // look up to // take after // turn up

What phrasal verb means:

take care of // spend time with friends // to be like someone // stop doing something // make music louder // make music softer (quieter) // to respect someone // turn off a phone conversation // plan to go outside

Want to Be a Better Husband? Hang Out With Good Friends - Focus on the  Family
Hang out with friends

Look after your young sister
(Treeless Mountain, South Korea, 2008)

Now … your turn

Which phrasal verb would you use?

Many people 1) ………. Nelson Mandela.

In ‘Treeless Mountain’, a young girl has to 2) ……… of her young sister.

She looks just like her mother, she really 3) ………. her.

Learning Mandarin is too hard, I 4) ………..

Are you 5) …… tomorrow night ?

New expressions / vocabulary

unique = one of a kind, there is only one of them, very special

numerous = many

typical = normal, usual

straightaway = immediately, right now

clue = evidence (the police look for a clue.) 

I haven’t got a clue = I’ve no idea !

First impressions count = the first thing you see is very important

blows your (my) mind = something so amazing, you almost can’t believe it.

Can’t judge a book by its cover = you can not tell what something or someone is like just by how it or they look.

We form a first impression within one tenth of a second of meeting someone  - Bias Beware
Making a very good first impression

Now … your turn

What words or expressions would you use ?

1. Can you please send me that email …….. (now).

2. He looks so quiet and nice, but he plays very loud guitar. That proves you …………………………………….

Welcome to the anyonecanplayguitar.co.uk YouTube channel - YouTube
He looks a very nice, quiet young man, but …

3. Don’t worry, there are ……. coffee shops on the main road.

4. Wow ! He knows so much, it totally ……………. (really surprises me)

5. You can’t replace that broken vase, it was …….. (only one of a kind).

Broken Antique Clay Pot On A White Background Stock Photo, Picture And  Royalty Free Image. Image 7542747.

6. What is 1 693 093 divided by 37 ? I …………………………. (no idea at all)

You Just BLEW MY MIND Quickmemecom You Just Blew My Mind Memes | Quickmeme  | Meme on ME.ME
How do tell them I haven't got a clue.... - Giggs Manager | Meme Generator

Answers:

take care of // look after

spend time with friends // hang out

to be like someone // take after

stop doing something // give up

make music louder // turn up

make music softer (quieter) //turn down

to respect someone // look up to

turn off a phone conversation // hang up

plan to go outside // coming out

  1. look up to 2. take care of 3. takes after 4. give up 5. coming out

New expressions

1. straightaway or immediately 2. can’t judge a book by its cover 3. numerous 4. blows my mind 5. unique 6. haven’t got a clue !

Remember … practice, practice and practice

8-Year-Old Japanese Girl Stuns Robert Plant By Nailing Led Zeppelin Drum  Part | HuffPost

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3 / IELTS. Using idioms should be right up your street.

26th August 2020

Yesterday I blogged a database of idioms, collocations and negotiation language. That is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have looked at English-language study books, you will, no doubt, have seen several dictionaries solely devoted to idioms; we use them so often, and there are so many.

For my IELTS students, I have repeatedly taught half a dozen (six) in order for the students to incorporate them into their natural speech … without idiomatic language, you will not break past the 5 score (taken along with grammar, vocabulary and intonation, naturally).

Therefore, for Top Cat students, or anyone looking to learn some more, this blog is for you.

cats top cat | Cartoon cartoon, Desenhos animados antigos ...

Expressions or idioms

Ring any bells ? // do you remember //

More or less // not exactly but approximately

Get the gist // do you understand the main point ?

Right up your street // this is something you will really like

Rabbit, Rabbiting on // UK slang, especially in London … talking too much

Piece of cake // no problem, very easy, sure

Tongue in cheek // not being serious about something

Now … how you use them:

Student A: Hello, we met last year at Julie’s party.

Student B: Sorry, that doesn’t ring any bells (I don’t remember).

DO I KNOW YOU? NOPE. DOESN'T RING ANY BELLS - no memory gandalf ...

Student A: Are you ready to go ?

Student B: Go where ?

Student C: Cake, food, drink, singing, dancing … ring any bells ?

Student D: Oh, Tony’s birthday party. Sorry, I forgot.

Student A: Are you ready for the test ?

Student B: Yes, more or less.

Student C: I’ll wait for you.

Student D: I won’t be long, I’m more or less finished.

Student A: Do you have to read all the document ?

Student B: No, just to get the gist.

Summarizing and Note Taking

Student A: You should listen to this CD, it’s right up your street.

Alice Sara Ott - Nightfall - Amazon.com Music
Alice Sara Ott | News | Reizvolle Schattenspiele - Auf dem Album ...

Student B: Oh, French piano music, I love it. That’s right up my street.

Student A: What did your girlfriend want ?

Student B: She was rabbiting on about something to do with her clothes, I wasn’t really listening.

Teacher A: Hey ! Miss Mary … stop talking. You’re a little rabbit !

Why People Say Rabbit Rabbit on the First Day of the Month

Student A: Can you drive me home ?

Student B: Sure, piece of cake.

Pink Beer Print Hawaiian Shirt – Hawaiian Shirts Online
John’s new business shirt

Student A: Have you seen John’s new shirt ? It’s so elegant.

Student B: Are you serious ? It’s terrible.

Student A: I know ! I was being tongue in cheek.

Tongue In Cheek: "Tongue In Cheek" Meaning With Useful Examples ...

Now … your turn.

Add the correct idiom [answers at end of blog]

1) Shall we see the new action film ? It sounds ______________

2) Are you still talking ? You are such a __________

3) She said I was the best student but I think she was being ___

4) You said you would bring something … cheese, tomato, garlic bread ____________ ?

5) The IELTS speaking test was a ________ after reading Thay Paul’s blogs (I hope).

6) Student A: Did you understand the project ? Did you ________ of the idea ?

Student B: Well, ______________ but not every single detail.

7 Interesting things you probably didn't know about Shu Qi of A ...
This film, starring Shu Qi looks right up my street.
  1. Right up your street 2. rabbit 3. tongue in cheek 4. ring any bells 5. piece of cake 6. get the gist / more or less.

Public Speaking for Young learners: Theseus and the Minotaur

17th August 2020

Today, we shall learn the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. This story is over 3 000 old, and comes from the country of Greece. Here is the flag of Greece:

Image result for greek flag

Greece is in Europe. It is a very hot country, and has many stories from history. The capital city is Athens.

Map of Europe with Facts, Statistics and History
REMARKABLE RUINS - Parthenon, Greece
Athens, the capital of Greece

Have you ever seen something like this before ?

Image result for greek minotaur

This is the Minotaur, half man, half bull. He was extremely strong, extremely angry and very, very scary. He lived near Greece, on the island of Crete:

Heraklion, Crete, Greece | Greece map, Greece, Crete

The Minotaur lived underground in a big maze called the labyrinth. Every year, the King of Athens had to send 14 children for the Minotaur to eat. This is a labyrinth, a huge maze. It is very easy to get lost inside a labyrinth.

Image result for labyrinth

The king had a son called Theseus. He was a hero. He decided to go and kill the Minotaur.

Image result for Theseus

The King of Crete had a daughter called Ariadne. When she saw Theseus, she decided to help him. She gave Theseus a big ball of string. He tied it to the door of the labyrinth, then used it so he wouldn’t get lost:

Ariadne and Theseus at the entrance to the labyrinth by Angelika ...

Theseus found the Minotaur.

Image result for Theseus with ariadne's string

They had a long fight because both Theseus and the Minotaur were very strong. Finally, Theseus won and killed the Minotaur.

Theseus – Wikipedia tiếng Việt

Then he returned to Athens with Ariadne. The people were so happy, and Theseus became a hero in Greece.

Now watch the lego film of the story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zWkDElTyc

Remember:

Speak a little slower than normal.

Look at your audience.

Make your voice interesting.

Use great adjectives.

Act out the exciting parts of the story

Public Speaking Classes for Children in San Diego |

GOOD LUCK !

IELTS, Theme: Shopping

5th August 2020

A compilation of shopping activities to promote longer sentences, idiomatic language and fluency.

Exercise 1: compound nouns

Exercise 2: devil’s advocate

Exercise 3: role-play

Exercise 4: coffee in Saigon

Exercise 1: compound nouns to do with shopping

window shopping

binge shopping

bulk shopping

impulse shopping

dumpster diving

Match the compound noun with the photos:

Did the lady go out to buy this top or did she decide only when she was in the store ?

Vocabulary:

Prices are sky-high / It cost an arm and a leg /

marked down / on sale / discount / what a bargain !

I couldn’t resist it / I simply had to have it / retail therapy

Make sentences using some of the above language.

Talk about shops in your city:

Do people go dumpster diving ? Why or why not ?

Have you ever used retail therapy (buying something to make you feel happy) ?

Have you ever gone out to buy just one thing and come back with many items !

Does your husband/ wife / partner like shopping ?

Exercise 2: Devil’s advocate.

This is to develop argument skills, how to politely disagree with someone.

Example: one student wants to buy a beautiful, luxurious Rolex watch. It really is an outstanding timepiece:

Image result for Rolex

Without doubt, this is a luxury item. The pros

It is gorgeous and so elegant. I will feel so special wearing it. People will admire and look up to me. They will think I am wealthy and have a great career. I will attract many cute women (or handsome men). I may feel superior to other people who only have cheap watches or nasty fake knock-offs.

Now play Devil’s advocate. Say what are the cons of owning such an item.

Firstly, agree with the first student – it is without question a luxury item. Having said that …

It will attract attention … but maybe from thieves or pickpockets. It is a lot of money, maybe an obscene amount of money when so many people are poor. Can you justify owning such a materialistic item ? Will it make you arrogant ? Will you think you are better than other people BECAUSE of a thing ? Finally … what does it DO ? Fundamentally, it tells the time. My fake Rolex will tell the same time … but it cost $20 NOT $ 5 000 !

Now students’ turn. Similar concept but this time, the latest iPhone:

Image result for iphone 11

The iphone 11 (woooooowwwwwwww !)

One student wants to buy it, the other must give reasons why it is not such a good idea.

Useful phrases: 

a waste of money / not necessary // a fashion accessory // you can’t afford it //

How to Hire and Keep Quality Retail Staff - SBIA

Exercise 3 Role play game:

Three students will act out working in a department store, a shop with a sale on, and a street market. Other students have a set budget (say £100) and have to buy three items.

They can practice with the following language:

How much is this, please ? // Could you bring the price down for cash ? // Do you take plastic (credit cards) ? // If I smile, can you take off 10% ?

Wow, that’s a bargain ! // Sorry, that’s too much // Is that your best price ?

I’ll take it ! // Wrap it up ! // Let me think about it and come back // Sorry, that’s too much.

The items can be T-shirts, pens, bags, shoes, watches etc and the teacher can print out photos and hand them out.

Image result for van heusen shirts store
A department store selling expensive designer shirts
Image result for clothes on sale
Image result for london street market
London street market.

Exercise 4: Coffee in Sai Gon

Describe this picture; use adjectives and opinions.

Highlands Coffee has great coffee, air-con and free wifi. Having said that, the service is a little slow, there are no waiters and the cost is unbelievably expensive !

Vietnam is famous for coffee; coffee shops are ubiquitous. In fact, there are so many, it’s hard to see (difficult to understand) how they stay in business let alone turn a profit.

Be that as it may, let’s use this as a learning opportunity. To practice making longer sentences, and as a warm up exercise, the students can ask each other, “Where do you go for coffee ?”

Tips:

Don’t answer the question directly and immediately; Begin with a short introduction:

Sai Gon has so many coffee shops, some are cheap while others can be quite expensive although they have a wide range of delicious coffee. Personally, I like going to …

Then

Explain:

  1. How MUCH do you like it (adverbs) ?
  2. What kind of coffee (adjectives) ?
  3. What do you think about this ? (opinions)
  4. WHY do you like it (give reasons)
  5. Interesting words, phrases, idioms

Personally, I like Happy Coffee which is an independent shop where I live. I enjoy going there so much because the owner is very friendly and tries to speak English with me. There isn’t a lot of choice, so I order cappuccino with hot, fresh milk. In my opinion, it is good value and tastes delicious. What I like about the shop is the free wifi, the comfortable chairs and the atmosphere. Furthermore, it is usually very quiet and it therefore a good place to read. I love to put my feet up, kick back and sip my damn fine coffee.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Small talk, and talking about music

31st July 2020

What is Small Talk? (with pictures)

Small talk

Basic friendly conversations used with work colleagues, people we don’t know very well or people we have just met.

Did you see the news on TV last night ?

How long have you worked here ?

The traffic was so bad this morning.

The weather is very cool for this time of year.

Echo questions 

A continuation of small talk, we use these to show interest in what someone has just said to us. Here, John speaks to his Vietnamese co-worker Ms Tuyen:

John: I can speak German.

Ms Tuyen: Can you ? (What other languages can you speak ?)

John: Ms Nguyen went to Thailand.

Ms Tuyen: Did she ? (Did she go on holiday or for work ?)

Now … your turn. Add the echo question, then try to ask a follow-up question.

He likes K-pop

We are going to the pagoda later.

Ms Thinh has a new job.

T-ara và những lần đến Việt Nam đầy ấn tượng - tintuckpop.net
Thay Paul loves T-ara. Does he ?

Keep conversations going:

Talk about: 

house prices in your city / favourite hobby / your hometown / 

why you have OR don’t have a pet / an interesting program you saw recently

What you want to do in the future.

Small talk language:

I see  / Do you really think so ? 

That’s a good point /  I hadn’t thought of that 

Oh, that’s interesting / May I just add something ?  /

Oh, where is that exactly ? / Yeah, right ! / Sure / OK 

Try some scenarios:

Directions to the city centre (or choose a location in your city).

One student is a tourist, the other is a local 

Ask for help. Other must offer as much help; how to get there, the best way, the price, the dangers.

Body language – distance, expression, intonation, eye contact etc

Also back channeling (expressions such as “Oh, right,” “OK, yeah,” “Really, that’s great.”

Music – What do you like ?

I love it / adore it / enjoy it / I hate it / I can’t stand it 

I’m really into … / I’m keen on //

I’m not into … / I’m not keen on

I quite like / I don’t mind

makes me want to dance // Oh, turn it off !

Vocabulary:

catchy / cheerful / lively / melodic / melancholy (sad music)/ moving / repetitive rhythmic / tuneless / unusual

World Music:

3 clips – which do you like – discuss and answer in full sentences uses opinion expressions:

Denis Aziz ‘A la li la

Rudolpho ‘La Colegiala 

Sainkho Namtchylak

Public Speaking for Young Learners: Bring your speech alive.

31st July 2020

Speech by Kuoch Someth, ACE Children Program Student - YouTube

Some tips on giving a great speech, aimed at students aged from 8 – 12 who are using English as their second language.

First, introduce yourself, and say what you will be speaking about.

Second, speak a little slowly than normal.

Third, look at your audience, smile, make eye-contact.

Fourth, use notes or drawings but do not just read from a paper. That will be BORING !

Fifth, use body language. Use your voice to make the speech more exciting.

What Cinderella Tells Us About Life, Love and Happiness ...

Last week, we used the story of Cinderella, and focused on using special words to tell a story.

They included:

Once upon a time // A long time ago //

One day // soon after that //

then // when // next // after //

Finally // In the end

Encouraging Students to Own Their Work | Edutopia
ARE YOU READY ?

Introduce yourself:

Hello, my name is …

Introduce your subject:

Today, I want to tell you the story of Cinderella

Now bring your speech alive – use your voice and body language.

Try saying these adjectives:

beautiful // old // evil // handsome // ugly // sad

Now act them:

Beautiful princess Cinderella - Posts | Facebook
Old King Cole | Kids Video Song with FREE Lyrics & Activities!
Ava the evil old witch who has no soul and feasts on the hearts of ...
Royally Obsessed: The Hottest Asian Royals You Need to Know - E ...
10 Creepy Details Glossed Over By Modern Versions Of Fairy Tales ...
Ariel Little Mermaid GIF - Ariel LittleMermaid Princess - Discover ...

Or your audience will be:

Vladimir Putin's state of union speech caps a bad year for Russia ...

Finally, let’s have some help from my two friends, Matt and Ben:

Lion face … AAArrghhhhhhhh,

Lemon face … OOOOoooohhh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rngjZ10yUyA

IELTS Speaking Practice: “Lend me your ears,” and take a tip from Thay Paul

16th July 2020

Julius Caesar Quote: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ...
A quote from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

Words and expression to use, tips, phrases and idiomatic language

Recap: to pass IELTS with flying colours, you will needs to demonstrate a command of everyday English, the ability to express it with stress and intonation, as well as being able to link your ideas with appropriate discourse markers.

I need to hear nouns described by interesting adjectives, verbs intensified by adverbs and conversation enlivened by low-frequency vocabulary.

Piece of cake, right ?

Low – frequency words (LFW)

Boring: tedious // forgetful: absent-minded // expensive: sky high // what will happen: predict // everywhere: ubiquitous.

Activity 1: Make sentences using the above five LFW

Introduce your answer by:

Let me think // How can I put it // Well, that’s an interesting question

Useful expressions:

In my opinion // From my perspective // For me // Allow me to explain // By which I mean //

Discourse Markers:

as well as // furthermore // additionally // on the other hand // having said that // however // although // despite that

Activity 2: Give each student a discourse marker and they have to use it in a sentence

EXAMPLE ‘in addition’

I have a busy life; I have to study, work my part-time job and help my family. In addition, I go shopping for my neighbour because he is too old to go out.

NOTE: use of ‘because‘ to explain why you do something … and therefore construct a longer sentence.

Idioms:

It’s raining cats and dogs // It costs an arm and a leg // piece of cake // I’m burning the candle at both ends.

Activity 3: Who can use these idioms correctly ?

Relative pronouns – who / which / where / whose

Activity 4: Use the correct relative pronoun:

We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.

A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know how to switch it off.

The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.

Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.

This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.

Buying time:

Could you repeat that, please // I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that // Would you mind rephrasing the question

Model answer: What do you do in your free time ?

AsianBossG;r)

One of my favourite things to do, if I have some spare time, is to hang out with my closest friends and just catch up on our news, maybe hit a mall because they are air-conditioned and have a wide array of amenities such as shops, cafes and, if I may say, bathroom facilities, as well as services like ATM machines and free wifi. My closest friends are Sheila, who is from Japan and studies here in Sai Gon, and Kerry, who is a gorgeous Thai lady. As we all come from different countries, there can be issues. Allow me to explain; we have to communicate in English, however Kerry is just starting her studies, so we have to use Google translate frequently. Having said that, it’s such tremendous fun to be with my best friends. It helps me forget about the pressure and stress of work.

Use this an a plan – now tell me what YOU do in YOUR free time … DO NOT just copy the above example !

Now … Your turn

Conversation Practice: In pairs or small groups, ask each other these questions. If the answer is too short, ask the person to tell you more, to explain with more details.

How Dialogue Teaches Critical Thinking and Empathy

Family questions

Ask each other about your families

How many siblings do you have ?

[You can give names, ages, jobs, what and where they study, what they look like, what their personality is like, if you have something or nothing in common with them]

Do you live with your parents and grandparents ?

Do you often meet your cousins ?

Who is the youngest member of your family ? 

Who is the oldest ?

Who is your favourite person in your family and why ?

Useful expressions

Can you tell me more ? // In what way ? // Why do you say that ? //

Oh, that’s interesting … // well, // actually // in fact …

on the other hand // having said that // although

Keep the conversation going

Oh, really ? Tell me more Why do you say that ?

Could you explain what you mean ? Why did you do that ?

Three students talking to each other outdoor in a college ...

Final Review:

Coffee shops in Sai Gon are _________________________ .

I always forget my keys, I’m so __________________ .

In an IELTS listening test, we can sometimes _______________ the answer.

We wanted to stay at the Hotel California but the prices were _____________ .

The meeting was so long and extremely _____________________ .