Word bomb– what do you think of when I say ‘hotel’ ?
Checking in to a hotel
reception / lift or elevator / single or double room / king size bed or twins /
first floor / complimentary breakfast / key deposit / luggage storage / safe / mini bar
What would the conversation be ?
Reception: How may I help you / May I ask your name ? / Can I see your reservation code ? / That’s fine. You stay for three nights ? / May I have your passport, please ? / You’re in room 237. That’s on the second floor / Thank you. Sign here, please / Yes, the lift is just over there. / Naturally, as well as a hair dryer, coffee machine and mini bar. / Enjoy your stay.
Guest: Hello, we have a reservation / We booked a room online / My name’s ….. / Certainly, it’s on my phone. / Yes, that’s right. / Absolutely. / Correct. / Just a second; here you are./ Is there a lift ? / The second floor ? / Is there a safe in the room ? / Perfect. Thanks very much
Make a conversation. One student will be the reception, the other(s) a guest or guests.
Write your own conversation
You are in a hotel bar and you meet another guest. Start a polite conversation, but you have to use your English.
Greet each other
Why are you in this city ? (holiday or on business)
Offer to buy a drink (accept or decline – maybe you don’t drink alcohol)
How long are they staying ? What do they think of the hotel ? What can they do in the area around the hotel ?
Small group work
You are two married couples who meet on a tour and are staying at the same hotel OR you are on a business trip and meet some other business people.
Use the following sentences, as well as your own, to make a conversation. try to keep speaking for as long as possible by using small talk techniques (oh, really / that’s interesting / tell me more / what do you do exactly ? / where is that ? / Sounds interesting)
My wife and I are delighted to meet you
Shall we go to the bar or cafe ?
Can offer name first (I’m Simon, what’s your name ?)
Would you fancy a drink … ?
Is there anywhere special to do here ?
Sorry, I have to get my head down, it’s been a long flight (I need to sleep).
My colleague and I were going out to eat.
I fancy a beer or something alcoholic
Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t ask where you are from.
Would you like to join us ?
Peckish (little hungry)
What do you think of these hotel rooms ?
What do you think of the design ?
Would you like to stay in any of these ? Why, or why not ?
As drunk as a ….. // As dead as a ….. // As brave as a ……
As free as a ….. // As gentle as a …… // As quiet as a ……
Make sentences with these words or expressions:
In a class, write out the words on paper and distribute to the students, either individually or in groups. Give them a time limit and award points for each word used, plus bonuses for interesting or creative sentences.
spectacular / visually stunning / you get what you pay for / mouth-watering / a waste of money / significantly / according to / how can I put it ? / Somewhat / incredibly / as good as gold / as drunk as a skunk /
Also known as ‘indirect speech’, reported speech is used to tell what someone has said.
Three Japanese students, Keiko, Rina & Mei are looking at their new university. Keiko, in the black cardigan says:
Keiko: Now I feel as wise as an owl.
However, with all the street noise, Mei didn’t hear so she asks Rina (who wears a pink and white striped top).
Mei: The building is stunning, but what did Keiko say ?
Rina: She said that she felt as wise as an owl.
Rina uses the past tense to tell Mei what Keiko said – she said she felt as wise as an owl.
Look at these:
Susan: “Mary works in an office.” This is Susan speaking directly.
→Susan said (that) Mary worked in an office. This is someone telling what Susan said.
Notice how the verb changes from present to past tense (‘works’ to ‘worked’).
Susan: “I work in an office.”
→Susan said (that) she worked in an office.
Notice how the pronoun changes from first to third person (‘I’ to ‘she’).
Rewrite the sentences using reported speech
1 ‘Ellie can use my phone,’ said my brother.
1 My brother said that Ellie could use his phone.
2 Benjamin: “I often have a big hamburger.”
2 Benjamin said (that) he often has a big hamburger.
(Pronoun changes from ‘I’ to ‘he’). Here Benjamin is talking about an event that happens frequently, so we keep the present tense ‘have’ but change it to the third-person form ‘has’.
3 ‘I don’t want to sit next to Sam,’ said Jenny.
4 Hannah: “They live in Boston.” Again, this is a present tense situation.
5 Tyler: “Ian doesn’t invite girls to his parties.”
6 Linda: “Did Max fly to London two weeks ago?”
7 Robert: “Dennis often downloads the latest tunes.”
Free speaking exercise
There is a work party and the managers want to know which food to serve.
The options are:
vegetarian / Korean / sea-food / western fast-food / traditional German cuisine
Discuss which food to choose. Run through the pros and cons of each one. Also think about entertainment. Use recently acquired vocabulary:
I adore / I really enjoy / I’m into
I don’t mind … I quite like …. I can take it or leave it
I’m not keen on …. It’s not my cup of tea (idiom, means I don’t like it)
I can’t stand (noun or pronoun) ……. (seafood) / I can’t stand it !
Spicy / bland / hard to eat / unhealthy / fatty
not used to it / doesn’t appeal
you can’t please everyone / each to their own / fussy eater
Listening practice: A non-native speaker talks about a crime.
Reading exercise: Sherlock Holmes
Warm up game: Eyewitness
Crime and detection.Being an eyewitness.
Crime and Punishment
This is a famous book by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Give students five to ten minutes to research information about him, then present it to the class. This practises extracting relevant information. Reading verbatim from Wiki or other sites is forbidden !
Warm up game:
Eyewitness: Show students a slide or picture of three people for two minutes. Tell them that today some computers were stolen from the office and these people were seen. Ask them to describe the people they just saw. Prompt for as much detail as possible. This will test the students’ ability to use adjectives and learn new vocabulary from each other:
Do you like detective shows ? Which are your favourites ?
The above shows are from USA, UK & South Korea. Detective shows are popular all over the world. Even famous film directors can write detective novels:
I was walking with a friend along Main Street, around 4 in the morning. The street was ………….quiet, just some tourists and a little traffic.
I was wearing a small bag, strung across my shoulder. A security guard was behind me, talking to a person in a car. …….., a motorbike came towards me on the pavement. He stopped, …………..my strap, then drove away.
Naturally, I shouted but it was too late; he was gone. My friend was worried but I told her it was OK, nobody was hurt. The ………of the bag were really worthless: pens, some medicine, a book, but also my designer glasses.
The security guard was comical in his incompetence. He shook his head, mouth open wide, and said, “It all ………. so quickly, there was nothing I could do.”
I should, …….. , have reported it to the police, that was the ……….. but people told me the thief would never be found. What I learnt from this unfortunate experience was to be very careful and never walk around with valuables.
The greatest of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, along with his loyal companion Dr. Watson, made his first appearance in Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet (1887) and continued into the 20th century in such collections of stories as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and the longer Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).
New Vocabulary Practice:
What is the ……… for reporting a crime. (noun)
Most of what we learnt on the first day was ………… (adj)
His wife ……….. (verb) him of eating the cake but the real ….. (noun) was the dog !
Jet Mart had two cases of Tiger beer boosted (stolen). In Mr Wall’s house, there were two cases of Tiger beer but, his lawyer defended, this is not proof, merely ……….. …………….
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.
This is polite conversation, to pass the time, or to get to know some basic information about people. Do not ask anything too personal; this will differ from culture to culture, but in the UK and the west in general:
Ask why someone is not married or has no children.
Ask how much money they earn, get from their job.
Ask how much something cost. “I like your shirt. How much was it ?”
Talk about politics. “You’re from China ? Chairman Mao was a disaster !”
PLAY IT SAFE – talk about music, football, food or … in the UK … the weather.
Very warm for this time of year.
Did you see …….. last night ? (the football game, the news etc)
How long have you worked here ?
The traffic was so bad this morning.
What team do you support ?
John: I can speak German. Peter: Can you ?
Bella: Ms Nguyen went to Thailand. Carole: Did she ?
Bill: He likes K-pop. Harry: ______________ ?
We are going to the pagoda later. ______________ ?
Ms Thinh has a new job.______________ ?
house prices in your city / why you have or don’t have a pet
an interesting program you saw recently
What you want to do in the future. / Somewhere you would love to visit.
Keep conversations going:
I see / Do you really think so ? /
That’s good point / I hadn’t thought of that
Oh, that’s interesting/ Yeah, right ! / Sure / OK May I just add something ? /
Oh, where is that exactly ?
Speaking Practice – use discourse markers to extend your speaking and to link ideas.
Describe something you own which is very important to you.
You should say:
where you got it from how long you have had it what you use it for and explain why it is important to you.
You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes.
You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if you wish.
Rounding off questions
Is it valuable in terms of money?
Would it be easy to replace?
This could be a physical object, a memento with sentimental value, or an abstract noun such as health, happiness etc
For my Vietnamese students:
How different is Vietnam from other Southeast Asian countries?
What do you think Vietnam will be like 50 years from now?
What do you think Vietnam’s neighbours think of you ?
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 ?