Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: New Slang (when you notice the stripes). Idioms & expressions

15th July 2020

I recreated the shirt from the New Slang music video : TheShins
The US band The Shins with their song ‘New Slang’

Notes, new idioms & slang

Why the long face ? Someone looks miserable or unhappy.

She can talk the hind legs off a donkey ! Talking non-stop !

The tip of the iceberg.

The Unusual Meaning and Origin of the Idiom 'Tip of the Iceberg ...

Piece of cake No problem, easy, no trouble

Same thing, day in, day out everyday is exactly the same, very boring.

On the lookout looking for something

Cooking the books cheating with the company accounts. Writing false information.

Insurance Company Broker Caught Cooking the Books - Workers ...
Pros and Cons of Utlizing a Traditional Grading Scale

A bright spark someone who is very clever

You’re pulling my leg ! joking but pretending to be serious.

The boot’s on the other foot the situation has changed.

You can’t miss it you will certainly recognise it when you see it, when you are there.

Big time ! (US modern popular culture) Absolutely, totally, very, very much

Brass monkeys it’s extremely, painfully cold

Once in a blue moon something that happens extremely rarely

Bob’s your uncle there you are ! No problem, all fixed ! (UK slang)

Now … your turn

Practice using these saying in everyday conversations … answers, as per usual, at the end of the blog.

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1) I love the beach. but I rarely go, just ……………………………….

2) If you’re late for class again, the teacher will be furious …….

3) You look so sad ……………………… ?

4) I’m freezing ! It’s ……………………. in here

5) Seriously ? You can marry three wives in UK ? No, you’re ……..

6) Oh, my job is so tedious, …………………………

7) She wouldn’t shut up ! She ….

8) It’s no problem; I’ll clean your laptop, remove the virsus and Trojans and ………

9) I used to earn more than my wife but she got a big promotion, so now …………. She earns more than me !

10) I need a new pair of shoes. I’m ………………… for some high quality Italian leather.

11) The accountant was sacked. He was ……… but that was not all ! That’s just the …………………… He was also stealing computers and selling them.

12) This lesson was a ………………… for me because I’m such a ……………….

13) I didn’t use ‘you can’t miss it.’ Write your own sentence.

Top 6 Most Difficult Courses To Study in Nigeria

Answers

1) once in a blue moon

2) big time

3) why the long face ?

4) brass monkeys

5) pulling my leg

6) Same thing, day in, day out

7) can/could talk the hind legs off a donkey.

8) Bob’s your uncle

9) the boot’s on the other foot.

10) on the lookout

11) cooking the books / tip of the iceberg

12) piece of cake / bright spark

Well, if you’re such a bright spark, write you own sentences and test your partner.

BONUS: what expressions can you hear in this song ?

NOTE TO TEACHERS; IF POSSIBLE, TURN OFF THE OVERHEAD SO STUDENTS CAN’T SEE THE SONG TITLE.

Ms Nanci Griffith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmvyBTXuRQw

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Adverbs and expressions

26th June 2020

Using adverbs of frequency

always / frequently / often / sometimes / occasionally / never

100 % / 85 – 90 % / 75 % / 30 – 50 % /15 – 20% / 0

How often do you:

Study English ? // Visit family ? // Eat western food ? // Drink beer at work ?

Learning to Read English
Japanese Family Vocabulary - My Family flashcards on Tinycards

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Expressions

Nanci Griffith - Once In A Very Blue Moon (1984, Vinyl) | Discogs

Nanci Griffith ‘Once in a Very Blue Moon’ record

Once in a blue moon = very occasionally, almost never

Not as much as I’d like to

Not as much as I used to 

From time to time / now and then = occasionally 

Asking questions:

How often do you … ?

Do you often … ?

How often do you use Grabbike ?

I sometimes use Grabbike OR I use Grabbike sometimes 

I + adverb + verb + noun OR I + verb + noun + adverb

Grabbike ? I use Grabbike once in a blue moon (almost never)

Tell me why you don’t use Grab:

I have my own motorbike

My wife takes me to work

I don’t trust them

I catch a bus

Cute drivers wish visitors 'don't judge low stars' for money to study

Visit family ?

I visit family once in a blue moon, because my hometown is very far away.

How often do you go dancing ?

I never go dancing because …

Study English ?

Eat western food ?

Drink beer at work ?

Do you often eat junk food ?

Become angry ?

Loose money ?

Twin Peaks - Coop's HELLO-O-O compilation - YouTube

New vocabulary:

exhausted = very tired

delighted = very happy

overwhelmed = too much of something (I was overwhelmed by the amount of work)

hazard / hazardous = danger/ dangerous

tickled pink = very happy (idiom) I’m tickled pink

fit as a fiddle = healthy

good to go ! = ready and wanting to do something.

Paris love-locks

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/witn/ep-150603

Paris Has a 'Love Lock' Problem | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

Padlocks – a sign of everlasting love

Finally – describe these street scenes:

Moscow Winter Festivals and Activities

Moscow – it’s winter and it’s snowing heavily. It must be night time because the streetlights are on. There is nobody on the street, it is deserted (empty).

London Bus and London Eye

London, on the other hand, is in summer or maybe / possibly spring. The blue sky without a cloud looks very beautiful. There is also a famous red bus, a double-decker. We can also see the London Eye.

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Hong Kong
Hyderabad (Pakistan) - City in Pakistan - Thousand Wonders
Hyderabad, Pakistan

Phrasal verbs and idioms: Dialogue practice

15th June 2020

Continuing the series of short dialogues, to help students see how idiomatic language can be used in everyday conversation.

Depending on the students’ motivation, these scenes can be acted out, which is generally more fun than simply learning from text books.

I have included many expressions and idioms – ask your teacher for the meaning or look up the answer online.

To warm up, elicit some collocations with ‘take’ and ‘make’ then ask the students to listen out for which ones are featured.

Two asian muslim woman standing and talking in the office with a ...

Dialogue: Bear with me

To practise simple past/ past continuous and collocations with ‘make’and ‘take’.

A: How’s it going ? You look busy.

B: Sorry, can you bear with me a moment ? I just need to finish off this report. Take a seat.

A: Sure, take your time. I was making plans with John last night.

B: Really ? What did you decide to do ?

A: We couldn’t make up our minds. I wanted to go to the cinema, he wanted to stay home.

B: There ! All finished. Now I’m going to take a break.

A: Good for you ! 

Two asian business women having a meeting with laptop in modern ...

A: Did you go out ?

B: We were leaving when it began to rain cats and dogs. Also, the traffic was chockablock.

A: So what happened ?

B: We stayed in and ordered take out. We tried English food.

A: Was it delicious ?

B: It was OK, nothing special. The menu was in English … I couldn’t make it out.

A: You should have taken a photo of the food.

Top 10 famous English foods - By food author Howard Hillman
Traditional British food – fish and chips
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Fika – coffee and cakes in Sweden

A: I was thinking about ordering some food. Have you had lunch ?

B: No, I’m starving … I could eat a horse.

A: Let’s go eat. After, we can check out the stores. I’m on the lookout for a pair of trainers.

B: OK, I’ll take my break now. We can take a taxi to SaiGon Centre.

A: Super ! So many shops … but I won’t be able to make up my mind.

B: I’ll help you – piece of cake.

Saigon Centre Tower 1 - The Executive Centre

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Dialogue practice

14th June 2020

An extended scenario that can be used for three speakers, or two, whatever the class needs. Here, a student goes to an expensive private language centre to enquire about course requirement and prices.

The English for Secondary School Preparation course is ideal for ...

You will notice a lot of idiomatic speech as well as expressions. These are designed to show you how to use them in everyday conversation … have fun !

Nottingham Language Centre | Nottingham Trent University

Dialogue Practice

A student comes to the office to get some information about courses

Objective: practice expressions and pronunciation of contractions.

Student Good evening, I’m looking for an English course

PEC 1 You’ve come to the right place !

PEC 2 How may we assist ? What exactly are you looking for ?

Student Well, I’d like to improve my pronunciation, as well as my grammar.

PEC 1 Seems to me that you are already quite good at English.

Student You’ re most kind, but one can always better oneself.

Cambridge English

PEC 2 We’ve an interesting class starting soon … it’s upper-intermediate.

Student Yes, I’d prefer to hit the ground running. When does it start ?

PEC 1 Hold on, let me check …..

telephone rings 

PEC 2 Hello, PEC … oh, hold the line please, she’s busy. OK, she’ll call back soon.

PEC 1 There’s a class commencing the day after tomorrow .

Kings College – Chào mừng bạn đến với English Language Centre – Du ...

Student Or maybe a private lesson ?

PEC 2 I can check … bear with me … yes, with teacher John. He’s passionate about teaching.

Student Sounds good. May I ask the fee ?

PEC 2 Certainly ….  she writes the price down on paper and hands it to the student.

Student Blimey ! I’ll have to think it over and get back to you. I must work now.

Student leaves.

PEC 1 Think he’ll come back ?

PEC 2 Over my dead body !

Hands up if you like this blog:

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Coffee shop chat

11th June 2020

As always, I use these exercise to introduce idioms and expressions, as well as demonstrating how adverbs and adjectives can be used in everyday conversation.

Speaking practice:

Old Compass Cafe Saigon - Vietnamese cuisine, wine, cafe, events

Pat Well, I’m exhausted. I need a damn fine cup of coffee and a big piece of pie.

Sam There’s a Highlands over the road, or we can go to Coffee Bean or Milano.

Pat I’d prefer Tran Nguyen but it costs an arm and a leg. Highlands is also incredibly expensive.

Sam But great quality and superb cakes. Come on, I’m starving, I need coffee now !

Pat OK, hold your horses hahaha. After we can meet up with Thay Paul.

Sam Sounds good. Now … shall we have chocolate cake or fruit cake … ?

costs an arm and a leg = very expensive

hold your horses = please be patient and wait

Inside Highlands

Quán cà phê “trong mơ” của những người Việt trẻ có gì? | Báo Dân trí
Highlands Coffee, a Vietnamese coffee chain

Sam Hi, I’ll have a large cappuccino, please. What do you fancy ?

Pat Tough decision. I’m going for the cheesecake and a slice of blueberry pie.

Sam Oh, me too. Big slice, no, only joking, I have to watch my weight.

Pat I think you look great. Lets also get some chocolate cake and we can share.

Sam Brilliant. Oh, did I show you my recent photos ? Here, on my phone.

Pat Let me see … oh, so funny. Who’s that ? The man next to Niall ?

Sam That’s Jimmy, he’s in Niall’s band. He plays drums and drinks like a fish !

Pat And that’s you, a selfie. You look adorable. Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth !

VietnamCupid on Twitter: "Selfie tip of the week: Know your angles… "
A very sweet young lady – butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth

drinks like a fish = drinks a lot of alcohol

Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth ! = looks very sweet and nice … but can be very naughty

Drinking Too Much of This Kind of Beer Might Be Giving You Man ...
Don’t invite him to your party – he drinks like a fish !

Speaking practice: Adverbs of probability

definitely / probably / possibly / unlikely / definitely not !

Toni What are you doing tonight ?

Anna Not sure. I’ll probably go home and watch TV

Toni Sounds boring. Do you want to see a film ?

Anna Let me think … possibly. Where will we go ?

Toni Lotte Cinema. We will definitely get tickets on a Thursday night.

Anna Great idea. I’ll ask John but it’s unlikely he’ll be free

Toni Cool ! Then we’ll (we will) meet at 6.30. Don’t be late.

Anna Me ? Definitely not ! I’ll call you if I’m late.

How to start exciting conversations with women in girl random chat

Gil & Zoe are on a coffee break

This has many new words and expressions for you to learn and practice.

Gil Who’s that in the photo ? The tall bald guy ?

Zoe That’s Peter. He works in IT. I get him to fix my laptop when it crashes.

Gil Have you seen our IT guy ? He’s so arrogant, and very bossy.

Zoe Really ? In what way is he bossy ? Give me an example.

Gil Well, he shouts at everyone and tells them how to use their computers.

Zoe A real computer geek. I bet he has no friends. Do you like Peter ?

Gil He seems nice, honest and reliable. Will he be at the party later ? 

Zoe If he’s free. His office is just over the road. Maybe he’ll play piano for you.

Gil Cool, I adore music. Karaoke, however, is not my cup of tea. Will there be karaoke?

Zoe Oh, I hope not. Anyway, how was your day ? Another fun happen ?

Gil In my job ? No way, same thing day in, day out. Total boredom, in a nutshell.

Zoe Oh, poor you. I hope you will find a better job … and very soon.

Geek GIFs | Tenor
Peter, the tall bald computer guy
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Arrogant and bossy IT computer geek

Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Short scenarios

10th June 2020

Some more dialogue scenes to practise using grammar, phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions

To practise question words and the past tense.

what / where /why / when / who / which / how

Dialogue: Catching up

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Jane & Tina are catching up

Jane What did you do last night ? Who did you meet ?

Tina I went out with friends. We saw a movie. How about you ?

Jane I just stayed at home and did chores. Which cinema did you go to ?

Tina At Diamond Plaza. We bought popcorn which we ate before the film began.

Jane You must have been very hungry ! Was the film good ?

Tina Yeah, really exciting. The tickets were incredibly cheap too.

Jane How much were they ?

Tina Only 333 000 VND (three hundred and thirty-three thousand Dong).

Let's go to the cinema | ESOL Nexus

Jane is intrigued and curious about the price

Jane Why so cheap ?

Tina Because my husband won a competition.

Jane Which competition ? Where was it ?

Tina An online one. Do you want to drink coffee tonight ?

Jane Of course ! When ? What time do you knock off work ?

Tina About 10 … we have been very busy, lots of work.

Jane Me too. I worked until midnight last week. I was exhausted.

Tina I saw you. You looked terrible !

Jane Thank you ! 

Knock off = phrasal verb to finish work

Linking words: and / as well as / also / along with

Meeting the new boss

5 ways to win the confidence of the new boss - The Economic Times

Sid What are your plans for this afternoon ?

Viv Well, I need to buy some coffee as well as some milk. How about you ?

Sid Oh, I’ve got to have a meeting with the new director. He seems very strict.

Viv Yeah, I get the impression that he is very serious. However, he is friendly.

Sid Right, he could be an improvement. Having said that, he could be worse.

Viv He seems professional, very neat and tidy. Always a plain white shirt.

Sid Remember the old boss ? Such gaudy ties ! For me, that was unprofessional.

Viv Anyway, is there a convenience store nearby ?

Sid Naturally. Take the second left, then cross over. Can’t miss it.

Viv Brilliant ! You’re an angel.

Dialogue: Talking about Germany

Present perfect, past continuous and questions. Listen for adverbs

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Mary Have you been to Germany ?

Amy No, not yet. Have you ?

Mary Yes, twice. I have (I’ve) visited Berlin and Munich.

Amy Which did you like best ?

Mary Well, Munich is very clean, elegant and stylish, but quite expensive.

Amy And Berlin, the capital ?

Mary I was working there for six months. It was really cool.

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They continue after eating a big piece of pie.

Amy Sounds like you had lots of fun !

Mary Oh, yes ! The food was cheap and the people were incredibly friendly.

Amy How about the weather ? I have heard it can be cold.

Mary It was terrible ! Every day it rained cats and dogs.

Amy You must have been so glad to get back to Vietnam. (glad = happy)

Mary Yes, but I miss the German trains and buses; they were so reliable.

HD wallpaper: people, woman, girl, train, berlin, blonde, commute ...

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Holiday project – Ha Noi, Viet Nam

9th June 2020

Sheet 3 for holiday project

GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM !


THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO VISIT OUR CAPITAL CITY

The pride of Vietnam 

Exclusive four-day tour including day trips to Halong Bay and Sapa

in Ha Noi – the best museums

in Ha Noi – the best food

in Ha Noi – the friendliest people in all Vietnam 

See the UNESCO heritage site Halong Bay, or visit Sapato see traditional 

Vietnamese culture and customs

Tours tailored to your needs:

Arrive by plane, train or overnight bus (free wifi).

Hotel choice – in Old Quarter 1*, 2*, or 3*

Free breakfast

Organised visits to –

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum 

War Museum

Famous fish restaurant

Evening of traditional Vietnamese music on traditional instruments

Free city map 

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Holiday project – Egypt

9th June 2020

Sheet 2 for the holiday Project

EXOTIC EGYPT

Ancient Empire

Home of Pharaohs and queens

View the breathtaking pyramids

Solve the mystery of the Sphinx

A holiday you will NEVER forget

Stay in Cairo. Visit Egypt Museum. Day trip to Pyramids

Camel-rides. Experience local cuisine. 

Half-day boat ride on the enchanting Nile river

Return flight, hotel, half-board, transfers, private bus

Best prices !!!

A Holiday You Will Never Forget

Mr Paul Tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Holiday project – Bangkok

9th June 2020

For these exercises, refer to the previous blog (‘Holiday of a Lifetime’). Put class into small groups and assign a city to each one. The groups have to make a presentation, using advertising-style language: hyperbolic adjectives, expressions, phrases. Furthermore, they must really ‘sell’ the holiday, so they can practice their intonation and stress skills.

The blurb contains the selling points, while the practicalities has information. The style should change for these two parts – the teacher can demonstrate.

The first city is:

BANGKOK

Jewel of Asia

Fly to Thailand’s Royal Capital

The blurb:

3-day city break.

Tour to Royal Palace (see the Emerald Buddha)

Famous temples, mouth-watering food

Malls with the latest in fashion and technology

traditional music and dance

Nightlife second to none

This city will stay with you forever

The practicalities

All-inclusive package – flights, transfers, half-board,

3*** hotel in downtown area, close to skyrail

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn

Students are encourages to add their own information and to make use of classroom facilities such as internet, Google images etc to enhance their presentation.

To make it more competitive, the students have to vote on which holiday sounds most impressive.

Adult Class, Level 2: Dialogue practice.

4th June 2020

ปักพินในบอร์ด Stock photos ☆

A sample of different speaking situations to help you practice:

Past simple

Idioms

Picture description

Going to a bank

Coffee shops

Talking about your children

Easter in UK

Elderly people talking - The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Simple Past

To kick off, two friends, Kim & Lyn are catching up, asking what they have done recently.

Kim Good evening, how are you ?

Lyn Very well, thank you. Long time no see.

Kim Yes, I’ve been out and about.

Lyn Really ? What did you do ?

Kim Well, I found a great restaurant in District 1. I went there with Peter and Jenny. We tried food from England. 

Lyn Yes, I heard about it. I got an email from Mary. What did you eat ?

Kim We ate roast beef and potatoes, and drank lots of hot, sweet tea.

Lyn Wonderful! Did you try the beer ?

Kim You know beer’s not my cup of tea !

Lyn How about Peter ?

Kim Oh, my goodness, he drank so much. He nearly fell over. What he didn’t drink, Jenny finished off.

Lyn I didn’t know she drank.

Kim She drinks like a fish. I spoke to Mary as well. She went to Thailand and brought back some gifts. The children loved them.

Lyn She is very sweet. I began to write her an email but then Peter phoned me. Would you like some tea ?

Kim Oh, now you are like an Englishperson.

Lyn Certainly !

Idiom: bear with me = wait a little time / a few minutes / a moment

Describe what you see in this photo. Use as many adjectives as you can.

I notice a lack of adjectives and adverbs in my students’ speech; they are able to complete abstract exercises, but I want to hear them incorporate what they’ve learnt into everyday talk, a natural feature. Therefore, the best way is practice … and practice.

Tell me what you see in the above photo. Adjectives can apply to what YOU think of the ladies (beautiful, gorgeous, plain, ugly), their age, origin, size, hair, clothes. However, I want to hear sentences.

Example: The gorgeous young Asian lady with the long black hair, is wearing a cute floral dress

(floral = flower pattern)

Now, verbs … describe their actions

Subject first; do NOT start with ‘She,’ or ‘They.’

Where are they ? What are they doing ? What have they been doing ?

How are they dressed ? How do they look (emotions)

What do you think they are talking about ?

Conversation practice Bank

Two friends are in a coffee shop

Cath This is a great cup of coffee ! Ok, what shall we do next ?

Di I have to run to the bank. I need to deposit some money.

Cath Good idea, I want to use an ATM. I also need to buy some dollars.

Di You can check the exchange rate at my bank. It’s not far, we can walk.

Cath Oh, I love your earrings. They are so cute. Mine are so ordinary !

Di No, yours are sweet. Mine look valuable but they are fake.

Cath Really ? They look amazing. A very unique design.

Di So kind. OK, have you finished your coffee ?

Cath Bear with me … oh, no … it’s started raining cats and dogs !

How many adjectives can you see ?

Speaking practice:

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Pam Your daughter is gorgeous. Like an angel. She looks like you.

Uma Yes, but she takes after her father. She is very grumpy when she’s tired or hungry.

Pam My son is usually very good, he sleeps like a log, but now he’s teething.

Uma Ahhh, poor little thing but it will pass. Does he still keep you up at night ?

Pam Well, a little but not too much. I give up reading or watching films.

Uma I get it ! We have a reading group. Sounds good ?

Pam Hmmm … let me think about it and get back to you. OK, I must run … bye.

Speaking practice:

100 Instagram Captions for Friends - Cute BFF Caption Ideas for Insta

Bea What a day ! It was non-stop. No time to think. I need some coffee

Lyn Here you are. Tell me all about it, from start to finish.

Bea Firstly, I overslept, so I had to jump in the shower and skip breakfast. I was grumpy.

Lyn You ? No, you are always so sweet. Nearly always haha.

Bea Then I nearly got into an accident with some stupid Grabbike man.

Lyn Oh, some are so nice but others are total idiots !

Bea Exactly. Afterwards, my computer crashed at work and my boss yelled at me

Lyn What a terrible day. Now you need some coffee and a big piece of pie.

Speaking practice:

Aldi to donate almost half a million easter eggs to local ...

Nina Have you seen this western tradition ? They give chocolate eggs at Easter.

Eva Are you serious ? I adore chocolate. Who gives them ?

Nina Well, parents give to children, husbands give to wives, boyfriends to girlfriends.

Eva I haven’t seen them. Can you tell me about them ?

Nina Sure, it’s a large piece of chocolate shaped like an egg.

Eva I like the sound of that. A giant chocolate egg, sounds like heaven.

Nina That’s only part of it. Inside the egg, there are more chocolates.

Eva Ok, next year I am going to England. I will eat like a pig. A chocolate pig !

Easter in uk