Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Really, that’s interesting, tell me more – small talk practice

8th July 2020

Small Talk

Remember to keep the conversation going by responding with enthusiasm and interest. You could say:

Really ? // That’s interesting // Me too ! // No way ! // Tell me more // Why is that ? // Where is that exactly ? // Are you ? // Do you really think so ?

EXAMPLES:

I work in King Street // Oh, where is that exactly ?

I love listening to K-pop // Really ! Me too. Who are your favourites ?

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I’m studying English // No way ! I’m also studying. Where do you study ?

I want to start my own business // That’s interesting, tell me more.

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A chance to review and use recent vocabulary, phrases and idioms.

Make sentences using these words or expressions:

Raining cats and dogs (raining very heavy)

chockablock (traffic jam, no space to move)

Could talk the hind legs off a donkey (talks very, very much)

ubiquitous everywhere

such as to give examples

Budge over move over, make some space

you’ll pick it up you’ll soon understand it or be able to so it

in next to no time very soon, very quickly

Could you repeat that, please ?

How do you spell that ?

Once more, please

How about you ?

For me,

I’m keen on

I’m not so keen on

Dialogue

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What were you doing last night ? I tried to call.

I was watching TV. Was it important ?

We were having a party. I wanted you to come.

Your parties are such fun ! What did you do ?

We were all looking online for bargains. Anna bought some great shoes.

She was always talking about buying shoes.

I was looking at the clothes from London. So stylish.

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Did you see the email from the Manager ?

Oh, that old windbag! He doesn’t know when to stop talking. He could talk the hind legs off a donkey.

Yes, even his emails go on forever hahahah. I’m not so keen on him, I wish the old manager hadn’t left.

Left ? He was given the boot, he was sacked ! Anyway, they were thinking about calling off the meeting.

What a relief, those meeting drag on endlessly

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Did you bring your raincoat ? It’s been raining all night.

I know, it’s raining cats and dogs. Better leave soon if we’re going.

Yes, maybe the traffic will be chockablock.

Oh, just a minute … do you know how to use this program ?

Yes, it’s very easy. It’s a piece of cake! Budge over, I’ll show you, you’ll pick it up in next to no time.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Leaving on a jet plane.

31st May 2020

Airport Dialogue Practice

A chance to get away, and practice everyday informal conversation at an airport.

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Grammar: I want to go on a holiday // I need to stop working for a while

subject + modal verb + infinite verb …

I + want / need + to go / to stop / to relax etc

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Steve and Vic (Victor)

Steve and Vic are going on holiday. They are waiting for their plane (airplane / aeroplane)

Steve Finally, a holiday ! I need to get away from the city.

Vic City life is so stressful. So much hustle and bustle.

Steve I want to relax. Peace and quiet. No work, no traffic.

Vic What time is the flight ?

Steve Quarter past four. Gate B21.

Vic Where is the Duty-Free ? I want to buy some whisky.

Steve We can buy some after we’ve gone through security.

Vic Ok but first I need to find an ATM. There’s one over there.

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Colourful ATMs at Phuket Airport, Thailand

After they go through security they wait in the departure lounge.

Steve What kind of holiday do you prefer ?

Vic I enjoy activity holidays, but I prefer the beach.

Steve Swimming is great. I need to keep fit. Too much beer !

Vic What time can we board ?

Steve Let me see … We can board at quarter to four. Do you need sun cream?

Vic No, I have some in my luggage. Where’s the guide book ?

Steve In my carry on bag. Here. Singapore is going to be a big culture shock !

Vic The food, the language, the weather. How do we get to our hotel ?

Steve The taxis are outside the baggage claim, after we go through customs.

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Business English: What’s on the agenda ?

5th May 2020

Job interviews, and vocabulary for business meetings

AirAsia India Career For Freshers In 2020 [Apply Now Online]

Writing exercise

A candidate is writing to inquire about a vacancy at your factory:

Dear Owner,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nguyen Trung Hieu and I am 22 with a business degree from TDT University in HCM City.

I wish to start my business career and your company has a very good reputation.

Do you have a position for me within your organisation ?

I have worked as bookkeeper for my uncle’s business in Nha Trang Province and also I worked at Coffee House when I was a student in order to make some extra money.

Please write back if you can help me

Yours respectfully

Nguyen Trang Hieu

How would you reply to this request ?

What were the positive and negative attributes of this letter ?

Now … your turn. You want to apply for the job with Air Asia in India (don’t forget, flight attendants can be both men and women, although the advert doesn’t emphasis this fact).

How would you write the letter ?

What facts are important ? What skills do you think you need ? What type of personality is best suited to this service-orientated job ?

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Meeting language

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Here is a transcript of a short business meeting. Look at all the non-standard English, the phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions that make up so much of natural English.

Read the text and role play, focusing on intonation and stress.

Right … I think we should start now. Thanks. 

  1. OK, so, is everybody here? Who are we waiting for? Hmmm … well, I think we’ll have to make a start without them. We’ve got a lot to get through this afternoon. 
  2. Right, well, as you know, the purpose of today’s meeting is to see where we are with the marketing plan, and to work out what we still need to do before the launch, which is now just six weeks away. 
  3. By the end of the meeting, we need to have a list of firm action points for the next month. Hopefully we’ll then need only one more meeting next month to tie up any remaining loose ends.
  4. Did everyone get a copy of the agenda I sent round? OK, good. 
  5. As I say, we’ve got a lot to get through, so please let’s stick to the agenda. I’ve set aside two hours for this meeting, and we really can’t afford to run over. Ideally, we can cover everything in an hour and a half. Does that sound reasonable? 
  6. Ah, Helena, come and take a seat. We started without you. 
  7. So perhaps we can get the ball rolling by going through the list of action points from the last meeting. 
  8. Bill, you were going to look into the costs of the various options that came up last time. Could you tell us what you found out?

Now match the nine steps in the meeting introduction (1–9) to the descriptions.

  1. Stating the desired outcome. 
  2. Introducing the first point on the agenda. 
  3. Getting people’s attention, interrupting small talk 
  4. Handing over to the first speaker. 
  5. Dealing with non-attendees. 
  6. Dealing with a late arrival. 
  7. Explaining time limits and procedures. 
  8. Stating the purpose 
  9. Checking people have seen the agenda. 

Answers at end of blog

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A successful conclusion to a meeting

Answers:

Right … I think we should start now. Thanks.  = 3) Getting people’s attention

  1. = 5) Dealing with non-attendees
  2. = 8) Stating the purpose
  3. = 1) Stating desired outcome
  4. = 9) Checking agenda
  5. = 7) Time limits
  6. = 6) Late arrival
  7. = 2) First point
  8. = 4) Handing over to first speaker

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Job interviews

12th February 2020

Image result for job interview

Interview Language

Many interviews have similar questions. Read the following and then role-play with a partner. Feel free to add your own information, or make up something new.

Possible questions:

What experience do you have ? // What do you know about the company ? // Have you ever had to work to a deadline ?

Image result for great job interviews

Tell me about yourself

I was born in …. and I graduated from …. University in 2014 with a major in Business Administration. Since then I’ve had two year’s experience in administrative work at ABC and XYZ Corporation.

I’m a very organised person, well-balanced and efficient. I’m hard-working and dedicated.

In my free time, I like to travel and I love to paint. Furthermore, I enjoy going out having coffee with friends.

What do you know about (COMPANY) ?

XXX are an established company with a good reputation. They help …….. and there are over (xx) sites in VN (or your country).

What are your strengths ?

I feel I am easy-going, hard-working, careful and diligent. I think my greatest strength is my positive outlook, even during times of stress. I can work under pressure and I really enjoy a challenge. Lastly, I like working in a team.

What are your weaknesses ?

Well, my English isn’t perfect, so this will be a great chance to improve. Maybe I can be a little quiet sometimes; that’s why working as part of a team will help bring me out.

Can you give an example of when you had to deal with an angry customer ?

One time, a customer didn’t like the price of a visa, and he began shouting and getting angry. I asked him if I could explain the reason. I then told him how it wasn’t our fault, but that I understood his anger and said sorry. Then I told him he could check elsewhere, but we would still be happy to serve him. He calmed down, said sorry to me and bought the visa and was happy.

Where do you see yourself in two years ?

My short-terms goals are to work hard and efficiently, so I can master this job. However, in the long-term, I would be interested in possibly doing more courses so I could be a manager.

What can you bring to the job ?

I’m very friendly and enjoy working with people. I always try to be happy at work and share my positive outlook. I’m very motivated and open to learning. I’m very excited about being a part of this great company.

Do you have any questions ?

May I just ask, what career opportunities are there at XXX ?

It is not a good idea to ask immediately about salary, money and bonuses, although this is an important part of the interview process.

Image result for great job interviews
Congratulations, when can you start ?

Listening practice

From BBC Learning English: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningengli0sh/english/features/english-at-work/02-the-interruption

A good example that comes to mind…

I’m particularly proud of…

Time-keeping is important to me.

Firstly, this job is an ideal match for my skills and experience.

Secondly, …

Above all, the reason I want this job is …

Image result for great job interviews

Key words: 

highly motivated

can work on my own initiative

proactive

team-player

ready for a challenge

Speaking Practice:

Now you have some new words and phrases, interview each other again, making sure to really sound like the ideal person for the job.

Working in English. Being a TA (teaching assistant)

Image result for teaching assistant
Image result for angry parents

How would you handle (answer) these questions ?

How often do you communicate in English ? Have you ever used English in a work environment ?

Two teachers need things at the same time; how would you prioritise ?

How would you deal with a rude teacher ? What would you do if you had a problem with a certain teacher ?

Could you work as a team member ? Could you take orders from a younger person ? 

Some students come to you and say they don’t like a certain teacher. What would you tell them ?

Teachers earn much more than Viet staff. How do you feel about that ?

Some parents may be very angry about a grading a teaching gave. If they came and shouted at you, how would you cope ?

Can you give an example of a time when you dealt effectively with an angry customer ?

How do you see this role ? What do you imagine you’ll be doing ?

The work may become routine. Do you think you will get bored ?

Part of the job-description involves keeping a safe environment. What do you think that means ?

A child has a nosebleed; what would you do ?

A child is being noisy and shouting when the teacher speaks. What would you do ?

A child swears in class, but his parents are angry at you when you criticise the student. However, the teacher insists you phone the parents to complain.

Image result for teaching assistant unrurly class