IELTS: Intonation, stress, let me feel the emotion (Volume 1)

16th November 2020

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for my Asian students is copying the speech patterns of English, how our voices rise and fall, how we pause for effect then stress key words, augmented by body language and facial expressions.

Best way to improve is to copy so, without further ado, some classic film lines.

Let’s dive in !

First up, ‘The Italian Job’, a British film from 1969 starring Michael Caine, who is still working today, an actor from south London: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g_GeQR8fJo

“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off !”

Now, let’s cross the pond (the Atlantic Ocean) and go Stateside, with Tom Cruise being yelled at (shouted at) by Jack Nicholson who you may remember from a previous video. The clip is from ‘A Few Good Men,’ a 1992 drama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo

This can be for two students or teams: Start at 0:13 – 0:19

“You want answers,”

“I want the truth,”

“You can’t handle the truth !”

Movin’ on, most of most students are teenagers … this one’s for them. Emely Martinez and some informal, vernacular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7nyqZJG1WU&list=PLcFdqEA1TNzMEObFQ-XYy4u6dYnrkUSEa&index=13

Watch from the beginning

“Oh my gosh, I think I’ve just come up with the best theory … teenage life sucks !”

Now for a personal favourite, the inimitable Peter O’Toole an actor I had the pleasure of seeing, and briefly meeting, back in my London days. Here, Peter is on a talk show, explaining about a long, arduous flight from Japan to the USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuhHThAaymQ

I heartily recommend watching the whole clip, however our section starts at 2:21

“Coming from Japan, one indeed stops at lots of places … Hawaii and all over … and it coincided, our stopping, with the cocktail hour … everywhere we went, it was cocktail hour … and one doesn’t want to be discourteous …”

Finally, my favourite TV chef (after Keith Floyd, obviously) is the beautiful Ching-He Huang

My Day on a Plate: Ching He-Huang

Here’s an assortment of phrases and lines from one of her numerous YouTube clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVmAMQYTtHk

The whole clip is under two minutes. Here are some selections, in order of appearance.

“From street food to fine dining, Hong Kong is the place that has some of the best food on the planet. Every time I come my absolute favourite thing to do is eat.”

“So this is the pineapple bun, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, it’s flakey and it’s sweet … it’s really good.”

“It’s small and punchy … just like you !”

“The sweetness of the prawns … eeerrrrrrrr !”

“This is some serious woking !”

The last phrase shows how we can play with English; a wok is a traditional Chinese frying pan. Here, Ching uses the noun (wok) to form a verb (woking), which is non-standard, in fact, it isn’t in any of the online dictionaries I searched. Having said that, most native-English speakers watching the show will know what she means.

If you are unsure, Ching is saying that the restaurant is extremely busy, there is a lot of high-energy cooking going on (woks are associated with high-temperature, very quick dishes).

Ching-He Huang recipes - BBC Food

Vietnam on video Part 1

23rd October 2020

A compilation of videos about Viet Nam for use in class. Some clips are made by westerners, other by Vietnamese speaking English. The clips can be used for listening practice, learning vocabulary, pronunciation, or just to learn more about the country.

Contents:

Vietnamese beer review

Vietnamese culture

Vietnamese superstitions

Lights, camera, action !

Vietnamese beer review (Sai Gon Red): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKr6Cj-Xr9g&list=LLfquznE0joCgmA3v1PIQ0CQ&index=8&t=1s

This is an English man, a beer-lover, who uses lots of everyday language, slang and metaphors. Listen out for:

Let’s dive in / coming in at … / head (the white foam on top of beer) / oh, blimey, that’s awful ! /

Vietnamese culturehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAi_b__l_c

To what extent do you agree with her comments ?

I agree totally // I agree to an extent // I’m not sure I totally agree // That has not been my experience // She is spot on ! // She is over-simplifying // There’s an element of truth in what she says // She’s talking nonsense !

Vietnamese superstitions:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmtyCvW9nbc

The speaker has a long introduction so you can listen to her American accent and try to imitate her, as well as learning new expressions.

Which superstitions have you heard of ? Do you believe in them ? Have you experienced any ?

What does she say about three people in a picture ?

About sleeping with your feet facing a mirror

About saying someone’s full name at night (04:15)

Wearing what colour brings good luck ? (06:00) How about, “Wearing white in your head ?” (07:24)

How about if you run over a cat ? (08:20)

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 ?

T-ARA 'SUGAR FREE' Dance Mirror Fancam HD - YouTube
I love listening to K-pop. T-ara are my favourites

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.

Starting a Business 101 - How to Start a Business

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

175 Questions To Ask Your Friends (BFF Deep Personal Questions)

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.

13 Ways to Be a Better Co-Worker

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

AS Media J.Coe 2055: Film Noir Features

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.

IELTS: use adverbs frequently, correctly and confidently

3rd July 2020

IELTS students need to know an incredibly wide array of adverbs so, with that in mind, here’s an exercise which can be easily adapted as a team game. Complete the sentences with suitable adverbs. Piece of cake, right ?

Use a thesaurus and dictionary to boost your vocabulary.

Asian University Life Concept Group Young Asian College Students ...

Word Fill

Adverbs of manner & ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘even though’

(Fast or quickly – both can be used as adverbs, fast more for speed, quickly for time e.g. the animal runs fast and eats quickly.)

Note: ‘well’, ‘fast’ and ‘hard’ are irregular adverbs of manner.

Use a positive adverb for (+) and a negative one for (-)

Example: She sings (+) beautifully but plays piano (-) terribly.

It is raining (-) heavily so I will bring an umbrella

UK weather forecast: London | London Evening Standard
WELCOME TO LONDON

I will go along with you ……I am not really hungry

……….I am not hungry, I will go with you to KFC

Grabbike is cheap …..they drive so (-). 

She failed her test ……..she studied (+)

Do I look like Batman ? Then why are you speaking so …..(-)

Christian Bale says Heath Ledger 'ruined my plans' for Batman and ...
Batman has amazingly good hearing … but not all teachers have so SPEAK UP !

We have learnt many idioms ….that is just the tip of the iceberg.

He loves music …much ….he sings (-).

She never eats the food ………she works there.

……..she speaks English very (+), she is afraid to speak to westerners.

Rosé (BLACKPINK) confessed that she used to be a terrible singer ...
She sang terribly even though she loves music

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: What type of person are you ?

19th June 2020

Free Images : person, people, woman, flower, asian, model, asia ...
Angry Arabian Businessman, Arabian Businessman Expressing Anger ...
People Are Hard-Wired To Be Kind And Generous, Says Study - Good ...
Discourage Policy and Procedure Non-Compliance in the Workplace

I feel I am …

an easy-going person // a very generous lady or man // highly motivated //

outgoing // short-tempered // kind // lazy // bone-idle ! // introverted // wise //

unmotivated // easily bored // open and friendly // stand offish // organised //

The wise son's question and answer | The Jewish Star | www ...
Seinfeld GIF by Reactions | Gfycat

Read the questions then discuss.

1 Are you organised ? Can you always find your keys, books, phone, papers ?

2 Do you ever lend people money ? When and why or why not ? Do you ever borrow money ? In what situation ?

3 Do you mind, does it bother you if someone borrows your … ?

clothes // sports equipment // camera // bicycle // CDs // money // food // computer games // project workbooks //

Is there anything you would NEVER lend ?

4 Do you correct people when their English is wrong ?

Do you correct people when their Vietnamese is wrong ?

5 You feel very ill / have the flu or a cold. Do you:

go to school or work or stay in bed ? (call in sick)

stay at home but not in bed ? (catch up on TV shops, online shopping)

put on a brave face and carry on as usual ?

Carry on but let everyone know you are ill ?

6 At a shop counter, do you try to get served first (push in) or do you wait for your turn ?

7 If you have bad food in a shop, do you complain, or just leave and decide never to go back ?

8 Do you give money to street beggars ? Charities ? Do you buy things from people because they look poor ?

9 You are shopping with a full trolley. The person behind you has just one item. Do you let them go first ?

Japan's obsession with cuteness - Without Baggage

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 4

27th January 2020

Contents

Adverbs

Conversation practice

Vocabulary practice

Conversation practice

Image result for slow computer


Slow computers

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.’

Image result for being broke no money

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.

Vocabulary practice:

Look up the meaning of these words and expressions, then see how they’re used in the following dialogue.

ubiquitous / incessant / loquacious / laconic 

malodorous / euphoria (euphoric) / sick (unwell, ill)

truly / rather / somewhatquid / brokeyou what ?

Let me shuffle through my memory 

run into / put up with / fun-filled / throughout the city 

that’s a good question / this is the worst ….. in the world !

A You’ll never guess who I ran into last night.

B Who ? I was up to my eyes in work.

A Ms Cam. It was rather a surprise. I haven’t seen her for ages.

B Ms Cam ? Let me shuffle through my memory… oh, yes.

A Remember ? She was somewhat laconic at work, but after beer …

B Absolutely ! She doesn’t shut up ! I had to put up with her stories.

A Same thing last night. Nothing changes. But it was a fun-filled night

B Where’d you take her ? Anywhere fancy ?

A We started at a street bar but it was malodorous, so we took off.

B She drinks like a fish, I recall. What happened ?

A Hmmm … that’s a good question ! I had a few too many.

B That explains it – you look a bit sick. Did you drink cocktails ?

A Oh, did we ! This is the worst hangover in the world !

Image result for worst hangover

TRY to make your own conversation using some of the new vocabulary and expressions.

Ideas: buying something / wanting to go someone / having a bad day

Activity: Plan a day out for my friends.

I have two friends arriving in HCM( or your city). They want a typical, authentic experience. Plan a day for them. It must include:

Thay Paul with Tina and Michael.
  • Breakfast
  • A museum
  • Somewhere for a snack
  • An interesting building or location
  • Lunch
  • Souvenir shopping
  • Something to do in the evening

Give tips and advice. 

How do they travel around ? 

What are their options and estimate the prices.

Try to use as much new vocabulary as possible, words and expressions.

Directions to Pham Ngo Lao Street District 1 // Directions to a city centre street.

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 channelling. Nod your head, say, “Sure,” “Right.” “Oh, really ?”

Small talk …. Try to talk for as long as possible – then change subjects:

your home town / your favourite holiday / a great place to visit in your city / some great things about children / some terrible things about your city / family / favourite hobby.

Past simple/ past continuous

Look at the house map – say where you were last night and what you were doing

Image result for house floor plans

EXAMPLE: I was on the balcony, watering my plants.

I was in the bedroom, …………………

Famous for 15 minutes

Image result for famous for 15 minutes

Pretend you are famous – your partner will interview you on: 

Sai Gon Today ! A live chat show from your work or school !

FIRST – why are YOU famous – what do you like doing best ?

Think of 6 questions. Examples:

When did you start ? When did you win your first award ? What was it like travelling to USA ? What are your plans for the future.

Who else works in a TV studio ? What equipment do we need to make a show ?

Adverbs of degree

very / so / extremely / = high, a lot

quite / somewhat = moderate / medium

Tokyo is ……….. expensive, while for Vietnamese people, Thailand can be ……………. expensive.

The test was …………….. (medium) difficult.

I ……… liked the film, but the book was better, it was …………….. good.

Free Speaking

Have you ever thought about trying or learning something new ?

Do you want to take up a new sport ? Start up a new business ?

Join up for a club ? Learn a new skill ?

Try to use some of the following phrases:

The job is repetitive ? It can be somewhat tedious.

Working everyday can have a negative effect on our health.

I feel it is not suitable for me. I am not suited to it.

My background is in engineering; I have no experience in business.

I may regret it if I don’t try – but it is a risk. Always a risk because it may be unsuccessful – it may fail.

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