As a guest in Vietnam, I am not sure of Vietnamese culture and customs. Work in teams and make a presentation to the class, explaining Tet holiday in terms of food, how it’s prepared, and who is invited to eat. Are there any strange or unusual traditions associated with Tet ?
Watch this video // Have a look at this short clip
UK London slang:
Have a butcher’s at this clip (butcher’s hook = look)
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.
“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
“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
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).
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.
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 !
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.
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 (-) heavilyso I will bring an umbrella
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 …..(-)
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.
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.
truly / rather / somewhat/ quid / broke/ you 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 !
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:
Somewhere for a snack
An interesting building or location
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
EXAMPLE: I was on the balcony, watering my plants.
I was in the bedroom, …………………
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.
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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