Past Tense: Beginners’ exercises

17th October 2020

Young Learners, Level 5 E Up 5, Unit 1

The younglings have just started learning the past tense, so here’s a brief review lesson:

London Tourist Travel Woman With UK Flag Umbrella, Telephone.. Stock Photo,  Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 108085390.

Present tense ——– Past tense

act —— acted

go —- went

learn —— learned OR learnt

play — played

read —– read (pronounced ‘red)

ride —— rode

sleep —– slept

watch —- watched (pronounced ‘watch -t‘)

win —- won

What is the past tense ?

I act in a film. Last week I ______ in a film.

I go to London. Last year I _______________ to London.

I ride an elephant. Last month I ___________ an elephant.

I learn English. Last Saturday, we ___________ English with Mr Paul.

The monkey plays piano. Last night, the monkey _________ piano.

Piano playing monkey | Playing piano, See monkeys, Gershwin

She reads a book. Last Sunday she _____ a book.

ally gong asian girl cute mug reading book inspiration milan kundera  ignorance - Ally Gong

He sleeps all day. Yesterday he _______ all day.

Sleep may trigger rhythmic power washing in the brain | Science News

I watch the amazing Spiderman. Last week I ______ the amazing Spiderman.

Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man is a great New York movie

England win the football game.

In 1966, England _______ the World Cup.

1966 FIFA World Cup England ™ - FIFA.com

New Vocabulary

plastic // brilliant // amazing // huge // freezing // expensive // however // busker

shy // wide-awake // sleepy // confident // relaxed // nervous

City centre tribute planned for Leeds busker who died in hospital - here's  how to pay your respects - Leeds Live

This man is a __________

Humanitarian superpower' Sweden struggles to house refugees as harsh Nordic  winter looms | The World from PRX

They are very cold, they are ____________

How did they feel ?

She felt _________ however he felt ________

10 Signs A Shy Girl Likes You - See if she likes you too!

He felt ________________ however she felt ______________

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep? Here's How to Tell – Health Essentials  from Cleveland Clinic

IELTS – Get your motor runnin’: fluency, stress and intonation

15th October 2020

Get Your Motor Runnin' Head Out on the Highway | Donald Trump Meme on ME.ME

Our plan for the next semester is to develop speaking skills – presentation and delivery – as well as, naturally, increasing vocabulary, colocations, phrases, idioms … in short, the whole nine yards.

New idioms

I don’t want to overburden the class with too many idioms, so these are what we’ll be using over this semester. That means using them repeatedly until they become second nature and the students, of whom I am very fond, will have another string to their bow … oh, heck – ANOTHER idiom !

Another string to (your) bow – a new skill or learning experience

bear with me – please wait a very short time (usually spoken as opposed to written)

bit of a sore point – something that makes you sad or angry

down in the dumps – depressed, unhappy, feeling gloomy

hit the ground running – to start something immediately and with all your energy

like a madhouse – a place or area that is crazy, too noisy, too busy etc

run of the mill – ordinary, typical, normal, usual, boring

up in arms – to be very angry about something, to protest strongly

you take your life in your hands – doing something that is extremely dangerous

NOW … your turn … what idioms fits ?

Lunatics Paradise: Australia's Renewables Fiasco Like Living in a Madhouse  – STOP THESE THINGS

At breaktimes, all the younglings come pouring out of their classes, screaming their little heads off …

it’s ___________________________________

Students protest against tuition fees - BBC News

Students are unhappy about tuition fees

They are _____________

You still can!': Music teacher champions adult students learning violin

She can speak five languages, do karate and is now learning violin

She has added __________________________

Yawning Girl Reading A Boring Book Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free  Image. Image 19559231.

She thought the novel would be extremely exciting.

Unfortunately, for her, it’s just a ___________________ story.

Street Photography in Austin - Assignment Chicago

Some areas of downtown are no-go areas.

You really _________________________________________ if you go after dark and alone.

buster-keaton-396846_640

Poor Buster is so funny, yet he always looks _______________________

Oh, dear …

This beautiful young lady seems to be upset about something.

Possibly something the man said is a ______________________ with her ?

Excited Motivated Multiracial Business Team Stock Footage Video (100%  Royalty-free) 1037298239 | Shutterstock

We’re going to have a tremendous success with our new product which we shall be launching in Europe, the US and parts of Asia.

We’re really going to ________________________________

Marcello Mastroianni

Excuse me, I have to take this call _______________________

Part two:

How would you describe these neighbourhoods ? I want full sentences, as complex as you can make them, bursting with idioms, expressions and Low-Frequency Words. Give your opinions – would you like to go there, or even live there ? Explain your rationale.

Old Manchester pubs and cinemas from the '60s to '90s
Manchester, north-west England
Inmueble en venta - Earls Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 | Knight Frank
Tunbridge Wells, south of London
Birmingham UK Industrial scene | Birmingham uk, Birmingham, Industrial
Birmingham in the British Midlands

Rural Retreats | Wales Cottages
Rural Wales
The Edinburgh festival is cancelled: long live the festival | Scotland |  The Times
Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, during the festival

Part three:

Practice making complex sentences, with two clauses at least, from these simple sentences.

Example:

Cinema Paradiso getting Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray release in UK – Film Stories

Johnny always went to the cinema when he was a child.

As a child, Johnny always went to the cinema.

GRAMMAR NOTE – the first word after the supporting clause has to be the subject.

We always played games when we had Mr Tony as our teacher.

He speaks English well although his written work is rather poor.

The Who | Discography | Discogs

The Who were formed in west London in the early 1960s. They are a very famous, influential bands despite never having a Number 1 hit single.

Asian Woman Selfie stock photos and royalty-free images, vectors and  illustrations | Adobe Stock

My neighbour only works in a convenience store. She thinks she is a big star. She is constantly taking selfies.

And … to end, let’s start copying some classic movie scenes:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcQBhjzqbLv-Fe17vj4O7Ep4GZ4je0erYx6AXA&usqp=CAU

The lines to copy are from 0:14 – 0.37

Here’s the first of the day, fellas … to old D.H. Lawrence … yyahhhhhhHHHHHHH … NIC, NIC, NIC, ffff, fffff … cccahhhh, indians !

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Booking a room, and hotel vocabulary.

18th September 2020

A variety of speaking exercises and pair work to help you on your travels.

 

Welcome to the Haiyatt; in China, it's not the hotel it sounds like
File:WGBC2018IN-Participants at hotel reception 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Booking a hotel room

Vocabulary:

adjoining rooms– rooms next to each other 

amenities– services, shops, transport

bed and breakfast – small hotel or a room in someone’s house. 

complimentary breakfast– free, included in the price. 

Deposit – money paid in advance 

High season / low season– popular times

housekeeping– cleaning staff 

late charge– extra fee for not checking out on time.

Rate– the fee per room per night, per person. 

vending machine – machine that sells snacks, drinks.

Are Hotels a Great Location for Vending Machines?
B&B Là Gì? Khám Phá Thuật Ngữ B&B Trong Nhà Hàng Khách Sạn

You are going to Bangkok and need to book a hotel. What questions would you have ?

Airplane Arriving To Bangkok Airport Travelling To Thailand by moovstock on  Envato Elements

How much is the rate for 4 people ? What time is check-in / out ?

Could I book adjoining rooms ? What is in the area ?

Where exactly is the hotel ?

How do we get to the hotel from the airport ? 

Approximately how much is the taxi ?

Getting Around Bangkok - A Guide to Taxis, Buses, Trains and Mobile Apps -  BEAT HOTEL

Make a list.

Take turns being a tourist and working on front desk / booking.

Language to use:

Receptionist: Greet the guest / Ask for ID (passport, ID card). Check how many nights the guest(s) are staying / Ask to see booking confirmation /

What else could you ask ?

Guest: Explain you have a reservation / Present ID and booking confirmation. Ask about amenities in the hotel and what to see in the local area.

You could check if the hotel has a laundry service // can they book a taxi ? / do they organise tours ? Are there vegetarian restaurants in the area, or banks, money exchange, hairdressers ? What else could you need ?

Now … your experiences:

TripAdvisor's Worst Hotels In The World - Thrillist Nation
Terrible And Dirty Broken Shower In A Cheap Hotel Stock Image - Image of  repair, cheap: 114694251

What was your favourite hotel room and why ?

 Conversely, what was your worst room ?

What was bad about it ? In what way were you disappointed ? 

How did the service excel ? Was it good value for money ?

Would you strongly recommend it ?

How did you find the staff ? Was it easy to get to ?

Is it in a safe neighbourhood ?

American Horror Story: The Cecil Hotel | by Josh Dean | Matter | Medium

Train kept a-rollin’: Train videos for listening and vocabulary.

12th September 2020

A compilation of train-related videos to help you improve your listening skills and to increase your vocabulary.

Contents:

Trans-Siberian Railway:

Listening skills. Native and non-native speakers talking in English. English subtitles.

Shinkansen – 10 cool facts:

Listening to native and non-native speakers.

High-speed trains in China:

Listening skills. English pronunciation & vocabulary.

London Tube at rush hour:

A glimpse of London life.

Why trains can’t go uphill:

Listening skills. English pronunciation. Science vocabulary.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train

Vocabulary for very young learners.

Travelling – The Trans-Siberian Railway

Write down new expressions / vocabulary.

Do you understand the gist (the main points / keywords)

Would this appeal to you ? Why or why not ?

What would you need to bring ?

Shinkansen: Bullet Train – top ten facts:

This is as much as listening exercise as an engineering one. How much can you understand ? Which presenter is easier to understand, the young lady or the man from USA ?

High-speed trains in China:

London Tube at rush hour:

James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?

What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him.

What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?

What do they struggle to do ?

What are the scientific reasons for this ?

Image result for steepest railroad in uk

What was the problem with James May speaking ?

James normally speaks quite clearly, but there were problems. This was due, I feel, to the speed and the amount of language. Look at this conversation analysis: (0. 10 – 0.42):

“And now, ‘Why can’t trains go uphills ?’ Well, the smarter ones amongst you will have recognised already, especially if you’re a qualified railway engineer, this is a bit of a trick question because of course, train can go uphills … they’re just not very good at it.

If you think about the topography of most of the world, this is clearly a bit of a problem. Human being can, albeit rather sweatily, motivate themselves up a gradient of around eighty degrees, or one in a quarter.”

Listen again– hear how James:

  • links words
  • uses expressions (bit of a)
  • adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses. 
  • Creative use of adverbs – ‘sweatily’ shows how words can be made into adverbs by adding –ly to the end

Think – does James need to add the clauses ? What is the purpose ? Consider the medium (TV, internet, blog etc) and the target audience.

James is speaking to a fluent, English-speaking audience, probably native speakers, or people who have lived in the UK for a long time. Therefore, they will be more used to this natural way of speaking.

This is why I recommend student put their text books down and read real English books, watch English-speaking films and TV shows and sing English songs. It really helps.

He does make allowances for non-British audiences by showing two fifty-pence coins, but his language isn’t downgraded.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train:

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3 / IELTS: English expressions

25th August 2020

A database of common UK & USA expressions, phrases and idioms for students who want to learn more, in order to increase their command of and respect for the English language. I have provided my IELTS students with half a dozen (a dozen = 12, therefore half a dozen = 6. Having said that, a ‘baker’s dozen’ = 13 … welcome to English !) idioms, but this blog is aimed at students who are willing to go above the barest minimum.

We kick off (start) with expressions and idioms, as they are tremendous fun, then move on to collocations. How words fit together is a powerful tool in learning English … huge chunks of texts suddenly group themselves into small word blocks, enabling you to predict what will be said (especially useful in listening exercises).

Finally, we wrap up with some negotiation phrases. In the next blog, I’ll give you a chance to use these in sentences, but for now, familiarise yourself with a handful of new expressions … it could be right up your street.

Alice Sara Ott - It was a very emotional and intimate... | Facebook
Alice Sara Ott – German-Japanese pianist. I recommended her to a musician friend and he said it was right up his street.

Expressions / idioms

Ring any bells ? // do you remember //

More or less // not exactly but approximately

Get the gist // do you understand the main point ?

Right up your street // this is something you will really like

Rabbiting on // UK slang, especially in London … talking too much

Piece of cake // no problem, very easy, sure

Tongue in cheek // not being serious about something

Tongue in Cheek: Idiom Meaning - English Expression Videos - YouTube
“I think Donald Trump is the greatest US President …” Do you think President Obama would say this and be serious ?

Keep your hand in // to practise something so you don’t forget how it’s done

Bucket down / raining cats and dogs // raining very heavily

Have a go / give it a bash / give it a shot // to try something

Call it a day // to stop work and go home early

Go ahead // sure, do it

Under one roof // everything in one place

Through thick and thin // together in good times and bad times.

Through Thick and Thin (2015)

To spill the beans // to tell a secret, or to share some private information

I should cocoa // UK slang, old-fashioned = I really don’t believe it or you

kick-off // A sports expression from football – means to start

tied up / snowed under / rushed off our feet / flat out / up to my eyes // very busy

daylight robbery // much too expensive, very over-priced.

on your bike // go away !

Norman Tebbit's dad getting on his bike, looking for work until he ...

to throw a wobbly // to become angry and shout and curse

Bang up to date // totally modern and new or completed all your work on schedule

otherwise engaged // busy – a polite way of saying ‘go away’

I know where you’re coming from // I understand what you are saying and how you think

to get hold of someone // try to make contact with someone by phone, in person, email etc

speak of the Devil // to talk about something and then they appear

to be into something // to really enjoy or like something or someone

to put something over someone / to pull the pull over someone’s eyes // try to trick or cheat someone

There’ll be Hell to pay // you will be in BIG trouble !

Hell breaks loose // people will be very angry and upset

I’ll give you a bell / a shout // I will call you on the phone

Knock off / to finish work

knock it off // stop doing that !

That’s proper loud // UK slang ‘proper’ meaning very – that’s very loud

Well chuffed // extremely happy

come again ? / You what ? // UK slang for say it again, please

What do you reckon ? // What do you think of something ?

Collocations

To run a business

To conduct / carry out a survey

Can I have a word with you / a quick word

Do you have minute ?

Voting with their feet

Can I put you on hold ? / to be put on hold / Hold the line

A victory for common sense

I’m none the wiser

On the button / on the money

get the hang of it

scraping the barrel

Scraping The Barrel Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from ...

Negotiation Language

Negotiation Table Stock Photos And Images - 123RF

I fail to see the relevance

I don’t see how that applies

That’s as maybe

I don’t get/see your point / I think you are missing the point

I don’t see where you’re going with this

I beg to differ

I appreciate that

You raise an interesting point

Having said that

Interesting that you say that

I think / feel that

In my opinion

I take issue with that

I don’t know about that

IELTS: How to pass with flying colours

26th July 2020

Ramones hey ho let's go youtube

Hey ! Ho ! Let’s Go ! Let’s kick out the jams with some new vocabulary from the last lesson:

disappointed (adj) // dread (verb) // spare a few minutes (phrase) // a drive (noun) // big time ! (US expression, popular culture // popular fiction or literature // prima donna

Take a few minutes to read them … THEN …

Our school is having ________ to use less plastic, as well as encouraging people to recycle.

My sister spends so much time in the bathroom, she is such a _________

If we don’t pass IELTS with at least 7.0, Thay Paul is going to be angry at us _______

Miss Julie didn’t get the job at Apple; she was terribly ______________

I don’t understand this app, can you ________ to help me ?

I was terrified of the speaking test, I was _______ it.

The Harry Potter books, although tremendously successful, are considered ‘popular fiction’. Charles Dickens or Jane Austin, on the other hand, are classified as _____________ .

My student told me about a famous Hemingway story called ‘The Old Man and the Fish’ … I think she got the title wrong … _______________ !

Never Yet Melted » Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961)
“What do you mean, ‘The Old Man and the FISH ?’ I won the Noble Prize for that book.”

And now, time to put our noses to the grindstone How to get a killer IELTS speaking score … There are four areas to focus on … they are … ?

Marathon Man(1976) starring Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier and ...
“You’ve forgotten ?”

OK, take it easy, to recap, we listen for

  1. Fluency – use of discourse markers. WITHOUT A WIDE RANGE OF DISCOURSE MARKERS YOU WILL NOT GET HIGHER THAN A ‘5’.
  2. Lexical resources – big words. Know synonyms and multi-syllable words to impress the examiner. Not to mention, a sprinkling of idioms, phrases, phrasal verbs, the whole nine yards.
  3. Grammar – it’s OK to make a few mistakes, grammatically, but what we want to hear are complex structures – basically, altering the structure of a sentence or including several pieces of by using information in one sentence by using relative pronouns.
  4. Stress and intonation – listen to native speakers and COPY how we speak, when we stress words, when we ‘swallow’ letters, our body language.

We need to hear examples of ALL the above or YOU WILL NOT GET HIGHER THAN A ‘5’. I will be furious if that happens, big time !

Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo ...

Now, look at these idioms:

It’s raining cats and dogs // It costs an arm and a leg // piece of cake // I’m burning the candle at both ends // once in a blue moon // pass with flying colours //

And these words:

Boring: tedious // forgetful: absent-minded // expensive: sky high // what will happen: predict // everywhere: ubiquitous.

How to use these in your responses:

IELTS question: What do you do in your free time ?

Staying at home is boring so I go swimming. I meet friends for coffee. If it’s raining, I like to play video games.

IELTS – style:

For me, staying at home is terribly tedious, so I frequently go swimming. It’s fun, healthy and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes it’s raining cats and dogs so I enjoy playing video games, big time !

IELTS question: Who do you live with ? Notice how we start we a supportive clause

Because I’m still a student, I live at home with my family, that’s my mother, father, younger brother and older sister. My sister is such a prima donna, always in the bathroom, always buying new clothes. Furthermore, she dreads doing housework because she may hurt her nail varnish. She’ll wash up once in a blue moon.

IELTS question: Do you often eat out ?

Well, that’s a great question as I detest cooking. Having said that, I’m extremely lucky because in my neighbourhood, restaurants are ubiquitous, from expensive sea food to affordable street food. I eat crab or lobster once in a blue moon as the prices are sky-high, moreover, I actually prefer simple, mouth-watering street food.

IELTS question: What are your plans for the future ?

Make your own answers, using at least TWO discourse markers, TWO adverbs, TWO low-frequency words AND the idiom given.

TEAM 1: Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ? (use ‘nose to the grindstone’).

TEAM 2: It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about … (use ‘burn the candle at both ends’).

TEAM 3: As I young Vietnamese, I … (use ‘pass with flying colours’).

happy asian students graduating | Luu Tutoring
Students who passed with flying colours

IELTS Speaking Practice: Making complaints, writing blogs

24th July 2020

Making complaints

Drop Dead”: Why Harassment By Customers is Spiking in Japan | by ...

You buy a T-shirt from a shop, but when you get home, you see the quality is very bad.

How do you feel ? You feel terribly …

What would you do ?

When you return an item to the shop, what do you need in your country ?

Use this video for help. Listen out for new vocabulary or expressions as well as copying her accent.

Vocabulary

I am sorry to have to say this but …

I’m sorry to say this but I am really quite upset/angry/disappointed

Perhaps there was a misunderstanding but …

There appears to be a problem here …”

I’m sorry but I’d like to make a complaint about …”

Could you help me with …?

PRACTICE

One student is an shop assistant, the other an upset customer. 

You have bought a dress but it is very bad quality. 

How would you complain ? [Be polite, speak calmly and politely].

How to Deal with Difficult Customers: 11 Proven Tips for Retailers ...

How about in this situation: 

You go to a restaurant to celebrate a special event. When the bill arrives the amount is much, much more than you expected. It looks like you were charged for extra items you did not order.

What would you do ?

Angry Bagel Shop Customer To Fight Other Viral Video Star | Putnam ...

Speaking practice 

Try to speak in long sentences. Tell me about something you like – say why you like it, but also something negative. Remember to use good discourse markers.

EXAMPLE:

I love Highland Coffee because I need damn fine coffee every morning and Highlands has a good choice as well as great quality. I can choose all different types of coffee, some hot, some cold, some with added flavour, and they come in different sizes. In addition, the chairs are comfortable, not to mention the free wifi and no-smoking policy. Having said that, it is rather expensive, especially compared with Milano however I feel the extra cost is worth it.

Now … your turn

Subjects – to help you, talk about smartphone // video games // sport // your pet // shopping // cooking // your best friend

Comparatives and superlatives.

Big / bigger / biggest

interesting / more interesting / the most interesting

Blog writing:

Your apartment block is starting a chat-site for working parents. They invite anyone to join who has both a job and children. They ask you to send a photo and give some brief information.

OR

Your apartment block is starting a chat-site for people who want to practise English

Write a short introduction about yourself for a blogpage. 

What information do you need to add ? What is unimportant ?

What kind of photo would you add ?

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Street crime.

23rd July 2020

Have you witnessed any crimes ? Have you been a victim of crime ?

What crimes are there in your city ?

What can you do to protect yourself ?

Listening exercise:

Listen to non-native speakers talk about crime-prevention in a big city.

listen for: 

snatch and grab // petty theft // tip // during // dynamic // pay attention

What should you do with your bag ?

What shouldn’t you do with your phone ?

Vocabulary:

procedure // happened // suddenly // officially  // relatively // contents // grabbed

I was walking with a friend along Pham Ngu Lao, 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 bag 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.

Could you be a good witness ?

Tell me about the first criminal – height, weight, hair, features …

What was the second man wearing ?

Who stole the motorbike ?

Subject Index: Themes, features and topics.

Subject Index: An index of various subjects, taught to various levels and age groups.

Subject // Lesson // Date

Ancient Egypt // Teenagers: Architecture & Mythology // 13th March 2020

Ancient Greece // Teenagers: Architecture & Mythology // 13th March 2020

Apple iPhones // Adult Class, Level 3 // 14th November 2019

Apple workers in China // IELTS // 30th July 2019

April 30th Vietnam // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: April 30th // 5th April 2020

Arabian Nights // Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6 24th January 2020

Area 51 // Adult Class, Level 3 // 12th November 2019

ART & ARCHITECTURE

Architecture // Adult professionals // architecture

Architecture: Burj Khalife & Willis Tower // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Architecture: giving opinions // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 9th April 2020

Art // Adult Class, Level 1 // 12 & 19 December 2018

Art: giving opinion // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Art // 13th April 2020

Art: DaDa & Surrealism // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Dali, Dada & Surrealism // 23rd April 2020

Australia // IELTS 5-6.5 // 21st August 2019

Bad Day – create narrative // IELTS, Lesson 3 // 19th January 2019

Banks // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 Part 2

Bonfire, Guy Fawkes // Adult Class, Level 3 // 5th November 2019

Bonfire Night // Young Learners 4 // 9th November 2019

Boys’ Night Out // Adult Class, Level 3 // 3rd December 2019

Bristol, UK // Young Teens // 21st February 2019

Cars // Adult pros // Adult mechanics: What can go wrong ?

Castles in Europe // Adult Class, Level 1 // 2 January 2019

Character building // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Character development // 18th June 2020

Christmas food in UK // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: food // 19th April 2020

Cinema choice // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Cinema // 9th May 2020

Cities (UK) and areas // IELTS // 31st December 2018

Clothes // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Describing clothes // 19th March 2020

Coffee in Viet Nam // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Coffee in Viet Nam // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 4

Complaining // Adult C, L 3 // 18th March 2019

Computers // Adult C, L 1 // 20th February 2019

Concorde // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Corona Virus in Vietnam // IELTS 4 – 5 // Implementing precautions // 25th March 2020

Corona Virus: news from UK // Listening Exercises, Corona Special // 6th April 2020

Countries

Australia // IELTS 5-6.5 // 21st August 2019

Germany // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Germany // 26th February 2020

Greece: land and myths // Young Learners 5 // 6th October 2019

India // IELTS: Hello, India // 24th January 2020

Japan // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6, 25th January 2020

Poland salt mine // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2

Russia // Adult Class, Level 3 // 4th December 2019

Sweden // Young Learners 2 // 18th May 2019

Switzerland // Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme:Travel // 11th February 2020

Taiwan // Taiwan: Listening Extra // 12th April 2020

Taiwan (four videos – WHO dodge, Tsai Ing-wen) // Taiwan: Listening Extra 12th April 2020

Countries (Brazil, Canada, Sth Korea, Egypt) // Young Learners 2 // 1st June 2019

Countries (VN, UK, Mexico, Russia) // Young Learners 3 // 7th September 2019

Countries // Young Learners 5 // 27th October 2019

Gather information (countries) // Young Learners 5 // 29th August 2019

Guess the countries (pictures) Signs // Young Learners 4 // 22nd June 2019

Guess the music (countries) // Young Learners 5 // 27th October 2019

Cracking codes // Young Learners 5 // 17th November 2019

Creative writing // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Storytelling // 29th March 2020

Creative writing // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Storytelling part 2 // 30th March 2020

Crime and punishment // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime & Punishment

Culture shock // Adult Class, Level 3 // 15th January 2019

Easter // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 1st January 2020

Emotions // Young Learners 3 // 6th July 2019

English for engineers

English for engineers, mechanics, science: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/category/adult-professionals/

Top Gear // Adult professionals // Adult mechanics: What can go wrong ?

Nikola Tesla (video) // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Turbulence // Adult Professionals / Mechanics Part 2 // 23rd January 2020

Enigma machine // Young Learners 5 // 17th November 2019

Entropy // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Environment // Adult professionals // Adult mechanics: What can go wrong ?

Explorers // Young Learners 5 // 10th November 2019

Family // Adult Class, Level 3 // 6th November 2019

Flea markets // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Gift of the gab // 10th May 2020

Food

Food (Korea, Germany, UK Christmas, Vietnam traditional) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Theme: food https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/22/adult-speaking-class-level-3-theme-food/

Food (healthy or snack) // Young Learners 3 // 13th July 2019

Food (Sweden) // Young Learners 2 // 18th May 2019

Food (4 countries) // Young Learners 3 // 6th July 2019

Food (Vietnamese food) // Young Teens // 27th February 2019

Fortune telling // Adult Class, Level 1 // 30th January 2019

Fortune telling // Young Teens // 31st January 2019

Friction // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Germany // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Germany // 26th February 2020

Greece – land and myths // Young Learners 5 // 6th October 2019

Hair styles // Adult Class, Level 1 // 19th October 2019

Hang Soon Dong cave // Young Teens // 27th February 2019

Health // Young Learners 3 // 17th August 2019

Health // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Health // 27th January 2020

Hotels // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Hotels // 8th February 2020

How was your day // Adult Speaking Class, level 1: How was your day ? // 5th April 2020

Idioms

Idioms & expressions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 4

Idioms: food // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: food // 19th April 2020

Idioms: a piece of cake // Teaching Notes // 1st June 2020

Idioms: are you pulling my leg ? // Teaching Notes // 2nd June 2020

Idioms: everyday idioms, everyday // Teaching Notes // 3rd June 2020

Idioms: part 3 extended idioms use // Teaching Notes // 4th June 2020

IELTS: Mindset Introduction // IELTS // 23rd June 2020

India // IELTS: Hello, India // 24th January 2020

Insults and disrespect // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Causing offence // 3rd Feb 2020

Internet // Adult Class, Level 1 // 20th February 2019

Internet use by area and gender // Adult Class, Level 1 // 20th February 2019

Information from poster // Adult Speaking Class, Level 1: information // 16th April 2020

Japan // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6, 25th January 2020

Jazz music // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 4

Job interviews // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Job interviews // 12th Feb 2020

Kindle // IELTS 5 – 6.5. Writing example // 15th March 2020

Landmark 81 // Adult Professionals / Mechanics Part 2 // 23rd January 2020

Letter ‘t’ // KG 1 // 5th May 2019

Loch Ness Monster // Adult Class, Level 3 // 12 November 2019

London

London // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London 3rd March 2020

London // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London Part 2 5th March 2020

London directions and Leytonstone // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: London // 29th June 2020

London history and architecture // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: London // 18th April 2020

London street market // Adult C, L 3 // 14 November 2019

London tourism // Adult C, L 3 // 21st November 2019

London: what to see // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: London // 22nd May 2020

London: unusual buildings // IELTS / Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 6th September 2020

Love and dating // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage

Love and marriage // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 2

Love, marriage, children // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Love & marriage Part 3

May Day – history, myth and politics //Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: May Day // 5th May 2020

Making excuses IELTS // Speaking exercises // small talk & making excuses // 12th May 2020

Manufacturing in Vietnam // IELTS // 30th July 2019

McDonalds // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Mobile phones // Adult Class, Level 3 // 8th January 2019

Money // Adult Class, Level 3 // 14 November 2019

Money // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 3

Murder mysteries // Adult Class, Level 3 // 12th November 2019

Olympics (London, Beijing) // Adult Professionals // 10th February 2019

Orion constellation // Teenagers: Architecture & Mythology // 13th March 2020

Personality adjectives // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Personality adjectives // 7th June 2020

Photography and photos // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 4

Photography and photos descriptions (advanced) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, // 25th April 2020

The Plague // Adult C, L 1 // 12 & 19 December 2018

Poland salt mine // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2

Politics // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3

Presentation skills // Teenagers // 20th January 2019

Pyramids // Teenagers: Architecture & Mythology // 13th March 2020

Reading practice // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime & Punishment

Robots in industry // Adult professionals // Adult mechanics: What can go wrong ?

Rolex // Adult Class, Level 3 // 14th November 2019

Russia // Adult Class, Level 3 // 4th December 2019

Sai Gon for kids //Young Learners 4 // 23rd November 2019

Shinkanshen (Bullet Train) // Adult professionals. Mechanics, Part 3 // 7th Feb 2020

Shopping

Shops and shopping // Young Learners 3 // 17th August 2019

Shop work (role-play) // Young Learners 3 // 3rd August 2019

Shopping // Adult Speaking Class, level 2

Shopping // Adult Speaking Class Level 2: Deciding what to buy // 11th May 2020

Shopping, haggling, role – play // Adult Speaking Class Level 2: Going shopping // 7th April 2020

Shopping (role-play) // Young Learners 3 // 17th August 2019

Shopping // Adult Class, Level 3 // 14th November 2019

Signs, symbols, icons // 21st August 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/08/21/signs-symbols-and-icons-information-and-worksheet/

Small talk // Adult C, L 3 // 26th November 2019

Smoking and No Tobacco Day // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Health // 27th Jan. 2020

Solar system & space // Young Learners 4 // 16th November 2019

Street crime // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Street crime // 23rd July 2020

Stereotypes // Adult C, L 3 // 19th August 2019

Stereotypes // Adult Class, Level 3: Generally speaking // 28th April 2020

Stories in basic English // Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6 // 24th January 2020

Sweden // Young Learners 2 // 18th May 2019

Switzerland // Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme:Travel // 11th February 2020

Taiwan // Taiwan: Listening Extra // 12th April 2020

Tallest, longest, biggest // Young Learners 5 // 10th November 2019

Technology (old) // Young Learners 5 // 17th November 2019

Tet Holiday // Adult C, L 1 // 30th January 2019

Tet Holiday // IELTS // 28th January 2019

Travel

Holiday plans (Buenos Aires, Nairobi, Copenhagen, Moscow) // A. S. C. Level 2 // 20th May 2020

Holiday projects : Bangkok, Munich, Ha Noi, Egypt, London // A.S.C. Level 3 // 9th June 20202

IELTS Project // Holiday language, prepare an advert, plan a day // IELTS // 16th June 2020

Tourism (Thailand, VN & project) // Teenagers // 20th January 2019

Traffic and travel // Adult Speaking Class. Theme: Traffic

Traffic in Vietnam // Adult C, L 3 // 25th December 2018

Travel: airport to city centre (HCM) // IELTS // 10th February 2019

Travel USA: planning // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: USA sun, surf, sand // 18th May 2020

Travel USA: 3 cities // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: San Fran, Boston, Chicago // 18th May 2020

Tuareg people // Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme:Travel // 11th February 2020

Turbulence // Adult Professionals / Mechanics Part 2 // 23rd January 2020

UNESCO // Young Teens // 31st January 2019

UNESCO // Young Teens // 27th February 2019

Van Heusen shirts // Adult C, L 3 // 14th November 2019

Vietnam

Vietnamese cities // Adult Class, Level 3 // 21st November 2019

Vietnamese places // Young Learners 5 // 27th October 2019

Vietnamese food // Young Teens // 27th February 2019

Vietnamese law and police // Adult Class, Level 1 // 5th March 2019

War Museum, Sai Gon // Adult Class // 17- 19th December 2019

War Remnants Museums, Sai Gon // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: War Museum

Weather: snow and floods // Beginners’ English, Part 2

Workplace: issues & problems // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Work-place problems // 5th February 2020

Yoga & exercise // IELTS writing practice // 25th April 2020

Beginners’ English: I was reading your blog – Past continuous

2nd July 2020

Past Continuous

15 Clever Old-Fashioned Party Tips We Should Bring Back
Talking, laughing, dancing and drinking

Subject + was / were + verb ing

I was reading a book

You were taking a rest

At the party, we were singing, playing music, eating, drinking, talking and laughing.

USES:

Something was happening in the past

When I came to class, teacher was playing music.

[The teacher was ALREADY playing]

How to Teach Children to Play Guitar

Compare with Past Simple:

When I got to class, teacher played music

[Teacher started playing AFTER I arrived]

Something was happening in the past:

Last night, I was reading the news.

Something that happens all the time OR a long time ago:

They are always shouting at each other [happens all the time].

A Wife Caught Her Husband Boarding a Plane with His Mistress

When he was young, he was always playing piano [a long time ago].

The Piano Boy: This 10-year-old's playing skills will shock you ...

Practice:

When I phoned my friends, they (play)———-Monopoly.

When I phoned my friends, they were playing Monopoly.

  1. Yesterday at six I (prepare)————–dinner.
  2. The kids (play)——in the garden when it suddenly began to rain.
  3. I (practice)———–the guitar when he came home.
  4. We (not / cycle)———all day.
  5. While Alan (work)——–in his room, his friends (swim) ——-in the pool.
  6. I tried to tell them the truth but they (not / listen )————-.
  7. What (you / do)———–yesterday?
  8. Most of the time we (sit)——–in the park.
  9. I (listen)———to the radio while my sister (watch)————-TV.
  10. When I arrived, they (play)————–cards.
  11. We (study)———English yesterday at 4:00 pm .