Sometimes the best way to learn is just to see mistakes … and correct them. Look at this letter:
grammar – simple or continuous form ?
tenses – are verbs in the right tense ?
Right phrases or idioms
Every days I wokes up at between 6.00 am and 6.15 am. I always usually do the same thing namely get up, brush my tooth, put the kettle in and make coffee. Nowever, on last yesterday I getted up at 5.00 because I must to go to the airport to meeting my friend.
I had a hard time get a taxi because it was cats and dogs raining. On the airport there was so much people, all looking exhausted and depressed by the weather bad. I have never come on a plane without one time when I flyed to Ha Noi.
I seemed to wait forever for my friend. Maybe she had a problem immigration. But no I seed her and she looked very cute but also exhausted and also a little smelly.
Instead of wenting to home, we came to a nice coffee shop with great coffees and good music and also so many people so we having to waited for a sit. The coffee made us to wake up so then we came to home but first she wants to doing some shop.
I taked her to Diamond plaza and we saw many shops, a whole multitude of things to see and do. We saw beatiful dress from silk made but it was too very expensive; it cost a leg and an arm. So instead we did window shopper which is more cheaper.
Class activity. Assign each student, or group, a paragraph and see who can correct the mistakes first. Other teams listen to make sure the answers are correct.
Hi Thay Paul
I want to talk about our next class schedule. Handy for the rest of you on Sunday. I think we can study on Saturday night. I finish work at 5pm and go back home. Therefore, we can start studying English at 7pm.
How do you think about that schedule? May you think and get back to me anytime?
Thank you and hope you have a great day!
This is a real email I received.
Can you write a better version ?
“I want” = can be too strong … “I would like” sounds better, more polite
“Handy for the rest of you on Sunday.” What does this mean ?
Ask a question rather than tell the time.
Reply to me but don’t write “anytime” – give me a time (“before tonight.”)
OK … you try:
I would like to ask about our lesson time tonight.
Today, I finish work around 5 so would it be possible to have our lesson at 7 ?
I hope this is more convenient for you so you can rest on Sunday.
Could you get back to me before tonight?
See you later
Ms Na xo
(xo in the west is a friendly way to end a letter between close friends; it means kiss and hug)
Correct this text: a young lady is talking about her likes and her best friend.
For higher level students, try to rearrange making complex sentences, using clauses, relative pronouns and discourse markers.
I very like pineapple and all fruits. Because it are healthy. Today was wet very, it rained cat and dog. Sometime I read book and watches movie. My work is very boring, same thing, day out, day in. I wants to play badmington with my friend. She am very good, she play for the school team. Together, we is the bestest. She is more tall as me but I am pretty more. We likes to see movie Korean on cinema.
Upper – Intermediate Level
A teacher writes to his HR manager recommending a new teacher.
How would you reply ?
What do you think of the email ?
Could you improve it ?
Dear HR, this is John Smith. I wanna let you know of a super cool friend of mine who would be a brilliant teacher here She’s 24 full of energy and enthusiasm. I know she will be well good. Her names Agnieshzska … Agneeszka … or something like that and she’s from Poland, but her english ain’t bad. She went to high sChool and got sum exams in geography and cooking. I hope you take her on the students will love her like, yer know, lots. See ya
Activity 2: you don’t feel the candidate is suitable. Write an email back to Johnny
CORRECT THE MISTAKES IN THIS EMAIL:
[A sample answer follows the photo.]
Thank you for your introduction.
Unfortunately, We need experience teaching teacher, over 2 years. Beside, they must have degree, Tesol,… Especially, native speakers.
It’s so sorry. Ms Agnieshzska is not suitable for this position.
If you have any friends, who satisfy necessary conditions as above, please introduce to us.
Have a nice day!
Penny Lane English School
Dear Mr John (Johnny could be a little too informal)
Thank you for your introduction.
Unfortunately, we only employ teachers who have at least two year’s experience. In addition, they have to hold a degree and a recognised teaching certificate. Finally, we only hire native speakers.
As such, your friend would not be suitable for this position.
If you have any friends who satisfy the necessary conditions, please feel free to introduce them to us.
Have a nice day!
Penny Lane English Centre
NOTES: see ‘year’s experience’ – possessive
I didn’t use the friend’s name because John couldn’t write it properly !
Rewrite the following texts using new vocabulary, phrasal verbs or idioms, where appropriate. Feel free to change verbs into continuous. Correct the mistakes and use better syntax (sentence structure).
Use clauses to combine sentences about the same subject.
Use ‘however’, ‘having said that’ etc in place of ‘but’.
Incorporate any new language style you have learnt on the course e.g. negotiation language, polite language, and see if you can use alliteration (words beginning with the same letter).
Warm up: Here’s a short exercise. Try to rewrite using as few sentences as possible, which will entail employing complex sentences, linked by discourse markers. An example answer follows.
My friend will come to visit me. In HCM. I will show him city. In my city is many things to show him. Him like market. I show him market. And restaurants. And museums. Many museum in HCM. I hope he will likes.
My friend will soon pay me a visit here in Ho Chi Minh City and there is such an abundance of things to see and do, for example my friends enjoys markets therefore I shall take him to several, followed by some great local food in one of the countless restaurants. Additionally, he adores museums and we are spoilt for choice here with many fascinating exhibitions.
Now … your turn.
Firstly, this is one large chunk of text, no paragraph breaks, so organise the writing.
Avoid repeating the same word or words. Use a thesaurus to search for synonyms.
I’ve started you off with two example sentences however, the rest is up to you.
My name is Tony. I am 23 years old. I am a accountant. I very much don’t like my job. It is not exciting. Because I do the same thing every day. All day. I like travel. I like Thailand. I very want to go there. At there I can eat food spicy. I like football. I don’t like baseball. Sometimes I watch on TV football. I like very much listen music. I play piano. I play recorder. My friend asked me to be in his band but his music I don’t like. He is my friend. His music is horrible. He is very bad guitar man. I live in HCM. I don’t like sometime. Now it rain every day, very heavy. We have to live with bad rain. Every day. The traffic is bad. Much motorbikes. Air very not good. I like to shopping. I buy shirt. I have many shirt but I buy more shirt because I like shirt, I have red blue green yellow shirt and black. Today I gets email. Email is from friend. I have not see friend for long time. I was surprise.
My name is Tony and I am 23 years old. By profession, I’m a accountant. However,I don’t like my job very much . I do the same thing everyday so It is not that exciting.
I like travelling and I really want to visit Thailand where I can eat spicy food as well as seeing golden temples.
Who knows … maybe if you keep writing, you will become a Noble laureate like our writers
This blog is designed to help you with building longer sentences, and to promote the use of adjectives and adverbs. You will have to describe photos, explaining what you see, what is happening and how you react to them.
What is happening here ?
Try to write / say a paragraph about this photo.
What is happening ? Why ? What reasons do the police have ?
What is the phrasal verb? What is the police officer doing ?
Answer at bottom of blog
To extend your answer, describe what the people are wearing, how they look, the location, time of day etc. Give as much information as you can. You can arrange these in a complex sentence (two or more bits of information in one sentence).
EXAMPLE: The police officer, dressed in a light brown uniform, is stopping a motorbike which has three people on it of which only one, the driver, is wearing a helmet.
How would you describe the activity in this photo ?
What is the setting ? What is happening ? Who are the people ? What could they be discussing ?
In my opinion // I believe // I feel // (It) seems to me // I assume
They look like // In my view // (He / it) appears to me // I imagine
bring and buy sale
These are quite common in the UK. Peopletry to sell unwanted items, and sometimes the money goes to a school, hospital or local charity. It is possible to pick up a bargain. Conversely, you can end up with a piece of old junk !
I picked it up at a bring and buy sale.
I saw an old camera and thought it would work. However, when I tried it, nothing happened. I spent $5 and ended up with a piece of junk.
Have you ever been to a sale like this ? What do you have in your country ?
Pretend you have to tell a blind person about this photo – how would you describe it. Remember, also try to describe the atmosphere … it is quiet or lively, boring or exciting ? How do you think the people feel ?
Describe these scenes
The phrasal verb was ‘pull over’ – this is when a traffic cop (police officer) stops a vehicle in order to ask questions, or tell them they are doing something wrong.
In Vietnam, helmets are compulsory, furthermore, only two adults are allowed on a motorbike. Additionally, the driver will have to produce paperwork to show that she is allowed to ride a motorbike in Viet Nam … or she will be in deep water (a lot of trouble).