Phrasal verbs and collocations: The next level. Dialogue practice

15th June 2020

General English - Shakespeare | British Council

This level of English is for students who live, or plan to live, in English-speaking countries.

I advise my students to learn Standard English, as that will help them to communicate with other non-native speakers. Clarity in both pronunciation and meaning is paramount (of most importance).

However, that is NOT how everyday people speak in everyday situations. Therefore, here’s a set of examples and new vocabulary that you will need. Furthermore, you will feel more confident, using the language and vernacular of those around you.

Dialogue practice

phrasal verbs / collocations / idioms / adverbs

vocabulary:

fond – to like something.

more than likely = very probably, about 90% sure. 

sip – to drink a very little.

rival – competitors 

Two friends are athletes meet each other Stock Video Footage ...

A: Hi, how’s it going with you ?

B: It’s going incredibly well today. I want to celebrate. Fancy a beer ?

A: I’m not so fond of beer, I prefer coffee. How does that sound ?

B: Brilliant ! Highlands or Coffee bean ? Which one ? I can’t make up my mind.

A: Is Highlands far ? They are Vietnamese, a rival to the American company.

B: It’s quite far. We ‘ll have to take a taxi. More than likely it will rain.

A: Let’s get a move on before it rains cats and dogs. 

B: Too right ! We’ll have to give up getting a taxi once it rains. Let’s go !

At the coffee shop

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A: Watch out! The coffee’s incredibly hot. Just sip it. What are you up to now ?

B: Just texting the office. They seem rather busy. 

A: You should take a break. Tell them to just do their best.

B: Hold your horses… there ! Finished. Piece of cake.

A: You want some cake ?

B: No, hahaha. ‘Piece of cake’… means no problem. Having said that …

A: Right ! The cakes look amazingly tasty. Shall we … ?

They buy two gloriously large cakes

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A: Let’s dive in ! Wow … I must admit, this is remarkably good. How’s yours ?

B: I think it’s too big for me. Let me try some … oh, blimey, that’s awful !

A: Yes, afterwards, we’ll need to work out. 

B: A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips !

A: Do you have a minute ? I’d like to go over something with you.

B: Sure, what’s on your mind ?

A: Which video do you think is better for the students ? We need to inspire them.

B: This one looks good … oh, hold on … the vocabulary is very difficult … good !

NOW … YOUR TURN

Write a short dialogue scene about planning a holiday

1: Have you decided where to go on holiday ?

2: No, I haven’t made up my mind yet.

1: Well, have you thought about …

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Two friends talking in Nigeria

Idioms Part 3: All above board, nothing under the table.

4th June 2020

Time to put your money where your mouth is !

We’ve had two previous posts chockablock with idioms. Now, when push comes to shove, can you use them in your everyday English. Remember, those studying for IELTS will get extra points by demonstrating a knowledge of idiomatic language … so pull your finger out and put your nose to the grindstone.

This is an extended dialogue sequence. Practice the idioms and intonation and stress. You may wish to try short sections first, before attempting the whole exercise.

Hello, how’s your day been ?

Oh, so-so. And you ? Did you finish off the reports ?

Yes, more or less. 

You better make sure they’re finished. You know what the Director’s like.

I know. If things aren’t done, all hell breaks loose !

Better keep on his good side. What else do you need to do ?

File some invoices, send off some emails and I need to get hold of Anna in HR.

I think she’s off sick today. 

That’s a pity. Did you finish the wages ?

Yes, piece of cake ! Now I’m going through all the bank statements for the last quarter.

Not cooking the books I hope. Are we still going out tonight ?

Oh, sorry, I can’t know. Something’s come up.

What ? I thought you wanted to see the film. Johnny Depp’s in it.

I know, but I have to work late. Why don’t you ask the Director ? He’s really into cinema.

I don’t think so !

Why not ? He’s such a charming man.

Well, I beg to differ. He’s an old windbag and he drinks like a fish !

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Mr Johnny Depp
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My manager drinks like a fish
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A charming man
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Talk, talk, talk … what an old windbag !

Adult Class, Level 2: Dialogue practice.

4th June 2020

ปักพินในบอร์ด Stock photos ☆

A sample of different speaking situations to help you practice:

Past simple

Idioms

Picture description

Going to a bank

Coffee shops

Talking about your children

Easter in UK

Elderly people talking - The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Simple Past

To kick off, two friends, Kim & Lyn are catching up, asking what they have done recently.

Kim Good evening, how are you ?

Lyn Very well, thank you. Long time no see.

Kim Yes, I’ve been out and about.

Lyn Really ? What did you do ?

Kim Well, I found a great restaurant in District 1. I went there with Peter and Jenny. We tried food from England. 

Lyn Yes, I heard about it. I got an email from Mary. What did you eat ?

Kim We ate roast beef and potatoes, and drank lots of hot, sweet tea.

Lyn Wonderful! Did you try the beer ?

Kim You know beer’s not my cup of tea !

Lyn How about Peter ?

Kim Oh, my goodness, he drank so much. He nearly fell over. What he didn’t drink, Jenny finished off.

Lyn I didn’t know she drank.

Kim She drinks like a fish. I spoke to Mary as well. She went to Thailand and brought back some gifts. The children loved them.

Lyn She is very sweet. I began to write her an email but then Peter phoned me. Would you like some tea ?

Kim Oh, now you are like an Englishperson.

Lyn Certainly !

Idiom: bear with me = wait a little time / a few minutes / a moment

Describe what you see in this photo. Use as many adjectives as you can.

I notice a lack of adjectives and adverbs in my students’ speech; they are able to complete abstract exercises, but I want to hear them incorporate what they’ve learnt into everyday talk, a natural feature. Therefore, the best way is practice … and practice.

Tell me what you see in the above photo. Adjectives can apply to what YOU think of the ladies (beautiful, gorgeous, plain, ugly), their age, origin, size, hair, clothes. However, I want to hear sentences.

Example: The gorgeous young Asian lady with the long black hair, is wearing a cute floral dress

(floral = flower pattern)

Now, verbs … describe their actions

Subject first; do NOT start with ‘She,’ or ‘They.’

Where are they ? What are they doing ? What have they been doing ?

How are they dressed ? How do they look (emotions)

What do you think they are talking about ?

Conversation practice Bank

Two friends are in a coffee shop

Cath This is a great cup of coffee ! Ok, what shall we do next ?

Di I have to run to the bank. I need to deposit some money.

Cath Good idea, I want to use an ATM. I also need to buy some dollars.

Di You can check the exchange rate at my bank. It’s not far, we can walk.

Cath Oh, I love your earrings. They are so cute. Mine are so ordinary !

Di No, yours are sweet. Mine look valuable but they are fake.

Cath Really ? They look amazing. A very unique design.

Di So kind. OK, have you finished your coffee ?

Cath Bear with me … oh, no … it’s started raining cats and dogs !

How many adjectives can you see ?

Speaking practice:

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Pam Your daughter is gorgeous. Like an angel. She looks like you.

Uma Yes, but she takes after her father. She is very grumpy when she’s tired or hungry.

Pam My son is usually very good, he sleeps like a log, but now he’s teething.

Uma Ahhh, poor little thing but it will pass. Does he still keep you up at night ?

Pam Well, a little but not too much. I give up reading or watching films.

Uma I get it ! We have a reading group. Sounds good ?

Pam Hmmm … let me think about it and get back to you. OK, I must run … bye.

Speaking practice:

100 Instagram Captions for Friends - Cute BFF Caption Ideas for Insta

Bea What a day ! It was non-stop. No time to think. I need some coffee

Lyn Here you are. Tell me all about it, from start to finish.

Bea Firstly, I overslept, so I had to jump in the shower and skip breakfast. I was grumpy.

Lyn You ? No, you are always so sweet. Nearly always haha.

Bea Then I nearly got into an accident with some stupid Grabbike man.

Lyn Oh, some are so nice but others are total idiots !

Bea Exactly. Afterwards, my computer crashed at work and my boss yelled at me

Lyn What a terrible day. Now you need some coffee and a big piece of pie.

Speaking practice:

Aldi to donate almost half a million easter eggs to local ...

Nina Have you seen this western tradition ? They give chocolate eggs at Easter.

Eva Are you serious ? I adore chocolate. Who gives them ?

Nina Well, parents give to children, husbands give to wives, boyfriends to girlfriends.

Eva I haven’t seen them. Can you tell me about them ?

Nina Sure, it’s a large piece of chocolate shaped like an egg.

Eva I like the sound of that. A giant chocolate egg, sounds like heaven.

Nina That’s only part of it. Inside the egg, there are more chocolates.

Eva Ok, next year I am going to England. I will eat like a pig. A chocolate pig !

Easter in uk