IELTS: Mindset, introduction lesson

23rd June 2020

Preparation Offline | IELTS Asia | British Council

A new class, so I have to assess their ability, motivation and potential.

Let’s kick off with a Family Fortune game – I give writing boards to the class, arranged in small groups, and ask for four answers to basic questions.

Example : Four places I’ve been to in Viet Nam / Four things I love about Viet Nam / Four things I hate / Four instruments I can play / Four languages I can speak. To test general knowledge, Four countries in Asia or capital cities / Four countries in Europe / Four cities in the USA

Next up, I want to get the class speaking as soon as possible so, they can interview each other asking basic questions. No one speaks alone, so this helps to cover any shyness as all the class are speaking at the same time.

Why are you studying IELTS ? /

Do you think IELTS will be difficult ? / Why ?

Do you use English at school or work … how ? /

What do you do in your free time ? /

What do you do or what do you study ? /
Would you like to live in USA or UK ?

Moving on, time to explain the importance of sentence building. We would expect new IELTS students to be able to speak quite fluently, in reasonable long sentences. If students answer in four words or under, or even single words, then the teachers know we have a ‘difficult’ class.

To give an example, I’ll introduce a standard IELTS-style question:

Where would you like to visit in Viet Nam (or your own country) and why ?

Example Answer:

I show them a plan:

Introduction / First good point / second good point / something bad / conclusion.

I choose Hoi An

Hoi An: Vietnam's most charming city - Exoticca Blog

Introduction: DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by repeating or rephrasing the question:

Vietnam has many beautiful places but my choice would be Hoi An.

First Good Point:

Firstly, Hoi An is a historical city with a wonderful Japanese bridge and lovely old shops. At night, the shops use romantic lanterns.

Second Good Point:

Hoi An is close to Da Nang, so I can fly there easily and quickly. There are many things to see and do in the local area.

Now, something negative

HoweverHoi An is very small and can be extremely crowded in summer. Maybe it will be difficult to find a hotel or a table at a good restaurant.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Hoi An is a very special place to visit because it is a town of Vietnamese culture.

How to build sentences:

Use adjectives to describe nouns (beautiful, historic, romantic)

adverbs to describe adjectives and verbs – give more information (very, easily)

opinion phrases (in my opinion)

linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative – discourse markers (however)

reasons why an action is being done (because)

Now – your turn:

Where do you want to visit ? This can be in Vietnam or anywhere.

Women wearing Vietnamese ao dai granted an imperial favor
Hue
Getting Around Hanoi [2019] Guide to Get Around Hanoi for ...
Ha Noi

Finally, to test knowledge of occupations and personality adjectives, I will show the class photos of five friends and elicit their opinions. https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2018/12/28/friends-men-teaching-sheet/

At IELTS level I would expect the students to form basic sentences such as:

“In my opinion, he is … “

“For me, he looks like … “

“He seems to be a … “

It will probably be a mixed-ability class, so I shall encourage the top learners, asking them to describe the photos, using as many adjectives and adverbs as they can.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: talk about your friends

25th April 2020

Theme: photographs

Photographer asian woman taking photos with camera professional ...

Asking questions

what // who // where // when // why

1 _When/Where_ was it taken?

2 _____________ are they?

3 _____________ took the picture?

4 _____________ do you keep the photo?

5____________ kind of camera have you got?

6 _____________ are they doing?

Photo 1

Teaching Note: This could be used as a listening exercise. Read out the following information, then elicit answers. A simple test helps to build confidence, especially as IELTS listening can be very demoralising.

One of my favourite photos is of my friend Peter, who lives in Birmingham, England.

His wife took the photo last March. Peter is playing bass guitar in a studio. It looks like he is having fun. He plays in a band called ‘The Deep Six’.

I keep this photo on my computer in a file called ‘Music in Birmingham’.

What is the name of my friend ?

Where does he live ?

What guitar does he play ?

What is the name of his band ?

Where do I keep this photo ?

Photo 2

Man pops into Wetherspoons for quick pint - but ends up with £700 ...

Activity 1: The student have to practice forming questions by asking me about the photo.

Activity 2: Read out the following information, then make a contest, who can answer first.

These are two of my friends, Mark and Tony. Mark is on the left, with the curly blonde hair and beard, Tony has short dark hair.

I took this photo last time I was in London, Christmas 2019 at my local pub.

Mark, who has tattoos on his arms, was in the army and now has a security firm (company) in the centre of London. Tony, on the other hand, lives from day to day, he does odd jobs, maybe some painting, maybe some construction, maybe some security work. He likes to gamble on horses, which is a popular activity in the UK.

I shot this on my iPhone and keep it because I live very far from my friends so can’t meet them very often.

As you can see, they are drinking beer, laughing and generally having a very happy time.

Photo 3

Now we progress, giving the information in a different order and with alternate vocabulary.

I Have The Best Brother And Sister Adult Tees

In this photo, which I was sent by email, we can see my London neighbour Arif and his sister Rita. It made me smile, because the T-shirts are ironic; they just don’t get on at all, in fact they fight like cat and dog.

Arif told me that their mother bought the shirts as a joke, and to make the point that living with them is driving her crazy. All the shouting and arguing, non-stop, 24/7.

Rita’s best friend Suzy was trying out her new camera, a Canon, and asked them to pose for her. The situation is getting complicated because Suzy likes Arif but Rita will be livid if her best friend starts dating her brother. I only received the email last week so I don’t know what is happening now.

I miss both of them, they are so friendly and funny. Arif always helps if I have a computer problem, as he works in IT, while Rita brings me special Indian food, knowing that I love spicy curry. Although she is a marvellous cook, she wants to be a business lady, a ‘mover and a shaker’. I’m sure she will do well, she is very determined and forthright. Maybe too much at times, she hates being contradicted or corrected.

Arif, who sent the email, informed me that after the photo, Rita left the room, changed clothes and threw the T-shirt away. That is so typical of Rita !

1 How did I get this photo ? // 2 Who sent it to me ? // 3 Who took the photo ?

4 Who are they and what is their relationship // 5 What is Arif’s job ?

6 What type of camera was used ? // 7 Describe Rita’s personality

8 If I wanted a physical copy of the photo, I would need to … what ?

Class exercise:

Ask students to bring in a photograph which can be talked about it in class.

We are currently using Zoom for online teaching, so students could share photos from their computer and then get a conversation going. Encourage students to elicit more information and to push each other to speak more.

Obviously, only suggest this, as some students may be shy about sharing personal information