IELTS: Complex sentences – Practice and more practice

4th March 2021

Beautiful Asian Woman Playing Piano Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free  Image. Image 68225263.

The ability to use complex sentences, fluently and naturally, will greatly improve your IELTS score (in both speaking and writing). Therefore here’s a little exercise I used in last night’s class. Test your ability to speak in IELTS-style sentences.

Quite simply, take a basic subject and see how complex you can make it by adding information to every noun.

Show Don't Tell' -Providing the Power to Improve Student Writing

Good idea. Here is my friend Tony:

English Guy Stock Illustrations – 512 English Guy Stock Illustrations,  Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

Tony is from Liverpool. He is 32. He is a reporter. He works on ‘The Daily Talk’. This is shown on ICB network.

Remember, relative pronouns who / which / where / whose

Tony, who is 32, is from Liverpool, which is famous for football as well as The Beatles. He occupation (or profession) is reporter, working for ‘The Daily News’ which is a show broadcast on the ICB network, which is located in London, where Tony now lives.

You wouldn’t usually include so many clauses, but it is an exercise, similar to a musician practising scales. Ideally, in the speaking test, you will be able to use complex sentences at the drop of a hat.

NOW … YOUR TURN

Make a complex sentence about your hometown.

Sai Gon / Tp HCM

Travel to Ho Chi Minh City

Sai Gon: in southern Viet Nam / largest city in VN / population over nine million / many museums (such as History, War Remnants, Independence Palace) / traditional food (such as Phố) – what is Phố ? What is it served with ?

The Best Phở in Saigon - Vietnam Coracle - Independent Travel Guides to  Vietnam
Traditional Phố for my friend Silk Cords

Next, tell me about someone in your family.

Asian families dominate multi-holiday trend, survey says: Travel Weekly Asia

Who is that person ? What relation to you ? Where do they live, what is their profession ? Describe their physical appearance and personality and try to add an anecdote, to make your presentation more personal.

Finally, in last night’s listening practice, there was mention of the Hearst Castle in California:

Hearst Castle | San Simeon, CA 93452
William Randolph Hearst - Children, Quotes & Joseph Pulitzer - Biography


William Randolph Hearst, who was a very famous newspaper tycoon, lived in this castle, which is in California. Hearst was immortalised in the film ‘Citizen Kane’, a classic movie from 1941 by Orson Welles, who directed and starred in the film which is often cited as being the best film ever made.

New vocabulary and expressions:

Last night’s class produced these:

The weather is Sai Gon is sweltering and terribly humid

monotonous (mono = one) = very tedious

I don’t give a monkey’s = I really don’t care

occupation (better word for job) / profession = need to be qualified such as doctor, nurse, lawyer, pilot, chef etc

most notably = Orson Welles made many films, most notably ‘Citizen Kane’.

IELTS: Speaking Test checklist

12th February 2021

Image result for happy asian students

I have conducted a number of speaking tests recently and noticed some areas where students can, with very little effort, boost their scores.

Remember, IELTS requires you to demonstrate that you will be able to live and study in an English-speaking country.

Firstly, there is fluency: are you able to speak without hesitation ?

Secondly, is your vocabulary broad enough ? You will be studying at university level (1) therefore you should be acquainted with low-frequency words (L-FWs), while living in an English-speaking country will necessitate you being familiar with phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions that comprise the bulk of everyday language.

For some help, have a look at this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/02/everyday-idioms-everyday/

Obviously, grammar is imperative, especially the ability to form complex sentences. You will need to combine several pieces of information in one sentences, using clauses and discourse markers.

I have written several blogs on this subject, for example: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/23/ielts-introduction-to-complex-sentences/

Finally, pronunciation; this is not merely the clarity and accuracy of your speech, but features such as intonation, stress, pacing, body language, rhythm, chunking … features which are best learnt by listening to native-speakers and imitating what you hear (2).

To sum up, if you have been disappointed by your score, listen to the feedback your instructor gave you, and work on those areas.

Image result for happy african students

(1) Even if you study in your home country, many textbooks are only printed in English. I’ve known friends from Greece, Sweden and Germany who had to use English language books

(2) There will be an incredible variety of accents, dialects and linguistic features within one large city, but for the purposes of teaching, I’m referring to features that may be particular to English, namely adding the letter ‘s’ to form plurals, how words ‘run into’ one another and how less important words are swallowed, while key words are stressed.

IELTS: Please allow me to introduce myself …

28th January 2021

I Can't Get No....Oops! - Imgflip
Please allow me to introduce Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones

You never get a second chance to make a first impression

A killer, jaw-droppingly brilliant introduction will really impress your examiner as well as boosting your confidence during what, to be honest, is a nerve-racking experience, namely, the IELTS speaking test.

With that in mind, here’s some tips, advise, guidance, what you will, on how to set up your response.

Let’s take a real-life example. Last week I asked my class a simple question:

I am exhausted and need a holiday. Where should I go to in Vietnam ?

Most answers were pretty run of the mill albeit with the occasional L-FW and an idiom relating to cost (it does or doesn’t cost an arm and a leg). However, I had a former student sitting in, my Princess (you may read about her here, if you so wish: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/04/6420/

My Princess began her recommendation thus:

Mr Paul is looking quite exhausted because he has been working extremely hard, burning the candle at both ends, so he really needs a holiday to relax. Vietnam has visually-stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. Allow me to tell you about some of these places …

The class responded thus:

The Jaw Dropping, Head Nodding Truth About Authority - Lies Young Women  BelieveLies Young Women Believe

Their jaws all dropped ! However, take heart, a great introduction is, with a little practice, a piece of cake. What follows is a compendium of opening lines, introductions, and templates for you to use and adapt as you see fit.

As with all skills, start slowly then you can build up to more elaborate introductions.

Introductions:

Confident young indian muslim business woman wear hijab speak look at  camera, islamic arabic lady talk to webcam make video conference call job  interview record webinar online presentation in office Stock Video

That’s a very interesting question

Allow me to tell you about …

Well, that’s a great question

Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ?

It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about …

As a young Vietnamese (add your own nationality), I …

Well, that question is a bit of a sore point with me because …

More Advanced introductions, especially for Part 3:

Well, that’s a very complicated question …

Well, that’s a very complicated question but I will endeavor to answer

What a hard question, I may have to think about this …

I’m not sure I know how to answer that because I don’t have enough information, however …

I’m not sure I know how to answer that because I don’t have enough information, however I can think of one example …

in my experience

allow me to tell you what I do

I can’t speak about other people, but I …

Family

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly there is …

Food

I like many drinks however coffee is my favourite because …

Sai Gon has so many coffee shops, some are cheap while others can be quite expensive although they have a wide range of delicious coffee. Personally, I like going to …

As you may know, I’m a vegetarian. However, all my friends love fast food especially burgers and fries.

Well living in a big city, I have a wide choice of food, including American and European cuisine. Fast food restaurants are ubiquitous so I have eaten, for example, burgers, KFC and pizza, which is my favourite.

Well, that’s a great question as I detest cooking. Having said that, I’m extremely lucky because in my neighbourhood, restaurants are ubiquitousfrom expensive sea food to affordable street food.

Thank you for the question, because I can introduce you to some mouth-watering dishes from Vietnam. Allow me to mention just two which, in my opinion, are the most popular.

Free time / hobbies / shopping

Well, I’m a student at university, so I don’t really have much free time. However, when I’m not studying I like to …

After a hard day of (working, studying, shopping) there’s nothing I like better than watching a great movie and I tend to enjoy action, horror and Marvel films the most.

Watching films and going to the cinema is one of my passions, so choosing just one film is going to be terribly difficult, not to say impossible. However, if I have to select one film, it would be ‘Lost in Translation’, with Scarlett Johannsson.

I have to confess that one of my passions is shopping, be it at a mall, a street market or online. As a young person, I adore buying clothes, though I have to restrain myself as many items cost an arm and a leg.

Well, That’s an interesting question because I actually spend most of my time at school or studying. Most days I’m burning the candle at both endsHaving said that, when I do get free time, which is once in a blue moon, I love to just hang out with my friends, maybe go to coffee shops which are ubiquitous in my city. Although I enjoy movies, I rarely go nowadays.

Future plans

I’m not absolutely sure yet, but I plan to meet up with some friends and just hang out. We have all been so busy, we haven’t seen each other for ages. (for a long time).

Well, that’s a very pertinent question because recently, I have been thinking about where I would like to study, and the UK is certainly top of my list. I am sure there would be some culture shock, especially when it comes to the food.

Well, I’m currently in my last year of high school, so this is a very pertinent question for me. Naturally, I can’t foresee the future however, I could offer some predictions though, of course, this is just my opinion.

It’s funny you put that question to me because just today I was thinking about where I want to study. I have my heart set on studying in the USA as I have some family in Seattle, which is a large city in Washington state. However, to follow my dream, I need a high score in IELTS, so I need to put my nose to the grindstone

Hometown

Thank you for letting me introduce to you my hometown which is Da Nang, one of the biggest cities in Vietnam, although it is much smaller than Ha Noi or Sai Gon. 

Travel

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

Ah, that’s an interesting question because I really need a holiday. However travelling now is not a good idea because of the COVID 19 which is an extremely serious pandemic. So, I have to think about after, when it is safe to go on holiday.

Activities

Make introductions for these questions:

Where would you like to visit ?

Who do you live with ?

Do you like your neighbourhood ?

What are you going to do this weekend?

Check out these movies with Black actors you will enjoy.

Tell me about your favourite film. A whole blog on this may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/06/ielts-mindset-why-do-you-like-the-film/

IELTS: Vocabulary boosting & fixed expression … there’s nothing I like more !

27th January 2021

IELTS Archives - Page 2 of 10 - IELTS Academic

No preamble, let’s just dive in; how to boost your lexical resources.

Firstly, replace all your basic verbs with ‘better’ ones, L-FWs as IELTS refer to them. Thus, fifteen of the most common English verbs:

  1. be
  2. have
  3. do
  4. say
  5. get
  6. make
  7. go
  8. know
  9. take
  10. see
  11. come
  12. think
  13. look
  14. want
  15. give

Activity 1: Assign three verbs to students (individually or in small groups). They must write a sentence (the more complex the better) utilising the substituted verb. Students can use a thesaurus for assistance.

Example: ‘give

I always donate my old clothes to charity.

Activity 2: Convert a simple sentence into a jaw-droppingly magnificent IELTS sentence, employing the whole spectrum of resources, by which I mean phrasal verbs, adverbs, LFWs, idioms etc.

30 signs you have WAY too many clothes

Example:

I always donate my old clothes to charity.

I have to confess that one of my passions is shopping, be it at a mall, a street market or online. As a young person, I adore buying clothes, though I have to restrain myself as many items cost an arm and a leg. Naturally, I accrue a vast wardrobe. From time to time I have a good sort out, sometimes being quite brutal. If I haven’t worn something for, say, two years, then I get rid of it. However, instead of simply throwing them away, or giving to siblings or cousins, I choose to donate to various charities such as UNICEF, Save The Children or Cancer Research. That way, I can contribute to improving the world.

Study the above example. Can you pick out the elements that differentiate this from a basic English class response ?

Write down new vocabulary and make a point of using new words.

Observe how points are introduced, and answers expanded.

How many phrasal verbs are you familiar with ? How about fixed expressions (here I added ‘From time to time‘) which brings us nicely to our next section …

Fixed expressions  

As far as I’m concerned // I can’t wait to … //

If there’s one thing that I (love, hate, detest) it’s … // I’m looking forward to … //

It may surprise you to learn that I … // It’s no surprise that … //

The first thing I’d going to do when I … // There’s nothing I like better than … //

Activity 3: Practice using these expressions

Example: After a hard day of teaching, there’s nothing I like better than watching a great movie. Only last night, I saw a fantastic film, ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ by Aaron Sorkin who is a highly respected American writer.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Wikipedia
The Trial of the Chicago 7 movie review (2020) | Roger Ebert

IELTS: Complex sentences, Practice #2

18th January 2021

Knowing Your Lines | Pastor Bill Online

The previous blog demonstrated how to form complex sentences whereas this one will give you a chance to actually incorporate them into your everyday speech or, more importantly, your IELTS test which you will want to pass with flying colours.

Let’s dive in !

A typical IELTS question will be about your family. Time to show off your knowledge of adjectives and phrases.

Start with mother. Some positives:

My mother has a heart of gold // She is so kind and caring // She always puts others first.

On the other hand:

I’m afraid my mother is a ‘tiger mum’ // She expects too much of me // She is never satisfied with my work.

As for father:

My father is industrious and so hard-working // My father always has his nose to the grindstone, providing for his family // People say I take after my father // He is firm but fair.

On the other hand:

My father never lets me stay out // He drinks like a fish on holidays // He is a very strict disciplinarian.

Older brother:

He is my role model // I always look up to him // He looks out for me and takes me under his wing.

On the other hand:

My brother is a total slacker // My brother gets aggressive when he’s been drinking // My brother lacks ambition and drive.

Don’t forget sister:

My sister is a little angel // She has the sweetest soul // She has a kind word for everybody.

On the other hand:

My sister is such a prima donna // She only thinks of herself // She won’t lift a finger around the house // She spends all her money on herself.

Let’s extend the family: uncle, aunt, cousin etc. Remember, always be thinking of how you can use IELTS language such as idioms and expressions.

EXAMPLE:

Your uncle lives in a different city (how often do you see him ?) He has a great job, a lot of influence (an expression ?)

Tell me about the people you live with

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly, there is my mother, who has a heart of gold, I can tell her anything. She’s always working, cooking or cleaning. I would say she is the biggest influence in my life. My father is very industrious by which I mean he gets up early, every day, works long hours at his office which is very far away. However, he likes to relax at holiday time. His brother, my uncle, who is a mover and a shaker, occasionally pays a visit at Tet (Christmas, Hanukkah etc) and the two of them drink like fish ! That’s because my uncle, who lives in (a far-away city), only comes to (your city) once in a blue moon.

Piece of cake, right ?

First, decide what idioms are appropriate.

Second, select some impressive L-FWs or phrases.

Finally … it doesn’t have to be true ! We are here to check your command of English, we are not going to check if your uncle really is a mover and a shaker !

Let's go to work.

Class work:

Ask each other the following questions. Check how many IELTS features the speaker uses, and give encouraging feedback.

Which member of your family are you closest to ?

Which member of your family do you take after ?

How often do you see your cousins, or grandparents ?

Is family important in your country ? Why ?

Do you want to live in a nuclear (small) or extended family ?

What qualities do you admire in your family ?

Now … think on your feet.

Tell me about your brother, who is an actor.

Tell me about your aunt, who teaches music.

Tell me about your cousin, who wants to study at Oxford.

Tell me about your mother, who demands that you get A++ for every exam.

The Yemeni teacher who's setting up a national orchestra, despite war

IELTS: Complex sentences practice

15th January 2021

Two young Asian woman studying on the desk — Stock Photo © hans3513  #17626271

Being able to use complex sentences, effortlessly, is vital in attaining a respectable IELTS score. With that in mind, this blog is to help students practise.

Quite simply, give more information about your subject.

Extra exercises and vocabulary may be found on a previous blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/23/ielts-introduction-to-complex-sentences/

Without further ado, let’s dive right in !

Tips To Ace All Bands In Your IELTS Test - Skoolmates

To form a complex sentence, we simply need to combine two pieces of information in one sentence, linked by a relative pronoun.

As with all grammar exercises, it makes far more sense to show than tell:

10 Awesome Facts About Rabindranath Tagore Which Show His Prominence

This is Rabindranath Tagore. He was a poet. He was born in Kolkata, India. He won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913.

So, we have several pieces of information. Let’s start by making a long but simple sentence:

Rabindranath Tagore won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913.

As you see, we start with the subject (Rabindranath Tagore) therefore we don’t need the pronoun ‘he’ in this new sentence.

To make this sentence complex, we just add a further piece of information about the subject, by using a relative pronoun:

who = for a person // which for a thing // where = for a place // whose = possession

The name is clearly not English, so let’s talk about his background:

Rabindranath Tagore, who was born in Kolkata, won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913.

Rabindranath Tagore won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913 is our main clause (clause being part of a sentence containing a subject and a verb).

who was born in Kolkata gives extra information but it makes no sense on its own. Therefore, it needs the main sentence to give it meaning. In grammar, this is known as a subordinate clause.

Now – we could develop this further:

Rabindranath Tagore, who was born in Kolkata which is in India, won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913.

The first subject was Rabindranath Tagore, so we used ‘who’ to give more information.

The second subject was the city, Kolkata ‘which’ is in India.

Confusion by New Order - Songfacts

Yes, confusion ! Kolkata is a place so why use ‘which’ and not ‘where’ ?

Good question; it depends on the clause:

Kolkata which is in India

India is not a person, therefore we treat it as a thing and use ‘which’. Again, show don’t tell:

London, where I was born, is the capital of the UK. [object is ‘I’, a person, so we use ‘where‘.]

London, which is the capital of the UK, is where I was born. [object is ‘capital’, not a person, so we use ‘which‘]

Let’s get back to our Indian poet. The third subject is the Noble Prize … you could add more information here (awarded every year in Sweden).

Naturally, one could write endlessly, constantly adding more information about subjects but, for this exercise, just focus on a main clause and a subordinate clause.

NOW … Your turn

Subject (comma) + relative pronoun + (comma) main clause starting with a verb:

Rabindranath Tagore, who was born in Kolkata, won the Noble Prize for literature in 1913.

Make complex sentences:

Stockholm. Capital city of Sweden. Is very expensive. Is very cold in winter.

Louise Glück. Born in 1943. Born in New York, USA. Won Noble Prize for Literature in 2020. She is a poet.

Starbucks is a coffee chain. Company founded in 1971. Company started in Seattle in north-west USA. Starbucks is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain (information from Wikipedia).

Seattle is in USA. Seattle is famous for Grunge music. Many bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden came from Seattle.

Mozart. A famous composer. Born in Austria. Died in 1791. Buried in a common grave.

Vincom Centre. In District 1 by Hotel Continental. Largest shopping mall in Sai Gon. Has many international brands such as Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren.

Frida Kahlo was an artist. She was born in Mexico. She was born in 1907. She painted many portraits and self-portraits.

Sergei Eisenstein is a famous film director. He was born in Latvia (then part of Russia). In 1930 he began a film in Mexico. It is about the Day of the Dead festival. This festival is every year at the beginning of November.

Louise Glück wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2020
Louise Glück – Noble Prize winner 2020
Nirvana Uploads Full Live and Loud Concert to YouTube: Watch | Consequence  of Sound
Nirvana
How a Horrific Bus Accident Changed Frida Kahlo's Life - Biography
Frida Kahlo
Films > Sergei Eisenstein
Day of the Dead, Mexico. Film by Sergei Eisenstein.
Asian Woman With Thumb Up Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image.  Image 42574102.
Good luck !

IELTS: Getting across the line: how to boost your vocabulary, plus class games.

5th January 2021

A-levels: Dip in top grades as thousands get results - BBC News

Obviously, teachers don’t want to overwhelm the students with an unmanageable amount of new language. Far better to serve up bite-size pieces, then practice, practice and practice. When the language has become second nature to the students, move onwards and upwards.

The first step is to elevate your language; replace basic common or garden verbs with ‘better‘ ( that is, low-frequency) words.

For example, the verb ‘try’. Instead, we can have:

endeavour

To keep trying, not giving up, we can use:

persevere or persist

Let’s take these new words out for a spin:

This year, I shall endeavour to learn Vietnamese. I’ve tried before but gave up as it was simply too hard. However, this time I’m going to persevere.

Can you think of an idiom that could be used to show someone planning to work much harder ?

Noses Back To The Grindstone: What Will The New Academic Year Bring For Law  Students And Trainees? - Legal Cheek
This is the only clue I’m giving you !

Onwards and upwards:

buy:

purchase

get a qualification or certificate by hard work and study:

attain // achieve

to get something without the need for work or study:

obtain (you can obtain the application form in room 7A)

say / said:

exclaim // express // remark (add -ed to form past tense)

use:

utilise (utilize USA) / apply

to eat, consume or do a lot of something:

devour (He devoured the whole pizza by himself // She loves reading, she absolutely devours books)

Transform this simple sentence into something more IELTS-like:

Sarah said that if she gets an ‘A’, her father will buy her a new iPhone.

Tony says he wants to get a visa which he can buy at the UK Embassy, so he can use his English skills in London.

Mary really wants to buy the ‘Fargo’ box set. She said it was the best TV show in years and she plans to watch all the episodes in one day !

Free Photo | Happy young asian woman showing display of phone holding gift.
Fargo Season 3 DVD For Sale, Cheap Fargo Season 3 DVD Box Set
Fargo' Season 4 Trailer [Watch]: Chris Rock Has a Hat | IndieWire

Similarly, boost your lexical resources with regards to adjectives.

basic:

fundamental // elementary

hard:

difficult // challenging

tasty:

delicious // mouth-watering // scrumptious

experience:

broaden my horizons // real-life knowledge // culture shock

20 Latina Travellers That You'll Love To Follow On Instagram!
From South America to Europe

Signpost language: (To help the listener or reader follow you)

Firstly / To begin with / I’d like to start by …

Secondly / additionally / another factor is …

What’s more / furthermore / not forgetting

Obviously / clearly / it is evident that …

Moving on / I’d like to change the topic / Let’s turn to …

Finally / all in all / all things considered

IELTS Online Study Material - Sample test, Practice books, Masterclass -  Check here! | IDP Nepal

Class Games:

Put students into small teams. One teams challenges the other(s) to form a sentence using as many new L-FWs as they can. Award bonus points for the appropriate use of idioms or fixed expressions.

Students challenge each other to find a L-FW for a basic, prosaic verb or adjective. Teams are allowed a fixed time, say one minute, and are allowed to use a thesaurus such as here:

https://www.thesaurus.com/

Then the group has to use the new word in an IELTS-style sentence by which I mean, an introduction, a signpost word or phrase and, obviously, a suitable idiom (examples – ‘put’, ‘big’, ‘interesting’, ‘watch’, ‘boring’, ‘eat’)

Teams are given a mix of L-FWs, idioms & signpost language. After a short preparation time, they have to construct an inspiring, fascinating and jaw-droppingly brilliant sentence. Piece of cake, n’est ce-pas ?

One student from each group starts answering an IELTS question (travel, food, study, neighbourhood). At a given point, the teacher stops the student and another group has to continue, and so on. Monitor the correct utilisation of signpost language as well as fluency, not forgetting the all-important pronunciation features.

Quick Fire / Rapid Fire Round

Rapid Fire Round GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

What is the correct word:

To get a certificate after study ?

Delicious food is …

London is brass monkeys in January so _______ bring warm clothes.

A L-FW for ‘use’

Strange behaviour – he is acting _______

Istanbul is famous for its covered market, known as a __________

Nose, jaw, mouth … use these features in phrases

Moving from Europe to Asia will undoubtedly result in a degree of ________ _____.

The unspeakably greedy child ______ all the doughnuts !

Actor Mark Hamill basically disagreed with everything in the film script.

Two words that mean to keep trying

To watch someone or something very closely

Two words for difficult

Signpost language to be used as a conclusion

Mark Hamill: I Fundamentally Disagree... - Star Wars - Tapestry | TeePublic
I have a bad feeling about this - Album on Imgur

IELTS: Mindset 2 first review

22nd December 2020

IELTS information for Ghana students – Achilinks Consult
Ready to pass with flying colours

After three or four lessons, I expect my students to know several common idioms (their meaning and how to use them appropriately), a number of low-frequency words (L-FWs), how to introduce an answer, how to form a complex sentence and to demonstrate varieties of intonation and stress.

Without these features, you ain’t gonna get above a ‘5’, no way. Therefore, time for a quick review, see how you’re measuring up to the standard, whether you need to turn over a new leaf and put your nose to the grindstone.

Therefore, let’s recap

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

turn over a new leaf

put your nose to the grindstone

5 Best IELTS Practice Tests for International Students | ApplyBoard
Students putting their noses to the grindstone

Part 1: What do the aforementioned idioms mean ?

Part 2: Give each student an idiom. They have to use it, correctly, in a sentence.

L-FWs:

gritty / industrial / quite / safe / residential / boring / peaceful / suburban / bustling / vibrant / city centre.

ubiquitous // naïve // stroll // a bazaar // bizarre // predictable

absent-minded // sky-high, astronomical // an entrepreneur //

hawkers or peddlers // a mover and a shaker // consider //

Part 3: Students have to describe their neighbourhood, using as many L-FWs, and idioms, as they are able.

Encouraging IELTS students to read beyond the course book | Collins ELT
Students burning the candle at both ends

Introductions:

That’s a very interesting question

Well, that’s a great question

Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ?

It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about …

As a young Vietnamese (add your own nationality), I …

Part 4: Students have to demonstrate they know how to introduce their answer.

What do you want to do in the future ?

Give them one minute to prepare a very short reply.

Student Visa For Australia Without Ielts 12th Pass Students in Jalandhar,  VISA Solution Services | ID: 8848189962
It’s funny you asked me that question because recently, I have been considering moving to Australia …

Complex Sentences:

Part 5: Moving on, students have to form complex sentences out of the following information, using intonation to reflect excitement or a positive point and, conversely, a negative factor. Discourse markers to be employed in order to link ideas, naturally. Furthermore, I shall be listening for adverbs and adjectives.

First, choose the correct relative pronoun (who, which, whose or where)

London //

capital of UK // many shops and museums // expensive and cold

Teacher John //

from New Zealand // smiles and plays guitar // talks too fast

Ironman //

real name Tony Starke // very rich and intelligent // is fictional

Thailand //

90 minutes flight from HCMC // friendly people, great food // many western tourists and crowded

ABC English Centre //

located in city centre, District 1 // use laptops and tablets in classes // lessons are four hours long, with extra homework.

Team work

Part 6: Class split into two teams. They have to plan a day in their city (here, of course, it’s Sai Gon) for my friend Ethan.

The exercise can be found on this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/16/ielts-planning-a-day-out/

Just look for this picture:

Ethan Hawke Sticks Up For Texas, Reps Beto and Turns a Dead ...

Finally: review negotiation language. Watch this video and discuss your views on the tourists opinion of Sai Gon:

How do the tourists feel about the city ?

As residents, do you agree with the review ?

Students can discuss the video using the following language:

I agree totally // I agree to an extent // I disagree // I’m not entirely sure about that // No way ! // They don’t know what they are talking about !

optimistic // uninformed // delusional // open-minded // enthusiastic

IELTS: Planning a day out

16th December 2020

17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Beijing | PlanetWare
The Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

A compilation of exercises for students to plan a day out for visitors to their city.

Firstly, an example demonstrating an IELTS-style structure:

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

I show them a plan:

Introduction / First good point / second good point / something negative / conclusion

I choose Hoi An

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

Introduction: DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by rephrasing (paraphrasing) 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, furthermore, consequently, therefore)

reasons and examples why an action is being done (because) or such as

For IELTS students, ALWAYS think how you can use an idiom e.g.

I have been burning the candle at both ends, so I really need a break

I only take a holiday once in a blue moon

Travelling can be extremely expensive, but a bus ticket to Da Nang, although time-consuming, doesn’t cost and arm and a leg.

Now – your turn:

Where do you want to visit ? Where would you most like to visit ? This can be in Vietnam or anywhere … think BIG.

Women wearing Vietnamese ao dai granted an imperial favor
Hue
Getting Around Hanoi [2019] Guide to Get Around Hanoi for ...
Ha Noi
The History of the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, India
Where to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico
Day of the Dead, Mexico

Activity:

Present a holiday using a mixture of advertising slogans and practical information. Remember:

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

Make your voice sound excited, as if this were the best holiday ever ! You have to use intonation and stress.

Holiday terms:

transfers / half-board / all -inclusive / amenities / package tour / itinerary /

Language:

breathtaking / visually – stunning / sensational / incredible / remarkable / exclusive /

once in a lifetime experience / never to be forgotten / unbeatable prices / book now to avoid disappointment / best decision you’ll ever make

holidays to suit all budgets , from 7* luxury to backpacking

Structure:

To begin with / furthermore … additionally / the fact is … / therefore

Demonstration with an advert for London:

Let's visit London - презентация онлайн

Now is the perfect time to visit London, England’s glorious capital.

To begin with, the weather is perfect for walking, so you can enjoy the lush parks, world-famous museums and incredible, unbelievable shops such as Harrods, Selfridges and so many more. 

Furthermore, there is something for everyone … and more ! Like sports ? Go to one of the many Premier League football games. Love shopping ?

The fact is, everything is here – shop till you drop !

Additionally, if you adore culture – soak up hundreds of years of history.

Flights from TSN airport daily. Seven-day all-inclusive package tour starting from only 50m VND ! All transfers and transport included. Air-conditioned mini bus with Vietnamese-speaking guide.

Therefore, don’t delay … book TODAY !

Sell a holiday

Advertising vocabulary and intonation

Prepare a presentation to market / sell a holiday.

Review: New vocabulary

sensational / once in a lifetime / luxury / all-inclusive / unforgettable experience / mysterious / majestic / breathtaking / visually-stunning

book now to avoid disappointment / exhilarating / world-famous

local food / new cultures / visit our website / worth every penny

fun for all the family/ the perfect getaway /

Plan a tour of your city for my friend

Ethan Hawke Sticks Up For Texas, Reps Beto and Turns a Dead ...
My friend Ethan is coming to visit your hometown

It is his first time in your hometown. He likes history, traditional food, and he wants to buy souvenirs.

Think about:

What time to start

What to do first 

Logistics – how Ethan can get around the city (subway, bus, taxi, Grab or Uber)

Food – where to eat and what to choose. Remember, he only speaks English

Where to go (remember the heat OR the rain could be an issue / a problem).

Explain your choices

Try to incorporate (use) these adjectives:

interesting // historical // fascinating // authentic

typical // bustling // lively // thought-provoking

Mind map – Travel

I start by writing the word ‘travel’ on the board, and see how many avenues spread out from it. Start with the grammar; what type of word is it (noun) but it can be made into a verb (to travel, travelling) and the students should remember how to apply it to a person (traveller).

Then we have expressions such as ‘travel broadens the mind.’

We have this quote which introduces metaphor – the world as a book:

Then more pedestrian aspects of travel; how do we travel (transportation), preparation (booking tickets, hotels, visas etc), what do we bring with us (different clothes, sun cream, currency, sun glasses etc). How about culture shock ?

Next, what are the positive aspects of travelling (new cultures, fun, adventure, relaxation) and conversely, the negatives (delays, waiting in soulless airports, getting ripped off, tourist traps, bad hotels etc)

Pair work: students have to write a short passage using ‘although‘ and ‘despite‘ to encapsulate their travel experiences or wishes.

EXAMPLES: Although I absolutely love travelling, there are many drawbacks. Firstly, there is the cost; it can be incredibly expensive what with plane tickets and hotels not to mention having to eat out in restaurants. Despite these issues, travelling can be so relaxing or exciting, seeing new places and doing new things or simply as a break from our normal lives.

Vietnam has many beautiful towns and places of interest although I have only been to a few of them despite travel being relatively cheap in this country. We can fly everywhere within one or two hours, at very reasonable prices although some cheap airlines, such as Vietjet, are notorious for delays.

I have always wanted to visit Beijing in China which is not excessively far from Sai Gon. Despite that, I haven’t been because I am not sure about the visa and how expensive it would be to visit. Additionally, I hear some negative things such as terrible pollution and many tourist scams. Despite the drawbacks, I really want to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace and all the temples. Although Vietnam and China have a complicated relationship, most Vietnamese would agree that Chinese food is delicious.

These exercises help to increase vocabulary and confidence. Furthermore, the repetition helps to make the target language part of the students’ lexical resources.

As a break from the book work, I’ll show the class a vlog from YouTube, two tourists who come to Sai Gon and what they think of the city:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iw_K-1AmVk

How do the tourists feel about the city ? As residents, do you agree with the review ?

Students can discuss the video using the following language:

I agree totally // I agree to an extent // I disagree // I’m not entirely sure // No way ! They don’t know what they are talking about !

optimistic // uninformed // delusional // open-minded // enthusiastic

Group work: Prepare a guide to Sai Gon for tourists.

Allow students access to the class computer for Google images if required.

Include

What to see and do // where and what to eat // what to buy //

What they can do for entertainment

Travel tips

Safety and scams

Cultural differences – what should people do or NOT do in Vietnam ?

Use of interesting adjectives to describe the city centre.

Groups can then present to the class, with all students taking turns speaking. I shall be listening for relevance, pronunciation and use of expressions and discourse markers. Furthermore, I may learn some interesting tips.

 My friend Andy is coming to Sai Gon

Using ‘should’ to give advice or information, make suggestions for Andy.

He loves history … what should he visit or see ?

He loves traditional food … what should he eat ?

He can’t ride a motorbike … how should he travel ?

He likes a beer a night (!) … where should he go ?

My Thai friend is coming to Vietnam:

Image result for two thai ladies

Ms Namsum is young and energetic. She’s into (really enjoy) clubs, sightseeing and shopping.

I suggest she starts the day with a traditional bowl of pho then goes to Sai Gon centre. She can walk there from her hotel in District 1 or take a taxi (Vinasun or Malin ONLY). She will be out of the heat and has a lot of shopping choices and places to eat or grab a coffee. She could rest at her hotel in the afternoon, then go to Nguyen Hue walking street when it gets cooler in the evening. She has many restaurants in this area. Furthermore, there are many English-language menus. Finally, she can go to Bui Vien street where there are many clubs and bars, as well as many tourists speaking English.

What do they students think ? Is that a good plan ? Have I missed something important ?

Language to use:

I see your point

That’s a good idea but …

If I may make a suggestion …

I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.

For example – That’s a good idea but you haven’t thought about sightseeing.

Or

Bui Vien can be very noisy so I’m not sure that’s such a good idea for a young lady on her own.

Two of my friends, Tom and David who are both actors, are coming to Sai Gon. The students, in groups, have to arrange a fun day including sightseeing, shopping, eating and transportation. Then they have to compare their itineraries and exchange views and opinions. The students learn how to politely disagree with each and put forward their ideas and support their choices.

Image result for two english men
Tom and David

PLAN A DAY FOR TOM & DAVID

Where can they eat ?

What could they see or visit ?

How can they travel around ?

What can they buy as souvenirs ?

Where could they go at night ?

What safety advice would you give ?

What you need to know:

Both are 45-years old. They have good jobs and a good income. They like history and culture. They really enjoy good food and wine. Neither speaks any Vietnamese. They are too old for very loud clubs but they don’t mind having a few beers and maybe seeing some live music.

The students can make a presentation, and use the computer for images or maps to illustrate their plan. Then the other team can explain what they have organised, and the reasons why. I will decide which team has made the best choice.

Activity: Plan a day out for my friends.

Thay Paul with Tina and Michael.

I have two friends arriving in Sai Gon (or your city). They want a typical, authentic experience. Plan a day for them. It must include:

  • Breakfast
  • A museum
  • Somewhere for a snack
  • An interesting building or location
  • Lunch
  • Souvenir shopping
  • 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

Is Sai Gon safe ?

Can you understand Vietnamese people speaking English ?

Do you agree with their points ?

Are there any words you didn’t understand ?

Do you have any bad experiences ? Tell the class your anecdote.

Hotels

Image result for hotel london

Word bomb– what do you think of when I say ‘hotel’ ?

Image result for hotel vocabulary

Checking in to a hotel

Vocabulary:

reception / lift or elevator / single or double room / king size bed or twins /

first floor / complimentary breakfast / key deposit / luggage storage / safe / mini bar

What would the conversation be ?

Reception: How may I help you / May I ask your name ? / Can I see your reservation code ? / That’s fine. You stay for three nights ? / May I have your passport, please ? / You’re in room 237. That’s on the second floor / Thank you. Sign here, please / Yes, the lift is just over there. / Naturally, as well as a hair dryer, coffee machine and mini bar. / Enjoy your stay.

Guest: Hello, we have a reservation / We booked a room online / My name’s ….. / Certainly, it’s on my phone. / Yes, that’s right. / Absolutely. / Correct. / Just a second; here you are./ Is there a lift ? / The second floor ? / Is there a safe in the room ? / Perfect. Thanks very much

Make a conversation. One student will be the reception, the other(s) a guest or guests.

Write your own conversation

You are in a hotel bar and you meet another guest. Start a polite conversation, but you have to use your English.

Image result for two people in a hotel bar

Greet each other

Why are you in this city ? (holiday or on business)

Offer to buy a drink (accept or decline – maybe you don’t drink alcohol)

How long are they staying ? What do they think of the hotel ? What can they do in the area around the hotel ?

Small group work

You are two married couples who meet on a tour and are staying at the same hotel OR you are on a business trip and meet some other business people.

Use the following sentences, as well as your own, to make a conversation. try to keep speaking for as long as possible by using small talk techniques (oh, really / that’s interesting / tell me more / what do you do exactly ? / where is that ? / Sounds interesting)

Image result for young people meeting in a hotel
Image result for people meeting in a hotel

My wife and I are delighted to meet you

Shall we go to the bar or cafe ?

Can offer name first (I’m Simon, what’s your name ?)

Would you fancy a drink … ?

Is there anywhere special to do here ?

Sorry, I have to get my head down, it’s been a long flight (I need to sleep).

My colleague and I were going out to eat.

I fancy a beer or something alcoholic 

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t ask where you are from.

Reasonable (cheaper)

Would you like to join us ?

Peckish (little hungry)

What do you think of these hotel rooms ?

What do you think of the design ?

Would you like to stay in any of these ? Why, or why not ?

How much do you think they cost per night ?

Bangkok

Image result for cheap  hotel Bangkok

Korea

Image result for love hotel seoul

Ice hotel, Sweden

Image result for ice hotel sweden china

Backpacker hostel, Indonesia

Image result for overcrowded hostel

Subject Index: Themes, features and topics

4th December 2020

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

Subject // Lesson // Date

Online lesson rules // 11th February 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/11/lockdown-lessons-a-respectful-reminder/

Ancient Egypt & Ancient Greece // Teenagers: Architecture & Mythology // 13th March 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/13/teenagers-architecture-and-mythology/

Animal superlatives (longest, smallest) // Young Learners, Level 4 // 24th November 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/24/young-learners-level-4-longest-heaviest-shortest-lightest/

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

Art: types of art // Young Learners, level 4 (Dali, Alice in Wonderland) // 16th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/16/young-learners-level-4-art-for-arts-sake/

Art: Being Creative // Young Learners, level 4 // 1st May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/01/young-learners-level-4-be-creative/

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

Bonfire Night // Young Learners, Level 4 // Safety First // 29th October 2020

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

Children: gifted // Young Learners, Level 4 // Talk show (Peter O’Toole) // 30th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/30/young-learners-level-4-what-does-the-future-hold-and-a-repeat-of-the-late-show/

Christmas for Young Learners // food, traditions and activities // 18th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/18/young-learners-a-christmas-compendium/

Christmas in Germany & UK // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 20th December 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2/

Cinema choice // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 20th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2/

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

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

Clothes – types and materials // Young Learners // 11th November 20202: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/11/young-learners-level-2-i-would-go-out-tonight-but-i-havent-got-a-stitch-to-wear/

Clothes // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Describing clothes // 19th March 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/03/19/adult-speaking-class-level-2-describing-clothes/

Clothes – expressing opinions // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // Extended personality exercises // 20th June 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2-extended-personality-exercises/

Coffee in Viet Nam // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 20th December 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2/

Coffee in Saigon (exercise, idioms & dialogue) // 7th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/07/coffee-in-sai-gon/

Coffee, cooking & Tet Holiday // 1st February 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/01/adult-speaking-class-level-2-coffee-cooking-and-cuisine/

Complaining // Adult Class, Level 3 // 18th March 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/03/18/adult-class-level-3-sharks-and-dragons/

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

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

Amazon Rain Forest // Young Learners, Level 5 // 19th October 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/10/19/young-learners-level-5-amazon-rain-forest-quiz-and-comparisons/

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 // 20th December 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2/

Poland salt mine // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2

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

Sweden // Young Learners, Level 2 // 18th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/17/young-learners-level-2-focus-on-sweden/

Sweden // Young Learners, Level 2 // continuous verbs & home furnishings // 31st December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/31/young-learners-level-2-what-are-they-doing-in-sweden/

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

Around the world in 80 minutes // (Brazil, Canada, Sth Korea, Egypt) // Young Learners, Level 5 // 26th July 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/07/26/adult-speaking-class-level-1-young-learners-level-5-around-the-world-in-80-minutes/

Around the world – collecting information // (Brazil, Canada, Egypt, South Korea) // Young Learners, Level 6 // 6th January 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/06/young-learners-level-6-collecting-information-making-a-presentation/

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

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

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

City itinerary project (London, Rio, Barcelona, Seoul) // Young Learners, Level 6 // 10th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/10/young-learners-level-6-travel-journal-project/

Gather information (countries) // (Brazil, Canada, Sth Korea, Egypt) // Young Learners, Level 5 // 25th August 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/08/20/young-learners-level-5-feelings-nothing-more-than-feelings/

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

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

Cracking codes // Enigma machine // 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/

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

Enigma machine // Young Learners 5 // 17th November 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/16/young-learners-level-5-cracking-the-enigma/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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/

Christmas food in UK // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: food // 19th April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/19/adult-speaking-class-level-3-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

Food (what do you want ?) // Young Learners 2 // Review and Buster Keaton // 30th October 2020

Food (McDonalds) // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 20th December 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/adult-speaking-class-level-2/

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

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

Future & creative jobs // Young learners, level 4 U 7 // 30th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/30/young-learners-level-4-what-does-the-future-hold-and-a-repeat-of-the-late-show/

Hair styles // Adult Class, Level 1 // 14th October 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/10/14/adding-adjectives-increasing-interest/

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

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

Hometown & neighbourhood // IELTS // My Hometown // 28th October 2020

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

Hotels booking a room and vocabulary // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3 // 18th September 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/18/adult-speaking-class-level-3-2/

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

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

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

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: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/18/adult-speaking-class-level-2-london-an-architectural-history/

London plan an itinerary // Young Learners, Level 6 // 26th November 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/26/young-learners-level-6-london-itinerary/

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 marriage // condensed lesson // 28th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/28/love-and-marriage-the-best-bits/

Love and marriage // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 11th January 2020 Theme: Love & marriage: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/11/adult-speaking-class-theme-traffic/

Love and marriage // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2. Theme: Love & marriage Part 2: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/12/adult-speaking-class-theme-love-marriage-part-2/

Love, marriage, children // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 13th January 2020 Theme: Love & marriage Part 3: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/01/13/adult-speaking-class-theme-love-and-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

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

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

Money // Plan a luxury day // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 3: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/14/adult-class-level-3-cant-buy-me-love/

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: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/25/adult-speaking-class-level-2-talk-about-your-friends/

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

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

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

Shopping

Shopping // compilation of blogs for adult classes // 14th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/14/shopping-vocabulary-speaking-exercises-fixed-prices-fixed-expressions/

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

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

Shopping // buying presents, Black Friday, conversation practice // Adult Speaking Class, level 2 // 20th December 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/12/20/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: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/07/adult-speaking-class-level-2-going-shopping-looking-for-a-bargain/

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

Shopping (role play) //Can’t buy me love // Adult Speaking Class, Level 3 // 14th November 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/14/adult-class-level-3-cant-buy-me-love/

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

Small talk // Adult Class, Level 3 // 26th November 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/11/26/adult-class-level-3-a-diva-moi/

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

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

Space & science // Young Learners, Level 4 // 6th June 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/06/06/young-learners-level-4-can-you-hear-me-major-tom/

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

Stereotypes // Adult C, L 3 // 19th August 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/08/16/adult-class-level-3-class-1-stereotypes/

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

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

Superheroes – Captain Vietnam // Young learners, Level 5 // 13th December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/13/captain-viet-nam-superheroes-by-super-kids/

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

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

Tet Holiday // Adult Class, Level 1 // 30th January 2019

Tet Holiday // IELTS // 28th January 2019

Train facts, videos & information // Train kept a-rollin’ // Adult Class Level 3 // 12th September 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/18/adult-speaking-class-level-3-2/

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: On vacation // Young Learners, Level 4 U 8 // 15th June 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/06/14/young-learners-level-4-this-is-the-best-part-of-the-trip/

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 Class, Level 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

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

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

Vietnam largest cave // Hang Soon Dong cave // Young Learners, Level 5 // 18th November 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/18/young-learners-level-5-what-are-you-doing-how-do-you-feel/

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

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

Weekend plans: lies and exaggerations // vocabulary and activities // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 21st December 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/21/adult-speaking-class-level-2-how-was-your-weekend/

Wi-Fi and mobile phones (Green Bank, USA) // Adult Speaking Class, Level 2 // 1st March 2012: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/03/01/adult-speaking-class-level-2-maintain-radio-silence/

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

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