Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Travel talk

5th May 2020

This blog will help intermediate students develop sentence-building skills, based around the theme of travel and how to relate your experiences or wishes.

New adjectives

stunning // playful // family-friendly // authentic // world-class

New expressions

It takes your breathe away //

The ________ is breathtaking //

An unforgettable experience //

No trip to …. would be complete without …

New verbs

create // seem // include // remember // spend // demonstrate

To warm up … use the new vocabulary to express your feelings about the following photos:

Halong Bay (Ha Long Bay) - Everything you Need to Know about ...
The Insider's Guide to Organize Family Tours in Italy - Find Your ...
Nanning Dibai 7 Star Hotel | Nanning 2020 UPDATED DEALS $40, HD ...
Where to find the best Tudor sights in England - Telegraph

Make complex sentences using these words or phrases

Example: I recently stayed in a world class, seven-star hotel which was an unforgettable experience for example; the chef created such spectacular food.

Now … your turn

Tower Bridge, London
Machu Picchu travel | Peru - Lonely Planet
Micchu Picchu, Peru
Designer labels and luxury goods
Cloud 9 Cute Maid Cafe - Experience Anime in Pop Culture at ...
Cute Maid Cafe, Japan
The Ledge, Willis Tower | 10 views that will test your fear of ...
View from the Willis (Sears) Tower, Chicago, USA
How to Eat Scary Insects, Worms, and Bugs in Thailand
Trying some of the local food in Thailand
Gallery: Dynamo Performs Bus Levitation Stunt On Westminster ...
The British magician Dynamo tries a new way to ride a bus.

IELTS: Writing practice. Yoga, health & well-being

25th April 2020

Asian girl does yoga on gym carpet. lotus pose. | Premium Photo

I know that yoga and exercise are popular activities among my students, so let’s use this topic for some sentence building.

IELTS candidates will be expected to speak for two minutes on a given subject, then engage in a dialogue with the examiner.

The candidate will feel more confident with an arsenal of phrases, expressions, idioms, discourse markers, and an impressive array of ‘low-frequency vocabulary‘ (big words).

The candidate, additionally, has to employ complex sentences and well-structured responses in order to boost their score.

As with music, practice is the key:

High Quality Stock Photos of "monk tai chi"

I set a test for one of my IELTS students, Ms Nguyen. As a warm up, I asked her to tell me about a place she wanted to visit, so this was similar to an IELTS speaking test, Part 1. Following that, I asked her to prepare a Part 2-style answer about a hobby which prompted her to relate her experiences regarding yoga.

To start, we went over some phrases and sentence structure. Ms Nguyen was recovering from a slight injury: how could she phrase this …

I’m not in any pain, but I’m only about 70% recovered.

I’m not in any pain, although I’m only about 70% recovered.

Although I’m not in any pain, I’m only about 70% recovered.

Although I’m only about 70% recovered, I’m not in any pain.

Here, we replaced ‘but’ with ‘although’, and then altered the word order.

Which sentence do you prefer ?

Exercise: Rearrange this basic sentence (sample answers at end of blog)

I’ve been to South Korea but I haven’t been to Japan

Part 1 exercise: tell me about a place you’d like to visit.

{Low-frequency words & expressions: extraordinary, outstanding nature, notwithstanding}

Japan:

16 Japan experiences every traveler should enjoy | CNN Travel

I like the culture, by which I mean sophisticated cuisine, outstanding nature and kind-hearted people. Good points notwithstanding, I am not so enamoured on the working culture which seems to be highly stressful especially compared to the norm in Vietnam.

Although I really like Japan, I am currently undecided as to whether to study there or not. On the plus side, the subject, sustainability, fits in with their life ethos. Additionally, the fee is lower for international students and, furthermore we will be supported by extra classes. Despite these benefits, I have some serious concerns over issues such as sexism as well as the constant pressure which leads to a high rate of suicide.

POINTS TO CONSIDER:

Do you see how Ms Nguyen gave three examples in her opening sentence, and used the adjective + noun structure (‘outstanding nature’ etc).

Use of adverbs (‘highly’, ‘currently’).

Low-frequency words (‘enamoured of’, ‘sophisticated’, ‘notwithstanding’).

Discourse markers (‘despite’, ‘although’, ‘additionally’).

Moreover, see how Ms Nguyen utilises complex sentences. Keep these in mind as you read her second exercise:

Part 2 exercise: tell me about a hobby or activity you enjoy.

{I gave Ms Nguyen some time to prepare, and allowed her to use a thesaurus to look up better words. Having said that, there are still some little grammar mistakes; can you spot any ? Don’t worry, a few mistakes are to be expected.}

Yoga

Sống tích cực mùa Covid- 19: Sao Việt tập gym, yoga, chăm sóc da ...

Every yoga student has individual needs and abilities therefore the instructor will suggest a method suitable to our needs and requirements. This including advise to prevent us from harming ourselves or pushing our bodies too far.

To be specific, on Tuesday we shall concentrate on stretching our shoulders, neck and spine . We shall do this by adopting positions designed to facilitate this objective. Initially, I felt some soreness because it was an unnatural position. However, there are various levels and when one has mastered the first, they can progress, move on to the next.

If I have a great, productive class, I feel relaxed, calm and refreshed. Some people may overemphasis the benefits of yoga but for me, it isn’t that complicated. I find it a pleasing way to release stress from work and to keep myself active.

Otherwise, I tend to just stay at home socialising with my family, then watching my favourite documentary shows.

Yoga, despite being seen as a very restful and gentle past time, can actually be very dangerous including concussions, injuries and broken bones. Having said that, I know my limits and keep within those parameters.

In conclusion, yoga is my favourite activity as it not only helps my body to reduce stress and keep healthy, but also it is a fun way to occupy my free time and bond socially with my colleagues.

SAMPLE ANSWERS:

Although I’ve been to South Korea, I’ve yet to visit Japan.

I, so far, haven’t been to Japan, although I once travelled to South Korea.

I visited South Korea although I haven’t been to Japan.

Ms Nguyen’s mistake: in the first paragraph, she uses include in the continuous form, not the present simple (“This including advise,” instead of ‘this includes advise.’)

Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6

25th January 2020

Contents

Grammar: Modal verbs

Listening practice: Life in Japan

Project work: What to do in Tokyo

Speaking practice: Classroom activity / Just A Minute

Listening practice:

Life in Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwg5-YY4pdg

Image result for life in Japan

New vocabulary, expressions, listening to accents.

Listen out for:

‘you guys’ (US), omg (oh my god), screwed up, really cool cafes, despite, strict

Check her grammar – any mistakes ?

Image result for amazing things in Japan

Listening for information

This clip ‘7 Cool things to do in Tokyo’ has a lot of practical information.

Write down as much as you can – try without subtitles.

Include prices, opening times, locations etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3enIWRJtHQ

Image result for amazing things in Japan

Project:

You have three days in Tokyo; what would you choose to do ?https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-things-to-do-in-tokyo

Image result for amazing things in tokyo
Image result for amazing things in tokyo

Grammar

Modal verbs. When to use:

can / could / have to / may /must

ought to / should / will

Permission /Possibility / Obligation

Request / Speculation / Suggestion

Can I get a bus to the city centre from here ? Is it possible ?

Can you hit the lights, please ? request – turn on/off the lights

Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation

You have to get over 60% or Thay Paul will KYA (kick your ass !) Obligation

Oh, you must see the new Iron Man film. Suggestion

Will you help me with my tieng Viet ?  Request

May I go to the party ? Permission

You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Obligation

You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion

You should all read English books. Suggestion

Exercises:

….. I use my mobile phone in class ? Asking permission

You ………. answer all three questions. Obligation

It’s too heavy; …… you help me lift it ?

Don’t wait too long – he ……. not come.

… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?

Speaking Practice

This activity makes students speak English to each other, exchanging information and giving them practice in taking down facts such as dates, phone numbers etc.

Arrange class into small groups and give them each an information sheet. They take turns reading aloud to their group, using natural rhythms and intonations.

It’s highly probable that other students will not understand all, so they must use some of the following phrases:

I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please.

I didn’t catch your phone number.

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

How do you spell that ?

Let me confirm, your name is …

Speaker One:

Hello, I’m calling from Los Angles and I want to know what time does your office open ? I’m arriving on the 10th July so can you meet me at the airport ? My cell is 555 – 0743 – 9291. Also, can you recommend a good hotel downtown ?

Speaker Two:

Hi, this is Mr Muller from the Berlin office. We are waiting for your design for the Audi components. Could you email them as soon as possible. We have an important presentation on the 12th so we need them. 

Speaker Three:

Hello, I’m looking for … Mr nnngggg yyyyyuun ?? Sorry, I cannot pronounce Vietnamese. This is Jack Ginsberg from the Beijing factory. We cannot meet your order by the deadline. We need at least three more days. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Speaker Four: 

London calling, this is Mr Thompson for Mr Thanh. We need to rearrange the time of our conference Skype call. We must bring it forward to 11 o’clock your time. Hope that is not an issue. Any problems, give me a bell on my office number or drop me an email.

Speaker Five

My doctor told me to cut down on fast food and to cut out alcohol completely. I also have to hit the gym, go swimming and take up a sport. I tried jogging but I gave up, it was too damn hot. My girlfriend is always on at me to loose weight.

Speaker six:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

Shakespeare ‘As You Like It’ Act 2, Scene 7

Just A Minute

Can you speak for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition ?

Students work in pairs, using a stopwatch. One student has to speak for one minute on a subject but must not repeat information, take too long to answer or to speak about different subjects.

school or work / local food / Asian women / great things about your city / bad things in your city / your family / your hometown / free time

Image result for japanese english language students

Young Learners, Level 3: Final Lesson

4th September for 7th September 2019. E Up 3 pp. 40 – 41 Final Lesson 1 – 4 review.

Today is the last lesson, so a lot more writing and work books for the students. There’s also a special Autumn Festival event at the end of the class, so my planning can be quite short. I’d like to make the first part active and interesting, but also reinforcing language and grammar from the recent lessons.

Warm Up: Small groups with boards and markers. Write four things people use for eating (fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks).

Pass around four flashcards (fork, knife, spoon & cup). Student has to say:

“This fork is mine.”

Then pass it on … meanwhile, give the first student a second card:

“This knife is mine.”

Suddenly I say STOP !

I say ‘me’.

The class has to say “This is my spoon – it is mine.”

I will need my TA to explain this procedure . I will board: me – mine / you – yours etc.

I repeat with ‘you’, ‘his’, ‘her’.

Run ‘n’ write: where can I buy a shirt ? Eat soup and salad ? Watch a movie ? Play football ? Students, in pairs, must run to the board and write the word.

Mime: I take a student aside and show a card of an illness. Student then mimes the condition (headache, stomachache, fever, cold). Answer must be in the form of a sentence: “He has a headache“, etc.

Next, to review four countries about which they read last lesson. Mix up the countries:

yektyru // anapj // sirusa // omixce

Bring a globe to the class. Two students must find the four countries. Next, tell me about Vietnam:

Image result for viet flag
Image result for viet students

(Stock photo from Google. NOT my students.)

Follow the pattern in the book and tell me about Vietnam

[We’re from Mexico. This is our flag. It’s ours. It’s green, white and red.]

Now … tell me about Teacher Paul

Image result for uk flag

He’s from … // This is …… // It’s ….. (possessive) // It’s ….. (colours) .

Finally, role-playing, asking prices and identifying cultural items. Students can decide their own prices. They can work in small groups or in pairs, to make sure everyone has a chance to speak.

Excuse me, how much is this, please ?

Oh, no … that is too much // OK, I’ll take it.

Then they must conclude by saying, “It’s a present for my ….” and I quickly show a family card (grandparents / parents / aunt / uncle / cousin or cousins).

To end on a bum note (or notes) … let’s hear the Russian National Anthem … and then played by an Egyptian orchestra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOAtz8xWM0w

And now the Egyptian version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yHbAhFnfrA

And then, time to hit the books. The workbook extends over three pages, so we’ll do a little, then check as a class. A fond farewell to a lovely class. Cam on 🙂