Musicians we have recently lost

16th May 2020

Recently we have seen the passing of a number of musicians, some directly or indirectly as a result of COVID-19. This is a short tribute to those artists.

R.I.P.

Bill Withers (July 4th 1938 – March 30th 2020)

Remembering Bill Withers With 5 Great Live Performances | Pitchfork

Bill was a singer – songwriter, famous for such hits in the early 70s as ‘Lovely Day,’ ‘Lean on Me,’ and one of my all time favourites, ‘Ain’t no Sunshine.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CICIOJqEb5c

Lee Konitz (October 13th 1927 – April 15th 2020)

Jazz innovator Lee Konitz has died of Covid-19 at age 92 – The ...

Lee was a composer working in the Jazz field, and played alto saxophone. Famously, Lee played on ‘Birth of the Cool’ by Miles Davies in 1949, as well as on the ‘Miles Ahead’ album of 1957. In addition, Lee made dozens of albums as leader, playing alongside Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams & Jimmy Giuffre … to name just three.

If you wish to hear him, I’d recommend this live LP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpb-gh5-Dqs

Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers (March 29th 1949 – May 3rd 2020)

The Stranglers' keyboard player Dave Greenfield dies after testing ...

Dave was the keyboardist in the English punk band The Stranglers, whom he joined in 1975 and played with until his death. His playing can be heard on their biggest hit, ‘Golden Brown’ which reached number 2 in the charts in 1982: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-GUjA67mdc

Little Richard ( December 5th 1932 – May 9th 2020)

Little Richard, piano-pounding music icon, dies at 87

Richard Wayne Pennieman was one of the original rock ‘n’ rollers, and was a true original in his performances, his clothes and his stage presence. Little Richard is even credited with advising the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, how to sing. This is one of his most iconic songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj059o9OwqY

Thank you all for everything.

We will miss you but never forget you xo

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 3

16th January 2020

Contents

Grammar / third conditional

Listening Practice / TOEIC

Money

Speaking practice

Speaking skills

Vocabulary

Grammar: 3rd Conditional

I was very hungry but too lazy to cook, so I went out to grab a bite to eat.

I thought I’d try the new pho restaurant. 

I, obviously, ordered pho bo.

However, after I had eaten 

I saw the chef !

If I had known the chef was filthy, I wouldn’t have eaten there !

This is the 3rdconditional. 

Something that happened in the past BUT you can’t change it now.

If I had known the film was so bad, I never would have gone !

If he had bought his wife flowers, she wouldn’t have been angry at him

If they had studied English, they would have passed the test.

Listening Practice

TOEIC test:https://www.examenglish.com/TOEIC/TOEIC_listening_part3.htm#

TOEIC test: https://www.examenglish.com/TOEIC/TOEIC_listening_part4.htm

New vocabulary: accurate/ correction / administration

Money

Verbs for things you can do with money:

spend / lose / waste / save / make / invest / forge / donate / pay / worship

I go to work to …….. money.

She always ………… money to charity.

He …………. money buying property

The police caught the man who was ……….. money.

Some people think the iPhone X is a ………. of money.

King James Bible
“For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

Many people over the years have tried to buy the Mask of Tutankhamen from the Egyptian Museum, but unsurprisingly the authorities here believe it is priceless so they won’t sell it 

Image result for tutankhamun mask

Ebenezer Scrooge was such a stingy man, so much so that in English, we sometimes use the word Scrooge to describe people with this characteristic (who are like this). A miser is someone who hates spending any money.

Image result for ebenezer scrooge

He spent a lot of money on what he thought was a gold watch but when he had it valued, it turned out to be worthless. 

I sometimes disagree with stall holders, so I haggle which sometimes gets the price down 

Big companies like Pepsi make a killing. They should put their prices down. I sometimes like to splash out on new clothes, but not very often 

When I was a student I didn’t have enough money to live on so I took out an overdraft at the bank. I paid it all off in the end (finally)

The men were sent to prison for forgery, that is, making counterfeit money

Speaking practice:

  1. This dialogue has a lot of expressions and phrases.

Joe Hi Bill. Why so glum ? You look down in the dumps.

Bill Oh, just worrying about money. The cost of living keeps going up …

Joe And our wages stay the same. Tell me about it. I’ve had to economise. 

Bill Same here; no more beer or Highlands coffee. I feel so stingy !

Joe I always haggle at the market now, try to get the price down. I hate being ripped off.

Bill I’m worried about paying off my overdraft. The interest alone is crippling me.

Joe We should invest in land. My friend sold some land recently and made a killing.

Bill But we’ll need money to invest in the first place. Then there’s always bills.

Joe Yes, my bike’s in the shop, so I’m having to use Grabbike and that ain’t cheap !

2. This is to practice wedding and money phrases.

Tom Congratulations ! You’re finally tying the knot and getting spliced.

Bob Yeah, it’s time to settle down. I’ve taken out a mortage and a loan for the wedding.

Tom It must be costing you an arm and a leg: catering, hall, flowers, photos, invitations.

Bob Absolutely, I’ve withdrawn all my saving and gone into the red. I hate being overdrawn; the interest is sky-high. And, not forgetting, the honeymoon.

Tom You can put down a deposit and pay later. Cheer up ! Don’t be a Scrooge

Bob That’s easy for you to say. I’m gonna be broke and in debt … until I retire !

Sentence building

Use more interesting adverbs and linking words e.g.

although / as well as / somewhat / therefore 

Rearrange these basic sentences to make more interesting ones (we use ‘one’ as a pronoun for the noun instead of repeating ourselves)

Examples:

I went to the market today. I bought fish and chicken and vegetables.

Today I bought fish, chicken as well as vegetables in the market.

Last night I stayed at home because it was raining.

It was raining last night therefore I stayed at home.

Your turn:

I saw the new action film. It was a little boring.

Peter was tired but he met his friends for a drink.

Sophie studied very hard. She passed her test.

For western people, Thailand is cheap. Vietnam is cheaper.

Speaking skills

To help you improve your speaking skills, here is a small project:

Write a short piece about something you love or adore.

Start with an introduction

Say why you like it

Maybe tell some history or an anecdote (a short, personal story)

Give some examples

End with a short conclusion

EXAMPLE:

JAZZ MUSIC

I love all types of music, but one of my favourites is Jazz. It can be exciting, or slow, but it’s always different.

Unlike other types of music, Jazz is spontaneous. This means that you never hear the same song the same way; each performance is different. 

Jazz started in New Orleans but moved up to Chicago, New York and even west to California. The first records were made in 1917 and the first true Jazz genius was Louis Armstrong. If you want to hear jazz, you should listen to his records from the 1920s.

You may know some famous Jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. I can recommend these musicians to you as first-rate examples of Jazz.

I hope this has made you curious about Jazz, and that you go online to listen for yourself. Who knows, maybe you too will learn to love Jazz.

Vocabulary builder

Health: http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/grammar-vocabulary/vocabulary-exercises/health

Young Learners, Level 1: Let’s get them speaking !

24th April 2019

This is the plan for my early morning class on Saturday. To set the scene, there are about 19 students, aged around 7 or 8. It’s a standard classroom; chairs with built-in desktops, and there’s not a lot of space for movement or activities. The students, therefore, are mostly confined to their seats for the two-hour session, not conducive to a productive lesson. Add to that loud students, slow students and the (seemingly obligatory) special-needs student(s), and we have a potential catastrophe … but there are ways to mitigate these issues …

Firstly, the assignment of a class captain. I choose the loudest, toughest boy and he becomes proxy teacher. Usually, they love the responsibility, while I’ve turned a problem into an asset.

Secondly, the ‘montage of attractions’, lots of different but related activities to prevent boredom as well as promoting as much participation as possible. To this end, I try to vary the lesson plan (the first hour is activities, the second, devoted to book work where I can also check students individually).

Thirdly, I really want to break the teacher – student dynamic; I want the students talking to each other in English. Sometimes I have the top students act as teacher, ‘Thay’, and address the class, but today I want everyone speaking to their partner in English. To do this, I’ve prepared a short series of questions they have to ask and answer. But first, a review about ‘what can you see ?’ and prepositions.

I’ll show this landscape and then attach various animal flashcards, asking ‘Can you see a frog ? Where is it ?’ and so on …

Now for the speaking interaction: with all speaking exercises, it’s good to model first. The questions I’ve chosen represent language they have already learnt and should be able to use. I’ll show the following questions, then drill an appropriate reply:

To prepare, I just need to stick some flashcards around the room (food, animals).

Can you see a tiger ? IF there is a tiger picture the answer is Yes, I can, if there is no picture then No, I can’t.

Do you like pizza ? / Yes, I do or No, I don’t.

What are these ? (showing flash card of toes) These are my toes.

How many marbles are there ? (showing picture of marbles) There are seven marbles.

How old are you ? / I’m …..

What can an elephant do ? An elephant can walk and swim and run.

I will then hand out a short questionnaire and, with the invaluable aid of my TA, monitor the class, making note of those who will not or are not taking part. The questions will be:

Can you see a zebra ?

Do you like cake ?

How many puzzles are there ?

How old are you ?

What can a bear do ?

When the first partner has finished, the second will have these questions:

Can you see an ant ?

Do you like rice ?

How old are you ?

How many games are there ?

What can a zebra do ?

The next activity is a ‘run ‘n’ write’. The class is split into teams and have to run to the board and write a word that has appeared in a previous lesson:

penguin / kangaroo / giraffe / science / animals / flower

We also get to review the plural form of nouns (games, marbles) plus the ‘an’ article before a vowel noun (an elephant). Next up … music time; an old favourite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vpvFx0-uyI

When the band… This could be used as a background to a musical statues game, but the names of the instruments will be highlighted. They then have to identify them:

Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong … the one and only.
Kid Ory on jazz trombone
Johnny Dodds on clarinet
David Carradine as Bill playing Japanese flute.

Again, Thay Student time: a top student will ask the class:

Can you play …. trumpet ? … piano ? … guitar ?

Now a miming game. I will tell a student an instrument, and they will mime playing it. The opposite team has to guess, getting points for correct answers. Any kind of game or competition can really raise energy and motivation levels.

I want to move the lesson closer towards today’s subject (science, specifically parts of the body), so will select six students, giving each a flashcard from last week’s class. Very quickly, they will show their card to the class. Then I will ask ask which student has which card, but using the verb ‘to have’, i.e. “He has toe”, “She has arm.”

Finally, and if time allows because this already could be too long (no problem with that … a plan should be overlong in case any activity falls flat and a Plan B, C & D is needed), more ‘Thay Students’. They will review questions from last week, namely:

What are these ? These are my arms

What are these ? These are my toes

What are these ? These are my fingers

But, to stop them getting too complacent, some good old British irregularities:

What are these ? These are my feet.