IELTS Review: The basics you should know before your test.

25th June 2020

Want to migrate or move to the UK for work? | IDP IELTS

IELTS

Useful words and expressions

All IELTS students should have these words and expressions in their vocabulary, and be able to use them confidently and correctly.

Adjectives

absent-minded / eye-catching / mouth-watering / second-hand

ubiquitous / sky-high / visually stunning / spectacular / 

10 Best Korean Restaurants in Singapore: BBQ, Bibimbap & Fried ...
How would you describe this Korean food ?
THE BEST Tiong Bahru (Singapore) Hotels with Free Parking of 2019 ...
The prices at this Singapore hotel are …
19 Best Coffee Shops in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City - Back Of The ...
Coffee shops in Sai Gon are …

Adverbs

quite / rather / somewhat

considerably / significantly / remarkably / undeniably

 

Asia's Most Visited Countries
The number of tourists visiting China is … more than those visiting Vietnam

Discourse Markers 

Additionally / as well as / furthermore / moreover

Therefore / consequently

On the other hand / having said that / although / despite 

Top 10 Most Beautiful Korean Girls In The World
Describe this Korean lady using at least two discourse markers.

Expressions / chunking phrases

At the end of the day / Am I pronouncing that correctly ?

Turn a blind ear / it fell on deaf ears

Friends and family / According to …

Same thing, day in, day out / You get what you pay for / a waste of money

Bored Office Worker, Annoyed Businessman At Workplace Stock Photo ...
How does this man feel about his job ?

Like / Dislike

Like:

I absolutely love … / I’m crazy about … / I (really) like / I’m into / I haven’t heard (seen/read) this before, but I think it’s great / I’m a big fan of … / I’m quite keen on /

No strong opinion:

I don’t mind / I have mixed feelings about …/ It’s OK / I don’t really have any strong views / feelings either way

Dislike:

I hate / I can’t stand / I don’t really like / I think it’s awful / I detest / I’m not a big fan of … / I’m not that keen on …

What do you think of:

T-ara - K-POP
T-ara from South Korea
India Capable Of Winning All ICC tournaments, Says Brian Lara ...
The sport cricket
Everyday items, Street litter 3D Models 2nd_World
Litter, trash, rubbish on the streets

To buy time

Photo of thinking young asian beautiful woman posing isolated over ...
Remember … never leave silence; use these time-fillers:

That’s a good / interesting question

Let me think …

Well, I would say …

How can I put it … ?

Sentence building

Use adjectives to describe nouns

adverbs to describe adjectives and verbs – give more information

opinion phrases

linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative

reasons why an action is being done

I like coffee

Winston the Wolf enjoys Jimmie's coffee as Jules and Vincent look ...

I like coffee so much because it tastes great and makes me wake up although too much will stop me from sleeping at night but, in my opinion, the benefits far out weigh the disadvantages.

Using Relative Clauses

who For people: This is the man who sold me the fake Rolex ! 

which For things: We tried fish and chips which is delicious.

where For places: Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargains.

Whose Possessive: That’s the singer whose record we heard last night.

The car, whose driver was young, won the race.

Exercises

We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.

A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know what to do.

The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.

Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.

A boy ____ sister is in my class was in the bank at that time.

I know a person ____ can speak seven languages.

We visited the church _____ is in the middle of the square.

It is a protected area of land _____ you can see a lot of interesting wildlife.

This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.

A police officer _____ car was parked at the next corner stopped and arrested them.

Listening Websites: A list with links can be found on this page:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/23/listening-skills-tips-and-links/

Beginners’ English: What’s it for ?

25th June 2020

What is it for ?

What is a knife for ? 

Japanese Masamune Kitchen Gyuto Chef's Knife 180mm 7.1 inch ...

A knife is for cutting meat and fish and also vegetables as well as fruit and not forgetting bread. 

We link ideas with conjunctives – and / as well as / and not forgetting

What is a spoon for ? What’s a spoon for ?

Pronounced “Whatsa spoon for ?”

Vintage Aluminium Kitchen Spoon Large USSR Soviet Soup | Etsy

A spoon’s for eating as well as stirring drinks and not forgetting cooking.

High Quality Stock Photos of "coffee"

What are they ? They are / They’re scissors (siszerss)

Scissors - Wikipedia

What are they for ?

Scissors are for cutting paper and cutting hair as well as cutting chili and not forgetting shirts and material.

10 best peelers 2019 – top y-shaped and swivel peelers for ...

A vegetable peeler is for peeling vegetables but also for peeling fruit such as mango or apple and peach and nectarine.

We use ‘such as‘ to give examples:

I love spicy food such as Thai, Mexican and Korean

까니짱 G-NI - Eating Korean spicy fried chicken drumsticks | Facebook

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 5

4th February 2020

Contents

Conversation practice.

Free speaking exercise: organise food for a work or university party.

Grammar: as ……. as // comparatives & superlatives // reported speech // similes //

Grammar ‘as ….. as’

Structure: as + adjective + as

Bangkok isn’t as cheap as HCM

He feels German beer is as good as Belgian beer, if not better.

Image result for man drinking 2 beers"

At 27% alcohol, Samuel Adams Utopias isn’t as strong as Nuclear Penguin which comes in at 32%.

comparative & superlative

bigger // biggest

more confusing // the most confusing

Example: 

Ha Noi is not as big as HCM but is bigger than Hue.

For me, learning German is not as confusing as learning Korean, but Mandarin is the most confusing language to learn.

We use animal similes a lot in English:

Image result for animal similes"

Example

He’s as busy as a bee

Try these: lamb // lion // mouse // dodo // bird // skunk

As drunk as a ….. // As dead as a ….. // As brave as a ……

As free as a ….. // As gentle as a …… // As quiet as a ……

Image result for drunk as a skunk meme"
If you need some help with the ‘drunk as a ……’ question.

Conversation Practice

Make sentences with these words or expressions:

In a class, write out the words on paper and distribute to the students, either individually or in groups. Give them a time limit and award points for each word used, plus bonuses for interesting or creative sentences.

spectacular / visually stunning / you get what you pay for / mouth-watering / a waste of money / significantly / according to / how can I put it ? / Somewhat / incredibly / as good as gold / as drunk as a skunk /

Reported Speech

Also known as ‘indirect speech’, reported speech is used to tell what someone has said.

Example:

Three Japanese students, Keiko, Rina & Mei are looking at their new university. Keiko, in the black cardigan says:

Keiko: Now I feel as wise as an owl.

However, with all the street noise, Mei didn’t hear so she asks Rina (who wears a pink and white striped top).

Mei: The building is stunning, but what did Keiko say ?

Rina: She said that she felt as wise as an owl.

Image result for three japanse students"

Rina uses the past tense to tell Mei what Keiko said – she said she felt as wise as an owl.

Look at these:

Susan: “Mary works in an office.” This is Susan speaking directly.

Susan said (that) Mary worked in an office. This is someone telling what Susan said.

Notice how the verb changes from present to past tense (‘works’ to ‘worked’).

Susan: “I work in an office.” 

Susan said (that) she worked in an office.

Notice how the pronoun changes from first to third person (‘I’ to ‘she’).

Exercises:

Rewrite the sentences using reported speech

1 ‘Ellie can use my phone,’ said my brother.

1 My brother said that Ellie could use his phone.

2 Benjamin: “I often have a big hamburger.”

2 Benjamin said (that) he often has a big hamburger.

(Pronoun changes from ‘I’ to ‘he’). Here Benjamin is talking about an event that happens frequently, so we keep the present tense ‘have’ but change it to the third-person form ‘has’.

Image result for african eats giant hamburger"
Benjamin frequently eats big hamburgers. Because this is a repeated action, we always use present tense, even in reported speech.

3 ‘I don’t want to sit next to Sam,’ said Jenny.

4 Hannah: “They live in Boston.” Again, this is a present tense situation.

5 Tyler: “Ian doesn’t invite girls to his parties.”

6 Linda: “Did Max fly to London two weeks ago?”

7 Robert: “Dennis often downloads the latest tunes.”

Free speaking exercise

There is a work party and the managers want to know which food to serve.

Image result for work party food"

The options are:

vegetarian / Korean / sea-food / western fast-food / traditional German cuisine

Image result for korean food"
Korean food
Image result for fast food party"
Burgers, french fries, fried chicken
Image result for traditional German food"
Traditional German food … and beer.

Discuss which food to choose. Run through the pros and cons of each one. Also think about entertainment. Use recently acquired vocabulary:

Expressions:

I adore / I really enjoy / I’m into

I don’t mind … I quite like …. I can take it or leave it

I’m not keen on …. It’s not my cup of tea (idiom, means I don’t like it)

I can’t stand (noun or pronoun) ……. (seafood) / I can’t stand it !

Spicy / bland / hard to eat / unhealthy / fatty 

not used to it / doesn’t appeal

you can’t please everyone / each to their own / fussy eater 

it’s free food – who cares ?

Image result for quotes on food"

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2. Theme: food

23rd January 2020

Contents

Free speaking

Idioms and expressions

Planning a party

Traditional British food

Vocabulary

Image result for world food

Idioms and expressions

tea / cherries /nutshell / cucumber / carrot

Idioms and collocations 

Growing up is hard, life isn’t always a bowl of _________ . 

He walked in, as cool as a _________ , and told the boss he wanted a pay rise.

We’re going to try using a _________ and stick approach 

I’m not a fan of karaoke, it’s not my cup of _________ at all. 

To put it in a _________ , driving motorbikes is very dangerous.

Image result for life is a bowl of cherries

Vocabulary

prefer / would rather have

When you like many things BUT one more than the others.

I like tea but I prefer coffee. He loves reading but prefers painting.

She would rather have the red dress. I’d rather be in Sai Gon than Ha Noi.

I prefer Indian food to English food. I’d rather have a good spicy curry than plain meat and vegetables.

Image result for Indian food
Indian food

Traditional British

What do you think of this food ?

Roast turkey with stuffing, baked vegetables, sprouts, carrots, potatoes baked ham

Christmas pudding with brandy cream / mince pies / gingerbread men

Image result for uk christmas food
Image result for uk christmas mince pies
Image result for uk christmas gingerbread men
gingerbread men

Planning a party

There is a party and the managers want to know which food to serve.

The options are:

vegetarian

Korean

sea-food

western fast-food

traditional German cuisine

Image result for korean food
Korean food
Image result for western fast food
western fast food
Image result for german food
German food

Discuss which food to choose. Run through the pros and cons of each one.

Expressions: I adore I really enjoy

I don’t mind … I quite like …. I can take it or leave it

I’m not keen on …. It’s not my cup of tea

I can’t stand (noun or pronoun) I can’t stand it !

Spicy bland hard to eat unhealthy fatty not used to it doesn’t appeal

you can’t please everyone each to their own fussy eater 

it’s free food – who cares ?

If music be the food of love, play on;

Hygiene (noun)– hygienic (adj)

I have concerns over the hygiene of street food.

Be wary of street hawkers and scam artists.

If you could recommend …

A Vietnamese party:

Image result for vietnamese food party
Vietnamese party food

My friends are coming to visit so I want to give them a real Viet culinary experience. What food and drink should I serve ?

First – what questions do you need to ask about my friends’ dietary habits ? 

Explain everything we need to do – where to buy, how to cook, how to eat.

Free Speaking

Questions:

What is the most unusual food you have tried ?

Dialogues

Speaking practice:

Pat Well, I’m exhausted. I need a damn fine cup of coffee and a big piece of pie.

Sam There’s a Highlands over the road, or we can go to Coffee Bean or Milano.

Pat I’d prefer Starbucks but it costs an arm and a leg. Highlands is also expensive.

Sam But great quality and superb cakes. Come on, I’m starving, I need coffee now !

Pat OK,hold your horseshahaha. After we can meet up with Niall.

Sam Sounds good. Now … shall I have chocolate cake or fruit cake … ?

Inside Highlands

Sam Hi, I’ll have a large cappuccino, please. What do you fancy ?

Pat Tough decision. I’m going for the caramel freeze and a slice of blueberry pie.

Sam Oh, me too. Big slice, no, only joking, I have to watch my weight.

Pat You ? I think you look great. Lets also get some chocolate cake and we can share.

Sam Brilliant. Oh, did I show you my recent photos ? Here, on my phone.

Pat Let me see … oh, so funny. Who’s that ? The man next to Niall ?

Sam That’s Jimmy, he’s Pete’s friend. He plays drums, and drinks like a fish !

Pat And that’s you, a selfie. You look adorable. Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth.

Image result for butter wouldn't melt
Meaning someone looks so sweet, they would NEVER do anything wrong.

Student project

One of my adult students prepared this presentation. For my Asian students, canyou tell me the story of:

Black Glutinous Rice Cake

(Bánh ít lá gai)

1. A story.

2. Flavour

3. How to make it?

Mung bean

Boehmeria nivea

Rice flour

4. Useful.