Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 6

24th January 2020

Contents

Dialogue: speaking practice with phrasal verbs.

Listening Practice: Vietnamese speaking English // Vietnamese urban legends

Vocabulary: agreeing to an extent

Writing exercise: condensing text (‘1001 Nights’)

Listening Practice

Vietnamese culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAi_b__l_c

Image result for weird vietnamese customs

Do you agree with the video ? To what extent ?

BONUS: can you spot any English mistakes ?

I agree totally / I agree to an extent // I disagree // I disagree strongly

She makes a good point // She misses the point

She is spot on // She is way off // In my experience …

wierd = unusual / strange

Now, your turn. Do you agree with these statements:

Learning English is so important if you want a good job.

People who drink and drive should go to prison.

An African football team will win the World Cup before 2040.

Nobody should have to work more than 25 hours a week.

Men and women should earn the same money for doing the same job.

New Vocabulary / expressions

looking up = getting better (things are looking up).

Since we got a new manager, things are looking up.

Match the basic words on the left with words on the right, then complete the sentences with the right-hand words:

interesting // intelligent

on time // fascinating

forgetful // miserable

tired // punctual

smart (clever) // exhausted

unhappy // absent-minded

John forgot his keys again; he’s so _________

The documentary about ocean life was __________

Tony has been very ____________ since his girlfriend left him.

It would be incredible if Vietnamese students could be __________

EXTRA:

ubiquitous = everywhere. In Viet Nam, coffee shops are ubiquitous.

incessant = never ending. The karaoke noise is incessant.

rewarding = doing something that makes you feel better about yourself. Nursing doesn’t pay much but it is tremendously rewarding.

Image result for asian nurse

Creating sentences

Use these new adjectives with some of these nouns:

coffee shops / motorbikes / Vietjet / construction work / German trains

charity work / AI (artificial intelligence) / swimming / British weather

Meaning, pronunciation, structure

What is happening here?

I am thinking about a holiday.

Meaning: Am I having a holiday ? Where will I go ? Is it certain ? Alone / with friends ?

Pronunciation: In speech, we would contract “I am” to I’m and link “abouta

Structure: What tense is being used … why ? Will it happen ?

Try these: Make as many questions / possibilities as possible

He’s having his car repaired

She having a dress made

He looked at a new apartment

My cousin will be applying for universities

I’m not sure about taking the new job.

Image result for car being repaired

Urban legends

stories that maybe aren’t true but people believe them

[urban = city // rural = countryside // haunted = a place with ghosts ]

Ten scary Vietnamese urban legends:

Project: Do you know any of these tales / legends ?

Do you know any other Vietnamese legends ?

Have you even been to the places in HCM City ?

Writing exercise

Image result for scheherazade

Painting by Ferdinand keller ‘Scheherazade und Sultan Schariar’ (1880).

1001 Nights

The main frame story concerns Shahryār ruling in “India and China”. He is shocked to learn that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering that his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed. 

In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. 

Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. 

On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. This goes on for 1,001 nights.

This is quite a long introduction; how could you reduce it to three sentences ?

Some stories in English can be found here: http://www.storynory.com/category/fairy-tales/1001-nights/

Image result for arabian nights book
Image result for arabian nights book illustrations

Dialogue

Speaking practice:

Mark At last ! Can’t you be punctual just once in your life !

Craig I’m here now, aren’t I ? You look so miserable, why are you fed up ?

Mark I need some coffee. Where can we get some ?

Craig Anywhere, coffee shops are ubiquitious here. What the hell ?

Mark What’s up now ? Your complaining is incessant ! 

Craig My money got all soggy ! I have to put up with so much.

Mark Oh, get over it ! Some people have no money. Do you help charities ?

Craig It sounds rewarding but after work I’m too exhausted !

Mark You are just talk. Put up or shut up !

Image result for two men bickering

Adult Class, Level 3: Tell me more, tell me more …

19th November for 21st November 2019 AEF 2B pp. 18 – 19

Tonight’s lesson will focus on listening, which is always a challenge for the students so, to lighten the load, not to mention the mood, I’ll organise a lot of speaking activities.

First up, a mobile phone survey:

One of many online review posts

The students will be arranged in small groups. One member will be responsible for gathering the information, then reporting back to me.

Next up – a new persona.

Students are put into two or three groups, with about four in a group. Each member is given a card with some information about their new identity. They read the information to the group who have to try to understand and write down details such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook accounts. Example:

Hello, my name is Tony

I’m 23 and I love shopping for shirts and ties.

I’m not into reading or books. I find them boring.

My mobile number is 0943 552 8207

It’s highly probable the other students will need to hear some of the information again, so they can use the following:

I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your phone number (email address etc)

Could you repeat that, please ?

Could you spell that, please ?

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

And then, to book work and listening exercises.

Grammar: Past perfect (for and since)

Why is this young lady so upset ?

Image result for angry asian woman

Maybe this is the reason …

Image result for man renovating

Her neighbour has been renovating his house the whole day !

He has been making a lot of noise since 8 o’clock in the morning.

He has been drilling for six hours, non-stop !

First, the past perfect formulae

Subject + have or has + been + verbing

Since used for a given time or date

For used to tell how much time.

Example – John joined his company, LPR Productions in November 2018.

He has been working for LPR since 2018

OR

He has been working for LPR for one year.

Students than have a chance to practise by asking each other a variety of questions, on subjects ranging from work or school, to friends, holidays, sports, interests etc.

Just a Minute

Students are put in pairs. They have to speak for one minute on a subject without hesitating, repeating or deviating (speaking about a different subject). This will test the students’ ability to speak fluently, as well as giving opportunities for using discourse markers and new vocabulary learnt so far. Subject are deliberately open, for example:

food // travel // work or study // life in Sai Gon // their family // their house.

Viet Nam presentation – where should I go on holiday ?

Three teams, representing Ha Noi, Hue and Nha Trang.

Image result for ha noi
Image result for hue postcard
Image result for nha trang postcard

This exercise encourages team work and, furthermore, allows the students to develop their intonation skills; they will have to sound excited and optimistic.

To assist, here are some words and phrases to embellish their speech:

cultural centre // historical importance // breathe-taking scenery // tranquil // relaxing // hustle and bustle // mouth-watering food // never to be forgotten //unforgettable // once in a lifetime experience.

To give some help, I can perform a quick example:

Image result for london postcard

COME TO LONDON, UK’s magnificent capital city and one of the world’s GREAT cities.

SEE such iconic, historical sights such as:

Buckingham Palace, home of our Queen, Tower Bridge over the Thames river.

Visit the world-famous British Museum to see the wonders of the world, or watch a football match at Wembley Stadium, in the country that invented the sport.

There is something for everyone:

Shops; you can buy everything here, to suit all budgets, from street markets to high-end department stores. To relax, London has so many tranquil parks, right in the centre of the city. Maybe see famous movie stars at one of London’s many, beautiful theatres, or dine out at restaurants cooking traditional British food or anything from anywhere.

London – one of the world’s GREAT cities

A holiday of a lifetime ! Book early !

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn for more information

Special discount 10% for my students 🙂

And that should be a wrap !

Image result for londoners waving

IELTS 5 – 6.5: “I don’t like cricket …”

2nd September for Wednesday 4th September. Listening pp. 20 – 21

Tonight’s focus is on listening, which is perhaps the hardest part of learning English. I often mention the disparity between reading a text and actually hearing said text spoken, with contractions, glottal stops, chunking not to mention accents and accelerated articulation.

Last week, the class were surprisingly lively, and seemed to enjoy some role-playing activities, to practise speaking. I warned them that a listening lesson was coming up, and they were stoical about it, one student even saying that they understand, and it’s not my fault. I have to follow the syllabus, my hands are tied … but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun !

Warm Up: As students are arriving, I’ll start by relating a simple anecdote. The students then have to repeat the important information. The second time, I’ll include more information, and more the third time … and so on. For example:

On Monday, I watched a Korean film called ‘… ing’, which was made in 2003. It’s a romantic drama and is a real tearjerker.

Yesterday, I woke up at 5.50, drank two cups of damn fine coffee, and checked my emails, posted a blog and caught up with friends on Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, one of my favourite films is ‘The Social Network’ about how the company was founded. It was made in 2010 and based on a book that was published in 2009. I really love this scene in the film which features a song called ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ by the band 10cc (can watch up to 0:45).

Image result for social network caribbean night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tVYr-a33Bw

BONUS POINTS … at the beginning of the scene, some young Jewish men are speaking about why Jewish guys like Asian girls … what, according to the character Eduardo, is the reason (This is one of my favourite all-time cinema quotes) ?

As with all tonight’s real-life clips, we’ll see if any of the students can repeat the quote, aiming for pronunciation, chunking and a natural rhythm.

Speaking of, apropos of ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, can the students understand the first verse and chorus ? This link has the lyrics, so I can turn off the projector and just have them listen, then listen again with the words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q659IaXrS3Y

Next up, a version of Chinese Whispers (which is probably a politically incorrect name now). Be that as it may, (and no offence whatsoever to our northern neighbours) the game works like this (assuming that most of the students have arrived, the Vietnamese not being the most punctual of people, and that’s not racist, it’s a fact – they even have a name for it, which translates as ‘rubber-band time’):

Class in two teams. I take the first person of each team outside and give them a separate sentence. They must go back to the class, tell their neighbour and see if the final person is able to repeat the line. Can be repeated depending on class reaction.

A good activity to encourage inter-student communication is to put the class into two or three groups. Each group is handed a paper with some information. One person has to read aloud without showing the paper, and the others have to see how much they can understand. The speaker may be asked to repeat, so it’s also a good way to introduce phrases. A typical card may be:

I’m looking to speak with Ms Nguyen // I’m in the office from 11.00 – 15.00 // I want to discuss the new school building // I work for Vietnam News // Call me on 032 734 9201.

Useful Expressions:

Could you repeat that, please ?

I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your number.

Would you be so kind as to leave your name ?

Let me make a note. Hold the line.

Is there a message I can take ?

[With a small group, this could be done one student at a time, but may be intimidating for some students.]

And then, it’s time to hit the books – it’s high time we hit the books.

End game: To continue the listening, but bringing it alive, I’ll show a couple of evergreen clips. One is from ‘Twin Peaks’, a cult TV show from the 1990s. The main character, like the writer of this blog, loves coffee. The students have to copy the body language and say:

“Wait a minute, wait a minute …. this is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxwcQ1dapw8

Finally, the late, great, Peter O’Toole on the David Letterman chat show. The host is a fast-talking American, the actor, an Irish-born, incredibly charismatic, flamboyant old-time movie star. He is asked to tell an anecdote, and rather than a pedestrian, “Let me see,” he delivers, with perfect timing:

“Oh, I think I can shuffle through my memory.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fl3bOeXvyI&list=PL97HViQblvdEM3zsauRxnIg1baFTNmsDM&index=25&t=51s

Related image

Listening Tips: I have a plethora of clips and exercises on a previous blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/01/23/listening-skills-tips-and-links/

Listening Skills: Tips and links.

Listening Skills

The following websites are good for practicing listening. What are the pros and cons of each one ? What do you like or dislike about them ? How helpful do you find them ?

British Council (learn English teens). Home – skills – listening

http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/listening-skills-practice

Newsinlevels.com

https://www.newsinlevels.com/

BBC Learning English (for pronunciation)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation

There are many courses on YouTube. I use:

English Speaking Course Unit 2

Learn English with Emma

https://www.youtube.com/user/EnglishTeacherEmma

Mad English TV

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUeS2Jmgiu0OFaTeRqkuXtw

TOEIC Channel

English Class 101

And … listen to music (with lyrics), films (short clips – 30 seconds to 1 minute) and TV shows with subtitles.

Try these:

Music

Any English song with lyrics (words) will be a great way to learn, and fun as well.

Film ‘King’s Speech’

TV show – ‘Eastenders’

This is a ‘soap opera’ – a TV drama that is shown two or three times a week. Each episode last 30 minutes and has many different characters. This drama is set in eat London, so many people have an accent typical of that area. See how much you understand.

For individual letter sounds, the British Council has many good videos:

Pronunciation – plosives (b / d / g / k / p / t) (0.39 – end) http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation/tims-pronunciation-workshop-ep-17

Try these words: good/ keep / polished (polisht)/ breakfast / deep / dip / took

ʤ joke

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation/voicedconst3

j useful / yes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/pronunciation/otherconst8

Listening: describing people

http://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/listening-skills-practice/describing-people