Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Causing offence.

3rd February 2020

Hailing a taxi in New York, USA

Image result for hailing a taxi new york

This is the normal procedure (way / method) to hail a taxi in NYC. However, this would not be acceptable in Bangkok.

Hailing a taxi in Bangkok

Image result for hailing a taxi bangkok

Notice how the hand points down. In Thailand, people beckon (call) a dog with their hands up, so a taxi driver would think this was very impolite and rude. The driver would be offended; the hand signal would cause offence.

Cultural differences are one way of inadvertently causing offence. However, some people can say, write or do things that upset other people:

Image result for Trump offensive tweets

The 45th President is famous for his somewhat un-presidential tweets. He is referring here to the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-il:

Image result for president trump kim jong un

However, in the interests of fairness, North Korean leaders have made comments that could be offensive to the USA. The former leader, Kim Jong-un:

Image result for kim jong il quotes on america

And sometimes, within the same country, people can disagree with each. This is all part of a free society. The problem arises when people stop arguing the facts or beliefs, but start to attack people for their looks, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation. Some times, people can go too far in what they say:

Image result for offensive Morrissey quotes on china

This is the singer, and animal-rights supporter, Morrissey. He is talking about the treatment of animals in China, which he feels is intolerable. He can object. However, in this quote, he insults the entire country as seeming to be “a subspecies,” that is, not quite human. He makes his point, but do people understand his message, or get offended by his words ?

Vocabulary and expressions

Image result for brexit clashes

Collocation – to cause an offence

respect / disrespect (noun) – respectful / disrespectful (adjectives)

insult / offence (n) / / to offend (v) // offensive (adj)

doubt – when you are not sure about something but don’t think it will happen  (will England win the World Cup again ? I doubt it !)

swoop – to grab something quickly – a bird swoops down and grabs the bread.

Expression – to give someone the benefit of the doubt

Expression– in one swoop – something happening very quickly

Expression – to cut ties – to stop having contact with someone.

Practice:

I think Mr Smith took my iPhone but I didn’t see him. Therefore, I have to give him _____________

His comments were ________ to women.

John was talking to Jenny but Peter _____ in and took her away.

I had to __________________ with my colleague after he posted some racist tweets online.

Japanese students are famous for being so _____________ to their teachers. On the other hand, in Viet Nam, some students talk during class which is very ____________________ .

In Asia, it is the custom to show ________________ to old people.

Conversation practice

Time to use these new English words, speaking to each other.

Ask each other questions. Ask for more details (probe) Give full reasons. 

Make people explain their answers.

Use opinion expressions.

Which of these would cause offence ?

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but you know it’s a joke.

A supervisor calls you an idiot – but is serious.

Image result for boss insults staff

Your neighbour has a loud party but doesn’t invite you.

You are riding your bike and a taxi honks for no reason.

A foreigner says that your local food is terrible.

Image result for i hate your food

A Chinese says that one day Viet Nam will be part of China again.

A restaurant manager shouts at you to leave as soon as you finish your food.

You buy your girlfriend a present … and she says it’s too cheap !

Image result for gf hates present

Young Learners, Level 4: Review

29th May for 1st June 2019

Today, two classes at level 4. The first is a substitution; I don’t know the students, but on the other hand, I’ll be able to recycle or adapt exiting material to plan the lesson.

The second class is my usual group, from 10.10 – 12.10.

Today should be better as I have stopped my Level 1 class (nineteen students of screamers, shouters, special needs, no motivation, no memory, no idea why there are in a classroom being spoken to by a strange man in a strange language and, of course, some very sweet, well-behaved students who, unfortunately, are being restricted in their learning by the amount of classroom management I have to do). I’m just covering this first class for a week, and I have to do a review of their last two units.

As a warm up, I’ll ask the students what they know about London, maybe using some Google images to help them (possibly British food, Sherlock Holmes, a London football club, a street market).

Recent units have included space exploration, future careers and travel so I’ll kick off with a familiar children’s guide to London:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrJNIUp2izQ

I will stop the video at key places and elicit responses, and to board new vocabulary. The students will be made to write down new vocabulary and then use them throughout the lesson.

Next up, a board write – small boards are handed out to groups and they have to write down answers. Points for the first team to finish. The questions can be about space (but must be taken from the class book, nothing too advanced).

What do you call a person who travels in space ?

Is that a man or a woman ?

Are people heavier or lighter in space ?

How do people get into space /

What is the ISS ?

Why is this man floating ?

To cleanse the palette, a quick kinetic activity. I shall hide six flash cards around the room and ask the students in pairs, to avoid a stampede, to find them. Instead of asking directly I will give them clues, e.g. if you want to buy something, you need this paper (money), after swimming, you use these to get dry (towels).

Next activity, I prepare four information sheets for the students about New York, London, Norway and Venice. The students, in small groups, will then have to present their city and answer questions. I shall awards points for good questions, to encourage the students to speak.

Julie lives in New York

She is a scientist

She wants to see a show

She takes a taxi

She brings lots of money

Next weekend, she will fly to London and stay in a hotel

Peter lives In London

He is an actor

He wants to ride a horse

He takes a bus

He brings a towel and extra clothes

Next weekend, he will go to the beach and swim in the sea

Anna lives in Norway

She is an astronaut

She is on holiday.

She takes the ferry to get home

She wants to go climbing and swimming

She goes to space by Space Shuttle.

Martin is on holiday in Venice

He is a journalist

He lives in Berlin, Germany. He is going home next Tuesday.

In Venice, he travels by gondola

He wants to see famous paintings

He likes to go on boat tours

The questions from the other students can use the patterns they have learnt, such as, “When is he going ?”, “What will she do ?”, “How will he get there ?” etc.

This should be enough activity before the book work and checking. Hopefully it will be a gentle way into my heaviest day, three classes of young learners. Hopefully …