Adult Speaking Class, Level 1: Sentence building

27th June 2020

With Jewish-Asian marriages on the rise, academic couple takes on ...

How was your day ?

Today, I was very successful at work because I got my salary as well as a bonus (extra money).

When do you get your salary ? When do you get paid ?

Salary = career, professional job – usually once a month

Paid – for a job, can be daily, weekly, monthly – low-income job

Building longer sentences:

I teach at public school which can be extremely tiring because there are many students who, I feel, do not want to learn. Having said that, there are also many wonderfully gifted students who make me feel happy.

Relative pronouns– who (person), which (thing), where (place). 

Adverbs– add information – extremely, wonderfully

Opinions– I feel, I believe, in my opinion, from my point of view. 

Turn and link – although, despite, however …

VOCABULARY

gifted – talented, skilled- natural talent 

You have a gift for …. music, laughter (laugh – larf), accounting, singing

Noun there was laughter NOT there was laugh

For example – we had karaoke – there were many people singing; some were extraordinarily gifted while others were … not so talented ! There was a laugh of smiling and laughter.

Extraordinarily – very special

Now … Your Turn

Tell your neighbour or the class about your job

  1. Where you work
  2. The good things
  3. Anything bad
  4. How do you feel
March | 2017 | AsiaGraphix
Wages Are Unequal Between White and Black Men Even When Other ...

I went to the office where I work and I had a very busy day. However I think it’s good because I can finish my task. I was really excited and happy because today is the last day of the month so I got my salary and holiday bonus. I want to spend my salary for traveling or on clothes. 

GRAMMAR

I can finish subject + modal verb (can, could, might) + main verb

I got my salary I was paid so we use past tense ‘got’.

I want to spent subject + helping verb (want, like, need) + infinite (to + verb)

A Shoe Shop The Souq Or Market In The Old Town In The City Of ...
The Heat of the Indo-Chinese Wok Master's Kitchen on a Very Busy ...

Today, I went to my company where I met everyone in the office. After, I worked with my customer, who is very pleasant, and we spoke about payment. Later, I went to the bank where I withdrew a little money from the company account. It was an ordinary day but interesting because today is payday !

The 30 Best Korean Movies of the 21st Century - Fort Worth Weekly
This Korean lady does NOT have an ordinary job !

Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Extended personality exercises.

20th June 2020

To practise and develop the use of adjectives when describing people:

Personality adjectives

Positive

funny / dependable / generous / witty / friendly / solid as a rock / reliable intellectual / light-hearted / life and soul

Negative

aggressive / a screw loose / hard as nails / unreliable / unpleasant / scary / serious / arrogant / boring mean / bossy / impatient

This man is ….

This chap is …

She is extremely … 

He doesn’t look very …

Add the missing word or words :

1 She gives money to charity. She is ……..

2 He never says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ and never smiles. He is very …..

3 He is crazy ! He has …….

4 German cars are always …….. and ……..

5 She thinks she is better than everyone. She is so ………

6 The dog wants to bite everyone, he’s very ………….

7 You can believe what he says, he’s ………………

8 His girlfriend always tells him what to do. She’s incredibly ………….

Daisy and Anna
Peter

Speaking practice:

Ed How long will the pizza be ? I’m starving (very hungry) 

Bill Don’t be so impatient ! It’ll be here soon. Who’s coming tonight ?

Ed Anne, Daisy and her boring boyfriend Peter.

Bill Don’t be mean, he’s not so bad. He’s just a little serious.

Ed He’s really generous. He bought Daisy a new laptop.

Bill Yes, but from China. They are not very dependable.

Ed Anne’s very funny, always telling jokes. She’s so witty.

Bill She’s too intellectual for you and also too gorgeous!

Saying what you think – expressing opinions

I think …

In my opinion …

I feel that …

He / She / It seems ..

Will Vietnam win the World Cup in the next 20 years ?

Which is better ? Barcelona or Real Madrid ?

What do you think of these clothes:

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: What’s your type ?

7th June 2020

Personality adjectives and idioms

How many of these do you know ?

funny // aggressive // serious // intellectual // mean // unpleasant // scary // witty // arrogant // boring // friendly // light-hearted // a push over // mean (selfish) //bossy // impatient // a screw loose // solid as a rock // tough cookie //

Expression – don’t judge a book by its cover

Personality adjectives

kind, unkind, sweet, not sweet, nasty, generous, mean (1 nasty, 2 not generous),

friendly, unfriendly, nice, reliable, unreliable, dependable, shy, confident,

arrogant, lazy, bossy (slang = shout at people, tell them to do things)

hard-working, life and soul (of the party), awkward – difficult, hard to please

Jobs

White collar doctor, accountants, teacher, lawyer, professional, office worker

blue collar chef, factory worker, mechanic, shop workers, fix machines etc

arts artist, actor, painter, musicians, DJ, poets, writers

estate agent / consultant / plumber / PR Public Relations / HR / volunteer worker / unemployed / therapist / sportsperson / web designer / security guard / unemployed

What jobs do you think these people have / Why do you say that ?

I think / She seems to be …/ I get the impression that he is …

funny //aggressive // dependable // generous

serious // impatient // reliable // intellectual // mean

unreliable // unpleasant // scary //witty // arrogant

boring// selfish// friendly // light-hearted // nasty // bossy

a screw loose // solid as a rock // tough cookie // life and soul

Extending vocabulary – personality types

Computer geek / nerd / social misfit

hunk / fit / health freak

Family man / new man / sensitive

boffin / egghead / professional man 

Lazy / work-shy / good for nothing

workaholic / married to his job

arty / cool dude / beatnik

useless layabout / waste of space

slackers / drop-outs / cool guys / high school kids

There may be good and bad things about all of these. What do you think they are ?

Which type would you like to marry or which type do you think you are ?

REMEMBER– use expressions of opinion

“In my experience…” “As far as I’m concerned…”

“In my opinion…” “Personally, I think…”

“I believe that…” “It seems to me …”

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Art – what do you think ?

13th April 2020

Giving Opinions

The following is a list of opinion phrases, aimed at expanding your vocabulary as well as enabling you to practise the linking sounds required in order to sound like a native speaker.

“In my experience…” // “As far as I’m concerned…”

“I’m absolutely convinced…” // “Speaking for myself…”

“In my opinion…” // “Personally, I think…”

“I’d say that…” // “I’d suggest that…”

“I’d like to point out that…” // “I believe that…”

“What I mean is…” // “It’s obvious to me…”

“It seems to me …” “This could possibly …”

What do you think of the following works of art ?

The Last Supper by Leonardo 1490s

As far as I’m concerned, this mural painting is one of the greatest achievements of European culture.

Personally, I think the painting is overrated. I can’t see what is so special about it.

Now, your turn. Use the above expressions; what do you think about …

Dance at Bougival by Renoir 1883
Chinese landscape
Man Pointing by Giacometti 1947
Socialist Realism from Viet Nam
Starry Night by Van Gogh 1889
Lobster Telephone by Dali 1936
Traditional Korean Painting. Life Of Ordinary People Painting ...
Traditional Korean painting
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Hirst 1991

Adult Class, Level 2: Making your mind up !

27th May 2019

Tonight is a new class, a block of four lessons, and phrasal verbs dominate the session – they almost take over. These, like idioms, can be very confusing for a learner, yet are an integral part of everyday English. Don’t give up, keep on trying and you’ll pick it up in next to no time.

First, as a warm up, we’ll go over some recent lessons and see how much of the lingo (slang for language), the students have picked up. They recently had a lesson about choice, confusion and making decisions … or not making decisions. Being unable to act, or to decide is known as procrastination … and is a flaw in one of Literature’s most famous characters, the prince of Denmark; I’m referring to none other than Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This quote may be familiar …

Shakespeare is a world-famous writer, and a great example of British culture … but what about Vietnam ? If I wanted to read some classic Vietnamese texts, what would the students suggest ?

The task is for the students, in small groups, to decide upon one suggestion for each of the following.

To begin with, the Great British seaside. the sun rarely peeks out so when it does, we rush off to the seaside. What can you see here:

Blackpool, a famous seaside town in north England.

The seaside is associated with building sandcastles, donkey rides, deck chairs, paddling, pier, sun cream and ice cream. I want to visit a typical Vietnamese beach town. Where is the best … and why ?

Now, seasides and travelling help us build up an appetite … so what to eat ? What do the students think of a traditional British breakfast (not that I’ve ever eaten one ! It’s not exactly vegetarian-friendly) ?

Again, I want to try a traditional Vietnamese breakfast. What should I eat, where should I go, what should I drink ?

Now, being British, and a teacher to boot (as well), I enjoy a beer (or two …). Here’s a typical British pub:

I’m not sure such places exist in Vietnam, but what do I know ? Maybe the students can help me ? Where could I go to drink beer and which is the best Vietnam brand ?

This is just a quick game to occupy the first part of the lesson (while students are still arriving). Let’s keep the theme of being decisive, tied in with phrasal verbs. We’ve had Shakespeare and ‘high’ culture; now it’s time to be more ‘popular’. British people over a certain age and yes, that includes me, will recognise this number (slang for a song): The music doesn’t start until around the 0:30 mark.

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

This is a famous song that won a contest back in the day (when I was younger). See how many phrasal verbs there are in the lyrics (words of a song).

Then we can go to the desert survival game :

Desert survival

You need to select five items below to help you survive in the desert.

Factors to consider:

food, drink, heat, cold, injuries, attracting attention, wildlife

First aid kit / matches / rope / knife / compass 

cigarettes / blankets / barrel of water / flare gun / torch

magnifying glass / Beatles CD / make up set / dried food 

grammar study book / Angry Birds game / air rifle / sun block

Negotiation language

I see your point but … that’s interesting, however …

I’m not sure about that I can’t go along with that 

I don’t feel that is entirely right / I fail to see the merits

I respectfully disagree / I find your contention somewhat flawed

The students, first in small groups, then as a class, have to decide upon five items to help them survive in the desert. Some items are multi-purpose, for example, a CD is useless in terms of listening to music, but the reverse could be used as a mirror, to reflect the sun, while the sides are sharp and could be used for cutting. Cigarettes are loathsome and not usually associated with long life … however … in the desert, they could save your life. Snakes hate cigarette ash so, at night, light the tobacco and sprinkle the ash in a large circle, then you can safely sleep inside.

And then time to hit the books.

The early bird catches the worm … do the students understand this saying ? What do they think it means ?

To end the lesson, we could try a Family Fortunes game … in small groups, I ask questions and require four answers. They will usually be about me, for example, what four instruments can I play, what four sports do I do ? which four places have I been to in Vietnam, what do I like most about Vietnam, etc ….

And … not forgetting … what quote from Shakespeare do they know ? And they’re not going home until they say it.

IELTS: Final review

5th March 2019

Before the final speaking test, I’ve prepared a list of some useful vocabulary and expressions that will come in very useful. Furthermore, in response to one of my students, I’ve included an exercise on relative pronouns.

Useful words and expressions

Adjectives

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

ubiquitous / sky-high / visually stunning / spectacular / 

Adverbs

quite / rather / somewhat

considerably / significantly / remarkably / undeniably 

Discourse Markers 

Additionally / as well as / furthermore / moreover

Therefore / consequently

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

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

Like / Dislike

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

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

To buy time

That’s a good / an 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: In my opinion / it seems to me / I feel

linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative

reasons why an action is being done

I like coffee

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 whosold 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/

Good luck with your tests

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