Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: talk about your friends

25th April 2020

Theme: photographs

Photographer asian woman taking photos with camera professional ...

Asking questions

what // who // where // when // why

1 _When/Where_ was it taken?

2 _____________ are they?

3 _____________ took the picture?

4 _____________ do you keep the photo?

5____________ kind of camera have you got?

6 _____________ are they doing?

Photo 1

Teaching Note: This could be used as a listening exercise. Read out the following information, then elicit answers. A simple test helps to build confidence, especially as IELTS listening can be very demoralising.

One of my favourite photos is of my friend Peter, who lives in Birmingham, England.

His wife took the photo last March. Peter is playing bass guitar in a studio. It looks like he is having fun. He plays in a band called ‘The Deep Six’.

I keep this photo on my computer in a file called ‘Music in Birmingham’.

What is the name of my friend ?

Where does he live ?

What guitar does he play ?

What is the name of his band ?

Where do I keep this photo ?

Photo 2

Man pops into Wetherspoons for quick pint - but ends up with £700 ...

Activity 1: The student have to practice forming questions by asking me about the photo.

Activity 2: Read out the following information, then make a contest, who can answer first.

These are two of my friends, Mark and Tony. Mark is on the left, with the curly blonde hair and beard, Tony has short dark hair.

I took this photo last time I was in London, Christmas 2019 at my local pub.

Mark, who has tattoos on his arms, was in the army and now has a security firm (company) in the centre of London. Tony, on the other hand, lives from day to day, he does odd jobs, maybe some painting, maybe some construction, maybe some security work. He likes to gamble on horses, which is a popular activity in the UK.

I shot this on my iPhone and keep it because I live very far from my friends so can’t meet them very often.

As you can see, they are drinking beer, laughing and generally having a very happy time.

Photo 3

Now we progress, giving the information in a different order and with alternate vocabulary.

I Have The Best Brother And Sister Adult Tees

In this photo, which I was sent by email, we can see my London neighbour Arif and his sister Rita. It made me smile, because the T-shirts are ironic; they just don’t get on at all, in fact they fight like cat and dog.

Arif told me that their mother bought the shirts as a joke, and to make the point that living with them is driving her crazy. All the shouting and arguing, non-stop, 24/7.

Rita’s best friend Suzy was trying out her new camera, a Canon, and asked them to pose for her. The situation is getting complicated because Suzy likes Arif but Rita will be livid if her best friend starts dating her brother. I only received the email last week so I don’t know what is happening now.

I miss both of them, they are so friendly and funny. Arif always helps if I have a computer problem, as he works in IT, while Rita brings me special Indian food, knowing that I love spicy curry. Although she is a marvellous cook, she wants to be a business lady, a ‘mover and a shaker’. I’m sure she will do well, she is very determined and forthright. Maybe too much at times, she hates being contradicted or corrected.

Arif, who sent the email, informed me that after the photo, Rita left the room, changed clothes and threw the T-shirt away. That is so typical of Rita !

1 How did I get this photo ? // 2 Who sent it to me ? // 3 Who took the photo ?

4 Who are they and what is their relationship // 5 What is Arif’s job ?

6 What type of camera was used ? // 7 Describe Rita’s personality

8 If I wanted a physical copy of the photo, I would need to … what ?

Class exercise:

Ask students to bring in a photograph which can be talked about it in class.

We are currently using Zoom for online teaching, so students could share photos from their computer and then get a conversation going. Encourage students to elicit more information and to push each other to speak more.

Obviously, only suggest this, as some students may be shy about sharing personal information

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2, Part 4

19th January 2020

Contents

Dialogue: cinema tickets / afternoon plans

Free speaking exercises

Grammar: adverbs of degree

Idioms and expressions

Sentence building

Theme: coffee in Vietnam / photography

Vocabulary booster

Sentence building

Let’s look at these recent words:

shocked / frustrated / overwhelmed / surprised / confused 

I was surprised. It was surprising.

Image result for surprised Asain girl
She was surprised to be on my blog. It was surprising for her.

Use these in sentences e.g.

I was shocked by the prices in Family Mart. In Family Mart, the prices are shocking.

Tony was frustrated …..(by /with/ at)

Janet was overwhelmed by …

However, these adjectives are different:

delighted- it is delightful. I was delighted to receive your email. It was delightful.

lonely – lonely. I was lonely at home last night. It was lonely.

relieved – it was a relief. She was so relieved to find her keys. It was a relief.

Vocabulary booster

remember to link words together.

I live in a …

Image result for suburban street

quiet, residential street. Peaceful at night.

lively and busy commercial area, many shops

dirty and dusty industrial part of town. Very noisy.

My home is a / an …

Image result for london bedsit

apartment and I live alone

rented room which share with friends

house and I live with my family

pros and cons advantages = positives / disadvantages = negatives 

What are the pros and cons of living alone ? Or about sharing with friends or family ?

adverbs of degree

very, extremely, incredibly, remarkably, unbelievably, rather, somewhat, quite 

I travel to work by …

Image result for bus queue africa

motorbike. It’s quite / rather far and extremely stressful.

using Grabbike. It’s very convenient albeit rather expensive.

bus. Although it’s incredibly cheap, it’s not very pleasant.

Idioms and expressions

At work I / I’m …

Image result for bored at work

find myself doing the same thing day in day out. It’s tedious.

up to eyes ! I’m always busy, attending meetings or writing reports.

have a variety of different jobs, I’m a jack of all trades; I don’t have time to get bored !

Notice the collocations

In my free time I …

enjoy watching films and playing sports. I am competitive !

adore hanging out with my friends and family.

love shopping. I can spot a bargain and I hate being ripped off !

Learning English

is, for me, easy, a piece of cake. It’s very important and fun at the same time.

in my opinion, is vital for the future. It’s imperative we learn.

is a necessary task. It’s awkward and frustrating, but I need it.

is highly enjoyable and relaxing. I love to improve my mind.

Image result for children learning English

Idioms

Match the idiom with the meaning:

Image result for raining cats and dogs

It’s raining cats and dogs // working very hard

Kick the bucket // no problem, very easy

working like a dog // to die

It costs an arm and a leg // very heavy rain

piece of cake // very expensive

FREE SPEAKING EXERCISE

ENGLISH – Why are you learning English ?

Do you enjoy learning – if so, why / if not, why not ?

What are the benefits ? Give examples.

Do you have problems with learning a language ?

Is it fair that you have to learn a second language in your own country ?

Does this open up career opportunities for you or your children ?

What, in your opinion, is the best way to learn a language ?

Interaction, free speech and a sharing of ideas

Useful expressions:

I’d like to share with you my passion which is / One of my major interests is

As you know, we (students / engineers) don’t have much free time, so when I have time to myself there’s nothing I like more than …

I have many hobbies such as … and … but tonight, I’d like to talk about …

Responses

Could you explain in more detail …. When did you start this hobby ?

How did you get into … ? Ah, that sounds interesting.

What does your girlfriend think about this ? Oh, you have no girlfriend.

Hhmmm, it’s not really my cup of tea, but I can see why you like it.

Does it take up much of your time ? Are you part of a club ?

I’m not sure I follow … (I don’t understand)

Dos and Don’ts

We have ‘free speech’ but this is tempered by social rules of politeness:

DO – appear interested and respond positively.

appropriate body language.

encourage the speaker to elucidate and expand.

ask question at a ‘turn-taking’ moment.

DON’T – say ‘I am bored because this isn’t interesting,’ or ‘I don’t care.’ 

start talking to your neighbour when someone else is speaking

sleep or yawn loudly

click your pen, kick your chair, make noises.

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.

Image result for jazz lp covers
Some great Jazz record covers

One student spoke about his mother’s home-cooking:

My mother has a secret recipe; firstly, she boils the beef in water and then slices it finely. Along with this, she cooks vegetables and the aromais simply wonderful, after which she mixes them together. It is mouth-watering. The rice has to be pan-fried, that is to say, no oil, just dry. The next stage is to pound the rice and finally, she puts the rice on a dish and … bon apetite ! (French for good appetite, eat well)

Extra expressions: one student told us about breaking up with his girlfriend. Initially, he said that he dumped her, but the truth was she gave him the elbow !

Image result for being dumped memes

Vocabulary:

Try to use these regularly:

obviously, typically, on the other hand, initially, that is to say 

and these adverbs:

somewhat / quite / extremely / incredibly / increasingly / highly

Theme: coffee in Sai Gon

There are so many choices in Sai Gon. Tran Nguyen has the best quality but is very expensive. On the other hand, Milano is very cheap and very convenient however, many people smoke there. Highlands is really popular. Having said that, it is not cheap. Street coffee is extremely cheap but terrible quality ! Maybe fake coffee, just chemicals.

What are your favourite coffee shops ? Why ? What factors are important ?

Theme: photographs

Asking questions

what / who / where / when / why

1 _When/Where_ was it taken?

2 _____________ are they?

3 _____________ took the picture?

4 _____________ do you keep the photo?

5____________ kind of camera have you got?

6 _____________ are they doing?

My friend Pete

One of my favourite photos is of my friend Pete, who lives in Birmingham, England.

His wife took the photo last March. Pete is playing bass guitar in a studio. It looks like he is having fun. He plays in a band called ‘The Deep Six’.

I keep this photo on my computer in a file called ‘Music in Birmingham’.

What is the name of my friend ?

Where does he live ?

What guitar does he play ?

What is the name of his band ?

Where do I keep this photo ?

Vocabulary:

This is a photograph of my friend Pete. This photo is of my friend Pete.

I think he is (he’s) having fun. It looks like he’s having fun.

He takes a photo (present tense). He took a photo (past tense).

He is (he’s) in a band. He plays in a band.

Dialogue

To practise question words and the past tense.

what / where / why / when / who / which / how

Jan & Tina are catching up

Jan What did you do last night ? Who did you meet ?

Tina I went out with friends. We saw a movie, then drank some coffee. How about you ?

Jan I just stayed at home and played computer games. Which cinema did you go to ?

Tina At Diamond Plaza. We bought popcorn which we ate before the film began.

Jan You were very hungry ! Was the film good ?

Tina Yeah, really exciting. The tickets were incredibly cheap too.

Jan How much were they ?

Tina Only 333 000 VND (three hundred and thirty-three thousand Dong).

Speaking practice: afternoon plans

Sid What are your plans for this afternoon ?

Viv Well, I need to buy some coffee as well as some bread and milk. How about you ?

Sid Oh, I’ve got to have a meeting with the new director. He seems very strict.

Viv Yeah, I get the impression that he is very serious. However, he is professional.

Sid Right, he doesn’t appear to be a barrel of laughs. Having said that, he’s honest.

Viv Honest and fair along with being very neat and tidy. Always a plain white shirt.

Sid Remember the old boss ? Such gaudy ties ! For me, that was unprofessional.

Viv Anyway, where can I get my groceries ? Is there a convenience store nearby ?

Sid Naturally. Take the second left, go as far as the bank, then cross over. Can’t miss it.

Viv Brilliant ! You’re an angel.

Image result for man with gaudy tie
A very gaudy tie

Young Learners, Level 4: Daaaaaaaallliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ……

24th October for Saturday 26th October 2019. E Up U 6, L 4 pp. 58 – 59

Warm up: Student description

In a previous lesson, the class learnt about basic adjectives to describe appearance. I will therefore choose a student and describe the physical characteristics, e.g. this student has long straight hair, is not very tall, and wears black glasses. The students must guess the student I am describing.

To make it more fun and engaging, it’s a good idea to put the class into teams for a bit of competitive spirit.

This is my friend, Ms Quynh. She has long straight black hair.

We can extend their vocabulary by including clothes: Ms Quynh is wearing a white top and a colourful skirt.

I will choose some students and give them a student to describe, while promoting the value ‘be polite‘. They can describe their hair, whether or not they wear glasses, and if that isn’t enough, they can identify them by their clothes.

To continue the theme of Art and creativity, I think it’s time they met Dali !

Dali normally gets a reaction (especially when we have fun elongating his name as long as possible). It’s also a chance to learn a few new words:

creative / genius / unusual / surreal

The last word maybe a little advanced, but it’s a good way to introduce new words; inside the word is ‘real’ so surreal has something to do with reality … but what ? Here’s a clue:

This is a mixture of reality and fantasy. The students can say which is which … and why does Dali give the elephants tuba faces … is there a reason or is it just crazy ?

I will then expect the student to form basic sentences using these new words, and not forgetting new vocabulary from previous lessons, for example,

“Dali’s paintings are very unusual.”

Next up, is a scene from the popular Children’s classic, ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

What is happening ?

Again, a mix of reality and fantasy. How would the students describe this ? It could be turned into a game … students put into small groups and given boards and markers. Points for the best vocabulary.

Key words: tea-party / young girl / bow tie / sleeping / garden

Now, to continue the theme and introduce some listening and reading skills, a video. This is the singer-songwriter Don McLean with ‘Vincent’, about the artist Vincent Van Gogh:  This can be played in the background as the students do a writing project today.

This version also has the lyrics, as well as various paintings by the artist.

A useful lesson will be the subjectivity of art – it is a chance for the student to think and to give their views, and to try to develop the English skills to express their thoughts. Clearly, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce some fixed expressions to express opinions:

In my opinion …

I feel that …

For me …

And even an idiom – it’s not my cup of tea !

What kind of art are these and what do they think of them ?

Image result for giacometti artist
Alberto Giacometti
Image result for roman mosaic minotaur
Image result for great photographic art
Henri Cartier Bresson – 1908 – 2004
Image result for famous vietnamese paintings
Vietnamese silk painting

Then, with time against us, and a lot to get through, we’ll turn to the book work. They will watch a video which also shows sculpture, mosaic and photographs. The book also mentions Van Gogh, and a sculpture based on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from ‘Alice’.

Finally, to wrap up after the project, a little bit of fun. Who better than Dali (or at least a great actor playing Dali) ?