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

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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.

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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.

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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

Adult Speaking Class, level 3, Part 2.

26th January 2020

Contents

Sentence order – exercises for you to practice rearranging the words in a sentence to make your English more interesting. This is especially useful for IELTS students.

Vocabulary – a feature just on boosting your command of the English language, and finding higher, or better, low-frequency words for basic English.

Vocabulary

Image result for asian girl with thesaurus

Objectives:

Increase vocabulary. The average native-speaker uses about 2 000 words. You can boost your vocabulary by learning verbs, adverbs and adjectives which can be easily found by a Google search. Also, use an online thesaurus.

Speak in longer sentences. Say what you want to say (make your point), then elaborate by giving examples, adding reasons and maybe an anecdote. Along with this, give the opposite view by using conjunctions such as ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’ etc.

Pronunciation. Many native speakers have a problem understanding English learners, so we will practise slow and careful enunciation, intonation and stress.

New vocabulary:

Look up any words you don’t know.

demonstrate / protest / gripping / predictable/ disappointing / media / 

excessive/ biased / appropriate / opponent / in opposition to / beat / currently / not my cup of tea 

hold your horses / debate / borrow / lend / expect / lease / terrible

Which words would you employ / use ?

Brazil beating Costa Rica was ……..

This film is extremely violent, it’s not ………. for children.

The politicians are ………. the issue of land-………. to the Chinese.

You can ……. money from a bank, but they …… it at a high interest rate.

The match was so ………… However, Spain – Portugal was ………

The man said Ha Noi was the best city, but he is from there so he is ……….

People were on the streets ………. and ………… against higher taxes.

The man went to prison for forty years just for littering. That was ………….

I haven’t finished yet, ……………………..

TV, radio, internet news and newspapers are called the ……..

Image result for uk sunday papers

New vocabulary:

aggravate – to make worse

tensions – bad feelings

keep a lid on it – stop something getting worse, or not to tell someone. We’ve got a new boss coming, but keep a lid on it (don’t tell anyone).

set up – start to do something. Fred is going to set up a new business.

knock out – (from boxing) to hit someone so they fall and stay down for 10 seconds

  • to eliminate someone / thing
Image result for henry cooper knocks out ali

Historically (adverb from history) – something that has happened over a long time.

They are currently ——– between China and Vietnam. This is nothing new as —— the two countries have had conflicts.

The government are introducing policies to ———— on inflation (prices rising).

President Trump visited North Korea to ease ——- between the two countries. He must be careful what he says or he may ———— the situation.

Image result for president trump in north korea

England have ———– Colombia so I am ———(a great word for happy). However, the greatest shock was Germany being ———— at the group stage.

Image result for england colombia world cup

The coverage in the Chinese media is not impartial, it is unbelievably ——— . However, this is nothing new; the media is the USA is also ———- towards either the left or right.

Image result for biased chinese news
Image result for fox news meme

Project: Look at these headlines from the UK media. Could they happen in your country ?

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A story about the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, and a sex scandal.

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A left-wing paper writing about a right-wing Prime Minister.

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Calling the England football manager a ‘turnip-head’.

Changing sentence order:

John read comic books as a boy. As a boy, John read comic books.

Mary sent two emails then went home. Mary went home after sending two emails.

Try changing these:

Watt worked as a maker of mathematical instruments but later found himself working with steam engines.

If we had to give credit to one inventor, it would probably be Karl Benz from Germany. Many suggest that he created the first true automobile in 1885/1886.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Japan’s high speed bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen trains, offer visitors an experience like no other with speeds reaching up to 320 km/hr !

Image result for shinkansen
Image result for james watt steam engine

James Watt and the steam engine.