Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: London

3rd March 2020

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London, my hometown, is a multi-cultural world city. However, there are some problems. For students who live in S.E. Asia, the weather will be awful; grey skies, bitter wind, freezing, depressing rain.

A second factor is money. Unless one has a good job and a good income, London can be a hard place to live.

How can you afford to live in London ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz9fZLamyy0

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How many words and expressions do you recognise ?

How does she link her ideas together and keep talking ? 

REMEMBER: listening to native speakers in a great way to improve your English. I suggest you only listen to SHORT pieces … maybe just ten or twenty seconds. Write down any new words or phrases. Listen again, then repeat. Speak along with her. Listen to how native-speakers link words and use intonations. Notice how often we use expressions.

Quick thinking

What famous buildings or attractions can you think of in London ?

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To help you, here’s a video about Top 10 London Attractions

London Attractions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0r0VTos_wU

Which ones appeal to you ? Expand your sentences. Explain why you are interested. Conversely, say which ones don’t appeal to you, again giving your reasons. Try to incorporate these idioms:

Not my cup of tea – a polite way of saying you don’t like something

Right up my street – something that you really like or enjoy

EXAMPLE: I don’t want to go to the ballet, it’s not my cup of tea. However, watching a football game is right up my street.

London, naturally, is a big city and you will probably have to use buses or the Tube (underground trains) at some point. So how to get around ?

Getting around in London

Travelling in London – buy an Oyster Card: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZ_xDx2Zl0

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Watch the video then explain how someone can travel on public transport in London.

Now, this video is chockablock (full) of new words and expressions. I’ve selected a sample:

about which more later  / bank fees on transactions / hang around

get in everybody’s way / money put onto / top-up / cap

pay-as-you-go / stick (as verb) / as long as it’s nice and fresh / escalator

as far as …. concerned / obvious /on no account swipe

you’ve got to / the thing about …… is / particularly weirdos

get charged  / get skinned / reasonable  / Routemaster

Now, by listening to the video, and using a dictionary, you try to make some sentences using these new words or phrases.

Here are some examples for you:

On no account tell anybody your PIN number for your bank card.

Prices are so high in central London, you can easily get skinned (pay TOO much).

The thing about the British Museum is that is can get so crowded.

Don’t stand in front of the escalators or you will get in everyone’s way.

Give a summary of ‘getting around’ London by public transport. 

What are the ‘dos and don’ts’ ? 

How many different kinds of transport is the Oyster valid on ?

Famous Londonders – real and fictional

Who is the most famous detective in literature ? Most of you would probably say Sherlock Holmes … but have you read him ? This is a great site for English learners – literature but in simple, everyday English

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Sherlock Holmes Investigates: https://www.english-online.org.uk/reading/elementread.htm

Description Game

Describe a household object

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Example – a kettle

I am an English man, so I always drink damn fine tea. In order to make tea I naturally need boiling water. In my house I have an appliance which boils water. It plugs in to the electric and can boil water in just a few minutes. However, it has no other purpose.

Think of something you use everyday – but don’t make it too obvious.

Maybe: a rice cooker / washing machine / laptop / motorbike / food blender etc

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Adult Speaking Class, Level 3. Theme: Crime and punishment.

1st February 2020

Contents

Free speaking: Students’ personal experiences.

Listening practice: A non-native speaker talks about a crime.

Reading exercise: Sherlock Holmes

Vocabulary: exercises

Warm up game: Eyewitness

Crime and detection. Being an eyewitness. 

Crime and Punishment

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This is a famous book by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. Give students five to ten minutes to research information about him, then present it to the class. This practises extracting relevant information. Reading verbatim from Wiki or other sites is forbidden !

Warm up game:

Eyewitness: Show students a slide or picture of three people for two minutes. Tell them that today some computers were stolen from the office and these people were seen. Ask them to describe the people they just saw. Prompt for as much detail as possible. This will test the students’ ability to use adjectives and learn new vocabulary from each other:

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Do you like detective shows ? Which are your favourites ?

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The above shows are from USA, UK & South Korea. Detective shows are popular all over the world. Even famous film directors can write detective novels:

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By the famous Indian director Satyajit Ray

An eyewitness account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RuFGkqYAL4

Look for new vocabulary and expressions – this is a Romanian man living in London.

FREE SPEAKING

Have you witnessed any crimes ? 

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Vocabulary:

procedure / happened / suddenly / officially / relatively / contents / grabbed

I was walking with a friend along Main Street, around 4 in the morning. The street was ………….quiet, just some tourists and a little traffic. 

I was wearing a small bag, strung across my shoulder. A security guard was behind me, talking to a person in a car. …….., a motorbike came towards me on the pavement. He stopped, …………..my strap, then drove away.

Naturally, I shouted but it was too late; he was gone. My friend was worried but I told her it was OK, nobody was hurt. The ………of the bag were really worthless: pens, some medicine, a book, but also my designer glasses.

The security guard was comical in his incompetence. He shook his head, mouth open wide, and said, “It all ………. so quickly, there was nothing I could do.” 

I should, …….. , have reported it to the police, that was the ……….. but people told me the thief would never be found. What I learnt from this unfortunate experience was to be very careful and never walk around with valuables.

Could you be a good eyewitness ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6fRH5MLBIU

What information is helpful to the police ? (1.46 – 1.50)

Detective story: 

type of popular literature in which a crime is introduced and investigated and the culpritis revealed.

The traditional elements of the detective story are: 

(1) the seemingly perfect crime; 

(2) the wrongly accused suspect at whom circumstantial evidence points;

(3) the bungling of dim-witted police; 

(4) the greater powers of observation and superior mind of the detective .

(5) the startling and unexpected , in which the detective reveals how the identity of the culprit was ascertained.

Detective stories frequently operate on the principle that superficially convincing evidence is ultimately irrelevant.

The first detective story was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in April 1841.

The greatest of all fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, along with his loyal companion Dr. Watson, made his first appearance in Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet (1887) and continued into the 20th century in such collections of stories as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) and the longer Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).

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Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

New Vocabulary Practice:

What is the ……… for reporting a crime. (noun)

Most of what we learnt on the first day was ………… (adj)

His wife ……….. (verb) him of eating the cake but the real ….. (noun) was the dog !

Jet Mart had two cases of Tiger beer boosted (stolen). In Mr Wall’s house, there were two cases of Tiger beer but, his lawyer defended, this is not proof, merely ……….. …………….

Reading exercise: 

An extract from a Sherlock Holmes short story: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/AdveDanc.shtml#2

Adult Class, Level 3: Is was the butler, wasn’t it ?

11th November 2019 for 12th November 2019 AEF 10B pp. 98 – 99

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In the UK, we do have a morbid fascination with murder. This man is Alfred Hitchcock who made films from the 1920s to the 1970s, mostly suspense, thriller or murder dramas. ‘Hitch’, who was born where I live in east London, made many famous films but in my opinion ‘Psycho’, which was filmed in black and white in 1960, is his best.

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Do you know these British characters ?

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What do the book titles mean to you ?

Sentence building:

Do you like to read murder mystery books or to watch murder films ?

Plan – don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ! Make a short introduction, just one or two sentences:

I enjoy all types of films, however I especially like a good mystery ….OR

I don’t really read much because I am so busy studying. However …

Say what film or book you like, tell me about the author and other books.

Tell me about the story and then why you think it’s good

Conclusion – “Maybe this book is not for everybody, but if you enjoy a great mystery story, then I would recommend it.”

Vocabulary building: Some useful words –

thrilling // suspense // gripping // well-written // superbly acted // atmospheric // creepy // scary // a page-turner // I was on the edge of my seat.

However, we must move from the world of fiction to the world of fact. Before we move onto a true story from the USA, let’s keep it closer to home.

What can the students tell me about Lê Hoàng Hùng ?

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Students can work in small groups. They have five minutes to make a short presentation. Information can be found on these sites:

https://freedomforvietnam.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/goodbye-to-another-journalist-in-vietnam/#comments

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lê_Hoàng_Hùng

Then it’s time to get to tonight’s topic – murder, unsolved crimes and mystery. The lesson focuses on the mysterious death of the actress Natalie Wood. To introduce her, I’ll show a short clip of her acting, then the actual news report on TV on her death: 

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That clip, which has English captions, is from the film ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, from 1955. Now for the news footage:

Grammar: tag questions

Are you from Korea ? (a normal question, where we don’t know the answer)

You’re (you are) from Korea, aren’t you ? (using the tag ‘aren’t you’ to confirm what we think or know)

Take the pronoun (here it is ‘you’) and then the verb (‘are’). Invert the verb, that is, make it negative then add the pronoun. Hence ‘are’ becomes ‘are not’ = aren’taren’t you ?

Try these: First, decide on the appropriate pronoun (he, she, it, we etc).

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, ……….. ?

Natalie Wood was American, …………….. ?

We still don’t know who killed her, ………….. ? (here the verb is negative, so make it positive)

He’s a brilliant actor, ………….. ?

For the remainder of the lesson, I want the students to talk, talk and talk (and, yes, I mean in ENGLISH !)

Firstly, they can review tonight’s book work and air their views, thus enabling them to review negotiation language (I see your point but …. // I can’t go along with that // you raise an interesting point // I’m not sure I entirely agree … etc).

Questions:

What did they think of the subject ? (interesting, relevant, morbid, inappropriate)

Do they enjoy reading as part of class time ? Do they feel that is a good way to learn ?

How was the listening ? How much could they follow (understand ?)

What is their opinion on the amount of new vocabulary encountered ?

Naturally, I expect other students to play Devil’s advocate – to argue a point even if they personally don’t fully agree with it.

EXAMPLE: “Playing Devil’s advocate, I would say the best way to learn vocabulary is to read new words and see how they are used in a sentence.”

Activities – Just a minute

Here, students work in pairs – there are given a very open subject (work, food, family, their hometown etc) and have to talk for one minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition.

Students can be given new questions and then made to change partners regularly.

Also, encourage peer help – allow the students to correct each other, as well as giving advice and encouragement.

And finally … Mysteries – what do you think ? True or false or … ?

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The Loch Ness Monster from Scotland

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Area 51 in Nevada, USA. Did an alien spaceship crash here and aliens come to earth ?

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The mysterious man from Taured

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bizarre-news/taured-mystery-when-a-mysterious-man-arrived-at-japanese-airport-from-unknown-country