IELTS: use adverbs frequently, correctly and confidently

3rd July 2020

IELTS students need to know an incredibly wide array of adverbs so, with that in mind, here’s an exercise which can be easily adapted as a team game. Complete the sentences with suitable adverbs. Piece of cake, right ?

Use a thesaurus and dictionary to boost your vocabulary.

Asian University Life Concept Group Young Asian College Students ...

Word Fill

Adverbs of manner & ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘even though’

(Fast or quickly – both can be used as adverbs, fast more for speed, quickly for time e.g. the animal runs fast and eats quickly.)

Note: ‘well’, ‘fast’ and ‘hard’ are irregular adverbs of manner.

Use a positive adverb for (+) and a negative one for (-)

Example: She sings (+) beautifully but plays piano (-) terribly.

It is raining (-) heavily so I will bring an umbrella

UK weather forecast: London | London Evening Standard
WELCOME TO LONDON

I will go along with you ……I am not really hungry

……….I am not hungry, I will go with you to KFC

Grabbike is cheap …..they drive so (-). 

She failed her test ……..she studied (+)

Do I look like Batman ? Then why are you speaking so …..(-)

Christian Bale says Heath Ledger 'ruined my plans' for Batman and ...
Batman has amazingly good hearing … but not all teachers have so SPEAK UP !

We have learnt many idioms ….that is just the tip of the iceberg.

He loves music …much ….he sings (-).

She never eats the food ………she works there.

……..she speaks English very (+), she is afraid to speak to westerners.

Rosé (BLACKPINK) confessed that she used to be a terrible singer ...
She sang terribly even though she loves music

Adult Speaking Class, level 1: What do they like ?

22nd June 2020

An exercise for lower-intermediates. Help to use basic verbs, and to build long sentences.

We can see five people:

Andrew, Fiona, Helen, Mark and Tina

We see what they eat (dinner), their job (occupation), what they do in their free time (hobby) and what that do on Saturday and Sunday (the weekend).

For example, Andrew likes to drink beer, Tina like to do karate

What do they do ?

Name // dinner // occupation // hobby // weekend 

Andrewsteak and chips
spaghetti
brewerfootball & beersports & cinema DOESN’T like shopping
Fionatuna salad
soups
accountantreading
driving
visits family & shopping DOESN’T like sports
Helensushi
Korean BBQ
marketingyoga & keep fit
craft beer 
exercises & cinema DOESN’T like loud clubs
Markfish and chips
kebabs
civil servantcars and bikes
sports
fixing cars & drinking beer DOESN’T like loud clubs
Tinapasta
pizza
dentistkaraoke
clubs
shopping and meeting friends DOESN’T like beer or sport.
Couple watching a football game | Royalty free photo - 404574
Andrew likes to watch football but his girlfriend does not (doesn’t)
CMA - Lady accountant - (S) - YouTube
Fiona is an accountant
Dara eating sushi (Line play 053115) | 2ne1, South korean idol, Yg ...
Helen likes to eat sushi
Buy his bikes, bee-cause! - Los Angeles Times
Mark likes to ride a bicycle
Taekwondo Girl - Bing Images | Martial arts girl, Taekwondo girl ...
Tina likes to do karate

Make sentences

Use so does with positives, neither does with negatives.

EXAMPLE:

Mark eats chips and so does Andrew. 

Helen doesn’t drink beer neither does Tina.

Tina likes shopping …

Mark doesn’t like loud clubs …

Make questions

EXAMPLE:

Who likes beer ? Who eats Italian food (pizza, pasta, spaghetti) ?

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Home is where the heart is.

8th June 2020

Today, lots of new words to help you describe the area in which you live (the area you live in). For my classroom-students, I can listen to pronunciation and help them with natural rhythms but online students should use a dictionary with sound … then practice, practice, practice.

Vocabulary booster

Where do you live ? What’s the area like ?

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The Projects, South Side, Chicago
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Apartment in Istanbul, Turkey
Lagos shanty megastructures
Lagos, Nigeria … a plan for the future ?

Remember to link words together – it’s called ‘chunking’ in IELTS language.

I live in a: 

quiet, residential street. Peaceful at night.

lively and busy commercial area, many shops

dirty and dusty industrial part of town. Very noisy.

What Happened To County Kilburn? | Londonist
How would you describe living here ?

My home is a / an:

apartment and I live alone

rented room which I share with friends

house and I live with my family

Things you wanted do know when visiting an Indian home for dinner ...
Their home is _____

advantages and disadvantages pros and cons 

adverbs of degree

(quite, rather, very, extremely, incredibly, remarkably, unbelievably) 

I travel to work by motorbike. It’s quite far and extremely stressful.

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

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

Bangkok by Bus: A cheap way to see the top sights,or simply get ...
does she get to work ?

Idioms and expressions

At work I:

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

am always busy, attending meetings or writing reports.

have a variety of different jobs, I don’t have time to get bored !

Asia business woman success celebration keeping arms raised at ...

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 !

Spice Souk, Old DUBAI - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Visit dubai, Dubai ...
What does she like doing … ?

Learning English is, for me:

easy, a piece of cake. It’s very important and fun.

vital for the future. In my opinion it’s imperative we learn.

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

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

English Classes - International Linguistic Program - Destination ...
An international English class in Canada

The War Remnants Museum is

extremely popular with tourists, a major attraction in the city.

well laid-out and organised. The exhibits are fascinating.

very somber and thought-provoking. Well worth a visit.

educational and essential. We can discover much there.

not suitable for children, though I would recommend it to adults.

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Increase your word power

Match the basic words with others of similar meaning (synonyms)

For example boring = tedious

interesting / on time / forgetful / live (I live in) / happy / unhappy / get (a qualification) /

reside / punctual / fascinating /absent-minded / jovial / miserable / attain /

smart (clever) /place / tired / reliable / great ! / try /

brilliant / exhausted / intelligent / endeavor / environment / dependable /

honest / make / bad (evil) / small / unimportant / not often /

prepare / seldom / nasty / insignificant / trustworthy / minute

Now make sentences with the new words e.g. (for example)

After studying for three years, Jenny attained her BA Degree.

Beautiful Chinese Graduate Stock Photos - FreeImages.com
Congratulations, Jenny !

Music vocabulary

What do these words means ?

rhythm / melody / lyrics / beat / solo / orchestration

Genres (types of music):

pop / rock / country and western / punk / classical / jazz / blues

Music time 

Listen to Paul McCartney’s ‘Another Day’. 

What do you think of it ? How does it make you feel ? Would you dance to it ?

Talk about the music and the lyrics (words); were they easy to understand ?

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Cinema … what shall we see ?

9th May 2020

Cinema Choice

A lesson designed to encourage speaking and student interaction, especially useful for upper-intermediates or IELTS students, who are expected to be able to speak for two minutes fluently, with a good range of vocabulary, a knowledge of phrases and expressions, not to mention said speech to be delivered with pacing, rhythm and intonation. Furthermore, as previously demonstrated, long, complex sentences with ideas linked together with discourse markers.

Without further ado … let’s take in a movie

(to take in a movie = to go and see a movie, as opposed to watching a DVD, streaming etc)

Why going to the movies is [occasionally] worth the money | DECU

Vocabulary

I prefer / choice / my taste / not my taste / trailer / concession stand

all-star cast / director / film studio / controversial/ family film / book online

What’s on at the cinema ? What’s playing this week ? Not my cup of tea.

ACTIVITY 1: Use some of the words or expressions to talk about these photos:

Example

Types of camera shot

Alfred Hitchcock, a famous director from London, is demonstrating to the cameraman what shot he wants. Hitchcock was born near my house in east London and went on to work in Hollywood with all-star casts. However, I prefer his early films made in the UK although the famous or infamous film ‘Psycho’ is one of my favourites despite being extremely controversial.

Now … your turn

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Activity 2: What types of film can you name ?

Movie Genres Vector Art & Graphics | freevector.com

Horror // Action Stories // Sci-fi // Drama // Thriller // Romance // Biopic // Comedy // Western // Animation (Anime) // Musical // Documentary // War //

Stories about people’s lives and emotions // Space films, or films set in the future // Films about fighting and soldiers // Stories about real famous people // Loud, exciting films with explosions and fast cars // A cartoon, illustrated film // True stories with real people, not actors // Stories about police or spies or crime // Scary films about ghosts or monsters // A film about cowboys, set in USA // Love stories // Funny films // with singing and dancing

Which genres are these ?

Which do you prefer ?

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Prefer– to like one thing more than something else

I prefer drinking coffee to tea

He prefers living in Sai Gon rather than Hanoi

The students prefer the small room

Activity 3:

Look at an up-to-date cinema listing. Discuss what is on this week. Which films (if any) appeal to you ?

Phim Chiếu Rạp | Lotte Cinema Cộng Hòa

Which do you prefer ?

Going to the cinema, watching a DVD or streaming a film online ?

What are the advantages or disadvantages to each one ?

Must or have to ? Revision

The new Spider Man film may be sold out. We ______ buy tickets NOW !

I hate comedies ! Do I _____ to go ?

You _______ eat too much popcorn; it’s bad for you.

You ________to be over 18 to see this film

You don’t ____ to bring your passport to get intoa cinema in Viet Nam.

Business English: Role-playing activities

6th May 2020

Here are some sheets, which can be adapted and printed out, for students to practice job searching. There are three in total, the remainder will be blogged over the next few days.

Students would need to be at intermediate level, motivated and willing to move around the room, be active and creative. Students that just want to sit in their chair and NOT move for three hours (oh, boy, there ARE students like that), will not respond to such a kinetic activity.

Normally, depending on class size, I will have three employment agencies situated around the room. One or two students will pretend to work for one of the agencies, and they will greet prospective employees, and discuss their job prospects, training, experience etc.

Best way is to show an example.

The first company, very British, is called ‘Bacon ‘n’ Eggs’

This refers to a typical British breakfast, so the agency will be concentrating on the hotel and catering industry. Students can invent a character and a work background. Remember, the agency wants to find people for the job, so they will have to be very persuasive and optimistic, to really ‘sell’ the job (even if it isn’t very good).

Bacon ‘n’ eggs 

Employment Agency

The number ONE choice for employers and job-seekers.

Set out on your career here – jobs at ALL levels in the service industry, from hotel management to domestic staff, permanent or temporary.

Pop by today for a chat … and start work tomorrow !

1000s of satisfied customers

1000s of jobs waiting for Y O U

www.baconnegg.com.vn

jobs@baconnegg.com.vn

Bacon ‘n’ eggs

Current vacancies


1...Junior hotel manager (trainee). Age 18 – 23

Qualifications: Degree or current student, preferably in Hotel Management or related course.

Experience: Not necessary but work in service industry or food retail an asset. 

Personality: Out-going and confident, able to speak to staff and guests. Must be flexible and focused.

Skills: English imperative. Japanese or Russian an asset. Spreadsheets and Powerpoint. 

Salary: to be negotiated

2…Sous Chef

Qualifications: Catering certificate. Health certificate. First aid. 

Experience: 3 years in a 3* or above establishment.

Personality: Strong-willed, reliable and determined. Able to cope under pressure.

Skills: Communication skills. English a bonus but not essential.

Salary: £18 – 21 per hour depending on experience.

3…Domestic engineer (hotel cleaner)

Qualifications: Not necessary

Experience: Previous domestic engineering work would be an asset.

Personality: Hard-working, cheerful, dependable, able to work on own initiative.

Skills: Good at cleaning.

Salary: £4.75 rising to £4.99 per hour.

Again, this is an opportunity for the class to be inter-active, to mingle, to try out their English skills, and mostly, to break away form the stolid teacher-student dynamic.

Education and School - Happy Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty ...

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

IELTS: Vocabulary activities

24 April 2020

Quiz Night – Call My Bluff

BBC Two - Call My Bluff

This is based on an old British TV show. A team (ideally of three) will be given a word – in the first example, it will be ‘jeopardy’. Each member reads out a definition; depending on the ability of the students, they may be able to embellish, and use intonation to add colour to their presentations. They may also use examples such as ‘Jeopardy, if you have seen a Vietnam war film, you will remember seeing a small, open-top green car. They were used all over Vietnam. These are called, jeopardies. One day, I hope to drive a jeopardy.’

The teacher can adapt this principle to review recent vocabulary.

Team A

Jeopardy

1 In danger, danger of losing or failing

2 A small car used by the army

3 A bird in Australia that can speak fluent English

Contestants

1 People who order food in a restaurant but run away without paying

2 Large vehicles for carrying heavy goods 

3 People who enter a competition, or take part.

Maximum

1 A lady with more than six children

2 The most amount of something

3 A type of sports outfit used in cycling

In the form of

1 Looking like something, in the shape of something

2 Something made of glass or metal

3 Paperwork needed to get a US visa

Team B

Reduce

1 To do something again

2 To make less of something

3 To use glass, plastic, paper again and again

Actual

1 Real, a fact

2 A person who works in theatre or cinema

3 A person who works with a company’s money and finances

Smart

1 A painting of a happy person

2 Very clever or intelligent

3 A small cake made in the UK

except the last one

1 Only the last one

2 Everyone but not the last one

3 To have to start a game over again

Internet Survey

This activity is designed to get the students talking to each other, and encouraging them to elicit more information from their classmates. 

7 tips to prepare Students & Graduates for an online video ...

The questions could be copied onto a sheet, printed out then distributed to the class, so they can walk around and talk to as many people as feasible.

Before the activity, board some key phrases to help:

What did you buy online, which website did you use, how long did it take to arrive ?

Were you happy with the purchase ? Why or why not ?

What websites would you recommend for university work or borrowing books ?

Can you trust Wikipedia …?

Question // Name // Answer

How often do you go online ?
Do you use the internet for work and/or study ? How ?
What social media sites do you use regularly ? How often ?
Have you ever bought or sold anything online ?
What is good about the internet ? What is the worst ?

Desert survival

Lost in the Desert | From the sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam ...

I learnt this at International House, London, as part of the CELTA course, and I use it frequently.

The concept is to introduce phrases and expressions by which students can exchange opinions. Students are placed in small groups and have to decide upon five items. After, they must discuss with other groups their choices. If there are any differences in opinion, the teams must negotiate until the whole class agrees on five items.

First, go through the items, then drill the negotiation phrases.

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 

English 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 of …

I respectfully disagree // I find your contention somewhat flawed

Your case (argument) is not without value, but …

Have you fully considered the implications of your decision ?