IELTS (Mindset): Why do you like the film ?

6th April 2020

A typical IELTS question could be:

Talk about a film you like. Why do you like it, and what is the story ?

The 15 Most Moving Film Endings in Cinema History | Taste Of ...
Cinema Paradiso 1988 Italy

This blog will serve as a model to IELTS students to help with their speaking and writing skills.

IELTS has lots of ‘open’ questions, to enable the student to speak freely on subjects about which they feel comfortable.

In my last online lesson, I mentioned a film that I though a student would like, as she had chosen to speak about Scarlett Johannsson.

Loạt vai diễn làm nên tên tuổi Scarlett Johansson - VnExpress Giải Trí

The film in question is ‘Lost In Translation‘. Here is a little piece about the film.

Lost in Translation (2003)
An iconic shot from the opening of the film

NOTE:

Short introduction – do not answer the question immediately

Organised structure – one point per paragraph

A change of attitude – a critical view

Short conclusion

LOOK OUR FOR

Low-frequency words

Complex sentences – combining two or more bits of information in the same sentence.

Discourse markers – words to link ideas together

Adverbs and less common adjectives

So, without further ado, the question:

Talk about a film you like. Why do you like it, and what is the story ?

Lost In Translation - Tiếng thở dài của những tâm hồn lạc lối

INTRODUCTION – talk about cinema or films in general DON’T immediately talk about your favourite film.

Watching films and going to the cinema is one of my passions, so choosing just one film is going to be terribly difficult, not to say impossible. However, if I have to select one film, it would be ‘Lost in Translation’, with Scarlett Johannsson.

First paragraph. Information about the film and the main charcters.

The film, directed by Sophia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, was made in 2003, and takes place in Tokyo. A young, newly-married girl, named Charlotte, is alone in her hotel because her husband is constantly out working. Staying at the same hotel is a middle-aged, world-weary American actor, Bob Harris, in Japan to make a commercial for Japanese whiskey.

Second paragraph. The plot – what happens … and why.

Both characters appear to be suffering from culture shock and seem afraid to leave the security of the hotel. For example, despite seeming to be impressed by all the neon and energy of the city, Bob spends his night in the hotel bar with other tourists, while Charlotte reads and listens to music in her room.

Third paragraph. Develop the plot.

They meet in the hotel where age difference notwithstanding, they seem to get on extremely well, extremely quickly. Furthermore, they give each other energy and courage to venture outside. We learn that Bob is less than happy in his current life, while it becomes apparent that Charlotte is doubting her own marriage. At one point it look like they will get together. However, Bob decides to go back to the USA, leaving Charlotte, but not before they share an embrace on the street, in which Bob whispers something in her ear. We, that is the audience, do not get to hear what he said; we have to speculate.

Fourth paragraph: Something negative for balance.

Some people could be irritated that the final words are a mystery, other could be severely disappointed by this love story that never quite happens. The two protagonists return to their lives which will, possible, be unfulfilling. This negativity is like a black cloud on an otherwise bright, sunny day.

Conclusion: A short summary.

‘Lost in Translation’ is described as a romantic-comedy-drama. The characters are totally believable and likeable, while, technically, the cinematography is stunning. Furthermore, in my view, it is a charming, heart-warming, and life-affirming movie.

Adult Speaking Class, level 2, Part 6

25th January 2020

Contents

Grammar: Modal verbs

Listening practice: Life in Japan

Project work: What to do in Tokyo

Speaking practice: Classroom activity / Just A Minute

Listening practice:

Life in Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwg5-YY4pdg

Image result for life in Japan

New vocabulary, expressions, listening to accents.

Listen out for:

‘you guys’ (US), omg (oh my god), screwed up, really cool cafes, despite, strict

Check her grammar – any mistakes ?

Image result for amazing things in Japan

Listening for information

This clip ‘7 Cool things to do in Tokyo’ has a lot of practical information.

Write down as much as you can – try without subtitles.

Include prices, opening times, locations etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3enIWRJtHQ

Image result for amazing things in Japan

Project:

You have three days in Tokyo; what would you choose to do ?https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-things-to-do-in-tokyo

Image result for amazing things in tokyo
Image result for amazing things in tokyo

Grammar

Modal verbs. When to use:

can / could / have to / may /must

ought to / should / will

Permission /Possibility / Obligation

Request / Speculation / Suggestion

Can I get a bus to the city centre from here ? Is it possible ?

Can you hit the lights, please ? request – turn on/off the lights

Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation

You have to get over 60% or Thay Paul will KYA (kick your ass !) Obligation

Oh, you must see the new Iron Man film. Suggestion

Will you help me with my tieng Viet ?  Request

May I go to the party ? Permission

You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Obligation

You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion

You should all read English books. Suggestion

Exercises:

….. I use my mobile phone in class ? Asking permission

You ………. answer all three questions. Obligation

It’s too heavy; …… you help me lift it ?

Don’t wait too long – he ……. not come.

… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?

Speaking Practice

This activity makes students speak English to each other, exchanging information and giving them practice in taking down facts such as dates, phone numbers etc.

Arrange class into small groups and give them each an information sheet. They take turns reading aloud to their group, using natural rhythms and intonations.

It’s highly probable that other students will not understand all, so they must use some of the following phrases:

I’m sorry, could you repeat that, please.

I didn’t catch your phone number.

Would you mind speaking slower, please.

How do you spell that ?

Let me confirm, your name is …

Speaker One:

Hello, I’m calling from Los Angles and I want to know what time does your office open ? I’m arriving on the 10th July so can you meet me at the airport ? My cell is 555 – 0743 – 9291. Also, can you recommend a good hotel downtown ?

Speaker Two:

Hi, this is Mr Muller from the Berlin office. We are waiting for your design for the Audi components. Could you email them as soon as possible. We have an important presentation on the 12th so we need them. 

Speaker Three:

Hello, I’m looking for … Mr nnngggg yyyyyuun ?? Sorry, I cannot pronounce Vietnamese. This is Jack Ginsberg from the Beijing factory. We cannot meet your order by the deadline. We need at least three more days. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Speaker Four: 

London calling, this is Mr Thompson for Mr Thanh. We need to rearrange the time of our conference Skype call. We must bring it forward to 11 o’clock your time. Hope that is not an issue. Any problems, give me a bell on my office number or drop me an email.

Speaker Five

My doctor told me to cut down on fast food and to cut out alcohol completely. I also have to hit the gym, go swimming and take up a sport. I tried jogging but I gave up, it was too damn hot. My girlfriend is always on at me to loose weight.

Speaker six:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

Shakespeare ‘As You Like It’ Act 2, Scene 7

Just A Minute

Can you speak for a minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition ?

Students work in pairs, using a stopwatch. One student has to speak for one minute on a subject but must not repeat information, take too long to answer or to speak about different subjects.

school or work / local food / Asian women / great things about your city / bad things in your city / your family / your hometown / free time

Image result for japanese english language students