Young Learners: Amazing Adjectives

9th August 2021

Movie and TV Cast Screencaps: Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow / Hero (2002) /  32 Screencaps
The amazing Asian actress Maggie Cheung in the famous film ‘Hero’.
The brilliant breathtaking Blues musician Robert Johnson

Adjective Game 1

Let’s start with ‘A’, the first letter. Who knows these adjectives ?

Am__________ (This word means very good, wonderful)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘a’ ?

Be___________ // (This word means very pretty)

What other adjectives can you think of beginning with ‘b’ ?

Cu__ // Dan______ // ele_____ // fan_______ (very good) // gr_______

// he________ // int_________ // Ja____ (from an Asian country) // ki___ //

la__ // me____ (not clean. Also the name of a talented footballer) //

ner___ // outg______ (opposite of shy) // pop_____ // qui__ // ru__

// sel____ // tal________ // unu_____ // valu____ (costs a lot of money)

Here Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Paintings In The World Right Now

// wea______ (if you can buy the Mona Lisa, you must be extremely wea_____) // Xenop_______ (do not like people from other countries) // ye__ – _____ (lasts for 12 months) // Zamb___ (person from Zambia)

Zambia
Zambia country profile - BBC News

Suitable answers: amazing / beautiful / cute / dangerous / electric / fantastic / greedy, great, Greek / healthy / intelligent / Japanese / kind / lazy / messy / nervous / outgoing /popular / quick / rude / selfish / talkative / unusual / valuable / wealthy / xenophobic / year-long / Zambian

Adjective Game 2

Sentence building using adjectives is very easy. Even using basic adjectives can improve your English. Colours, sizes and where someone is from are all easy adjectives. Look at this example:

The flag is very large and is white with a red circle in the middle. The flag is Japanese.

Look at these flags. Choose one and describe it to the class. Points for the students who guess which flag. Extra points if they know the country.

Adjective Game 3

Describe these people:

Albert Einstein, born in Germany
Usain Bolt, born in Jamaica
Park Soyeon - T-Ara - Posts | Facebook
Park Soyeon from Korea
Omar Sharif born in Egypt
Dr. Vandana Shiva DS.jpg
Vandana Shive from India

IELTS Mindset 1, lesson 6 Review

21st April 2021

Today is Hung King Festival, a free day in Viet Nam

Hung King Festival | All about Hung King Temple Festival 2021
Hung King Festival (Kings’ Day) Viet Nam (Google Images)

“The holiday is dedicated to the memory of the Hung line of kings who ruled Vietnam as priestly kings for over 2,500 years up until around 250 B.C. These kings are counted as the nation’s ancient founders.” Read more on:

https://publicholidays.vn/hung-kings-commemoration-day/

New Vocabulary

Cheap as chips … very inexpensive (UK expression)

Elaborate (verb) … tell more, expand on your answer

Significant (adj) significance (noun) significantly (adv) … very important or different from the rest. Special, notable.

Simile … to compare something e.g. he drinks like a fish, she eats like a pig, our campus is like a bloody madhouse.

White collar job … professional, desk job or requires mental skills e.g. lawyer, doctor, office worker, teacher

Blue collar job … manual work, although these jobs can also need a professional qualification, and can be extremely well-paid.

May be an image of 4 people and people smiling
Good old boys from Atlanta, Georgia back in the day. Three have blue collar jobs, one is white collar … can you guess which ?

Now, on with the show. Last night was based around the typical IELTS question, “Tell me about your family,” and its derivatives. I tell classes until I’m blue in the face, just saying, “I live with my mum, my dad and my sister,” is not a great IELTS answer, not to mention being tedious in the extreme.

The students mulled it over and came up with the reasonable response that there really was nothing else to say. Au contraire (on the contrary) there is so much to say, and every journey, as my Duchess knows, starts with a single step to wit, a great introduction.

The students, somewhat perplexed, offered:

Well, I don’t know how to give an interesting answer because I just live with my mum, dad and brother …

Even that would qualify as an introduction, but how about:

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly there is …

Here’s where relative clauses really come into their own. Basically, every time you mention a subject, a noun, elaborate; tell the examiner more about said subject.

May be an image of 3 people
Hold your horses, Thay Paul. Will you give me an example ? Photo in Manila.

Oh, you know I will. Let’s start with the matriarch, Mommie dearest. You could say:

My mother has a heart of gold

…then explain why

… she’s always thinking of other people before herself, as well as listening to all my problems and trying to help me with everything.

On the other hand, your mother may want you to excel at everything …

Although I love her dearly, my mother is what they call a Tiger Mum by which I mean she always makes me study, do homework and learn piano. I really burn the candle at both ends and sometimes it can be too much for me.

Now, let’s turn to pater, Daddy;

My father, on the other hand, is firm but fair …

My father has a white collar job. He works long hours to provide for his family, he really has his nose to the grindstone …

He’s a little loud and on holidays, he loves singing karaoke with his friends, who are all blue collar workers, and he drinks like a fish.

Now, a borrowed word to describe sister …

My sister, who is younger than me, is such a prima donna, always (doing what ?) …

Conversely:

My sister is so sweet, she’s like a little angel, and she loves playing with our puppy who is just six weeks old.

How about brother ?

My brother really looks out for me, giving me advice and guidance. I totally look up to him.

On the other hand …

My brother is an absolute slacker, lazy beyond belief. He never helps in the house, or cleans his room. He does his homework once in a blue moon, preferring to play stupid computer games instead.

How was that ? Happy now ?

No photo description available.
Yes, that’s a great help, Khob khun (khap/ka). Two Thai friends in London.

Now … Your Turn

Last night you encountered these adjectives and occupations:

aggressive / arrogant / calm / funny (haha) / funny (crazy) / generous / honest / humorous / kind / mean / modest / polite / quiet / reliable / rude / selfish / serious / thoughtless / trustworthy /

estate agent / plumber / DJ / mechanic / bouncer / surgeon / accountant / actor / cook or chef / removal man / insurance agent / bank clerk / detective / businessperson / barista / lawyer / slacker shop manager / unemployed /

Exercise 1: Write and then present your own IELTS-style answer to the question, “Tell me who you live with ?” Use new words as well as your own ideas.

Here’s some help, should you require it:

Allow me to introduce my family to you. Firstly there is my mother who … (where is she from OR what is her job OR what is she like, by which I mean physically or in terms of personality ?).

My father, on the other hand, is …

As for my younger sister, I worry about her because she …

Now, let’s mix it up a little … say you live with an aunt, a grandparent, a cousin … impress me; I know you can do it.

For more about introductions, check out this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/28/ielts-please-allow-me-to-introduce-myself/

For last night’s lesson blog, click here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/20/ielts-mindset-1-lesson-6-speaking-speaking-and-more-speaking/

See you next week

Hung King Festival | All about Hung King Temple Festival 2021
Google images

IELTS Mindset 1: Lesson 5 Review

14th April 2021

May be an image of 1 person
Do you want to join Thay Paul’s class ? “I willl give it my utmost consideration.”

New vocabulary

unique – one of a kind, nothing else like it

imminent – going to happen or start very soon

you get what you pay for (or you pay for what you get) – if you buy something cheap, you get bad quality

to romanticise – to make something ordinary more interesting

to fantasise (fantasize US English) – to wish for something great to happen

use your imagination / give your imagination free reign – it is OK to pretend, to make up a better story

I will give it my utmost consideration – I will think about it very, very carefully (and then say ‘no’).

firstly, secondly, additionally, another point is, on the other hand, however, finally, in conclusion, to sum up, all things considered – all ‘signpost language‘, to help organise your ideas.

Are you ready to rock ?

May be an image of 1 person
Miss Ngoc in Sai Gon … hey, ho … let’s go !

I’ll be burning the candle at both ends because my IELTS test is _______________ .

Remember, you don’t have to tell the absolute truth in your speaking test. It’s totally OK to ________________________________ .

I picked up this shirt at Saigon Centre and, yeah, it cost an arm and a leg, but just feel the quality … you ____________________________________ .

We booked a really reasonable room at the beach, but the water was cold, the sheets were stained and there were bugs everywhere. We totally _____________________________________ (use past tense).

Thay Paul, we have a new class of students. They are extremely lazy and unmotivated and only want to play with their phones. Would you like to teach them ? ________________________________________________ .

What did you do last weekend ? “I sleep.” Is that all ? Ah, c’mon, do better, ______________________________________ .

Quick – fire round

No photo description available.

You planned a day out for my friend Ethan. Describe these photos using as many IELTS features as you can:

No photo description available.
No photo description available.
No photo description available.
Highlands Coffee opposite the Rex Hotel 2012

Areas to focus on: being confident about answering the Part II questions, so we shall work on fluency and developing the ability to speak for longer periods without hesitation.

Just a minute

Speak for one minute on:

Food in your country

What you do in your free time

Your family

Holidays in your country (e.g. Tet, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc)

A link to last week’s notes: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/07/ielts-mindset-1-lesson-4-review/

See you next week

May be an image of 6 people

Vietnamese food: lunch in the hood

11th February 2021

Quán Lúa: Address: 537/3 Đường Nguyễn Duy Trinh, Phường Bình Trưng Tây, Quận 2, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

I visited this restaurant back in December just before Christmas and, along with my trusty sidekick, sampled some of the fish dishes:

Prawns with onions and peanuts; the best dish.

Canh Chua Cá (Sour Fish Soup). I’m not such a fan of this Viet dish. It was average, nothing special.

Baked fish with sticky rice.

Gettin’ ready to tuck in …

The service was very friendly and, as you see, they didn’t object to my sidekick in the outside area. Cost was reasonable while I would rank the food thus: the prawns were delicious, the baked fish satisfactory and the rice well-flavoured. The soup looks colourful, it’s just not my cup of tea. To be fair, as I went early some of my first choices were not available. I really went as a break from home-cooking, and to support a local restaurant. I’ll leave the last word to my trusty sidekick:

Young Learners, Level 5: What are you doing, how do you feel ?

18th November 2020

E Up Units 1 & 2 Review.

On stage | Reuters.com
What did the man do in the afternoon ? How did he feel ?

Objectives:

Ensure students have learnt the Unit adjectives (as well as new vocabulary from class)

Give students confidence to build longer, more interesting sentences

Give students sense of security to speak in class

Stress the importance of practice and practice and practice

A Warm up game:

Split class into teams. Read out a sentence in the present tense. Students have to write using the past tense. Depending on class size, students can run to the board, or work in small groups on a board in which case, make sure the writers are changed each turn.

EXAMPLE: I win a game. Yesterday …

I sleep all night. Last week I …

He rides a motorbike. He …

She acts in a school play. She ….

We read about Marco Polo. We …

They learn English at school. They …

I see a film. I …

We eat pizza. We …

Mr Paul drinks coffee. Mr Paul …

Now … pronunciation practice

From Twin Peaks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EsqvYBeyws

(play from 0:10 onwards)

“Damn good coffee … and hot !”

Points for the best performance

Now, sentence building

What were you doing // when were you doing it // How did you feel ?

Use the flashcards to help students form sentences

Past tense – Thay Paul's Notes

In the morning, I was riding an elephant and I felt very confident.

Adjectives are: relaxed // nervous // confident // sleepy // wide-awake // shy

Facts tell, but stories sell - Untapped Resources, Inc.

In the evening, they were telling stories and they felt very relaxed.

New vocabulary and Screen Test game

Vietnam’s famous cave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3zIhJrPHDQ

New vocabulary:

massive // discover (discovered) // breathtaking // even // skyscraper

Have students shout out the words as they hear them.

Questions:

1) Who discovered the cave ? 2) What kind of forest is in the cave ? 3) How long is it ? 4) How long would it take to walk ? 5) A skyscraper of how many stories (floors) could fit inside ? 6) How old is the cave ?

Vietnam beauty queen rocks Son Doong Cave - VnExpress International
In the afternoon she was exploring a cave and she felt very excited

Answers

1) a farmer 2) a rainforest 3) over 5 kms 4) a week 5) 40 stories (floors) 6) 2- 5 million years old

Vietnam on video Part 1

23rd October 2020

A compilation of videos about Viet Nam for use in class. Some clips are made by westerners, other by Vietnamese speaking English. The clips can be used for listening practice, learning vocabulary, pronunciation, or just to learn more about the country.

Contents:

Vietnamese beer review

Vietnamese culture

Vietnamese superstitions

Lights, camera, action !

Vietnamese beer review (Sai Gon Red): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKr6Cj-Xr9g&list=LLfquznE0joCgmA3v1PIQ0CQ&index=8&t=1s

This is an English man, a beer-lover, who uses lots of everyday language, slang and metaphors. Listen out for:

Let’s dive in / coming in at … / head (the white foam on top of beer) / oh, blimey, that’s awful ! /

Vietnamese culturehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAi_b__l_c

To what extent do you agree with her comments ?

I agree totally // I agree to an extent // I’m not sure I totally agree // That has not been my experience // She is spot on ! // She is over-simplifying // There’s an element of truth in what she says // She’s talking nonsense !

Vietnamese superstitions:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmtyCvW9nbc

The speaker has a long introduction so you can listen to her American accent and try to imitate her, as well as learning new expressions.

Which superstitions have you heard of ? Do you believe in them ? Have you experienced any ?

What does she say about three people in a picture ?

About sleeping with your feet facing a mirror

About saying someone’s full name at night (04:15)

Wearing what colour brings good luck ? (06:00) How about, “Wearing white in your head ?” (07:24)

How about if you run over a cat ? (08:20)

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Tell me more – ideas for sentence building.

6th June 2020

Sentence building

The Approach of a Conversation

Last week, I showed my class how to speak, and think, in longer sentences. I chose a basic question as an example:

Where do you want to visit in Vietnam ?

I showed them a plan:

Introduction / First good point / second good point / something bad / conclusion.

I choose Hoi An

Hoi An: Vietnam's most charming city - Exoticca Blog

Introduction: DON’T answer immediately but introduce the answer by repeating or rephrasing the question:

Vietnam has many beautiful places but my choice would be Hoi An.

First Good Point:

Firstly, Hoi An is a historical city with a wonderful Japanese bridge and lovely old shops. At night, the shops use romantic lanterns.

Second Good Point:

Hoi An is close to Da Nang, so I can fly there easily and quickly. There are many things to see and do in the local area.

Now, something negative

However, Hoi An is very small and can be extremely crowded in summer. Maybe it will be difficult to find a hotel or a table at a good restaurant.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Hoi An is a very special place to visit because it is a town of Vietnamese culture.

How to build sentences:

Use adjectives to describe nouns (beautiful, historic, romantic)

adverbs to describe adjectives and verbs – give more information (very, easily)

opinion phrases (in my opinion)

linking words to connect positive to positive or positive to negative – discourse markers (however)

reasons why an action is being done (because)

Now – your turn: Where do you want to visit ? This can be in Vietnam or anywhere.

SECOND EXAMPLE:

I like coffee

a-beautiful-thai-girl-drinking-coffee | Dude I Need A Truck

I like coffee so much because it tastes great and makes me wake up although too much will stop me from sleeping at night but, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

Work experience

I teach a brother and sister; the sister is a bit of a handful always chatting or texting during class. In complete contrast, the brother is a really good student as well as being a young gentleman. I feel he is an ideal student.

Now – your turn. Try these:

  • Living in Sai Gon or in your city
  • Free time
  • Working and studying.

Sentence building – becoming fluent and coherent

Use

  • adverbs
  • adjectives
  • opinions phrases
  • linking words
  • new vocabulary

EXAMPLE: I like coffee

Ask

  1. how MUCH do you like it (adverbs) ?
  2. What kind of coffee (adjectives) ?
  3. What do you think about this ? (opinions)
  4. WHY do you like it (give reasons)
  5. interesting words, phrases, idioms
Emotional Intelligence in Love and Relationships - HelpGuide.org

I really enjoy hot milky coffee because it helps bring people together as well as making our minds become quite active and somewhat excited. Coffee, in my point of view, is essentially useful if we use it in moderation. On the other hand coffee can be a dreadful waste of money as well as having a detrimental effect on our health. Despite the negative aspects, coffee makes me feel over the moon!

Vietnamese party food

19th May 2020

Here’s another request blog; a friend, Pete (who has featured in some of my lessons) is planning a party this Friday. His daughter, who is turning 18, has requested some Vietnamese food.

My friend Pete: musician, online DJ and all round diamond geezer

However, Pete lives in the UK, which is still under lockdown (quarantine), so many restaurants are closed. Furthermore, he lives in the middle of the country, so had no access to really fresh sea food (the Vietnamese only say sea food is fresh IF it was swimming in the sea just ten minutes before).

Additionally, Pete won’t be able to get his hands on some vegetables or ingredients so we’ll have to take that into account. Having said that, here are some tips for making Vietnamese food in a western kitchen.

Beginners Guide to Vietnamese Cooking: 8 Glorious Recipes - YouTube

Banh xeo is like a pancake filled with beansprouts, shrimps, salad, grilled meat …

Grilled pork is ubiquitous – a street food stable served with rice and pickled vegetables.

Fried spring or summer rolls – can be a bit fiddly (difficult) to make, and require special material. Probably available in Asian supermarkets, but hard to get in small towns (or just order online like everyone else in 2020). Contains salad leaves and shrimp and vegetables).

Pho (pronounced ‘far’) is THE traditional food of Vietnam, and is normally eaten for breakfast. It’s basically noodle soup with meat of your choice. Shrimps (prawns) or just vegetables could be substituted. Another ubiquitous dish.

HA NOI

The best Vietnamese pho soup, pho Hanoi or pho Saigon?
If the locals are queuing for the food, if must be good and reasonably priced.

Sai Gon

Pho Ha, Saigon - review by Rusty Compass
Typical street scene in Ho Chi Minh City

And now, without further ado … how to cook Vietnamese:

First, one of the UK’s most loved, and sadly missed chefs, Keith Floyd. Keith came to Vietnam as part of an east Asian cooking show. In Sai Gon, he made this dish, beef cooked in sweet and spicy stock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6cSQ8Vly8

The scene starts at 06.39

But, I hear you protest, how can a westerner make authentic Vietnamese food ?

Ok, so now let’s have pho bo (beef noodle soup) made by a Vietnamese lady: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCaGOQLpTt0

For fans of the fowl, connoisseurs of the chicken, I haven’t forgotten you. Here’s an interesting recipe, lemongrass chicken (lemongrass, which is ten-a-penny in Vietnam, that is, very cheap, can be so expensive in the UK. I once saw 5 lemongrass on sale for £1, that’s over 30 000 VND): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJtMlTnqyw0

Seonkyoung Longest - Asian at Home - Authentic Asian Recipes by ...
Eating and etiquette: Top tips for joining a VN family meal - Life ...
Time to party
Hanoi Food Guide - The Best Hanoi Restaurants and Cafes ...
Goodbye from Viet Nam

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: Travel talk

5th May 2020

This blog will help intermediate students develop sentence-building skills, based around the theme of travel and how to relate your experiences or wishes.

New adjectives

stunning // playful // family-friendly // authentic // world-class

New expressions

It takes your breathe away //

The ________ is breathtaking //

An unforgettable experience //

No trip to …. would be complete without …

New verbs

create // seem // include // remember // spend // demonstrate

To warm up … use the new vocabulary to express your feelings about the following photos:

Halong Bay (Ha Long Bay) - Everything you Need to Know about ...
The Insider's Guide to Organize Family Tours in Italy - Find Your ...
Nanning Dibai 7 Star Hotel | Nanning 2020 UPDATED DEALS $40, HD ...
Where to find the best Tudor sights in England - Telegraph

Make complex sentences using these words or phrases

Example: I recently stayed in a world class, seven-star hotel which was an unforgettable experience for example; the chef created such spectacular food.

Now … your turn

Tower Bridge, London
Machu Picchu travel | Peru - Lonely Planet
Micchu Picchu, Peru
Designer labels and luxury goods
Cloud 9 Cute Maid Cafe - Experience Anime in Pop Culture at ...
Cute Maid Cafe, Japan
The Ledge, Willis Tower | 10 views that will test your fear of ...
View from the Willis (Sears) Tower, Chicago, USA
How to Eat Scary Insects, Worms, and Bugs in Thailand
Trying some of the local food in Thailand
Gallery: Dynamo Performs Bus Levitation Stunt On Westminster ...
The British magician Dynamo tries a new way to ride a bus.

Listening exercises: Top Gear Special … what can go wrong ?

28th April 2020

Movie] Top Gear - Vietnam Special - KLNetBB

Top Gear is a famous British show about cars, motoring, driving and crashing !

Here is an opportunity to hear British English being spoken at a natural pace, and to learn new expressions and colloquialisms (everyday spoken words, not usually found in student text books).

Top Gear Vietnam

Top Gear filming hour-long special in Vietnam | Autoblog

The chaps arrive in Vietnam are are given a challenge … to buy a car for 15 million Dong. That sounds a lot of money, but it is nowhere near enough to buy a car, not even an old, second-hand one. Instead they decide they can only afford motorbikes.

Now for the challenge.

This clip has subtitles. Watch it repeatedly, concentrating on the body language, the expressions on the faces and the way two of the men are excited while Jeremy (the very tall man in the Vietnam T-shirt) is less than happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKg-jCV-YM0&list=PLPJI_c2ou1sQgmufw3aUzI1h5ZLQpZybv&index=2

[Note: some of the subtitles are WRONG !]

The challenge is to ride their motorbikes from Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) to the North, past Ha Noi, near the Chinese border.

Don't do the Top Gear Vietnam Thing: Part 1 - Adventure Rider

Richard, the smallest man, tells Jeremy his scooter will be useless … why ?

What expression does Richard use to mean ‘out of control’ ?

How does James, the man in the white shirt, describe the challenge ?

What is Jeremy’s reaction ? Can you copy his expression and voice ?

Confession: I find myself rewatching the Vietnam special all the ...

What would be the problem riding a bike like this Vietnam ?

What is the longest or strangest or worst journey you have ever made ?

Tell the class about it, trying to use as many new expressions as you can, and with the appropriate stress and intonation.

Pronunciation

Try to sound like to the chaps – intonation and stress and phrases.

Top Gear Vietnam (07.00 – 8.46): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1zfuBgCUqY&t=48s

Worst car in the world

What are the problems ? Can you imitate Jeremy’s intonation ?

“…known in Vietnam as the ‘common car’ has an engine, but it’s hard to say what sort.”

watch the whole clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd5ka91fkDo

New Technology Information: Top Gear Season 12