One of my students has chosen the English name ‘Cherry’, so this song goes down well (especially when I try, and fail, to hit those high notes).
Now, down to business
Past tense – what is the past tense for:
eat // drink // see // become // live // travel // ride // sleep
Moving on – complete the sentence:
Last night I _____ Chinese food
Yesterday he ______ hot, sweet tea
She ______ all night
Marco Polo _______ famous for his travel stories.
He ______ from I___ to C________
In Thailand, Mr Paul _____ a large grey intelligent elephant.
Also he _____ many beautiful colourful temples
Now, past continuous
Make sentences using continuous form. Remember – verb + ing
What are they doing ? They are telling stories
Use flashcards. Have students ask and answer the questions. Call two students, one from each team and have them stand on a mark. Awards points for pronunciation as well as correct answers. Drill class to make sure everyone is taking part.
Next hand out six flashcards, three to each team.
Ask them, “What were you doing when I drank coffee ?” They must answer in the present continuous e.g. I was setting up the tent.
Finally, have a student mime an activity. Only that student’s team may answer.
Moving on, today’s subject is a reading exercise about exploring a cave. As a lead-in, show this video about a famous cave in Viet Nam:
Listening practice: A non-native speaker talks about a crime.
Reading exercise: Sherlock Holmes
Warm up game: Eyewitness
Crime and detection.Being an eyewitness.
Crime and Punishment
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:
Do you like detective shows ? Which are your favourites ?
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:
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.
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).
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 ……….. …………….
A miscellany of lesson notes aimed specifically at basic-level English
Grammar – adjectives // helping verbs // comparatives & superlatives // I used to // modal verbs // much or many ? // past tense exercises // possessives // relative pronouns // should or shouldn’t // some or any // I need // verbs – most common verbs present, past and past participle.
Vocabulary – new words and expressions
Vocabulary – film
Vocabulary – Kitchen
Vocabulary – what do you need ?
Speaking practice – introductions // repairs // future tense
If you meet a new friend or business acquaintance
Hello, how are you ? Very well, thank you, and yourself ? / I’m great
hot, cold, sweet, bitter, Vietnamese, weak, strong, expensive, Indian
Now add a reason – ‘because’, ‘as’
I love good strong coffee because it wakes me up and I also adore sweet Indian tea in the evening as it helps me to unwind.
Make longer sentences:
I like Sai Gon but I don’t like Ha Noi
I like films and I like games
My friend likes street food but he doesn’t like restaurants
Vocabulary – adjectives
standard / higher / / opposite / higher
good / brilliant // bad / terrible
beautiful / gorgeous // ugly / hideous
interesting / fascinating // boring / tedious
expensive / over-priced // cheap / bargain
modern / hip / trendy // old-fashioned / out-dated
gentle / calm // angry / hot-headed
big / massive / huge // small / tiny
important / significant // unimportant / insignificant
tiring / exhausting // relaxing / peaceful
Helping verbs: have / want / need /go / like
Subject + helping verb + infinite …..
I have to find my mobile phone // She goes to work // He needs to relax
Write sentences for these pictures:
He wants ….
She likes ….
Negative: He doesn’t …
Grammar – comparatives and superlatives:
big / bigger / biggest (-er / -est for small words)
interesting / more interesting / the most interesting (more / the most for longer words)
Sai Gon is bigger than Ha Noi
Chinese is the most difficult language to learn
London expensive Sai Gon
Thailand hot Canada
Moroccan food spicy French
Action films exciting rom-com (romantic-comedy)
I used to …
When I was young, I used to play football. Now I am too old !
I do NOT play football NOW. I played football when I was young
Write sentences. Example: When I was young, I used to read comics.
When I lived in Germany I used to …
This pen belongs to me, it is mine.
The laptop belongs to Jane, it is _______
It’s John’s book, it belongs to ______
We all work for HLS, it is ______ company.
Give this to Anna and Gary, it is _______
Grammar: modal verbs
Modal verbs are helping verbs that show
permission (sự cho phép)
possibility (khả năng)
can / could / have to / must / might / should
can’t / couldn’t / don’t have to / mustn’t / mightn’t / shouldn’t
1. Ted’s flight from Amsterdam took more than 11 hours. He must be exhausted after such a long flight. He might prefer to stay in tonight and get some rest.
2. Hiking in the mountains ______ be dangerous. You _____ research the route a little more before you start.
3. You _____ take your umbrella today. The weatherman said there’s a storm in Nha Trang and it ______ rain this afternoon.
4. When you have a small child, you ______ leave small objects lying around. Such objects _____ be swallowed.
5. I _____ believe she said that to the supervisor!
6. Jenny’s wedding ring is enormous! It ______ be very expensive.
7. Please water the plants. If they don’t get enough water, they _____ die.
Try to make sentences:
I need to…. She wants to… You have to… We like to … He hates to …
Much or many ? A little or a few ?
[a few = countable / little = uncountable]
Is there much work left ? I really want a little free time to run some errands.
There are ….. shops in the mall. I need to buy …… items
Is there ….. beer in the fridge, or do I need …… more ?
There are only a … millionaires inVietnam but they have so ….. money.
There are far too ….. karaoke singers. I need …….. peace.
PAST TENSE EXERCISE:
Complete the exercise with the verbs inside the box.
drink / fall / hurt / sell
spend / write
choose one of these verbs and use the past tense form
1. Mozart ……. more than 600 pieces of music.
2. ‘How did you learn to drive?’ ‘My father …….. me.’
3. We couldn’t afford to keep our car, so we ……. it.
4. I was very thirsty. I ……… the water very quickly.
5. Paul and I played tennis yesterday. He’s much better than me, so he ……. easily.
6. Don ……. down the stairs this morning and his leg.
7. Jim …….. the ball to Sue, who …….. it.
8. Ann …….. a lot of money yesterday. She ……. a dress. It ……. £100
Grammar – Present Perfect
Subject + have/ has + past participle
I have been to Ha Noi
She has visited London
They have seen that film so many times but (they) have never understood it.
I have read ‘My Sassy Girl 1’ although I have not read ‘My Sassy Girl 3’
(I haven’t read)
Have you read any good books recently ?
To talk about something in the past but not when it happened
He has looked at the report – YES
He has looked at the report last week – NO
(He looked at the report last week) just use simple past
Can use with ‘for’ and ‘since’
I have lived in HCM since 2010
I have lived in HCM for seven years
Exercises: Put these sentences into present perfect
I John (read) your email several times. John has read your email …. 2. She (wear) that skirt many times. 3. My family (visit) Brazil a few times. 4. I (eat) already. 5. Mia (finish) her homework. 6. You (break) the glass again. 7. They (pay) for everything. 8. It (never snow) like that. 9. I (meet) Anna once. 10. We (see) him before.
Grammar – Relative Pronouns:
who For people: This is the man who sold me the fake Rolex !
which For things: We tried fish and chips which is delicious.
where For places: Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargins.
Whose Possessive: That’s the singer whose record we heard last night.
The car, whose driver was young, won the race.
We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.
A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know what to do.
The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.
Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.
A boy ____ sister is in my class was in the bank at that time.
I know a person ____ can speak seven languages.
We visited the church _____ is in the middle of the square.
It is a protected area of land _____ you can see a lot of interesting wildlife.
This dress is made of silk, _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.
Grammar: should / shouldn’t
Complete the sentences. Use the verb in brackets. Sometimes the verb will be nagative Use contractions where possible.
It’s cold. You … a cardigan. (wear)
She’s always tired. She … to bed late every night. (go)
… now? (we / leave)
You … some fruit or vegetables every day. (eat)
The students … their mobile phones in the exam. (use)
You … the teacher to help you if you don’t understand the lesson. (ask)
People … fast in the town centre. (drive)
… the dress or the skirt? (I / buy)
Grammar: ‘some’ or ‘any’
we use ‘some’ for a statement
we use ‘any’ for a negative or a question
There are some great websites for learning English. PLURAL / countable
There is some Czech beer on sale at VinMart. PLURAL / uncountable
There aren’t any beer clubs near here
We don’t have any French cheese
Are they any good films playing ?
Do you have any English tea?
1 Do you have ______ questions about the new project ?
2 Let me give you _______ advice.
3 You don’t need to bring ____ pens or paper. There will be ______ print-outs available.
4 There will be _____ visitors from Germany coming. Do you know ____ German ?
Jim I can’t wait for Tet. Do you have any plans ?
Alf Of course ! I’m going to watch some films and get some rest.
Jim Have you bought any special food ?
Alf I don’t have any time for shopping. I’ve still got some beer. How about you ?
Jim I need to buy some fruit, some biscuits, and do I need any special food for Tet ?
Alf Absolutely ! You must buy some cakes and some sweets.
Jim Anything else ? I need some advise.
Alf Just make sure you have some beer. A LOT of beer. Cheers !
Grammar: I need
subject need (helping verb) infinite verb (to + verb) completion
I need to visit a dentist
She needs to stop buying clothes !
subject need (helping verb) article / determiner noun
He needs a laptop / I need the report
We need some overtime / She needs a bottle of water
I need tôi cần // I want tôi muốn
1 I ____ to visit Thailand. 2 He ______ to find a job now !
3 Her mother ____ her to get married. 4 Do you ____ to see Twin Peaks ?
5 She can’t go out, she _____ to finish her homework.
6 They _____ new shirts but they ______ to buy computer games instead.
Some items are essential (very important) Some are useful
Some are luxury items (don’t really need them)
EXAMPLE: I think a fridge is essential. However, a meat slicer is a luxury item.
What are they made of and what are they used for ?
EXAMPLE: A toaster is made of metal and is used to toast bread.
What do you need …. ?
What do you need to make pho ?
What do you need to ride a motorbike ?
What do you need for a party ?
What animals do you need for a zoo ?
What do you need to do before you go out ?
Sentence building – verb practice
REMEMBER: ‘to be’ is different:
I am busy / you are busy / she is busy
I was busy / you were busy / she was busy
I was quite busy / really busy / I was extremely, incredibly busy !
I have been busy / you have been busy / she has been busy
Look at this picture: describe what you see
First – what is the subject ? A man
What does he look like ? Adjectives
What is he wearing ? Colour, material, pattern
Where is he ? What is he doing ?
A young man with short dark hair, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and black and white spotted tie is sitting in a restaurant or coffee shop. He is drinking from a small white cup. We know he is drinking damn fine coffee !
Write the subject first ( A young man ). THEN, you can use pronouns (he).
Write long sentences for one of these pictures.
Colin Good morning, I’m Colin.
Mike Pleased to meet you, Colin. I’m Michael but call me Mike.
Colin Thanks, Mike. Have you worked at ….. long ? (a long time ?)
Mike Yes, quite long; about five years. Oh, I like your phone.
Colin Thank you. It’s an LG which is much better, I think, than Apple.
Mike Where did you get it ? (buy it)
Colin Tokyo, where there are so many phone stores.
Mike I really want to go ! Have you met Ms Mi who works in HR ?
Colin Not yet … but she looks very pretty ! (gorgeous / adorable)
Ben Excuse me … is this seat taken ?
Fred I’m sorry ?
Ben May I sit here ?
Fred Oh,by all means. I’m Fred.
Ben Pleased to meet you, Fred. I’m Ben. Are you German ?
Fred Yes, from Berlin, which is the capital. I’m here for three days.
Ben Then you should go to Ben Thanh market where you can buy a Rolex.
Fred Too expensive. My job is great but the salary is terrible !
Ben Ms Na, who works in HR , has a Rolex. Only 400 000 VND.
Fred Really … ? Fake ?
Ben That’s it ! Made in China ! You have a meeting here ?
Fred Yes, with Ms Na; she is gorgeous and so adorable… is she married ?
Ben Yeah … she’s my wife !
Something is either working OR not working
The watch is working The watch is broken – it is not working
I am repairing it – it WAS broken, now it is working again. It has been repaired.
The motorbike is broken. It needs to be repaired / fixed / mended
The mechanic is repairing / fixing / mending the motorbike
It is repaired / fixed / mended
Peter Hi, Mark. How’s it going ? (how are you ?)
Mark Not bad. However, I have a problem. My laptop’s broken.
Peter Oh, dear. What kind is it ?
Mark It’s a PC (personal computer).
Peter Oh, I understand. They are good but sometimes are flawed.
Mark Where can I get it fixed? Do you know somewhere ?
Peter Sure, no problem. There are many shops near here.
Mark Can you take me ?
Peter Sorry, my bike has a problem. It’s not working.
Mark I’ll take a look. Maybe I can mendit. I enjoy fixing engines.
Peter Brilliant. It costs so much to repair a bike.
Mark And it costs so much to use Grabbike every day !
Dialogue practice (ordinal numbers, phrasal verbs, future tense)
Harry and Martin are chatting at work.
Harry What are you going to do tonight ?
Martin I will knock off about 6, then I’m going to the cinema.
Harry What are you going to see ?
Martin Not sure. My girlfriend’ll choose. I’m picking her up later.
Harry Sounds fun ! I’m going to drop off my laundry, then I’ll go swimming.
Martin What days are your taking off for Tet ?
Harry The 14th, 15th and 16th. Then I’ll come back to work.
Martin Why ? Do you have to finish off some work ?
Harry No, I want to start working on the 4th German project.
Now practice – in small groups or pairs, what are YOU going to do tonight or on your free day ?
After work, I will go to the cinema // This weekend I want to drink beer
Tonight, I’m going to meet some friends // I will hang out with my Thai girlfriend.
Use adjectives and extend the sentences:
After work, I will go to the big cinema at Diamond Plaza to see a new American movie.
On Saturday, I’ll (I will) meet my beautiful Thai girlfriend and we will eat delicious and healthy sushi.
What do we do when we go to the airport to catch a flight ?
Take a taxi/ buy a ticket / board the aeroplane / go through security
claim baggage / go thorough immigration / go though customs
check in / buy duty-free / pack your bags
You are flying from Sai Gon to Hue. Where do you go in the airport ?
What will you do at check in ?
What documents do you need ?
How can you check in ? Two ways …
What happens at security ?
Things you love, things you hate ! Try to make long sentences using adverbs and discourse markers (linking words such as furthermore, additionally, however, although etc)
What do you see here ?
Start with the subject or subjects.
What are they doing ? Where do you think they are ?