Quotes for the classroom

2nd September 2020

Today is Independence Day in Vietnam, so let’s start with Uncle Ho, Ho Chi Minh (1890 – 1969). He has some very sage advise, especially for Vietnamese students:

Ho Chi Minh quote: I'm very moved to be here today, ... Our lives...

“We need to work much harder.”

Don’t take my word for it, listen to Uncle Ho. Now, let’s go back to Ancient China and listen to Master Kong … Kong Fuzi … Latinised as Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC):

Pin by Kelly Ferrara Carlson on point to be noted.... | Confucius quotes,  Philosophical quotes, Philosophy quotes

Moving forward, and westward, we come to Ancient Greece and the philosophy of Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC). I think he deserves two quotes n’est-ce pas ?

Aristotle quote Best Quotes – Quotes – BestQuotes
Pin by F. M. on Man Made History...the Good and the Evil | Aristotle quotes,  Philosophy quotes, Teaching quotes

Our inspirational journey takes us my homeland, a “Precious stone set in the silver sea,” (Shakespeare, and more from the Bard, later). The court of Queen Elizabeth, and her adviser and alchemist, the mysterious John Dee (1527 – 1608 or 1609), furthermore, the man credited with coining the phrase “British Empire.”

TOP 10 QUOTES BY JOHN DEE | A-Z Quotes

As promised, something from Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)

Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to  heaven – William Shakespeare - Quotes

I totally agree. The quote is from Henry VI, Part II.

Finally … Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013):

Nelson Mandela Education Quote Gallery - Basecampatx

IELTS: Sentence building – a piece of cake !

16th August 2020

Idiom - A piece of cake - Funky English

I have written another blog about complex sentences which you can access here:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/05/24/ielts-complex-sentences-its-not-that-complicated/

Complex sentences, which you will need to get a respectable IELTS score, are actually quite simple to form as they merely require two or more pieces of information in one sentence.

Ms Jane is from Seattle which is the biggest city in Washington state, USA.

We know where Jane is from as well as something about the city of Seattle

Mr Bean, who is played by the actor Rowan Atkinson, is extremely popular and tremendously successful, being shown all over the world, not forgetting his appearance at the London Olympics in 2012.

This example has been extended by adding more adverbs and adjectives. We know the actor’s name, how popular he is, as well as learning that he was part of the UK Olympics and when that was.

Mr. Bean Live Performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games - YouTube

Let me give you an example, then set you on your way to practice which, as you know, makes perfect.

A typical IELTS question is:

Tell me about something you want to buy.

I’ve drilled it into my students, some of whom, but by no means all, actually listen to me, to always introduce your answer; never answer directly

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

That’s a very interesting question

Well, there is so much to say about that subject, where shall I start ?

It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about …

Last week, someone mentioned wanting to buy a pair of Converse trainers so let’s start there:

Converse Chuck Taylor® All Star® Leather Hi | Zappos.com

It’s funny you put that question to me because earlier today I was just thinking about what I would buy if I had the money.

I have my heart set on buying a pair of Converse, which is an American company with a star logo, who make very fashionable footwear.

To make the sentence more interesting, as well as complex, I simply stated the country, the logo and what they produce … piece of cake, hey ?

OK, your turn … write a complex sentence about these products. Additionally, practice writing different types of introductions.

Best of British (good luck !):

Apple rumored to announce 'iPhone 12' in October, Apple Watch and ...
Apple 12 … What can you tell me about Apple ?
Ralph Lauren grey Big Pony Logo Polo Shirt | Harrods UK
Ralph Lauren shirt. Where is the company from, what is their logo. Are they cheap ?
Line up: the Ferrari official car range
Ferrari sports car
Organ Yamaha PSR-S670 – Hữu Phước Music
Yamaha keyboard.

If Thay Paul had the money …

Rickenbacker 330 Left-Handed, Jetglo at Gear4music
“… such stuff as dreams are made on.”
Steampunk Cavalier | Shakespeare quotes, Shakespeare quotes life ...

Three English poems and some Shakespeare

19th July 2020

W.H. Auden

1907 – 1973

Reading the Maps: Yesterday the struggle: EP Thompson, Auden, and ...

Are you there ?

Each lover has some theory of his own
About the difference between the ache
Of being with his love, and being alone:

Why what, when dreaming, is dear flesh and bone
That really stirs the senses, when awake,
Appears a simulacrum of his own.

Narcissus disbelieves in the unknown;
He cannot join his image in the lake
So long as he assumes he is alone.

The child, the waterfall, the fire, the stone,
Are always up to mischief, though, and take
The universe for granted as their own.

The elderly, like Proust, are always prone
To think of love as a subjective fake;
The more they love, the more they feel alone.

Whatever view we hold, it must be shown
Why every lover has a wish to make
Some kind of otherness his own:
Perhaps, in fact, we never are alone.

John Betjemin

1906 – 1984

John Betjeman was a mediocre poet – but he wrote one brilliant poem

This poem is about a small industrial town, outside of London. The poet criticises the place for its lack of culture and atmosphere, and the people for being mediocre. The place is pronounced ‘sl – owl’ to rhyme with ‘cow’ and ‘now’.

Slough

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who’ll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women’s tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It’s not their fault that they are mad,
They’ve tasted Hell.

It’s not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It’s not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren’t look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

Slough Trading Estate bosses at SEGRO launch £10million fund ...
Mars bars, Ford GT40s and David Brent: The Slough Trading Estate ...

Slough

Philip Larkin

1922 – 1985

Philip Larkin and Me: A Friendship with Holes in It | The New Yorker

Toads 

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can’t I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off ?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison –
Just for paying a few bills!
That’s out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don’t end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets – and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don’t say, one bodies the other
One’s spiritual truth;
But I do say it’s hard to lose either,
When you have both.

William Shakespeare

1564 – 1616

How to read Shakespeare for pleasure

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

 Ham.  I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather. I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.

William Shakespeare quote: What a piece of work is a man, how noble...
133 Best Withnail And I images | Withnail and i, Paul mcgann, Film
From ‘Withnail & I’

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3.

17th January 2020

A collection of exercises and features aimed at the advanced student.

Contents

British culture (Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare)

Politics

Speaking games

Speaking practice

British culture

Image result for british culture

Charles Dickens

Related image

Here’s a little video about the famous short story, ‘A Christmas Carol’ by the British writer (start video at 1.27 – 1.55):

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

Debtor’s prison = people were sent to prison if they couldn’t pay their debts.

Famous Shakespearean quotes:

Image result for shakespeare

Match the quote to the play !

To be or not to be // Romeo and Juliette

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears // Hamlet

Now is the winter of our discontent // A Midsummers’ Night Dream

A plague on both your houses // Julius Caesar

Lord, what fools these mortals be ! // Richard III

Watch an excerpt from a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe in London

Image result for globe theatre

How much can you understand ? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WiVaQheUfE

Politics

In December 2019, The UK had a general election. USA have their election at the end of 2020.

Image result for british general election 2019
Image result for us election 2020

Idioms and collocations

campaign / victory / vote / party / voter 

It was a long and dirty election _________which divided the country. The Conservatives won a landslide _________ in the last general election. I usually cast my _________ for the candidate who is more business friendly. The problem with two _________systems like the USA’s, is not all views are represented. I’m a typical floating _________ , I never decide how to vote until the day of the election. 

If you elect me for President, I will make a difference. I will lower taxes for every citizen and I will make sure that every worker gets a fair deal. I will not stand by and watch the poor and the needy being downtrodden. 

Conversation:

How long is a political term in your country ? 

Do you think it’s important to vote? 

If you were elected leader of your country, what law would you change first? 

Watch this clip. Could this happen in your country ? (politicians attacked) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKdDnMwnV_o

Image result for politicians attacked
Protests in Hong Kong Parliament

Speaking game

Build a character

You will see some character information. Use this to create a character for yourself. 

Take some time to think. Put some effort into this by using the facts and incorporating them. 

EXAMPLE:

Lee Morgan 27 musician born Chicago resides Sai Gon not married

Likes music ! barbecue and spicy food cinema going to clubs and dancing

Dislikes early mornings 9 – 5 jobs Vietnamese food traffic no-smoking ban

Hi, my name’s Morgan, Lee Morgan. I’m 27 and I hail from Chicago, Illinois, which is a dynamic city, but pretty damn cold in winter; icy winds and snow. I’m currently living here, in HCM or Sai Gon, whatever. I’m still single, haven’t found the right girl yet but there are a heap of cute ladies in Vietnam, right ?

I’m a professional musician so, of course, I love music, it’s my passion. I also really love barbecue and hot, spicy food like chilli or gumbo. Yeah, what else … oh, I also enjoy taking in a movie, but at the cinema, not on DVD … no atmosphere at home. Because I finish work late, I often find myself going to clubs and dancing the night away. Great way to meet women, too !

What I’m not crazy about is getting up early. I never get up before noon, no way ! Oh, yeah, sorry to say, I really can’t find any Vietnamese food I like, hey, sorry. Some of it’s OK, but it’s just soup and noddles and bones ! The traffic is another pet hate, it’s hellish and absolutely dangerous. Lastly, I’m a smoker and I want to smoke where and when I want. I hate that I get told not to smoke.

If you have just met, what questions could you ask Lee ?

Remember – nothing too personal. When he answers, show interest, maybe add information about yourself.

BACKCHANNEL – say ‘yeah’, ‘oh, right’, ‘really ?’ etc

Example:

I was born in Hue but I grew up in Na Trang.

Really ? I’m from Na Trang. When did you move to HCMC ?

I like sports.

Me too. I play badminton every week and football every Sunday. 

We’ve been married for three years but no kids.

Why not ? What is wrong with you, or is your wife too lazy to have kids ?

(this is not considered a correct or polite thing to say. Instead, change the subject)

Kenjie Ozu 24 medical student born Tokyo resides Sai Gon engaged

Likes Jazz music / keep fit / karaoke / meeting friends / computer games

Dislikes noise and pollution / smoking / animal cruelty / fast food 

Rob Forster 31 lawyer born Sydney resides Sai Gon married, 2 children

Likes barbecue and beer / jogging / investing money / repairing cars / rugby

Dislikes lazy people / Vietnamese traffic / nagging wife / housework / liars

Vu Nugyun 43 security guard born HCMC resides HCMC married, 2 kids

Likes sitting / sleeping / smoking / beer / karaoke / gambling / shouting

Dislikes work / his boss / exercise / when his wife asks for money / foreigners

Hank Douglass 30 shop manager born San Francisco resides Ha Noi single

Likes investing / gambling / baseball driving / fast cars / action movies

Dislikes housework / romantic films / tipping / drunk people / police / recycling

Speaking practice:

Boz I don’t get much time to read, but I’d like to improve my English. Any tips ?

Pip Well, maybe you could give Dickens a go. Oh, some of his books are 1000 pages.

Boz Bloody hell ! Who has time or energy to read 1000 pages ! 

Pip Hold your horses, he also wrote short stories. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is very famous.

Boz Hang on … yes, I know … Ebenezer Scrooge, right ? I’ll download it later.

Pip Of course, the most famous writer is Shakespeare. ‘To be or not to be…’

Boz Not sure that’s my cup of tea. I prefer something a bit more modern.

Pip Conversely, watch a version. I went to see a play in London, at the Globe.

Boz The reconstructed theatre ? I saw it on the news. It looks really cool … and cold !