Welcome to our autumn semester classes. Today we will continue with the work we did on expressing our likes and dislikes.
Some practical things
Now, let’s think about some resources you can use to work on your conversational ability in English.
- We have another reference book to use for this and the next semester. Its called Face2Face intermediate book. We’ll talk about how to access this text in class.
- A good online dictionary and grammar guide is Cambridge Dictionary (Chinese-English) https://dictionary.cambridge.org/
- A free grammar checker called grammerly is useful. If you install it on your laptop it will check all of your writing (emails etc) and indicate where you need to make amendments. This is a great tool if you need to send written communication in faultless English, or for our purposes, to check if the way you’re saying something is grammatically correct (and therefore makes sense).
Some things you can do to improve your spoken English ability.
- Somethings you can do on your phones. My wife Lu Jian likes to listen to Tiger News.
They’re @ http://www.tigerge.cn/index.
Every week they discuss an interesting English language article, it might be cultural, social, political. They explain many of the words and phrases you might not be so familiar with. Its free to read their weekly articles, and they have courses you can sign up for, but there is a charge for those. We will look at one of the recent articles they examine when we talk about celebritities and popular values in a few weeks (we’ll talk about Fan Bingbing).
- Join an English corner, or Toastmasters or other kind of social group using English.
- Do your gym, running, sports in English. Run to English language soundtracks or spoken word books. Train with your partner or teammates in English.
- Listen to English language audiobooks. Find your favourite kind of story and download an audio version to listen to.
- Find an English Language radio station you like online.
- Catch the bus to the main campus so you can talk with me. I’m happy to talk with students (one person at a time, per journey) if you want to practice your English language skills after class. This semester catch the 12.30pm bus back to the main campus on Weds, Thurs and Fridays.
Discussion: National Holiday Homework!!
If you remember, I asked you to watch, read or listen to and English language film, tv series (or episode), book, or piece of music.
Let’s break into our small groups and discuss what we thought of the things we watched, read or listened to. Tell each about your text, and why you liked or disliked it. I’ll walk around and listen to your discussions. Then we’ll have a group discussion.
Vocabulary exercises: Likes and dislikes
(based on exercise 1, p6, F2F intermediate)
Last week we categorized the phrases below as
A. Phrases to say something you like
B. Phrases to say something is OK
C. Phrases to say you don’t like something.
So now, let’s do this exercise (based on the exercise in Face2Face, no. 2. page 6)
Look at the list of experiences below.
- waiting in queues
- doing the washing up
- buying new clothes
- going on long journeys
- getting up early in the morning
- watching tv
- going to university
Working in your small groups chose the phrase from 1-14 above that most closely matches your feeling about these experiences. Then compare your answers and the reasons for them in your small groups.
*** Note. At this point any class that has not yet completed the love/hate game should do so. I will tell you in class if that is the case.
Readings: loving or hating smart phones
First, let’s work together to make a list of good and bad things about mobile phones. As we make the list you might like to explain your suggestions.
Now, let’s do the following two readings together, sentence by sentence. (Note, the readings are adapted from Face2Face, page 6.)
- Amy loves her phone
“I love my smartphone. I don’t think I could live without it. I used to have an Iphone, but now have a Samsung Galaxy 9. It was really expensive but I think its worth it. I’ve taken photos of nearly everything that’s happened, and posted them to my friends and family on weixin. I hardly ever call them, but I spend a lot of time texting with them, and love getting their news and seeing their photos and the other things they share. I also really like the way you can pay for everything these days by scanning with your phone. I scan to pay for the bikes and use them to ride to university and back. My phone helps when I’m not feeling safe because I can always contact someone, and they can contact me and see where I am. So, I never leave home if I haven’t taken my phone. It’s great for getting around – you just follow the directions or read the maps. One bad thing is that I forget to keep the battery charged and sometimes it runs out. Another is that in some areas there isn’t any signal.
2. Julie hates mobile phones
“I hate mobile phones. None of my friends can understand why I don’t have one. But no one thinks about how annoying mobiles are to other people. Everyone always talks very loudly when they’re on their mobiles and I can’t bear listening to other people’s conversations when I’m trying to relax on the train. The ring tones also get on my nerves. Both of my brothers have got mobiles, but when we meet up, neither of them ever switches their phone off. It drives me crazy! Last time we went out for a drink together, their phones rang five times! Also, they’re always taking ‘selfies’! I think they’re very vain. I know that most people like them but I didn’t get one for myself. You can always be contacted if you have a phone. But what if you just want to be quiet or alone?”
Quick comprehension quiz (true or false).
- Amy phones people a lot during the day. T/F.
- She often uses her phone’s camera.T/F.
- He phone would not help if she got lost.T/F.
- She makes sure her phone is always charged.T/F.
- She owns an Iphone. T/F.
- She pays for things with cash. T/F.
- Julie likes eavesdropping on other people’s phone conversations. T/F.
- She thinks selfies are really cool. T/F.
- Her brothers always switch off their phones when they meet with her. T/F.
- Although she doesn’t like them, she thinks mobile phones are good because you can always be contacted. T/F.
- She likes the sound of the ringtones. T/F.
- Despite not liking mobiles, she plans to buy one for herself. T/F
Let’s discuss Amy and Julie’s views together. Who do you agree with? Can you say why?
Now, match these positive words or phrase to negative words or phrases in amy and Julie’s opinions.
Love/ everyone/ always/ all/ usually/ both/
In the following class we will progress our work on self expression. This time, instead of working on ways of talking about things we like or dislike, we will practice making judgements.