Saturday, April 21, 2018

Worksheet for Planning a Trip Project

(TESOL Worksheets--Writing, Speaking, Projects)
Google: docs, pub

Group number:______

People in your group:_______________________________________

Imagine you are a tour guide.  Plan a tour to bring your classmates on.

Where will you go?_________________________________

What should you bring with you?____________________________________________

Plan the trip:






Friday, April 20, 2018

Crossword Puzzle for Spelling Plurals: "s" or "es" plural spellings for nouns ending in "o"

(TESOL Worksheets--Spelling)
Question sheet HERE
Answer sheet HERE

Has anyone ever seen that old 1951 movie "I Was a Communist for the FBI" (W)

It's an old McCarthy era right-wing propaganda film.
I've never seen the whole thing, but it used to be on cable TV a lot back when I was in college.  (I think they were running it partly as a joke, partly as a time-piece).  So I caught some bits and pieces of it.
There was one scene that has stuck in my mind all these years--at one point, the main character is giving a speech about why he's making all these sacrifices for the anti-Communist cause.  And he says he's doing it because "...I want to go on living in a country where you can walk around with your head up high, where you can talk back to cops, and where you can holler out loud in print..."

It struck me as strange even back in the 1990s.  A country where you can talk back to cops was decidedly not the country that the right-wingers wanted.  Weird to think that in 1951 this was actually a conservative value.

The irony has stuck with me over the years as news story after news story has demonstrated that in America, you can not talk back to cops.  If this ever was America at one time, that America is long gone.

What's ironic, then, is that in actually communist countries you can totally talk back to cops.  Or at least in communist Vietnam, where I'm currently living.
Several videos have gone viral (mostly on Facebook or on Vietnamese media) showing angry Vietnamese motorists shouting and even hitting the police.  And appearing to get away with it.
In the Expat Forum page, people often write things like, "Wow, if you did that in my country, you'd be killed."

How ironic, then, that in democratic America, you are putting your life at risk whenever you confront the police.  And in communist Vietnam, you can totally get away with it.

I wanted to share some these videos, but I'm having trouble finding them on Youtube. (I think many of them are only on Facebook--several more are probably titled in Vietnamese only).  I found one video--posted below--and that will have to suffice for example.  You'll just have to take my word for it that there are more like this.

Okay, now in the interest of honesty, I should probably tell you that while I was searching for the above video, I found several other youtube videos that undermined my thesis--videos of Vietnamese police being overly aggressive.
I guess it's hard to generalize too much.  There are probably police that are overly timid in both Vietnam and America, and there are also police that are overly aggressive in both Vietnam and America.

But what you don't see in Vietnam is reports of police shooting people.  From all the videos I saw, it looks like the Vietnamese police either don't carry guns, or don't ever feel the need to draw them.

Actually it's like that in a lot of countries.  In England, Australia, and many countries in Europe, the police don't carry guns.

Of course the police have to  carry guns in America.  I understand that.  There are so many guns among the general population in America that the police have to arm themselves for their own safety.

But then here's the second irony:
People who take an insurrectionist interpretation of the second amendment often say that the 2nd amendment is necessary to prevent a police state.  But, in fact, the 2nd Amendment is why we have a police state.  There's no problem of police shooting unarmed civilians in England, Australia, Japan, or Communist Vietnam.
But in America...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hurricane for IELTS

(TESOL Worksheets--IELTS Reading)
Google: docs, pub
[This is a variation on the Hurricane Game .  I made this to illustrate how the Hurricane Game could potentially be used to review IELTS test rules and test strategies, for a workshop I did on Making IELTS Fun.  (I'll post the whole workshop soon).  For the purposes of example, this game repurposes questions I had previously used for different activities in a lesson on IELTS Express Upper Intermediate Second Edition Unit 1 Reading p.10-14 ]

Teacher’s Key (The students cannot see this.  The students only see a blank grid drawn on the whiteboard).  All of the questions here come from IELTS Express Upper Intermediate Second Edition Unit 1 Reading p.10-14.  The students have studied this lesson beforehand.

Change points with another team
Matching Headings to Paragraphs: What do you have to do for this task?

(Answer: You are asked to find a suitable paragraph heading from a list to match to the appropriate paragraph.)
Matching Headings to Paragraphs: Which one is correct?  There will be more paragraphs than headings, or more headings than paragraphs?

(Answer: More headings than paragraphs.)
Matching Headings to Paragraphs: There are two types of headings.  What are they?

(Answer: Headings that summarise the information of a paragraph, or headings that pick out key information in the paragraph.)
Matching Headings to Paragraphs: What are distractors?

(Answer: Wrong answers.  This might include supporting information that comes from a paragraph, but it is not the main idea of the paragraph.)
Summary Completion: What are the two types of summary completion?

(Answer: You have to complete the gaps with the exact words from the passage, or you have to take words from a given list.)
Summary Completion: Is spelling important?

(Answer:  Yes).
Summary Completion: What should you always check for?

(Answer: The maximum word limit).
Summary Completion: You have to select the best word or words based on which two criteria?

(Answer: Meaning, and grammatical compatibility.)
Short-Answer Questions: Which is true?  The order of the questions will be the same as the order of the passage, or the order of the questions will be different than the order of the passage?

(Answer: The order of the questions will always be the same as the order of the passage.)
Change points with another team
Short-Answer Questions: What should you focus on in the question?

(Answer: Keywords).
Steal all the points from another team.
Short Answer Questions: TRUE or FALSE.  The keywords in the question are usually exactly the same words as in the passage.

(Answer: False.  Synonyms and paraphrases.)
Lose all your points
Change points with another team
Short Answer Questions: TRUE or FALSE.  When you write your answer, you should use synonyms and paraphrases.  

(Answer: FALSE.  Use exactly the same words as the passage as far as possible.)
How long will the reading test last?

(Answer: 1 Hour).
How many passages are in the reading test?

(Answer: 3)
Will you have extra time to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet on the reading test?

(Answer: No)
What involves running your eyes over the text quickly to get a general idea of the text?

(Answer: Skim)
When looking for specific information in the reading text to answer questions, you need to  __________ the passage to locate relevant keywords.

(Answer: Scan)

Example Game Play
Teacher: Okay, team 1, your turn.  
Um… B3.
Teacher: Okay, how many points do you want to bet.  You have 100 points now, so you can bet up to 100.
50 points.
Teacher: Okay, Matching Headings to Paragraphs: What do you have to do for this task?
You are asked to find a suitable paragraph heading from a list to match to the appropriate paragraph.
Teacher: That’s right.  You get 50 points.  You’re at 150 points now.  Team 2, your turn.
Teacher: Good news.  You hit plus 200.  So you get an extra 200 points, and you’re at 300 points now.  Team 3?
Teacher: And how many points do you want to bet?
Teacher: Okay.  Fill in the missing blank: When looking for specific information in the reading text to answer questions, you need to  __________ the passage to locate relevant keywords.
Teacher: Sorry.  You lose 75 points.  That brings you down to 25.  Team 4, you can steal the 75 points.  Same question. The police have caught the men.  The men stole my car.
Teacher: Excellent.  That’s 75 points to you.  And, you get your turn now.  Which box do you choose?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Vocabulary Games for IELTS

(TESOL Ideas--Vocabulary, IELTS)
Google: docs, pub
[This worksheet is part of a workshop I did called "Making IELTS Fun".  I'll be posting the complete workshop soon.]

Vocabulary Games

Building vocabulary is one of the keys to success in IELTS.  One of the major reasons students struggle on the reading and listening test is because of vocabulary related issues.
You should never pre-teach vocabulary before an IELTS reading or listening lesson.  Students need to learn how to deal with unknown vocabulary for the real test.
However, after the reading or listening lesson is finished, you can do use the vocabulary from the reading or listening text to do some vocabulary building.  (You could also teach useful phrases for speaking/writing, in which case you could do it after the model text, but before the production).
The words can be selected by the teacher beforehand (which is useful in case you want to prepare materials) but alternatively, the students can also tell the teacher which words they want to practice more.
Once you have a set of vocabulary words to study, then there are hundreds of different games you can use.  Some examples:

Backs to the Board
Students are divided into two teams.  One person from each team sits with their back to the whiteboard.  The vocabulary word is put up on the whiteboard where the participants can’t see it.  Their teammates must describe the vocabulary word to them without using the word itself.  The first person to correctly identify the word gets a point for their team.

Grab the Card
Students are put into groups, and given a set of cards with one vocabulary word written on each card.  The teacher describes a vocabulary word (without saying the word itself) and the students compete to be the first in their group to grab the card.
In round 2, the students describe the card.  One person from each group is designated as the “describer”, and they must describe the word, while their other groupmates compete to grab the correct card.

Guess My Word
Students are put into groups.  Each group member is given a list of cards with vocabulary words on it.  They must describe these words to their groupmates without saying the actual word itself. The groupmates try to guess what the card is.
Alternatively, to increase the challenge this could be played as Taboo--each card also contains a short list of words that you cannot use when describing the vocabulary word.

Quizlet Live or Kahoot
Put the words into a quizlet live or Kahoot study set, and the students play the game with their ipads or smart phones.

….and many other vocabulary games will work as well.  Feel free to share your own ideas.

I’ve discovered from personal experience that these games can fall apart quickly if the students don’t actually know any of the words.  Although these games should all be done after the reading/listening, just because the students have encountered the words in the text does not guarantee that they’ve learned them.  It’s always a good idea to do a quick meaning-form-pronunciation mini-lesson on the selected vocabulary before launching into the games.

Vlog: The Books on My Shelf Part 2: The Books I'm Currently Reading

(The Complete Stories of Oz by L. Frank Baum,  Chomsky's Universal Grammar by V.J. Cook and Mark Newson,  Heart of Dread Book One: Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston and Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie have all been sitting half read on my bookshelf for so long it's before I started listing all the books I've started

But for the other books, see below for links:

Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics by Jack C. Richards and Richard Schmidt (Third Edition)

Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (Third Edition)

The Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan

Giết Con Chim Nhại bởi Harper Lee (HUỲNH KIM OANH & PHẠM VIÊM PHƯƠNG dịch)

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz

The Moral Animal by Robert Wright

And lastly:
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer  (This is the book I mentioned as not having available at the moment because my wife is reading it.)

Monday, April 16, 2018

More, "Hey! I know that Guy!"
Another former co-worker from Cambodia.  But this one is much more positive than the previous entry

One of my friends and former co-workers from Cambodia is making Youtube videos under the name Cambodia Joe.  His channel is here.
He's been doing this for a few months now, and I can't remember if I linked to it before or not.  (I didn't, did I?)

Anyways, he's got a video which perfectly captures the feel of the Cambodian streets:

A walk through and around Orussey Markets, Phnom Penh Daytime Jan 2018

and also one that perfectly captures the feel of the nightlife in Phnom Penh