Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"No, it isn't" versus "No, it is not"

(Grammar Questions I Couldn't Answer)

This question comes again from a colleague instead of from a student.

He was preparing a lesson for beginner students, in which they he was supposed to drill "Is it a...?" questions, and the answers "Yes, it is." and "No, it isn't".

He asked me if there was a difference between "No, it isn't." and "No, it is not"

I told him there was no difference in meaning, but possible one of the forms reflected a change in emphasis or nuance.  Although exactly what the difference in nuance was, I didn't know.

I googled the different forms, and I found some people speculating on various forums, but I couldn't find any one speaking with authority

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

IELTS Express Upper Intermediate Second Edition Unit 3 Speaking p.37-39

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--IELTS Express Upper Intermediate)


Treasure Hunt: drive, docs, pub
PowerPoint for Feedback on Treasure Hunt: drive, slides, pub
p.37 Exercise 2 transcript: drive, docs, pub
p.38 Exercise 4 transcript: drive, docs, pub
p.39 Exercise 5 transcript: drive, docs, pub
Make Comparison Sentences: drive, docs, pub
Exam Practice: drive, docs, pub

1. Why is it a good idea to stay up to date with the news?

2. Choose the best answer:
In the exam, you should try to sound :
a). nervous b). confident c). hesitating d). scared

3. In the exam you can make _____________ in order to justify your opinion.

4. In part 3, the topic will be thematically linked to part 2, but you will talk about things in a more ______________ way.

5. For part 2 and 3: which one is a conversation?

6. Introduce your topic with confidence, using __________  ______________.

7. You only have one minute to make notes for part 2, so you shouldn’t write full sentences.  Instead, just note down ___  ________ and _______________.

8. If you cannot answer immediately, you can buy yourself some time by saying:_________________________

9. TRUE or FALSE: You should wait for the examiner to prompt you to speak.

10. When you expand your answers, you can compare things.  Talk about _______________ and ___________________.


Treasure Hunt  
The teacher has hidden 10 questions.  See if you can find and answer the questions.  The first team to finish will get a prize.
All the questions come from pages 37, 38, and 39 of your textbook, so make sure you take your textbooks with you.  The answers to some questions may be the same.


1. ____________________________________________________________________________


2._____________________________________________________________________________


3. _____________________________________________________________________________


4. _____________________________________________________________________________


5. _____________________________________________________________________________


6. ._____________________________________________________________________________


7. _____________________________________________________________________________


8. _____________________________________________________________________________


9. _____________________________________________________________________________


10. _____________________________________________________________________________
Answers:
1. It will help you in the exam if you have a general knowledge of current affairs
2. B). confident
3. comparisons
4. abstract
5. part 3
6. appropriate language
7. key points, vocabulary
8. That’s a good question
9. False
10. similarities and differences

Listen to the speakers, and fill in the blanks.  What language do they use to introduce their talks?
1.______________________________________________________________ I got an email from my father, you see I was travelling around the United States and I had asked him to send me some money…
2.______________________________________________________________ an email I sent to my boss.  Basically, I was unhappy about some of the things he was asking me to do.  I mean, I had spent all morning photocopying documents, which really wasn’t my job…
3.______________________________________________________________ I wrote an e-mail to my landlord.  The problem was that I had moved out of his apartment one month before, but he still hadn’t returned my deposit.  I decided that I would tell him…
4.______________________________________________________________ an email I got from an ex-boyfriend.  Where shall I begin?  It was about two years after we had split up and I was living in a different city and everything.  Anyway, I got this email which said how he still loved me and that he wanted to try again, so I …
1. Yes, of course, it is now completely different—____________________ email has made written communication much faster and cheaper than before.  Firstly, you can write to someone on the other side of the world, and with one click, the information arrives seconds later, and secondly, it costs you very little—just the connection to the Internet.
2. Well, ____________________this has improved the way students learn or not.  ____________________ things are similar in that if students want to learn, they still have to go to class, read, and make essays, et cetera, but I suppose on the other hand everything is now done on computer and is not written by hand.  Learning is certainly more convenient though.
3. It’s a good question, but yes, ____________________ it has.  I can imagine a time very soon, when everyone will use videophones— it will be much more useful than only hearing a voice.  If it is used a lot in business, you can have face-to-face meetings when you are very far apart.  This will save a lot of time and money for travelling to meetings.
4. ____________________ that those people who can’t use a computer will find office work easily.  However, there will always be jobs where you don’t need to use one, for example manual jobs where you use your hands to make things—like a construction worker or something like that.
5. ____________________ things have changed dramatically.  For example, it was only a few years ago that students would have to use books to find information, whereas today, the Internet is the first place students go.  This must be a good thing, so yes, ____________________, things have improved.
6. ____________________, it’s not as easy to find a job if you cannot use a computer because you do not have the skills most companies require.  I mean, you cannot communicate well if you cannot use email … and another thing is perhaps you have to use a database.
7. ____________________ it’s much easier to do research these days, you know, to find things.  Before, it was more difficult to find things out. What I mean to say is, you had to read many journals to find the information you were searching for.
Answers:
1. Yes, of course, it is now completely different—personally, I think email has made written communication much faster and cheaper than before.  Firstly, you can write to someone on the other side of the world, and with one click, the information arrives seconds later, and secondly, it costs you very little—just the connection to the Internet.
2. Well, I’m not sure if this has improved the way students learn or not.  I guess things are similar in that if students want to learn, they still have to go to class, read, and make essays, et cetera, but I suppose on the other hand everything is now done on computer and is not written by hand.  Learning is certainly more convenient though.
3. It’s a good question, but yes, I think it has.  I can imagine a time very soon, when everyone will use videophones— it will be much more useful than only hearing a voice.  If it is used a lot in business, you can have face-to-face meetings when you are very far apart.  This will save a lot of time and money for travelling to meetings.
4. I doubt that those people who can’t use a computer will find office work easily.  However, there will always be jobs where you don’t need to use one, for example manual jobs where you use your hands to make things—like a construction worker or something like that.
5. I believe things have changed dramatically.  For example, it was only a few years ago that students would have to use books to find information, whereas today, the Internet is the first place students go.  This must be a good thing, so yes, in my opinion, things have improved.
6. In my view, it’s not as easy to find a job if you cannot use a computer because you do not have the skills most companies require.  I mean, you cannot communicate well if you cannot use email … and another thing is perhaps you have to use a database.
7. For me it’s much easier to do research these days, you know, to find things.  Before, it was more difficult to find things out. What I mean to say is, you had to read many journals to find the information you were searching for.
1. I think email has changed the way we communicate at work.  Of course it’s much ______________ and ______________ writing a letter.  When we get to work, there can be lots of emails to respond to, so I suppose in some ways email is also ______________ before.
2. Going to a library and using the Internet ______________ they are both great sources of information.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer reading a book to an article on a computer screen.  The Internet is fantastic, but it’s ______________  going to a library.  I suppose ______________  you can hold a book, you know, pick it up and turn the pages…
3. Video calling on my mobile is great fun.  I love doing it. ______________, it’s expensive, so I prefer to use video calling on my laptop.  It’s ______________ using my mobile.  In fact, it’s free.
4. Training people to be computer literate is expensive in the short term; ______________, it will eventually benefit the national economy.
Answers:
1. I think email has changed the way we communicate at work.  Of course it’s much quicker and cheaper than writing a letter.  When we get to work, there can be lots of emails to respond to, so I suppose in some ways email is also more time-consuming than before.
2. Going to a library and using the Internet are similar in that they are both great sources of information.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer reading a book to an article on a computer screen.  The Internet is fantastic, but it’s not as enjoyable as going to a library.  I suppose one of the main differences is that you can hold a book, you know, pick it up and turn the pages…
3. Video calling on my mobile is great fun.  I love doing it. However, it’s expensive, so I prefer to use video calling on my laptop.  It’s much cheaper than using my mobile.  In fact, it’s free.
4. Training people to be computer literate is expensive in the short term; on the other hand, it will eventually benefit the national economy.
With your group, see if you can make at least 5 sentences of comparison using these phrases.  (You can choose what to compare and contrast.  Anything is okay: food, candy, clothing, school, sports, music, celebrities, et cetera.)
are similar in that, cheaper than, however, is much cheaper than, is not as enjoyable as, more time-consuming than, on the other hand, one of the main differences is that, quicker

1. __________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

3. __________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

4. __________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

5. __________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Student A
Describe an important e-mail you have sent.
You should say:
Who the email was to
What it was about
If you got a reply
And explain why the email was important.

You may use this space to take notes.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Student B
Describe an important e-mail you have received.
You should say:
Who the email was from
What it was about
If you sent  a reply
And explain why the email was important.

You may use this space to take notes.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________








Monday, January 16, 2017



I linked to one of this guy's videos last week.

As I said last week, I don't agree with him on everything, but a couple of things he says strike a cord with me.  And this was one of them.

I think he's right about people spending too much time with the beginner textbook, and in fact I now realize this was the major reason I never got to an advanced level in Japanese.

Not that I never made any progress in Japanese.  I did alright--at the peak of my studying, I think I was upper-intermediate level.
But it took me several years to get to that upper-intermediate level.
I had friends who reached the upper-intermediate level very quickly --in about 2 years.  By contrast it took me about 8 years to get to that same level.  And I never reached an advanced level (unlike many of my friends).

In fact, during those first couple years, I developed a reputation among my colleagues in Japan for not studying Japanese seriously.
That was unfair.  I actually spent hours and hours writing kanji or doing grammar drills in my textbook.
But, I was very anal retentive about it.  In each unit of my textbook, I wanted to master everything perfectly before I moved on to the next unit.
As a result, I spent ages going over and over the beginner textbook, and never really got to the more advanced material.

At the time, I thought this was how it was done.  Build up your basics firmly, and then you'll be better able to tackle the advanced stuff when the time came.

Even after I realized I was falling between in many of my friends, I still stubbornly stuck to my method, believing that in the long run I would come out ahead.

But it never worked out that way.

 I now see that I was wrong.  The way to succeed is to seek out as much language input as possible--even input at an advanced level.
Then, once you've pumped yourself up full of input, go back and consolidate your grammar.

In my own classes, this is one of my justifications for using authentic material (like movies, songs and poems) even at an elementary level.

English World 4 Unit 3 Vocabulary

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 4)


Google Slides: slides, pub
quizlet: docs, pub

These are slides I used to drill the vocabulary in English World 4 Unit 3.  Supplemented with a quiz from quizlet.


English World 4 Unit 3 Vocabulary
https://quizlet.com/_2qm5my


English World 4 Unit 3 Vocabulary
https://quizlet.com/_2qm5my


English World 4 Unit 3 Vocabulary
https://quizlet.com/_2qm5my


English World 4 Unit 3 Vocabulary
https://quizlet.com/_2qm5my


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Market Leader: Intermediate Unit 4 Organisation Listening p.40

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--Market Leader Intermediate)


Transcript: docs, pub

Now, listen again and read the transcript.  6 words in the transcript are wrong.  Identify the wrong words and correct them.
(I=Interviewer, RR=Richard Rawlinson)
24
I: How do you analyse a company’s organisation?
RR: Well, we take a fairly broad view of organisation.  We start with the formal structure of lines and boxes--who reports to who, what their official responsibilities are. But it’s mu--, very important to go beyond that and think first about their decision rights--what does the position actually have the authority to decide?  Who do they need to consult, who do they need to keep informed, who do they need to have approvals? Third area is information flows.  If you want to understand how a company works, you need to know who knows what, so we look at communications, information, the sort of data that is provided and who gets it.  And then the final area is the rewards, the performance management--not just who gets bonuses and what they’re based on, but how do you get promoted and how do people get punished in all the other ways that provide incentives in an organisation?
We put all those three things together--the formal organisation, the decision rights, the information flows and the incentives--and we call that the “organisational DNA”. So we put a lot of emphasis on understanding that.

25
RR: If you want to start an analysis, we have a survey tool--it’s on a website, orgdna.com, where you can answer just a small number of answers about your organisation and then we compare that to answers from about 40,000 other executives and we can recognise patterns, and that helps us to say that your organisation is like these other organisations, and so we can get some learning from comparable organisations.  And we call that the “orgdna profiler”.  It gives you a superficial view and it’s a good place to start the conversation.  But then we have to go much deeper.  And we usually organise both workshops with the executives and probes into particular aspects that seem to be particularly boring.  So, for example, we might take a single major controversial decision and look at how that was actually made, and really you often find that the reality is quite different from the theory.

26.
I: Can you give us an example of how you’ve helped a company with its organisation?
RR: I recently did a major piece of work for a very large, global American company that was organised by job.  So Manufacturing had responsibility for all the plants around the world, Marketing ran all the brands in every country.  It was a very efficient organisation, but it wasn’t very good at responding to the local markets, and so they decided that they wanted to move to a geographically based organisation.  So we had to figure out, first of all, what were the right geographies--was every country a separate geography or are we going to put some together?  What are we going to do for Europe as a whole, as well as what you are going to do for Germany and Vietnam? Um, so we did a lot of looking at how the business operated, where products were made, where they were shipped to, how competitors were organised.  And we also had to spend a lot of time thinking about whether we needed regional organisations or whether every single business unit would report back to the headquarters, er, in the US.
Answers:

24
I: How do you analyse a company’s organisation?
RR: Well, we take a fairly broad view of organisation.  We start with the formal structure of lines and boxes--who reports to who, what their official responsibilities are. But it’s mu--, very important to go beyond that and think first about their decision rights--what does the position actually have the authority to decide?  Who do they need to consult, who do they need to keep informed, who do they need to have approvals? Third area is information flows.  If you want to understand how a company works, you need to know who knows what, so we look at communications, information, the sort of data that is provided and who gets it.  And then the final area is the rewards, the performance management--not just who gets bonuses and what they’re based on, but how do you get promoted and how do people get (1)rewarded in all the other ways that provide incentives in an organisation?
We put all those (2)four things together--the formal organisation, the decision rights, the information flows and the incentives--and we call that the “organisational DNA”. So we put a lot of emphasis on understanding that.

25
RR: If you want to start an analysis, we have a survey tool--it’s on a website, orgdna.com, where you can answer just a small number of (3)questions about your organisation and then we compare that to answers from about 40,000 other executives and we can recognise patterns, and that helps us to say that your organisation is like these other organisations, and so we can get some learning from comparable organisations.  And we call that the “orgdna profiler”.  It gives you a superficial view and it’s a good place to start the conversation.  But then we have to go much deeper.  And we usually organise both workshops with the executives and probes into particular aspects that seem to be particularly (4)interesting.  So, for example, we might take a single major controversial decision and look at how that was actually made, and really you often find that the reality is quite different from the theory.

26.
I: Can you give us an example of how you’ve helped a company with its organisation?
RR: I recently did a major piece of work for a very large, global American company that was organised by (5)function.  So Manufacturing had responsibility for all the plants around the world, Marketing ran all the brands in every country.  It was a very efficient organisation, but it wasn’t very good at responding to the local markets, and so they decided that they wanted to move to a geographically based organisation.  So we had to figure out, first of all, what were the right geographies--was every country a separate geography or are we going to put some together?  What are we going to do for Europe as a whole, as well as what you are going to do for Germany and (6)Spain? Um, so we did a lot of looking at how the business operated, where products were made, where they were shipped to, how competitors were organised.  And we also had to spend a lot of time thinking about whether we needed regional organisations or whether every single business unit would report back to the headquarters, er, in the US.



Saturday, January 14, 2017

IELTS Task 1 Peer-Edit Check List

(TESOL Worksheets--IELTS Task 1)

This is a continuation from the self-edit check list previously posted, and stage 2 of the process writing.  Here is the peer-edit check list.
In my class, I used this worksheet to give feedback on the writing assignment from p.25 of IELTS Express Upper Intermediate Second Edition.

Google: drivedocspub

IELTS Task 1 Peer-Editing Checklist


First sentence:
The first sentence should include the information from the diagram description in the question, as well as any other important information from the graph (categories, units of measurements, time period, et cetera).  You should not copy this information directly, but paraphrase and use synonyms wherever possible.  (Although there are some standard words like “chart”, “graph”, “2015” et cetera, which have no paraphrase).

Yes
No
Did your partner have a brief introduction using the information from the question and the heading?


Did your partner cover all the important information?


Did your partner include the categories?  
(Note: For graphs or tables with less than 8 categories, try to include the categories, preferably in brackets.)


Did your partner paraphrase the vocabulary?


Did your partner change the sentence structure?



Overview:
Your overview can come either directly after the introduction, or at the end of the essay.  It should include all the key features of the graph (usually somewhere between 2 and 5).  The overview is an important part of your score, so make absolutely sure the examiner recognizers your overview by including a key word like “overall” at the beginning.

Yes
No
Did your partner include an overview?


Does your partner’s overview include all the key features of the graph?  
(Note: Normally this will be somewhere between 2 and 5).


Does your partner’s overview begin with a signal word (such as “overall”) to help the examiner recognize that this is an overview?



Paragraphing:
Dividing your essay into appropriate paragraphs is a key part of your organization score.  Make sure it’s obvious to the examiner that your essay has distinct paragraphs by putting spaces in between the paragraphs.  You should have at least two body paragraphs in addition to your introduction and your overview.

Yes
No
Is your partner’s essay divided into clear paragraphs (with line breaks in between the paragraphs)?


Does your partner have a separate paragraph for their introduction?


Does your partner have at least two separate paragraphs for their body?



Paragraphing Structure:
Each body paragraph should start with a clear topic sentence, which gives the main idea of the paragraph.  Every other sentence in the paragraph should support the topic sentence.  Any sentences in your paragraph that are not on the same subject as your topic sentence should either be deleted, or moved to a separate paragraph.
Typically an IELTS paragraph will follow this structure:
Topic sentence
1st supporting idea
Example of 1st supporting idea
2nd supporting idea
Example of 2nd supporting idea


Yes
No
Does each body paragraph start with a clear topic sentence, which give the main idea of the paragraph?


Does every other sentence in the paragraph relate to the main idea in the topic sentence?


Is the topic sentence supported by supporting ideas and examples?



Grammar:
Go through and check your partner’s essay for grammar mistakes.  Underline any grammar mistakes you see.  You will talk to your partner later about these mistakes.

Readability:
Do you understand your partner’s essay?  Underline any sections or sentences that you have trouble understanding.  You will talk to your partner later about these sections.



Your name_________________________________________


Your partner’s name_________________________________________