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Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice. Dialogue. Han is a teacher who is applying for a new job as a translator and is being interviewed by Bob. (Listen especially for verb tenses.). Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice.

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lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice

Dialogue. Han is a teacher who is applying for a new job as a translator and is being interviewed by Bob.

(Listen especially for verb tenses.)

lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice1
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Bob: Please tell me about your education, Mr. Han.
  • Han: I graduated from Zhongshan Teachers College in 1965. I was an English major.
  • Bob: How about your work experience?
  • Han: I have been teaching in Hua Dong middle school for the past 30 years.
  • Bob: Have you ever been a translator?
  • Han: No. I have always been a teacher.
  • Bob: Why are you applying for this job?
  • Han: Because I don't like children very much.
lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice2
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Focus point: Verb tenses:
  • Simple past tense. "graduated" "was". Used for a completed action or condition.
  • Present perfect tense. "have been". Action that started in past, still continues.
  • Present perfect progressive tense. "have been teaching" Action that started in past, still continues. Often interchangeable with present perfect, but emphasizes continuous nature of action a bit more.
  • Other points to note:
  • Personal information questions for interviews. "Tell me about...." "How about...." "Have you ever…?
lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice3
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Verb + preposition: "graduate from (school)" and "graduated in (year)".
  • "How about...." Used after a previous question has made context clear.
  • "don't like ___ very much" (In Chinese the word order is different.)
lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice4
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Pronunciation practice.
  • Syllable stress: education, graduated, English major, experience, translator.
  • Practice syllable stress for numbers, example: difference between "14" and "40". Stress on second syllable for "teen" numbers (thirteen, fifteen, etc.), on first syllable of multiples of ten (twenty, sixty, etc.). First, you say numbers while students listen and try to tell the difference. Then, have students practice saying numbers.
lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice5
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Sentence stress. In English, some words are stressed more in a sentence than others. Read the dialogue again and have students listen to see which words are stressed most in each sentence. (Underlined above.)
  • Hard sounds: /th/ in thirty; final /l/ in tell.
  • Final stop: Final /b/ in job. Final /b/, /d/, and /g/ sounds in words like job, had, bag are often not voiced by students, so sound like *jop, *hat, and *bak. Make sure the final consonant is voiced, and also make sure the vowel is somewhat longer. (Ex: The main difference between had and hat is that the vowel sound in had is longer.)
lesson 3 focus point past verb tense practice6
Lesson 3 Focus Point: Past verb tense practice
  • Practice activity: Job interview
  • 1. Assign half the class to be employers, half to be job applicants. Ask employers to 1) write the name of their company on a sign and place it on their desks; 2) decide what job they are interviewing for; and 3) prepare a list of questions. Ask applicants to 1) make up a (fake) resume including their education, previous work experience, and other information about themselves.
  • 2. When ready, have applicants interview at several different companies. After one interview, they should move to another. During interviews, everyone should pay special attention to verb tenses.
  • 3. Close by asking a few employers who they want to hire and why.
lesson 4 focus point talking about future plans
Lesson 4 Focus Point: Talking about future plans

Dialogue:

Xiao Lin and Xiao Ling are about to finish an English course and they are talking about their future English study plans.

(Listen especially to expressions of future tense.)

lesson 4 focus point talking about future plans1
Lesson 4 Focus Point: Talking about future plans
  • Lin: Are you going to keep studying English?
  • Ling: I hope so. I plan to listen to the radio every night. What about you?
  • Lin: I hope to read for an hour every night, but I suppose it will be hard to find enough time. Anyway, at least I'll try to read 21st Century each week.
lesson 4 focus point talking about future plans2
Lesson 4 Focus Point: Talking about future plans
  • Focus point: Talking about future plans:
  • "Are you going to _____" . Also "Will you ____?"
  • "I plan to (+ verb)..."
  • "I hope to (+ verb)...." Note differences between "hope" and "wish". Ex: "I hope that it rains." (Seems like a real possibility.) "I wish it would rain." (Seems less like a real possibility.)
  • Other points to note:
  • "What about you?"
  • "I suppose ____" Admitting a difficult reality.
  • "it will be hard to"
  • "Anyway"
lesson 4 focus point talking about future plans3
Lesson 4 Focus Point: Talking about future plans
  • Pronunciation practice. Suggested points:
  • Blending: Elision of "Are you going to..." to [Are ya gonna...].
  • Unvoiced final stops: /p/ in hope, keep; /t/ in night, what. (In normal speech, a final /p/, /t/, or /k/ is not aspirated; i.e. you don't actually "explode" the air out at the end of the sound. Usually, the airway is just closed by the lips, tongue, or throat, respectively.)
  • Voiced final stops: /d/ in read, hard.
lesson 5 focus point giving directions prepositions of location
Lesson 5 Focus Point: Giving directions; prepositions of location

Dialogue. Foreign tourist Sue is lost and asks Chinese student Min for directions.

(Listen especially for how location words like "next to" are used.)

lesson 5 focus point giving directions prepositions of location1
Lesson 5 Focus Point: Giving directions; prepositions of location
  • Sue: Excuse me, could you tell me where the post office is?
  • Min: It's next to the bank on Main Street.
  • Sue: How do I get there?
  • Min: Walk two blocks down this street, then turn left. Across from the post office there is a bookstore and in front of the post office there is a big sign. So it's easy to find.
lesson 5 focus point giving directions prepositions of location2
Lesson 5 Focus Point: Giving directions; prepositions of location
  • Focus point: Prepositions of location: (You may want to add others.)
  • "next to"
  • "on _____ street"
  • "across from"
  • "in front of"
  • Focus point: Giving directions:
  • Note that the imperative form of verbs is used. "Walk ______." "Turn _____."
lesson 5 focus point giving directions prepositions of location3
Lesson 5 Focus Point: Giving directions; prepositions of location
  • Other points to note:
  • "Could you tell me where ________ is?" Note that for "Could you tell me ____" questions, the verb moves to the end of the sentence, unlike other yes/no questions.
  • "How do I get there?"
lesson 5 focus point giving directions prepositions of location4
Lesson 5 Focus Point: Giving directions; prepositions of location
  • Pronunciation practice. Special points:
  • Consonant clusters: /ksk/ in excuse; /st/ in post; /nt/ in front; /kst/ in next.
  • Final voiced stop: /g/ in big.
  • Vowel sound: /ay/ in main. (Some Chinese learners have difficulty with this.)
  • Short vowel: /i/ in it, big.
  • Blending: the /d/ and /y/ in "Could you" elides into a "j" sound -- "coujoo"
lesson 7 focus point prepositions and time
Lesson 7 Focus Point: Prepositions and time

Dialogue:

Lee is complaining to Hal about how busy her intensive English course is. (Listen especially for the prepositions Lee uses with time words.)

lesson 7 focus point prepositions and time1
Lesson 7 Focus Point: Prepositions and time
  • Lee: Every day we have to get up at 6:00 for breakfast.

Then we have classes from 8:00 to 12:00.

At 12:00 we have lunch, and then a break.

In the afternoon, class starts at 2:30 and goes until 4:00.

At 4:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there is English Corner and on Tuesday and Thursday we have talks.

In the evening we need to study / so we only have free time on weekends.

lesson 7 focus point prepositions and time2
Lesson 7 Focus Point: Prepositions and time
  • Focus point: Prepositions and time:
  • at + (time) "at 6:00".
  • from (time) to (time)" "from 8:00 to 12:00"
  • starts at (time) and goes until/to (time)
  • on (day of week) "on Monday(s)" Note: "on Monday" can either mean "this Monday" or "Mondays (in general)"
  • in the morning, afternoon, evening
  • Other points to note:
  • to have lunch = to eat lunch
lesson 7 focus point prepositions and time3
Lesson 7 Focus Point: Prepositions and time
  • Pronunciation practice. Special points:
  • Sentence intonation. Re-read dialogue and have students note where your intonation rises in each sentence and where it falls. (Be sure to practice this first so that you are aware of your intonation.)
  • Intonation pattern Afrom 8:00 (rising) to 12:00 (falling)@
  • Patterns for presenting choices or listing. Ex: "...Monday (rising), Wednesday (rising) and Friday (falling)..." "...on Tuesday (rising) and Thursday (falling)..." Note: The tone rises or falls on the stressed syllable of whichever word is being emphasized.
lesson 7 focus point prepositions and time4
Lesson 7 Focus Point: Prepositions and time
  • Vowel: /ay/ in Monday, Tuesday, etc.
  • Consonant clusters: /ndz/ in weekends; /lks/ in talks; /rts/ in starts (no /r/ in British Standard).
  • Final unvoiced stops: /t/ in get; /p/ in up.
  • Final /l/ in until
lesson 8 focus point politely expressing disagreement
Lesson 8 Focus Point: Politely expressing disagreement

Dialogue:

Anne and Mick are arguing politely over whether cats or dogs make better pets.

(Listen especially for how they indicate disagreement.)

lesson 8 focus point politely expressing disagreement1
Lesson 8 Focus Point: Politely expressing disagreement
  • Anne: I think that cats usually make better pets than dogs. / For one thing, they are quieter.
  • Mick: That may be true, but sometimes they make a lot of noise crying at night.
  • Anne: For another, cats are more affectionate.
  • Mick: Really? I don't think so.
  • Anne: Of course they are. They always love to sit on your lap.
  • Mick: That's just because they want something from you.
  • Anne: Yes, but they are so sweet about it.
lesson 8 focus point politely expressing disagreement2
Lesson 8 Focus Point: Politely expressing disagreement
  • Focus point: Step: Disagreeing: (When disagreeing politely, Westerners will often first agree with part of someone else's opinion before disagreeing. "Yes, but...." patterns are very common.)
  • For introducing counter-arguments "Yes, but ...." "That's true, but...." "I agree, but...."
  • For expressing reservation "That may be true, but...." Also "I suppose that's true, but ..."
  • For complete disagreement: "I don't think so." "I disagree." "I'm not sure I agree." Often prefaced by "Really?"
lesson 8 focus point politely expressing disagreement3
Lesson 8 Focus Point: Politely expressing disagreement
  • Other points to note:
  • "I think that...." For expressing opinions.
  • "For one thing...." "For another...." Common expressions for introducing a reason.
  • Note that the plural form is used when speaking about nouns in general. Ex: "Cats usually make better pets than dogs do."
  • "That's just because..." Just = only. Often used to minimize something.
  • Verb + preposition: "to want something from somebody"
  • Adjective + preposition: "sweet about (something)"
lesson 8 focus point politely expressing disagreement4
Lesson 8 Focus Point: Politely expressing disagreement
  • Pronunciation practice. Special points:
  • Stressing key words. Read the dialogue again to students and have them listen to see which words are stressed most in each sentence. Have them repeat it back, sentence by sentence, stressing key words.
  • Final /r/ in quieter and are. This is silent in standard British English, but is pronounced in most North American accents as well as in many other English accents (such as Scotland, Australia, etc.)
  • Consonant cluster: /ts/ in cats, pets; /gz/ in dogs.
  • Final stops: /p/ in lap; /t/ in sweet.
  • Short vowel: /e/ in pets; /i/ in think, thing, it.
  • Final /ing/ in crying, something. (Some areas of China make no distinction between /ing/ and /in/.)
lesson 9 focus point mass nouns and countable nouns
Lesson 9 Focus Point: Mass nouns and countable nouns

Dialogue:

Lee is in a Western-style fast-food restaurant ordering her meal. Tom is the server.

(Listen especially to how the count and non-count nouns are used.)

lesson 9 focus point mass nouns and countable nouns1
Lesson 9 Focus Point: Mass nouns and countable nouns
  • Tom: What would you like to have?
  • Lee: How about a salad and some soup./ I also want a hamburger and an order of French fries.
  • Tom: Small, large, or medium?
  • Lee: Large. I would also like apple pie.
  • Tom: Anything to drink?
  • Lee: A large Coke.
  • Tom: Wow, you must be hungry.
  • Lee: Not very, but I want to try everything.
lesson 9 focus point mass nouns and countable nouns2
Lesson 9 Focus Point: Mass nouns and countable nouns
  • Focus point: Mass nouns and count nouns. (Some nouns like "sandwich" are always countable, hence need either an article or a plural ending. Other nouns like "water" "rice" "bread" are virtually always mass nouns. Yet other nouns can be either, depending on how they are used. Ex: "a salad" or just "salad". Students need to memorize which is which.)
  • Count nouns: "a hamburger" "French fries"
  • Mass nouns: "soup"
  • Nouns that can be both: "salad" "pie" "Coke" ("a Coke" is really short for "a cup of Coke")
  • "an order of (something)"
lesson 9 focus point mass nouns and countable nouns3
Lesson 9 Focus Point: Mass nouns and countable nouns
  • Pronunciation practice. Suggested points:
  • Eliding AWould you@ d + y = j.
  • Point out how English speakers reduce the vowels in certain words to achieve the rhythms of rapid speech. Longer, clearer vowels are reduced to schwa ("uh") in words like "you","to","the", " and", "for" when these words are not stressed. Ex: "What would you like to have?" [What wud ja like ta have?] Note that in "You must be hungry" "you" is stressed, so not reduced to "ya". You might have students try practicing the dialogue using these reduced vowels to increase their speed. Note that these reductions are NOT sloppy or lazy English, but simply a way to speak more quickly, especially in casual conversation.
lesson 9 focus point mass nouns and countable nouns4
Lesson 9 Focus Point: Mass nouns and countable nouns

Jazz chant: What would you like?

I’d like salad and soup - salad and soup

What about bread with your salad and soup?

I’d like garlic bread, garlic bread.

Something to drink? Any dessert?

Coffee and pie

That sounds good! Mm -- mm –

That sounds good!

lesson 10 focus point clarifying
Lesson 10 Focus Point: Clarifying

Dialogue: The phone rang and Phil has picked it up, but the connection is very bad and he can't hear what the caller is saying. Sorry, but we can only hear one side of this conversation.

(Listen especially for how Phil tries to clarify what the caller is saying.)

lesson 10 focus point clarifying1
Lesson 10 Focus Point: Clarifying

Phil:

Hello, Phil Collins speaking. Sorry, what did you say? This connection isn't very good. Would you mind repeating that? I didn't catch what you just said. Could you say the last part again? Did you say something about a fish? Sorry, I didn't catch the last word. Did you say you want to marry a fish? Oh, you want Mary Fisher! Sorry, but she's not here.

lesson 10 focus point clarifying2
Lesson 10 Focus Point: Clarifying
  • Focus point: Clarifying: -- "What did you say?" -- "Would you mind repeating that?" Or "Would you repeat that?" To ask for repetition. -- "I didn't catch what you said." = "I didn't hear what you said." To indicate you didn't hear something. -- "Could you say the last part again?" "I didn't catch the last word." For indicating what you didn't hear. -- "Did you say something about....?" "Did you say that...?" For checking whether you understood. Other points to note: -- "Phil Collins speaking." A common way to answer the phone.
lesson 10 focus point clarifying3
Lesson 10 Focus Point: Clarifying
  • Pronunciation practice. Suggested points: -- Show students how stress and intonation can change the meaning of a sentence by saying the following sentence three different ways -- ask them to tell you the difference in meaning. (Add other examples.) Ex: "Could you say the last part again?" "Could you say the last part again?" "Could you say the last part again?" -- Consonant clusters: /ksh/ in connection; /tsh/ in catch. -- Final stop: /d/ in word, said, good. -- Short vowel /i/ + final /l/ in Phil.
lesson 11 focus point making suggestions
Lesson 11 Focus Point: Making suggestions

Dialogue:

It is a holiday. Fred and Lynn are trying to decide what to do with their day.

(Listen especially to how they make suggestions.)

lesson 11 focus point making suggestions1
Lesson 11 Focus Point: Making suggestions

Fred: What do you want to do today?

Lynn: I don't know. What would you like to do?

Fred: Why don't we go to a movie?

Lynn: We could, but there will be lots of people there today.

Fred: Then how about going to a park?

Lynn: There will be lots of people there too.

Fred: Well then, what do you think we should do? Lynn: I guess I'd like to stay home.

lesson 11 focus point making suggestions2
Lesson 11 Focus Point: Making suggestions

Focus point: Making suggestions: -- "Why don't we (+ verb)..." Also "Lets (+ verb) -- "How about (verb + ing)..." Also "What about (verb + ing).... Other points to note: -- "Well then..." = "In that case..." --"I guess" for hesitant opinion.

lesson 11 focus point making suggestions3
Lesson 11 Focus Point: Making suggestions

Pronunciation practice.

  • Blending and reduction of syllables – What do you@ to [Whadaya]. "Would you" to [Wouja]. -- Read the dialogue again and have participants listen to see which word carries the sentence focus (stress).
  • Note how English speakers use stress to show contrast. Ex: "What do you think we should do?" -- Hard sound: /v/ in movie. (A few students may have problems with this). -- Consonant cluster: /pl/ in people. -- Short vowel /i/ + final/l/ in will.
lesson 12 focus point giving advice
Lesson 12 Focus Point: Giving advice

Dialogue: Ann is a parent having trouble with her children; Sara is a friend gently offering advice.

(Listen especially for the phrases Sara uses to offer advice.)

lesson 12 focus point giving advice1
Lesson 12 Focus Point: Giving advice

Ann: My children never want to do their homework! / I just don't know what to do with them.

Sara: Why not try punishing them?

Ann: I have, but they still don't listen to me.

Sara: You could always reason with them.

Ann: I've done that, but they just ignore me and watch TV.

Sara: If I were you, I would get rid of the TV set.

lesson 12 focus point giving advice2
Lesson 12 Focus Point: Giving advice
  • Focus point: Giving advice:
  • "Why not try + (gerund)"
  • "You could always + (verb)"
  • "If I were you, I would + (verb)"
  • Other points to note:
  • Verb + preposition: "to listen to"
  • Verb + preposition: "to reason with"
  • Adjective + preposition: "to get rid of”
lesson 12 focus point giving advice3
Lesson 12 Focus Point: Giving advice

Pronunciation practice.

  • Ask participants to look at the dialogue and decide which words they think should be stressed in each sentence. Then have volunteers say a sentence as they think it should be stressed. (Note: There may be more than one possibility.) Close by saying the dialogue as a group, stressing the appropriate words.
  • Final stop: /d/ in rid.
  • Short vowel /i/ + final /l/ in still.
  • Stop /g/ in ignore.
lesson 12 focus point giving advice4
Lesson 12 Focus Point: Giving advice

Practice activity: The teacher's problem child

  • 1.Tell participants that you have a 12-year old son, a stubborn child who absolutely and totally refuses to do any kind of homework. You are at your wits end and need help.
  • 2.In groups, make a list of suggestions that you could try.
  • 3.Then present the suggestions, one suggestion per group at a time. (To make this more fun, express thanks for each suggestion but sadly explain why you don't think it will work, hence necessitating further suggestions.)
  • Finally, vote on the best suggestion, and perhaps the worst.
dialogues lesson 13
DialoguesLesson 13
  • Focus point: Refusing politely
  • Bob likes Ann and wants to invite her out on a date. Ann does not like Bob very much, but doesn’t want to be rude. Listen especially to how Ann puts Bob off.
slide46
Bob: Are you busy on Friday night?
  • Ann: Why do you ask?
  • Bob: Are you interested in going to see a movie?
  • Ann: That would be nice, but I should really stay at home and work.
  • Bob: How about next weekend?
  • Ann: I’m not sure right now. Let’s wait and see.
slide47
“Are you busy?” This question frequently serves to introduce a request or an invitation.
slide48
Instead of answering Bob’s first question directly, Ann asks more about his intentions.
  • That would be nice, but (reason). Polite refusals usually follow the pattern “I would like to but….”( followed by a reason.) The more vague the reason is, the more it seems like an excuse. Also, “I wish I could, but (excuse)” “I would love to but (excuse.)”
slide49
Sometimes instead of directly refusing a request, people will give a “maybe” answer such as “I’m not sure right now” or “Let’s see later”. Westerners are often more willing to give a direct “no” answer than the Chinese are, but still sometimes try to avoid it, especially if a direct “no” would hurt someone’s feelings.
lesson 14 focus point refusing more directly
Lesson 14Focus point: Refusing more directly

Tom wants Ed to go with him to see a movie, but Ed has no interest in going to the film.

( Listen especially to how Ed refuses Tom.)

focus point direct refusals
Focus Point: Direct refusals
  • “Not really” is less blunt than “No!” The word “really” softens the refusal.
  • Saying you don’t like something very much: “I don’t care for…” “I’m not very interested in…” “I’m not very keen on…..”
  • “Thanks, but no thanks.” A cute direct refusal.
  • “Tom, I don’t want to go.” A clear direct refusal, indicated in part by the use of Tom’s name.
  • “I can’t stand.” Is the same as “I hate”
slide52
Tom: Ed, do you want to go to see the James Bond movie tonight?
  • Ed: Not really, I don’t really care for James Bond films.
  • Tom: Are you sure? I hear that it’s really good.
  • Ed: Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather study English.
  • Tom: Oh, come on. You need a break.
  • Ed: Tom, I don’t want to go. Frankly, I can’t stand James Bond.
slide53
“Oh, come on.” This is used to urge someone to do something, or to indicate displeasure or disbelief.
  • “Frankly” indicates a blunt statement. Also, “Honestly”…. “To be honest…” “To be frank.”
refusals
Refusals
  • Topic:

In China, when is it appropriate to give a direct refusal and when is it better to put someone off or to give an indirect answer?

lesson 15 focus point stronger advice
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Dialogue: Ken sees Jan in the teachers' lounge. Ken has heard that Jan has a cold.
  • (Listen especially for how Ken gives advice.)
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice1
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Ken: How are you doing today?
  • Jan: Not too well; I have a bad cold. My head hurts and I have a runny nose.
  • Ken: That's too bad. Why don't you go see a doctor?
  • Jan: I don't think it's that serious.
  • Ken: You can never tell. I really think you should see a doctor.
  • Jan: Maybe I'll at least go home and take the day off.
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice2
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Focus point: Stronger advice: -- "Why don't you + (present tense verb)".
  • For fairly strong advice. -- "I really think you should + (present tense verb)." For strong advice.
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice3
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Other points to note: -- "at least" -- "How are you doing?" For inquiring about health.
  • "That's too bad." For expressing sympathy. Also "I'm sorry to hear that." -- "I have a cold." For countable illnesses (headache, stomachache, fever) Note: For most diseases, it would be "I have hepatitis" (diarrhea, malaria, etc.) Exception: "I have the flu." -- "My (body part) hurts."
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice4
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Pronunciation practice. Suggested points: -- ADon’t you@ t + y = ch -- Note stress in "I don't think it's that serious." -- Have participants mark words to be stressed in each sentence, read sentences aloud to you. -- Final /l/ in tell, I'll. -- Final stops in bad, cold.
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice5
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice
  • Jazz Chant
  • A My feet hurt!
  • B: Take off your shoes!
  • A: My back aches!
  • B: Stand up and stretch!
  • A: My head hurts!
  • B: Why don’t you rest? Get some rest! (repeat)
lesson 15 focus point stronger advice6
Lesson 15 Focus Point: Stronger advice

Practice activity: "The doctor market"

  • 1. Designate half of the participants as health professionals and have each set up office. The other participants are sick people, and need to manufacture an illness.
  • 2. Tell patients that each should visit several professionals, explain their problem, and get advice.
  • 3. Close by having sick people rate quality of service provided by professionals.
lesson 16 focus point responding to compliments
Lesson 16 Focus Point: Responding to compliments
  • Dialogue: Lucy is out walking and sees her old friend Lily, who is wearing nice new clothes.
  • (Listen especially to how Lily and Lucy respond to each other's compliments.)
lesson 16 focus point responding to compliments1
Lesson 16 Focus Point: Responding to compliments
  • Lucy: Oh Lily, you look so nice today. That's a very nice blouse you are wearing.
  • Lily: Thank you, Lucy. It was a gift from one of my grandchildren.
  • Lucy: Your skirt is very attractive too.
  • Lily: I got this on sale downtown. Your outfit is very nice, too.
  • Lucy: That's very kind of you. This dress is nothing special, but it's comfortable.
lesson 16 focus point responding to compliments2
Lesson 16 Focus Point: Responding to compliments
  • Focus Point: Strategies for responding to a compliment:
  • Like Chinese, Westerners are often modest about accepting compliments, but unlike Chinese this is not usually expressed through direct rejection of the compliment. In fact, direct refusal may even seem rude.
lesson 16 focus point responding to compliments3
Lesson 16 Focus Point: Responding to compliments
  • Accept it (when you feel really deserve it): "Thank you."
  • Accept it but pass the credit to someone else: "Thank you, it was a gift from my grandchild.".
  • Moderate the compliment by turning into a conversation topic: "I got it on sale downtown.“
  • Accept the good will, but not the compliment itself (when you feel you really don't deserve it). "That's very kind of you." Also "It's very nice of you to say so."
lesson 16 focus point responding to compliments4
Lesson 16 Focus Point: Responding to compliments
  • Pronunciation practice. Suggested points:
  • Hard sounds: /th/ in that's.
  • Consonant clusters: /ldr/ in children; /bl/ in comfortable.
  • Syllable stress: grandchildren, attractive, downtown, outfit, comfortable.
  • Review intonation for direct address to get someone’s attention (falling intonation on the stressed syllable of the name.)
lesson 17 focus point asking about and expressing opinions
Lesson 17 Focus Point: Asking about and expressing opinions
  • Dialogue: Al, Chen, and Wang are English teachers chatting in the office at a school in China.
  • (listen especially for how people ask for and express opinions.)
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Lesson 17 Focus Point: Asking about and expressing opinions
  • Al: Mr. Chen, how do you feel about teaching English in primary schools?.
  • Chen: I think children should start studying English as early as possible. Young children are more excited about learning a new language.
  • Al: What do you think about it, Mr. Wang?
  • Wang: Personally, I don't think it is such a good idea. I suppose it is good to start learning a language early; but only if there are enough good teachers.
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Lesson 17 Focus Point: Asking about and expressing opinions
  • Focus point. Asking about opinions:
  • "How do you feel about + (gerund or noun)"
  • "What do you think about +(gerund or noun)"
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Lesson 17 Focus Point: Asking about and expressing opinions
  • Focus point.
  • Expression opinions:

"I think that..." Also "I feel that..." "I believe that ..." -- "should" For opinions. "Personally" Emphasizes that this is a personal opinion, thus making his disagreement with Mr. Chen seem less sharp and direct.

  • "I suppose that..." Indicating reservation.
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Lesson 17 Focus Point: Asking about and expressing opinions
  • Other points to note:
  • "as early as possible"

The "as ___ as ___" pattern often causes problems in China.

  • Adjective + preposition: "excited about"
lesson 18 focus point expressing sympathy
Lesson 18 Focus Point: Expressing sympathy

Dialogue:

  • Pam is a foreign teacher at a Chinese college, and gets a surprise visit from the dean of her department, Mr. Lin.
  • (Listen especially for how Mr. Lin expresses sympathy.)
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Lesson 18 Focus Point: Expressing sympathy
  • Lin: We just got a phone call from overseas, and I have some bad news for you. I'm afraid that your uncle Obadiah passed away yesterday. I'm very sorry. You have my deepest sympathy.
  • Pam: Thank you for being so kind, but are you sure you have the right person? I don't have an uncle named Obadiah. In fact, I don't have any uncles at all!
  • Lin: That's odd. There must be some mistake.
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Lesson 18 Focus Point: Expressing sympathy
  • Focus point: Expressing sympathy:
  • "I have some bad news for you." To prepare people for bad news.
  • "I'm afraid that...." Often used when giving bad news.
  • "I'm very sorry." For expressing sympathy. This is more serious than "That's too bad."
  • "You have my deepest sympathy." Formal expression indicating deep sympathy.
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Lesson 18 Focus Point: Expressing sympathy
  • Other commonly used phrases:
  • "I'm sorry to hear about (+ noun phrase)" Ex: "I'm sorry to hear about your uncle."
  • "I'm sorry to hear that (+ subject + predicate)" Ex: "I'm sorry to hear that your mother is sick."
  • Other points to note:

"passed away" = died

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Lesson 18 Focus Point: Expressing sympathy

Practice activity: Cocktail party:

"I have some bad news."

  • 1. Have students prepare one or two pieces of bad news they can break to somebody (you failed your examination, your pet cat died, etc.) Encourage students to keep the bad news more humorous than grim.
  • 2. Have each student share their bad news with another student. The recipient of the bad news should then thank the other for being so kind, but insist that the news is inaccurate. Each should then move on to other partners.
  • 3. Close by asking a few volunteers to report the strangest bad news they heard.
lesson 19 focus point generalizations and exceptions
Lesson 19 Focus Point: Generalizations and exceptions
  • Dialogue: Xiao Li has met a Liz, an American teacher, and is surprised to see her drinking tea.
  • (Listen especially for how Liz makes generalizations.)
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Lesson 19 Focus Point: Generalizations and exceptions
  • Li: Do you like tea?
  • Liz: By and large I prefer coffee, but sometimes I like tea, too.
  • Li: But I thought all foreigners drink coffee.
  • Liz: Not necessarily. In fact, its dangerous to assume that all foreigners do anything. As a rule, most Westerners do drink more coffee than tea. But I think British people drink more tea than coffee and lots of Americans also drink tea. Anyway, there are exceptions to most generalizations.
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Lesson 19 Focus Point: Generalizations and exceptions
  • Focus Point: Generalizations.
  • "By and large, ___, but _____" "As a rule, ______, but _____"
  • Also "In general, ___" "Usually, ___" , "Generally speaking, _____"
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Lesson 19 Focus Point: Generalizations and exceptions

Other points to note:

  • "I thought that ___" Past tense used to indicate a mistaken idea the speaker no longer holds.
  • "Not necessarily." Nice way to correct a statement that is too general.
  • "In fact" Used to correct a misconception. Also "Actually, ___", "In reality, ___"
  • "Anyway" Used for ending one line of discussion and coming to a conclusion or getting back to the main topic.
  • "lots of ___" = many
  • Vocabulary: assume, exceptions, generalizations
lesson 20 focus point opinions different degrees of certainty
Lesson 20 Focus Point: Opinions - different degrees of certainty
  • Dialogue: A group of students is talking about what is likely to be on the final examination for their English course.
  • (Listen especially for ways they indicate how sure they are about their opinions.)
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Lesson 20 Focus Point: Opinions - different degrees of certainty
  • Al: What do you think is going to be on the examination next week?
  • Bud: I guess there will be a listening section, and maybe there will also be a vocabulary quiz.
  • Carol: I'm pretty sure there will also be a reading component. And I'm positive that there will be a writing test.
  • Al: How can you be so sure?
  • Carol: The teacher told me.
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Lesson 20 Focus Point: Opinions - different degrees of certainty

Focus Point: Degrees of certainty in expressing opinions

  • May be true: "I guess" (+ sentence) "Maybe" (+ sentence). Also "Perhaps ___" "I suppose that ____" "It looks like ____"
  • Probably true: "I'm pretty sure" (that) (+ sentence). Also "probably"
  • Certainly true: "I'm positive ____" Also "I'm sure (that)" (+ sentence). "I'm certain (that)" (+ sentence).
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Lesson 20 Focus Point: Opinions - different degrees of certainty
  • Pronunciation practice.
  • Syllable stress: examination, section, component, positive.
  • Word stress: Ask students to decide which words in these sentences would be stressed.
  • Consonant clusters: /gz/ in examination; /ld/ in told; /nt/ in component.
  • Final /l/ in Al, Carol, will.
  • Final stop: /d/ in Bud.
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Lesson 20 Focus Point: Opinions - different degrees of certainty

Practice activity:

  • 1. In groups, have students discuss what they think China will be like in ten years. Have each group make a list of predictions of varying degrees of certainty. Ex: "We think that maybe more people will live in cities." "We are certain that there will be more cars."
  • 2. Have each group present one prediction and explain their reasons.

Other ideas:

  • Topic: Ask students what job they think they will have after they graduate
  • Topic: Ask students to predict the following day's weather.