Category Archives: Speaking

Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – with Brian Mattison!

Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – with Brian Mattison!

How to Pass IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 – DO’s and DON’Ts

The aim of the IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 is to get your speaking test off to an easy start, with familiar questions about yourself and general topics, such as family, transport, and studying. Another of the aims is to help you get to know your examiner. 

Part 1 should last around 4-5 minutes. Practice the test with our resident English-language expert trainer Brian Mattison. Why not prepare by using our special IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 DO’s and DON’Ts guide, above. Find out more about IELTS here: https://www.ielts.org/

Firstly, here are some tips for getting the most out of this activity:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #3 – Practice IELTS Speaking Test Part 1:

  1. Hello. Do come in. Please take a seat. (Pause.) Welcome to IELTS Speaking Test Part 1. My name is Brian Mattison. Could you tell me your full name, please?
  2. Thank you. Can I have a quick look at your ID, please? (Pause.) OK. That’s fine – thank you.
  3. OK. Let’s begin. (Pause.) I’m going to ask you a few general questions about yourself. Can you begin by telling me about your friends. Who is your best friend? Tell me about them.
  4. Where and when did you meet?
  5. Have you ever fallen out with them? What happened?
  6. OK. Thank you. What is the best way to make new friends?
  7. Do we really need friends? Why? / Why not?
  8. OK. Thank you very much. (Pause.) I’d like to ask you a few questions now about transport. What is your favourite mode of transport – and why?
  9. How did you get here, to this place? Why did you choose that particular method of transport?
  10. Would you like to be a bus driver or train driver? Why? / Why not? What do you think would be the challenges and rewards of such a profession?
  11. Mmm. I see. How many different modes of transport have you used in your life to date?
  12. Do you think there will be more cars on the roads in the future, or fewer? Give me a few reasons.
  13. Would you like to add a little more?
  14. OK. So, thank you very much for your answers, and, er, that is the end of Part 1 of the Speaking Test.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

This is a guest post by Chris Bargery from MicroEnglish.net. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to feature your product or service on PurlandTraining.com, please get in touch.

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

Practice Listening Skills in English with Micro Dictations

When you listen to native English speakers, do you understand everything, or just enough to survive?

Most students find listening extremely difficult. Native speakers talk very quickly, connect words together, speak in a wide range of accents, and use lots of difficult language like phrasal verbs and idioms. All of this can make understanding them difficult and stressful!

Most students get very good at what I call ‘survival listening’ – understanding just enough to survive. Maybe they only understand 20-30% of what they hear, but that is usually enough to get the message, especially if they understand the context.

For example, imagine one of your colleagues says to you on Monday morning:

“Blip blap blop blep weekend?”

You only understand one thing (the word ‘weekend’), but because it is Monday morning you can make a good guess that your friendly colleague wants to hear about your weekend! You’ve survived.

The site features a wide range of listening activities

The site features a wide range of useful listening activities

This kind of listening is a very useful skill, but it is also really important for students to get better at a different kind of listening – decoding the stream of speech into individual words and phrases which you then use to understand what is being said.

Using the previous example, you would understand that your colleague said:

“What did you do at the weekend?”

Being able to correctly identify individual words and phrases means that you don’t need to make so many guesses. You are no longer just surviving, you’re understanding!

So, how do you get better at this kind of listening? The key is intensive listening.

Listen very closely to this short sentence:

Try to understand and write down every word that you hear. Listen as many times as you need to (seriously – listen 100 times if you have to!) and then check your answer at the bottom of this post.

Try to think about your mistakes. Why did you miss or misunderstand a word? Did the speaker pronounce it strangely? Was it connected to other words?

I think of this kind of listening practice as like sending your ears to the gym. It’s not easy, but it will make you a much stronger listener over time.

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

An interactive activity on MicroEnglish.net

With regular practice, you will get better at automatically recognising individual sounds and phrases. You won’t need to worry so much about making guesses, so you will have more brain power available to plan what you’re going to say.

To do intensive listening, all you need is some audio with subtitles or a transcript. Ted Talks is a good start. My own site, MicroEnglish, provides lots of English listening exercises which are specifically designed to give students regular intensive listening practice. It has a large and growing archive of interactive dictations to give you practice understanding rapid conversational English in lots of different accents.

Do a little bit of intensive listening practice every day and you’ll quickly become a stronger and more confident listener in English. Good luck!


Try the interactive activity based on this phrasal verb by clicking here.


Answer to micro-dictation: I have to drop the children off at school at 9, so I’ll be with you at about 9.30.

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #2 – London

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #2 – London (Level: B1)

Brian Mattison's Spoken English Classes #2 - London

Enjoy a long weekend in London with our virtual conversation!

Hi there! Take a weekend break in London with my FREE online speaking and listening class! Here are a few tips:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #2 – London:

  1. Hi, it’s Brian Mattison again. I would like you to imagine a long weekend in London. By the way, if I ask you a yes / no question, you should answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but then add further information. Is that OK?
  2. Great. Then let’s begin this one. Have you ever been to London?
  3. I heard you’re planning a long weekend in London? Who are you going with?
  4. What would you like to do there? What are some of the most famous attractions in London
  5. Imagine you’re riding the London Eye. How do you feel, so high in the sky? What can you see there? [This video might help.]
  6. Wow! It must be a really incredible view. Hey, where have you booked to stay during the weekend? Describe your choice of accommodation in London.
  7. Nice! What did you buy when you went shopping on Oxford Street and around Covent Garden area?
  8. Do you want to take in a show tonight? What do you fancy seeing?
  9. How was it?
  10. That sounds undeniably interesting. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday morning in London?
  11. Did you walk to Buckingham Palace to see where the Queen lives? What is your opinion about the British Royal Family?
  12. Did you take a boat trip on the river? Describe what you could see as you sailed down the Thames.
  13. Was there anything you didn’t like about your trip to London?
  14. It’s time to go home now. What are you final impressions of London? Did you enjoy your visit? What were the highlights for you?
  15. Mega! You know what – I forgot to ask you – what did you eat while you were in London? Did you enjoy British cuisine?
  16. Well – that’s all for this class. I think you’ve done really, really well! Maybe you’ll want to try one of my other classes here on PurlandTraining.com.
Brian Mattison's Spoken English Classes #2 - London

Sightseeing in London by red double-decker bus can be really fun!


Images:

Pexels from Pixabay

CopyrightFreePictures from Pixabay


Aron Van de Pol

200 Common Minimal Pairs in English - Reference + Gap-Fill Activity

200 Common Minimal Pairs in English – Reference + Gap-Fill Activity

200 Common Minimal Pairs in English – Reference + Gap-Fill Activity

This is a brand new free printable worksheet for English teachers and students at Elementary level and above.

Featuring 200 common minimal pairs in English, this useful reference resource aims to improve students’ understanding of differences between spelling and sounds in English, specifically helping them to identify and work on particular sounds which they may find problematic.

The accompanying gap-fill worksheet (below) allows students to research and find the matching part of each minimal pair. If you have any feedback about this free resource, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or review below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/200-common-minimal-pairs-in-english.pdf

200-common-minimal-pairs-in-english

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/200-common-minimal-pairs-in-english-gap-fill.pdf

200 Common Minimal Pairs in English (Gap-Fill)

Images (ball / bowl) by Clker-Free-Vector-Images and OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Home Security – Do's and Don’ts (ESOL Discussion Activity)

Home Security – Do’s and Don’ts (ESOL Discussion Activity)

Home Security – Do’s and Don’ts (ESOL Discussion Activity)

Work with a partner or small group. Discuss the following statements about home security. Decide whether each belongs in the DO’S list or the DON’TS list and say why (answers may vary):

  • Close all the windows before going out.
  • When someone you don’t know comes to the door, ask to see their ID.
  • Learn a martial art so that you can deal with burglars effectively if they break into your home.
  • Don’t tell anyone your address, even your family and friends.
  • Ask a friend to call round a couple of times to check the house while you are away on holiday.
  • Fit several large locks to the inside of the front door.
  • Leave a spare key under a flowerpot outside near the front door.
  • Lock the front door when you leave the house.
  • Stay in all day and all night, just in case.
  • Leave on a radio or the TV when you go out at night.
smart home diagram

Have you turned your home into a smart home? How did you do it? Why? Discuss how each of the symbols relate to home security.

  • Keep all tools and garden equipment safely locked in the shed.
  • Have a spare front door key cut and give it to a trusted friend, in case you lose your own key.
  • Tell everyone you know that you’re going on holiday and for how long the house will be empty.
  • Leave a tall ladder in the garden leaning up against the wall near an open bathroom window.
  • Make sure that you have enough home contents insurance cover for all of your possessions and valuables, in case your house is burgled.
  • Put an address label on the key fob that has your house key on it.
  • Leave the front door unlocked when you go to bed at night.
  • Cancel the milk and papers for the period when you are away on holiday.
  • Close all the curtains before leaving the house.
  • Build a two-metre-high metal perimeter wall around your property and land.
Home Security

Is it enough to have a sign? Or do you need to have a dog too?

Extract from Big Grammar Book Intermediate Book 1 which you can download FREE here!


Images:

Title image: Brennan Ehrhardt

Smart Home: Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

Beware of dog: Tyler Nix

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #1 – Films

Brian Mattison’s Spoken English Classes #1 – Films (Level: B1)

Brian Mattison – English Teacher Specialist

Hi there! Welcome to my online speaking and listening class! Here are a few tips:

  • Click on the first play button below.
  • Say your answer out loud, then click the next one when you are ready. Try to give as full an answer as possible.
  • Replay the questions as many times as you need to.
  • Get a teacher or friend to listen to your ‘conversation’ and give you feedback.
  • Try to listen and answer all of the questions, before reading the transcript.
  • Practice as often as you like – wherever you are!
  • Please leave your comments below – and share this page if you like it!

Full Transcript #1 – Films:

  1. Hi! My name is Brian Mattison. I’m a specialist in teaching spoken English. It seems you want to practice your speaking with somebody. Is that right?
  2. OK. Let’s get started. Today I want to talk about the topic of films – or movies, if you will. Can you start by telling me about your favourite film? For example, why do you like it? What’s so great about it? How often have you seen it? Who’s in it? And so on.
  3. That’s very interesting. What other kinds of movies do you like?
  4. Do you prefer watching films on TV or at the cinema? Why?
  5. I see. What about downloading films from the internet?
  6. Would you like to be in a film? What part would you play?
  7. Who is the best actor in the world? Give three reasons for your answer, and try to talk for about thirty seconds.
  8. Do you get annoyed by other people when you go to the cinema? What about loud talkers and popcorn crunchers? Tell me more.
  9. If a film was made of your life, what kind of film would it be? Would it be a comedy or a drama? Who would star in it, and who would direct? Tell me more.
  10. That sounds wonderful! Do you collect movie memorabilia? Have you got any film posters? Have you ever been to a film convention and met a famous actor? Which film star would you most like to meet? What would you say to them? What piece of film history would you most like to own? Tell me why.
  11. Well, I have to go now, to another important appointment. But thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. I really hope you’ve been able to improve your listening and speaking skills just a little bit. Bye for now.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read - Infographic

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read – Infographic

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read – Infographic

This is a brand new infographic for English teachers and students at Elementary level and above. Why not use it to spark discussion with your English language students? How far do you agree with the sentiments expressed? Why? What is the real meaning of the infographic?

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read - Infographic

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read – Infographic

10 Good Reasons NOT to Read

We all know that reading is BORING, but here are 10 more reasons not to read:

  1. You have LESS time to play with your phone.
  2. Cool kids DO NOT read books.
  3. You CANNOT take a selfie with a book.
  4. Books contain words, which can be DIFFICULT to understand.
  5. It is DEMANDING to imagine a story in your mind.
  6. Books are HEAVY to carry around all day.
  7. Why read when it is easier to WATCH and SCROLL?
  8. Books are NOT FREE (except at the library) – unlike social media.
  9. Ignorance is BLISS!
  10. If you read, you could become SMARTER than me.

If you have any feedback about this free resource, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or review below or on Facebook or Twitter.


Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay and http://www.clker.com/clipart-wrong-x.html

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

May They Marry? FREE ESOL Lesson Plan

This is a brand new free lesson plan for English and ESOL teachers and students at Intermediate level and above.

We are often told that ‘If two people love each other, they should be allowed to marry. Love wins!‘ But how true is this? May we really marry who we like? What does the law say? Students work in pairs or small groups and discuss marriage law in the UK and around the world, while learning useful new vocabulary associated with family, relationships, and social status.

If you have any feedback about this free resource, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment or review below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/may-they-marry-lesson-plan.pdf

may-they-marry-lesson-plan

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-page-1.pdf

May They Marry? Criteria – Page 1

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-page-2.pdf

May They Marry? Criteria – Page 2

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/people-cards.pdf

people-cards

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/criteria-blank-cards.pdf

criteria-blank-cards

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay