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Robe CTE's Staff English Course Notes, Handouts & Answers: Sessions 1-12 Answers are given here for all exercises that require them. Notes have been added where appropriate. Handouts and cut-ups can be found at the end.
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Staff English Course
Notes, Handouts & Answers: Sessions 1-12
Answers are given here for all exercises that require them. Notes have been added
Handouts and cut-ups can be found at the end.
Before getting started, look at the objectives and course breakdown. Don't spend too long on it. Perhaps check that they understand the different topics and then tell them they can
read this section in their own time. Turn to the first page and ask someone to read out the session objectives.
What is your name?
What do you do?
What are you doing this evening?
Where were you born?
When do you usually start work?
How are you?
Why are you learning English?
Do you travel to Addis often?
Is Robe your favourite town?
p.1 exs 4 & 5
Opinions may differ about what is and isn't appropriate. Don't dwell for too long on establishing the appropriateness of each, but do ask a few questions about Ethiopian
society to make the questions more pertinent. You may well come to the conclusion that the appropriateness of each in a first conversation depends on how well that conversation
goes! p.2 exs 7 & 8
Do these exercises in stages. Use the board to write the names of a few members of your own family first. Then ask the group to do the same individually. Say that the people can be living or dead.
Next, give a brief explanation of each family member. If you want to guide the group, write
these prompts on the board:
relation to you age appearance occupation
In pairs, they should give a short description for each of the names to each other.
Check the meaning of the adjectives together. Then ask the group to take it in turns at
using them to describe one or two of their family members.
Your group will probably be able to match the sentences quite easily. Explain that they
should try to use the structures as much as possible because they are common and sound
good. Highlight the key phrases to remember after checking the answers (get on well with; fall out with; lose your temper; spend time –ing; tend to do).
I get on quite well with my family.
We fall out with each other occasionally.
I don't lose my temper very often.
My family spend a lot of time watching TV together.
We tend to go for a walk on Sundays.
Normal: I like, I'm fond of, I'm interested in, I'm into, I'm quite keen on Strong: I love, I really admire, I'm obsessed with
If you think your group will appreciate it, also explain the following:
Fond of: suggests a liking for sb or sth that has developed over time (you are not fond of some food you are given to try for the first time; you are fond of injera after living in
Ethiopia for a year); typically used when sth has established a special place in your memory (this bike, this restaurant, this shirt).
Interested in: usually an activity or topic (you are interested in football, not in coca-cola or cafes).
Admire: usually a person or sth a person has done (you admire the Prime Minister or the
new building in town; you don't admire football or biology).
Be into sth: usually an activity or topic (like "interested in", but a little more informal; use it to show you are cool/"down with it").
Keen on: like "like", this can be general (you can be keen on sb or sth); often used with subjects (maths), activities (running), and certain (less obvious) things that appeal to the
senses (you are keen on strawberries, not coffee; you are keen on women in pretty dresses, not on people).
Normal: I'm not so keen on, I get quite irritated by, I dislike, I don't have much time for Strong: I hate, I particularly object to, what really annoys me is, I can't stand
Point out that a lot of the phrases here and from the "likes" section are used with modifiers
like "quite", "not so" (normal strength), "really" and "particularly" (strong strength). They should use them too.
If you think your group will appreciate it, also explain the following:
Irritated/annoyed by: usually by a person, sth a person does/has done; you are irritated by
your husband and the way he shouts at you when he is drunk, not by injera or alcohol.
Object to: you object to sb or sth, usually because you think it is wrong; you object to eating meat and hitting children, not to onions or netball (unless you are being humorous).
Don't have much time for: this informal phrase expresses quite a personal dislike for sth
that other people do tolerate/have time for; we would use the expression for things like hitting children or chewing chat, not for kidnapping or rape.
There are different ways to do this exercise. You could ask the group to write their top five most disliked individually and then compare in pairs, you could ask them to rank all the
items and then compare, or you could ask them to say whether they dislike each with a "strong" or "normal" dislike. Just make sure they use a phrase or two when expressing their
dislikes to each other!
p.4 ex.1: (c)
p.4 ex.3: (c)
p.4 ex.5: (a) – no contact with females allowed
p.5 ex.7: (b) – left hand is considered "unclean"
Normal: you should, it's important that you, I/we advise you to, it's a good idea to
Strong: it's essential to, I/we strongly recommend that you, you must, you have to p.7 ex.1:
(b) Difference (c) Similarity
(d) Similarity (e) Difference (f) Similarity
p.8 ex.1 (opinions):
What do you think about children missing school?
What is your attitude towards school uniforms?
What's your opinion on hitting disobedient pupils?
How do you feel about single sex schools?
Are you in favour of increased pay for teachers?
Do you approve of school on a Saturday?
I feel that... In my opinion... I would say that.... As I see it...
One of the most common mistakes seems to be "As I think...". Tell your group they should
not say "as", and that we just say "I think...". p.9 ex.1
I agree: I'd say that's right, I can't argue with that, I feel exactly the same, I'd go along with that, it's/that's a good point I disagree: I don't think that's the case, I don't see things that way, I would take issue with
that, I'm not so convinced p.10 ex.1
Briefly check that your group understands the meaning of the jobs and the suggested qualities. It may be best to elicit the qualities for each job as a whole class for this exercise.
Clarify the meaning of "should" ("this is right/better"; ask concept questions if necessary: "all people in the world should have enough to eat" – do they have enough to eat?).
This is an all or nothing activity. You really need to set this up and paint a picture for the roleplay to work. Go over the instructions and situations slowly so that your group
understands what to do.
1. Mandarin (Chinese) 2. Spanish
3. English 4. Hindi/Urdu 5. Arabic
These statistics came from wikipedia. Spanish and English are very close, apprarently. If
you change it to include those spoken as a "second" language, the order stays the same but English and Spanish swap positions. Going beyond "second" languages, stats aren't really
available or reliable. p.12 ex.2:
Learners aren't always used to hypothetical conversation, so you may need to explain the
first question. p.13 ex.5
Dialect – (c)
Accent – (b) Slang – (a)
I am not sure what you mean (a) What are you talking about? (a)
Could you speak more slowly, please? (c) Sorry, say that again (d) I'm not sure what to say/think (b) Sorry, I didn't catch that (d/c) Could you repeat that, please? (d) I couldn't say... (b)
Slow down! (c) I'm sorry, I don't understand (a) p.13 ex.2: "What are you talking about?" and "Slow down!" are potentially quite rude.
Randomly read from the four categories to elicit suitable responses from students. For
1. What's your opinion on tombstoning? Are you interested in bog-snorkelling? Do you think you'll ever try cheese-rolling?
2. Tell me your reaction to this excerpt from a story. I was getting tired and I didn't know where we were. The sun was setting and we didn't seem to be any closer to London. The twins were disappearing in front of me and I was beginning to forget
what they looked like. Terrible thoughts entered my head about home. About what would happen when I finally got back. I could see my Mum screaming at me, pulling
me by the hair and my Dad's face looking angry, very angry. I couldn't see the twins
any longer. I was beginning to get more frightened of being lost in the middle of nowhere than of my parents' anger. So what do you think?
Here's another. What's your reaction to this excerpt from a news report? The
increasing level of deforestation that has been going on in various parts of the country has rendered the nation's forest resource highly devastated and
deteriorated. In this regard, the high population growth, low agricultural productivity, and the poor economic performance of the country so far are important factors that have accelerated the deforestation process in the country. One of the
major impacts of deforestation is through its effect in reducing the level of agricultural production and productivity, making the nation unable to feed its
people. This situation has often necessitated increased volume of food imports, in the form of commercial imports, and also as food aid. In addition the high level of
deforestation has resulted in a worsening of household energy problems in Ethiopia, as fuel, wood, dung and crop residue are the major sources of consumption.
3. What's your opinion about the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown? Do you think the
Queen of England made sense in her last speech? What do you think about the leader of the opposition, David Cameron? What do you think of Blackburn as a
place? What's your opinion about the drug problem in Glasgow? 4. Do you want my phone number? It's 0912 786424. My email address is
[email protected]. My address is PO Box 337. And make sure you spell my surname right. It's Hayward.
-ing form: how about?, are you in the mood for?, do you feel like?, what would you say to?
base form: let's, shall we?, perhaps we could?, why don't we? p.15 ex.2
Positive: "Sure, I'd like that", "that's a good idea", "OK, let's do that"
Negative: "Perhaps some other time", "if I had the time I would", "I can't, but thanks for the offer"
On the left/right side of the road (A) Surrounded by countryside (B/A)
South-east of the capital (B) Quite close to the roundabout (A)
About one kilometre from the centre (A) Not far from the bus-station (A)
Opposite the market-place (A) Has a border with Djibouti (B)
Along/on the main road (A/B) With a view of the mountains (B/A)
On the outskirts of town (A) On the edge of the desert (B/A)
Within walking distance of the centre (A) In the Oromiya region (B)
breath-taking/stunning views/scenery once in a lifetime opportunity/holiday
Explain that this is typical language of travel agents, or they may start wondering what on
earth you're going on about!
A: the region contains, Ethiopia boasts, Bale has B: be sure to visit/admire, don't miss, marvel at, come and see/witness C: have you ever dreamed of...?, why not visit...?
If there's time, encourage the group to include some of the persuasive language in their
presentations. If there isn't time, you may as well skip the language section on p.18 and simply do ex.13 on p.19 as a discussion exercise in itself.
More likely (A): could/might/may well, the chances are, there is a good/strong chance, in all probability/likelihood
Not so likely (B): could/might/may possibly, there is little/no chance, the odds/prospects of this happening are slim, I doubt that... p.23 ex.1:
should take (present) if people took...., we would have... (present)
should have listened (past) disapprove of people doing (present)
if you had listened..., we wouldn't have lost (past)
it's time we did something (present and past; it's time + past simple = "this should happen
now, and should have happened earlier")
Possibilities will vary, but:
He shouldn't.... invite female students to his home.
If he didn't.... drink so much, he wouldn't miss his classes.
The neighbours disapprove of... him singing loudly.
They think it's time the police... went to his house.
Demis shouldn't have... entered his neighbour's house.
If he hadn't taken... the cat, he wouldn't have been arrested.
Top row (left to right): anaesthesia, carbon dating, fingerprinting Middle row: penicillin, DNA, electricity
Bottom row: uranus, positive effects of caffeine, gravity p.25 ex.2:
Your group should have some basic idea of most of the things.
- Carbon dating is a method of measuring the age of fossils and other objects. - Uranus was a significant discovery because prior to Herschel's discovery of it, people had thought it a star and for centuries had believed the solar system to be a smaller place. It
was also the first planet discovered using a telescope. p.26 ex.1
It is science that helps us understand the world.
What helps us understand the world is science.
The thing that we need to understand more is science.
The person discovered penicillin was Alexander Fleming.
The year Uranus was discovered was 1781.
The place where they tested nuclear bombs was in the desert.
Some can go more than once. (a) buses, bicycles, trains, cars
(b) (computers), the internet, (TV), mobile phones, (radio), (laptops) (c) (computers), the internet, TV, CDs, Cassettes, DVDs, radio, (laptops)
(d) kettles, electric heaters, electric stoves, tin openers, fridges, water filters, irons (e) computers, staplers, hole-punch, laptops
(f) cameras, torches, alarm clocks p.28 ex.1
These are the incorrect options:
(a) Perhaps/maybe it should be...
(b) It can be... (c) It might mean like... p.28 ex.2
Bring some electronic devices or other strange-looking objects and present each in turn to the class. Elicit speculative responses.
These are the incorrect options:
(a) He can have escaped.
(b) Maybe/perhaps it have happened.
R: I'm sorry, but I won't do that; I'm afraid I can't accept that; no, that's not an option PA: Yes, but do you really think...?; Is it really that important?; I respect what you say, but...;
RA: Let's try to compromise; perhaps we can agree on something; well, that's decided then, isn't it? p.31 ex.1:
I: We intend to; our first suggestion is to; we would start with S: The advantage of this would be that; this would mean that; this is important because
A: Another idea is to; in addition to this; the next thing to consider is
Your group may wonder what on earth you are talking about as you present this exercise. Make sure they understand the basic idea, and that the laws are/were both humorous and
real. 1. die
2. Napoleon 3. the back of his car
4. longbow 5. parachute
6. a bow and arrow p.32 ex. 2:
Your group can answer (b). For laws in the UK (a):
1. False 2. True (recently, though it was 16 for a long time) 3. True (sadly...)
4. False (sadly...) 5. False (apparently, though it's strongly recommended)
You must explain the difference between "a utopia" and "Ethiopia" for the exercise to work!
The cards from Advanced Communication Games need to be cut up and prepared beforehand. For each group (of three or four) there needs to be two sets of cards, shuffled.
The first person puts down a card and complains about it. The person in the group with the same card then apologises and promises/offers something. Then someone starts with a
new card. Obviously there's a chance someone could have both cards, so before the activity begins, tell learners to make sure they do not have the same card twice by putting them back in the middle for someone else to take.
p.34 exs 1 & 2
Explain that this is similar to the speculative structures they recently did. Clarify the difference (speculation – less sure; deduction – more sure).
If your group is fairly advanced, explain that in the past we can use both "couldn't" and
"can't" (for deduction), yet in the positive (speculation) only "could" is possible. p.34 ex.2
Answers will vary and there is no obvious "solution" to this mystery, but:
1. The criminal must be a smoker.
2. He must have left the house in a hurry. 3. He must be a Chelsea fan (God help him...). 4. He must have used the knife to kill someone.
5. He must have killed someone recently. 6. It can't be the dog's blood; he can't have stabbed the dog.
7. He must know how to speak English. 8. He must have taken it from the victim.
9. Something bad must be about to happen. 10. Someone must have seen the Chelsea shirt before the lights went out.
p.35 ex.1 (advice):
In all likelihood, your group will not remember all the phrases so you will need to elicit them. There are a few extra for "I + verb"
You + verb: you have to, you must, you should, you ought to I + verb: I suggest that you, I recommend that you, I advise you to
It's + adjective/phrase: it's important that you; it's essential that you; it's a good idea to p.36 ex.1
There will be numerous suggestions for expressing opinions, many of them wrong. They only need a couple. Try recommending the most common/natural types (in my opinion, I'd say that, for me...).
interested in, keen on, object to, get irritated by (at/with), fond of, obsessed with
p.38 ex.1 (suggestions):
Again, memories will need serious help in being jogged!
Phrase + base form: why don't we?, let's, perhaps we could, shall we? Phrase + ing form: do you feel like?, how about?, what would you say to?, are you in the mood for?
Responding: many possible responses p.39 ex.1 (predictions and likelihood):
Likely: the chances are, there is a good/strong chance, in all probability/likelihood Less likely: there is little/no chance, the odds/prospects of this happening are slim, I doubt that...
p.39 ex.1 (science):
(b) Dreams (c) Language (d) Life
(e) Fear (f) Sky
p.39 ex.1 (agreeing/disagreeing:
Agreeing: I'd say that's right, I can't argue with that, I feel exactly the same, I'd go along with that, it's/that's a good point Disagreeing: I don't think that's the case, I don't see things that way, I would take issue with
that, I'm not so convinced
p.41 ex.1 (language):
Umbrella, opera, balcony Italy Telescope, telephone, atom Greece
Yacht, cruise, boss Holland Alcohol, zero, coffee Saudi Arabia Employee, trainee, interviewee The USA
p.41 ex.1 (describing places):
(a) On the main road (b) Surrounded by countryside/forest/desert
(c) North/south/east/west of the town (d) Close to the station/college/roundabout (e) 10 km from the town/centre/capital (f) On the left/right side of the road (g) On the outskirts of Robe/Addis (h) Within walking distance of the centre
(i) In the Oromiya region (j) On the border with Kenya p.42 ex.1: (b)
p.42 ex.3: (a)
p.42 ex.5: (b) – you should politely decline and accept it the second time, apparently
p.42 ex.1 (proposing & negotiating):
We intend to introduce X to Robe.
I'm afraid that I can't accept that. The advantage of this is that...
This is very important because... Perhaps we can agree on something. Let's try to compromise.
No, that's not an option. Another thing to consider is...