A DIALOGUE ABOUT A BOOK

This is a short dialogue between two students discussing a Sci-Fi book,

The keyword vocabulary of the dialogue are highlighted.

MATT             Hey Lucy, what are you doing?

LUCY             I’m reading a book

MATT             Really?  What’s it called?

LUCY             It’s called Moon Walker

MATT             Is it a true story?

LUCY             No it’s not.  It’s Science Fiction.

MATT             Sci-Fi. Oh I see.  What’s it about then?

LUCY             It’s about an astronaut who lives on the moon

MATT             Sounds cool.  Is it good?

LUCY             Yes it is  but I only read fifty pages so far.

MATT:            Is it scarey?

LUCY             Not really but there are aliens and robots in the story.

MATT             Did you buy it at the bookstore?

LUCY             No I didn’t.  I just borrowed the book from the school library yesterday

MATT             Who’s it by?

LUCY             It’s by Colin Black

MATT             Can you lend it to me after you finish it?

LUCY             Why not! Of course.

MATT             Ok, that would be great.  Thanks a lot Lucy.

LUCY             No problem Matt.  See you soon.

HENRY JEPHSON AND LEAMINGTON SPA

My name is Henry Jephson.

I first came to the small town of Leamington Priors in the spring of 1818 as a raw medical student with aspirations of becoming a doctor.

I was attracted by the prospect of what salted spa waters could do for healing and curing people with certain ailments and afflictions.

Back then, Leamington Priors was a town on the south bank of the river Leam with a priory extending to the Elephant Wash.

Nearby was a small post office on the corner facing the largest parish church in the county of Warwickshire and there was close proximity to the access of spa spring water.

Bath houses, Inns and a Pump room were established as one Bernie Greatheed looked to cash in on land he owned to the north of the river.

The potential for development of a parade of shops and residences constructed on a grand scale was obvious.

The Willes family owned a large swathe of land on their Newbold Comyn estate to the east with a corn mill right down by the river itself.

I qualified as a doctor and established my medical practice on the upper part of the Parade.

As my reputation spread, clients would come from far afield and stay at the nearby Clarendon or Regent Hotel.

Queen Victoria herself made an official royal visit to Leamington in 1838, just two years into her reign.

Not only did I have the privilege of meeting her but I had the honour of treating her for some of her ailments.

I am in no doubt that she fell in love with the town and returned many times subsequently, unofficially of course, for a holiday ‘to take the waters’.

Queen Victoria was instrumental, I believe, in persuading the Willes family, notably Edward Willes, to turn ten acres of the meadowland next to the river Leam into a public garden and park.

I was somewhat flattered to say the least when the gardens and park were to be named after me personally in 1846 for supposedly having put the town of Leamington Priors on the map as a health resort.

Queen Victoria did not return for another official visit until 1858 when the town was renamed as Royal Leamington Spa by royal decree.

A momentous day indeed which led to a marble statue being erected of the great lady outside the Town Hall in her honour.

How much more could I have done? … Or would I have done? ….. If I had not gone blind two years later which forced my early retirement.

I don’t have any regrets as such about my life but losing my sight so early in my life is one of two things which disappointed and saddened me as a professional physician.

Here was I advocating cures to the needy but I had to accept Gods will for the impairment.

The second thing is not experiencing parenthood with my wife Mary.  I had always hoped that the ‘taking of waters’ would fix the shortfall in my married life but it was never to be.

The compensation has been, I think, in being slightly ahead of my time and being able to educate ordinary folk, both the paying clientele and the town needy, about basic healthcare.

I lived out my life at Beech Lawn, the mansion house which I had built behind the Parade in the 1830s.

I understand that after my death in 1878, my home became a Ladies Finishing School for a few years before eventually being demolished in 1946.

The town’s Fire Station is located on the site today.

Though I say it myself, the Jephson Gardens are a wonderful sight to behold at any time of year and I am extremely proud that such a ‘green flag’ legacy carries my name for generations to come.

Thank you all very much indeed for listening to my ramble, for that is surely what it is.

Be sure to visit the Jephson Gardens whenever you are passing through Royal Leamington Spa.

Thank you once again most graciously from the bottom of my heart.

CAUSE AND EFFECT – BECAUSE

This is an English language lesson to practice using the conjunction ‘Because’ to express cause and effect.

In each sentence, there is one cause and one effect.

This is the basic example:

The boy came home late because he missed the bus.  (Missing the bus is the cause of the boy being late.  Being late is the effect of missing the bus)

There are thirty sentences to practice.  The sentences are paired together (sentences 1 and 2 work together, as do sentences 11 and 12)

Practice writing and speaking the following sentences to identify cause and effect.

Use the model format of the structure to write and speak your own sentences using ‘because’.

  • The dog barked because it heard a noise

 

  • The dog ran away because the gate was left open

 

  • The people were upset because the music was too loud

 

  • The music was loud because the volume was turned up

 

  • The room was very dirty because I didn’t clean it

 

  • I didn’t clean the room because I didn’t have a broom

 

  • Sally couldn’t come to the party because she was unwell

 

  • Sally was unwell because she ate too much food last night

 

  • I was late for school today because my alarm didn’t go off

 

  • My alarm didn’t go off because it was broken

 

  • The student got a low score in the test because he didn’t study enough

 

  • He didn’t study enough because he was lazy

 

  • I found the book because I searched for it (search is cause and found is effect)

 

  • I searched for the book because I needed it (search is cause and need is effect)

 

  • I couldn’t call you because the battery on my handphone was dead

 

  • The battery on my handphone was dead because I forgot to charge it last night

 

  • The girl cannot see because she is blind

 

  • The girl is blind because she lost her sight in a road accident

 

  • The children are hungry because they haven’t eaten dinner yet

 

  • They haven’t eaten dinner yet because their mother is still cooking it

 

  • I answered the question because I knew the answer

 

  • I knew the answer because I had studied the topic in school class

 

  • I bought the house because it was cheap

 

  • The house was cheap because it needs to be renovated

 

  • I learn English because it is important for my future

 

  • English is important for my future because I can get a good job

 

  • I study in school because I want to learn lots of things

 

  • I want to learn things because I want to be smart

 

  • I learnt how to drive because I want to have a car

 

  • I want to have a car because I can visit many places

 

This lesson will link with another which practices sentence structure for cause and effect when using the second conditional and ‘should have’ or ‘shouldn’t have’

Look out for the lesson.

Always speak up and build up your vocabulary.

Develop your confidence and awareness of the structure of the sentences.

Good luck with your English language practice.

 

WHAT DO YOU WANT?

This is an English language lesson to practice the phrase ‘I want to’ about things you want to do.

I will first give examples and then expand with further examples of each sentence structure.

First of all note the following pairs of words which can be easily misunderstood when they are spoken.

ride/read                                  wash/watch                 want/won’t (will not)

 

I want to ride a bicycle

I want to read a book

I want to fly a kite

I want to make a cake

I want to watch the sunset

I want to wash my hands

I want to close the door

I want to play a game

I want to catch a train

I want to tell you a story

 

Now let’s expand the examples for each sentence structure

I WANT TO RIDE

I want to ride a bicycle

I want to ride a motor bike

I want to ride a horse

I want to ride a camel

I want to ride an elephant

I want to ride a donkey

I want to ride an elevator

I want to ride a skateboard

I want to ride a see-saw

I want to ride a rollercoaster

I WANT TO READ

I want to read a book

I want to read a comic

I want to read a magazine

I want to read a letter

I want to read the instructions

I want to read your mind

I want to read the palm of your hand (fortune telling)

I WANT TO WASH

I want to wash my hands

I want to wash my face

I want to wash the dishes

I want to wash my father’s car

I want to wash my clothes

I want to cleanse my mind (in this example it is not possible to use the word ‘wash’ but the mind can be cleaned (cleansed) of bad thoughts)

I WANT TO WATCH

I want to watch the sunset

I want to watch television

I want to watch a movie

I want to watch paint dry (an idiom)

I want to watch a football match

I want to watch a show

I WANT TO MAKE

I want to make a cake

I want to make a wish

I want to make a model plane

I want to make up a story

I want to make history

I want to make a speech

I want to make my parents proud of me

I don’t want to make a mistake

I don’t want to make an enemy

I WANT TO CLOSE

I want to close the door

I want to close the window

I want to close my eyes

I want to close my book

I want to close my Bank Account

I want to close the shop

I want to close the drinking bottle

I want to close the water tap

I WANT TO TELL YOU

I want to tell you a story

I want to tell you a secret

I want to tell you some information

I want to tell you something

I want to tell you the way to go

I WANT TO CATCH

I want to catch a train

I want to catch a flight

I want to catch a fish

I want to catch a butterfly

I want to catch up with you sometime

I don’t want to catch a cold

I WANT TO PLAY

I want to play a game

I want to play with my friends

I want to play up and be mischievous

I want to play in the park

I want to play the guitar

I WANT TO FLY

I want to fly a kite

I want to fly on a plane

I want to fly in a rocket

I want to fly like a bird

I want to fly to the moon

 

All of the above sentences should be practiced regularly and if possible memorised to achieve fluency in speaking English.

THE APPLE

I want to tell you today about an apple.

An apple is a small, round, delicious fruit which grows on a decidious tree.

It is usually coloured red or green.

An apple can be eaten raw straight from the tree but it’s best to wash it first.

It does not need to be peeled but watch out for pests such as grubs.

You can eat the whole apple except the core and the pips.

An apple can also be cooked or turned into a juice or an alcoholic drink called cider.

There are more than four thousand different types of apples but Granny Smith, richly ripe, sweet, juicy and green, is probably the most famous.

The Granny Smith apple originated with a growing method discovered by an Australian lady named Maria Ann Smith in the nineteenth century but nowadays the commercial production of this apple is mainly based in the United States.

The apple tree produces blossom in the springtime and is known for its mystical and magical properties.

It grows on an orchard along with other common fruits such as pears and plums.

The time for the apple harvest is late summer or early autumn.

Kids will, of course, be kids and enjoy the thrill of going ‘scrumping’ to get apples for free from the local orchard.

Beware if the farmer ever caught you and expect a dunking!

It may surprise you to know that Orchard Street in Singapore, perhaps one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, was once a fruit farm.

The apple is the source of  a lot of delicious desserts to eat such as apple pie, apple crumble and apple strudel.

The Toffee Apple, a cooked apple and coated with sticky coffee, eaten from a stick,  has long been a favourite of children and adults alike at traditional funfairs.

When I say the word ‘apple’, your first reaction may be not to think of the fruit at all but of the electronics Company called Apple founded by Steve Jobs which gave the world the I-Pad.

Not only that but the American city of New York City is popularly called ‘the Big Apple’.

Why is that you may wonder?

Some would have you believe that it was because of a quip conceived by a sports writer in the 1920s to do with horse racing and placing bets.

It is much more likely that the concept of New York City being called the ‘Big Apple’ is to do with the fact that fruit was largely known in the deep south of America in states such as Mississippi..

Their residents could not have surely appreciated New York City profiting so much and certainly disproportionately from the fruit farm industry when economic times were harsh.

To coin another more modern fruit idiom, New York City is the ultimate ‘cherry picker’.  Biggest gets best, so it is suggested that they got the best of the apple crop.

I cannot end this talk without mentioning a few famous apple idioms and stories to do with apples.

‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is commonly spoken.

An apple is considered a healthy fruit, containing essential vitamins for your well-being, so if you eat an apple every day, you should not need to visit a doctor for medical treatment.

‘Apple of my eye’ is one idiom which I particularly like.

The apple is certainly a nice looking fruit, so we often refer to someone such as child or sweetheart and speak the expression as a term of endearment and affection about that person.

What about ‘Upset the Apple Cart’ then?

The cart is a wheeled vessel to transport the apples gathered from the trees to the farm before boxing them and sending them to market.

The idiom is commonly used to refer to something said or done by someone which causes concern or consternation to another in a way that could have been avoided.

Nobody would want to spill the apples from the transporting cart and then have to pick them all up again afterwards.  Repair the damage.

As for ‘apple stories’, William Tell and the crossbow must be top of the list, the father who precisely shoots the apple from the top of his son’s head in a challenge beset to him by the bailiff of a small Swiss town in centuries past.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has long been one of my favourite fairytales.

Who cannot forget the part in the story when Snow White is tricked into eating the poisonous apple by the wicked witch?

So there you have it.  Apple.

Thank you for listening to my presentation.

THE FANTA SODA DRINK

This is an IELTS talk about your favourite drink and why.

The student is required for about two minutes.

My favourite drink is Fanta.

It is sweet, fizzy and just fant-a-stic!

I guess it’s my fantasy drink

Fanta is a global brand created by Coca Cola but it was the Germans who came up with the Fanta brand name.

There are apparently as many as ninety different Fanta flavours worldwide now.

Amazing isn’t it!

My favourite fanta flavour is orange.

I don’t buy it all that often but I love it more than I can say.

Maybe I buy it at weekends once or twice a month.

I have been drinking it since I was a little kid.

Fanta can be bought at the shop in a can or a plastic bottle.

I never buy the can because once you open a can of soda, you usually have to drink it within a short period of time.

You can’t close the can once you have opened it.

The plastic bottle is different.  It has a top which you can put back onto the bottle after you have drunk some of the soda, so you don’t have to drink it all at once.

I know that the carbonated effects of drinking Fanta soda is unhealthy but to be honest, I don’t really care that much because I really like the drink and I don’t think it will do me any harm provided I don’t drink it too often or too much of it.

I always buy the medium size bottle which holds 600 milligrams of fanta soda and meets my budget.

I feel very happy when I buy a bottle of Fanta and I drink it.

Fanta is a great drink.  It’s a fun pleasure drink.  That’s all I can say about it.

SYMBOLS OF INDONESIA

This is an English language speech aimed at elementary school students learning English as a second language.

Good morning everyone.  First of all, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you all

The topic of my speech is is the Symbols of Indonesia.

There are many things which symbolise the nation of Indonesia.

The first symbol I am going to talk about is GARUDA.

The Garuda is a mythical bird resembling a hawk or eagle whose proportion of feathers represent the exact date of Indonesian independence.

Seventeen.  Eight.  Nineteen.  Forty Five.

There are seventeen feathers on each wing, eight feathers on the lower trail, nineteen on the upper tail and forty five feathers on the neck.

Next I will identify the KERIS as an Indonesian symbol.

The word ‘Keris’ is actually pronounced as ‘Kris’.

It is not a sword or a knife but a uniquely shaped dagger made by a specialist craftsman called an Empu and is a valued heirloom or Pusaka of the Javanese man.

The effectiveness of the Keris was once thought to be enhanced  by mixing the metal of the dagger with nickel taken from the meteorite which crashed in Prambanan in 1729.

The RAFFLESIA is certainly regarded as an Indonesian symbol along with the white jasmine and the moon orchid.

It grows in the rain forest of Sumatra and is the largest flowering plant on earth with a diamater head of upto a metre.

It gets its name from first Singapore Governor Stamford Raffles who found it in 1814.

The Rafflesia is unusual in that it does not have any leaves stems or even roots.

It is used in traditional medicine, promoted on tourist brochures and on postage stamps..

The JATI  TREE is undoubtedly a national symbol too.

Teak is much valued as as a stable woodworking product, easy to turn and shape into furniture and ornamental design.

Being the perfect wood, it combines the strength of oak and the water and insect repellent properties of western red cedar with the rot resistance of black locust trees..

The Jati teak is also used across Java in the construction of JOGLO HOUSES.

Joglo is a traditional Javanese house of an aristocrat with a large roof which slopes away from the centre of the house by a series of columns.

Some people would say it has the grandeur of a mini palace.  It is one of the most easiest icons to recognize on the Indonesian landscape.

BATIK, is traditional dress code for the Indonesian people, especially on Fridays and for special events.

The clothing has many colorful designs using a method of hot wax impressed on the fabric.

UNESCO have recognized the heritage of the Batik since 2009. and 2nd October is Batik Day in Indonesia.

Indonesia has its own unique style of entertainment with WAYANG..

Wayang is a dramatic performance using either wooden leather or shadow puppets or human performers wearing masks to tell a mythical story from the folklore of Indonesian history.

The most popular of all the stories told in Wayang is the Ramayana and the relationship of Rama and Shinta.

Now I want to mention the DURIAN.

The formidable thorn covered Durian is called the King of Fruits  and is believed by locals to be an aphrodisiac, possessed of erotic properties.

Indonesian people love eating Durian and are attracted to rather than away from its extraordinary pungent and odious smell.

Indonesia would not be Indonesia without JAMU.

Jamu is a herbal medicine made from roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits.

Honey, royal jelly, milk or chicken eggs.are usually added to make the taste sweeter.

The Jamu lady can be seen daily both morning and evening carrying a bamboo basket  around the local area filled with bottles of jamu on her back.

Jamu is an absolute symbol of Indonesia.

The PECI is an Indonesian symbol for sure.

It is a small round black hat work by the Indonesian man of any religion.

It was habitually worn by Indonesia’s first President, Soekarno, and has been worn by all male Indonesian Presidents since.

Finally, I must mention NUSANTARA.

I consider Nusantara a symbol of Indonesia because the word itself is taken to mean Archaepeligo and the estimated thirteen thousand islands of Indonesia make up the worlds largest archaepeligo.

There are many people who think that Indonesia should indeed be called Nusantara.

That is all from me about the symbols of Indonesia.

I hope you enjoyed my speech.   Thank you for listening.