University English: the blog for ESL students

May 2, 2011

Unit 4: Celebrations

Filed under: lessons — richardlstansfield @ 2:37 am

Page 33

Which of these special events are the people celebrating?

1. They’re celebrating a graduation.

2. They’re celebrating a retirement.

3. They’re celebrating a wedding.

4. … the birth of a baby.

What other special days do people celebrate?

Examples:

– Arbor Day

– birthdays

– Buddha’s Birthday

– Canada Day (July 1st)

– Christmas

– Easter

– Halloween

– Independence Day/the 4th of July

– Memorial Day

– Mother’s/Father’s/Parents’/Children’s/Teachers’ Day

– New Year’s Eve/Day

– Thanksgiving

– Valentine’s Day

– wedding anniversary

(etc.)

——————–

We will watch part of an episode of the sitcom “Big Bang Theory” (Season 1, Episode 6).


Characters: Leonard, Howard, Sheldon, Penny, and Raj
(Leonard, Howard, Sheldon, and Raj work at Caltech (California Institute of Technology). Leonard, Howard, and Raj are geniuses. Penny is a high school graduate who works as a waitress. Sheldon is a super-genius and is strange. Raj cannot talk to women –unless he drinks alcohol.)

Answer the questions.

1. Penny invites them to a party. What kind of party?

2. Do they accept (say “Yes”) or decline (say “No”). Why or why not?

1. Halloween party

2. They say, “Yes,” because they are interested in wearing costumes.

Watch the next part of the video and answer the questions.

1. There is a problem. What is it?

2. What costumes do they decide to wear?

3. What other costumes do you see?

Answers

1. All of them decided to dress up as the Flash.

2. Leonard: Frodo Baggins

Raj: Thor

Howard: Robin Hood

Sheldon: the Doppler effect

Penny: a cat

3. a nurse

——————–

Page 34

Books closed.

Listen and answer the questions.

1. What three special days are coming?

2. When are they?

3. What gifts will Dave and Alicia buy for these special days?

Answers

1. Mom’s birthday,

Mom and Dad’s anniversary,

and Dave’s birthday.

2. On the first (1st),

the tenth (10th),

and the twenty-third (23rd).

3. For Mom’s birthday, Alicia will buy a necklace.

For Mom and Dad’s anniversary, Dave and Alicia will buy some flowers.

For Dave’s birthday, Alicia will buy nothing.

Page 35

Exercise 2 (Grammar)

e.g. Alicia is going to buy Mom a necklace.

Alicia = subject

necklace = direct object

Mom = indirect object

Part A

1. Are you going to do anything special for your next birthday?

2. Are you going to invite your friends over for a party?

3. Is someone going to bake you a birthday cake?

4. Are your parents going to buy you something nice?

5. How old are your parents going to be on their next birthdays?

6. What are you going to give your father for his birthday?

How about your mother? And your best friend?

Part B

Ask each other the questions above. Also, ask each other:

–> When is your birthday?

Remember to stress properly.

When is your birthday?

1. Are you going to do anything special for your next birthday?

2. Are you going to invite your friends over for a party?

3. Is someone going to bake you a birthday cake?

4. Are your parents going to buy you something nice?

5. How old are your parents going to be on their next birthdays?

6. What are you going to give your father for his birthday?

How about your mother? And your best friend?

Page 35

Exercise 3 (Speaking Naturally)

Part B

1. e

Are you going to buy anyone a gift this month?

2. c

How many cards are you going to send this year?

3. d

Are you going to send anyone a card this month?

4. a

Who are you going to spend your next birthday with?

5. b

Are you going to send anyone flowers this year?

Page 36

Exercise 1: Building Vocabulary

1. Halloween: wear a costume, go trick-or-treating

2. Valentine’s Day: give someone chocolates, go out for a romantic dinner

3. birthday: blow out candles on a cake, sing “Happy Birthday”

4. graduation day: get a degree or diploma, wear a cap and gown

5. New Year’s Eve: go to see fireworks, shout “Happy New Year”

6. wedding day: exchange rings, have a reception

–> What else do people do? Add one idea to each special day.

Halloween

Make a jack’o’lanterns
Eat candy/give candy
Go to a party (adults)

Valentine’s Day

Give roses
Say, “I love you.”
Propose marriage.
Melt chocolate and pour it into a mould (Korea)

Birthdays

Have a surprise party
Give birthday presents
Make a wish
Eat cake or noodles (China) or seaweed soup (Korea)
Give “birthday kicks” (children)

Graduation Day

Take photographs
Throw caps into the air
Receive bouquets
Give/receive graduation presents
Throw flour (Korea)
Eat noodles with black bean sauce (Korea)
Go out for dinner

New Year’s Eve

Ring a bell at midnight
Go to a New Year’s Eve party
Drink champagne
Count down to midnight
Eat rice-cake soup (Korea)
Make New Year’s Resolutions
Go to a New Year’s concert (Malaysia)

Weddings

Go on a honeymoon
Exchange vows
Cutting wedding cake
Bride throws bouquet
Throw chestnuts and jujubes (Korea)

Another Special Day

You and a partner choose another special day.

Write three activities for that day.

Deepavali (Malaysia, India)

Light candles around their house
Make designs with coloured rice

Spring Day (China)

Wear new clothes
Eat dumplings
Meet friends

April Fool’s Day

Tell a lie to someone (joke)
Students exchange classes (Korea)

Buddha’s Birthday

Make a lotus flower lantern out of coloured paper
Go to a temple
Bow down many times

Memorial Day

Have a moment of silence
Remember the soldiers who died for our freedom
Fly your nation’s flag
Wear a poppy (kind of flower)

Christmas

Go to church (Korea, Russia)
Put up a Christmas tree and decorate it
Hang up stockings and wait for Santa Claus
Put presents under the tree, and then exchange them
Sing Christmas carols
Send Christmas cards
Have a Christmas dinner with turkey, cranberry sauce, etc.
Watch Christmas movies (e.g. “A Christmas Carol”, “Home Alone”, etc.)

Independence Day

Fly your nation’s flag
Have a moment of silence (Korea)
Watch fireworks (America, Canada, Malaysia)
Watch a parade (Malaysia)

Coming-of-age Day

Give bouquets of 20 roses
Give perfume/cologne
Couples kiss

Chuseok (“Korean Thanksgiving”)

Make moon-shaped rice cakes filled with honey or red/white beans
People hold hands, make a circle, and sing
Visit ancestors’ graves and perform rites
Eat the first grain harvested that year
Play a game with four sticks
Play the card game “go-stop”

First-full-moon-of-the-lunar-new-year

Swing around a can with a fire inside

Lunar New Year (“Chinese New Year”)

Eat rice-cake soup
Play on a swing
Play a game with four sticks
Play the card game “go-stop”
Visit ancestors’ graves and perform rites
Children receive money

Page 37

Exercise 2: Building Language

Books Closed

Listen and answer the questions.

1. Is Marcella calling about New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?

2. When is it?

3. What two events is Marcella going to?

4. What times will they meet?

5. What will the weather probably be like tomorrow?

1. New Year’s Eve

2. Tomorrow night

3. Going out for dinner and going to a big party

4. At 8:30 and 11:00

5. It’s going to snow.

Page 37

Exercise 3: Grammar

Part A

Answers

1. c

2. d

3. e

4. b

5. a

Say the sentences to each other.

Use rejoinders and ask follow-up questions.

Example:

A: My best friend’s getting married in May. It’s going to be a fun wedding.

B: Oh, really? Where are they having the reception?

Page 37

Exercise 3: Grammar

Part B

Ask each other about your plans for next weekend and the next holiday (Wednesday, June 2).

“What are you doing on … ?”

———————————–

Page 38

Books closed.

festival: (noun) a series of events and celebrations, usually organized around a central theme

Listen and answer the questions.

1. What can people see or do at a fiesta?

2. a. At a fiesta, who wears colourful costumes?

b. What colours are the costumes?

c. What else do they wear?

3. What kind of food is there?

Answers

1. You can see parades.

People get dressed up in costumes.

You can eat good food.

2. a. Hundreds of cute little kids.

b. Their costumes are purple and silver.

c. They also wear makeup.

3. There’s all kinds of tacos.

taco: (noun) a hard, folded tortilla (= thin flat bread) filled with meat, cheese, etc. and hot spicy sauce

———————————–

Vague Expressions

vague = not exact, not clear

Vague expressions are common in informal conversations.

People use vague expressions when they expect the other person to know what they mean.

Examples:

– … and stuff like that.

– … and everything.

– … and things.

“How do you celebrate birthdays and things?”

= “How do you celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions?”

Vague expressions can make conversations feel informal and friendly.

———————————–

Page 38

Exercise B

1. A. holidays, anniversaries

B. candles, sing “Happy Birthday”

2. A. folk songs, dancing

B. cultural events, concerts

3. B. see old friends, spend time at home

–> Ask each other the questions.

Give your own answers.

———————————–

Page 39

Exercise 2

Vague Responses

When you don’t know the answer, use a vague response.

People also use them when they want to hear more information before making a decision.

I don’t know well. –> wrong. Konglish.

I don’t know.

I’m not sure.

Maybe.

It depends.

———————————–

Page 39

Exercise 3

Questions:

1. What country is it in?

2. When is it?

3. What do people do?

Santa Lucia Day

1. It’s in Sweden.

2. It’s on December 13th.

3. Girls dress up, hold candles, sing songs, and serve coffee and cake and things.

Guy Fawkes Day

1. It’s in Britain.

2. It’s on November 5th.

3. People get together, light big bonfires, and have fireworks and things.

bonfire: (noun) a large fire outside, often used for burning waste

fireworks: (noun) small objects that explodes to produce loud noises and bright colours and are often used to celebrate special events

——————————————————————

Pages 40 and 41, Exercise 1, Part C

Answers

1. In Taiwan, children get red envelopes with money inside for New Year’s celebrations.

In Ecuador, young people ask for money for fireworks for New Year’s celebrations.

In Korea, on a baby’s first birthday, parents put money, thread, and pencils in front of the baby.

2. In Ecuador, people dress dummies in old clothes and burn them for New Year’s celebrations.

In the United Kingdom and other countries, brides wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” at their weddings.

In Turkey, the bride’s friends write their names inside her shoes.

3. In Ecuador, people dress dummies in old clothes and burn them for New Year’s celebrations. Young people ask for money for fireworks for New Year’s celebrations.

In Colombia, the bride and groom light candles.

4. The words for two people who get married are bride and groom.

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