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TABLE OF CONTENT
PART I. RESOURCEFUL IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION
Writing an introduction for an essay
Do Thi Minh Hong
Helping students with academic writing styles
Le Thanh Thuy
Le Thi Van Khanh
Teaching essay writing to 10th graders
Tran Thi Thu Ha
The importance of material adaption
Le Ngoc Oanh
English intonation for different types of questions
Strategies for english language learners in the classroom
Duong Minh Khai
PART II. CLASSROOM PRACTICE RESOURCES
PART III. KEY TO CLASSROOM PRACTICE RESOURCES
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Hung Vuong Summer Camp, which has been in operation for several years, is an
initiative of Professor Nguyen Van Mau, former President of Hanoi University of Science,
with a view to motivating the students, and to creating an opportunity for them to acquire
new knowledge and skills in their majors. Also, the Camp is a forum for teachers to learn
from each other and to take in new professional input from academic advisers, who are
university professors. The Camp involves 15 specialising upper secondary schools from
the northern mountainous and highland provinces. English has just been included since
This document is composed of three parts. Part I, Resourceful Ideas for Classroom
Instruction, is a collection of essays written by teachers. Although the essays are not
completely based on teachers‟ reflections on their teaching, they provide useful
information on how to deal with thorny issues in English language teaching, especially the
issue of helping upper secondary school students improve their academic writing skills.
The purpose of this part is two-fold. Firstly, it encourages teachers to enrich their teaching
repertoire by reading the literature to keep themselves abreast of the latest theoretical
developments in the field. Secondly, it helps teachers working in underresourced
conditions to access innovative ideas for their professional development. In fact, these
essays are resources for teachers to refer to in addressing the challenges they are likely to
encounter in their classroom teaching. We hope that teachers will work on these new
ideas, then reflect on their practical experiences in order to develop more context-sensitive
instructional practices. After all, one of the pathways to professional development is
looking at theories through the lens of practical experience and reflecting on the
experience in light of theories. My belief is that nothing is more practical than a good
theory, and practice without theory would become routinised.
Part II provides resources for classroom use. They are presented in the format of a
„test‟, contributed, again, by teachers from different schools. It is worth noting that these
„tests‟ do not follow a consistent format for the reason that the need of diverse classroom
input has to be satisfied. These resources are to save time of busy teachers developing
their own materials to prepare their students for different examinations. Therefore, it‟s up
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to teachers to cut and paste which parts of these „tests‟ they think are appropriate to their
own students and their own purposes.
It is also our purpose that the students can use these resources for their self-study.
Therefore, the key answers to the „tests‟ are provided in Part III of the document.
Since the purpose of Hung Vuong Summer Camp is to make a contribution to the
improved quality of both teaching and learning particular subjects, we hope that teachers
and students will find the document useful in some way. Needless to say, there remains
space for improvements in terms of the input and the format of the document. We
therefore appreciate more thoughtful contributions to the following volumes.
LE VAN CANH, PhD
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WRITING AN INTRODUCTION FOR AN ESSAY
Do Thi Minh Hong
Bac Giang Specializing Upper Secondary School
Writing, in general, is always considered the most difficult skill of the four skills.
Not only students but teachers as well find it hard to master. How to write a good essa y,
especially an essay for academic purpose, is a challenging skill that not many students can
Though students have been helped with the knowledge that this skill requires their
textual competence, their ability to organize and develop the ideas in a persuasive way and
their cultural and academic backgrounds of the language they are learning; though they
have tried hard, they find writing, especially academic writing, a very difficult task to
overcome. This paper does not deal with writing academic essays in general, but suggests
the methods of writing an introduction for an argumentative essay only, the most popular
type of essays that students often encounter when taking The National Exam every year.
Because we all believe that writing a good introduction will help to lead to a good essay in
As we all know, when students are asked to write an essay, the first step they have
to do is to plan their writing. After this step, it is suggested that students spend several
minutes thinking carefully about what they are going to say before writing. Because if
they make a good start, it will be easier for them to keep their thought around the key
elements of the topic smoothly through to the end. The purpose of the introduction is to
introduce the topic to the audience and make him clear about what we are going to write
about. There are many ways to write an introduction and none of them are wrong.
The introduction for an argumentative essay is different from that of others. An
argumentative essay is usually a discussion of a topic, giving reasons why the writer holds
a particular point of view. Most academic papers or articles are laid out in such a way that
the introduction sets out the problem, and the paragraphs that follow give supporting
arguments for the writer‟s point of view.
If we look carefully at most professionally written academic articles, we will find
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that the introduction is laid out more or less like this:
Giving necessary background information about the topic;
Indicating the issue the writer plans to develop in the body of the essay;
Concluding with a statement that sets out the writer‟s own opinion on the topic.
However, it is not quite easy to do this well. The fact is that, Vietnamese students
prefer thinking in their own language, their mother tongue I mean, to thinking in the
language they are learning, a foreign language. What they do when being asked to write an
essay is try to think and write as long as they can with a lot of ideas around the topic,
regardless they are really needed or not for the essay. This is a habit of Vietnamese
students that needs a lot of time to change. In many cases, they tend to give details in the
introduction or sometimes, even they give something that is far from the topic or
something that has no relation with the topic they are going to write about.
To better the situation, I think, teachers should make everything clear enough to help
students when teaching this skill. To make the three points I‟ve mentioned above clear and
easy for students to apply, we are going to, step by step, deal with each of them.
Giving necessary background information about the topic.
The general statement with which we begin our introduction should make our
audience interested in our topic. As an essay that starts by arousing the tutor‟s interest is
likely to gain more marks than one which doesn‟t. Giving necessary background
information about the topic is a good way of getting to the point. Often, we will need to
write several sentences to describe the topic, but sometimes only one sentence would be
The problems of air pollution have been widely reported in the world’s press.
It has been said in a report that many people are victims of calcuholism, a
dependence on the issue of calculators, causing a diminished ability to do mathematics on
Indicating the issue the write r plans to develop in the body of the essay.
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The issue defines what the essay is going to be about. This is perhaps the most
important part in the introduction, because :
1.by reading the question, the audience will know from the beginning what the essay is
going to be about.
2. putting down the question helps to clarify the writer‟s own mind and
3. it helps the writer to stick to one main point in the essay.
Topic: School Leaving Age
(1) Recently, the school leaving age was raised to fifteen years. (2) Is it really a
right way to benefit our society? (3)I think all young people should stay at school until
they are eighteen years old, not fifteen.
Concluding with a statement that sets out the writer’s own opinion on the
The statement of the writer‟s own opinion on the topic can be called the main idea
statement. This statement will tell the readers what we think about the issue, and it is the
answer to the question posed by the issue. Note that we do not offer any reasons why you
hold this opinion in the introduction and we will give reasons in the body of the essay.
Topic: A home for Young Foreign Students
(1) Many people find it advantageous to purchase a home, but others find renting
more suited to their needs. (2) Which might be better for young foreign students? 93)
Although there are advantages for both options, renting is generally a better choice.
In short, to have a good essay with main points solved satisfactorily, the writers have to
know well what they have to do in each section/ part of the essay. The introduction is
thought to be the most important part of an essay that helps the writer to access their po int.
A good introduction will help them to write a good essay and receive a good score.
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HELPING STUDENTS WITH ACADEMIC WRITING STYLES
Le Thanh Thuy
Hoang Van Thu Specializing Yppe r Secondary School, Hoa Binh
The art of argumentative writing is not an easy skill to acquire for students learning
English as a foreign language and it tends to get rather neglected in many classes.
However, argumentative writing seems to be one of the most important, yet difficult,
academic skills for gifted students in many specialized schools all over the country.
In our previous article, although some common causes of the lack of interest in
argumentative writing have been addressed and solutions have been suggested, it could
not fully satisfy the readers whose needs focus on teaching writing professionally and
effectively. That is also the main reason why the writer wishes to, once again, consider
argumentative writing the targeted matter to study. However, in this article, the writer‟s
intention emphasizes on one aspect of academic writing, that is academic writing style.
Definition of academic style and some strategies to help secondary students be familiar
with academic writing style are included in this paper.
2. What is academic style?
Writing style, in general, is the manner in which a writer addresses a matter. When
academic style is mentioned, the term is used to refer to a particular style of expression.
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The overall structure of academic writing is formal and logical. In other words, academic
writing is linear, that is, it has one central point or theme with every part contributing to
the main line of argument. There are five main features of academic writing that are often
discussed: complex, formal, objective, explicit and hedged.
With regard to the complexity, academic writing should possesses some of the
characteristics. First, it should be lexically more dense and has a more varied vocabulary,
which means more noun phrases and less verb phrases. Second, the written text are shorter
and the language has more grammatical complexity. That is more subordinate clauses and
more passive are used. Formality is the second feature which should be taken into
consideration. It is relatively simple in the way that the writer should avoid using
colloquial words as well as abbreviated ones. Objectivity concerns much about the
impersonal information and argument that are conveyed in the piece of writing while
explicitness focuses on how information and ideas are communicated. Academic writing
tends to use nouns and adjective rather than verbs and adverbs and system of signaling
words is exploited to the highest of efficiency. Another typical feature of academic style
is hedging. It is often believed that academic writing is factual, simply to convey facts and
information, however, the concept of cautious language now is considered the safe and
wise way to express the writer‟s opinion on a subject matter. Some introductory verbs,
modal verbs and that clauses may work well in this case. ( Introductory verbs: seem, tend,
appear, believe, doubt, suggest...; modal
verbs: will, would, may, might, That clauses: It could be the case that, It might be
suggested that, It is often claimed that ....)
One example of the difference between academic style and normal style is
presented as follows:
Because the technology has improved
Improvements in technology have
its less risky than it used to be when
reduced the risk and high cost associated
you install them at the same time, and
with simultaneous installation.
it doesn‟t cost so much either.
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As the definition of academic writing style has been provided, the next part of the
article will propose some effective strategies with a view to helping students be familiar
with academic writing style.
3. Some strategies should be adopted when teaching acade mic writing.
3.1. Studying sample writings to be accustomed to academic English styles
It is advisable that students refer to authentic argumentative writings so as to gain
clear perceptions in the executions of introducing a topic, stating an opinion, presenting
arguments and examples, justifying
their own viewpoint ... Furthermore, students can learn many things about
grammatical structures, vocabulary, format and lay - out of an argumentative writing by
reading and analyzing authentic samples. By doing so, the differences between writing
styles can be gradually settled. The students study the samples then attempt to apply some
useful techniques in their own argumentative writings.
3.2 Assigning exercises on distinguishing between debatable and non debatable topics.
An argumentative essay is built around a specific statement (or main premise) that
is debatable within the field in which you are studying. In other words, at the centre of an
argumentative essay is a statement with which your readers may disagree. These are
sometimes called arguments, assertions, propositions or premises. Non debatable, on the
other hand, are statements with which no-one would normally disagree or argue. These
are sometimes called "facts".
To make students gain clear perception of this, teachers can assign task in which
student have to consider to come up to the decision whether this statement are debatable or
non debatable. A sample task is supplied as follows:
Which of the following statements are debatable and which are non-debatable? If
the statement is debatable, put a tick in the box next to the word "debatable". If the
statement is non-debatable, put a tick in the box next to the word "non-debatable".
Computers and automation increase unemployment
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Smoking is harmful to people's health
Plants produce oxygen that the world needs to sustain life
Australia has some of the most venomous snakes in the world
A good education is necessary for a successful and happy life
By deeply understanding the kinds of topic, students will find it easier to come up
with arguments for and against it. Moreover, when they choose a topic to practice
themselves, this skill is essential and practical.
3.3 Using “however” as a powerful tool to provoke an argument
Using connectives is by no means the effective way to make the writing clear and
easy to follow. There are some types of connectives such as: listing, information adding,
contrasting ... However, the gold word that the writer wishes to emphasize is “ however”.
Why this word? As critical thinking is clearly conveyed through academic writing,
showing the writer is well aware of both sides of the issue is very essential. Thus, using “
however”, to shift from an opposing argument to a supporting one is one the most
effective way for the writer to achieve his/her purpose. Teachers should assign students
with opposing arguments or ideas and require their students build up a hedging statement
and using “ however” to present the other side of the problem. Some typical phrases of
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problematising should also be supplied to make students find it easier dealing with this
kind of task.
Some hedging phrases are:
It may be/ might be/ could be/is/ has been argued/ asserted/ contended/ maintained/
claimed/ said/ that .................. . However, ...................
There are 6 issues listed below. Your task is to write a pair of sentences similar to
the sentence in the model about each of the issues. The first sente nce should present and
problematise the opposing opinion on this issue. The second sentence should present your
opinion (or premise) on this issue, Don‟t forget to link the two sentences with the
contrasting connective, However. Use the language summary above to help you and try
different ways of showing you are aware of the opposing opinion.
Banning smoking in restaurants
Banning all guns
Making Australia a republic
Decreasing immigration levels in
Having the Grand Prix at Albert
Sample answe r
1. Banning smoking in restaurants
It could be asserted that smokers should be free to smoke in restaurants as they wish.
However, by banning smoking in all public places we can help people to give up this
extremely unhealthy habit.
2. Banning all guns
It has been argued that people have a legal right to own guns in our society. However,
unlike the United States, there is no law in Australia that guarantees any right to own
3. Making Australia a re public
It is claimed that changing to a republic would make Australia a more democratic country.
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However, the constitutional system that we have at the moment has functioned very well
to ensure democracy for nearly 100 years and it is very risky to change it.
4. Decreasing immigration levels.
It has been maintained that there are not enough employment opportunities in Australia to
sustain high immigration levels. However, research into this issue has found that
immigrants create new forms of employment through the businesses they establish.
5. Having the Grand Prix at Albert Park.
It is contended that the people of Melbourne are very unhappy with the government's
decision to stage the Grand Prix at Albert Park. However, recent opinion polls show that
the vast majority of the population is not concerned with this issue at all and is happy to
have the Grand Prix anywhere in Melbourne.
6. Reintroducing capital punishme nt
It could be said that reintroducing capital punishment will deter people from committing
serious crimes of violence. However, overseas experience indicates that the level of
violent crime is not reduced by the threat of the death penalty
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Le Thi Van Khanh
Thai Nguyen Specialing Upper Secondary School
During the years of teaching English at the upper secondary schools, I have found that
every part of grammar is very interesting if one is devoted to studying it. When studying
the forms of verbs and their functions in English, I want to deal with the problem “Linking
verbs”- a most difficult subject for the learners and those who study English.
1. Link verbs:
Link verbs have partly lost their lexical meaning and are used as part of a compound
nominal predicate. The main lexical meaning of this kind of predica te is expressed by the
predicative ( a noun, an adjective, or a verbal).
Link verb + Adj
Eg: - She is good.
- She becomes more beautiful.
- He ís getting tired now.
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Link verbs + Predicatives (N, ADJ, G, PI or PII)
Eg: - She is a student. (noun)
- My sister looks beautiful. (adjective)
- He gets tired. (participle2 )
- It is surprising that he passed the exam. (participle1 )
- Her hobby is collecting stamps. (gerund)
2. Groups of linking verbs:
With regard to their meaning, linking verbs fall under three groups:
* Verbs of being: be, look, feel, sound, smel, taste, fall, etc………..
* Verbs of becoming: become, come, get, turn, grow, go, run, etc…
* Verbs of remaining: remain, keep, stay, seem, appear, etc……….
Eg: - He usually feels tired after working hard.
- His mother went mad when her son didn‟t obey her.
- After a long time when I met her, she still remained beautiful.
When used as linking verbs, they almost lose their lexical meaning and are to be followed
by an adjective, not by an adverb.
Eg: - It sounds quite correct. (not corectly)
- She looks very nice. (not nicely)
- The apple tastes bitter. (not bitterly)
** Notes: Differences between Linking verbs & notional verbs
- He goes mad.
- We go to work everyday.
- She remains tired.
- I‟ll remain with you.
- I get used to stay up late.
- She never gets up late.
- The water runs deep.
- He is running across the road.
Her face turns pale.
- He turned round quickly.
3. Some types of words after linking verbs:
1, Nouns or noun-phrases
- She is a beauty.
- She is a nice girl.
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- It‟s me that you always help.
- The book is mine.
3, Adjectives or compound adjectives
- She seems more beauiful.
- She is oval- faced.
4, A numeral
- I‟ll be 40 next week.
- Lady‟s first.
5, An infinitive or an infinitive construction
- My plan is to start soon.
- The best thing for you is to join us.
6, A gerund or a gerundial construction
- My hobby is fishing.
- This is not playing the game.
7, A participle
- He looked embarrassed.
- This film is exciting.
8, A clause
- It seems that he is sleeping.
- The best thing to do is what your advisor suggested.
3.. Linking ve rbs accompanied by adjectives
Linking ve rbs
Linking ve rbs
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young / old
ill / asleep
tired / sleepy
exhausted / bored
mad / wild
prosperous / tall
quiet / silent
clear / clean
right / wrong
hot / cold / wet
red / pale
deep / strong
still / tight / pretty
still / empty / ready
still / good
Exercise of multiple choice
Fill in the blanks with s uitable words by circling A, B, C, or D.
“I don‟t think John looks well today”
“He seems _______”
a. fairly tired
b. fair tired
c. fair tiredly
d. fairly tiredly
2. “Which do you prefer, the blue china or the white china?”
“The white china is ______”
a. definitely better
c. betterly definite
b. better definite
d. better definitely
3. I don‟t know she seemed ______ in it, however”
4. “This hand-made cloth is beautiful”
“To see such quality is ______”
5. I think Mary looks ______ today.
6. The crowd grew ______ as the official began her speech.
7. Oh! This dish smells ______.
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8. John felt ______ after lunch.
9. It appears ______ that Mary Hanson will win the election.
10. The weather turns ______ in July.
**Key: 1. a 2. a 3. c 4. a 5. c
2. Exercise of word-form
Find out the correct words to fill in the blanks, using the words in the brackets.
He is ______ (die)
The contract offer sounded ______ to me, so I accepted the job. (fairly)
It is becoming ______ to go out alone at night. (danger)
Divorce is getting more ______. (common)
The radio has gone ______. (wrongly)
She turns ______ with cold. (blueness)
Has she fallen ______? (illness)
The water ran ______ when I turned the tap on. (coldness)
For many years, he has stayed ______. (single)
The task proved ______ than we‟d thought. (difficulty)
**Key: 1. dead
3. Exercise of rewriting
Rewrite these sentences , using bold words.
He went mad when I told him that I‟d changed my mind. (angry)
I was really annoyed about missing that train. (annoying)
It is exciting to travel all over the world. (exciting)
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She looks sad. (seems)
Look! He‟s sleeping. (asleep)
It is certain that she will come back. (appears)
When the wind started to blow, I grew anxious. (got)
The milk tasted sour. (turned)
please, keep still while I take your photo. (sit)
Are you single? Yes, I am. (stay)
He felt angry when I told him that I‟d changed my mind.
Missing that train was annoying to me.
Travelling all over the world is exciting.
It seems that she is sad. / She seems to be sad.
He‟s falling asleep.
It appears certain that she will come back.
I got anxious when the wind started to blow.
The milk turned sour.
Please, sit still while I take your photo.
Do you stay single?
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TEACHING ESSAY WRITING TO 10th GRADERS
Tran Thi Thu Ha
Ha Long Specializing Upper Secondary School, Quang Ninh
Writing, along with other skills, is very important when we want to evaluate the English
level. Many students, as well as teachers, consider writing so difficult that they hardly
However, the students are not only to blame for this problem because teachers' quality of
English, lack of materials and the old conception in teaching and learning are also the
main reasons. This is the reason why I would like to share some techniques I often use in
teaching writing an essay for 10th form students of English. I hope that this will make a
modest contribution to the enhancement of students‟ writing performance.
Sentence Writing vs. Paragraph Writing
Sentences and paragraphs are the most basic components of an essay. As a matter of fact,
it is really necessary to study sentence structures, types of sentences and the basic rules
when writing a paragraph… when we want to learn how to write an essay. What follows is
a review of various types of sentences and their characters in English.
1. Simple sentence:
A clause is a group of words containing a subject and a verb. Some clauses can stand
alone as a sentence. This kind of clause is an independent clause.
A simple sentence is one independent clause.
Eg: Tom loves Erica.
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2. Compound sentence:
A compound sentence is two independent clauses joined together by a comma and one of
the seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, so, or, nor, for, yet.
Tom loves Erica, and she loves him
Jack loves Jean, but she loves Ronald.
Jack should forget Jean, or he will die a lonely man.
Jean doesn’t love Jack, so she won’t marry him
or by semi colon and the first word after a semicolon is not capitalized.
Jack loves Erica; she loves him.
Jack loves Jean; she loves Ronald.
or joining the two independent clauses with a semicolon + sentence connector + co mma:
moreover, furthe rmore, however, otherwise, therefore.
Tom loves Erica; moreover, she loves him.
Tome loves Erica; furthermore, she loves him.
3. Complex sentence:
3.1. Dependent clause:
Dependent clause is a clause with a subject and a verb that does not express a complete
thought and cannot stand alone.
There are different kinds of dependent clauses:
dependent adjective clauses : which can work twenty hours a day/ who cannot
work around the clock.
dependent adverb clause: before the company installed robots/ because…..
dependent noun clause : that robots are here to stay
3.2. Complex sentence:
A dependent clause must be connected to an independent clause in order to make a
complete sentence which is called a complex sentence.
Independent clause dependent clause
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The company uses robot, which can work twenty four hours a day.
Production was average before the company installed robots.
Annual sales are now over one million because production meets buyer‟s
The word that begins a dependent clause is called a subordinating conjunction: which,
who, before and because
3.3. Complex sentences with Adverb clauses
Dependent adverb clauses tell why, when and where or introduce an opposite idea.
to tell why: because, since as.
to tell when and where: when, whenever, since, while, as soon as, after, before…
to introduce an opposite idea: although, though, even though
Here are some exercises for practice:
Exercise 1: Combine each of the following pairs of sentences to make compound
sentences. Use all the three ways you have just learned and punctuate carefully.
1. Robot can do boring, repetitive work. They can do unsafe jobs.
2. Robots can make minor decisions. They cannot really think.
3. Robots don’t get tired, sick, or hungry. They can work twenty-four hours a day.
4. Human factory workers must learn new skills. They will be out of work because of
Exercise 2: Write independent or dependent in front of each of the following clauses.
1. When we arrived at the airport two hours later.
2. We arrived at the airport two hours later.
3. Because the teacher gave such hard exams.
4. After they got married.
5. Afterward, they got married.
6. Which is not an easy thing to do.
7. Which student got the highest grade.
8. Who will go to the store?
9. While I was a student in high school.
10. Where he parked his car.
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Exercise 3: Write complex sentences using the given subordinating conjunction
II. Parts of a paragraph.
A paragraph is a group of related sentences that develops one main idea, which is the topic
of a paragraph.
A paragraph is made up of three kinds of sentences that develop the writer‟s main idea.
These sentences are :
the topic sentence
the concluding sentence
1. The topic sentence:
The topic sentence is the most general and important statement of the paragraph. It is t he
key sentence because it names the subject and the controlling idea, opinion or feeling
about the topic.
The topic sentence should be written at the beginning of the paragraph because it tells the
reader what you are going to say and you can look back at the topic sentence as you write
the supporting sentences.
The topic sentence must have the subject and the controlling idea. The controlling idea
limits what you will write about in your paragraph.
River rafting is challenging sport with important requirements
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College-> Greenhill college-> registration-> frustrating experience
Registration at Greenhill College is a frustrating experience
2. The supporting sentences:
They develop the topic sentences by giving specific details , e xplanations, or proof about
the topic sentence.
Topic sentence: Traditional American family relationships have changed greatly in the
last thirty years
- x out of x marriages ending divorce
- x out of x children live in homes with only one parent.
- x percent of couples living together are not legally married.
Topic sentence: Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world.
- Cost of a diner at a medium-priced restaurant.
- Rent for an average two-bedroom apartment.
- Cost of a ride on public transportation
- Cost of a medium-priced hotel room
3. The concluding sentence
It signals the end of the paragraph.
It summarizes the main points of the paragraph.
It gives a final comment on the topic and leaves the reader with the most important ideas
to think about.
The concluding sentence reminds the readers of the topic sentence, it is like the topic
sentence but in different words not copy the topic sentence.
It can be begun with: All in all, In any event, In brief, Indeed, In other words, In short,
Therefore, In conclusion, In summary, Finally…
Here are examples of topic sentences:
- River rafting is a challenging sport with special requirements
- Gold, a precious metal is prized for two important characteristics
And here are the concluding sentences:
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- In short, if you are fearless and in good physical condition and can react quickly, river
rafting is the ideal outdoor sport for you .
- In conclusion, gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also for it utility.
III. Some steps in writing a paragraph
1. Pre-writing: Brainstorming:
Brainstorming is a prewriting activity in which you come up with a list of ideas about a
topic on your own or in small groups with your classmates
-Brainstorming may follow these steps:
+ Write down your general subject or specific topic.
+ Make list of everything that comes to your mind about it.
+ Use words, phrases and sentences
+ Keep writing down whatever comes up to your mind until run out of ideas.
2. Outlining a paragraph
Main supporting sentence
Main supporting sentence
Main supporting sentence
Main supporting sentence
Main supporting sentence
Main supporting sentence
27. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Snow skiing must take extreme precautions on the slopes.
They must consider the weather conditions
Storm or clear weather
B. They must consider the slope condition
C. They must consider their own ability
Snow skiing is a safe and enjoyable winter sport if skiers take a few precautions
Here are some exercises for students to practice:
Exercise 1: Study the following pairs of sentences and check the one you think would be
a good, clear topic sentence for a paragraph
Snow skiing in the highest mountainsides requires great skill
Snow skiing is fun
Exercise is healthful
Jogging is healthful for several reasons.
Camping is a great outdoor activity.
Camping requires a variety of special equipment.
The legal age for drinking alcoholic drinks should be twenty-one for several
28. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Drinking is dangerous to your health.
Small cars are popular.
Driving a WV Rabbit saves money.
Exercise 2: Write topic sentences on the following topics. Limit the topic and the
- Smoking cigarettes
Exercise 3: Writing supporting sentences
1. Smoking in restaurant should be prohibited for several reasons.
International students have difficulties taking notes in class for several reasons.
IV. Writing an essay
1. What is an essay?
An essay is a piece of writing several paragraphs long instead of one or two paragraphs. It
is written about one topic.
An essay has three main parts:
1. An introductory paragraph
2. A body ( two or more paragraphs)
3. A concluding paragraph
The introductory paragraph consists of two parts:
+ general statements :
- introduce the topic of the essay
29. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
- give background information on the topic
+ thesis statements:
- States the main topic
- Lists the subdivisions of the topic
- May indicate the method of organization
- The last sentence in the introductory paragraph
Ex: A person born in the twentieth century has seen a lot of changes take place in almost
all areas of human life. Some people are excited by the challenges that these changes
offer; others wants to return to the simpler, less automates lifestyle of the past. Living in
the twentieth century has certain advantages such as a higher standard of living but it also
has some disadvantages such as a polluted environment, the depersonalization of human
relationships, and the weakening of spiritual values
The body consists of one or more paragraphs. Each paragraph develops a subdivision
The concluding paragraph
+ a summary of the main points or restatement of your thesis in different words
+ your final comment on the subject, based on the information you have provided
Ex: In conclusion, although the 20th century has indeed given us a lot of advantages by
making us richer, healthier, and freer to enjoy our lives. It has, in my opinion, not made us
wiser. The 20th century has also made our Earth dirtier, our people less humane and our
spiritual lives poorer. We should continue to enjoy the benefits of technological
advancements because they free us to pursue our interests and goals. However, we must
make an effort to preserve our natural environment for future generations. Moreover, we
should take the time now to make our lives more meaningful in an increasing impersonal
2. Some transitional signals used in writing paragraphs and essays
To list ideas in time
order or order of
To add another idea
First, second (ect..)
First of all, then, next, after
Furthermore, also, in addition, and
, moreover, besides, what's
30. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
To add an opposite
On the other hand,
To add a similar idea
Similarly, likewise, also
To give an example
For instance, for example
To give a cause( or
To give an effect ( or
To add conclusion
consequently, as a result
In brief, all in all, indeed, in
other words, in short, in the
Part C: Conclusion
Writing is important and necessary for student if they want to be fluent inon language in
general and English in particular. Therefore, the teaching and learning of it must be
focused on. In order for the students to learn how to write an essay well, teachers must
teach them how to write individual sentences and individual paragraph. This paper is
written with the hope that the skill of teaching writing of teachers and learning writing of
students will be improved. It is hard to present more within the scope of this study, so the
author hope that more aspects of writing such as describing graph will be studied by other
teachers of English. Any comments and suggestions for this paper will be welcome and
II. Suggestions for further study.
Beyond the scope of my paper, I strongly suggest the following topic to further study.
Some techniques in describing graphs and tables
Some common mistakes of students when leaning writing
Teaching sentence transformation
31. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
THE IMPORTANCE OF MATERIAL ADAPTATION
Le Ngoc Oanh
Son La Specializing Upper Secondary School
I. The proble m
For many years, English teachers in high schools have been using their textbooks and
teaching materials faithfully. However, in many cases, these materials do not reflect the
reality of the classroom in terms of the students‟ needs, wants and interests. Block (1991,
p.211) states that “despite the botaneous harvest of ELT materials which the past decade
and a half provided, published materials do not always provide the types of texts and
activities that a teacher is seeking for a given class”. Many teachers might feel that
something is missing in regards to materials and they do not know how and what to
provide them. Materials Development and Adaptation has become a teaching topic that
has caused great concern among English teachers as a way to bridge the gap between what
English textbooks offer and what the students really need in their learning environment.
In Vietnam in the recent years, the old textbooks series (Tieng Anh for 3-year students &
English for 7- year students) have become out of date. The publication of the new series of
textbooks has been welcomed by teachers and students throughout the country. However,
it is undeniable that when applying this textbook series into teaching and learning,
teachers and students in such a mountainous province as Son La encounter many
difficulties. The problem is that many activities and exercises in the textbooks are not
suitable to the reality of the classrooms in high schools in Son La Province and need to be
32. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
adapted flexibly to be more effective. Nonetheless, not many English teachers here
understand about Materials Adaptation and they are not provided a practical guide to
In view of the preceeding discussion, this article attempts to provide the definition of
Materials Adaptation, the characteristics required for adapted materials, the process of
materials adaptation, the importance of layout. It is hoped that the study can be valuable to
the English teachers in the province as the result of taking advantages of the study and its
recommendations for a better strategies in adapting the textbooks in their teaching.
II. Definition of Materials Development and Adaptation
It is important to define materials as anything used by teachers and/ or students to
facilitate the learning of a language. materials could obviously include cassettes, videos,
CD-Roms, DVD‟s, dictionaries, grammar books, readers, workbooks, p hotocopied
exercises, all kinds of realia, lectures and talks by guest speakers, Internet sources, and so
on. (Tomlinson, 1998, p.2). Kitao (1998, p.1) also defines materials “as the center of
instruction and one of the most important influences on what go es on in the classroom.”
Obviously, the definition given by Kitao represents a great responsibility on the part of the
teachers who must seriously consider what materials to use in their teaching.
2.2. Materials Development:
Tomlinson ( 1998, p.2) refers Materials Development as anything which is done by
writers, teachers or learners to provide sources of language input and to exploit those
sources in ways which maximize the likelihood of intake, in other words the supplying of
information about and/or experience of the language in ways designed to promote
Ramirez Salas (2004, p.2) considers that Materials Development encompasses any kind of
activity and/or exercise ( games, role plays, readings, problem-solving situations, group
discussions, etc.) totally developed from raw texts, with or without pedagogical purposes,
for the students‟ level and created to address a section of the course content, that seems to
33. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
be weak or lack further development or practice. Materials Development ranges from
creating a short grammar exercise to writing a complete a textbook.
2.3. Materials Adaptation:
Within the concept of Materials Development, there is a commonly used term that also
needs to be defined: Materials Adaptation. According to Ramirez Salas (as cited in Maley,
p.281), Materials Adaptation refers to the application of some strategies to make the
textbook more effective and flexible. These strategies are omission, addition (adding extra
material), reduction, extension (lengthening an activity to draw attention to other language
features), rewriting/ modification, replacement, re-ordering, and branching (offering
alternative ways to do the same activity).
2.4. Materials Development in contrast with Materials Adaptation:
Contrasting with Materials Development, when teachers adapt an activity or exercise from
a textbook, they use that activity or exercise as the basis to make certain changes. This is
the process many teachers usually follow in their teaching, since they can use old
textbooks to take texts and ideas and adapt them to their current teaching needs. Both
processes are time-consuming and time-demanding. However, Materials Adaptation is
easier in the sense that teachers can use texts given in different textbooks, whereas in
Materials Development everything must be created from scratch.
III. Reasons to adapt materials
Some teachers may question the need to adapt teaching materials if everything they need
is already in a textbook elaborated by people who really know. being this a very valid
opinion, it is necessary to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using a textbook,
and from there, discuss the need to adapt materials.
3.1. Advantages and disadvantages of using a textbook:
Richards (p.1) states the principal advantages of using textbooks:
(i) They provide structure and a syllabus for a program.
34. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Without textbooks a program may have no central core and learners may not receive a
syllabus that has been systematically planned and developed.
(ii) They help standardize instruction.
The use of a textbook in a program can ensure that the students in different classes receive
similar content and therefore can be tested in the same way.
(iii) They maintain quality.
If a well developed textbook is used students are exposed to mate rials that have been tried
and tested, that are based on sound learning principles, and that are paced appropriately.
(iv) They provide a variety of learning resources.
Textbooks are often accompanied by workbooks, CDs and cassettes, videos and
comprehensive teaching guides, providing a rich and varied resource for teachers and
(v) They are efficient.
They save teachers‟ time, enabling teachers to devote time to teaching rather than
(vi) They can provide effective language models and input.
Textbooks can provide support for teachers whose first language is not English and who
may not be able to generate accurate language input on their own.
(vii) They can train teachers.
If teachers have limited teaching experience, a textbook together with the teacher‟s
manual can serve as a medium of initial teacher training.
(viii) They are visually appealing.
Commercial textbooks usually have high standard of design and production and hence are
appealing to learners and teachers.
According to Richards (p.2), using textbooks has some potential negative effects as
(i) They may contain inauthentic languages.
35. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Textbooks sometimes present inauthentic language since texts, dialogues and other aspects
of content tend to be specially written to incorporate teaching points and are often not
representative of real language use.
(ii) They may distort content.
Textbooks often present an idealized view of the world or fall to represent real issues. In
order to make textbooks acceptable in many different contexts controversial topics are
avoided and instead an idealized white middle-class view of the world is portrayed as the
(iii) They may not reflect students’ needs.
Since textbooks are often written for global markets the y often do not reflect the interests
and needs of students and hence may require adaptation.
(vi) They can deskill teachers.
If teachers use textbooks as the primary source of their teaching leaving the textbook and
teacher‟s manual to make the major instructional decisions for them the teacher‟ role can
become reduced to that of a technician whose primarily function is to present materials
prepared by others.
In actual fact, the textbook, together with the syllabus, is the backbone that holds up a
language course. In a textbook, teachers do find an appropriate sequence to follow and a
support to base their daily teaching. Textbooks are good outlines that teachers can follow
and adapt to their teaching, cultural, and institutional needs.
Course books provide a source and a guide for students. If students have missed a class,
have problems with a certain language aspect, want to review, practice or just know what
comes ahead, they can find that information in the textbooks. According to O‟Neil (1990,
p.151), textbooks are resource for staying in touch with the language. Students need a
source to lean on, to consult and to revise anytime they feel suit.
Moreover, in textbooks, students find information nicely presented and elaborated.
Nobody can deny that the layout of most textbooks is unquestionably neat and with great
graphic art. Students have in their textbooks wonderful pictures, charts, drawings,
organization of information, and so on, presented in the best ways possible.
36. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
To discuss the positive aspects of using a textbook, Ramirez Salas (2004, p.4) comments
that “a course without a textbook is very similar to a ship without a clear destination. It
may nagativate days and nights and arrive at many ports, but if the route is not clearly set,
important ports can never be reached, precious time can be wasted, and eventually, the
ship can get completely lost.”
However, even good textbooks may have limitations when applied into different teaching
situations. Therefore, when using a textbook, we should consider both the benefits and
limitations, and if the textbook used in a program is judged to have some negative effects,
remedial action should be taken, eg. by adapting it flexibly.
3.2. Why should we adapt textbooks?
It is totally aware that most of our high school teachers are under considerable pressure
because they are forced to comply with a syllabus and they teach many classes. They are
also influenced by the attitude of the authority and those colleagues who see the textbook
as resource that has to be closely followed. But the reality also forces teachers to find
ways to spice up their classes without falling into a dangerous and tedious routine.
Undoubtedly, one way to get students much more involved in their learning process and
transforming them into active participants is by incorporating Materials Adaptation into
our daily teaching.
Ramirez Salas (as cited in Edge & Wharton, 1998, p.300) points out that “experienced
teachers do not tend to follow the script of a course book inflexibly. They add, delete and
change the tasks at the planning stage, and they reshape their plans during the lesson in
response to the interaction that takes place”.
Many times, a textbook presents the material in a way that does not fit the reality of the
classroom or the current needs of the students. It is in this moment where the teacher has
to define what to change, eliminate, add or extend. In fact, this is what keeps a class alive.
If teachers over- use a textbook over a period of time, they will find themselves teaching
the same type of activities in the same order repeatedly. In such a situation, even with
good textbooks, students may find the study of English becoming a routine and thus less
and less motivating. (Harmer,2003, p.257). Teachers should really avoid getting involved
37. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
in this rigid sequence by providing students with supplementary material adapted to their
Another reason for teachers to adapt materials is the fact that even though textbook
provide a framework, as cited by O‟Neil, this framework needs to be contextualized.
Textbooks present materials, such as maps, flight and bus schedules, opening and closing
times of public services, prices, names of cities, information about public or famous
personalities that our students may not be familiar with.. Therefore, instead of having
students look at fictitious facts about fictitious person, they could be given facts about a
politician or entertainer, known to students. The fact that the students are talking about
something as real as their home town makes the practice activity much more relevant, and
engaging. Abstract knowledge constructs about common day-to-day experiences, the
general framework of which, over time, can usefully be internalized by students. (Block,
It can be denied that Materials Adaptation is very time-consuming. Sometimes teachers
may even wonder what to prepare materials for if they are going to be used only once. But
apart from this, teachers should realize that if it takes them long hours to create an activity,
this activity should be recycled along the school year with different levels of difficulty and
groups and it is worth trying when good results are obtained and motivation among
students is increased, not to mention the teacher‟s great feeling of satisfaction to present
something created by himself. In this respect, Block (1991) comments that the personal
touch in teacher-generated materials is highly appreciated by students. When students
realize that the teacher has gone outside the course book and prepared something
personally, they make remarks such “Oh, you work hard.” (p.214)
IV. Characteristics of Adapted Materials
When talking about Materials Adaptation, there are some important features to take into a
count in the process of adapting teaching materials. Among many characteristics
mentioned by Tomlinson (1998), Ramirez Salas (2004, p.6) considers the four features,
which are fundamental and worth discussing.
The first one is the fact that materials should give an impact on the students and arouse
learners‟ curiosity, attention and interest. To achieve this, teachers should clearly know
38. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
his/ her students and his/ her objectives to adapt an activity for a particular teaching
aspect. These materials ought to be relevant, useful and focused on what students are
learning at that point.
A second characteristic is exposure to real language which is attained by giving students
opportunities to use language in real- life communicative activities. By radio interviews,
lectures, class surveys, spontaneous conversations, projects, interviews to other teachers,
group discussions, students can be exposed to real language. The materials should also
stimulate learner‟s interaction with the input rather than just having passive reception of it.
This does not necessarily mean that the learners should always produce language in
response to the input, but it does mean that they should always do something mentally or
physically in response to it. (Tomlinson, 1998, p.13) According to Ramirez Salas (2004,
p.7) following directions, filling out an application form, chart or table with important
information are examples or receptive activities in which students are processing authentic
language. It is very important for teachers to ask themselves every time they adapt an
activity how much real language students are using and/ or producing in that particular
activity. If the answer is not much, then it is time to restructure or eliminate that activity.
As a third feature, materials should address different learning styles and intelligences. If
teachers know their students, they will design activities in which students can really feel at
ease using their learning preferences and abilities. Of course, it would be difficult, though
not impossible, to include in one activity all the styles and intelligences, but along the
school year teachers can address one or two styles or intelligences in different activities.
Students do not need to feel that language is not just a tight body of grammatical
structures, rules and words, but a vehicle in which they can use their abilities and
preferences to make their learning process much easier and enjoyable.
The last but not the least, important feature of Materials Adaptation is the guidance
towards students’ autonomy and independence. The latest trends in EFL teaching support
and encourage the idea that students need to learn to be responsible for their own learning
and to know that they can do activities in and out of class by themselves. Edge and
Wharton (1998) pointed out that “in order to achieve this in clas s teachers need to
encourage the learners to reflect on what they are doing and why”. (p.296). Giving
students choices is a key element in making them autonomous and independent. Students
39. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
need different alternatives to go over a specific task. Of course, t he one alternative
students choose is likely to be closely related to their intelligences, learning styles and
learning strategies. If teachers adapt teaching materials, they should offer choices, or at
least, more than one possible way to complete the task.
V. Process of Materials Adaptation
Jolly and Bolitho (1998, p.98-99) present a very self explanatory and easy-to- follow
process to apply when adapting materials, which is as follow:
1. IDENTIFICATION: by the teacher or learner of a need to fulfill or a problem to solve
by the creation of materials
2. EXPLORATION: of the area of need/ problem in terms of what language, what
meaning, what functions, what skills?
3. CONTEXTUAL REALIZATION: of the proposed new material by the finding of
suitable ideas, contexts or texts with which to work.
4. PEDAGOGICAL REALIZATION: of materials by the finding of appropriate exercises
and activities and the writing of appropriate instructions for use.
5. PHYSICAL PRODUCTION: of materials, involving consideration of layout, type size,
visuals, reproduction, tape length, ect.
6. STUDENTS‟ USE OF MATERIALS
7. REWRITING OF MATERIALS BASED ON STUDENTS‟ EVALUATION
Ramirez Salas (2004, p.10) raises some questions necessary for adapting materials. Each
of the questions corresponds to each step provided by Jolly and Bolitho:
Step1: Do I really need other materials in this section? If the answer is YES (which in
most of the cases happens) continue with the next question.
Step 2. What can I do here?
Step 3. Where can I find the information helpful to adapt something for this linguistic
Step 4. What kind of exercises can I do here to exploit the idea or the text better?
Step 5. What is the best way to present my activity?
Step 6. Was the activity useful? Did I achieve my goal? Did students like it? Do I have to
add, eliminate, correct, clarify, simplify, or rearrange something in this activity?
40. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Ramirez Salas (2004, p.7) considers that the process given by Jolly and Bolitho lacks one
important phase, which is the revision and feedback from colleagues. This step would be
placed just after the physical production of the materials. As language teachers, we need to
share our ideas and receive feedback that can guide us to have a better performance. When
creating or adapting something, we cannot see some flaws that may cause an unsuccessful
outcome. That‟s why, feedback, comments or ideas given by colleagues are important.
They may radically change our perspective and consequently our entire activity. It is
essential to have enough feedback from colleagues beforehand.
Obviously, the process seems to be very simple at first glance. However, its application is
difficult and time-consuming, but very rewarding.
VI. Importance of Material’s Layout
In the process outlined in I.4, step 5 deals with the physical production of materials. This
is a fundamental phase which has to be paid careful attention to. The material‟s layout
must be a neatly presented product. But the word “neatly” does not refer just to the
presentation as such, but to instructions, spelling, use of language, use of pictures, font
size, and use of space. It is necessary to provide students with a layout which is full of
mistakes with disorganized information and presents incorrect content.
Instructions are important to the successful outcome of an activity. Instructions should be
short, simple, concise and precise. They should never mislead learners or make them feel
frustrated along the process of completing an activity. (Harmer, 2003, p.154)
Another essential feature of an activity is spelling and language use. Students often copy
or imitate everything given by teachers. If the model given is wrong, misspelled and with
mistakes, what can teachers expect from students? Therefore, teachers should make sure
that whatever given to students must be perfect. This is the moment in which colleagues
are very helpful in pinpointing mistakes.
Pictures are also important element in material‟s layout. They are commonly used in
many activities. Pictures should be appealing, clear and big eno ugh. Also, pictures must be
closely related to the topic of the activity. Indeed, pictures are not space fillers; they do not
need to have a direct connection with the activity.
41. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
If teachers are doing a lot of cut-and-paste from different sources, they should wipe out all
black lines, unrelated information, or page numbers that may confuse students. Space and
font size are also important in the adaptation of an activity. Students need space to write
down and visual space between one step and the next one. In most of the cases, because of
the budget limitations, teachers try to save money by putting a lot of information in small
spaces, creating a very unattractive and overfilled page. However, an activity should be
done with a comfortable reading font size (14 or 16) and with plenty of space for students
to see the different sections, pictures, graphics, charts and tables of the activity. Students
easily get lost when they are presented with too much information at once. They do need
time to digest the information, and visual space provides this. It is a fact that sometimes
teachers cannot type their activities and they have to present them in a handwritten way. A
handwritten layout should be clear and neat to avoid confusion and time spent on endless
No one can deny that adapting materials is difficult and demanding. But it is necessary in
order to offer students alternatives to practice the language in a more authentic and
independent way. Materials Adaptation does not belong only to book writers. Teachers
can create and adapt materials with a little extra time, motivation, creativity and love. It is
a process that with practice and trial and error methods becomes more and more rewarding
and necessary in our teaching contexts. It is also a way of keeping ourselves updated in
new teaching trends and ideas. As Tomlinson states (1998)
We need to make efforts to discover reliable and valid information about the sort of
materials teachers and learners want to use. We need to innovate and e xperiment if we
really want to find out how we could make language learning materials more effective and
In conclusion, textbooks play an important role in language teaching and provide a useful
resource for both teachers and students. Good textbooks serve to turn the guidelines in the
official government syllabus into a rich source of content, texts, and activities that would
be beyond the capacities of most teachers to develop on their own. The use of textbooks
should not be regarded as a resource that has to be closely followed, but as one of the
42. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
many resources teachers can draw upon in creating effective lessons. It is the teachers‟
responsibility to look for other ideas, to try them out and see what we can get and improve
from them. That is the way we can do to lighten up our class and cast routine and boredom
away. However, teachers need training and experience in adapting and modifying
textbooks effectively and flexibly.
Block, D. (1991). Some Thoughts on DIY Materials Design. ELT Journal, 2 (45): 211-216
Edge, J; and Wharton, S. (1998). Autonomy and development: living in the materials
world. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.) Materials Development in Language teaching. New York:
Cambridge University Press. 295-310.
Harmer, J. (2003). The practice of English language teaching. New York: Longman.
Jolly, D. and Bolitho, R. (1998). A framework for materials writing. In B. Tomlinson
(Ed.) Materials Development in Language teaching. New York: Cambridge University
Kitao, K. (1998). Selecting and developing teaching/ learning materials. Retrieved on
July 10th 2007, Kkitao@mail.doshisha.ac.jp
Maley, A. (1998). Squaring the circle - reconciling materials as constrain with materials
as empowerment. In B. Tomlinson ( Ed.) Materials Development in Language teaching.
New York: Cambridge University Press. 279 -294.
Marlene Ramirez Salas. English teachers as Materials Developers. Retrieved on July
10th 2007, email@example.com.
O‘Neil, R. (1990). Why use textbooks? In Rossner & R. Bolitho (Eds). Currents of change
in English Language Teaching. New York. Oxford University Press.148-156.
Richards, C. The Role of Textbooks in a Language Program. Retrieved on July 10th 2007,
Tomlinson, B. (1998). Materials Development in Language teaching. New York:
Cambridge University Press.
43. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
ENGLISH INTONATION FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF QUESTIONS
Lao Cai Specializing Upper Secondary School
It‟s widely believed that pronunciation is what makes up an accent. It may be that
pronunciation is very important for an understandable accent. But it is intonation that
gives the final touch that makes an accent native. It can be compared with a tune in music.
It can go up or downwards. In English, the sentence intonation often indicates the mood of
the speaker. Different tunes on the same word or phrase can send different messages about
the speaker's feelings.
Therefore, understanding English intonation patterns will increase not only your spoken
English pronunciation competence, but your English listening comprehension as well.
Instead of studying the intonation patterns for all kinds of sentences. In this special
subject, I would like you to have a look at the intonation for questions only. I hope this
topic will bring you some benefits in mastering your English speaking.
There are different intonation patterns used for different types of questions. In this topic
I stay focus mainly on five popular types of English questions: Yes/No question; WhQuestion; Tag question; Choice or alternative question; and Declarative question.
1. Yes/No question
A yes-no question, formally known as a polar question, is a question whose expected
answer is either “ yes or no”. Formally, they present an exclusive disjunction, a pair of
alternatives of which only one is acceptable.
Usually Yes/No questions have a rising intonation at the end of the sentence. This means
that the speaker‟s voice gets just a little higher as they finish the sentence.
44. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Do you ever fall off?
Have you eaten yet?
Do you like beer?
Below are some example sentences to practice.
Are you ready to go?
Could you please repeat that?
Is it cold today?
Am I interrupting?
Are they cheaper in Japan?
Are you a girl?
Should we sell the fish?
Is it time to go?
Wh-Questions or question-word questions, special questions are those that are formed
with a question words such as “what”, “which”, “when”, “where”, “why”, “who”,
“whom”, “whose”, “how”. They ask for specific information rather than an yes or no
Usually information questions (wh questions) have a rise/fall intonation at the end of the
sentence. This means that the speaker's voice goes higher for a moment and then drops
lower to end the sentence.
When do you go riding?
45. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Who do you like in the fifth?
How did you spend your vacation?
However, in some cases wh-question can be said with non-fall intonation: a rise or less
commonly, a fall-rise. This will make it more encouraging, gentle, kindly, sypathetic. It‟s
named the encouraging rise.
How long have you been in
How many people attended your
Below are some example sentences to practice.
What time is it?
What‟s your name?
Where do you live?
How do you get to school?
When should we go?
Who ate the apple pie?
Where can I find a bank?
How old is Eric?
How did they win?
3. Tag question
In most languages, tag questions are more common in colloquial spoken usage than in
formal written usage. They can be an indicator of politeness, emphasis, or irony. They
may suggest confidence or lack of confidence; they may be confrontational or tentative,
46. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
We can change the meaning of a tag question with the musical pitch of our voice. There
are two different kinds of tag questions. And both questions have different intonation
patterns. With rising intonation, it sounds like a real question. But if our intonation falls, it
sounds more like a statement that doesn't require a real answer.
* Speaker is unsure of the answer. (speaker doesn't know whether Susan has eaten or not)
Susan ate, didn't she?
You're coming to the party,
* Speaker expects an agreement to the question. (speaker expects Susan has eaten)
Susan ate, didn't she?
This restaurant is terrible,
Besides, using rising or falling intonation can implicate other meanings.
* Sometimes the rising tag also is used to create a confrontational effect:
He was the best in the class, was he? (rising: the speaker is challenging this thesis,
or perhaps expressing surprised interest)
He was the best in the class, wasn't he? (falling: the speaker holds this opinion)
Be careful, will you? (rising: expresses irritation)
Take care, won't you? (falling: expresses concern)
47. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
* Sometimes the same words may have different patterns depending on the situation or
You don't remember my name, do you? (rising: expresses surprise)
You don't remember my name, do you? (falling: expresses amusement or
Your name's Mary, isn't it? (rising: expresses uncertainty)
Your name's Mary, isn't it? (falling: expresses confidence)
* It is interesting that as an all-purpose tag the London set-phrase innit (for "isn't it") is
only used with falling patterns:
He doesn't know what he's doing, innit?
He was the best in the class, innit?
On the other hand, the adverbial tag questions (alright? OK? etc.) are almost always found
with rising patterns. An occasional exception is surely.
4. Choice or alternative question
All choice questions have an 'or' in them and can either be open or closed question. Open
and closed choice questions have different intonation patterns and require a different kind
An open question is a kind of yes or no question. An open choice question has
two possible intonation patterns.
A. Does she like chicken or meat?
B. Does she like chicken or meat?
48. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
In the first, there is rising intonation after both choices.
In the second, there is rising intonation only after the second choice.
Both can be answered with a yes or no answer. Look at the questions below. The meaning
for both is does she like one or the other choices or something else.
Possible ans wers:
Yes, she likes chicken. or Yes, she likes meat.
No, she doesn't like either.
Yes, she likes both.
No, but she likes fish.
A closed choice question has limited choices. It can not be answered with a yes or
no, but with one or the other choices or neither.
A. Does she like chicken or meat?
Possible ans wers :
She likes meat. or She likes chicken.
She likes both.
5. Declarative question
Declarative questions are grammatically like statements. It is quite difficult for hearers to
identify whether a question or a statement is intended.
They can be identified as questions only by their intonation, or the pragmatics of the
situations where they are used. They are usually said with a rise: a yes - no rise.
49. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
You wil go to school by
He took his
bike? (= Do you go to school by bike?)
identity card? (= Did he take his identity card?)
I had an amazing experience. – You
did? (= I heard what you say => It‟s
surprising to me)
* Sometimes, they are said with a fall- rise.
You didn‟t go and
tell him ? (= Does that mean that you told him?)
* And sometimes with falling intonation it shows that speaker is confused.
So we will be free by
You mean he didn‟t turn
six, then? (= Do you mean we will be free by six?)
All of these above information that I have just given surely can not cover the whole
intonation used for questions. And you may find more implications for different
intonations of these above questions. Hence, I would be very happy to welco me all of your
feedbacks to make this topic completed.
50. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
SRTATEGIES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN THE CLASSROOM
Duong Minh Khai
Hung Vuong Specializing Upper Secondary School, Phu Tho
It can be difficult to manage a class of students learning the English language, but there
are many strategies that have proven effective in making this process trouble-free. This
paper will review four of the most commonly used strategies and provide examples and
the expected outcome of each strategy.
Pre-instruction activities can include graphic organizers, KWL (Know-Want-Learn)
charts, semantic webbing, diagrams, and many other resources. This strategy provides an
easy way to present new information to ELL students. Charts, graphs, and webs make it
easier to show how information connects and can also be used to connect information that
was previously learned. It also prepares the students to learn the new material that will be
Using the pre- instruction activity, students are introduced to new information. Students
can also use the skills of making charts, graphs, or webs for their own projects. For
example, the teacher may assign the students to write a short story about family. The
student can use a graphic organizer to sort out their thoughts, ideas, and information that
will be included in their story.
The expected result of using pre- instruction activities is that students will feel less anxiety
and will be better prepared for the new concepts that are introduced. It is also expected
that the student will have something, as a result of the pre- instruction activity, to look back
on throughout the lesson .
2. Visual Aides, Realia, Maps, Pictures, and M ultimedia
Using concrete objects, pictures, and body movement will engage students, help them
make connections and remember language that they are hearing and learning. Films,
51. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
videos, and audio cassettes with books allow students to visualize and make connections
to what is being taught. For example, watch a movie to help build prior knowledge about a
topic you are teaching.
This method lends itself to vocabulary and lessons on the parts of speech. This method
would also be terrific for allowing students to hear dialog through the use of tapes,
compact discs, and movies. It is important that students hear and see the language while
Often, students will pick up on a concept easily if it is presented visually. This method
provides examples to be looked at over and over, as well. This can result in a much
smoother and productive learning experience.
3. Coope rative Groups and Peer Coaching
Cooperative groups are valuable because they provide more frequent and extended
opportunities to practice language than the traditional methods of teaching. The more
advanced ELL students and assist those in need of more help and benefit from enacting of
teacher. The student in need of help benefits from the support of a peer. Students tend to
relate better to their peers and may learn more this way. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this
method is that the teacher is free to circulate throughout the classroom and give help as
needed. Peer coaching works in much the same way. Students receive individual attention
from each other and benefit from interacting with one another.
An example of a cooperative ELL classroom would be on in which students are divided
into groups of four. Each group has students of high ability and students of lower ability.
The students work within their cooperative groups on a daily basis. Peer coaching also
works best if one student is of high ability and the other of lower ability.
Cooperative group and peer learning are so effective because they motivate students to
learn. Peers often listen to each other much more successfully that with the teacher . It also
quells boredom within the classroom.
The strategy of repeating and rephrasing information has been beneficial in many ELL
classrooms. The teacher can take concepts that have already been mastered and place or
rephrase them with new information. This provides a connection between old and new
information. Teachers also need to use repetition to ensure that concepts will be
52. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
remembered. To make sure that students are comprehending information, teachers need to
repeat many times and rephrase before a student picks up on the concept.
A great way to use the repeat and rephrase method would be during question and answer
sessions. The teacher can ask a question of a student and if it is not understood can
rephrase and repeat until the student masters the concept. For example, the teacher asks a
student "What is the meaning of family?" The student may or may not understand the
question in that form, but the teacher can then ask "What does family mean?" and the
student may then be able to answer the question. The repeat and rephrase method lends
itself to oral instruction .
The obvious outcome of this method is that teachers will easily be able to check for
understanding by rephrasing questions in different forms and expecting to receive the
same answers. The repetition of concepts will make concepts stick in the mind .
4. Music and Jazz Chants
One of the most successful ELL strategies is the use of music and jazz chants. They are so
successful because music is universal to all languages. Songs are often easier to remember
than just plain words and sentences. Jazz chants stimulate and appeal to multiple senses of
learning. They also use the rhythmic presentation of the natural language which is
important to successfully speaking English .
Bilingual/ESL students need reading practice for fluency and pronunciation. Jazz chants
and music are a fantastic way of practicing. This method is also excellent for
memorization. For example, if a new ELL student is working to memorize the English
alphabet, it will be much easier to do using the alphabet song we all learned in
Kindergarten. This method can be used to introduce long concepts without anxiety.
Students will remember the songs, more than likely, for the rest of their lives. Songs will
help students learn long chunks of words. Students are active participants using this
method and this makes the information easy to retain.
Through the use of proven ELL strategies, learning English for non-native speakers is
much less complicated. The techniques that have been reviewed above are essential to the
success of an ELL classroom.
54. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
PART I: VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR.
1. Choose the correct ans wer by circling letter A, B , C or D
1. It is _____ that every pupil will have to follow the school timetable strictly.
2. Almost every household _____ a computer nowadays.
C. has had
3. Did you say that you _____ here three days ago?
B. had come
C. have come
4. Let‟s go ahead and do it now. Nothing ____ by waiting.
C. has accomplished D. will be
5. She studied hard and got a degree with ____ colors.
PART II: USE OF ENGLISH
1. Fill in each blank space in the following passage with one suitable word.
School exams are, generally (1)….., the first sign of test we take. They find out how much
knowledge we have (2)……. But do they really show how intelligent we are? After all,
isn't it a fact that some people who are very successful academically don't have any
Intelligence is a speed (4)…….. which we can understand and (5)……. to new situations
and it is usually tested by logic puzzles. Although scientists are now preparing (6)……..
computer technology that will be able to 'read‟ our brains, for the time (7)……., IQ tests
are still the most popular ways of measuring intelligence. A person's IQ is their
intelligence (8)……….. it is measured by this special test. The most common IQ tests are
(9)……… by Mensa, an organization that was founded in England in 1946. By 1976 it
(10)…….. 1,300 members in Britain. Today there are 44,000 in Britain and 100,000
worldwide (11)……….. in the US.
55. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
People taking the test are judged in (12) ………..to an average score of 100, and those
who score over 148 are entitled to join Mensa. Anyone from the age of six can (13)………
the tests. All the questions are straightforward and most people can answer them if
(14)…….. enough time. But that's the problem - the whole (15)……….. of the tests is that
they're against the clock.
2. ______________________3. ___________________
5. ______________________6. ___________________
8. ______________________9. ___________________
11. _____________________12. __________________
14. _____________________15. __________________
PART III: MAKING SENSE OF WHAT THE SPEAKER SAYS.
1. Choose the best answe r A, B , C or D to each question.
1. Man: I missed the weather on the radio this morning.
Woman: The forecast wasn‟t certain, but I decided to carry an umbrella with me
What does the woman imply?
A. The forecast said it might rain
B. No forecast was broadcast that
C. Weather is reported in the evening
D. The umbrella belongs to the man.
2. Girl: I hate to bother you, but your television is really loud.
Sorry, I didn‟t realize that you could hear it next door.
What will the boy will do?
A. Turn down the volume of the television
B. Change the channel on the
C. Begin looking for a new apartment
D. Watch more television in the
3. Man: Look at the cost of these long-distance calls.
Woman: We really can‟t afford that much every month/
What are the speakers talking about?
56. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
A. Tuition for school
B. A sale on clothing
C. A telephone bill
D. Vacation plans
4. Father: The light in the living room doesn‟t work
Mother: The bulb is probably burned out. I‟ll buy one tomorrow.
What does the mother imply?
A. She doesn‟t like shopping
B. She doesn‟t have a light bulb
C. She doesn‟t know how to change bulb
D. She prefers to eat in the dark.
5. Girl: We plan to go to a jazz club this evening. Would you like to come with us?
Boy: No thank. I wouldn‟t be caught dead in a jazz club.
What does the boy mean?
A. He‟s not feeling well
B. He doesn‟t want to go
C. He has other plans
D. He‟s been to many clubs.
PART IV: READING COMPREHENSION
1. Read the following passages then ans wer the questions and choose the correct
Although speech is the most advanced form of communication, there are many ways of
communicating without using speech. Signals, signs symbols and gestures may be found
in every known culture . The basic function of a signal is to impinge upon the environment
in such a way that it attracts attention, for example, the dots and the dashes of a telegraph
circuit. Coded to refer to speech, the potential for communication is very great. Less
adaptable to the codification of words, signs also contain meaning in and of themselves. A
stop sign or a barber pole conveys meaning quickly and conveniently. Symbols are more
difficult to describe than either signals or signs because of their intricate relations hip with
the receiver‟s cultural perceptions. In some cultures, applauding in a theater provides
performers with an auditory symbol of approval. Gestures such as waving and
handshaking also communicate certain cultural massages.
57. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
Although signals, signs, symbols and gestures are very useful , they do have a major
disadvantage. They usually do not allow ideas to be shared without the sender being
directly adjacent to the receiver. As a result means of communication intended to be used
for long distances and extended period are based upon speech Radio, television and the
telephone are only a few .
1.Which of the following would be the best title for this passage?
A. Signs and Signal
2. What does the author say about speech?
3. According to the passage, what is a signal?
A. The most difficult form of communication to describe
B. A form of communication which may be used across long distances.
C. A form of communication that interrupts the environment .
D. The form of communication most related to cultural perceptions.
4. The phrase “ impinge upon” is closed in meaning to_______
5 . The word “it” in bold refers to ________
6. The word “ potential” could be best replaced by _______.
7. The word “ intricate” could be best replaced by which of the following?
8. Applauding was cited as an example of ______.
A. a signal
C. a symbol
D. a gesture
9. Why were the telephone , radio and TV invented ?
A. people were unable to understand signs, symbols and signals .
B. People wanted to communicate across long distances .
C. People believed that signs , signals and symbols were obsolete .
D. People wanted new form of entertainment .
10. It may be concluded from the passage that __________.
A. signs , signals ,symbols and gestures are forms of communication.
58. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
B. symbols are very easy to define and interpret .
C. Only some cultures have signals , signs and symbols.
D. Waving and handshaking are not related to culture.
In the 1960s, The Beatles were probably the most famous pop group in the whole world.
Since then, there have been a great many groups that have achieved enormous fame, so it
is perhaps difficult now to imagine how sensational The Beatles were at that time. They
were four boys from the north of England and none of them had any training in music.
They started by performing and recording songs by black Americans and they had some
success with these songs. Then they started writing their own songs and that was when
they became really popular. The Beatles changed pop music. They were the first pop
group to achieve great success from songs they had written themselves. After that it
became common for groups and singers to write their own songs. The Beatles did not have
a long career. Their first hit record was in 1963 and they split up in 1970. They stopped
doing live performances in 1966 because it had become too dangerous for them – their
fans were so excited that they surrounded them and tried to take their clothes as souvenirs!
However, today some of their songs remain as famous as they were when they first came
out. Throughout the world many people can sing part of a Beatles song if you ask them.
1. The passage is mainly about
A. How the Beatles became more successful than other groups
C. The Beatles‟ fame and success
B. Why the Beatles split up after 7 years
D. Many people‟s ability to sing a Beatles song
2. The four boys of the Beatles
A. Came from the same family
C. Came from a town in the north of England
B. Were at the same age
D. Received good training in music
3. The word “sensational” is closest in meaning to
4. The first songs of the Beatles were
59. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
A. Written by themselves
C. Paid a lot of money
B. Broadcast on the radio
D. Written by black Americans
5. What is not true about the Beatles?
A. The members had no training in music
B. They had a long stable career
C. They became famous when they wrote their own songs
D. They were afraid of being hurt by fans
6. The Beatles stopped their live performances because
A. They had earned enough money
C. They spent more time writing their own songs
B. They did not want to work with each other
D. They were afraid of being hurt by fans
7. The year 1970 was the time when
A. They split up
C. They started their career
B. They changed pop music
D. They stopped singing live
8. What the fans of the Beatles often did was
A. Sing together with them
C. Ask them to write more songs
B. Take their clothes as souvenirs
D. Ask them why they should separate
9. Some songs of the Beatles now
A. Are still famous as they used to be
C. Are sung by crazy fans
B. Became too old to sing
D. Are the most famous
10. The tone of the passage is that of
America online is one of the big names on the Internet, and unlike many other digital
companies, it actually makes a profit. But the company which its rivals call the “Cybercockroach” was launched only in 1992. Before that it was a small firm called Control
Video games. Then Steve Case, a former Pizza Hut marketing executive arrived and took
the company online. Innovative, fast moving, and user- friendly, America Online appeals
to people who want to surf the Internet, but who more do not have a lot of experience. For
60. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
the same reason “techies”, people who think they are more expert with computers, look
down on America Online and its users. Recently American Online (or AOL, as it calls
itself) joined with Time Warner – a multi- million dollar movie and magazine company –
to create a multimedia giant.
Now, AOL has begun to expand abroad. In many European countries, including the
United Kingdom, it is hard to buy a company magazine that does not have a free AOL
introductory offer. The company also puts advertisements onto the television, and employs
people to hand out its free introductory disks at places like train stations. As the internet
gets faster AOL is changing. With many homes getting high-speed connections through he
fiber optic cables or the new ADSL technology, the “Cyber-cockroach” will have to show
that, like real cockroaches, it can survive in almost any environment.
1. What is the passage about?
2. Who does Steve Case work for?
B. Pizza Hut
C. Control Video Corporation
D. None of these
3. How do “Techies” feel about America Online?
A. They think it is a Cyber-Cockroach.
B. They think it is for experts.
C. They think it is a movie and magazine company.
D. They feel superior to its users.
4. People who use America Online are probably _____.
A. Video game players
C. Movie fans
D. People new to the internet
5. America Online is an unusual digital company because _____.
A. It used to make video games
B. It is innovative
C. It makes money
D. It has joined with another company
6. Which marketing idea is not mentioned?
A. Advertisements on the internet.
B. Advertisements on TV.
C. Free disks in journals
D. People giving disks away.
7. What does the article say about AOL‟s future?
A. It will do well.
B. It will do badly.
C. It will face challenges.
D. The article doesn‟t say.
8. This passage is about _____.
61. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
B. A history of the Internet
C. Computer users
D. A successful business
9. “Cyber-Cockroach” is _____.
A. America Online
B. Its rival
C. the internet
D. All is wrong
10. The word optic means _____.
PART V: WRITING.
I. Complete the second sentence in such a way that it is almost the same as the first.
1. I‟m sorry that I didn‟t finish my homework last night
> I wish...................................................................................................................................
2. Keeping calm is one of the secrets of passing your driving test.
> As long as ...........................................................................................................................
3. He often spends 15 minutes leading the buffalo to the field.
> It often takes .......................................................................................................................
4. Who feeds the tigers at the zoo every day ?
> By ........................................................................................................................................
5. Henry regretted buying second hand-car .
> Henry wishes .......................................................................................................................
6. People who were there didn‟t notice anything unusual.
> No one who..........................................................................................................................
7. This is the most delicious cake I‟ve ever tasted.
> I have never..........................................................................................................................
8. She left university two years ago .
> It is .......................................................................................................................................
9. Newspapers are sent to China by train . (Change it into active form)
10. The mechanic serviced my car yesterday .
> I had......................................................................................................................................
II. Write a paragraph of 150-200 words discussing the uses of Internet in our daily
62. HUNG VUONG SUMMER C AMP-2010
PART I: PHONETICS
1. Choose the word whose underlined part is pronounced differently from the rest in
1. A. curent
2. A. further
3. A. mountain
4. A. tiny
5. A. coast
2. Pick out the word whose stress is placed differently
6. A. disappear
7. A. consume
8. A. curtain
9. A. distance
10. A. tremendous
PART II: VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR
1. Circle the letter of the best answe r.
1. Firemen rescued several people from the …………… floor or the blazing building.
2. When the electricity failed, he …………… a match to find the candles.
3. She put …………… speaking to him as long as possible
4. She wondered …………… her father looked like now, after so many years away.
5. She …………… her neighbor‟s children for the broken window.
6. He filled in the necessary forms and …………… for the job.