Archive | October, 2011

Speaking III Midterm Topics

29 Oct

As promised, here are some topics that could will likely appear as motions on the midterm exam:

  • Divorce
  • Internet Downloading
  • Ban on Smoking                                                                           
  • Animal Testing
  • Ban on Bottled Water               
  • English as an Indonesian national language
  • “One Child” Policy in Indonesia
  • Pornography
  • Free Health Care
  • Gun Control                                                                       
  • Ban on Cellphones in School    

Speaking 3 Exam Directions

28 Oct

Speaking III Midterm Test

Sections A/B/C/D

Format: Direct Motions/Spontaneous Arguments

Students will pick a motion at random. No more than 2 students will have the same motion. Each student will be given 30 seconds to prepare after the motion has been given. After 30 seconds, if the student does not begin speaking, points will be deducted. Students may choose whether to argue the affirmative/government position or negative/opposition position.

Time Frame:

0:00-0:30 seconds Preparation Time

0:30-2:30 seconds Mandatory 2 Minutes Speaking

2:30-3:30 seconds Bonus Speaking Time

Students who speak for the full 2 minutes will receive a passing grade, while students who speak for 3 minutes will receive extra points. NO student will be allowed to speak over the 3 minute mark.


No written notes will be allowed. If a student reads a written argument, points will be deducted. Responses should be unprepared and unrehearsed.

Because of time limitations, it will be unnecessary to define the terms of the motion. Instead, concentrate on developing the best argument.

Students should pick EITHER the government or opposition position. However, if a student runs out of things to say about one position, it is better to continue speaking and switch sides than stop speaking.

No speaking from the rest of the class will be allowed. If students are caught speaking, they will not be able to take the midterm.

Grading Rubric:

Argument 40%

    • Reasoning 20%
    • Evidence 10%
    • Organization 10%

Presentation 25%

Length of Argument 15%

Grammar 15%

Pronunciation 5%

Speaking I Midterm Test

25 Oct

Hi Speaking I students! First of all, I want to tell you how proud I am at your progress so far. I feel that every one of you has improved over these past 6 weeks. The midterm test is the best opportunity for you to display just how much you have learned.

I know tests can be stressful. (After all, I was taking midterms and final exams just this past May.) But, do NOT feel nervous! Just study the materials listed below, and all of you will pass the test with flying colors!!!!!

Part I

Using the book, Communicating in English by Walter Matreyek, I want you to copy the pages 2 through 8, 21-28, and 37-38. (Available at the Copy Center by the café.) Pay especially close attention to the suggested activities on pages 8, 25, and 38. During the test, I will pick one of these activities or scenarios, and ask you to do that role play with me. For help, look back at our lesson on conversations, greetings (Hi), and farewells (Bye). Remember that what you say in a conversation depends upon who is there and where you are speaking.

Part II

For the next part, I want you to read and study the 2 stories below. Both stories are about accidents. On the test, I will ask you questions like, “Who was hurt?” “What happened?” “Where were they?” Be prepared to answer other questions as well. For help, think back to the exercise we did in class where one partner was the police officer and the other was the witness.

Accident #1

Hanif, an 8 year old boy, was riding his bike home after school. When he came to a busy intersection, he got off of his bike to walk across the street. As he was waiting for the traffic light to change, a motorcycle came speeding around the corner. The motorcycle driver was going too fast and hit Hanif. Hanif fell down and his leg started bleeding. Lots of people rushed over to help Hanif including the driver. The driver, a young pretty woman, quickly called for an ambulance. Hanif was very brave and did not cry. After the doctors took care of his leg at the hospital, he was able to go home.

Accident #2

Yohana and her husband were painting their house one sunny, cool day. They had to use a ladder in order to reach the top of the house. When Yohana needed more paint, she called to her husband to hand the paint can to her, but the paint was too heavy. Yohana lost her balance and fell off of the ladder. She cried in pain because her arm was broken. Her husband comforted her while her neighbor pulled his car out of the garage to take her to the hospital. Yohana had to stay in the hospital overnight, but after the doctors gave her medicine, she felt much better.

Part III

For this part, I will give you the name of a familiar object and you must describe this object using at least 5 complete sentence. (I will take off points if sentences are incomplete.) For help, look at the blog post before this and review your notes about what adjectives you can use to describe objects/things.

Part IV

For this final part, I will ask you a couple of questions related to learning and speaking English. For example, I might ask you, “In your opinion, what is the hardest part about speaking English?” or “What can you do to practice speaking English, besides coming to Speaking I class?”

***Remember: There are no right or wrong answers. Just think ahead of time about your strengths and weaknesses, and what you can do to improve.

If you have any questions, you can email me or SMS me 082133604058.

Speaking I Notes 17.10.2011

25 Oct


How to Describe Objects:

When talking about objects, remember you can think of your five senses: seeing, hearing, feeling/touching, smelling, and tasting. There are many adjectives that are connected with the five senses.


It looks…

  • Big/Small; Long/Short; Fat/Thin (Size)
  • Round/Rectangular/Circular/Triangular (Shape)
  • New/Old; Modern/Antique (Age)
  • Expensive/Cheap; Fancy/Plain; Full/Empty; Clean/Dirty; Broken (Quality)
  • Dark/Light; Shiny/Dull; White/Black/Red/Yellow/Blue/Dll (Color)


  1. A clock is round. It is shaped like a circle.
  2. This pen is small, long, and thin.
  3. Her backpack is medium sized, not too big or too small.
  4. A rainbow is full of color. It has red, yellow, green, blue, and purple color.


It sounds…

  • Loud/Soft; Noisy/Quiet (Volume)
  • Good/Bad; Pleasant/Unpleasant (Quality)
  • Like a whisper/gunshot/cry (Comparisons)


  1. That train sounds really noisy.
  2. The singer sounds bad.
  3. That traffic accident sounded like an explosion.


It feels…

  • Heavy/Light (Weight)
  • Hard/Soft; Rough/Smooth (Texture)
  • Hot/Cold; Warm/Cool (Temperature)
  • Wet/Dry


  1. Your clothes feel wet because you rode your motorbike home in the rain.
  2. This chair feels so heavy.
  3. Ice cream feels smooth and cool on my tongue.


It smells…

  • Good/Bad/Delicious/Rotten/Sweet/Stinky
  • Like trash/perfume/a locker room/flowers


  1. Baked bread smells delicious.
  2. The food in the refrigerator smells rotten.
  3. The hotel is very fancy. It smells like roses.


It tastes…

  • Sweet/Sour/Salty/Bitter/Spicy


  1. Sambal tastes spicy.
  2. This fruit is not ripe yet. It does not taste sweet. Instead, it tastes sour.

Important Notes:

  1. It looks small size. It is small. It has a small size.
  2. It uses to know the time. You can use it to know the time.
  3. It can use for communication. You can use it for communication.
  4. She is has a good smell.
  5. It shaped square. It has a square shape. It looks square.
  6. It’s made for from/out of wood.


You can also say, “It seems/It appears/It is…”              Or…

“It is made out of…. paper/plastic/metal/cloth/glass/dll”

Timeline Assignment

22 Oct


Hi Everyone! I loved reading your timelines. Here a few corrections that I think could help everyone. Please study these for your mid-term.

  1. I was born at on the 22nd of October 1988.
  2. In 1993, I was born in came into the world.
  3. In 1993, I was born in the world.
  4. I has was born in Sragen.
  5. I was born on in 1993.


  1. I was entered play groups.
  2. I entered/started/began at to elementary school. I did enter entered high school.
  3. I am studied in elementary school.
  4. I am graduated from junior high school.
  5. I continued my studied studies at senior high school.
  6. I past of graduated from senior high school.
  7. I be am a graduate of senior high school.


  1. In 2008, my relative was died.
  2. Before beginning at UMS, I was worked.
  3. I followed took final examinations. I am following taking a speaking class.
  4. When I started to school, at the first I was scared.
  5. I start learned learning at UMS.
  6. I go to school in at UMS.
  7. I am study studying at UMS.
  8. I am majoring in English.


  1. I am be will be a professional teacher.
  2. I hope that graduated I will graduate in 2014.
  3. I will be pass my studies.
  4. I hope to graduate in the year 2014.


  1. In 2015, I will worked.
  2. I want to get a good job and get married.
  3. I will have 2 childs children.
  4. I will be marriage get married.
  5. I will be a successful woman.
  6. I want for to help my husband earn a living.
  7. I will have a happy live life.
  8. I will life live happily.

Speaking I Notes 10.10. 2011

15 Oct

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it has taken me so long to type up these notes. If you can remember, on Monday, we practiced asking questions. You all are pros (professionals) at asking “yes or no” questions. So now it’s time to practice the “WH” questions:

  • Where
  • What
  • Why
  • When
  • Who
  • How

Remember that all of these questions are asking for information about something and they all follow a similar pattern:

Question Word / Auxiliary Verb (to be/to do) / Subject / Main Verb

Here are some examples:

Information About…

Question Word

Auxiliary (Helping)Verb

Subject Main Verb  
Places Where is your motor?  
Things What is her name?  
Reasons Why were you laughing?  
Time When did they arrive?  
People Who —— —— works at the bank?
Way/Manner How does she earn money?
*Always remember that the auxiliary verb comes before the subject.
Here are even more examples:
1. Where does he live?       He lives in Solo.
2. Why do you study English?    I study because I want to become a teacher.
3. How does she wash her clothes?    She washes her clothes by hand.
4. Who are you waiting for?     I am waiting for my boyfriend.
Last Reminders:
Right: I started or entered university in 2011. 
Wrong: I joined with/to university in 2011.
Right: I enjoyed my vacation very much.
Wrong: I very very enjoyed my vacation.
Right: On vacation, I went shopping.
Wrong: On vacation, I went to shopping.
Right: I graduated from senior high school in 2011.
Wrong: I was graduated from senior high school in 2011.
And for all my music lovers out there, this is the classic rock anthem “Who Are You?” by the Who:

Beaucoup Buku!

9 Oct

I know this blog is about speaking English but I could not help typing such a funny title. This post is about where you can find “beaucoup buku” or in English, “lots of books.”

I know you all are very busy, but some of you have also talked about how you would like to start a book club. Book clubs are pretty common in America. Each month, a group of people get together to eat snacks and discuss the book they’ve read for that month. So, I thought: Let’s start an English book club at UMS!

On , you can find lots of different choices. For October though, I want to read Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Fairy tales pop up all the time in American culture. Little Red Riding Hood was just made into a movie and a Snow White movie will be coming out soon. Each fairy tale is short, so you will all have plenty of time to read at least a few. You can download the whole book for FREE here:

Let’s try to read up until page 56 or until the end of “The Fisherman and His Wife.” At the end of October, I will set up a time for us to all meet, eat some delicious food together, and talk about the book.