AFI Eilenburg

Hi Torsten and fellow English Team Trainers,

AFI Eilenburg 6th March 2009

Today was the first day for this group, it consists of 4 men and 8 women. As is quite normal with these government funded courses the clients all different levels of English. There is one lady who has only ever done a 3 month English course, and on the other hand there is another who has done almost 12 years of English studies. They are all eager and willing to participate in the tasks set, even though some may find it quite daunting to speak in English in front of a group they do not yet know.
Again because of PC’s, the class layout is not so good, and it’s also not possible to change so we will have to suffer with the ‘Rows’ set-up.

As was mentioned to me, the most part of the morning was taken up by admin issues with the AFI managers. So once we were able to begin I obviously started by introducing myself and explaining to the clients about ‘English Team’ and ‘’. I then told them a little about my past, my hobbies and about my family in England, which I also wrote on the whiteboard. Then it was their turn, I split the group into pairs and told them they should interview their partner. During this exercise I had to do quite a lot of micro-teaching especially with the clients with less experience. The clients then in turn introduced each other to the rest of the group.
So we could truly understand each clients level, I then handed out a needs assessment which I had created. It just simply asked questions like:

Where and how long did you study English before today?

What do you feel are your weakest areas of English?

What do you hope to gain from this course?

Why do you want to study English?

Again some of the class needed some help with filling this in, but all managed to do it and I think the results are useful. (I have left these on the desk for next trainer to look at)
Due to some of the lower level clients I covered the English and the NATO alphabet, I asked all of them to give a word to each letter without the use of dictionaries. This was quite a good exercise as it also highlighted the English words being regularly used alongside the German language. I also talked about abbreviations such as YMCA, CIA, FBI etc

To assist the group with speaking English in the classroom situation, we next looked at common words and phrases used such as:
Please work in pairs, please open your books and turn to page…, please take notes, Sorry I don’t understand this word/phrase/sentence…etc

Due to it being the first day and a quite short one, I finished up by introducing them to the concept of ‘Brainstorming’, and as an example I asked them to think about factors involved with starting a new business. Again they all showed eagerness and took part well.

So on the whole a very nice class to teach, so have fun with them!!!


Hi Scott, Daniel and Travis,

Here is what we have covered so far:

  • TOEIC listening mini test
  • review of the alphabet
  • simple present positive
  • the days of the week and the months

We have been working with Business Basics, International Edition. Since we don’t have the CD, we read all of the transcripts in pairs which was quite good exercise. Daniel, please continue with the book on page 11, exercise C, 1. You will find the book at the teacher’s desk. Also, please review the simple present (questions, negatives and positives). Give the group some tips on how they can improve their listening comprehension skills outside of the classroom.

Many thanks,

TOEIC listening, photographs: Standing at a podium[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten, Travis, Scott,

Thry’re a good group to work with. I won’t repeat everything Scott mentioned.
Yesterday and today we went on with the simple present; a lot of queston, negation and third person singular focus sometimes by modifying exercices from the book.
We covered the book up to page 14 but didn’t read the text related to the exercice at the bottom. Besides we did some basic prepositions of place via describing a picture of an office.
One of the students, Torsten, has an older edition of the book featuring a vocab list for each unit. Many requested to get them as copies. For the present unit we also read the words out did some pronunciation drill and investigated some lexical fields and word formation patterns (the conception of the book seems quite favourable to such a way of vocab training).
Torsten, I couldn’t read your post yastersay’s nor today’s class. I didn’t bring up the listening skills training. Some of the students were discussing the issue themselves and I was involved in some of conversations.
Travis, you’re going tomorrow according to what I heard. I left the key with Axel, tha bald guy.

Talk to you soon,

Just to say that the day went well. Everything as expected: a bit of introductions/interviewing, some review of the things the other teachers did during the week, a bit of grammar and some book work.
I have the key and will post a more detailed note for the next teacher after Monday’s lessons.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

Hi everyone,

Eilenburg on Fri. the 13th and Mon the 16th went very well. As you all said, a good group and smooth running.
We covered :
Introductions and interviewing (pres. simple q and a)
the 5 w’s, nationalities, times and dates. - We skipped ahead, at the students request to page 22 and 23 (I think, sorry) - anyway to the 2 pages of times of the day and routines.

On Friday in the book: P.14 and 15 parts 1 and 2 (we skipped the language note ‘co. presentations’ on page 16 because they wanted to look at something different and the Do you / Does she routine was getting a bit old.

On Mon. we started chapter 2 ‘There is / There are’ and did pages 18 and 19
with a lot of talk about ‘Is there a good sports team in EB? or A good Chinese restaurant?’ type conversation .
We then did page 20 - modals and requests (May, Can, Could) and at the end of the day I let them play a game from another book which was more or less a review of what they had learned so far.

Alex has the key again and they are all looking forward to a busy week with you,

I hope that helps and the best of luck,

Hi Torsten, Daniel and Travis.
Began with review of ‘Up till Now’, and talked about likes and dislikes.
Warm up – Profession word search.
Revision of question words (Wh)
I realised during this exercise some people were not so good with ‘To Be’, and ‘To Have’, and of course these are the 2 most important verbs so we went through these in the simple forms of past, present and future.
Continued with book; pages 23 - 25
Carried out role-play between travel agent and traveller.
Looked at Time, distance and frequency (adverbs).
Questions of Time, Date and frequency.
When…? How often…? How far…? What time…? How long…?
Using these questions above, I asked the clients to work in pairs and make a question for each of them to do with coming to the academy.
Due to the lethargic looking classroom, I decided to do some ‘Brainstorming’ on a topic of their choice, which was ‘food and cooking’.
We ended the day with a session of Pictionary ,
Another good day with all ss taking part in all tasks.
I left the key with Axel.

Hi Torsten, Travis, Scott,

We started with a listening exercise; conversation of former classmates about personal matters then questions regarding that conversation ans talk of the same sort.
We carried on with the book from page 26 to 29; they got quite well into much / many but some / any still needs practice, besides, airport situations and some talk about hotel accommodation.
In the afternoon we explored some job descriptions and the students worked in pairs asking and giving information on staff members.
I had planned to watch the initial episode of “the office” with them after 3 o’clock but you can’t see anything on that TV so we didn’t and had to play hangman instead.
The key’s with Axel again.

Have fun,

Hi everyone,

Thanks a lot for you doing such a great job with the Eilenburg group – they really are very motivated and happy with our team. Today we reviewed frequently used verbs creating sentences in the simple past. Then we practiced the alphabet, reviewed travel phrases and vocabulary and exchanged information on how to learn English on the Internet. We also went through some job descriptions and company structure again.

Scott, we also practiced saying phrases such as ‘Could you slow down, please’, ‘How do you spell that?’ and ‘How do you pronounce this’? Our aim is enable the group to control a conversation with a native speaker without using any German.

Please collect the key from Axel tomorrow and keep it.

Thank you,

TOEIC listening, photographs: An operating room[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Scott,

How have you been getting along with the Eilenburg class?


TOEIC listening, photographs: Fueling your vehicle[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,
Yes things have been moving alone smoothly.
I will be updating the thread this evening, I have not had internet access for last few days (back into the dark ages), but finally we are reconnected. So please watch this space for my update


Hi Daniel, Travis and Torsten.
Friday 20th March
Began by reviewing things already covered through the week.
Looked at prepositions of useful when asking for and giving directions.
Using handouts I had prepared ss picked locations on a map and gave detailed directions to the group.
We worked through unit 3 ‘Away on business’
Went through the use of the imperative verb when:
Giving instructions and directions.
Giving advice
Making offers

Monday 23rd March
Warm up crossword.
Reviewed past tenses by writing a text about the weekend.
Reviewed pronouns
During the text I realised the majority of the group still had some difficulty with prepositions so we reviewed them all, with the use of some handouts I had made.
Looked at body parts and clothing…
Finished with hangman.
Tuesday 24th March
We began by describing people:
Distinctive features
Hair – Colour/length/style
Facial hair
I gave them a worksheet explaining each category, with examples.
Then we played ‘Guess Who’, this meant each client was to describe someone else in the group. I then took all the descriptions in, and randomly read them to the group. The y then had to guess who the description was about.
We started the next chapter in the book, ‘Going out’. I began this lesson with a worksheet to explain the difference between ‘like’ and ‘would like’. We looked at how you use each of these when talking about free-time activities, telephoning and inviting.
We practiced making telephone calls and leaving messages using role-play. Each pair designed their own dialogue and presented it to the group.
For the final lesson we had a group discussion using ‘Ilike…’ and ‘I would like…’, participation was good and ss talked about food, holidays, music, sports, ambitions etc
Wednesday 25th
Today as a warm up I gave the group a recipe which together we broke down into verbs and nouns which we translated to ensure all had a good understanding. To help build vocab I asked each person to come up with at least 5 verbs used in cooking. It was great, we to put together about 30 verbs. As a group we looked at the future, past and doing(+ing) of each of our collected verbs.
Due to a question about our use of silent letters, I gave them various examples including the obvious wr- and Kn-.
I then reviewed countable and uncountable with them, and we compiled a list of nouns discussing which were which. Also we constructed sentences using a and an, some/any and much/many.
We started next chapter of book 3.3 Eating out, looking at Ordering in a restaurant and recommending/suggesting.
All in all the last few days have been very constructive, with the group appearing to be more comfortable with me and each other. They are motivated, eager to learn and I can see an obvious improvement in everyone. During the ‘speaking’ exercises and group discussions, all ss seem to be enjoying using the language even those that started the course trying to hide behind their monitors.

Hi Scott,

Thanks a lot for your excellent job. It would be great if you could also work with the Nordhausen group as they are preparing for the TOEIC test using different materials and techniques. If you get access to the Internet in Eilenburg you can help the group register on our site to use the tests and keep track of their progress.

More on that soon.

TOEIC listening, photographs: A happy child[YSaerTTEW443543]

I started today’s lesson with a lesson ‘What did you eat last night’; to begin we all told the group what we ate and described it. Then we explained how we cooked it which was good for looking reviewing verbs in the simple past and food words.
I then checked their homework, I asked them to practice the use of much/many and some and any, and to write some example sentences. It seems that all have a reasonable understanding and all constructed some good sentences.
We worked through the next chapter ‘Visiting a company’, looking at simple past: regular forms and simple past of be.
Welcoming visitors.
Weak forms.
Pronunciation of –ed (/t/, /d/ and /ed/.
Again very good participation from all in the group, and most showing a good understanding.
We finished the day going through the most common irregular verbs in English, and looking at the simple past of each.

Friday 27th March
So it’s Friday and the group have worked very hard this week.
We began by looking and converting idioms, and I explained some slang because obviously it’s not grammatically correct but it is widely used in the English language.
We looked at their homework and everyone self-corrected it was a cloze exercise to revise prepositions.
Next we started looking at marketing, branding, and advertising.
Well known ‘Strong brands’
Successful marketing campaigns
Different mediums used for advertising/marketing.

Monday 30th March
Today we moved around the corner to the new AFI centre, it’s a more modern building but at the moment it’s still a bit disorganised. We should have access to the net by Thursday.
Anyway the ss have taken this in their stride and continued to make good progress.
We started the day and week by telling each other about our weekends, on Friday I asked them all to keep a diary of events during their weekends. They all did very well and are all starting to really showing understanding of simple past.
We then, at the ss request, revised prepositions. They all have a fairly good understanding of them all but get confused with a few occasionally but I explained the more they listen to English they will pick them up over time. To help them I suggested using ‘English-Test’ and also a free site for streaming English movies and TV series.
We finished the Chapter in the book ‘Welcoming Visitors’ and reviewed everything we covered by a session of Q&A.
We started Unit 4.2 ‘reporting on a trip’, which concentrates on:
Simple past: irregular forms
We compiled a list of irregular verbs (past simple) from memory, and I and the ss were very surprised with how many between them they managed to put on the board.
Questions and Answers relevant to business trips
Verb and noun collocations

Tuesday 31st March.

Due to the book still concentrating on past, I decided to begin the day by explaining the use of ‘Used to’ when explaining a past action. Which again they all managed to get to grips with quite well.

I then gave them a list of sample collocations, take-train, go on-a trip etc, and asked them to make a sentence for each which I was very pleased with the results. We finished the chapter ‘Reporting on a trip.’
I began by looking at correspondences and explaining the different times in business when we write letters, i.e. enquiry, offer, request etc. The group wrote a simple email based on some prompts I put on the board. I then gave them a basic letter template and explained the structure of the typical/standard business letter.
For the last lesson we looked at different types of transport, and we categorised them into dangerous, leisure and logistical.

Another good couple of days. Great group!

This week carried on with the book, we have covered Present Continuous for future plan, Prepositions of Place and Direction, Comparatives and superlatives, weak forms, countable and Uncountable Nouns. Contrasting Present Simple with Past Simple and Present Continuous and lots of new vocabulary covering , city places with location and direction, music and entertainment, crime and the law and some medical English. We practiced the language of messages, hosting visitors, offers and request and expressing feelings. We then covered present simple, question form and negative form. I gave the ss a piece of writing about King Arthur and asked ss to highlight any grammar structures they recognised and all did very well with this exercise. We looked at descriptive words, shape/form, texture/touch, smell, materials etc Which helped us with the next task of product analysis which I showed them the basic rules. On Monday they will be analysing a product of my choosing. We should be in the room with computers so I will get them to sign up with English-test. On friday we spent last half an hour just talking and asking questions and all ss expressed how much more confident they feel and ss are happy with their own progress.

Monday 6th
So here we are Monday again! We started the day/week with a warm up using hangman, which is very useful with this class to revise vocabulary and the alphabet. We spent the first lesson just going through the previous week’s studies making sure we were all clear before we moved on. Next we carried on with the book, 5.2 ‘Company developments’. This chapter concentrates on Present continuous vs. Simple present, which was good for the ss to be able to see the difference between each structure and their uses. We looked at describing ‘trends’ in business using language like, sales fell/went down/decreased/rose/went up/ increased and remained stable. To help with understanding I gave a handout out with different charts/tables and explained what each of the phrases meant in comparison to the visual aids. We then practiced this by splitting the group into pairs, student A had a blank chart/graph and student b had a complete chart. Student B would then describe their chart “between January and February sales fell from-to, by…, if they communicated well then student A’s graph should be identical. All ss managed this with great results.
Then I explained the use of this type of visual aid and its benefits when giving presentations, as well as introducing language like “let’s take a look at this chart/graph/slide/next diagram.”
We finished the day by looking at descriptive adjectives.
Tuesday 7th
Today we began another session of hangman, and to date no one has managed to hang the class! For a bit of fun I introduced the longest word in the English dictionary ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’, which did enable me to hang them. We then moved on with the book ‘Personal developments’, concentrating on exchanging personal news and talking about a trip. We considered these in a formal and informal setting, so which questions are appropriate when! I also highlighted the importance of the English ‘weather talk’, which is actually very important in our culture. I used some listening activities to help with ss understanding. We looked at how to respond to news (good/bad/surprising), we which carried out some role play with ss self written dialogues. I also went through the question forms- What is/was …like?
I then explained the future using ‘will’ and ‘going to’, and explained how we use the present continuous for future plans.
All in all another good couple of days, everyone is struggling slightly because of the weather but still progress is still good.

8th-9th April
So let me begin by wishing all my fellow trainers a great Easter weekend.
In Eilenburg the last couple of days were good.
We worked through the book on Wednesday, starting with making arrangements. Which concentrated on the use of present continuous for future plans, which with the use of various activities the ss all got to grips with quite well. While we were looking at the future I explained the difference between each form (presents cont., ‘will’ and going to-) with the aid of some chanting and a game of snakes and ladders most ss found this ok to comprehend. We then looked at dates and their different structures around the world, and the pronunciation of dates using ordinal numbers, which of course they found fun due to the use of –th. We looked at important dates in history around the world, I asked each student to use the internet to find examples of important events for each month of the year, and report back to the group with their findings. This was a great exercise as it was good practice for using English to research information on the internet, as well as interesting due to some of the information we gathered as a group. We also discussed important personal dates.
We then looked at ‘Getting connected’, we covered telephone expressions, I gave the ss a handout with common expressions (with German translations). I read each expression to clarify the pronunciation, then I split the ss into 3’s and gave each group an outline for a 3-way dialogue which they had to complete then we carried out some role-play. The task went very well with all ss participating well and enjoying it.
We spent today reviewing everything to-date and as a group helping each other with anything which was still not quite clear. We compared all time tenses to be sure of their different uses, and most ss said this was very helpful; I also gave them a handout I had created for each tense which included timelines and examples. The last lesson of the day I set them some homework which included revision, research and a small test.
Again I would like to wish you all a great Easter and hope everybody enjoys their long weekend, lets keep our fingers crossed the weather stays so good!

Hi everyone,

Though I’m not working with the group anymore myself I still do check the forum occasionally. Seems as everything is progressing very well.
Besides I’d like to wish all of you a Happy Easter, a few nice days of rest and continuous success in training the Eilenburg group. You could possibly transmit them some nice greetings from me just in case they remember who I am.


We began the day with a quick report on our long Easter weekend; I asked the ss to think about the wh- question words and try to incorporate answers to each in their reports.
Each student read out their reports, and I asked the other ss to correct or ask questions where needed. It was a good warm up exercise as well as reviewing all our past tenses.
We carried on with the book, looking at time expressions, arranging appointments and meetings, also changing existing appointments. This was a good way of revising the use of time tenses and learning common expressions and idioms used in English when making arrangements.(Are you free?/Bring it forward…/rain-check…/good for me…/postpone…etc
Next we started looking at product analysis, including dimensions, materials, shapes and colours.
I began by describing a mobile phone, then as a group we described numerous items in the class room. To make it a bit more challenging I asked each ss to describe something without telling us what it is, and the rest of the group had to try and guess what it was.
We then covered giving/expressing opinions, agreeing/disagreeing, and advantages/disadvantages.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
This week has been another good one, with the most of the ss making very good progress especially in the reading and listening exercises. Due to the fact we are now into the last two weeks of the course, as well as carrying on with the book and learning activities, I have been giving the group a test to start each day to help with revision.
We have done quite a lot this week including:
Brainstorming: Communication through the ages
Personal Qualities.
We looked at:
Making/dealing with complaints .
Offering to help using should and can, and using future tense contractions.
‘Getting a job’, looking at the applying and recruiting process.
Talking about likes and dislikes using language such as “I hate…, I don’t mind…”, and using the verb + ing.
I finished the week by starting looking at the different forms of business correspondences, and the types of correspondences eg covering letters, enquiries, offers, orders, etc.
We started to write a C.V., using the list of personal quality words we had compiled during out brainstorming session, each student wrote a short personal profile to head their CV. I brought in some examples of live job advertisements which we looked at as a group to understand the language used. As a small bit of homework for the weekend, I gave the website address for the job-centre in England, and asked ss to find a job they might be interested in and to print it and bring it in on Monday. I explained we will go through the process of applying for the selected jobs.
As I said we’ve had a good week, most are still enjoying it and making lots of effort.