Handout 4 of 5 – English Workshop for Vietnamese Teachers



English Workshop for Vietnamese Teachers ~ March 20, 2018 (Meeting 1 of 2)

<< Sean’s English website is updated weekly:  www.seanlaurence.com >>

Important information about this workshop –

  • This is an interactive workshop. Ask questions or comment anytime. Please share what you think.
  • Share your knowledge. If you have an idea about teaching, studying or speaking English, please don’t hesitate to share it.
  • Making mistakes is ok. It’s better to make one now instead of in the classroom. Learning from your mistakes is helpful.
  • Your thoughts about this workshop are important. Please share them through email or Facebook (see other side).

Agenda –

  • 8:30-8:45 – Ice breaker and introductions (introduce yourself with your English nickname and company name).
  • 8:45-9:00 – Presentation about Pronunciation & Common English Mistakes.
  • 9:00-9:30 – Discussion and practice.
  • 9:30-9:40 – 10 minute break.
  • 9:40-10:00 – Presentation about Helping Students Remember English Vocabulary.
  • 10:00-10:30 – Discussion and practice.


❖ Ice Breaker ❖

Silent Letter Game – In English some words have silent letters (letters which you don’t pronounce). Each team will get a group of words with one or more silent letters. The team which underlines the most correct silent letters wins.

❖ Pronunciation ❖

TH Sound (examples: weather, thick, bath)

How to correctly pronounce the “th” sound – Put your finger on your lips. Say “weather”. If your finger is wet, you said it correctly. If your finger isn’t wet, you need to put your tongue tip between your teeth (don’t bite or or move your lips down).

X Sound (examples: six, lakes, cooks)

How to correctly pronounce the “x” sound – Make the beginning sound or sounds of the word and then make the “cks” sound.

CE Sound (examples: science, since, difference)

How to correctly pronounce the “ce” sound – To copy the American English pronunciation, don’t say the N sound that much. Just say it lightly in the word. When trying to say the sound, say “NTS”. The T sound will help you sound like a native English speaker.

How to get better at prounciation – One of the things you need to know about English is that although there are 26 letters in the alphabet, there are 44 sounds, and that the number of letters in a word is not the same as the number of sounds. For example, the word bat has three sounds and three letters, but batch has five letters and three sounds (the “tch” is one sound). Watch native English speakers and notice the shape their mouth and lips make when they talk. Try following along with your favorite TV show, movie or YouTube video. Can you repeat the faces and sounds that the people are making? Imitate native speakers long enough and you’ll have the full confidence to say it out loud. Use a small makeup mirror when you are practicing pronunciation. Use it to see where your lips and tongue are (and what your mouth is doing).

❖ Common English Mistakes ❖

Missing ending sounds (examples: “s” in is, “t” in heat, “st” in fast)

How to improve – Learn how to say words one syllable at a time. Split the word into syllables and try to pronounce each part slowly, then faster. Pay attention to the stress and the rhythm.

Missing middle sounds (examples: “s” in Wednesday and master, “g” in virgin)

How to improve – Write the sentence down. Identify the words with “s” sounds. Then speak the sentence slowly.

Misplacement of the “S” sound

Example: With this sentence, She is doing her homework, many people add the “s” sound after doing or her.

How to improve – Listen carefully to how words are said. If you can hear the difference between “three” and “tree”, you will be able to pronounce those words correctly. Try recording your speech with your phone or computer. Make a note of specific areas you need to improve on.

Not knowing that you’re making a mistake

How to improve – Be aware that you might be making a pronunciation mistake and not know it. For example, say the sentence “It means a lot to me.” Sometimes you will misplace the S sound in the word “means”. You will move it to the word “it”. In your head it sounds like you aren’t making a mistake, but when a native English speaker listens to you, they can hear your mistake.

Asking questions the wrong way

How to improve – Be careful to ask questions correctly. Most questions start with the question word (can, do, does, who, what, etc). For example, “You can speak Vietnamese?”. This is not the right way to ask if someone can speak Vietnamese. You should say, Can you speak Vietnamese?”.

Not using “What I meant to say was…”

How to improve – When you make speaking mistakes in English (big or small mistakes), you will often repeat what you just said but without the mistake. Sometimes you can try many times to say the right word or sentence in English. Instead of repeating, you can say “What I meant to say was…” or “I meant…”.

❖ Helping Students Remember English Vocabulary ❖

Memorising and recalling

Students often have trouble storing new vocabulary in their long-term memory and then being able to recall the vocabulary quickly and easily.

Helpful technique

A technique that I’ve found to work really well with young students involves assigning actions to each new vocabulary word. Assigning actions also adds fun to the lesson, which makes students more eager to learn the language. It also helps them a great deal in remembering the new vocabulary.


~ Read the first vocabulary word to students and have them repeat after you 2 or 3 times.

~ Assign an action to the word and make sure that the students follow your action. Sometimes students also come up with their own action, so if it works better you can use the student’s action. Have students repeat the word and action 2 or 3 times.

~ Move on to the next vocabulary word and repeat the same as for the first vocabulary word.

~ Before moving to the 3rd word, go back to the 1st word. Say the word with the action and have students follow you. This technique of going back through the previous words enables students to remember the new words. Eventually students will be able to call out the words by just looking at you doing the actions.

~ Once you have taught all the words, play a quick game of hangman to practice spelling.

~ Have students close their books. Do the action for each word and have students call out the new vocabulary they’ve learned. Thereafter you can switch – you say the word and students do the actions. Give out points accordingly to encourage and motivate students to participate in the activity.


Example vocabulary words











❖ Homework ❖

For the next meeting, bring one teaching tip and one successful English classroom game. The teaching tip should be some quick advice that can help any English teacher. The game should be one that your students like and teaches English.

❖ Contact Information ❖

Sean Laurence

Phone: 096 125 6761

Facebook: facebook.com/seanlaurence

Email: laurence.sean@gmail.com

Lisha Jadoo

Phone: 012 520 85217

Facebook: facebook.com/lisha.jadoo

Email: lishajadoo@yahoo.com

❖ Websites about English ❖

youglish.com   rachelsenglish.com   howmanysyllables.com   fluentu.com   soundsofenglish.org   elsaspeak.com

❖ Facebook Group ❖

Please join the Facebook group to talk with other Vietnamese teachers of English.