Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Benefits, Risks, Dangers, Relationships

 VPAU 505.4 - Write a descriptive or narrative text 

Exercise 1 - Viewing/Discussion : Watch the video. What is "Le Parkour" or "Free-Running"?

(In class or with a friend at home) make a list of its ...

BENEFITS (eg. develop fitness)
RISKS/DANGERS (eg. break bones)

Review : Giving advice

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting this activity?

Practice using these openers in your discussion ...

*If I were you ...
*You should/shouldn't ... / You ought to / oughtn't ...
*It would be a good idea ...
*Don't ...
*Remember to ... / Don't forget to ...


Exercise 2 - Listening/Dictation/Vocabulary: About Free-Running

1) Download the fold/listen/fill the gap worksheet (fold the answers out of sight)

2)  Listen to the dictation "Free-Running" (Mp3 - 400k) here

3) Fill in the gaps
4) Check your answers on the fold/listen/fill the gap sheet

(Remember: you can right click on the Mp3 link to download the dictation to your computer. Keep it in your own listening text collection for future use)


Exercise 3 - Reading : Free Running (from New Headway, Oxford Uni Press)

In class we read a story about one of the pioneers of Free Running or 'Le Parkour'. If you missed the class, ask me for a copy of the one-page story.

Download my Reading Comprehension Questions here


Exercise 4 - Writing (Opinion): 

What do you think about Free-Running (First draft)

Write a first draft in class. Use your Benefits/Risks/Dangers list (Exercise 1) as well as your completed worksheet (Exercise 2) to help you.

Bring your draft to class for the writing workshop. You can then write your final copy and choose how you submit it to me.

Grammar : Order of Adjectives

eg. A talented, French free-runner
eg. A beautiful, antique, mahogany wardrobe
eg. An eerie, dark Winter's night

Do you remember the general rules for ordering adjectives in English? (See Murphy, Grammer in Use, 3rd Edition, Unit 99)

Knowing about this order of adjectives can help with writing descriptions.

The best rule is to keep your descriptions simple - no more than 2 or 3 adjectives when describing a person, thing or situation.


Play games and exercises to review this grammar (British Council)


Speaking: Describing People 

Discussion : With a friend spend a few minutes ...

...describing yourself

...describing your partner or a friend

Viewing(Real English)

Watch the video ... what do people say about each other. Focus on one or two couples only

Exercises : Complete the comprehension exercises for this video at the Real English website



If you are an ESL student you can apply to join Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club Facebook Group

This is what has been going on recently ...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Raising Children / Accidents / On the Road

 VPAU 505.4 - Write a descriptive or narrative text / VPAU 505.3 - Follow a set of written instructions on a familiar process

Descriptive Texts / Narratives (VPAU505.4)

This story was written for children in 1831. What does it try to teach children? 


Do you think children are as kind and obedient as they were in the past? What is the best way to raise children?

Read the opinions of other ESL students from around the world (Topics Online Magazine, Issue 10)

Practice Assessment Task:

a) Complete a first draft in class and get a native English speaker (or your teacher) to check your work.

b) Write up a final copy and bring it to class for discussion and sharing.

Your teacher will explain to you what she or he expects to see in the assessment task you will complete in the coming week or two

Assessment Task (505.4) - Write a descriptive or narrative text

Click here or on the link to go to the back issues page of TOPICS MAGAZINE

Choose a topic from Topics Online Magazine

a) Read the opinions of others
b) Write your own opinion on the topic
c) Show your teacher the first draft
d) Bring your final copy to class for your teacher to assess)

Grammar - Adverbs of Degree

This week we were reviewing Adverbs of Degree. Watch the video and complete the exercises as you watch



Accidents / On the Road

VPAU 505.3 - Follow a set of written instructions on a familiar process

What do you do if you have an accident -- or if someone damages your car?


insurance / registration / cover / third party / comprehensive / compulsory / property / policy / premiums / excess / accident / damage / police /

Watch the video and discuss or answer the questions ...


1) What do the drivers exchange?

2) Does car registration cover the driver for damage to another car?

3) What does Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance cover? What doesn't it cover?

4) What is Third Party Property (TPP) insurance? What does it cover? What doesn't it cover?

5) What does Comprehensive Insurance cover?

Listening / Dictation - An Accident (based on the video above)

1) Download and print the fold / write / check worksheet from here

2) Listen to the dictation A Car Accident. Complete the dictation.

Grammar/Vocab: Reference for self study: English Vocab in Use (Unit 30 - On the Road)

Role Play / Writing

Let's act out the accident situation above.

A. Write a similar dialogue with a friend.

B. Record your dialogue at Dale's TalkGroups in the discussion, A Minor Car Accident ( or on my ipad if you prefer

Games - BBC English - Instructions

Delivery Driver BBC English Game

Read the instructions and have a go! Lots of fun! 

Also try "Destination Impossible" to practice following and giving instructions in English.


What are we talking about on Facebook? Are you an ESL student?

 Join the 45 members of Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club

Friday, October 11, 2013

Taking Care of Things / International Current Affairs

VPAU503.3 and 505.3 : Follow (spoken and written) instructions

Taking care of Things

Do you have some dishwashing liquid, some ammonia and a bottle of vinegar? You can make your own carpet cleaner! What cleaning "secrets" do you have? How do you get your windows squeaky clean? What do you use for cleaning your kitchen benchtops? Graham Haley has lots of great ideas ...

Download the worksheet for this video

Vocab Exercise 1- Cleaning the House (
Vocab Exercise 2 - Cleaning the House (

A whole lesson about housecleaning (Listening/conversation/vocab/activities (learnESLwithDrew!)


This week we are looking at Unless / As long as / Provided/Providing that
(Murphy, English Language in Use, Unit 115)

Elective: 560.2 - Current Affairs (International)

You have probably seen the terrible images on TV. Sadly, wars are always in the news.

Watch the video and read more at the UNICEF WEBSITE - SYRIA.


What do you know about Syria?
How many children have been affected?
What does the little girl say?

Listening : 1 Million Syrian Child Refugees (Sean Banville, Breaking News

Download and print off the complete lesson (Comprehension/Matching/Fill the Gap/ etc - pdf)

This term we start the second part of our Current Affairs Elective (VPAU 560.2 - Explore a current issue of international significance).

This term you will keep an 8 Week Collect, Watch and Tell Diary - VPAU 560.2 (Assessment Task and Diary download) (Note: I will send you the link by email)

Each week you will collect articles and images from newspapers, magazines and the internet, watch news programs and videos, tell your teacher and class members about your project.

You can choose to follow one (or a mix of all three themes if you like). Use Dale's examples to guide you. Look for photos in newspapers or on the internet, print them and attach them to your diary entries. (Get your teacher or a friend to help you if you do not know how)

*War - Example 1

*Celebrities and Movie Stars in the News - Example 2

*Natural Disasters - Example 3

(Available from me in class only)

Perhaps you know that Prince Harry came to Australia recently.  What do you think about celebrities, Royals and rich people? Why are we so interested in them?

And then there are natural disasters - earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis and bush fires.

Can you think of other sorts of natural disasters?

Check out this map of the latest natural disasters.

Exercise 3: Take some notes from the Recent Natural Disasters website and tell your class about a recent natural disaster. Where did it happen? Was anyone hurt? Was there damage?

Grammar: Talking about the Future

In class we studied 6 ways in English we can talk about the future. There are really three forms though that we use most of the time ...

Will +verb (definitive / strong)

Going to +verb (intention)

Present Continuous for the Future (plans)

If you want to study more read: Murphy, English Grammar in Use (3rd Edition), Unit 19

Still confused? Watch this ...

Try these exercises ...

Exercise One: A Dialogue Between Friends (

Exercise Two: 100 Sentences! (Language

We also looked at the use of So vs. Such

so +adjective ... Madonna is so good
such +noun ...Madonna is such a good singer

but it get's more complicated ...

Watch this video ...

If you want to study more read: Murphy, English Grammar in Use (3rd Edition), Unit 102


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Micro Living

VPAU560 Current Affairs

1) Watch the video   2) Download this worksheet and work with a partner to answer the questions

READING (Level 3): Read this article about micro-apartments in Melbourne (The Age, August 19, 2013)

What are the advantages and disadvantages? What are the main criticisms? Would you buy a micro-apartment?

DISCUSSION & DICTATION : Australia Votes for a New Government (VPAU 560.1)

Read the full text and listen (from ESL News New Zealand)

READING: Expectations

Did you expect the Coalition to win? Did you expect the Labor Party to lose? What were the big issues in the election?

Compare the information on this graph.

How many seats did the Liberal Party expect to win?
How many seats did the Liberal Party actually win?
What about the Labor Party?

VOCABULARY : to expect to / to suppose / to suppose to / to actually +verb


Source: "Sweden Tops English Speaking List" from

1. Print the Gap Fill exercise (or do the listening exercise totally online)
2. Listen to the story
3. Check your answers by reading the full story here

4. Do the follow up exercises - download the whole lesson here

Listening and Speaking (Level 3): Instructions (Assessment Task) VPAU 503.3

1) Comprehension: Download the assessment task, complete and either give me or email me your task (Duke Street Access 3 students only)

In class ...

2) Speaking: Bring a tie to class (and be able to give clear instructions about how to tie a full Windsor Knot)

Silent Films (Level 3 VPAU 505.4)

Today in class (level 2) we watched this silent film.

Where is it filmed? Who are the characters? What happens : how does it start? what happens in the middle of the film? how does it end? Does the film have a message, meaning or lesson to teach us? Did you enjoy it or didn't you like it - why?

Exercise 1 : Ask yourself these questions as you watch the film again. Can you answer the questions?

Download the Silent Film Reading worksheet to see Dale's notes. 


Exercise 2 :  Here is a link to many other short, silent films on YouTube.

Use the worksheet to take notes on another silent film. Use Dale's notes as a model.

Bring your notes to class to share and show your teacher. We will write a review together.

Can't find a film? Try taking notes and writing about this short, silent film ...

Listening : Making A Film (Level 3)

Jeff and his brother made a film about their journey across India in a motor-rickshaw.

Listen to his story. Complete the vocab and comprehension quizzes.

Watch the film and read more about Jeff's journey across India in a motor rickshaw here!


WRITING NARRATIVES using Past Simple and Past Continuous (VPAU505.4)

 In class we looked at the possibility of using the past simple and past continuous together, especially when we are writing narratives or sentences with two actions occurring.

Try these exercises: Past simple and past continuous, by lovinglondon

Find this and other past continuous exercises in English Exercises .org


Monday, July 29, 2013

Australian Stories

VPAU 560: Explore a current issue of significance in Australia / Explore a current issue of of international significance
VPAU505.4: Write a descriptive or narrative text

 WRITING:  Watch the video with a friend.

Exercise 1: What is the story about? Who are the characters? When was the video made? What is the attitude to refugees? (Talk about this)

Exercise 2: Watch the video together again and correctly order the sentences and phrases ...

and the Australian way of life.
changed everything.
Ali arrived in Australia nine years ago
before the civil war
Ali's wife...
and dream of owning their own farm.
He once owned his own farm.
Ali and his wife have worked hard...
A new country...
actively contribute
They are saving money...
to Australian communities
makes for new challenges.
to make a new life.
is one of the town's doctors

Exercise 3: Write the phrases into a story (without looking at the video)

GRAMMAR: The First Conditional

Worksheet: Review the FIRST CONDITIONAL (if + present simple + will/may/might


Should Quad Bikes Be Banned?

Discussion Questions

1. What was the main point raised in the Quad Bikes story?

2. Most people who ride quad bikes live:
a. Near the beach
b. On farms
c. In the city

3. What are the benefits of having a quad bike on a farm?

4. How many people died from quad bike accidents in Australia last year?

5. Kids of any age are legally allowed to ride quad bikes. True or false?

6. There are no laws saying that kids have to wear __________ while riding a quad bike.

7. Why do some people want to see changes to the way quad bikes are designed?

8. Give some examples of improved quad bike safety.

9. List the arguments for and against making stricter rules for quad bike riders.

10. What do you think should happen next?

Transcript of the video

Download the entire ABC TV Activity Unit - Persuasive Texts


                                                                                                          X You are here

Exercise 1: With your teacher or a classmate, give and ask directions using the map

Exercise 2: Complete these online exercises using the same map (from

GRAMMAR 2 : Something made of/in/from / Something used for (Passives and Past Participles)

Download this board game and play with a friend (you will need dice and a coin) - From ESL Tower

Vocabulary: Crossword Puzzle "What is it made of?" (Download the puzzle and answers)

Monday, July 22, 2013

In the News

VPAU 560: Explore a current issue of significance in Australia / Explore a current issue of of international significance
VPAU505.4: Write a descriptive or narrative text

SPEAKING/WRITING: VPAU560.1: National News (video)

Watch this video in pairs and answer the questions together

1.What is the video about?
2.Who are the two men?
3.What is the Coalition?
4.What is the ALP?
5.What is a poll?
6.Who is the preferred Prime Minister?
7.What percentage of people in the poll said they would vote for the ALP?
8. What was said about women?

 LISTENING: VPAU560.2: International News (audio)
LISTENING: Download and print this listening comprehension quiz . Play the audio.

READING: Read the story about the Panda (and check your answers from the listening quiz)

VOCABULARY: Parts of a Newspaper

Last week we played games with the newspaper and learnt to identify parts of the newspaper.

Download this matching exercise, print and check your answers as a class or with a friend.


What is this video about? Is it a national story or an international story?

1) Look at these two graphics. Compare them and discuss.
2) How many arrivals by boat were there in Australia in 2013?


Find out some more about the issue of Asylum seekers. Watch TV, listen to radio, do an internet search and read a newspaper for the next week. Report your research to the class.


Watch the video and complete the exercises below

Exercise 1

Exercise 2


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where do the Children Play?

VPAU557.3/.4 - Recreational Services in the Local Community

Watch the video. What do you think this song is about? Where do the children play in your community? Where is the closest playground?

Listening/Viewing: Complete this cloze exercise based on the Yusaf Islam song, "Where do the Children Play?"

Check your answers ... complete lyrics here

Try another listening exercise called "This Used to Be My Playground" (by Madonna)

Speaking : Playgrounds - Dangers and Hazards

Grammar : Prediction (going to+verb) / about to+verb (talking about the near future)

Exercise 1 : Look at the picture above. With a friend list the dangers you see. What is going to happen? What is about to happen?

Vocabulary: (verbs) to bite / to fall off / to break / to hit /to hurt / to hit / to step on / to get stuck / to shit /to let off / to cut / to stick out (nouns) swing, slide, carousel, bridge, grass, bottle, rubbish, leash, rope, bin, syringes, pipe, sand

Exercise 2: Can you match the vocabulary and picture on your left?

Reading : Brimbank Park Walk

We have been reading about Brimbank Park in our classes. Walking can be fun and it is good, free exercise. Click here (or above) to find out about Stephen's Brimbank Park Walk.

Exercise 1: Download this worksheet about Stephen's Brimbank Walk and answer the questions.

Writing/Research (VPAU 557.3/.4 Assessment Task)

Exercise 2
: Class Project. Think about a walk through Sunshine with your classmates. Where would you take a visitor to Sunshine.

STEP 1 ... As a class discuss and plan ... 1) A brief description 2) Points of interest

STEP 2 ... Ask your teacher to register and CREATE A CLASS WALKING MAP.
(If you prefer, create your own - it's not very hard!)

STEP 3 ... Plan an excursion. Take some photos of the points of interest.

Use Stephen's Brimbank Park Walking Map as your model / look at some other examples too!


What is happening in the Free ESL Facebook Club?

Join Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club Facebook Group today

Visit the ESL 3 Multicultural Walk of Sunshine!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cars of the Future / Cars of the Past

VPAU 503.1 (Listening) - Interpret an Information (Oral) Text
VPAU 505.1 (Reading) - Analyse a Range of Information Texts

Level 3 : Assessment Task (VPAU 503.1) Listening/Viewing

WHAT IF ....?

New Vocab: ... to check on / to switch on remotely / zero emissions / to top up / to power

If you have problems with the form below click here to open it in a new window

Reading (Level 3)
VPAU 505.1

Discussion : What do you know about this car? Where is it from? How is different to other cars?

Reading Text (Simple Wikipedia)

Download and print the Assessment Task

Task only available to DSCH students and members of Dale Pobega's Free ESL Facebook Club)

Bring the task to class or send it to me via email

DISCUSSION (Level 1 + 2) / READING/WRITING (Level 2 and 3) 


Download this reading comprehension worksheet (VPAU505.1)

WRITING (Opinion)

SUPPOSE ... = guess / assume ...something 

eg. I suppose they'll come

Online Exercise 1/2/3/4 (English Grammar Lessons)


eg. If I were you ... +would/could, etc

Online Matching Exercise (Englisch-Hilfen)

And as usual we need to review our use of Relative Pronouns and Clauses, don't we? (Do this exercise)


Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Instructions, Directions and Getting Things Done


Listening/Viewing Comprehension - (Level 1&2) VPAU 494, 495, 498, 500,

(i) Watch the video about How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Porridge

(ii) Complete this online exercise about porridge making (from


Introduction : When you go to the hairdresser what do you say ...?

You have been studying instructions this term. 
Let's talk about hair, haircuts and hair styles.

Do you like your hair? Where do you get your hair cut? Would you like a new hairstyle?
Would you like highlights or a new colour? 

VOCABULARY: long, short, medium length, bald, blond, brunette, red head, curly, straight, permed, dye, tint, highlights,shaved, trim, layered, tapered, fringe, side-burns around the sides / on the top / up the back / combed / blow dried / shampooed/

Can you add some more words? Here is a vocabulary list to download (word doc)


Exercise 2 Listen to the story and complete the dictation. (Fold / write / check)


Watch the video below. How does this woman trim her hair. Can you write instructions?



Having / Getting something done ... (Level 2 /3)

Exercise One (Put in Order)

Exercise Two (Mix and Match)

Exercise Three (Complete the sentences)

Other interactive exercises like these are at

SPEAKING Asking the hairdresser or barber for a haircut

Use the video to help you write your dialogue about going to the hairdresser or barber with a friend 


                                                                                                          X You are here

Exercise 1: With your teacher or a classmate, give and ask directions using the map

Exercise 2: Complete these online exercises using the same map (from


(Level 3)- Information Text 2 (VPAU 503)

(i) Watch the video about the Lyre Bird
(ii) Complete this online exercise about the video and complete the webquest about Sir David Attenborough (you can also view the video again on this page) (from

Sunday, February 24, 2013

You in the Community

This week we begin our first Elective - the Local Community (VPAU557) - which we will be studying for two terms

DISCUSSION : What is a Community?

Where do you live?

What services or facilities are nearby? (eg. schools, shops, libraries, parks, train stations)

READING (Level 2 and 3)  (from Local Stuff - SA Govt)

Vocabulary : to have been down to / to head home / to call into / to log on / to involve the use of / to maintain / to provide / stormwater / drainage

Exercise 1: Use your dictionary or Google Translate to find the meanings of the vocabulary above

Exercise 2: Find your house using Google Maps. Look for nearby services and facilities.

Exercise 3 : Click on the picture of the Brimbank City Council below (or here).

(i) What services are listed in the Community Directory?
(ii) Where would you go to make a request for a service?
(iii) How can you pay your rates?

Reading Activity: Brimbank City Council Info Hunt

Download the worksheet and use the Brimbank City Council website to answer the questions

LISTENING - Community Places Game (10 - 20 mins) from English


1) In your book write down the numbers 1 - 10;

2) Listen to the clues Jason reads to you. Write your answers next to the numbers;

3) Ask your teacher to pause the video between the clues Jason reads;

4) Can you remember some of the clues?
 ... eg. a post office is a place where you go to send a letter;

5) Do some of the grammar exercises below about ... where ..., ...who ..., etc.

GRAMMAR : Defining Relative Clauses (...where..., ...who..., ...which..., ...that...)

eg. a post office is a place where you go to send a letter

eg. a Mayor is a person who is the head of a council

Exercise 1: Can you write some sentences about your community with a defining relative clause?

Exercise 2: Try these exercises (Level 1 - ex.1 only)

 (24/7 Discussion!!!)

What are we talking about this week? ... Duke Street's New Community Garden!!!