Reading comprehension

The objective of this activity is to practise the comprehension of a written text and write the answers in well-structured and complete sentences.

Read the following text and then answer the questions below.

The Secrets of Long Life

What is the secret of longevity? Here there are three examples of people who lived longer than 100 years.

Claire Bellchamp is now 112 years old. She lives in Buenos Aires. She has lived there all her life. If she is asked about the secret of longevity, she does not really know what to say, maybe because of genes, or of her own nature. She is very calm, she does not know stress. She enjoys the small pleasures of life. She confessed that she drinks a glass of wine every day, she smokes a cigarrette after meals, and she is very fond of chocolate. She knows that these habits are not healthy, but she does not worry about it anymore, as she has reached the age of 112 and she is still active.

Patrick Marvin is from Southampton. He was 65 when he started worrying about age. He made a promise to himself that he was going to live at least up to 100 years. It was a challenge for him, so he bought books about the secrets of living a long life and took notes about other people’s experiences. Now that he is 115, he is proud of himself and tells everyone what they should do and what they should avoid doing. His advice is to follow the same daily routine, to eat fish and vegetables every day, to avoid bad habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol, and to do regular exercise.

Gloria Prevost lives in Dinan, a small village in France. It is a medieval town and it keeps the charm of the old times. Gloria is in love with the place, where she was born. She says that she is still alive, she’s now 108, thanks to the place that gives her peace of mind. “No doubt, Dinan is the secret of long life.”


  1. Where is Ms Bellchamp from?
  2. How different is Claire’s to Patrick’s attitude towards longevity?
  3. What was Patrick’s decision at the age of 65?
  4. What is Patrick’s advice to anyone who wants to live a long life?
  5. Who is the oldest of the three?
  6. Why is Dinan such a special place for Gloria?
  7. Give some tips on how to live a healthy life.

Suggested answers:

  1. She is from Buenos Aires.
  2. She is calm, she does not worry about leading a healthy life and she does not know how she has lived for so long. Patrick has had a daily routine for years and led a healthy life so that he could live longer.
  3. He decided that he wanted to live at least up to 100 years old.
  4. His advice is to follow the same daily routine, to eat fish and vegetables every day, to avoid bad habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol, and to do regular exercise.
  5. Patrick is the oldest.
  6. Because she was born there and it gives her peace of mind.
  7. In order to live a healthy life you should do regular exercise. You should not eat too much meat. You should not take drugs or smoke. You should watch your weight.

Consells per contestar les preguntes de comprensió lectora:

Primer cal llegir atentament la pregunta per saber exactament el que es demana. Després buscar la informació que necessitem al text i contestar adaptant la resposta a la pregunta. És molt important que les frases estiguin estructurades correctament: “Subjecte”+“verb”+“complements”.

1. En aquesta pregunta es demana per la procedència de Ms Bellchamp. Si mirem al text veiem que viu a Buenos Aires. Per contestar hem d’adaptar la resposta a la pregunta: “Where is she from?” - “She is from …”

2. Aquesta pregunta és més complicada. Requereix buscar la informació que ens donen la Claire i en Patrick i veure quines són les diferències. Aquesta és una proposta de resposta, però d’altres també poden ser correctes.

3 En aquesta pregunta hi ha les paraules clau “Patrick” i “65”. Anem al text, localitzem aquestes paraules i llegim les frases on es troben. Cal entendre bé el text i després contestar a la pregunta. També podríem contestar: “His decision was to live a long life”, o qualsevol resposta similar.

4 En aquesta pregunta, gairebé podem copiar-ho tot del text. La pregunta és: “What is Patrick’s advice?”, la resposta: “His advice is…” (utilitzem el possessiu “his” perquè ens referim a en Patrick (home). Si fos la Claire, hauríem utilitzat “her”.)

5 En aquesta pregunta apareix el superlatiu “oldest”. “Old”, que significa “gran” o “vell”, es converteix en “el més gran” o “el més vell” quan afegim l’article “the” al davant de l’adjectiu i la partícula “-est” al darrera de l’adjectiu “old”. Mirem l’edat dels personatges del text i contestem: “The oldest is…” o com a l’exemple: “Patrick is the oldest”.

6 Llegim atentament la pregunta. “Why?”= “perquè?” es contesta en anglès amb “because”. Anem al text i extraiem la informació. No podem copiar directament del text. Hem d’adaptar la resposta a la pregunta. En l’exemple hem donat dues raons de perquè Dinan és un lloc tan especial, que és que la Gloria va néixer allà i li dóna tranquil·litat d’esperit.

7. Aquesta pregunta és oberta. Està relacionada amb el text, però no hem d’extreure la resposta del text, sinó que hem de donar l’opinió. En l’exemple hem utilitzat l’estructura “should”+“verb” per donar consell.

Speaking: talk about yourself

The objective of this activity is to practise the speaking skills by talking about yourself.

In a few words, explain what is the most difficult aspect of learning English for you and why. Record your voice and then listen to it to check your pronunciation.

Note: there’s no correct answer to this question. To check your pronunciation, type your answers in the text editor in the ‘Text-to-speech’ website and then listen to the pronunciation. Practise as much as you want by repeating the words that you hear.

Listening comprehension

The aim of this activity is to check your listening comprehension by listening to a text.

Listen to the text and then answer the questions:

Business ( 865.5 KB )

  1. Why isn’t a good moment for business, according to the speaker?
  2. What two examples of businesses are given in the text as also having problems?
  3. Why is it a shame that small businesses have gone out of business?
  4. Is the speaker good at business?
  5. Which type of businesses might be good?

Suggested answers:

  1. Because of the global financial crisis.
  2. Car industry and electronics.
  3. Because so many lives are being ruined.
  4. No, he isn’t.
  5. The online businesses.


Business isn’t so good at the moment. In fact, it’s the worst time for businesses for decades. Many businesses are going bust because of the global financial crisis. Even sound businesses like the car industry and electronics are going through a really bad time. Many small businesses have gone out of business. It’s a real shame because so many lives are being ruined. With a lot of businesses it’s a real fight for survival. I really respect people for trying to make a go of their business. I don’t have much business sense. I wouldn’t know where to start in opening my own business. I suppose the best thing would be to look at business startups on the Internet. An online business might be good. There seems to be less risk.

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Life expectancy
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Self-correcting exercises