Activities

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.

People with disabilities

Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person’s lifetime.

Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus, disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.

An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard or norm. Such impairments may include physical, sensory, and cognitive or developmental disabilities. Mental disorders and various types of chronic disease may also qualify as disabilities.

Some advocates object to describing certain conditions (notably deafness and autism) as “disabilities”, arguing that it is more appropriate to consider them developmental differences that have been unfairly stigmatized by society.

Conditions causing disability are classified by the medical community as: inherited (genetically transmitted); congenital, meaning caused by a mother’s infection during pregnancy, or by injury during or soon after birth; and acquired, such as conditions caused by illness or injury; or of unknown origin.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (1995, extended in 2005), in the United Kingdom it is unlawful for organisations to discriminate (treat a disabled person less favourably, for reasons related to the person’s disability, without justification) in employment, in the access to goods, facilities and services, in the managing, buying or renting of land or property and in education. Businesses must make “reasonable adjustments” to their policies or practices, or physical aspects of their premises, to avoid indirect discrimination.

Since 2010 the Disability Discrimination Act has been replaced with the Equality Act 2010. This act still protects disabled people against discrimination but also encompasses a number of other characteristics including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

A number of financial and care support services are available, including Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance.

Adapted from Wikipedia

Questions:

  1. What’s the origin of a person’s disability?
  2. Why do some people disagree with describing deafness and autism as disabilities?
  3. How are conditions causing disability classified?
  4. What does the DDA of 1995 guarantee?
  5. What’s the difference between the more recent Equality Act 2010 and the DDA?

Suggested answers:

  1. The origin is an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these.
  2. Because they think it is more appropriate to consider them developmental differences that have been unfairly stigmatized by society.
  3. They are classified as inherited, congenital and acquired.
  4. The DDA guarantees that people with a disability are not discriminated in employment, in the access to goods, facilities and services, in the managing, buying or renting of land or property and in education.
  5. The difference is that the new Equality Act 2010 also includes other characteristics like age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

Speaking: talking about your job

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

Imagine that you are at a job interview and the interviewer asks you the following:

  • Now please tell me a little bit about your previous experience.

Give a short explanation of your job experience. Record and listen to your voice 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:

Mental health ( 849.4 KB )

  1. Why does the speaker think he’s going crazy?
  2. What happened a hundred years ago?
  3. What’s the good thing nowadays?
  4. What’s the problem with mental health specialists?
  5. What does the speaker recommend for our mental health?

Suggested answers:

  1. Because in the world we live in, everything’s so fast, everyone’s in a hurry and everything has to be done yesterday.
  2. Life wasn’t so stressful.
  3. Today there are mental health specialists who can help us.
  4. They keep on thinking up new mental health problems.
  5. We need to take a step back, slow down, laugh more and care more.

Transcription:

I sometimes worry about my mental health. There are times when I think I’m going crazy. I think it’s because of this world we live in. Everything is so fast. Everyone is in a hurry. Everything has to be done yesterday. I’m sure life wasn’t so stressful a hundred years ago. Then, people’s mental health was probably better. The only good thing nowadays is that there are mental health specialists who can help us when we are in trouble. But, there is a problem with these experts. They keep on thinking up new mental health problems we suffer from. What we all need is to take a step back and slow down. That will be good for our mental health. We need to laugh more and care more. If we don’t do this, we’ll all have mental health problems.

Questionnaire

The objective of this activity is to practise the use of the present tenses.

Answer the following questions about your job:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. Are you working at the moment?
  3. What do you do? / What’s your job?
  4. What time do you get up?
  5. What time do you start work?
  6. What tasks do you do in your job?
  7. Do you go home for lunch?
  8. What time do you finish work?
  9. Do you like your job? Why? Why not?
  10. What do you normally do after work?

Suggested answers:

  1. I live in (Barcelona).
  2. Yes, I am / No, I’m not.
  3. I’m (a firefighter).
  4. I get up at (seven o’clock everyday).
  5. I (sometimes) start at (8 in the morning).
  6. I (extinguish fires and rescue people).
  7. Yes, I do / No, I don’t.
  8. I finish work at (8 in the evening).
  9. Yes, I do because I helping people.
  10. I normally (watch television) after work.

Questionnaire about your job

The objective of this activity is to practise the use of the present tenses and to prepare the contents of a writing activity.

Answer the following questions about your job:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. Are you working at the moment?
  3. What do you do? / What’s your job?
  4. What time do you get up?
  5. What time do you start work?
  6. What tasks do you do in your job?
  7. Do you go home for lunch?
  8. What time do you finish work?
  9. Do you like your job? Why? Why not?
  10. What do you normally do after work?

Suggested answers:

  1. I live in (Barcelona).
  2. Yes, I am / No, I’m not.
  3. I’m (an electrician).
  4. I get up at (seven o’clock everyday).
  5. I (sometimes) start at (8:30 am).
  6. I (prepare activities and correct exercises).
  7. Yes, I do / No, I don’t.
  8. I finish work at (2 pm or at 8 pm, depending on the day).
  9. Yes, I do because I like teaching and working with new technologies.
  10. I normally (watch television) after work.

Talking about the present

The objective of this activity is to practise the writing of a text using the present tense to describe habitual actions as well as the use of connectors to link different ideas.

Write a short text describing your job. You can use the answers to the questionnaire about your job to get the necessary information. Use present tenses to describe actions that happen regularly. Also, different connectors to link different ideas. If you have no job, just describe a normal day in your life.

Suggested answer (verb tenses are underlined and connectors are in italics)

My job

I live in Barcelona. At the moment I am working as a teacher in Barcelona, too. I get up at 7 am everyday, but I start work at a different time everyday because I have very flexible hours. I start at 8:30 am three days a week and at 3:30 pm two other days. But I also work a lot at home, even at weekends.

In my job, I do different tasks, as for example, answering mails, prepararing activities, correcting exercises, attending meetings and doing lots of paper work. I usually go home for lunch, but sometimes I have to eat in a restaurant to continue work in the evening. However, I usually finish work at 2 pm, so I can have lunch at home.

I like my job because I work with new technologies and because I like teaching. After work, what I like the most is watching television for a while.

Talking about the past

The objective of this activity is to learn how to write a text in the past tense.

Read the following situation:

“You go to buy a computer. You don’t want to spend much money, so you finally decide to buy a second-hand laptop. You pay €90. You go home and start the computer. Then the problems begin. The programs take a long time to load or they don’t load at all, and the fan is very noisy. On the other hand, the disk drive can’t read any CDs. You go back to the shop and complain.”

A week later, you tell a friend what happened. Re-write the text above in the past tense. You must also change from the second to the first person. Begin like this:

“Last week, I went to a computer shop. I …”

Answer (the verb past forms are in italics):

“Last week, I went to a computer shop. I didn’t want to spend much money, so I finally decided to buy a second-hand laptop. I paid €90. I went home and started the computer. Then the problems began. The programs took a long time to load or they didn’t load at all, and the fan was very noisy. On the other hand, the disk drive couldn’t read any CDs. I went back to the shop and complained.”

The present perfect

The objective of this activity is to practise the formation of the present perfect tense and use it in a specific context.

Write eight things that you have or haven’t done this week, as in the example.

Example: I have gone to the zoo.

Suggested answers:

  1. I have eaten in a restaurant.
  2. I haven’t travelled by train.
  3. I have taken the bus to go to work.
  4. I haven’t spoken any English.
  5. I have read a lot.
  6. I haven’t seen any films.
  7. I have watched television.
  8. I haven’t played football.

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Mental disorders
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Self-correcting exercices