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.

Home healthcare

Did you know that the home healthcare field is projected to increase in demand by over 50% in just the next 10 years alone? Did you also know that a job as a home caregiver is a great stepping stone on your way to more prestigious jobs in the medical / healthcare field?

What is a Home Health Aide? Home health aides, otherwise known as home healthcare support, home caregivers, or simply health aides, are people who are in charged of taking care of either physically or mentally challenged (or both) individuals in lieu of full time hospitalization.

Especially for elderly patients, hiring a health aide is an economical, and most would say more dignified, alternative to a nursing home. Health aide agencies offer a cheap way to get personal medical support that you can trust and count on.

Most importantly, as a home health aide you will be making a monumental difference in your patients’ lives. The one-on-one attention and support offered by a personal health aide far surpasses that offered in the crowded environment of a nursing home or hospital. That means more peace and happiness for the patients, and less stress and worry for the patients’ children (who are often the ones otherwise responsible).

Throughout your home health aide training you will learn to carry out a wide array of duties, from basic medical tasks to assisting in household chores. Sometimes you may be working with a licensed nurse or other healthcare professional, sometimes you will be working with other health aides from your agency, and sometimes you may be working alone with your patient.

Here are a few of the more common home health aide duties:

  • Give the proper dosage of medicine to a patient.
  • Help a patient to change their dressings or clothes.
  • Assist with nutrition and meal preparation, depending on their condition and your hours.
  • Go out to run errands either with or for the patient (such as grocery shopping or to a doctor’s appointment).
  • Keep a log of the patient’s daily progress, ranging from meals to bathroom frequency.
  • Assist in bathing, cleaning, and other hygienically-related tasks.
  • Basic housekeeping duties, such as cleaning, organizing and any other chores the patient is incapable of completing alone.

Your specific duties will vary widely from patient to patient. However, as you can see, despite the wide variety in responsibilities, most of the tasks are actually quite simple to carry out. This is why home health aid training is both cheaper and faster than most other healthcare professions.

Adapted from Home Health Aide Training

Questions:

  1. What are the future perspectives for a job as a home health aide?
  2. What are the advantages for elderly people of hiring a health aide instead of going to a nursing home?
  3. In which way can a home health aide influence the patient’s life?
  4. What does a home health aide learn to do during his or her training?
  5. Give three examples of home health aide duties.

Suggested answers:

  1. The perspectives are that the demand will increase by over 50% in the next 10 years.
  2. The advantages are that hiring a health aide is more economical and probably also more dignified than a nursing home.
  3. The personal attention and support of a personal health aide means more peace and happiness for the patients, and less stress and worry for the patients’ children.
  4. A home health aide learns how to carry out a wide array of duties, from basic medical tasks to assisting in household chores.
  5. For example, give the proper dosage of medicine to a patient, help a patient to change their dressings or clothes and assist with nutrition and meal preparation.

Speaking: making and responding to requests

The objective of this activity is to practise the speaking skills by making some requests.

Read the following situations and then make an appropriate request for each one. Record your voice to check your answers.

  1. You turn on the computer, but it doesn’t work.
  2. You are at work. You feel it’s very hot in the office.
  3. You feel very thirsty.
  4. Your workmate is playing music too loudly and you’ve got a headache.
  5. You have a lot of work and have to take a packet to the post office, but you have no time.
  6. You desperately need a coffee, but you have no money. You ask a colleague to lend you some.

Now download and listen to the following requests and respond appropriately, either to agree or to disagree.

Requests ( 350.3 KB )

Note: there’s no correct answer to this activity. 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:

Pensions ( 854.4 KB )

  1. What did the speaker think about having a pension before?
  2. What does he think now?
  3. Will the speaker receive a big pension when he retires?
  4. Why does the speaker think he’s lucky?
  5. Why is it unfair that CEOs receive multi-million-dollar pensions?

Suggested answers:

  1. He thought it was strange to start saving in his twenties for life in his seventies.
  2. He thinks that he should have started his pension earlier.
  3. No, he won’t.
  4. Because he lives in a country where the government gives you some kind of pension.
  5. Because CEOs aren’t better than other people.

Transcription:

Do you have a pension? I didn’t have one for many years. I always thought it was strange to start saving in my twenties for life in my seventies. Now, I wish I had started my pension earlier. My pension would be much bigger. The pension my government will give me isn’t so big. It isn’t really enough to survive on. Nowadays people need to think carefully about their pension and how they will get by when they retire. I’m lucky because I live in a country where the government gives you some kind of pension. In many countries, you get nothing. I can’t believe the pensions some people get. When company CEOs retire, they get a multi-million-dollar pension. That doesn’t seem fair. They aren’t better than other people.

Word order

The objective of this activity is to be aware of the correct order of words in English sentences.

Put the words in the following sentences in the correct order. It’s not necessary to add or change any words.

  1. You do like my house new?
  2. I an email Mr Smith sent.
  3. Here please down sit.
  4. He speak well quite English can.
  5. We in 1962 to the city moved.
  6. He busy is. He Mr Jones talking is to.
  7. I do like not in the morning at 5 getting up.
  8. I in my job visit often houses other people’s.

  1. Do you like my new house?
  2. I sent Mr Smith an email.
  3. Sit down here, please. / Please, sit down here.
  4. He can speak English quite well.
  5. We moved to the city in 1962.
  6. He is busy. He is talking to Mr Jones.
  7. I do not like getting up at 5 in the morning.
  8. In my job, I often visit other people’s houses / I often visit other people’s houses in my job.

Question structure

The aim of this activity is to be aware of the correct structure in English sentences.

Write the questions that correspond to these answers:

Example: My name is John. - What is your name?

1. I live in London

Where do you live?

2. Yes, I am a teacher.

Are you a teacher?

3. That is Mr Spencer.

Who is that?

4. I arrived last week.

When did you arrive?

5. No, I can’t speak German.

Can you speak German?

6. Oh, yes, I like reading very much.

Do you like reading?

The passive voice

The objective of this activity is to be aware of the use of the passive voice in texts and practise the formation of the verb tenses.

The following text will sound more natural if you use the passive voice instead of the active voice. All the underlined examples have indefinite subjects, so the passive voice is preferred. Rewrite the text changing the sentences in bold type from the active into the passive voice.

People normally believe that good qualifications and a long experience are the most important aspects to get a job when there is a lot of competition. But people should also consider another aspect. If they offer you a job and must go to an interview, remember to dress appropriately and show a good aspect. They have shown good looks to be the main reason for choosing a candidate, even above qualifications and experience. They will choose a good-looking person instead of an intelligent, but queer-looking person. So remember, next time they call you to go to a job interview, be careful with your aspect.

Answer:

It is normally believed that good qualifications and a long experience are the most important aspects to get a job when there is a lot of competition. But another aspect should also be considered. If you are offered a job and must go to an interview, remember to dress appropriately and show a good aspect. Good looks have been shown to be the main reason for choosing a candidate, even above qualifications and experience. A good-looking person will be chosen instead of an intelligent, but queer-looking person. So remember, next time you are called to go to a job interview, be careful with your aspect.

Making requests

The objective of this activity is to be conscious of the different expressions used to make requests and write down the appropriate sentences.

Read the following situations and then write an appropriate request for each one, as in the example (make sure that you choose the most appropriate request for each situation):

Example: You are reading at home and the television is very loud. Turn down the television!

  1. You’ve got a headache.
  2. The air conditioning is very high and you’re cold.
  3. A person is talking to you but you don’t understand what he/she is saying.
  4. You need help to move a table.
  5. You need to go shopping but you have no time.
  6. You want to eat in a restaurant but you don’t like going alone.

Suggested answers:

  1. Can you stop shouting, please?
  2. Could you turn down the air conditioning, please? It’s very cold.
  3. Would you speak louder?
  4. Can you help me move this table?
  5. Will you go shopping for me, please?
  6. Could you come with me, please?

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