Activitats

Summary

The objective of this activity is to practise the summary of a text by applying the rules explained in the textbook.

Summarize the following text.

Keyboard basics

A keyboard’s primary function is to act as an input device. Using a keyboard, a person can type a document, use keystroke shortcuts, access menus, play games and perform a variety of other tasks. Keyboards can have different keys depending on the manufacturer, the operating system they’re designed for and whether they are attached to a desktop computer or are part of a laptop. But for the most part, these keys, also called keycaps, are the same size and shape from keyboard to keyboard. They’re also placed at a similar distance from one another in a similar pattern, no matter what language or alphabet the keys represent.

The typing keys include the letters of the alphabet, generally laid out in the same pattern used for typewriters. According to legend, this layout, known as QWERTY for its first six letters, helped keep mechanical typewriters’ metal arms from colliding and jamming as people typed. Some people question this story – whether it’s true or not, the QWERTY pattern had long been a standard by the time computer keyboards came around.

Keyboards can also use a variety of other typing key arrangements. The most widely known is Dvorak, named for its creator, August Dvorak. The Dvorak layout places all of the vowels on the left side of the keyboard and the most common consonants on the right. The most commonly used letters are all found along the home row. The home row is the main row where you place your fingers when you begin typing. People who prefer the Dvorak layout say it increases their typing speed and reduces fatigue. Other layouts include ABCDE, XPeRT, QWERTZ and AZERTY. Each is named for the first keys in the pattern. The QWERTZ and AZERTY arrangements are commonly used in Europe.

The numeric keypad is a more recent addition to the computer keyboard. As the use of computers in business environments increased, so did the need for speedy data entry. Since a large part of the data was numbers, a set of 17 keys, arranged in the same configuration found on adding machines and calculators, was added to the keyboard.

Adapted from howstuffworks.com

Model answer

Keyboard basics

A keyboard is an input device used to perform a variety of tasks, like typing a text, using keystroke shortcuts, accessing menus or playing games. Keyboards can have different keys depending on the manufacturer or whether they belong to a desktop computer or to a laptop, but they all have a similar pattern.

The typing keys include the letters of the alphabet. The most common layout is called QWERTY for its first six letters, but there are other layouts, like Dvorak, where all the vowels are on the left side and the most common consonants on the right side. Other layouts are ABCDE, XPeRT, QWERTZ and AZERTY.

Later on, the numeric keypad was added because the use of computers in business environments increased. Since a large part of the data was numbers, a set of numeric keys arranged as in adding machines and calculators was added to increase typing speed.

Speaking

The objective of this activity is to practise the oral language by talking about yourself.

Read and listen to the following text several times. Then read it aloud and record your voice trying to imitate the pronunciation and the intonation of the original text.

“Hi, my name’s Nick. I’m 30 years old. I live in a flat in the centre of Barcelona with my family. I’m an English teacher and work in a secondary school. I learned English because I like languages, but now I think it’s necessary for many things, especially at work. In my free time, I like walking in the city and reading novels. In summer, my favourite activity is swimming.”

Listen to the text ( 423.8 KB )

Now, type the following text on text-to-speech, listen to it and practice the pronunciation.

“Hi, my name’s Marc. I’m 26 years old. I live in a flat in the centre of Barcelona with my family. I’m an electrician. I have been working as an electrician for 10 years. I work with electrical installations, I do maintenance works and I make repairs of electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures. I also test electrical systems.”

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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