Activitats

Reading comprehension

The objective of this activity is to practise reading comprehension and learn how to look for important information in a text written in simple English.

Read the following text and then answer the questions below:

Computers

A computer is a machine that changes information according to well-defined rules. Computers have existed for much of human history. Examples of early computers are the astrolabe and the abacus. Modern computers have changed very much. They are able to control traffic lights, cars or locks. Most modern computers can be used to play music or video. The basic principle is still the same though: the computer has a set of rules, usually called an algorithm. The computer changes information based on these rules.

A person uses a computer by telling it to do things, like playing movies or going to Wikipedia. Computers do not know English, so people must tell their computers to do things by speaking the computer’s language. The computer’s language is called a programming language. Programmers know this computer’s language and use it to write programs that tell the computer what to do. Normal people use the programs that a programmer wrote to tell the computer what to do.

Computers can do anything that someone can tell them to do. Computers are able to solve mathematical problems because a programmer has told them how to solve math problems. Because computers are very fast, modern computers can solve billions of math problems per second. Computers are used to control factories, which in the past were controlled by humans. They are also in homes, where they are used for things such as listening to music, reading the news, and writing.

From Wikipedia

  1. What is a computer, according to the text?
  2. Which is the basic principle of all computers?
  3. What do programmers do? And normal people?
  4. Why can computers solve mathematical problems?
  5. How are computers used in homes?

Possible answers:

  1. According to the text, a computer is a machine that changes information according to well-defined rules.
  2. The basic principle of all computers is that they all have a set of rules.
  3. The programmers write the programs that tell the computer what to do and normal people use those programs.
  4. They can solve mathematical problems because a programmer has told them how to solve mathematical problems.
  5. They are used for listening to music, reading the news or writing, for example.

Listening comprehension

The objective of this unit is to practise your listening comprehension.

Download and listen to the following text. Then answer the questions below.

Marketing ( 947.7 KB )

  1. How does the speaker feel about marketing?
  2. Does the speaker like campaigns directed at children?
  3. What’s viral marketing?
  4. What type of slogans annoy the speaker?

Transcription:

Marketing is a funny thing. Sometimes I like it, other times I hate it. There is definitely an art to marketing. Some of the advertising campaigns you see are the work of a genius. Someone has thought of a great idea, slogan and advertising campaign to sell us or tell us something. I like it when I can see the creativity. There are other kinds of marketing that make me angry. Ads and campaigns that are directed at children make my blood boil –especially the McDonald‘s ads that do not mention food, but show lots of free, cheap toys. I also hate viral marketing – that’s when you receive spam mail trying to sell you something. I also get annoyed with marketing campaigns that have slogans that are just untrue, like smoking is cool.

Answers:

  1. Sometimes he likes it, other times he hates it.
  2. No, he doesn’t.
  3. It’s when you receive spam mail trying to sell you something.
  4. Slogans that aren’t true.

Giving advice

The objective of this activity is to practice different ways of giving advice.

Read the situations below and then give an appropriate piece of advice for each one.

I’ve got a lot of problems. Could you give me some good advice, please?

  1. I’m tired of cleaning the house.
  2. I need money to pay for the rent.
  3. I never see my children.
  4. I can’t see very well.
  5. My legs hurt.

Suggested answers:

  1. I advise you to hire someone to help you at home.
  2. If I were you, I would ask your children to lend you some money.
  3. You should call them more often.
  4. You had better buy a new pair of glasses.
  5. You should sit down and relax.

Anar a la pàgina anterior:
Hazards and safety
Anar a la pàgina següent:
Self-correcting exercices