Activities

Reading

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 answer the questions below:

Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating and cooling is a form of central heating and cooling which achieves indoor climate control for thermal comfort using conduction, radiation and convection.

Modern underfloor heating systems use either electrical resistance elements (“electric systems”) or fluid flowing in pipes (“hydronic systems”) to heat the floor. Electrical resistance can only be used for heating; when space cooling is also required, hydronic systems must be used.

Other applications for which either electric or hydronic systems are suited include snow/ice melting for walks, driveways and landing pads, turf conditioning of football and soccer fields and frost prevention in freezers and skating rinks.

Hydronic systems use water or a mix of water and anti-freeze such as propylene glycol[23] as the heat transfer fluid in a “closed loop” that is recirculated between the floor and the boiler. Hydronic systems can use a single source or combination of energy sources to help manage energy costs. Hydronic system energy source can be boilers, heated by natural gas, propane, coal, electricity, solar thermal, biomass or bio-fuels, or they can be heat pumps, powered by electricity, natural gas o geothermal heat pump.

Electric systems are used only for heating and employ non-corrosive, flexible heating elements including cables, pre-formed cable mats, bronze mesh, and carbon films. Due to their low profile they can be installed in a thermal mass or directly under floor finishes. Electric systems can also take advantage of time-of-use electricity metering and are frequently used as carpet heaters, portable under area rug heaters, under laminate floor heaters, under tile heating, under wood floor heating, and floor warming systems, including under shower floor and seat heating. Electric systems use fewer components and are simpler to install and commission than hydronic systems. Some electric systems use line voltage technology while others use low voltage technology. Power consumption of an electric system is not based on voltage but rather wattage output produced by the heating element.

Low temperature underfloor heating is embedded in the floor or placed under the floor covering. As such it occupies no wall space and creates no burn hazards, nor is it a hazard for physical injuries due to accidental contact leading to tripping and falling. This has been referenced as a positive feature in healthcare facilities including those serving elderly clients and those with dementia. Anecdotally, under similar environmental conditions, heated floors will speed evaporation of wetted floors (showering, cleaning, and spills).

Adapted from Wikipedia

Comprehension questions:
1. What is underfloor radiating used for?
2. What are the two systems that can be used for underfloor heating and cooling?
3. Can both be used for either heating or cooling?
4. What may be the applications of these systems?
5. How do hydronic systems work?
6. What are some of the most common uses of the electric system?
7. Say two advantages of electic systems compared to hydronic systems.
8. How is underfloor heating more convenient compared to other systems?

Answers
1. It is used for thermal comfort.
2. The two systems that can be used for underfloor heating and cooling are electric systems and hydronic systems.
3. No, they can’t. Electric systems can only be used for heating.
4. Two examples of the applications of these systems are ice melting for walks and turf conditioning.
5. They use water and anti-freeze as the heat transfer fluid in a “closed loop” that is recirculated between the floor and the boiler.
6. Some of the most common uses of electric systems are carpet heaters, portable under area rug heaters, under laminate floor heaters, under tile heating, under wood floor heating, and floor warming systems, including under shower floor and seat heating.
7. One of the advantages is that they use fewer components and thet are simpler to install.
8. It is more convenient because it occupies no wall space and creates no burn hazards, nor is it a hazard for physical injuries due to accidental contact leading to tripping and falling.

The first conditional

The objective of this activity is to practise the use of first conditional sentences in a specific context and to check your written expression.

Remember that first conditional sentences are used to talk about real conditions. Say what you will do in these situations:

What will you do…

  1. …if you don’t understand a word in an English text?
  2. …if you want to practise your spoken English?
  3. …if you ever go to London on holiday?
  4. …if you can’t pass the final exams?
  5. …if it rains at the weekend and you can’t go out?
  6. …if you buy a mobile phone and it doesn’t work?

Suggested answers:

  1. I will look it up in a dictionary.
  2. I will speak with a native speaker.
  3. I will visit the British Museum.
  4. I will try again next time.
  5. I will stay at home and watch television.
  6. I will take it back to the shop.

The second conditional

The objective of this activity is to practise the use of second conditional sentences in their specific context and to check your written expression.

Remember that second conditional sentences are used to talk about hypothetical or imaginary conditions. Say what you would do in the following situations:

What would you do…

  1. …if you had a lot of money?
  2. …if you were the Prime Minister in your country?
  3. …if you were born again?
  4. …if you lost your job?
  5. …if somebody stole your passport in another country?
  6. …if you had to work all night?

Suggested answers:

  1. I would buy a flat in the city centre.
  2. I would protect workers.
  3. I would do the same things.
  4. I would try to find another job.
  5. I would go to the police.
  6. I would sleep all morning.

Defining words

The objective of this activity is to practise the use of relative sentences to make definitions of words.

Write a definition of the following concepts by using a relative sentence, as in the example. You can use an online dictionary like Wordreference if you need to look up a definition:

Example: The IOC - The IOC is a school which offers online courses.

  1. A cinema
  2. A firefighter
  3. A dictionary
  4. A whale
  5. Leonardo da Vinci
  6. The Stone Age

Suggested answers:

  1. A cinema is a place where you can watch films.
  2. A firefighter is a professional who/that extinguishes fires and rescues people.
  3. A dictionary is a book where you can find the definition of a word.
  4. A whale is a big animal which/that lives in the sea.
  5. Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter and inventor who lived in the 14th century.
  6. The Stone Age was a period when people used stone to make their tools.

Making suggestions

The objective of this activity is to practise the different forms to make suggestions and to choose the appropriate suggestions in a specific context.

Imagine that a friend tells you that he/she wants to learn English well. Make 6 suggestions telling him/her what he/she could do to reach that objective (use the different forms available to make suggestions).

I’d like to learn English really well. What could I do?

Suggested answers: (the formulas used to make suggestions are in italics)

  1. You could buy a good dictionary.
  2. Why don’t you go to watch films in English?
  3. How about speaking in English as much as possible?
  4. What about doing lots of grammar exercises?
  5. I suggest that you take some English classes in a language school.
  6. I suggest taking a private teacher.

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Self-correcting exercises