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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lang 7. Everyday problems. Making the most of from vocabulary books

Lang 7. Everyday problems. Making the most of vocabulary books           level 4-5     20-30 min

GOAL. To reflect on learner’s production and ponder the quality of their language work.

BACKGROUND. The successful Cambridge University Press series Vocabulary in Use offers you a complete and varied set of units with different levels plus a Test your vocabulary in use at each level.
Most students find that learning words can be improved when they produce some ‘work’ with the input and the exercises.

In this worksheet you will find three real examples from Pilar, Santi and Xavier. These learners were dealing with the input offered in Unit 37 from the Vocabulary in Use Upper intermediate.

TASK 1. Read what they wrote about their language work and answer the questions below.

Pilar says:   “With this unit 37. Everyday problems I have done two activities on my own:
   A. I selected the more interesting examples  and rephrased them in another context
   B. I needed to check some language reference for some expressions”

Santi says:  “I wrote down some vocabulary notes and later created a wordnet with some categories:
   A. Words related to the body – words related to objects – words related to water in the house.
   B. I paid attention to processes and semantic associations.
   C. I  made a flow chart with arrows (Example: compact or pieces or machines)”

Xavier says: “After I did the exercises in the book I wrote an 80-word text trying to activate the expressions and vocabulary studied and handed it in next class. Then the teacher made some comments to improve my text.”


Q1. Which learner spent the most time working?  .............................  The least time? .....................
Q2. Who activated more language items?             ....................................................
Q3. Who was the most creative?  .............................  The least?  .............................
Q4. Which learning style is the most similar to yours?  ....................................................
Q5. Why?  ................. .................................. ............................. .................. ..................................

TASK2. Observe Pilar’s notebook ans answer the questions below.

                                                                              
A. A. I selected the most interesting examples  and rephrased them in another context:
A.  Words used for things that go wrong in houses and flats
1. The lights are not working, there must be a power-cut
1a. The power-cut is over. Let’s see if the lights in the cellar are working
2. The washing machine broke down the other day. I’ll have to wash by hand.
2a. My mum has been washing by hand for the last ten days because the washing
machine broke down and the mechanic couldn’t find the right repair piece.
3. The bathroom’s flooded! Get a mop, quick!
3a.  The twins couldn’t mop the flooded kitchen by the time their brother got home.
For everyday minor injuries:
4. I bumped  my head against the cupboard door and got a bruise.
4a. My leg got bruised when I bumped onto the garden gate.
For other everyday problems:
5. I’ve mislaid Bob’s letter. Have you seen it anywhere?
5a. Silvia always mislays her reading glasses when we go to the theater.
6. The kitchen clock’s fast. What time do you make it?
6a. At dawn, my watch was 4 minutes slow, now  is 3 minutes fast. Pep, how does it do it?

B. Language reference checked with the following items.
Do they need to BE or to HAVE  + past participle?
  The kitchen door-handle’s come off. > ....... auxiliary HAVE > has come off
  I’m sorry, your cup’s chipped. > ... ........ auxiliary HAVE > has chipped
  The sink’s blocked >   ....... .. ....... auxiliary BE >      is blocked


Q1. Did you do anything similar when you studied vocabulary? .............................
Q2. Can you rephrase a couple of Pilar’s sentences in another context:
sentence 3: . .................. ............................... ............................. .................. ..................................
sentence 5: . .................. ............................... ............................. .................. ..................................
Q3. Do you agree with her grammar explanations? .................................
Q4. How successful do you consider Pilar’s work to be?  Why? ....................................................
.................. .................................. ............................. .................. ..................................
Q5. Do you find it interesting to devise your own extra-activities?  ..............................

TASK 3. Study Santi’s wordnet, wordmap or spiderweb, and answer the questions below.

Q1. Fill in the blanks in these sentences:
Ø  When objects are made of pieces some of them can c..............   .......   and have to be put on again: you have to ............  a door handle or to  ........ a jacket button.
Ø  When objects are compact they can be damaged in different ways: furniture ............., pipes ........... and a cup ...........
Ø  Machines can be powered by electicity or batteries. If they are not working perhaps it is due to a short-circuit and there’s been a ...............- ......... or in the case of a videocamera i has ........   ...... of batteries.
Q2. How successful do you consider Santi’s work to be?  Why? ....................................................
.................. .................................. ............................. .................. ..................................
Q5. Do you find it interesting to devise your own wordnets?  ..............................

TASK 4. Read Xavi’s first composition  and answer the questions below.
I hate Mondays. It was Monday november 13 th. I made coffee but when I was in the bathroom there wasn’t any running water. I was getting angry as my shower had to wait until the evening and making my toasts I realised of an extra job: phone  the plumber before leaving. Then with the mug still on my hand as I tried to place it in the sink I slipped and fell down. As a result I got a large bruise on my knee. Should I omit that my mug and saucer chipped?
As fast as I could I dressed myself. I rushed down to the garage, got into my Golf but the engine didn’t start. I run to the bus stop to be in time and I missed the 8:12 bus and all my chances to arrive at work on time. After a bad day in the office the evening was much worse. The bathroom flooded and the main pipe was leaking.

Q1. How successful do you consider Santi’s work to be?  ............................................................
Q2. There are eight expressions in bold type. Are they naturally activated?  .................................
Q3. He confessed it took 18 minutes to be written. How long would it have taken to you?  .............

TASK 5. Read the teacher’s feedback and answer the final question.
Dear Xavier, you should 1) Find a suitable title to the piece, 2) Include underlined expressions to enhance the communication, 3) Add an introductory passage to “It was Monday November ....” and 4) check some minor spelling and punctuation notes.
The most chaotic day in Barbara’s life

Mondays have always been unlucky days for me because the stress of starting a new week enters my body and my mind in  a shocking way, as I’m going to tell you. Where shall I start? Begin at the beginning is always the best way. It was Monday November 13th. I made coffee, had a full breakfast but when I was in the bathroom there wasn’t any running water.
I was getting angry as a refreshing shower would have to wait until the evening and while making my toasts I realised that one extra job to be done: phone  the plumber before leaving. Then with the mug still in my hand, I slipped and fell down as I tried to place it in the sink. As a result, I got a large bruise on my knee. Should I omit that my favourite mug and saucer chipped?
As fast as I could, I dressed myself. I rushed down towards the garage, got into my Golf but the engine didn’t start. I raced towards the bus stop to be on time, ... and you guessed it, I missed the 8:12 bus and all of my chances to arrive at work on time. After a miserable day in the office the evening was much worse. The bathroom flooded and the main pipe was leaking.


Q1. How much does the text change (5% - 10%  -20 % -30% -40% -50%) ?  ..... .............
TASK6. After seeing the three pieces of work answer again the introductory questions.

Q1. Which learner spent the most time working?  ............................  The least  time? .....................
Q2. Who activated more language?             ....................................................
Q3. Who was the most creative?  .............................  The least?  .............................
Q4. Which learning style is the most similar to yours?  ....................................................
Q5. Why?  ................. .................................. ............................. .................. ..................................

FOLLOW-UP
Select three interesting units  from any Vocabulary resources (classbook, CUP series, etc.) and prepare your own language study work following the three samples you studied in this working sheet.

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