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Learning Languages for Life

Month: August 2017

Exam speaking with LC Langauges: Daily routine:

The student you will hear is answering the question “Was your daily routine different before?”

Before listening, think about your own answer. Record yourself answering if possible, and make a note of the language you use.


Video Exercise One: Accuracy

A – Listen to a native speaker answer the question then do the gapped worksheet at the link here (question 2!!!)

B – Look at this list of correct lexical and grammar structures

  1. to go snowboarding
  2. to play computer games
  3. for hours on end
  4. I’m (always) flat out
  5. I don’t have much time
  6. to have a rest and unwind
  7. I wish I had been able to play dolls more than I did

Now watch the answer, the student makes mistakes with the above structures. Can you spot the mistakes she makes?


Check the answers at the end.

Video Exercise Two: Range of Lexical and Grammar Structures

A – These are less common or more complex lexical (vocab) / grammar structures from the LC Languages listening example answer (the link is in exercise one) . If it is a lexical structure, put L, if it is a grammar structure,put G.

  1. Completely different
  2. back when I was at school
  3. as late as possible
  4. to wolf down (some breakfast)
  5. to head off (for school / for work)
  6. I would hang out with friends / we would go over to someone’s place
  7. to go over
  8. (to do something) for hours on end
  9. I should have studied
  10. instead of
  11. If I had been…. I would have gotten
  12. be studious
  13. I (don’t) regret (spending / doing)

Check the answers at the end.


B – Can you remember which of the above expressions she uses? Try and remember and then watch the video above again. Whe you’ve finished check the answers at the end


Speaking Exercise One: Activation

  1. What would you do to unwind back when you were at school?
  2. What time did / do you head off for school? What about now (re-activate the expression)
  3. How often do you have people over? (=invite people to visit your place)
  4. Do you have them over for dinner, or drinks or to watch a movie?
  5. What’s something you do for hours on end?
  6. What’s something you should have done back when you were at school or when you were younger but you didn’t?
  7. If you had been more studious, would your life have changed a lot?
  8. Do you regret doing any of the things you have done in the last two or three years?






Video One: B:

Correct 🙂

Incorrect 🙁

to lay in the sun

on the sun (from Russian)

to go snowboarding

To ride snowboarding

to play computer games

To play in computer games (from Russian)

for hours on end

for hour on end

I’m (always) flat out

I’m a flat -out person (not wrong, but we usually say “I’m always flat out.” and finish

I don’t have much time to + verb

I don’t have many time for + verb

to have a rest and unwind

To get unwind*

I wish I had been able to play dolls more than I did

I wish I could… (I wish I could (II)= I’m sad I can’t do something now.)

* pronunciation is incorrect as well

Video 2 B:


completely different

back when I was at school

as late as possible

to wolf down (some breakfast)

to head off (for school / for work)

I would hang out with friends / we would go over to someone’s place

to go over (to someone’s place)

(to do something) for hours on end

I should have studied

instead of

If I had been…. I would have gotten

be studious

I (don’t) regret (spending / doing)



Elections / Protests: Kenya

Reading 1: Election / Political campaigning


Pre-reading 1: Your life experience – Compare and Contrast

This 2-minute video has no words.

  • compare and contrast this political rally with ones in your country/  that you’ve seen before
  • what’s your linguistic choice to describe what you see


Pre-reading 2: Guess what it’s like in another world

Unlike in countries like Australia and New Zealand, Kenyan politics is connected with tribes. Guess / wildly guess some answers to the following questions

  1. How many tribes do you think there are in politics?
  2. How much does the influence of one or another tribe change?
  3. Has there been any shift away from tribal politics in recent history?

Pre-reading 3: Painting the picture

Two main actors in the article you are about to read are “Uhuru Kenyatta” and “Raila Odinga”.

  1. Looking at their names, does one sound better than the other?
  2. Which actor, Kenyatta or Odinga will have more actions (verbs) in the text?
  3. The following actions are some that are used in the text: GUESS whether the actions are linked to the “Kenyatta” actor or the “Odinga” actor
  • Kenyatta / Odinga outperformed (+) a rival presidential candidate
  • Kenyatta / Odinga was seen to be a credible (+) opposition leader
  • Kenyatta / Odinga has campaigned tirelessly (+) against considerable odds (+)


Now read the text to answer the questions to pre-reading 2, and see if actions linked to the Kenyatta actor are different in level of positivity  to the actions linked with the “Odinga” character. Text here.



Reading 2: post-election protests


Pre-reading 1: Painting the picture

What’s your linguistic choice for the gapped combinations below

e.g. 1: Kenya falls into violence / Kenya descends into violence / Kenya……. into violence


Answers are at the end of the post. Look at them now

Pre-reading 2: What do the actors do?

Now you’ve been exposed to what the actor “Odigna” does in some texts,  have an educated guess what the actors will do

  • “Odinga says”  and / or “Odinga claims”
  • “Protests are held” and / or “protests erupt”
  • “the police used teargas” and / or “The police responded to violence with teargas”  and / or “The police crack down with teargas”

Now read and see (here)


Post – Reading 1: Video versus text

Would you use the linguistic choice from the article to describe the protesters / police actions?



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