Aiton English

Learning Languages for Life

Author: lclanguages (page 1 of 2)

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?



Food and Diet:

Fast food England: does putting a cap on takeaways improve people’s health?

Roziur Choudhury prides himself on offering a healthier alternative at Grillzone, in the east London suburb of Dagenham. Photograph: Teri Pengilley for the Guardian (link below)




Pre-reading: activate ideas

  1. Do you think people in your country eat too much fast food?
  2. What do you think the government should do about fast food
  • ban fastfood outlets (shops)
  • introduce a cap (maximum number) on fastfood outlets
  • introduce a levy (special tax) on fastfood outlets
  • let the market decide

Pre-reading: linguistic choice

What is your linguistic choice for the gapped combinations below?


It is too early to say whether Roziur Choudhury is the future of Britain’s  (1) _______________ fast food sector. For now, he represents its conscience.

(1) flourishing, booming, burgeoning / struggling, waning / lucractive /  vital / insignificant …….     fast food sector


It is too early to say whether Roziur Choudhury is the future of Britain’s  (1) _______________ fast food sector. For now, he represents its conscience.

Choudhury’s smart new Grillzone restaurant, in the east London suburb of Dagenham, aims to be a “healthy” takeaway: golden, corn-fed half-chickens roast _(2)____________ on a rotary grill; chips are fried in low-fat oil; (3) ________ chopped salad is given away free with orders.


“Why would I want to feed people something I would not feed my own family?” Choudhury asks.

At £3.49 for six chicken wings, however, his food is (3)____________  pricey – and the competition around here is (4)__________. There are 61 fast-food joints jostling for business within a mile radius of Grillzone, according to the Centre for Diet and Activity Research’s new “food environment assessment tool”, which offers the public unprecedented analysis of the prevalence of food outlets throughout England.


click here to compare your linguistic choice with the author’s


Food and diet listening and vocab for speaking


Google 1: All roads lead to Bermuda

Reading One: Public Opinion


The article is about how Google tries to influence opinion.

  1. How might Google do this?
  2. Why might Google do this?
  3. How effective is it?
  4. What is your range of linguistic choice for the gapped-combinations below?

“Google uses its (1)________wealth and power to attempt to influence policymakers at every level,” said Daniel Stevens, CfA executive director. “At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the (2)___________ independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”

Google described the report as “highly (3)__________” as it included any work supported by any organisation to which it has ever donated money.


As well as reading the article in the link below, read through the comments and find 4 + that you find (interesting, strange, new, stupid, insightful… etc)


here is the article


Reading Two: Taxes


The article is about Google not paying backtaxes.

Which other companies may be trying not to pay backtaxes?

If Google didn’t pay tax in FRance, where did it pay tax in Europe?


Google (1)_____ $.127 billion bill for back taxes in France ………………………….

Court ruling comes after six-year (2)___________with French tax authority over taxes due for years 2005 to 2010, and could have big implications for  (3)___________________________________. ………………………………

The court added that Google France doesn’t have the human resources or the technical means to allow it to carry out the (4)_____________advertising services on its own…………………………………………….


Here is the article



Follow-up videos

France – same piece of news




Same topic but in Britain:


American take:









Langauge for shareholders: Microsoft

Read the report below from Microsoft’s 2016 annual report. Think about as many words as you can for each gap. When you finish click on the link below

I’m proud of the progress we’ve made as a company this past year and  (1)__________ )about the opportunity for even more progress in the year ahead. We’ve advanced our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to (2) ___________ more. We’ve continued to cultivate a Microsoft (3)______________  in which people connect their individual energies and passions for technology to this mission. We’re leading profound digital transformation both for people and institutions. We’ve (4)____________  strong financial results. And we’re building a (5)____________foundation for an even brighter future.

We generated   (6) $______ billion in revenue. These results reflect exciting new product innovations as well as increases in customer usage and engagement across our businesses.



The next generation of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence is going to transform every life, every industry, and every country.

What this means for organizations is that Microsoft is their partner in digital transformation – engaging (7)  _________, empowering employees, (8)_____________operations, and transforming products.


Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition task


Presentation (pitch) Aim / Features:

  • You will “sell” your  business model and value proposition.
  • It can be for your current business or a business you might start up in the future.
  • The target audience can be start-up partner, investor, major client, or whoover you prefer.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Watch videos below
  2. Conduct own further research as fit (send a link to videos / articles done)
  3. Prepare and practice presentation (with slides if time or inclination allows, without slides if not)


Business model canvas


Case study (If necessary, look up Pokemon game first)


Value proposition canvas

Case study: (if necessary, look up what Amazon Prime is first)




Here is a link to an anki deck that has flashcards for the  “motivation ” topic. The cards are linked to the questions in the ” ☯active thinking, listening, noticing and speaking section ☯


⛏ Building and activating topic related vocabulary ⛏

In the link below there are two boxes, a vocabulary box and an exam questions box. After clicking on the link, look through the questions in the vocabulary box. If you see an epxression in a question that you want to activate, make a note of it in your “to activate” list and then ask yourself the question and answer it out loud, or make a video of yourself doing so.

click here


☯ active thinking active listening active noticing active speaking ☯

On the link below you will find 4 questions related to motivation and an example for each. Rather than just “listening and noting new words”, the following activites will help you

  1.   generate your own ideas and react to others (this is what langugae is for!!)
  2.    become aware of your linguistic choice at the moment
  3.    help you choose specific expressions that you want to activate
  4.    help you develop the habit of speaking more and using this speaking opportunity to activate recently noted expressions


before clicking here  to access the 4 questions and examples, read through the 10 steps below so you can then follow them.

Your ideas and linguistic choice (LC) before listening

  1. think about your ideas to the question
  2. answer the question out loud and record yourself doing it (video or sound)
  3. listen to / watch  the recording and make a note of your active linguistic choice “before” listening, then……..

Listening, reacting and learning4

  1. listen to the example answer once to compare ideas
  2. listen again (pausing and repeating) where necessary to make a note of expressions used that you like and want to activate
  3. click on the green button  to fill in the gaps in the text of the example answer
  4. listen again to check
  5. again make a note of expressions you would like to activate

Post-listeing: Speaking to activate

Do one or both of the following…

  1. Look at the expressions that you noted and identify the speaker’s ideas in the text that the expressions are in.  Think about your opinion  / reaction to these ideas,paying attention to linguistic choice. Then make a video in which you re-tell these ideas (activating the expressions you wanted to activate)   and giving your own opinion on these ideas  (reactivating the expressions where possible)
  2. Look at the question and again think of your own ideas to answer the question.  When you have your ideas,  plan how you can activate expressions from your “to activate list” in  your own answer. Then make a video of yourself giving your own answer and activating the expressions.

Video 1

Your ideas before watching a video about leaders inspiring action

Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

What motivates you to choose the products you choose?

What inspiring leaders can you think of (business, politics, sport..)?

Can you see something common that makes them inspiring?


Now watch the video to compare ideas and pick out new ones



Building expressions

Go through the tapescript briefly and choose five expressions you would like to activate

React to the ideas (activate expressions)

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements (for each question, think of your ideas, then before answering look through your expressions from the previous and your “to activate” list in general to see if you can activate them)


  1. if you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.
  2. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.
  3. The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have; the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.
  4. The first 2.5% of our population are our innovators. The next 13.5% of our population are our early adopters. The next 34% are your early majority, your late majority and your laggards.
  5. Dr. King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by men. And not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws made by the higher authority will we live in a just world.
  6. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.


Video 2

Your ideas before watching the Professor talking about “getting yourself to work towards goals”
  • How conscientious are you / were you as a student?  Who is the most industrious person you know? What makes them so industrious?
  • Do you set up aims for yourself?
  • The speaker mentions the big five personality groups. Read through them below and answer two questions
    1. Are you in one or more of the groups?
    2. How might being in one or another group affect what motivates you?
    • Neuroticism – A tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger, or depression.
    • Extroversion – Energy, surgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation and the company of others.
    • Agreeableness – A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
    • Conscientiousness – A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement.
    • Openness to experience – Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, and unusual ideas; imaginative and curious.

(the above is taken from this page if you want further reading)

  • What things do you value most in yor life (think about relationships, work, free time, possessions, health)?
  • The professor says “you won’t do what you tell yourself to do, you must have noticed that.” Hsa this ever been true for you? If no, then for someone you know? Why does it happen?


Now watch the video (from “Biology traits: performance and prediction)  to compare your ideas and react to new ones


The Professor’s linguistic choice

Read through the sentences below and choose the word (in the brackets) that Peterson chose (both are correct English, but what was his linguistic choice to convey his idea). When finished check your answers at the end

  1. “The more you (like / value) the end goal, the more the micro-processes conneceted with that end goal start to take on a postive charge
  2. “You want to specify a goal that make so say “oh, if that could happen as a consequence of my efforts that would (probably / clearly) be worthwhile”
  3. “(At university / At some stage) you should figure out who it is you’re trying to be and then you use everything you learn as a means building that.”
  4. “It’s important to distinguish between between who you (want to / could) be and who you should be”
  5. “People (usually / often) don’t like to specifiy goals because they don’t like to specify conditions for failure.”
  6. “A schedule can be (very / indredibly) useful,  so you should make a damn schedule and stick to it.”
  7. “I ‘ve got tomorrow, if I was going to set it up to have the best possible day I could have , (honestely / practically) speaking, what would it look like?”
  8. People can end up cracking the whip and then procrastinating because they do not think about what the right ratio of responsibility to reward is,  which leads to them (tyrannizing / demotivating) themselves
Active reacting to linguistic choice

Keeping in mind his linguistic choice, to what extent do you agree / disagree with the above statements / advice?


Reflection on language use

Did you use any of the expressions you recently added to your “to activate list”?

Looking at your list, can you see where you could have activated more when reacting in the previous exercsie?


Extended speaking practice (more “activating” opportunites)

Go back to the page in the link below, only this time answer the questions in the “Exam speaking questions” box.

  • Answer without preparing first.
  • Record if possible.
  • Listen to yourself
  • If you’re not happy and want to improve your active LC,  look through your “to activate list” and plan how you can activate expressions for the question then answer again.

click here






Answers (professor’s linguistic choice)

  1. value
  2. clearly
  3. At university
  4. want to
  5. often
  6. incredibly
  7. practically
  8. tyrannizing













You, Khan and Co. and constructing societies

Before watching

Are some people better at maths than others? Why?

Is the way maths is learnt in your country different from the way that people learn musical instruments or karate?

How important were / are test scores in your country?

Does the coming of the digital age mean we need to change education in our country?

What do you think a “mastery approach” to learning is?


Linguistic Choice

Each gap represents one missing word. How many different words can you think that could be the missing word

  1.  A lot of them were having trouble with math at first, because they had all of these gaps ______________in their learning
  2. they’d get to a calculus class, and they’d be a little bit ____on the algebra
  3. in a lot of ways, this is how you _____ master a lot of things in life.
  4. the whole class will then ______ on to the next subject
  5. I might be in an algebra class or trigonometry class and I hit a _____
  6. it’s important to realize that not only will this make the student learn their exponents better, but it’ll _______the right mindset muscles
  7. a lot of skeptics _________ say, well, hey,
  8. “What percentage of the population do you think is capable of ____mastering calculus
  9. if we let people ____into their potential by mastering concepts they can get there.

check the answers below

Reacting to the ideas with planned LC

Read through the questions below, before answering, think which expressions from the previous exercise you can activate when discussing the questions below. Feel free to also look back through your vocab book / the rest of Khan’s speech.

  1. What points did Khan use the analogies of music / karate and later building a house to demonstrate? How effective are the analogies?
  2. Do you agree that if someone gets a C in a subject it means they have a C branded in their DNA, or will they inevitably be able to improve if they work on it?
  3. How important is grit when it comes to improving in different fields?
  4. How effective do you think the mastery approach to learning is for things like developing a growth mindset, instillling grit or allowng children to take agency over their learning?
  5. Do you agree that the logistics of implementing the mastery approach is doable nowadays? Does it depend on the subject?
  6. Khan says it is imperative to implement such an approach due to the fact we’re entering a digital revolution. What reasons does he give?  To what extent do you agree with his idea and reasoning?



Answers to Linguistic Choice (what Khan actually used)
  1. accumulated
  2. shaky
  3. would
  4. move on to
  5. hit a wall
  6. reinforce
  7. might
  8. truly
  9. tap into

Further watching

below is another video about “fixed mindset versus growth mindset” in children. Think of 5 questions you think may be answered then watch the video




the next video is about schools killing creativity. What points raised in hte last two videos might be raised in the video below about how schools kill creativity?


You and Jeff

“amazon wikipedia”的图片搜索结果

Before reading

The following are tips that Bezos gives  in a article. Before reading, finish the tips yourself then read and compare your ideas with Jeff’s

  • “Base your strategy on things that won’t _________ . “
  • ” (verb) +  (preposition)  + customers”
  • “Our culture is __________ and intense, but if push comes to shove we’ll settle for intense.”
  • “If you want to be __________, you have to be willing to fail.”
  • “Everyone has to be able to work in a ______  _____________ . “


Click here and read


Post – reading

Which three of the tips are the best?

Which are  not so useful?


Before watching

You are going to watch a video in which Besos gives 10 pieces of advice about starting / running a business. Before watching, look at Amzaon’s top 10 core values and answer the question

“Which one (and only one) of these Amazon core values will be mentioned directly in the top 10 tips video?

  • Customer Obsession
  • Ownership
  • Invent and Simplify
  • Are Right, A Lot
  • Hire and Develop the Best
  • Insist on the Highest Standards
  • Think Big
  • Bias for Action
  • Frugality
  • Vocally Self Critical
  • Earn Trust of Others
  • Dive Deep
  • Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  • Deliver Results


Now watch and see

Affer watching

Which of the core values could be in some way at least connected with the tips?

Which pieces of advice are the best in your opinion?



Extra – activity

Make a list of core values for your company.



C2 reading: Terrorism, fridges and 3rd conditional

Your ideas before reading

The newspaper article (from the Sydney Morning Herald – SMH) for you to read below is about a conservative journal editor and his criticism of the ABC (ABC = Australian Brooadcasting Corporation = the Australian Version of the BBC, in Canada it is CBC). Activate your ideas before reading by answering these questions:

  • Why do you think the editor of Quadrant, the conservative Australian journal, is crtical of the ABC?
  • Why might he be critical of the ABC in relation to a terrorist attack in Britain?

Read the ideas in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article heading and the beginning of the text

“Quadrant online editor Roger Franklin laments that Manchester blast was not against ABC”

“the online editor of  the Australian conservative journal Quadrant wrote an opinion piece saying that, “had there been a shred of justice”, the Manchester blast would have “detonated in an Ultimo TV studio (=ABC headquarters).” He added that, if such an attack took place, “none of the (ABC) panel’s likely casualties would have represented the slightest reduction in humanity’s intelligence, decency, empathy or honesty”


Pause and react to the ideas and linguistic choice (LC)  in the first part of the SMH article

  1. Would you say that Roger Franklin is critical, highly critical, or incredibly critical of the ABC?
  2. How does his linguistic choice of actions, actor/actees and describors  show this?
  3. Do you agree with the SMH newspaper author’s choice that Franklin is “lamenting”?
  4. Why does Franklin need to use 3rd conditional to convey his idea?
  5. What is the difference in LC between “had there been a shred of justice” and “if there had been a shred in justice”?
  6. How do you feel about Roger Franklin’s choice of language to convey his ideas?


Predict ideas before reading more

  • What will be  the reaction of the ABC?
  • Apart from ABC / Quadrant representatives, who else might be quoted in this article?
  • Will Franklin, the editor of the conservative journal, try and justify his LC?
  • Will the SMH newspaper article be critical of Rogers or supportive of him?


Read and react to the ideas in the rest of the SMH article by clicking here



Further ideas to read and react to

Below is the original article by Franklin. Follow the active reading steps of

  • reading the heading and introduction to understand the topic of the article
  • thinking about the aim of the author and how his / her LC shows this
  • reacting to the author’s ideas with your own
  • predicting what ideas / LC will the further in the text (by formulating questions you think may be answered)

Clck here to start



















British Elections: Brexit – healthcare – immigration – tax – education


Your ideas before reading

  • With Brexit, to what extent should Britian try remain in Eu trade, immigration and governing programs?
  • In your country, would it be a good idea to increase VAT or income tax?
  • Should your  government try to increase net migration, or should they bear down on migration? Does it matter if it is low or high skilled?
  • Should your government increase spending in your nation healthcare system? (in Britain = NHS – National Health Service)
  • Should your government make adjustments to your education system?


Read and react

Click on the link below to compare your ideas with the condervative party of Great Britian and the United Kingdom

Tory general election manifesto: key points and analysis



Your ideas before watching

  • Is your social care system complex or straightforward?
  • Does your government provide free winter fuel for everyone (to keep houses / flats warm in a cold winter)? How expensive is this? If you’re in a hot country, what about cooling?
  • When elderly people need social care, be it in a nursing home or if a social care worker comes to their house, does the family or government pay for this? E.g. if someone has dementia but the children are busy working, who pays for the social care that is given to the person with dementia?
  • Do your politicians meet their pledges?


Watch and react

Hunt’s Linguistic Choice

Read the questions and answer from memory, then watch and fill in the remaining answers. After you’ve finished, scroll down to check the answers below

  1. What describors Did Hunt use to describe the socal care system at the moment?
  2. When talking about the opposition leaders tax plan, what action does Hunt use: “that would ____ jobs for _______ , _______ families”
  3. When talking about the trade-off, why does Hunt keep saying “we’re being very open”?
  4. What expression does Hunt use to emphasize that there is no easy solution “there are no ____   ______”
  5. Hunt refers to “poor / the poorest pensiones”, what is his LC for “rich pensioners?”
  6. When talking about people losing money due to the need to pay for social care down to the last 27,000 pounds, Hunt says “the famileis will be ____ out”
  7. After talking about a negative, Hunt says “at the same time” and then lists positives. What describors does he use when listing the positives

___ cancer survival rates      /     the ____  expansion in mental health in Europe        / t       he ________ improvement in stroke and heart atack survival rate of any OECD         /  you’re seeing NHS staff working ___________ well            /           outcomes are ____________better than five years ago


For a food and diet video + activities click here





  1. Baffling and bewildering
  2. that would destroy jobs for ordinary, working families
  3. to balance the fact that he doesn’t give any specific figures, and also win votes from ordinay, working families
  4. there are no silver bullets
  5. better-off pensioners
  6. they will be cleaned out
  7. record cancer survival rates / the biggest expansion in mental health in Europe / the biggest improvement in stroke and heart atack survival rate of any OECD country . you’re seeing NHS staff working brilliantly well / outcomes are dramatically better than five years ago
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