GE|Adults|Advanced|1. Developing language

Discuss the quote with your teacher

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«Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that many foreign people still speak foreign languages.»

— David Barry, US writer

 

 

Listen to the sentences and complete the missing words

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1. They married in 2012, but separated two years later.
2. Please don’t embarrass me by wearing that T-shirt!
3. It was a very unusual occurrence.
4. In your driving test you will be asked to perform some standard manoeuvres.
5. There was a consensus of opinion that Mike’s article should not be published.
6. The meal was acceptable, but no more than that.
7. I like all vegetables except broccoli.
8. I think taking the cat with us is an unnecessary complication.
9. We’ll definitely be there by nine.
10. He always referred to his grandfather as «my old man».


Listen to the following poem and correct the spelling mistakes

  • I have a spelling checker
  • It came with my PC
  • It plainly marks for my review
  • Mistakes I cannot see
  • I’ve run this poem through it
  • I’m sure you’re pleased to know
  • It’s letter-perfect in its way
  • My checker told me so


What is the pronunciation of the words?

a ghost [gəʊst] — the spirit of a dead person that a living person believes they can see or hear.

a gnome [nəʊm] — (in stories) a creature like a small man with a pointed hat, who lives under the ground and guards gold.

to know [nəʊ]

the moon [muːn] — the round object that moves around the earth once every 27½ days and shines at night by light reflected from the sun.

blood [blʌd] — the red liquid that flows through the bodies of humans and animals.

mice [maɪs] — plural for a mouse.

a debt [det] — a sum of money that sb owes.

moveable [ˈmuːvəbl] — able to be moved and not fixed in one place or position.

rhubarb [ˈruːbɑːb] — the thick red stems of a garden plant, also called rhubarb, that are cooked and eaten as a fruit.


ghost
ghost

 

gnome
gnome

 

know
know

 

moon
moon

 

blood
blood

 

mice
mice

 

debt
debt

 

moveable
moveable

 

rhubarb
rhubarb

 


Read the review. What do you learn about the spelling and pronunciation of the words above?

Glossary

Flemish [ˈflemɪʃ] — from Flanders, the northern part of present-day Belgium.

monk[mʌŋk] — a member of a religious group of men who often live apart from other people in a monastery.

scribe[skraɪb] — a person who made copies of written documents before printing was invented.

the Norman Invasion — the occupation of England in 1066 by the Normans, who came from the north of France.

orthography [ɔːˈθɒgrəfi] — (formal) the system of spelling in a language.

whim — a sudden wish to do or have sth, especially when it is sth unusual or unnecessary.

snobbery — behaviour or attitudes which show that you think you are better than other people, because you belong to a higher social class or know much more than they do – used to show disapproval.

guidance — help or advice that is given to sb, especially by sb older or with more experience.

stigma — if there is a stigma attached to something, people disapprove of it, especially when this is unfair.

fluid — likely to change; not fixed.

pesky — annoying.

fiendishly [ˈfiːndɪʃli] — very; extremely.


Listen to the audio and do the exercise

Have you ever wondered why ghost is spelt with an h? Why isn’t it «gost» or «goast» to rhyme with «most» or «toast»? Other words that begin with a hard g, such as «golf», don’t have an h. The answer, according to David Crystal’s entertaining Spell it out, is a result of the whim of a Flemish compositor, a man whose job it was in the late 15th century to arrange type for printing. His English wasn’t good, and, like many non-native speakers, he was bewildered by the random nature of English spelling. So when he saw the word «gost» (spelt «gheest» in Flemish) he decided to spell it the Flemish way, with an h.

The Flemish h in ghost is one of Crystal’s many examples that show that the development of English spelling has been both random and unsystematic. The original monks who tried to write down Anglo-Saxon English in a Latin alphabet, he says, did a pretty good job. Every word was pronounced phonetically — so the g in gnome would be pronounced, as would the k in know. But the alphabet they devised didn’t have enough letters to represent all the sounds in spoken English and that was where the problems started. Scribes started to double vowels to represent different sounds, such as double o for the long /u:/ sound in moon, food, etc. But then in some words like blood and flood the pronunciation changed in the south of England, shortening the vowel, so that now, as Crystal puts it. «these spellings represent the pronunciation of a thousand years ago.»

Fashion and snobbery have played as big a part in spelling as they have in other parts of English life. After the Norman invasion, Anglo-Saxon spellings were replaced by French ones: servis became service, mys became mice, for instance. During the Renaissance, scribes looked to Latin for guidance — take the word debt. In the 13th century this could be spelt det, dett, dette or deytt. But 16th-century writers looked to the Latin word debitum, and inserted a silent b — linking the word to its Latin counterpart but making it much harder to spell.

For a long time, there was no stigma attached to variant spellings, Shakespeare famously wrote his name several ways (Shaksper, Shakspere, Shakspeare), but, by the 18th century, an English aristocrat was writing to his son that «orthography…is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life.» Dan Quayle, the former US vice-president, never recovered from spelling potato with an e on the end when he corrected a pupil’s writing in front of the cameras at a junior school in 1992.

Even today, spelling is more fluid than we might think. Moveable, for example — The Times style guide keeps the e, The Guardian prefers movable. And online there are no guides — the internet is the ultimate spelling democracy. Take rhubarb, with its pesky silent h: in 2006 there were just a few hundred instances of rubarb in the Google database; they have now passed the million mark. «If it carries on like this,» Crystal notes, «rubarb will overtake rhubarb as the commonest online spelling… And where the online orthographic world goes in one decade, I suspect the offline world will go in the next.»

Reading this book made me thankful that English is my native language; the spelling must make it so fiendishly hard to learn!

By Daisy Goodwin in the Sunday Times


Have you ever wondered why ghost is spelt with an h? Why isn’t it «gost» or «goast» to rhyme with «most» or «toast»? Other words that begin with a hard g, such as «golf», don’t have an h. The answer, according to David Crystal’s entertaining Spell it out, is a result of the whim of a Flemish compositor, a man whose job it was in the late 15th century to arrange type for printing. His English wasn’t good, and, like many non-native speakers, he was bewildered by the random nature of English spelling. So when he saw the word «gost» (spelt «gheest» in Flemish) he decided to spell it the Flemish way, with an h.

The Flemish h in ghost is one of Crystal’s many examples that show that the development of English spelling has been both random and unsystematic. The original monks who tried to write down Anglo-Saxon English in a Latin alphabet, he says, did a pretty good job. Every word was pronounced phonetically — so the g in gnome would be pronounced, as would the k in know. But the alphabet they devised didn’t have enough letters to represent all the sounds in spoken English and that was where the problems started. Scribes started to double vowels to represent different sounds, such as double o for the long [u:] sound in moon, food, etc. But then in some words like blood and flood the pronunciation changed in the south of England, shortening the vowel, so that now, as Crystal puts it, «these spellings represent the pronunciation of a thousand years ago.»

Fashion and snobbery have played as big a part in spelling as they have in other parts of English life. After the Norman invasion, Anglo-Saxon spellings were replaced by French ones: servis became service, mys became mice, for instance. During the Renaissance, scribes looked to Latin for guidance — take the word debt. In the 13th century this could be spelt det, dett, dette or deytt. But 16th-century writers looked to the Latin word debitum, and inserted a silent b — linking the word to its Latin counterpart but making it much harder to spell.

For a long time, there was no stigma attached to variant spellings, Shakespeare famously wrote his name several ways (Shaksper, Shakspere, Shakspeare), but, by the 18th century, an English aristocrat was writing to his son that «orthography is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life.» Dan Quayle, the former US vice-president, never recovered from spelling potato with an e on the end when he corrected a pupil’s writing in front of the cameras at a junior school in 1992.

Even today, spelling is more fluid than we might think. Moveable, for example — The Times style guide keeps the e, The Guardian prefers movable. And online there are no guides — the internet is the ultimate spelling democracy. Take rhubarb, with its pesky silent h: in 2006 there were just a few hundred instances of rubarb in the Google database; they have now passed the million mark. «If it carries on like this,» Crystal notes, «rubarb will overtake rhubarb as the commonest online spelling. And where the online orthographic world goes in one decade, I suspect the offline world will go in the next.»

Reading this book made me thankful that English is my native language; the spelling must make it so fiendishly hard to learn!

By Daisy Goodwin in the Sunday Times

Read the review again and guess the meaning of the phrases in context

Lexis in context

Making sense of whole phrases

Even when you understand the individual words in a text, you may still have problems understanding the meaning. When you read, focus on whole phrases or sentences, and refer to the surrounding context to work out what the writer is saying.


1. he was bewildered by the random nature of English spelling

2. Fashion and snobbery have played as big a part in spelling as they have in other parts of English life.

3. scribes looked to Latin for guidance

4. For a long time, there was no stigma attached to variant spellings.

5. Even today, spelling is more fluid than we might think.

6. the internet is the ultimate spelling democracy


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Have you ever wondered why ghost is spelt with an h? Why isn’t it «gost» or «goast» to rhyme with «most» or «toast»? Other words that begin with a hard g, such as «golf», don’t have an h. The answer, according to David Crystal’s entertaining Spell it out, is a result of the whim of a Flemish compositor, a man whose job it was in the late 15th century to arrange type for printing. His English wasn’t good, and, like many non-native speakers, he was bewildered by the random nature of English spelling. So when he saw the word «gost» (spelt «gheest» in Flemish) he decided to spell it the Flemish way, with an h.

The Flemish h in ghost is one of Crystal’s many examples that show that the development of English spelling has been both random and unsystematic. The original monks who tried to write down Anglo-Saxon English in a Latin alphabet, he says, did a pretty good job. Every word was pronounced phonetically — so the g in gnome would be pronounced, as would the k in know. But the alphabet they devised didn’t have enough letters to represent all the sounds in spoken English and that was where the problems started. Scribes started to double vowels to represent different sounds, such as double o for the long [u:] sound in moon, food, etc. But then in some words like blood and flood the pronunciation changed in the south of England, shortening the vowel, so that now, as Crystal puts it, «these spellings represent the pronunciation of a thousand years ago.»

Fashion and snobbery have played as big a part in spelling as they have in other parts of English life. After the Norman invasion, Anglo-Saxon spellings were replaced by French ones: servis became service, mys became mice, for instance. During the Renaissance, scribes looked to Latin for guidance — take the word debt. In the 13th century this could be spelt det, dett, dette or deytt. But 16th-century writers looked to the Latin word debitum, and inserted a silent b — linking the word to its Latin counterpart but making it much harder to spell.

For a long time, there was no stigma attached to variant spellings, Shakespeare famously wrote his name several ways (Shaksper, Shakspere, Shakspeare), but, by the 18th century, an English aristocrat was writing to his son that «orthography is so absolutely necessary for a man of letters, or a gentleman, that one false spelling may fix a ridicule upon him for the rest of his life.» Dan Quayle, the former US vice-president, never recovered from spelling potato with an e on the end when he corrected a pupil’s writing in front of the cameras at a junior school in 1992.

Even today, spelling is more fluid than we might think. Moveable, for example — The Times style guide keeps the e, The Guardian prefers movable. And online there are no guides — the internet is the ultimate spelling democracy. Take rhubarb, with its pesky silent h: in 2006 there were just a few hundred instances of rubarb in the Google database; they have now passed the million mark. «If it carries on like this,» Crystal notes, «rubarb will overtake rhubarb as the commonest online spelling. And where the online orthographic world goes in one decade, I suspect the offline world will go in the next.»

Reading this book made me thankful that English is my native language; the spelling must make it so fiendishly hard to learn!

By Daisy Goodwin in the Sunday Times


Answer the questions

1. What modern example does the reviewer give of the damaging effects of bad spelling?

2. How do you think she feels towards students of English? Do you agree?
3. Are there any words in your language which people have particular problems spelling? Why (not)?

4. Do you think good spelling matters?

5. Which spelling system is more challenging: the one of your language or English one? Why?

Pronounce the words and click on the different word if there is one. Then listen and check

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Reading rules

1. dishonest [dɪsˈɒnɪst]
Rule: the letter h is nearly always pronounced [h]. Common exceptions: heir, honest, honour, hour, exhausted.

2. power [ˈpaʊə]
Rule: the letters ow are often pronounced [əʊ] as in blow, window, below, but are also often pronounced /aʊ/ as in frown, towel, now. Occasionally, the same letters have different pronunciations according to the meaning, e.g. row [raʊ] (= argument) but row [rəʊ] (= a line of seats). These are called homographs.

3. river [ˈrɪvə]
Rule: the letter i + consonant + e is usually [ai]. Common exceptions: river, give, live (the verb), since.

4. whose [hu:z]
Rule: the letters wh are nearly always [w], but occasionally [h], e.g. whose, who, whole.

5. All the same pronunciation
Rule: the letter j is always pronounced [ʤ].

6. chorus [ˈkɔːrəs]
Rule: the letters ch are usually pronounced [tʃ], but occasionally [ʃ], e.g. machine, chef, cliché, when the words are of French origin, or [k], e.g. chemist, architect, when the word comes from Greek.

7. sure [ʃɔː]
Rule: the letter s at the beginning of a word is nearly always [s]. The only two exceptions are sugar and sure, where the s is pronounced [ʃ].

8. All the same pronunciation
Rule: the letters aw are always [ɔː] when they come at the end of a word, or when aw is followed by another consonant.

9. reporter [rɪˈpɔːtə]
Rule: the letters or are usually pronounced [ɔː], but are usually [ɜ:] after a w, e.g. work, word, world.

10. All the same pronunciation
Rule: the letters ir are always [ɜ:] when they are followed by a consonant, but are pronounced [aiə] when followed by an e, e.g. require.


1. /h/ hurt, dishonest, inherit, heart, himself
2. /əʊ/ throw, elbow, lower, power, grow
3. /ai/ compromise, despite, river, write, quite
4. /w/ whenever, why, whose, where, which
5. /ʤ/ jealous, journalist, reject, job, enjoy
6. /tʃ/ challenging, achieve, chorus, catch, charge
7. /s/ sense, seem, sympathetic, synonym, sure
8. /ɔ:/ awful, raw, flaw, drawback, law
9. /ɜ:/ work, world, worse, worth, reporter
10. /ɜ:/ firm, dirty, third, T-shirt, birth


Answer the questions

1. What’s the pronunciation rule for each spelling?

2. Can you think of any more exceptions?

3. Think about the spelling patterns in the exercise above. How do you think these words are probably pronounced?

a) chime

b) howl

c) jaw

d) whirl

e) worm


chime [tʃaɪm]: verb, (of a bell or clock) to ring.

howl [haʊl]: verb, (of a dog, wolf, etc.) to make a long, loud cry.

jaw [ʤɔː]: noun, either of the two bones at the bottom of the face that contain the teeth.

whirl [wɜːl]: verb, to move around quickly in a circle.

worm [wɜːm]: noun, a long, thin creature with no bones or legs, which lives in soil.

Look at the phonetics. How is it pronounced?

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[ðeə]

there, there


Complete the gaps

Read the rules

Pronouns

Generic pronouns

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1. We often use you to mean people in general.

2. We can also use one + third person singular of the verb to mean people in general, one is much more formal than you and rarely used in spoken English.
We can also use one’s as a possessive adjective, e.g. When confronted with danger, one’s first reaction is often to freeze.

3. We can also be used to make a general statement of opinion which includes the reader/listener.

4. In informal English, we often use they to talk about other people in general, or people in authority, e.g. They always say. .. (They = people in general); They should make it compulsory… (They = the government).

5. We use they, them, and their to refer to one person who may be male or female, instead of using he or she, his or her, etc.


Reflexive and reciprocal pronouns

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1. We often use reflexive pronouns when the subject and object of a verb are the same person.

a) We don’t usually use reflexive pronouns with some verbs which may be reflexive in other languages, e.g. wash, shave, etc. not He got up, shaved himself, and

b) Enjoy is always used with a reflexive pronoun when not followed by another object, e.g. Enjoy your meal! but Did you enjoy yourself last night?

2. We can also use reflexive pronouns after most prepositions when the complement is the same as the subject.

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3. We can use reflexive pronouns to emphasize the subject, e.g. We decorated the house ourselves. (= we did it, not professional decorators)

4. by + reflexive pronoun = alone, on your / her, etc. own.

5. We use each other or one another for reciprocal actions, i.e. A does the action to B and B does the action to A.


It and there

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1. We use it + be to talk about time, temperature, and distance.

2. We also use, e.g. it + be as a «preparatory» subject before adjectives. It was great to hear from you. not To hear from you was great.

3. We use there + be + noun to say if people and things are present or exist (or not). You cannot use It… here. not It used to be a cinema in that street.


Related videos

Discuss the statements with your teacher

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1. You can learn a language faster if you go to live in a country where it is spoken.

2. One tends to have problems understanding very strong accents.

3. If someone goes to live in a foreign country, they will have to get used to a different way of life.

Complete with it or there

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✔️ There has been a very interesting article about language learning in The Guardian recently.


Agree or disagree with the statements

Select the right pronoun. In some cases both are possible

✔️ They helped (one another / themselves / both options) to prepare for the exam.

Complete the sentences with a pronoun

✔️ Don’t tell her how to spell the word. Let her work it out by herself.


Correct the mistakes in the boxes

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Complete the mini-dialogues with a suitable pronoun

Complete the text with it or there

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Read the article quickly and do the task

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Jeru speakers

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Khomani speakers

Click on the four continents which do not contain the top five endangered languages.



Top five endangered languages

Language experts estimate that as many as half of the 6,900 languages spoken in the world today are endangered. This means that by the year 2050 over 3,000 languages will have become extinct. Five of the most likely languages to disappear are listed below.

1. Jeru is an Andamanese language spoken by fewer than 20 people on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. These languages are generally believed to be the only ones in South-east Asia surviving from pre-Neolithic times. They are thought to date back to a settlement of the region by the first humans to leave Africa. The Andamanese languages are not known to be related to any others in the world.

2. This language contains click sounds like the | sound in its name, which is pronounced like the English interjection tsk! tsk!. N | u is also known as Khomani, and it is spoken by fewer than ten elderly people living in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park of South Africa. It is closely related to Ta’a, which is spoken by about 4,000 people and has the most sounds of any language on earth: 74 consonants, 31 vowels, and four tones.

3. This language is spoken by the original inhabitants of Japan. It is used by a small number of old people on the island of Hokkaido in the far north of the country. Ainu has very complicated verbs that incorporate meanings most languages need a whole sentence to express. It is also the means by which an extensive oral literature of folk tales and songs has been handed down from generation to generation.

4. Among the inhabitants of Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan are a handful of old people that speak the Austronesian language of Thao. The rest of the community speaks Taiwanese Chinese. The language of Thao is related to others in the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Pacific. It dates back to when the original communities of the Austronesians migrated south and east over 3,000 years ago.

5. Yuchi is a language spoken by just five people all aged over 75 in Oklahoma, USA. They are members of a Native American Indian group of people called the Tsoyaha, meaning Children of the Sun. Yuchi is not known to be related to any other language on Earth. Its nouns have ten genders indicated by word endings: six for Yuchi people, one for non-Yuchis and animals and three for inanimate objects.

Adapted from the article Peter K Austin’s Top 10 endangered languages.


Read the article again and select the correct answer. The languages may be chosen more than once

Match the words from the article with their definitions

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Complete the sentences with the appropriate words from the exercise above

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Listen to two people, a man and a woman, talking about learning a foreign language. Mark the sentences Woman, Man, or Both

1. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to take French lessons. I’d studied French at school, but that was years ago and you know what it’s like to study something because you have to rather than because you want to. Anyway, I enrolled on a ten-week evening course — it was on Monday nights for an hour and a half. At the end of the course I realized that I hadn’t really learnt much. I was just too tired at the end of the day to sit in a classroom and take in what the teacher was saying. Also once a week isn’t really enough in my opinion. I then got the opportunity with work to go to Paris for six months. As you can imagine I was thrilled. I was totally immersed in the language there — I had to speak French every day, everywhere, to everyone. It was wonderful! Now that I am back in the UK I’m doing another course, an advanced one, but this one is twice a week. I also try to get together with some of my classmates at the weekend and some of us are even going to organize a trip on the Eurostar to Lille for a weekend.

2. I love languages. I think it might be because I love travelling and I think that it makes a real difference to your trip if you can speak the language of the place you’re visiting. Obviously some languages are more difficult than others and you don’t always have time to take lessons before going somewhere. But you can always learn a few words and phrases. It makes a huge difference — people tend to be much more friendly and helpful if they can see you’ve made a bit of an effort. I think the minimum you need to learn to get around is greetings, numbers, and ‘thank you’. It also helps if you know how to say «I don’t understand» and «I’m from…» wherever you’re from. I did this when I went to Korea for the World Cup in 2002. I then realized that I liked the sound of Korean and decided to take lessons when I got back to the UK. It wasn’t easy finding a teacher but I did. I’ve now been back to Korea every year since 2002 to practise what I’ve learnt. It’s a beautiful country and the people are so delighted when they hear me speak. I’ve been invited to people’s houses, taken out for meals, been given discounts in shops… I love it and would recommend it to everyone.


Read the instructions

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Read the 🔗complete article about endangered languages.


1. Identify the reasons why languages are dying out.

2. What can be done to save endangered languages?

3. Should all endangered languages be saved? Why?


Answer the questions in writing. Use the words from the list

1. as
2. consequently
3. despite
4. due to
5. even though
6. in order to
7. therefore
8. endangered
9. die out
10. handful
11. extinct
12. settlement

Useful language

  • so as to

Instructions

  1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write the text according to your plan.
  4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.
  5. Learn the rules and see the sample here.
  6. Please use Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Spelling
  • Spell it out
  • Lexis in context
  • Do I say it right?
  • Often misspelt
  • Pronouns
  • You, one, someone
  • It, there
  • Personal comments
  • Pronouns in use
  • Don't tell her
  • Pronouns 1
  • Pronouns 2
  • It or there?
  • Endangered languages
  • Dying languages
  • Learning a language
  • Save the language!