Exercise 1


What do we all want from life? As well as love and money, most of us want someone to understand us. But we don’t communicate in the same way. People born at different times have very different styles of communication. Which generation are you?


Born before 1945, ‘Veterans’ are the oldest and most experienced members of society. They think that family life is important and prefer traditional forms of communication. ‘Veterans’ are the riches generation, possibly because they worked hard and were loyal employees.


A large number of babies were born after 1945. (In the USA, the peak of the baby boom was in 1957, when eight babies were born every minute!) This increase in births was called a ‘boom’, which gave the name to a generation. These people have money and good jobs. Many are in positions of power. They are optimists and like face-to-face communication.


‘Generation X’ was born after 1965. They are independent thinkers and want to be different from their parents. They have seen the introduction of the home computer, video games, satellite TV and, of course, the internet, so they are good at adapting to changes. This generation is busy – they don’t want to wait to hear what you say.


‘Millennials’ were born after 1980. They are confident, they like computers, and work well in teams. Family and friends are more important than work, but they spend a lot of time online. In fact, 65% of Millennials say that losing their phone or computer would change their daily routine more than losing their car.

A. Read How do you communicate? and answer the questions.

1   Which generation are you?

2   How many of these generations are there in your family?

3   Which generation are most of the people where you work or study?

B. Read the article again and match quotes 1—4 with generations a—d.

1   ‘Let’s talk about this over lunch tomorrow.’

2   ‘I had a lovely letter from Emma. I’ll write a long letter back at the weekend.’

3   ‘My Facebook status got 62 likes!’

4   ‘Sorry, I haven’t got time for this. Just tell me what you want.’

a   Veterans

b   Baby Boomers

c   Generation X

d   Millennials



1 b   2 a   3 d   4 c

Exercise 2



Jon Foster reports on an app that makes learning a new language like playing a game.

I’ve never been much good at languages. But next month, I’m travelling to a remote area of Central Africa and my aim is to know enough Lingala – one of the local languages – to have a conversation. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage this – until I discovered a way to spend just a few minutes, a few times a day, learning all the vocabulary I’m going to need.

To be honest, normally when I get a spare moment at home, I go on Facebook or play games on my phone. But, at the moment, I’m using those short breaks for something more useful. I’m learning a foreign language. And thanks to Memrise, the app I’m using, it feels just like a game.

‘People often stop learning things because they feel they’re not making progress or because it all feels like too much hard work,’ says Ed Cooke, one of the people who created Memrise. ‘We’re trying to create a form of learning experience that is fun and is something you’d want to do instead of watching TV.’

And Memrise is fun. It’s a challenge. It gives you a few new words to learn and these are ‘seeds’ which you plant in your ‘greenhouse’. (This represents your short-term memory.) When you practise the words, you ‘water your plants’ and they grow. When the app believes that you have really remembered a word, it moves the word to your ‘garden’. You get points as your garden grows, so you can compare yourself to other Memrise users. I want to get a high score and go to the next level. And if I forget to log on, the app sends me emails that remind me to ‘water my plants’.

The app uses two principles about learning. The first is that people remember things better when they link them to a picture in their mind. Memrise translates words into your own language, but it also encourages you to use ‘mems’ – images that help you remember new words. You can use mems which other users have created or you can create your own. I memorised motele, the Lingalan word for ‘engine’, using a mem I created – I imagined an old engine in a motel room.

The second principle is that we need to stop after studying words and then repeat them again later, leaving time between study sessions. Memrise helps you with this, because it’s the kind of app you only use for five or ten minutes a day.

I’ve learnt hundreds of Lingalan words with Memrise. I know this won’t make me a fluent speaker, but I hope I’ll be able to do more than just smile and look stupid when I meet people in the Congo.

Now, why am I still sitting here writing this? I need to go and water my vocabulary!

A. Read Can you really learn a language in 22 hours? quickly and answer the questions.

1   What is Memrise?

2   Why is Jon Foster using it?

3   How much has he learnt?

B. Read the article again and choose the correct answers for questions 1—4.

1   The writer wants to learn Lingala because he …

      a   loves new languages.

      b   wants to talk with the people who speak it.

      c   wants to try Memrise.

2   Ed Cooke wants learners to …

      a   enjoy learning more.

      b   improve quickly.

      c   do more vocabulary practice.

3   ‘Mem’ is …

      a   the Lingalese word for ‘engine’.

      b   a translation of a new word.

      c   a picture that helps people remember new words.

4   Where do the mems come from?

      a   Ed Cooke creates them.

      b   Users can create mems for themselves and other users.

      c   Every user creates mems only for themselves.

C. Match the words in bold in the article with meanings 1—8 below.

1   getting better

2   changes a word from one language into another

3   what someone wants to do

4   learnt something so that you remembered it exactly

5   something difficult which tests your ability

6   able to communicate freely and easily

7   to make someone remember something

8   do something again



 A language-learning app.

 Because he’s trying to learn Lingala.

 Hundreds of words.


1 b   2 a   3 c   4 b


1 making progress   2 translates   3 aim   4 memorised

5 challenge   6 fluent   7 remind   8 repeat

Exercise 3


Different people learn in different ways.

In order to find the most useful way to learn new information, it’s a good idea to think about the kind of learner you are: visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. Knowing your learning style helps you study more effectively, so you remember what you have learnt more easily. Remember, you don’t just learn when you study – this advice can also be useful for learning at work or in your free time.


It helps to study in a quiet place so that you can concentrate. To learn new information, try to think of an image in your head, or make a diagram to highlight different points. This technique helps your memory and it means you can find the information easily when you look at your notes again.


Going to a lecture is a good way for you to learn. Read your notes aloud, then cover them and try to say them again from memory. Also, try to use new words when you’re talking to people. If you are studying words on a particular topic, you can listen to podcasts that include this vocabulary. These ideas should help you remember what you need to know.


In order to learn new information, you need to be doing something. It helps to study in a place where you can walk around the room, touch things and move as freely as possible. Make sure you take regular breaks and go for a walk. This will help you to concentrate and remain interested in what you are studying.

These descriptions are only a guide. Most people have a mixture of learning styles. To study successfully, you need to experiment and find the most suitable method.

A. Read What kind of learner are you? Answer the questions.

 Which of Maria’s ideas is mentioned?

 Does the article talk more about understanding new information or remembering it?

B. Read the article again. Make notes about the key study techniques for each learning style.

– visual  –  auditory  –  kinaesthetic



1   The article mentions Maria’s idea about moving around while learning.

2   The article is more about remembering new information.


Visual learners: study in a quiet place; think of an image in their head; draw diagrams

Auditory learners: go to lectures; read their notes aloud; use the new words when you talk to people; listen to podcasts

Kinaesthetic learners: move around, touch things, take regular breaks and go for walks

Exercise 4

A Beginner’s Guide to


A personal goal for many students is to be able to speak English perfectly. By this, they mean that they would like to be able to tell a joke or feel completely confident in a face-to-face conversation with a group of native speakers. Any student can achieve this goal (and many do) but it takes many, many years of study.

If just the thought of all those years of study makes you feel exhausted, then the book you are now holding in your hands may be for you. A Beginner’s Guide to Intercultural Communication has been written to help students who are learning English answer the question ‘What are the best ways to communicate in a foreign language?’

But first of all let’s think about what communication actually means. In our first language, we know that we have to choose our words very carefully. For example, I’m from Australia so when someone gives me a birthday present, I might say:

Oh, you didn’t need to get me anything!

If you are not a native English speaker, that might seem strange. But many English speakers feel it is polite to say this when someone gives them a present. However, the same speakers would find it quite rude to say:

Why did you get me this?

Why is this? After all, the meaning of both phrases is quite similar. And in fact, this phrase (or something like it) it quite common in a number of European languages. The answer is simple – whether something seems to be rude or polite depends on culture. To communicate successfully in a foreign language, we need to remember that people are usually trying to say the same things but we also need to remember that different cultures say them in different ways – and that is what intercultural communication is all about.

A. Read part of an introduction to a textbook for students. Are the sentences true or false?

The writer of this textbook believes that …

 teachers in many countries expect their students to speak perfect English.

 her book is for students who want to improve their English in a short time.

 phrases that seem to be similar can sometimes communicate opposite meanings.

 students may sound rude in English if they do not learn to speak the language perfectly.

 we can understand someone more easily when we think about the culture that they come from.

B. Read the text again. Match the words in bold in 1—7 with the things they refer to in a—g.

1   By this, they mean that …

2   … that might seem strange

3   … someone gives them a present.

4   Why did you get me this?

5   Why is this?

6   And in fact, this phrase (or something like it) …

7   … different cultures say them in different ways …

a   A birthday present.

b   Ideas which are similar to each other.

c   People from English-speaking countries.

d   Saying Oh, you didn’t need to get me anything!

e   Speaking English perfectly.

f   Why did you get me this?

g   Why one phrase is rude but the other one is polite.

C. Write a short email to the students in your class about learning English. Your email should:

•   introduce yourself (your name, where you come from)

•   explain why you are learning English

•   describe where you have learned English in the past

•   say what you hope to learn on this course.

Use the phrases below to help you.

Hi! My name’s … and I’m from …

I’m learning English because I want to … / need to … / am going to …

I have been learning English for + [AMOUNT OF TIME] / since + [POINT IN TIME]

I started learning English at school / when I was + [AGE]

On this course, I really want to improve my …



True: 2, 3, 5; False: 1, 4


1 e   2 d   3 c   4 a   5 g   6 f   7 b

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