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Languages Worksheet A

As a British person I’m embarrassed by how poor a lot of us are at speaking foreign languages.
In the last year I’ve been on holiday to Spain and Italy, and in both countries I saw British
tourists not even trying to say ‘hello’, ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ in the local language, which I think
is really rude.
My guess is that most native speakers of English are lazy when it comes to foreign languages.
We know English is the main language of international business, and that in most of the world’s
tourist destinations the locals are able to speak at least a bit of English, so the attitude seems to
be ‘why bother?’ I’ve never lived in a foreign country and I’m not great at languages (although I
can get by in Spanish, French and Italian, I’m not fluent in any of them), but I do think it’s
important to make an effort with them when you’re travelling abroad.

I hated languages at school, but as an adult I’ve started learning two foreign languages and found
that I’ve really enjoyed them. Two years ago I started learning French, just as a hobby, and six
months ago I started learning Hindi because my fiancé is from India and next month I’m going
over there to meet some of his family. It’s difficult, but also really interesting.
My friend Sam is studying Mandarin, which is pretty unusual. Because China is growing so fast
as an economic power, she reckons that in English-speaking countries it won’t be long before
there are more kids studying Mandarin in school than French or German.

I’m fourteen years old and I go to school in Manchester in the north of England. I study two
foreign languages, Spanish and French. They’re not my favourite subjects, but sometimes they
can be quite interesting, like when we learn slang words, or vocabulary to do with sport and
music. But I don’t like all the grammar – I can’t get my head round all those rules.
When I went to Spain on holiday last month I was able to ask for drinks in a restaurant and also
understood a little bit of Spanish TV – I was quite proud of myself.

I teach French and Spanish at a school in London, so obviously I’m fluent in both languages. I
like my job, although sometimes it can be a bit frustrating. It would be good if the students cared
more about foreign languages – lots of businesses say they want people who can speak European
languages, but young people don’t seem to realize that speaking another language can improve
their job prospects.
In fact, in Britain, the number of kids studying French and German after the age of fourteen has
been going down, although I’m pleased to say the number studying Spanish is increasing.


Liz. 3 Now decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F). 01/10/07 . 2. Paul enjoys some parts of his language lessons at school. Louise thinks foreign languages are interesting but not useful. Martin has travelled abroad in the last year. 6. Liz is learning French to help her with her job. 7. 1. Martin is fluent in Italian. Why does Louise sometimes find her job frustrating? 4. Paul can understand a little bit of French TV. What part of foreign languages does Paul find difficult? 2. Liz is enjoying learning Hindi. Why is Liz learning Hindi? 3. 1. 5. Why does Liz’s friend think the number of children learning Mandarin is going to increase in English-speaking countries? 2 For which of the four people (Martin. 2. 4. They can speak at least a little bit of a foreign language. They are fluent in Spanish. or if the text doesn’t say (D). What are the two reasons Martin suggests for native speakers of English being lazy with foreign languages? 5. Paul and Louise) are the following statements true? 1. 3.Languages Worksheet B 1 Answer the questions.

6 billion). 2 Most surveys suggest that more than 50% of people in European Union countries can speak a language other than their native language. the one with the biggest number of native speakers is Mandarin. Germany and Italy. Total points lost and won Final total (subtract total points lost from total points won) 01/10/07 . 9 The main language in most countries in South America is Spanish. children start to learn a foreign language before the age of ten. about 15% of the total global population of 6. then bet a minimum of 10 points up to a maximum of 50 on your choice. 8 There are slightly more than one billion native speakers of English in the world (i.Languages Worksheet C B Decide if the following statements about languages are true (T) or false (F). 6 Out of all the world’s languages. 10 There are more native speakers of Portuguese than of French or German. 5 The number of indigenous languages in Europe is less than 20% of the total number of languages in the world.e. 4 In most schools in France. 7 English has the second biggest number of native speakers. 3 In most British schools it is compulsory for children aged 7-11 to learn a foreign language. T/F Points Points Points bet lost won 1 In most British schools it is not compulsory for pupils to study any foreign languages after the age of fourteen.

2. tell them they are going to look at some statements about languages and decide if they are true or false. It will be compulsory from 2010. F 5. In the first column after the statement they should write T (true) or F (false). You could ask students why they are studying English. according to many estimates. e-lessons) This week’s lesson focuses on the subject of languages. Check answers in open class. students subtract the total of the third column from the total of the fourth column to give the total number of points they have won. Each pair calls out their answer and how many points they have bet. the ‘Eurobarometer’ findings on Europeans’ language skills. divide the students into pairs and hand out copies of Worksheet B. F 2. 2. After the pairs have given their answers. and what they find particularly difficult. and she is going there soon to meet some of his family. If they have answered correctly. The ‘European Day of Languages’. Spanish is in second place. According to most estimates there are no more than 380 million native speakers of English (about 6% of the world’s population). False. going up to 50 if they are very confident about the answer).TEACHER’S SHEET 1. They are then going to have to ‘bet’ anything from 10 to 50 points on their guesses. 6. Because she doesn’t think the students care enough about foreign languages. The pair with the most points wins. Louise 3 1. 8. 3. True. Answers Part A 1 1. 5. True. Keeping the students in their pairs. it’s time to score. Level Pre-intermediate and above (equivalent to CEF level A2-B1 and above) How to use the lesson 1. When the time is up. Because her fiancé is from India. or enjoyable. Do any of the students speak any other foreign languages? If so. 3. how would they compare the experience of learning these languages with that of learning English? 2. This is due mainly to there being more than 185 million native speakers of Portuguese in Brazil. in which they have to answer different types of comprehension question based on the text. T 6. T 4. 4. 9. Paul finds the grammar difficult. True 7. See. however. 7. 2 1. At the end. Give each pair a copy of Worksheet C and ask them to read and discuss the statements. this has been the case since 2004. takes place every year on 26 th September. D 3. All of them. 3. about it. True. Hand out Worksheet A and give the students five to ten minutes to read through the text. If they have answered incorrectly. Europe’s indigenous languages constitute less than 5% of the global total. 6. T Part B 1. False. students enter their points in the final column (points won). Because English is the main language of international business. . Because China is growing very fast as an economic power. True 5. False. English is in third. 4. 5. encouraging them to look up new vocabulary. True 10. 4. they should enter their points in the third column (points lost). Perhaps surprisingly. F 7. 2. Languages (From INSIDE OUT 10 de Septiembre 2007. In the second column they have to write the number of points they are willing to bet on their answer (10 points if they are forced to guess. and in most of the world’s tourist destinations the locals are able to speak at least a bit of English. Brainstorm on the subject of the languages. True. aimed at encouraging language learning in the countries of the European Union. In fact. for example.

care verb to be interested in someone or something and think that they are important: They cared deeply about the environment. and worried about what other people will think of you: She looked embarrassed when we asked her about her boyfriend. fiancé noun [count] the man that a woman is going to marry fluent adjective able to speak a foreign language very well: I'm fluent in three languages. attitude noun [count or uncount] opinions or feelings that you show by your behaviour: Attitudes towards the older members of the group will have to change. get one’s head around phrase to understand something guess noun [count] an occasion when you say what you think is true without being certain: We can only hazard a guess at what happened (=make a guess that will probably not be accurate).GLOSSARY abroad adverb in or to a foreign country: We try to go abroad at least once a year. you do not do it because it is not sensible or because you feel lazy: It was such a stupid question. frustrating adjective making you feel annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something: It's frustrating to wait all day for a repairman who doesn't show up. compulsory adjective something that is compulsory must be done or used because of a rule or law: compulsory exams destination noun [count] the place where someone or something is going do with something phrasal verb to be connected with something: The problem had something to do with his mother. indigenous adjective indigenous people lived in a place for a very long time before other people came to live there . bother verb if you do not bother to do something. get by phrasal verb to have just enough of something such as money or knowledge so that you can do what you need to do: You could probably get by with that computer. I didn't even bother to reply. embarrassed adjective feeling slightly ashamed. effort noun [count or uncount] an attempt to do something that is difficult or involves hard work: I've made an effort to drink less tea and coffee. but a more powerful one would be better.

pupil noun [count] someone who goes to school or who has lessons in a particular subject reckon verb to believe that something is true: I reckon there's something wrong with him. rude adjective not polite: It's rude to keep people waiting. prospects noun [plural] chances of success in a career: Your employment prospects would be much better if you finished your degree. slang noun [uncount] words or expressions that are very informal and that are not considered suitable for formal situations . or largest: The main entrance to the building is on George Street.local adjective in or related to a particular area. your possessions. or people who you are connected with: I'm proud to say we made the right decision. proud adjective feeling happy about your achievements. especially the place where you live: Local calls cost 2p a minute. native speaker noun [count] someone who speaks a particular language as their first language power noun [uncount] the ability to achieve something or make something happen: purchasing/bargaining power pretty adverb fairly: Tom looks pretty tired. local noun [count] someone who lives in a particular place Mandarin noun [uncount] the official language of China main adjective most important.