Category Archives: Homework

Pronunciation: Silent letters

B1 – Lower Intermediate – Pronunciation Lesson

A silent letter is the letter in a word that is left not pronounced. Did you know that about 60% of English words has silent letter in them?

Go over this list of silent letters and few sample words. Make sure to practice pronouncing each word.

SILENT LETTERS FROM A TO Z

A – artistically, logically, musically, romantically, stoically

B – comb, climb, debt, plumber, tomb, subtle, dumb, bomb, doubt, , numb, subpoena, thumb, womb.

C – acquire, acquit, blackguard, Connecticut, czar, muscle, scissors, victual

CH – yacht

D – handkerchief, Wednesday Wednesday (commonly said Wens-day)

E – plaque. vegetable (veg’tab’I), bridge, clothes. When on the end of a word, it changes the pronunciation of the word, but the -e is silent.

F – halfpenny

G – align, alight, champagne, diaphragm, gnash, gnaw, high, light,reign, though

GH – right, drought, eight, weigh

H – choir, hour, honour, honest, herb, rhyme, rhythm, thyme, Thailand

I – business, parliament

J – (NONE)

K – blackguard.

KN -words, the k is silent: know, knot, knee, knife, knight, knock.

L – calm, folk, salmon, talk, walk, could, should, would, folk, half, calf.

M – mnemonic.

N – autumn, chimney, column, damn, damn, government, solemn.

O- colonel, sophomore, opossum

P – corps, coup, cupboard, pneumonia, psalm, raspberry, receipt, coup

Q – (NONE)

R – butter, finger, surprise

S – aisle, island, debris, isle, patios, viscount.

T – beret, Chevrolet, depot, listen, whistle, wrestle, trestle, mortgage, apostle

(When talking fast, the t is very lightly pronounced in words like Christmas, mountain and little)

TH – asthma, isthmus, north, Easter

W – who, whole, write, wrong, two, sword, wrist, answer

X – faux

Y – (NONE)

Z – rendezvous

9 – sign, gnat, gnu, foreign

ACTIVITY: 

1. Practice reading the words in the list above with your Phone English teachers.
2. Come up with your own list of words with silent letters from A to Z. Then practice pronouncing the words.
3. Use the listed words in sentences to practice your pronunciation and sentence construction.

The Pros and Cons of Advertising

B1 – Intermediate

Advertising is very important. It is a good way for consumers to know a product very well. Advertising also influences people’s mood and emotions. It makes people buy things they don’t need and makes them feel depressed for not being able to buy items that are in fashion.

Read the article below to know more about the good and bad in advertising.

History of Advertising – The Pros and Cons of Advertising

Discuss:

1. Why is it necessary to advertise?
2. Is there truth in advertising?
3. What kind of advertisements attract your attention?
4. Do you find advertising persuasive? Why do you buy one product over another?
5. Should alcohol or tobacco companies be allowed to advertise? Why or why not?
6. What is the most advertised product in your country?
7. What are the harmful and the beneficial effects of advertising?

Stereotypes About The Spanish That Are True

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Stereotypes are nothing new. We all have fixed ideas of different cultures. Fortunately, most of them aren’t true. The article below shows an interesting view of Spanish stereotypes that are interestingly true.

Read the different points and be ready to express your points about them.

12 Stereotypes About The Spanish That Are DEFINITELY True

Discuss:

1. What was your initial reaction when you read the title?
2. Which of the stereotypes mentioned in the article do you think are true?
3. What other Spanish stereotypes do you know of that were not mentioned?
4. Share some of the stereotypes that you have of other culture.

Chemicals in Fast Food Packaging

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B2 – Upper intermediate

“Health is wealth.” is a common English expression. But how can we maintain good health in the midst of  our busy lives? Apparently, we can. All we need to do is to be aware of what we are eating. Find out from this link about a new study of packaging in fast food restaurants.

Report finds chemicals in one-third of fast food packaging

Discussion:

1. Summarize what was written in the article.
2. Take a look at the pictures and make comments.
3. What are the side effects of fluorine in our body?
4. What should we do to avoid exposure from fluorine in fast food restaurants?
5. What are the long term effects of taking care of your health?

Childhood Obesity

B1 – Intermediate

The number of children suffering from obesity is increasing. It is considered a major health concern, especially in developed countries. But what causes childhood obesity? Read the article below to know more. Be ready to express your thoughts.

Childhood Obesity

Discuss:

1. How do you know if your child is overweight or obese?
2. Would you say that some children in your country are suffering from obesity or becoming overweight?
3. What causes a child to become overweight or obese?
4. How can you prevent your child from becoming overweight or obese?
5. What should the government do in order to prevent children from having serious weight issues?

Traditional & Western Medicine

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B2 – Upper intermediate

The World Health Organization estimates that between 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population (over 4 billion people) rely on alternative medicine as their primary form of health care compared to only 10 to 30 percent of people who use conventional medicine.

Traditional vs Western Medicine.Perhaps both?

Discuss:

1. Do you think traditional medicines are tried, tested and safe?
2. What traditional medicine do you know about? Have you tried any?
3. Would you like to try acupuncture? Cupping? Massage?
4. Do you think traditional medicine works?
5. Do you think traditional medicine is just a trend that goes in and out of fashion?
6. What do you think of things like art therapy, music therapy, healing with animals, etc?

App Targets Fake ‘Made in Italy’ Labels

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B2 – Upper Intermediate

Have you ever seen or bought products that looked genuine but they really aren’t? There’s an a mobile app that helps you spot fraudulent Italian products.

Read more about this app and how it works and what it can do.

Smartphone app targets fake ‘made in Italy’ labels

Discuss:

1. What do you think about this app? What other features would you add to it?
2. How prevalent is counterfeiting in your country?
3. Is it really possible to lessen the spread and sale of counterfeit items?
4. Are you guilty of buying counterfeit items such as shoes, bags or clothes?

Swiss Army to Accept Overweight Recruits

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B2 – Upper Intermediate

The Swiss Members of Parliament is hoping to increase the number of military service recruits in their country.

Find out more how they are going to do it through this BBC article:

Calls for Swiss army to accept overweight recruits

Discuss:

1. What are your thoughts on this proposal?
2. How would you feel about mandatory military service in your country?
3. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of doing military service?

Never Too Old for a Tiara

B2 – Upper intermediate

The Philippines just recently hosted the Miss Universe pageant last January 2017. It showcased a range of beauties and talents from across the globe. All young and in their prime. The video below shows a different kind of beauty contest. Watch the video carefully then be ready to answer comprehension and discussion questions.

Discuss:

1. Discuss what the video is all about.
2. What are the contestants saying about joining the pageant/contest? What are their words of wisdom?
3. What is your general opinion of beauty contests/pageants?
4. What message do you think is this video trying to send?
5. In the United States, they have beauty contests for girls as young as 5 or 6. Do you think that’s a good idea? How do you think it will affect the child?

Farmers Spray E.U. Building With Milk Powder

B2 – Upper intermediate

When the government is helping the big corporations win, the smaller guys continue to struggle. Watch the video below about a protest that some farmers made against the European Union’s decision regarding milk production and selling.

Discuss:

1. Explain why the farmers decided to spray an EU building with milk powder.
2. How’s the agriculture business/industry in your country?
3. Do you think the European Union’s action to “stabilize the market” was a good one?
4. What are some agricultural products that you import from other countries?
5. What’s an ideal way to help local farmers survive in today’s world?