Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Visit to England Part II

Chapter 8 ----In a West London hospital--
It is Thursday afternoon in West London and Diana is starting work in the hospital. Rebecca, another nurse is talking to her.
"Today you've got three patients. Mr. Miles is no problem. He is very independent. The two problems are Mr. Knight and Mr. Blythe. Mr. Blythe likes to read quietly, but Mr. Knight has a lot of visitors. One of the visitors is his wife. She likes to talk. She talks all the time and Mr. Blythe is becoming very angry!"
"Is the doctor coming round today?" asks Diana.
"Yes," says Rebecca. "She's coming at about five o'clock. Could you ask her to look at Mr. Blythe's left foot? It's giving him a lot of pain. Here's a list of jobs for this evening. I’m going home now. I’m very tired. Good luck!"
"Goodbye, Rebecca! See you on Monday!" Diana says.
Diana is also tired, but she is happy. Thursday is the end of her week. But
Mr. Blythe is not happy. Mrs. Knight is still talking to her husband.
"You have three pairs of socks and two clean shirts in this bag. Tomorrow,
I’m going to wash your green pullover. Do you want your red pajamas and your small alarm clock?" She asks him.
Mr. Knight does not answer his wife. She talks all the time, but he sleeps nearly all the time. He is sleeping now.
Diana feels sorry for Mr. Blythe and plans to help him.
"Mr. Blythe," she says. "There's an empty bed near the window and the view from the window is very nice. Would you like to move there?"
"That's very kind of you, nurse!" Mr. Blythe answers.
Diana asks Fiona, another staff nurse, to help her. Together, they move Mr. Blythe's bed. He can now read in peace.
Chapter 9 ----First letter home-
72 Cowper Street, Wembley, London, W3 4AL
7th February, 1997
Dear Mum (Maruja),
I hope you can understand me because I’m writing this letter in English.
I’m going to ask Roger, Mr. Frost, to correct my mistakes. His job is a translator and his English is perfect. He also speaks Spanish and French.
At the moment, he is translating a French novel into English.

I usually have to work hard after school, but on Fridays Diana, Mrs. Frost, does everything in the house. After working for four evenings as a nurse in a hospital, she likes to spend three evenings with her own children. At the moment, she’s putting Elisabeth to bed. Elisabeth asks a lot of questions. It takes a long time to put her to bed. Isaac doesn’t say very much, but needs a lot of attention.
I’m sure you want to know about my new life in England. Well, every morning after a normal breakfast, I walk to the Underground Station.
It’s on the Central Line so it’s very easy to get to my language school.

I have a Spanish friend called Arturo and we meet in reception before class. We’re going shopping and sightseeing in London tomorrow. His English is a little better than mine so I think he can help me with my vocabulary.

There are only four other students in my class and they’re a little slow.
The book is not very exciting. All the questions are very general, for example:
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Do you wash before or after you brush your teeth?
How many oranges do you eat each week?
Where do you usually go in the autumn / fall?
I’d like to ask the other students about particular times in their lives, but then we need The Past Simple, which is not in our book!

In my next letter, I’m going to tell you more about my English family, but now I need to prepare for my sightseeing trip. Remember the big, red "Tourist Guide to London". It’s the biggest thing on my desk!

All the best, sincerely, Rosa

Chapter 10 ----A supermarket shopping trip-
Diana and Roger Frost are in a large supermarket in Wembley. They shop here every Saturday morning. Their two children are at home with Rosa.

"I’ll get the fruit and you get the vegetables!" Diana tells her husband.
Roger puts four small lettuces into his basket. Then he sees some large tomatoes from Holland and some very small cherry tomatoes from Spain.
He likes tomatoes very much so he takes both types.

Diana always buys a lot of bananas. They are inexpensive and the children like them. The Frosts have apple and pear trees in their garden so they do not buy any green fruit. They also have a lot of raspberries in their freezer.

"Do you have the potatoes?" Diana asks.
"Yes, English ones - King Edwards!" answers Roger.
"Well, you can get the ham, cheese and olives. I’ll get the butter, milk, yoghurt, and pizza bases."

Roger takes a ticket from a small machine and waits for his number.
Then an assistant in a white uniform serves him with 200 grams of Honey Roast ham, 350 grams of Cheddar cheese and 100 grams of small, black olives.

Diana is very quick. Her basket is now very full. She has also got a packet of Mozzarella cheese for the pizza topping and a large free-range chicken for Sunday lunch. She meets her husband near the bread counter.
They buy two loaves (1 Loaf) of French bread for the weekend and some large loaves of white and brown bread to put in the freezer.
"Let’s get the ice-cream and go home." Roger says. "Supermarkets aren’t my favorite places!"

"I know!" answers Diana. "You’d like to do all your shopping by computer! There are two more things on my list. We need toothpaste and toilet paper!"

Chapter 11 ----Sightseeing & shopping in London (1)
A young lady is waiting on the steps of the British Museum. She is looking at her watch. It’s twenty to three in the afternoon. A young man arrives. He is ten minutes late.

"Do your girlfriends in Spain always wait for you?" Rosa asks him.

"Only the old and ugly ones!" answers Arturo.

Rosa is not happy with him.

"Well, this is my afternoon and I’m going to do what I want. First, I want to look at the Egyptian mummies in the museum. They’re very old and ugly and they’re waiting for you!"

The two young students spend an hour in the museum and then buy picture postcards to send to their friends.

"We need at least a week to visit such a big museum. One hour isn’t enough!" says Arturo.

"You can stay here a week," answers Rosa, "but I’m going to two bookshops. One is near London University just north of the museum and the other is a little way south in Charing Cross Road. Are you coming with me?"

"Yes," says Arturo, "but later I’d like to go to the big music stores in Oxford Street to look for CDs."

"If you are patient for the next hour, we can go there later."

Arturo is not very patient. He also wants to look at the computer shops in Tottenham Court Road. He arranges to meet Rosa in the Psychology Department of the first bookshop at five o’clock.

Rosa likes the bookshop near the university, but she is looking for a particular book about Piaget, the Swiss Psychologist. She cannot find it in the first shop. Arturo returns ten minutes early. The new computers are interesting, but much too expensive. He will buy a new computer at El Corte Inglés in Spain.
Chapter 12 ----Sightseeing & shopping in London (2)-
"Can we go to Oxford Street now?" he asks her.
"You’re ten minutes early," she answers, "and I need to go to the second bookshop in Charing Cross Road. It’s just for one book. It won’t take long!"

"OK, but please hurry!" says Arturo. "British shops close very early!
Many of them close at half past five!"
They go to the second bookshop. Rosa is very lucky. The shop assistant is Spanish and studies Psychology. He finds the book very quickly. But
Arturo isn’t so lucky. Rosa has to wait in a long queue (ENG) / line (USA) to pay for the book.

It is nearly half past five and Arturo is becoming very impatient.
"Don’t worry!" says Rosa. "London is an international city. I’m sure the big music stores close later than other shops!"

Rosa is right. When they arrive in Oxford Street, the large music stores are still- open. Arturo finds what he wants and pays for it very quickly.
He is happy now and tells Rosa about his new CD.
"It’s a collection of songs by the American folk-singer Peggy Seeger!" he explains. "The CD is an American import. I can’t find it in Spain."

"What does she sing about?" Rosa asks.

"That’s a good question," answers Arturo, "because the words of her songs make you think. Some of them are about the social situation of women. Others are about green politics and the world we live in. I’m sure you’ll like them!"

"When can I hear them?"

"Not now," answers Arturo, "because now we’re going to visit a very interesting London pub in Holborn. The pub was the home of Britain’s oldest folk club. Peggy Seeger was one of the resident singers. Her husband and singing partner was Ewan MacColl. He’s dead now, but he was the father of British folk music and writer of many great songs."

"When can I hear these songs?" Rosa asks again.

"Well, my CD player is at home in my flat. I don’t want to take my CDs to school, so perhaps I could invite you home one day next week. Now, I’m going to invite you to drink the best beer in London!"

"That’s very kind of you, but I think I’ll have an orange juice!" Rosa answers with a smile on her face.
Chapter 13 ----In the Course Director’s Office
"Come in, Rosa!"
Mary Palmer is sitting at her desk in the Course Director’s office at The English Language College. She is expecting Rosa.

"Angela tells me that you want to change your class. There are only five students in your present class so you have a good opportunity to practice your pronunciation. Do you really want to move to a class with eleven other students?"

Rosa answers Mrs. Palmer’s question very carefully.

"It’s true that I have a lot of speaking time in my present class, but I’m becoming bored. The teacher speaks very clearly, but the book is always the same and the other students are very slow."

Mrs. Palmer can see that Rosa really wants to change, but she must be careful. She doesn’t want all the students to change their classes.

"Well, it’s possible to move you up to the next level. There’s just one place in that class. You’ll need to learn a lot of new words and the grammar is much more difficult. How often do you use the Study Center?"

The English Language College has three special rooms where students can practice after school. The Study Centre contains a language laboratory, a video room and a modern library with cassette players and computers. Many students use the rooms every day, but Rosa has to look after Elisabeth and Isaac.

"I can only use the Study Center on Friday afternoons. On other days,
I have to arrive home before three o’clock to help my English family!" answers Rosa.

"OK." says Mrs. Palmer, "you can move to Room 11 after coffee, but
I want you to practice in the Study Center every Friday afternoon!"

Rosa is very happy to change class, but now she has to work every afternoon. When can she visit Arturo’s flat? When can she hear his CDs?
Chapter 14 ----First lesson in a new class
There are now two Spanish students in Anne Evan’s class. Arturo from the north of Spain and Rosa from Madrid. Anne is happy to have twelve students because they can all do pair-work! Rosa is happy because the level is more difficult. Anne gives her students very clear instructions:
"I’d like Rosa to sit next to Yukiko so that we’ve got six pairs. You all have a copy of the list of words on the board. I’m going to tell you a short story. Listen carefully and check the words you hear."

Rosa does not have a copy of the word list, but Yukiko is very kind. The two students share one photocopy. They do not disturb their teacher.
Anne starts her story:

"Yesterday, on my way home from school, I lost all my money.
Suddenly, I felt very hungry, but at the same moment I saw an
interesting sign. It said: FREE FOOD, THIS WAY! The sign led to a
nice restaurant, but it was closed. I rang the doorbell. Nobody came so I
went inside. On the first table, there were three plates of sushi. I ate two
of them. Then I heard the noise of a taxi. A large man got out. He had
two glasses of saki in his hands. I became afraid and hid under the table.
I lay there for nearly an hour while the large man stood by the door. Then
I woke up. The man by the door was my husband. He told me that it was
morning and that I was in my own bedroom. In his hands, he had two
cups of strong, black coffee."

Anne is a good teacher and her lessons have a lot of variety. The students
have to tell the same story again to their pair-work partners, but first they
have to ask questions in the Past Simple. Anne is listening carefully to her
new student. She tells Rosa that there are two types / kinds of questions with the
words WHO, WHAT, HOW MUCH and HOW MANY . Then she
writes some examples on the board for all the class to see:
Who lost all her money? Anne did. SUBJECT
Who got out of the taxi? A large man did. SUBJECT
How many glasses of saki did he have? Two. OBJECT
What did Anne lose? All her money. OBJECT