6.2 A GLOBAL LANGUAGE? LANGUAGE

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Question English
Answer English

Complete the questions using the words in the box.
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Can you explain the meaning of the phrases in bold?

Why do you think English has become a "lingua franca", used by people around the world to communicate? What factors contributed to its rise as a (?) language?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Why do you think English has become a "lingua franca", used by people around the world to communicate? What factors contributed to its rise as a global language?
global language: a language used all around the world

Think of three ways to improve your (?) of a language
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Think of three ways to improve your command of a language
command of a language: ability to use;

and one situation where you need to (?) your language.
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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and one situation where you need to mind your language.
mind your language: pay attention to the words that you use, e.g. in order not to appear rude

What happens when you experience a language (?)? Do you think these will still exist in the future? Why? Why not?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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What happens when you experience a language barrier? Do you think these will still exist in the future? Why? Why not?
language barrier: a breakdown in communication as a result of people not having a common language in which to communicate

Can you name an ancient or (?) language?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Can you name an ancient or dead language?
dead language: a language which is no longer in use, for example Latin or ancient Greek;

Can you name a country where the (?) language used for legal purposes is different from the language spoken on the street?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Can you name a country where the official language used for legal purposes is different from the language spoken on the street?
official language: the language which is used for official (e.g. legal) purposes in a country

Can you name a country where the official language used for legal purposes is different from the (?) language spoken on the street? Do you think this is a problem?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Can you name a country where the official language used for legal purposes is different from the everyday language spoken on the street? Do you think this is a problem?
everyday language: the language used to communicate on a day-to-day basis

Would you ever use (?) language? In what kinds of situations?
command, mind, dead, offensive, everyday, global, barrier, official
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Would you ever use offensive language? In what kinds of situations?
offensive language: language which can be used to offend someone, e.g. swearing

Complete the idioms in bold
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with the words in the box.

Marise was talking so fast I just couldn't get a (?) in edgeways.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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Marise was talking so fast I just couldn't get a word in edgeways.
couldn't get a word in edgeways

Come on! Try to (?) to the point.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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Come on! Try to get to the point.
get to the point

After ten minutes we realised that we were talking at (?) purposes.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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After ten minutes we realised that we were talking at cross purposes.
talking at cross purposes

I'm sorry, I didn't (?) what you said.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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I'm sorry, I didn't catch what you said.
I didn't catch what you said

That kind of behaviour is not acceptable. It sounds to me like she needs a (?) talking to.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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That kind of behaviour is not acceptable. It sounds to me like she needs a good talking to.
needs a good talking to

I'm sorry. We've been talking (?) all evening. Let's stop talking about work now.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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I'm sorry. We've been talking shop all evening. Let's stop talking about work now.
talking shop

Could you (?) that by me one more time?
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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Could you run that by me one more time?
run that by me

I couldn't make head or (?) of what she was saying.
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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I couldn't make head or tail of what she was saying.
I couldn't make head or tail of

That's an understatement to say the (?).
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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That's an understatement to say the least.
to say the least

Unfortunately, I think he got the wrong end of the (?).
good, get, least, catch, cross, tail, run, stick, word, shop
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Unfortunately, I think he got the wrong end of the stick.
the wrong end of the stick

Which idioms in Exercise 1A
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would you use in situations a)-j)?

Someone has completely misunderstood what you have said (so they do something different).
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he got the wrong end of the stick

You can't understand anything that someone is trying to say.
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I couldn't make head or tail of what he was saying.

You can't hear what the other person is saying.
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I didn't catch what you said.

Someone is talking so much it's hard for you to say anything.
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I couldn't get a word in edgeways.

Somebody needs to be reprimanded for something.
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He needs a good talking to.

You need someone to repeat what they said.
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Could you run that by me one more time?

There has been a misunderstanding on both sides.
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We realised that we were talking at cross purposes.

Someone should say what they want to say (instead of talking around the subject).
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Try to get to the point.

You think a situation is more serious than someone else suggested.
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That's an understatement to say the least.

Someone talks about their work.
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He talks shop.

Read about the radio programme
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and answer the questions.

What do Stephen Fry and David Crystal discuss in the programme?
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They discuss the evolution of English, and how it might change in the future.

What are the two main reasons given for why English is changing?
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the fact that far more people speak English as a second language than a first; the influence of computers and automatic translators.

What kinds of changes are mentioned?
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changes in pronunciation and vocabulary

What do they say about each point?
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new Englishes; culture and identity; local languages/brands of English; English as a mother tongue; English as a foreign language

new Englishes
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there are now many different types of English, for example Nigerian English, Ghanaian English, Singaporian English, etc.

culture and identity
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different countries have adapted English to express their own culture and identity

local languages/brands of English
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when English is adopted by people, it changes according to how they use it, for example to describe local places and things that are important to them (it becomes their own local brand of English)

English as a mother tongue
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there are about 400 million people for whom English is their mother tongue

English as a foreign language
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there are two billion people who speak English as a second or foreign language (five times more than the number of people who speak it as their mother tongue).

Correct the sentence: English has been adopted by more than sixty countries around the world.
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English has been adopted by more than seventy countries around the world.

Correct the sentence: Around the world, one fifth of the population speaks English as a second or foreign language.
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Around the world, one third of the population speaks English as a second or foreign language.


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