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Talking about Family: Listening Practice

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talking about familyWelcome to our free lesson talking about family to give you practise for the IGCSE ESL exam. This is just one of the many lessons available to reinforce your learning so you feel confident when the IGCSE ESL exam day arrives. Our lessons are centred around common themes featured in the reading, writing, speaking and listening parts of the exam.

Talking about Family: Listening Practice

listeningIn this lesson, we will practice our listening skills by talking about family. Watch our video that will guide you through the lesson. You will be asked to pause the video to complete the activities in the tabs below.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Word List
You are going to watch two children reading out a letter to their parents. The letter is asking for a perfect nanny.

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The Perfect Nanny

If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Play games, all sorts

You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet and fairly pretty
Take us on outings, give us treats
Sing songs bring sweets

Never be cross or cruel
Never give us castor oil or gruel
Love us as a son and daughter
And never smell of barley water

If you won’t scold and dominate us
We will never give you cause to hate us
We won’t hide your spectacles
So you can’t see
Put toads in your bed
Or pepper in your tea
Hurry, Nanny!
Many thanks

Jane and Michael Banks

Todd and Julia discuss types of parents such as Tiger Moms and Helicopter Parents. Listen to the audio twice and answer the questions.

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Todd: Now there’s a couple that are kind of, that are not as nice. They can be positive or negative like for example a helicopter parent.
Julia: A helicopter parent? What’s that?
Todd: So a helicopter parent is basically a parent that just hovers over their child all the time. They’re always worried about their child. They follow them everywhere. They want to know what they’re doing at all times and they just worry a lot. They’re so worried…
Julia: That sounds very stressful.
Todd: Yeah.
Julia: As a parent.
Todd: They’re always worried their child’s going to get hurt or something, you know, or they just are just over-protective, I guess yeah. So are you a helicopter parent?
Julia: No, I don’t think so, no. No, I’m very happy for my daughter to have independence.
Todd: That’s good. That’s good. So you don’t like, if she goes outside for a few minutes or if she’s, you know, you hear some clanging in the next room, you don’t go rushing over.
Julia: No. I wait for the tears before I go over.
Todd: Smart, smart. There’s, recently because of a very popular book we have, it’s called the Tiger Mom.
Julia: A Tiger Mum?
Todd: Yeah, Tiger Mom.
Julia: Sounds cool. Is it a positive term or is it a negative?
Todd: It is kind of. Actually it comes, the tiger I think comes from the Asian reference. It’s like for an Asian mother and it’s basically really strict, really driven, like really push your kids, make them study hard, demand good grades, demand that they do extracurricular activities, really push them to have high paying careers or successful careers, do well academically and stuff like that.
Julia: From very young, does this…?
Todd: Yeah, from very young. The woman who wrote the book, I think it’s actually called Tiger Mom and she was a Yale professor and I think she was of Chinese ancestry and she raised these very successful daughters and so she wrote a book and basically saying you need to be strict and push your kids and demand excellence. I think that’s what she wrote.
Julia: Is the tiger, is it reference to like the Chinese horoscope, maybe like the characteristics of the tiger for that year?
Todd: No. Actually I just think it has to do with being a tiger comes from Asia, I think that’s it.
Julia: OK, well a tiger does have a pretty kind of aggressive or driven sort of image.
Todd: Right.
Julia: When a tiger gets something in its sights, you know, like where it comes from.
Todd: Totally.
Julia: No, I’m not so much a tiger mum, no.
Todd: So you’re a soccer mom.
Julia: More of a soccer mum I think, yeah.
Todd: That’s good. Yeah, that’s what I would want, a soccer mom.
Julia: A soccer mum, yeah.

Resources adapted from More Moms.

There are many idioms about the family. Here are just a few that might prove a useful addition to your family vocabulary.

to get on with / get along with – to like someone and have a friendly relationship with them
to fall out – to have a disagreement which ruins a relationship with that person
to follow in someone’s footsteps – to do the same thing as someone else did previously, especially someone in your family
to take after (someone) – to be very similar to an older family member

Here are the keywords and phrases covered in this lesson:

  • aggressive
  • characteristics
  • cheery
  • Chinese ancestry
  • Chinese horoscope
  • cross
  • cruel
  • demand excellence
  • driven
  • extracurricular activities
  • fall out
  • follow in someone’s footsteps
  • get on with
  • high paying careers
  • independence
  • over-protective
  • rushing over
  • takes after
  • sincerely
  • stressful
We add activities and exercises regularly on various themes, so why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day.

Explore the way we use technology and science in the modern world

Here you will find exercise to practice for the reading and writing section of IGCSE ESL examination for either the core or extended papers.

Exercise 1 (Questions 1 -4) - Short answer exercises

Exercise 2 - (Question 5) Gap-filled exercises

Exercise 3 - Matching

Exercise 4 - Multiple Choice

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. So, our IGCSE ESL Word searches are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings. Word puzzles require not just a good vocabulary and a knack for spelling, but the ability to think logically and strategically. In the case of puzzles like our IGCSE Crosswords, it’s crucial to spell linked words correctly to be able to complete the task.
Learning English requires not just a good vocabulary, but a strong foundation of all skills to communicate well. Here we provide activities for the IGCSE ESL for all the skills required to be successful in this examination.
Levels Links:
Learn English with our free material for different levels of English. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practise activities for students who are preparing for the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses.

We provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

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