English Speaking Lesson 4 Homework


Anna is new to Washington, DC. She meets her friends to go out for coffee. Anna has many things in her bag.



Often English speakers do not say the word "and" carefully. Watch the video to learn about this reduced form in American English.


Anna: Pete, hi! Hi, we are here!

Pete: Hi, Anna! Hi, Marsha!

Anna: Hi!

Pete: How are you two?

Marsha: I am great!

Anna: You know, Pete, I am new to D.C. The city is big.

Pete: Yeah. But you learn a little more every day. How's the new apartment?

Anna: The new apartment is great! Let's get coffee!

Marsha: Anna, do you have a pen?

Anna: Yes. I have a pen in my bag.

Anna: I have a …

Pete: It is not a pen. It is a book. It is a big book.

Anna: Yes. Yes it is, Pete. I know I have a pen, though…

Anna: I have a ....

Marsha: It is not a pen, Anna ... a toy?

Anna: I have a ....

Pete: And it is a pillow!

Anna: Pete, Marsha, I know I have a pen.

Marsha: Anna, it is a map.

Pete: Why do you have a map of the world?

Anna: Pete, Marsha. Now I know I have a pen.

Pete: And now you have a lamp.

Marsha: Anna.

Anna: I have a pen! Let’s get coffee!


Download the worksheet. Practice writing the names of common objects.

Learning Strategy

Learning Strategies are the thoughts and actions that help make learning easier or more effective.

This lesson's learning strategy is focus. Use this learning strategy when you need to get information from listening or reading. Decide what you need to learn and pay close attention when you listen or read.

Here is an example of how to use focus:

In the video, Anna has some strange things in her bag. Watch the video for this lesson and focus on the name of each thing she takes out of her bag. After you watch the video, try to say or write all the things in Anna's bag. If you cannot say five things, play the video again. Write a comment in the Comments section about how using this strategy worked for you. At the end of the video, can you write or say all the things in Anna's bag?

Focus is an important learning strategy because it helps you learn new information more quickly. See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for more details on using this strategy.

Listening Quiz

See how well you understand the lesson by taking this quiz. Each question has a video. Play the video and choose the correct answer.


New Words

bag - n. a soft container used to hold money and other small things

big - adj. large in size

book - n. a set of printed sheets of paper that are held together inside a cover or a long written work

coffee - n. a dark brown drink made from ground coffee beans and boiled water

lamp - n. a device that produces light

little - adj. small in size

map - n. a picture or chart that shows the rivers, mountains, streets, etc., in a particular area

pen - n. a writing instrument that uses ink

pillow - n. a bag filled with soft material that is used as a cushion usually for the head of a person who is lying down

toy - n. something a child plays with

world - n. the earth and all the people and things on it

Free Materials

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

Each Let's Learn English lesson has an Activity Sheet for extra practice on your own or in the classroom.

For Teachers

​See the Lesson Plan for this lesson for ideas and more teaching resources. Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar Focus: BE + Noun; Be + Adjective + Noun; BE + Not + Noun; HAVE + Noun

Topics: Greetings; Names of common objects; Negation

Learning Strategy: Focus

Speaking and Pronunciation: Pronouncing reduced "and​;" BE + noun


Now it's your turn. Send us an email or write to us in the Comments section below or on our Facebook page to let us know what you think of this lesson.

Mobile devices and apps are changing the way people learn English. Online teacher Emma Segev, who won last month's British Council Teaching English blog award, shares her ideas for learning English on the go. Comment below this post if you have further tips.

Technology and language learning

My online teaching career has set me on a journey of discovery. It has provided me with creative freedom, endless resources and learning materials, and the possibility to teach students from all corners of the globe. I'm a true believer in the importance of technology in the classroom and e-learning as a platform for teaching.

However, more and more students are using mobile devices to connect to the web. Mobile learning (or m-learning) is the ability to learn anywhere and at any time using a portable electronic device. Mobile learning is less structured than e-learning, but in my opinion complements the latter perfectly.

Mobile learning and language development

Our world today is obsessed with doing everything quickly, learning included. Self-study is obviously important in language learning. From my experience, as little as one hour a week of self-study can boost a student's progress immensely. Yet the majority of my students have chosen to study online due to time restrictions, and in their first lesson, they make it quite clear they have no time for homework. So, how do I motivate my busy students to find the time?

As the use of mobile technology is increasing, why not offer students the possibility to study anytime, anyplace and at their own convenience through their mobile devices? I get my students started with small, realistic homework activities. I request that my students spend just five or ten minutes a day on English. I introduce them to some of the amazing apps available and encourage them to learn in a mobile way. And it works.

Five free apps for learning English on the go

There are hundreds of mobile phone apps available and it's possible to find free options suited to students on a budget. Here are my top five free apps that students can use for extra practice:

British Council apps offer a huge choice for smart phones. You can look at the options on their webpage and download the apps on Google Play, Apple's App Store or using a QR code. I particularly like 'Johnny Grammar's Word Challenge' - it's a fun way to improve grammar.

Duolingo is a wonderful app that has just won the 'Best education start-up award'. It's designed like a game and is pretty addictive. It's free, contains no adverts and is very effective.

Two min English is free, has no adverts and contains more than two hundred two-minute video lessons on a variety of topics e.g., social English, business English, travel English, common mistakes in English, idioms and phrases.

Game to learn English powowbox is a multi-level game. Once downloaded, it appears as English tracker. The first three levels are free. You have to spot the mistake - if you get it wrong, you receive a clear explanation. It's fun and easy to play.

Real English offers a variety of apps at different levels – business and conversation apps at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The apps are free, but they contain adverts. Each app contains 20 lessons that focus on specific grammar/vocabulary areas. Each lesson is made up of five parts.

Being creative with mobile devices

Why not encourage your students to be creative and use the technology at their literal fingertips to prepare homework activities? I've chosen a few apps and looked at some of their educational possibilities:

Whatsapp is a mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages. Users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages over an internet connection.


  • How about sending your students a short news article or podcast and asking them to send an audio response summarising it in their own words or giving their opinion?
  • Students could send photos with captions to illustrate different tenses. Alternatively they could describe daily habits or routines, or create a set of instructions.
  • Students could create a video or audio of themselves making a short business presentation or reviewing a movie/book or TV show.

Ipadio lets you record up to 60 minutes of high-quality audio. You can then add titles, descriptions, images, and geo-locate your recording before instantly uploading to your ipadio.com account or cross-post to your Twitter, Facebook or blog.


  • Set a research activity, get students to interview a number of people and record and edit their interview.
  • You could record your lesson and send it to students who were absent.
  • Create a revision podcast and send it to your students.
  • Students could create a short story or poem with photos and audio.

Closed Facebook groups can be a great way of communicating with your students. Students can share ideas, opinions and homework projects.


  • Post quizzes and grammar tips.
  • Get students to share book reviews.
  • Brainstorm ideas about different topics.
  • Have a different theme each week and get students to share songs, pictures and quotations connected to the theme.
  • Generally create a place for students to interact with you and with each other outside the classroom.

To conclude, by supplying our students with easily accessible tools for studying 'on the go', we are enabling them to incorporate self-study into their busy lives, accelerating their progress and guaranteeing better results.

Happy teaching!

Teachers, visit our TeachingEnglish website for more lesson plans and activities, and find out how you can become a TeachingEnglish blogger.

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