7 Week 7

AS Language Programme

Weekly exercises

Word of the week: verdigris

a green or bluish deposit formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces
Quote of the week:“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” -Helen Keller
Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori: Taonga – treasured possession or cultural item, anything precious Fact of the week: Before he became president, Abraham Lincoln was wrestling champion of his county in Illinois. He fought in nearly 300 matches and lost only one.
Lesson Aims: to add to the ability of editing and functional skills for English mastery. Success Criteria: to recognise the expectations of the AS language paper
Keywords: Content and Context Homework: To have all work written up in notes and exercise books

1. Spelling


Write out the following paragraph (in full) highlighting the edits that you make. For example, if you have changed a lower case letter to a capital letter, highlight that capital letter.

Edit the Piece


The following paragraph has many errors. Write out the corrected version including all capitalising mistakes, misspelled words, or incorrect punctuation. 
Dear Sir. I am writeing to complain about the 19-inch LCD Television I brought at your store last week. First of all, the service was vary slow. When I bring the TV home, I see that its not working. When I call your service department for the TV to be took back, your customer representative was rude and said I’m to dumb to own a TV. In fact he tole me some bad words. Finally, when I got my credit card statement, I realize that I was charged twice for the same service. If thats’ how you treat customers, then I’m telling all my Friends not to shop here! Yours truly, Kevin Torres



  1. You are to write out the spelling words below into your English Language notes in preparation for a quiz on Friday. You may wish to add them to your ongoing work so as to keep a running record of words that can be used as a vocab expansion, or in a separate file / book.
  2. You will be tested on these throughout the year at various intervals. For example week 8 test will consist of all words studied thus far.
  3. You will need to find dictionary definitions for all of the below words, and hand write them into your AS Language book. NB: Mostly the google definition (eg typing in ‘necessary definition’) can be wonderful, but not always.
  4. For each word you will also need to put it into a sentence. That sentence must be grammatically correct and contain the word, as it is written below (ie no derivations) and should demonstrate that you understand what that word means. For example ‘I told Louise it was not necessary for her to come along, I knew she had other things to do.’


unkempt trepidation superfluous secular resigned
rescind sequester Machiavellian reactionary precocious
refute loathsome tranquillity woeful zealot
pomposity libel pacifying provincial problematic

How to remember spelling words?

  1. Have the words on one page, and your practice on a separate page. Look at the word quickly and then cover it, then try to write it out – then check.
  2. Try to remember the words in order.
  3. Think up a little rhyme or tune (if you are that way inclined) to remember spelling. One of the main ones I use is the spelling of onomatopoeia where each letter fits with the tune ‘Old Mac Donald’.
  4. Try to use the word more in your day to day.
  5. Test yourself on the Monday (when you first get it), Tuesday, and then Thursday. Science says that gap on Wednesday will provide the most help.

2. Grammar

In six tenses the verb to be is the most irregular and the most important verb in English language.

Six tenses of the verb TO BE

A. Present Tense Singular Plural
First Person I am we are
Second Person you are you are
Third Person he, she, it is they are
B. Past Tense Singular Plural
First Person I was we were
Second Person you were you were
Third Person he, she, it was they were
C. Future Tense Singular Plural
First Person I will / shall be we will / shall be
Second Person you will be you will be
Third Person he, she, it will be they will be
D. Present Perfect Tense Singular Plural
First Person I have been we have been
Second Person you have been you have been
Third Person he, she, it has been they have been
E. Past  Perfect Tense Singular Plural
First Person I had been we had been
Second Person you had been you had been
Third Person he, she, it had been they had been
F. Future Perfect Tense Singular Plural
First Person I shall have been we shall have been
Second Person you will have been you will have been
Third Person he, she, it will have been they will have been

Try the verbs to ‘eat’ and to ‘cared’ in your book.

Tenses must be consistent. If you start out with a verb in a particular tense, you should not change to a verb in another tense.


  • We went into the hall and there we eat our lunch.
  • The policeman stopped the car and inspects the contents.

* Correct:

  • We went into the hall and there we ate our lunch.
  • The policeman stopped the car and inspected the contents.

3. Speed Writing


Task: In your English book you need to write out the following sentence as quickly as you can in one minute. The aim of this exercise is to write as fast as you can, but also as legibly as you can. It doesn’t have to be your neatest writing, but it should be close.


A very big box sailed up then whizzed quickly from Japan.

Make a note of your speed, and rate your legibility out of 5. We will continue to develop this over the term.

4. Speed Reading

Your reading pile can benefit from what emergency room physicians do every day – triage incoming patients. This means they sort people into groups based on their need for immediate treatment.

You, too, can prioritize and select your reading material from highest to lowest priority using various methods.

To start, do you know what’s actually in your pile? Where does it all come from?

  • Unsubscribe and get off distribution lists. If you receive unsolicited e-mail newsletters, follow the simple directions at the end of the communication to get off the mailing list. If you are on a distribution list, either electronically or on paper, find out how to get off. The more you unsubscribe, the less unwanted or unnecessary reading material you receive.
  • Pre-view everything! Remember that pre-viewing (Day 5) is a great weeding tool. Using this technique, it takes only a short time to decide whether a piece of reading material is worth your time and what to focus your attention on.
  • Photocopy or cut out articles. When reading material such as magazines or professional journals arrives, quickly pre-view the table of contents to locate just the articles you want to read. If time does not permit you to read them at that moment, cut or tear the article out or photocopy it and discard the magazine. A small pile of handpicked articles is much more appealing to tackle than a huge stack of magazines or newspapers.
  • Use self-adhesive notes. Instead of earmarking pages, bending the corner of the page down, which then gets unbent most of the time, place a self-adhesive note so it sticks out of the top or side of the pages you want to return to. You can write the topic or a few key words on the note for easy referencing.
  • Keep a table of contents notebook. If you receive a professional journal or even something like a food magazine that you like to keep for referencing, then photocopy the table of contents. Place it in a notebook according to the date. If you have more than one journal or publication, place a divider in the notebook separating the contents. When it comes time to look for a specific topic or piece of information, you save time by flipping through the notebook instead of each individual journal or magazine.
  • Throw away junk mail. When your mail arrives, stand over the trash can. Look at the return address and postage. Immediately throw away any solicitations you know you don’t want. If the stamp or postage is less than twenty-one cents, then it was mailed bulk rate and is probably something you didn’t ask for and don’t want.


Speed Reading Test

The Ties That Bind

By John D. Whitman

“Nice work on this,” Gilchrist said. He leaned back against the round table with the ease of a man who owned not only the furniture, but the building that housed it.

“Thanks, Mr. Gilchrist.”

“You know, I gotta tell you, when you first came on board, I had my concerns. I knew you had the wife, two kids.”

The wife. The two kids. At the office, Max’s thoughts were only of business, and the unexpected mention of his home life jarred him.

“I mean, you’ve gotta have those commitments, they’re the most important thing,” Gilchrist admitted. “But you’re the only family man on the fast track here, and I was afraid your focus…”

“I’m lucky enough to have a family who supports me,” Max interjected.

“Good, because I’m looking around for a number two, Max, and it might be you.”

Max floated back to his office, riding those words like winged sandals. He picked up his phone and pressed 1 on his speed dial.

“Twentieth Century Fox. Joan Kelly’s office.”

“Is the twenty-first-century fox in?” he asked.

The voice on the other end smiled. “Hey, Mr. Kelly. One minute, please.”

Max heard a click that indicated he was being forwarded. Joan picked up and said “Hi” from her car phone. “How’d the meeting go?”

“Supercalifragilistic,” he said. “The old man is dropping hints.”

“You’re a star,” Joan said.

“But it means follow-up. I think I’m going to be late.”

Pause. The sound of the world rushing by, another world somewhere at the other end of the digital connection, a world with other problems, other deadlines, their enormity communicated only by the length of the pause and then two words. “The kids.”

“I know,” he said. “But I don’t think I can make it if I’m gonna get this report done. Can you go?”

Another pause. At the other end of the line, Joan Kelly was hurtling through the Cahuenga Pass, leaving Burbank, heading to a lunch meeting at Citrus. In the gaps between the billboards and apartment buildings, she caught glimpses of sun-baked grass on the hillsides. The trees looked archaic, like something out of her elementary school history class. She’d studied California history when she was a kid. She drove past the American Legion Hall with its cannon in the front, and recalled that Cahuenga Pass in 1845 had been the site of Los Angeles’ only battle.

She sighed, surrendering. “I’ll try.”

Mark your time in your English Book with Today’s Date: _____ minutes _____ seconds.

Respond to Statements: Immediately answer the following statements to the best of your ability WITHOUT looking back at the reading. That’s cheating!

Complete the task in your English book.

Estimate the number of answers you believe are correct and put the number in the blank provided.

Without looking back at the reading passage, respond to the following statements by indicating whether the statement is True (T), False (F), or Not Discussed (N).

  1. ______ Max’s boss does not have a family..
  2. ______ Max’s boss is concerned that Max’s fast track career might be derailed by his family.
  3. ______ Max has a wife and three kids.
  4. ______ Max’s last name is Gilchrist.
  5. ______ Number 1 on Max’s speed dial connects him to his wife’s office.
  6. ______ Max’s wife works as a secretary for Twentieth Century Fox.
  7. ______ It can be inferred that Max’s wife has a busy career of her own.
  8. ______ Max’s boss told him he couldn’t attend his kids’ after-school event.
  9. ______ Max’s wife wishes she hadn’t given the housekeeper the day off.
  10. ______ Max feels lucky to have a family that supports him.

Now, estimate how many of these answers you believe you have correct out of ten _____

5. Summary


This text is an extract from a writer who explores her love for vintage clothes shopping and the emotions she associates with this experience.

I feel history when I walk into a vintage-clothes store. Sometimes, I can see history too. I imagine the heel catching on that ripped tweed skirt and the young woman fighting tears as she rushes past her annoyed-but-patient father to change. She climbs two steps at a time, her mind already rifling through her sister’s closet for a plan B outfit. He reaches for another cigarette, exhaling any hopes of that steadying drink before meeting “the man of her dreams.”

I imagine the wine splashing on that filmy high-neck pale-pink blouse and the perfumed and powdered owner laughing it off, her attentions on the handsome soldier courting her. The next day, she hugs the blouse close to her heaving heart, soaking in the memories of their one evening together – the short sweet memories that will have to sustain her through the lonely months ahead.

I see the flushed cheeks and shining eyes of the young-and-in-love bride as her new husband secures this string of pearls around her neck. Her reflection in the tall moonlit looking glass shows a girl becoming a woman. He sees it too …

There’s romance in vintage.

There’s courting, love, sex, sadness, and pain in vintage.

It’s not always obvious from the dusty crowded windows, but it’s there – the weddings, the funerals, the parties, the disgraces, the secrets, the celebrations, the lives. Sometimes, the storied pieces call to me from across the street, forcing me to “just take a quick look.” Other times, I have to comb and climb through overcrowded racks of patterned polyesters, 80s mistakes, and moth eaten wool. But when I find that special something, I get goose bumps.

In evaluating the condition of a piece, I can’t help but wonder at the life it had before me. Sometimes the past lingers in the fabric, the secrets stuffed deep in the pockets or shoved up stiff sleeves. Holding a dress to the light, you can often see the form of its previous owner. It’s most obvious with vintage shoes, where in the scuffed soles, the worn heels, and the wrinkled tow-cap, you can see the footprint of a path once walked.

I live in a New York City apartment so, unfortunately, I can’t adopt every little embroidered hankie, laugh-lined shoe, or patterned shift dress I think has a story. My wallet is always flexible but my closet is not. So I look for unique pieces. In searching for vintage dresses or unique patterns, I’ve recently taken to trolling eBay*. I’ve found some reliable vintage stores, but my few experiences have reinforced what I’ve always known to be true: there’s a very fine line between vintage and costume. With the right styling and photography, any vintage item can be made to look like a find. I recently purchased a vintage belted cream lace dress that I was very excited about.

It had a square neck and balloon sleeves and it looked special in the photograph. I ordered the dress and when it arrived, I noticed the frayed hem was not as edgy as it had appeared in the photo, and the collar and sleeves made me look like a Renaissance fair worker. I knew even before I tried it on that it was a nice dress, butit would make a beautiful cushion cover.

Had I found it in person and physically handled it before purchasing, I would have paid less, with that cushion – not my cushy backside – in mind. So now, I remind myself to make careful decisions when shopping vintage online, especially when it comes to budget. The thrill of the vintage-store find is a rush but it can be tempered with a few step-away-and-step-back moves and a slow front-and-back reality check in front of a mirror. The thrill of the online auction however is more difficult to reign in. Take it from me that virtual-shopping can cloud your judgment and you’ll suddenly find yourself needing – and willing to pay anything for – that vintage Chanel skirt that you can’t even be sure will fit. I’m not afraid of eBay though, just aware. When used appropriately, it’s a great resource for vintage fabrics, scarves, beads, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.

I prefer to stumble – not click – upon my special blouses, dresses, and tees. I want to spot them nestled between the polyester disco dress and the satin nightie. I want to feel my pulse pick up as I cross to the rack, wondering if that pattern is as I imagine, if the fit is as I dream. I want to hear them separate from the rack, shaking loose their creases and tales. I want to take them home and introduce them to my other storied finds.

Then I want to add a new chapter

Summary Writing

  1. Firstly, summary writing is based on material that has already been written. The summary writer must decide what to include, what to eliminate, how to reword or reorganise information, and how to ensure that the summary is true to the original meaning.
  2. Two types of thinking are crucial to summarising. The first is a selection process: judgments made about what text information should be included or rejected. The second is a reduction process: ideas must be condensed by substituting general ideas for lower level and more detailed ones.
  3. Summary writing is about finding what is important in a text. The aim firstly is to work out to whom is the information important? The key is to acknowledge what is important to the author. This means that you need to look for the things that the author seems to be emphasising. Clues on this is to look at the following: introductory sentences, topic sentences, summary statements, underlinings, italics, pointer phrases, repetitions etc. See if you can spot these, and jot them down underneath your writing.
  4. Sometimes two summaries are better than one. It can be easier to get things clear in your mind first, before trying to write a summary for someone else. The skill of summary writing is key to a number of industries, particularly law, commerce, health and media. You should make sure you understand the text before trying to summarise it for others. The best idea is to make your own notes and then write the summary.


Ko te reo te tuakiri | Language is my identity.  
Ko te reo tōku ahurei | Language is my uniqueness.
Ko te reo te ora. | Language is life.            


AS English Language Copyright © 2020 by christopherreed. All Rights Reserved.

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