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Learning English Conversation 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.

Shadowbill - when the students are reluctant to speak up or focus, it is difficult.

Grammar is always a sore point in conversation classes. I try for one bit of grammar (one tense, a couple of modal verbs, use of adjectives, or prepositions) per class, and give them a 'cheat' sheet - a table that can serve as a reference when they leave the class. The cheat sheets have especially been appreciated! If I cover a particularly complex area of grammar, I spend a couple of weeks on in, and bookend these classes with easier, revision classes.

If you cover even a small grammar 'nugget' each class, (and again in a homework task), students will progress. I'm toying with the idea of recording the students at the beginning of the next semester, and then again mid-way or at the end - this will show how far they have progressed.

Sometimes I'll search out songs, news articles and videos, that use the target grammar, and make a quick worksheet/transcript. This gets them used to other accents and different media. But I keep it to under 10 minutes, so it doesn't take over the lesson.

I try to make homework tasks related to either the conversations in the class just finished, or the topics for the following week. I've found students have enjoyed telling stories (true or made-up), around themes such as travel, family, dreams, memories, difficult situations, perfect holidays, etc. You can usually pose a question that integrates the grammar they have just covered.

Occasionally I'll get them to bring in a short news article, a photo or memento to use as a conversation prompt. Vocab games are good for warming up, but I need to be careful how often I use them (or they get boring).

My current struggle is to get the right balance of 'fresh' topics, especially as many of these students have been with me for a year now. At times I feel I've exhausted travel, literature, food, hobbies, so I've been sneaking in some news/politics/science stuff that the minority of the students are interested in.

Let me know if you find some of these ideas useful!

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