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Improve your vocabulary, listening or reading skills with the quizzes below.
Vocabulary Quiz
communication • private • rude
complicated • model
  1. Do you usually use something as a when you paint or do you just use your imagination?
  2. The new desk cam in pieces and it was very to assemble it.
  3. The fact that you are talking during someone's presentation is quite .
  4. If you have any more questions, you can speak to me in after class.
  5. He can talk forever about things that don't matter, but when he has to have real it's difficult for him.
Comprehension Quiz
Answer the following questions about the interview.
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604 Learning Language
Joel and Tom talk about learning languages in a bilingual family.

  • Transcript
  • Audio Notes
Vocabulary notes (text only) explain key vocabulary and phrases from the interview.

real communication

We usually speak in English when we want to have real communication.

Here, Joel is referring to the topic of conversation. 'Real communication' is necessary when the topic is serious or personal. It is when you are trying to express your ideas or feelings. Joel is saying that when he needs to express himself, he uses English.Notice the following:

  1. Most of the time he speaks in English, but when he wants to have real communication he'll speak in Spanish.
  2. My husband and I have both been traveling so much that it makes it difficult for us to have real communication as much as we want.

in private

If we want to speak in private, then we'll speak in Thai.

You 'speak in private' when you say something in such a way so that other people can't hear or, in this case, understand. Joel and his wife speak Thai around his family when they don't want his family to understand. Notice the following:

  1. She is a completely different person when you speak to her in private than when she is around all of her friends.
  2. We are going to speak more about this in private after the meeting.

quite rude

Don't you think that's quite rude?

Something that is 'rude' doesn't follow the normal, acceptable social rules. Here, 'quite' means 'kind of' or 'very.' Notice the following:

  1. The woman at the store was quite rude to me on the phone.
  2. It's quite rude not to say hello when someone says hello to you first.


It gets complicated because sometimes we don't know which language to speak when others are around.

Something is 'complicated' when it is difficult or not easy to resolve. Notice the following:

  1. This seems like a very complicated game. Can we play something easier?
  2. It can be very complicated to get all of my family members together at the same time.

as a model

I speak English when I'm with my kid so he can hear me as a model.

Someone or something acts 'as a model' when we are using it in such a way that we copy it or learn from it. When you listen to someone speak as a model, you are trying to copy the sound of him speaking to improve your own speech. Notice the following:

  1. They used a castle as a model when they made their tree house in the woods.
  2. You can use my project as a model to help you understand the format.