Do you feel nervous if someone comes to your door who you do not know? Sometimes people come to your door because they need to check that you are paying the right amount of money for your household bills. These activities focus on reading an electricity meter in your home and you will learn how to speak more confidently with people like meter readers, if they ever come knocking on your door. 

Tasks

Task 1 - understanding the film

In this first task, check your understanding of the film by deciding if the statements are true or false.

Task 2 - understanding useful phrases

This next activity will help you understand the meaning of some useful phrases from the film.

These phrases may be useful when a visitor, like a meter reader, comes to your home.

Task 3 - summary

Complete the summary of the information in the film by putting the sentences into the correct order. 

Transcript

Meter reader: Hello, I’m from City Electricity Services. I’d like to look at your electricity meter please, if that’s alright.

Wife: I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

Meter reader: I need to take the reading of your electricity for the bill.

Wife: Oh, I see, the electricity bill. Yes, sorry, how much is it?

Meter reader: No, no, no. You don’t understand. I’m not here to take the money.

Wife: Oh, I see, there isn’t a bill?

Meter reader: No, not yet… You’re not from this country are you?

Wife: No, we’ve just moved here from India… just last month.

Meter reader: Welcome to London then! Let me explain how it works. In your home, you’ve got a meter -

Wife: One metre?

Meter reader: No, it’s like a little machine with numbers. I think that’s it, just there.

Wife: Oh, I see.

Meter reader: The numbers show how much electricity you’ve used. I need to take the reading… I need to read the meter and write down the numbers. And then we’ll send you a bill in the post.

Wife: Oh right.

Meter reader: But no-one will come to collect the money. If someone calls saying they’re collecting money, they’re probably not genuine.

Wife: Not.. genuine?

Meter reader: Not real… not who they say they are. You pay, through your bank. Or you can use the internet.

Wife: Oh right. I see. Could I see some ID please?

Meter reader: Yes, of course. (The meter reader shows her a photo-ID card.) This is me when I was younger and better-looking!

Wife: Come in.

Meter reader: Thank you.(The meter reader goes in, looks at the electricity meter, and writes down the numbers)

Meter reader: Right, thanks, I’ve got your reading now. So you’ll get your next bill in the post soon.

Wife: Thanks.

Meter reader: And you know you’ve got your gas meter out there? And also your water meter.

Wife: Yes, I know. Well, I didn’t know. But I know now! Thank you for your help.

Meter reader: My pleasure. And if you want, you can read the meters yourself.

Wife: Really?

Meter reader: Yeah. Simple. You just write down the numbers on the meter. And then you can phone and tell us. Or you can do it on the internet. Same with your gas and water.

Wife: Oh, well it’s useful to know that. Thank you.

Meter reader: At least you know the bill is always right. Anyway, that’s it! You have a good day now!

Wife: Thank you very much. Bye.

Wife: Bye bye.

(later that day)

Wife: Gas 37591

Husband: What are you doing?

Wife: Reading the gas meter.

Husband: What?

Wife: So that we get the right bill.

Husband: Why?

Wife: Don’t you know anything!?

Downloads

Comments

  • Do you have an electricity meter, a gas meter or a water meter in your home?
  • Do meter readers sometimes come to your home?
  • Do you read the meter yourself to check how much you are using?

Add a comment below to tell us

0 votes

I like the idea of this video: its message is sensible  and the spoken language is clear. However, I am not sure what level it is aimed at. I would expect an Entry 1 or 2 learner to need this type of information. Sunita seemed to be well above this level from her spoken language. I think that a simpler level of language could have been chosen. By the time that learners have acquired the level of language needed to understand this video they will have already got the message about meters from friends or neighbours.

It would have been better to show types of meter (dial or digital types)  and how to take readings, as you are assuming a level of numeracy which many learners may not have.

For the task 3 where learners need to say who says what it would have been helpful to use the original voices, rather than only female voice for both. Also I think use of indirect speech in task 4 makes the task unduly complex.

Perhaps you will be able to make a lower level version in future?

0 votes

Thank you for your comments Sue, and it is always helpful to get feedback from teachers.  We had to think quite carefully about the language used by the actors, and feedback from the learners who tried the activities at the piloting stage suggested that they would like to hear correct English rather than anything too simplified.

The interactive tasks were created after the films had been completed, and this meant that the original actors were not available to voice the activities.  Have you seen the teacher’s notes to accompany the series as they do give suggestions for differentiation.