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Alexa is a smart speaker. People use it to control their home and ask it questions. It is a very smart assistant for the home.

People joke that Alexa listens to everything but one family found it to actually be true. They were having a conversation in the same room as Alexa. They did not ask Alexa a question or talk to it. However, Alexa listened to the conversation and recorded it. Alexa then sent the recording to one of their friends.

Their friend was very shocked and told them that Alexa recorded the conversation secretly and sent it.

The family turned off all of their Alexa speakers after finding this problem.

Difficult words

Control: To have power over something.

Assistant: Someone or something that helps you.

Joke: Something funny that someone says.

Conversation: People talking together.

However: But, used to say an opposite.

Record: To keep in writing, sound or video what someone says or does.

Secretly: To do something that no one else knows about.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1.  Control  A.  Funny
 2. Assistant  B. But
 3. Joke  C. Power
 4. However  D. Helper
 5. Secretly E. Hide

True or False?

1. Alexa is a smart person. T / F

2.  Alexa can control a home. T / F

3. Alexa does not listen to people talking. T / F

4. The speaker sent a picture to the family’s friend. T / F

5. The family did not know Alexa recorded them. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. speaker / is / Alexa / smart / a

2. assistant / very / home / is / a / for / the / smart / It

3. that / People / everything / joke / listens / to / Alexa

4. question / not / ask / did / Alexa / a / They

5. shocked / Their / friend / very / was

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Ask Shocked Speaker
Listens However Finding

Alexa is a smart ___________. People use it to control their home and ask it questions. It is a very smart assistant for the home.

People joke that Alexa ____________ to everything but one family found it to actually be true. They were having a conversation in the same room as Alexa. They did not ______ Alexa a question or talk to it. ____________ , Alexa listened to the conversation and recorded it. Alexa then sent the recording to one of their friends.

Their friend was very ____________ and told them that Alexa recorded the conversation secretly and sent it.

The family turned off all of their Alexa speakers after ____________ this problem.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Do you own any smart speakers?
4. How often do you use the smart assistant on your phone or tablet?
5. Will smart assistants like Alexa be more common in the future?
6. Do you trust your private data with companies like Amazon, Google or Facebook?
7. Do you think Alexa speakers are always listening?
8. Do you have or want to have a smart home?
9. What benefits are there to having a smart speaker in every room of your house?
10. Would you rather pay more for a product and have your data remain private or have a product for free and the company uses your data to advertise to you?
11. Do you use Amazon to buy things online?
12. What do you know about Amazon?
13. Is there a similar site to Amazon in your country that is popular?
14. Do you prefer to shop online or in a store?
15. Is there anything that you would never buy online?
16. Is there something that your phone can’t do but you would like it to?
17. Do you think technology is making people lazy?
18. What do you think is the most useful piece of technology from the last 10 years?
19. What would you have done if this had happened to you?
20.  Do you think the family overreacted by removing all of their Alexa speakers from their home?