martes, 19 de noviembre de 2013

Madrid Teacher: Pub closures

This week's Madrid Teacher entry is intended for intermediate students. It is a bit dated, from when new smoking regulations in pubs and restaurants had been passed in the UK but not in Spain. Anyway, the video is another great opportunity to listen to authentic snippets of conversation between native speakers of English and see the way they interact.

Watch the video through and enjoy these nice bubbly Madrid Teachers discussing pubs both in Spain and in their home country. What different pub-related topics do they mention?

Let's pay attention to some of the expressions for agreement that we can hear on the video:
Yes, sure.
That's right.
Absolutely, yeah.
It certainly is, yeah.
They are, yeah.
A lot, yeah.

At the beginning of the clip the boy gives us an example of how we can give emphasis by using the auxiliary verb. We usually do so when we wish to show listeners that we feel strongly about what we are saying:
I do enjoy the occasional country walk to a pub.

There are no other examples of this kind of emphasis in the video clip, but here are some other examples:
You do look good today!
I did play a lot of football when I was at school.
You have grown.
You must believe me.

In the sentences with no auxiliary verb, we add do/does/did. We stress the auxiliary verb to make the whole sentence sound more emphatic.

Now it's over to you. Discuss your pub-related habits using some of the topics mentioned on the video or some others you can  think about. In your conversation, try and use some of the expressions for agreement you could hear on the video and use auxiliary verbs to emphasize some information.

I’ve heard recently that there are lots of closures to pubs in England, or there have been over the past year. And I’m a little bit worried because I do enjoy the occasional country walk to a pub, find somewhere unusual in the countryside and have a strange pint.
That’s a part of the culture of England.
Have you visited a country pub in England?
Yes, sure, and what I love about them is now, ‘cause, smoking is banned there isn’t it? So, . . .
That’s right.
. . . to me, well, it’s perfect. Just compared to Spain, where you go to pubs and it’s, there’s smoke everywhere. It’s not nice.
And unhealthy, yeah. What about the, the drinks? Do you enjoy a pint of beer? Do you enjoy that?
I’m a wine drinker.
You can have a glass of wine in a pub, as well.
Absolutely, yeah. But the wine in the UK isn’t really as good as the wine in Spain. And it’s very overpriced comparatively. Yeah..
It certainly is, yeah. Yeah, it’s become more and more popular, hasn’t it, to have a glass of wine at the pub, as opposed to a proper pint of beer.
Yeah. Well they’re heavy, you know?
Yeah, heavy. They’re large, they’re filling. But now they’re cheaper than a glass of wine as well, which is an advantage.
They are, yeah.
What about the, the rules of engagement when you go to a pub in the UK?
What is that?
What are the rules when you approach the, the bar, what do you do? What do you do when you get there?
Elbow your way to the front. Stand on your tip toes.
Biggest, broadest smile, off you go.
And get a beer as soon as you can.
In Spain, for example, do you have rounds?
Yeah, sure we do. I think it’s more common in England, isn’t it? But yeah, we, and you go with your friends, and you go to the bar, and you ask a round for everyone, and then the next person, and, and you can keep all night long.
Absolutely. What about in Canada?
Not many pubs, not, at least not in Quebec. I think in, maybe in Ontario they have more pubs but, there’s not really a pub culture. People aren’t known . . . and in Quebec, in the summer especially, people, people like terraces, you know? They take, try to take advantage of the little, the few months of, you know, nice weather and, you know, sit on the terrace. Rather than being closed in a pub, you know?
So there’s not much of a pub culture, to tell you the truth.
Well, yeah. I’d, I’d hate to think that it was dying out in England but it appears to be. And, Scotland as well?
Well . . .
I think, in Glasgow, there are more than . . . eight hundred bars and pubs, so . . .
Glasgow’s quite a small city. And I have heard that there have been a lot of closures . . . Something like, in the UK fifty-two bars are closing a month or a week or something?
A lot, yeah. It’s worrying.
A lot. But I can’t see the culture ever dying out.
I suppose the strong ones will survive.
And we’ll keep visiting them.
Oh absolutely. There you go. We have the attitude.