martes, 17 de diciembre de 2013

Madrid Teacher series: Talking about style

Three Madrid Teachers talk about style this week. Their conversation is a bit philosophical and might be a bit hard to follow for intermediate students. If so, read the transcript of the conversation below.

In the first place, watch the video through to get familiar with everything that is being said. Watch it as often as you wish and remember you can read the transcript below.

Now pay attention to the following features of spoken English that the speakers use:

- Use of auxiliary verb for agreement ('he sure does'). That way, we don't have to repeat all the information that another person has just said.
- Use of you know to gain thinking time.
- Showing agreement with what is being said (active listening): Yeah; That's it; Yeah, absolutely, I agree; Ok; Of course; Yeah, it's true.
- Showing disagreement with what is being said: I don't understand what you're talking about; No, not necessarily at all; I don't think you have to
- The use of I mean to rephrase what you have said before so that you can explain your ideas more clearly.
- The use of you mean to check that you have understood correctly.
- Vague language when the right words don't come to mind: What's this style thing you're talking about?; or something like this.
- The use of so as a connector to link ideas.

Now it's over to you. What do you think about style? Try and use some of the features of spoken English we've been commenting on above.

The other day I was watching a film with George Clooney and I was reminded, that man has some style! He sure does. I love George Clooney. He’s really captured that old Hollywood style that you don’t see in most actors anymore. You know, that era of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. He’s, he’s really got that sharp style.
Yeah, elegance.
I don’t understand what you’re talking about, I don’t. . . What is this style thing you’re talking about, really?
Oh man! Take a look at these people, I mean, if you had them in a lineup or something. Look at their clothing, the way that, the way that they wear vestments compared to the average Joe. Yeah.
The crisp suit and the nicely ironed white shirt and, the way he carries himself also. George Clooney’s, you know, a style icon.
Or a woman, a woman with a dress that, not only is it a beautiful fabric or color but the way that it fits her body, or something like this. The way that it goes with the look in her face. If she’s got a really sharp face maybe it’s a, a crisp fabric.
And then how she accessorizes it: her handbag, her shoes, her jewelry.
Of course. Jewelry, women and jewelry. Christmas is always set.
Sounds really expensive to me. It sounds like you have to have a lot of money, then, to have style.
I don’t think it…, I don’t think you have to. I think you have to have an eye for what looks good and what suits you.
That’s it.
I think that’s really important.
You mean like Versace or Pierre Cardin or…
No, not necessarily at all. I mean, sometimes at a thrift store or a charity shop you can find, you can find a simple button down whose color matches your eyes or your skin tone. Or, for some reason seems to fit your body type perfectly. And then, what? Two or three dollars later, you’re walking out smiling.
Yeah, absolutely. I agree. The only thing it takes is time.
You have to want to invest time into looking good, I think.
I remember I bought a second-hand shirt once and after the first day it stunk to high heaven.
Yeah, there’s always that danger.
It had a serious case of body odor, let me tell you.
There’s always that danger. But the people who have style, it’s not just these, the famous Hollywood icons like we’re talking about. I mean, it could be, sometimes you walk down the street and you see someone and turn your head and go, “wow.”
Yeah, it’s true.
Something about what they’re wearing.
OK. And that’s, maybe got something, more to do with, it’s got more to do with, the walk or the look or, no? than the item of the clothing.
Well I wouldn’t, I’d say that’s also a part of style.
Yeah, I think . . .
I mean, the way to get style is not necessarily, is not only shop for clothing. I mean, pay attention to the way that you carry yourself, the cadence in your voice, I mean, there’s a whole lot to style.
Your manners, and the way you treat people, and the way you speak to people. So I think it, you know, you have to behave in a way that matches your clothes and your clothes have to match how you behave.
So, now what we’re talking about is substance, not style.
Style, why do we have to separate the two? Style can be a visual extension of the substance within. And, in fact, I think that might be a perfect definition.
So if you dress plainly, you don’t have style. But you might have substance? Or you can’t possibly dress plainly and have substance?
No, I wouldn’t say that. That’s not fair to all the plain dressed substantial people. But, maybe I should revise my definition of style then.