martes, 25 de febrero de 2014

Madrid Teacher series: How annoying are mobile phones?

Our Madrid Teachers are talking today about mobile phones and manners. They use an anecdote about Hugh Jackman interrupting a play in New York because a mobile rang in the middle of the performance. The conversation gives us the opportunity to study some features of spoken English that might come in really handy when we're having a conversation. These are some of the features that come up in the video clip.

- Use of I mean to rephrase what you have just said.
- Use of like as a linking word to introduce your ideas.
- Use of like with the meaning of 'for example'.
- Showing interest in what the other person is saying: Yeah; Oh, very annoying.
- Use of you know and well to give yourself thinking time.
- Use of tag questions to check information: aren't they?

Watch the video and try to spot the above-mentioned features of spoken English.

Now it's over to you.
In your opinion, how annoying are mobile phones?
Give some examples of mobile phones interrupting something when they should be turned off.
What do you like about mobile phones?
What don't you like?
Can you imagine your life without a mobile phone now?
How addictive are they?
Would you rather have a mobile with a contract or with a top-up card?

Try and use some of the features of spoken English that came up in the video.

The other day Hugh Jackman was doing a play in New York, I think. And a phone went off during the play and he just stopped it, stopped what he was doing, and he just said,’Oh come on, just, just grab it. I’ll wait until you answer.’ And . . ., and, I mean, that’s not something that an actor does usually. Like, they would never stop a play for that, but I think it was very spontaneous, because it is a bit annoying if that happens.
If he’s right in the middle of his performance, and I think it was quite early on in the, in the, in the season for the play. He was probably quite nervous and it must be so distracting to have that happen.
I was at a play a few weeks ago here in Madrid and, and it happened. And it was, it was a one-man show, it was just one guy on the stage, you know, delivering this monologue, very dramatic. And this phone went off…
Oh! Very annoying.
…and, he just, he just, he stopped also, and he just stared at the guy until he hangs up the phone. Everyone was very uncomfortable. But the incredible thing was that it happened again ten minutes later. 
Oh, the same guy? The same person?
I think, it sounded, it was the same ringtone. People are so rude, it’s incredible. I mean if you, if you go and see something like that, you turn off the phone.
I had the same thing. I went to Circulo de Bellas Artes recently, and I think it was the opening night of a play, and it was the same. Like, lots of people arrived late…
…the phones went off about three or four times. People tried to turn them off quickly, obviously. But it’s just a total interruption. They didn’t stop or wait, they just continued with what they were doing because it seemed to be taken for granted.
These are bad situations but I don’t know, what do you think about phones? Like, do you, what do you like about them? Or what do you don’t like? I mean, because, obviously we hate that about it because it’s horrible when that happens, I mean no one likes it. But obviously they are good for some reasons, aren’t they?
They’re very convenient.
Yeah, yeah.
Very convenient.
It’s handy if you’re running late. You can let your friend know that you’re going to be ten extra minutes. That’s, that’s useful.
Or you meet somebody in a public place. That’s happened to me, like you know, I always think, ‘how did I ever live without my mobile phone all those years?’ You know...
...but you know the typical, you’re meeting somebody in like, La Puerta del Sol at Christmas, and it’s like, ‘I can’t see you! Where are you?’ You know? But like, you think, like that’s happened to me, you know, going to meet somebody and like, then you go home because you never saw them. You know if you, like pre-mobile phone era. And then you say, ‘but I was standing right there!’ But there were just so many people, you just didn’t see them, you know?
Yeah, it’s too busy.
I think they are addictive, aren’t they? Because, well, I got like, my phone got stolen like two weeks ago, and I thought I would never be able to live without it, and then I’ve been fine, like, for two weeks. And then, I had to buy a new phone and I was like, I’m not sure, I’m, I’m, I’m OK like this, but obviously you need it. If you, for work, for everything.
I’ve only just got a contract phone and, I realised before I really couldn’t make many phone calls or do anything with my mobile because every time I put on credit, I seemed to run out immediately, you know. So, I grew accustomed . . . Yeah, it’s definitely worth it. But, I grew accustomed to not, like, having
a phone but not really being able to use it. And I must admit I found it far more inconvenient because nowadays, you never seem to have a landline in your apartment. Yeah like, I’ve not, I’ve not been in a flat in the past, since arriving in Spain that’s actually had a landline.
Yeah, because people used to have landlines because then, you, you know, you’d have internet. But now, even with mobile phones, you can get modems and have internet so you don’t even need a fixed line, or a fixed phone line, or whatever it’s called anymore.