martes, 8 de abril de 2014

Madrid Teacher: Mystery times

Our Madrid Teacher video for this week revolves around the topic of mysteries. Before you watch the video just think about these famous mysteries, what do you know about them?
  • Jack the Ripper
  • The Nazca planes in Peru
  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Moais on East Island
  • The pyramids in Egypt
  • The Loch Ness Monster
Now watch the clip and see whether the Madrid Teacher manage to throw some light on these mysteries.

Once again, the conversation of the Madrid Teachers gives us a great opportunity to get acquainted with some feature of spoken English. Watch the clip again and pay attention to the following:
  • vague language: sort of; or so
  • gaining thinking time: well; you know?
  • connecting ideas: like; so
  • agreement: yeah; that's a good point; yes, that's right
  • involving the other people in the conversation: Do you a little about it?
  • hedging: I suppose; I think
  • rephrasing what you have just said: I mean
  • reacting to what you have just heard: oh!
  • emphasis: really
  • introducing an explanation: the thing is

Now it's over to you. Can you think about some other unsolved mysteries? Can you talk about them with some of your friends? Use the mysteries the Madrid Teachers discussed today if nothing comes to mind. And don't forget to use some of the features of spoken English when you talk.

I just read an article the other day about Jack the Ripper, which a sort of, well, a mystery story because nobody really knows who killed those five women, you know? It was actually just between a, in a seven month period, five women were killed. Two on the same day. And what, what the mystery is, is first of all they never found the guy, and second of all, well, you know there are suspects that it was Queen Victoria’s grandson, who was maybe a Freemason, who, you know, there was all these . . . And there, but there were other suspects as well. The question is also, like, why did they stop all of a sudden, you know? Like, why did he kill those, just those five women? And so there are theories that maybe he killed them, you know, because there was some sort of plan, diabolic plan that he had and he, and, or these women had some sort of relation between each other and once he killed the five of them that’s, that was it. He’d finished his plan. Or, maybe it’s because people started suspecting who it was, and he just wanted to, you know, disappear off the map and not do anymore.
But, but that’s a bit of a mystery, you know? But there are lots of things like that there are mysteries, like for example Nazca planes, in Peru.
Oh, yeah! You know?
Do you know a little bit about it?
I know . . . I’ve never been there. My boyfriend has, but I know that some of them are so large you can see the designs from outer space, apparently. And, many . . .
Like the, like the Great Wall of China.
Yeah, OK, fair enough. But, some people believe that they are tracks for alien landings and what not. Spaceship tracks.
Or runways, I suppose you could call them.
Spaceship runways.
Yeah. If spaceships run, I don’t know.
The thing is, like, how could they, how could people have made those, like if you could only see them from the, even if it’s not from outer space but from an airplane, like . . . how have, could people have engraved these in the, you know?
That’s a good point.
They’re deep, aren’t they? They’re about . . . two feet deep or something? 

They’re huge. Yeah, they’re huge.
Yeah, they’re enormous.
Yeah it would have been difficult to sort of plan it out, to see it from, from the sky.
Another thing are the Moais, or I think it’s pronounced Moais. The ones in Easter Island, those big statues, you know?
Oh yeah.
Like all the bodies are facing one direction, and all the heads are facing another direction. But I mean the heads are like, they weigh like a ton. And how, how can they move these big heads from one end of the island to the other? Like thousands of years ago, like, they didn’t have any, you know modern equipment, or anything to carry these big heads. But the thing is that the head and the body are perfectly aligned. So... you know? Like, it wouldn’t be like just any old head, you know, lined up. Like, it perfectly matches... so, that’s a very, that’s a sort of mysterious thing.
There are no surveys or anything? How did they do it? It’s just ‘cause, if you think about it, it’s not, there’s...

It’s a mystery still, isn’t it? Like Stonehenge, I suppose. They don’t know exactly where the stones came from, or how they were erected, but it happened.
Yes, that’s right.
Is Easter Island the place where it’s an island that obviously used to have a population but, for the past hundred years or so, nobody’s lived there?
Well, it belongs to Chile. I mean, it’s the, it, it belongs to . . . I don’t, I, I actually . . .
But it’s uninhabited.
Is it? Yeah. I don’t know . . .
They did, there was some deforestation, I think, and they were unable to support themselves on the island. Some . . .
Yeah, that’s what I heard.
With the possibility that they used the trees to move the stones.
Well, there’s a movie about that called, Rapanui, which is about, there, there were two tribes of people on this island, and there were always competing with each other. Some of them had long ears and the other ones had short ears.
Yeah, it’s, it’s a really cool movie, actually. And it talks about that mystery. And it talks about how possibly, that one group, well, they were like slaves to the other group. And how they made them carry these heads to the other side like you were saying, like, you know, sort of like when you think of the pyramids, you know? How they built the pyramids, you know? With all the slaves that they used and everything, so  . . .
Magnetic force fields.
So that explains more or less how they did it, then? Or how do they think they did it.
That’s right, it’s a theory. That’s right. Of how they, you know, they sort of had big, you know, logs, and they just sort of rolled them, you know? And of course, people got squished and people got, you know, killed along the way, you know, like, like the pyramids.
It’s a bit different, I suppose, to the Loch Ness Monster, isn’t it? You know, you, you probably know a lot about that.
About the Loch Ness Monster? Yeah. I heard recently that the cast of Allo, Allo went on a boat on Loch Ness, and, I know, but while they were on their boat, the sonar started bleeping and allegedly, they found something very, very deep in the loch, and they didn’t know what it was.