Once again, the short video clip gives us a wonderful opportunity to get to know the different strategies native speakers of English use to express themselves orally.
First, watch the video through and enjoy it.
Now watch the video again. This time pay attention to the following features of spoken English:
- Use of really to emphasize some adjectives: really important; really competitive; really long way; really impressive
- Use of well to gain some thinking time when we're talking
- False starts: the speaker corrects themselves in mid-sentece: I used to,,, I didn't use to
- Faltering, when the speaker doesn't have a clear idea of what he/she is going to say: I, did...; Did they, did they
- Use of you know to gain thinking time and to check that listeners understand
- Use of you see to introduce your ideas.
- Showing agreement: Yeah; exactly
It's over to you now, How important is winning at sports (or at any kind of competition, for that matter) for you? Try to get together with a friend and talk it over, and don't forget to use some of the features of functional language we have seen in the video.
I have a question for both of you. Do you think that it’s really important to always win at sports?
Well I’m not… with sport I’m not particularly competitive. I just like participating. For example, when I was younger I used to… I, didn’t use to like football because when you’re a kid lots, you know, lots of people are really competitive with football. But then as I was older and I started playing with older people who, who aren’t too concerned with winning and then I really started enjoying it.
You see, I always was competitive. But I think it’s good to have both in a team, you know. Some kids just participate and have fun and others are more driven and keep trying until they, they improve. I think it’s good to have both.
Ah, well I remember a little girl once. She, she was five and she was competing with other kids that were older.
Was her name Sheila?
No. And so for this little girl, the most important thing that I told her was not necessarily… and no, it wasn’t me.
It sounds like you’re telling a story about yourself.
No, it’s not. But the most important thing was to realise that older kids because they’re bigger, of course they could run a lot faster. And so for other children her age she was doing just right. And so then later when actually she was able to run faster she said, “You know, you were really right” and “look how fast I was able to run.”
Oh, well, then also boys versus girls… I remember when my football team went co-ed and that was frustrating ‘cause you went from all girls where you were the… well, I was doing well, and then with boys it was a whole new ball game… literally.
I, did you hear about that ski, British skier? We don’t have a lot… well, in England, we don’t have any mountains where you can ski. But there was this guy called Eddie…
That’s a challenge.
Yeah. He entered the Olympics and he came in last by a really, really long way. But he became famous as a result because people admired his courage and the way he tried and…
Keeping at it…
… Yeah, he kept at it.
That’s like the Jamaican bob sled team. There was a movie made about it as well and I found that to be really impressive.
Did they, did they come last?
I think the first year they might have, but it ends as a good story.
Yeah, it’s a good story, yeah.
But then again the most important thing is to participate, right?
Have fun, yeah.
Not to be too competitive.
Maybe Leigh wouldn’t agree with that.
Well, I mean, it depends. Again, each to their own.