martes, 10 de junio de 2014

Madrid Teacher: Cooking shows

In this week's Madrid Teacher series we are dealing with cooking shows on TV. Four Madrid Teachers, Thomas (USA), Louise (Australia), Vicky (Scotland), Sophia (England), are having a discussion about whether they like cooking shows or not, and what their favourite cooking shows are. Their conversation gives us a great opportunity to revise some key features of spoken English.

Watch the video through to get the main ideas of what they teachers are saying.
Watch the video again. This time pay attention to the following:
  • Asking for clarification: What do you mean by that?
  • Using really for emphasis.
  • Showing surprise: Oh my lord!; Really?
  • Showing agreement: Yeah I agree; Oh yeah; Yeah, exactly; It’s true.
  • Showing understanding: Oh, I see.
  • Using vague language: and things; or something like that; kind of
  • Using fillers to gain thinking time: Wel; erm
  • Hedging: Softening our ideas so as not to sound categorical or because we're not sure of the information we are giving: [I] think
  • Using so as a linking word
  • Using like as a linking worl
  • False starts: There are, there are
  • Reacting to what the speaker is saying: That’s, that’s interesting.
  • Using I mean to make yourself clear.
  • Using actually to introduce some surprising information.
Finally get together with a friend or relative and discuss the topic of cooking shows. Try and use some of the features of spoken English when you talk.

Thomas: What is your favorite cooking show?
Louise: None? Ha ha ha.
All: Ha ha ha.
Thomas: What? What do you mean by that?
Louise: I really hate cooking shows.
Thomas: Oh my lord!
Louise: I just find them so boring. I think TV executives have to come up with a more interesting way to entertain us.
Thomas: There’s nothing more interesting than food.
Louise: Really?
Thomas: No I’m teasing but…
Vicky: Ha ha ha. Eating food, not watching food being made though.
Joyce: [Essential for survival!]
Louise: Eating food… yeah. Yeah I agree.
Thomas: Oh, I see. So in that way it can be a bit, er, torturous. But I find them so engrossing.
Louise: Really?
Thomas: Oh yeah! Some, like Iron Chef, the competitions and things, when they, watching
these guys cook with the knives…
Vicky: Oh…
Thomas: That’s one way of, that’s… Well, what other cooking shows… Does anybody like cooking shows? Am I alone here?
Sofia: I, I, I, I like them. There’s one that comes on on the BBC with… [I] think his name’s James Martin or something like that. And he actually has people come in and talk about the food they like, and so they have a discussion and then you watch him cook things but, they’re talking about things in general so it’s not just a cooking show but it’s nice entertainment as well.
Thomas: OK.
Sophia: So I like that, and… Gordon Ramsey, do you all know him?
Thomas: Oh, of course. Hell’s Kitchen, or something?
Vicky: Yeah, Gordon Ramsey’s.. yeah he’s quite entertaining, I suppose. But that’s his horrible character that’s entertaining to the public, it’s not…
Louise: Yeah, it’s not his skill as a cook.
Vicky: …the process. Yeah, exactly.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: That’s what the media has marketed, and, and turned into his celebrity, er, appeal, but…
Vicky: Mr. Nasty, ha ha.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: There are, there are other chefs where it is about the cooking. There’s one in the States where, erm, this guy, it’s called The Take Home Chef, and he kind of assaults people in a way in the, er, market and says, “how about we pay for all the food, go to your house with you, and cook something together?” And then the crew actually follows the person food shopping for their family into their home, and this guy does a, stages a cooking show in a different home each time.
Vicky: Oh OK, that sounds…
Sophia: That’s, that’s interesting.
Thomas: I mean it’s cool because, what’s cool about that is that you see how to cook, erm, with what you have around the house, and, like what ingredients to get in the market. Where, as opposed to these other ones where it’s like, “well we have this saffron that you can only get at midnight in Andalucía.” People in LA are like, “well…OK. Can I use… garlic, salt?”
Vicky: [Yeah, ha ha. At this market.] I think that’s one of the things I find frustrating, actually. When you watch a cooking show, everything’s so… clean, organized, perfectly prepared. Which is obviously your ideal kitchen, but I live with seven other people and it’s never like that. Ha ha ha, you know?
Louise: Yeah, you never have everything pre-chopped that you can just throw into the saucepan, it’s always…
Vicky: No. Exactly.
Sophia: But if it wasn’t like that, imagine how disorganized the show would be. “Oh, does anyone have an onion? Oh well go to the neighbour and get an onion from the neighbour.” Ha ha ha. It has to be like that, it’s TV.
Vicky: Ha ha ha. It’s true.
Thomas: Maybe that would be another direction that they could, er, take them in.
Sophia: Yeah. Real, real-life kitchens.