martes, 1 de julio de 2014

Madrid Teacher: False advertising

Our Madrid Teachers are talking about false advertising this week, which gives us the chance of paying attention to specific features of spoken English.

To begin with, watch the video through to get the gist of what Louise, Thomas, Sophia and Vicky are saying.

Now watch the video more carefully and try to identify the following examples of spoken English:
  • Use of so as a connector.
  • Use of actually to introduce a bit of surprising information.
  • Use of like as a linking word.
  • Use of really to react and show surprise.
  • Reacting to what we have just heard: Wow; Exactly; Of course; [Oh]Yeah, it's true; Oh, yes; I always think the same thing; Yeah, I guess so
  • Trying to involve listeners in the conversation: Can you think of any...?
  • Fillers to gain thinking time: Well; you know
  • Vague language: or something; or something like that; kind of

Now it's over to you. If possible, get together with a friend or relative whose level of English is similar to you and discuss false advertising. Also, think of specific ads to illustrate your ideas. Don't forget to use some of the features of spoken English that have come up in the video.

Louise: So I saw that there was this company which was making videos to turn your baby into a genius and it’s recently had to start giving refunds to its customers because it admitted that actually you can’t make a baby a genius by watching these videos.
Thomas: Wow, that’s a revelation.
Louise: You got me thinking about all these products, and these infomercials, where they’re
selling things that claim to do miraculous things but surely, they can’t all be working. I don’t know, can you think of any…?
Vicky: Well, I’m not, I’m not fully convinced by all these expensive face creams to prevent ageing, to reduce the signs of ageing, you know, I’m not even all that old but I can clearly see that they don’t make a difference on me, ha, ha, ha, I don’t have big wrinkles yet.
Sophia: They have an actress advertising it that’s had a face-lift.
Vicky: Exactly.
Thomas: Of course.
Louise: I’m sure if they were working people wouldn’t be going off to have face-lifts and botox.
Sophia and Vicky: Exactly.
Louise: Yeah, it’s true. It’s true. Also those, those products that claim to make you super skinny or super fit.
Thomas: Oh, yeah, like the platform that you stand on and vibrates a little bit and requires your whole body to somewhat stabilize and in a few days you look like a body builder.
All: Strange, scary.
Thomas: I’m sure they got that body by standing on a platform.
Vicky: I stand on the metro platform everyday and I don’t look like that. Vibrations.
Sophia: I learnt that there are those products that are supposed to make your hair grow.
Louise: Oh, yes.
Sophia: You have these two people in the magazine. One guy without hair and a completely different guy with hair. And they say use this for three months and you’ll have this set of hair but there are so many bald man around so I don’t think it works.
Louise: I always think the same thing. If that was working there wouldn’t be any bald men around.
Thomas: Haven’t you ever heard bald is beautiful?
Louise: Yeah, I like bald men.
Sophia: Yeah, no problem with bald men but problem with the products claiming that it will give you hair.
Louise: False advertising.
Thomas: Actually, I read another thing about problems with products. There was a yoghurt that claimed to really aid digestion or something, after...
Vicky: Actimel or something.
Thomas: something like that, and somebody won this class-action lawsuit because they’re like it didn’t help my digestion.
Sophia: You can’t really prove that, can you?
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Thomas: I’m glad I wasn’t at the trial.
Sophia: But also you kind of have to have a look at the people who buy these products as well, like, come on, did you really think your baby was going to become a genius by watching this video?
Louise: They were probably stupid in the first place.
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Vicky: No one said anything about that.
Thomas: Really, all a product is providing is a service, they just need to spend their money on something.
Sophia and Louise: Yeah, I guess so.