martes, 30 de septiembre de 2014

Madrid Teacher: Unusual gifts

In our Madrid Teacher series this week, four teachers talk about unusual presents they have given or received. Their conversation gives us a chance of revising some features of spoken English they use.

First of all, watch the video through, so that you can get the gist of what the conversation is about.
Now watch the video again paying attention to the following features of spoken English:
  • Use of so as a linking word.
  • Fillers to gain thinking time: erm; you know; like
  • Use of really to emphasize the verb
  • Reacting to what the speaker has just said: You received that?; Oh, that s fantastic
  • Showing agreement: Yeah, yeah; Yeah, I think so too; Yeah, that’s right; That’s a good point.
  • Use of vague language: or something like that; or something; like; things like that
  • Use of I mean to paraphrase what you have just said

Now it's over to you. What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever given or received? Do you like giving and receiving gifts? Do you find it difficult to think of the right present for your friends or relatives? Have you ever heard of unusual or extravagant presents? Have you ever been given one? What's your take on giving money as a present? Discuss these questions with a friend or relative and don't forget to use some of the features of spoken English we have revised with this video.

Thomas: So, we’re fresh back from the holidays, erm, that makes me wonder. What’s the most unusual gift you’ve ever given or received?
Louise: I got once, erm, I really think gift giving has become, it’s out of control, you have to buy a present, it’s so commercial, but I got a charity gift one year which was a card telling me that, erm, my gift was a packet of seeds and a goat for a family in Vietnam.
Thomas: You received that?
Louise: I received the card saying that…
Thomas: Oh, that s fantastic.
Louise: …that the money had gone there to buy those things for the family in Vietnam, which was nice. I didn’t really need anything and, you know, most of us don’t need anything and so it made you feel good.
Joyce: Sometimes you have like also like plant a tree for somebody.
Louise: Yeah, yeah.
Joyce: You know, these types of gifts or even a, or even not adopt a child but, what’s that Sophia and… Thomas: Sponsor
Joyce: …sponsor a child or something like that.
Louise: Those kinds of things are much nicer than extravagant gifts for people who already have everything.
Sophia: Everything.
Louise: I think.
Thomas: Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of some wild, wild gifts from people who already have everything.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: If you happen to already have enough money for a private beach, why not invest in a, I think, a four-meter high giant plastic structure that’s both a water slide on one side and then varying degrees of difficulty climbing walls, climbing. I, I mean it sounds fun but maybe…
Joyce: It’s like they have these big plastic icebergs or something.
Thomas: Maybe they’d be better off buying a few goats for families.
Louise: Yeah, I think so too.
Joyce: Or donating money to protect icebergs.
Louise: Yeah, that’s right.
Thomas: That’s a good point.
Louise: That could be good too. Yeah, there’s so many, there’s so many strange gadgets these days as well, there seems to be no end to the things they come up with.
Thomas: Weird things that you can affix to your body and some place to get a massage in that one little area.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: Have you seen these? Like you sit in a chair and it basically envelopes your whole body and has rollers going up and down your arms and your legs.
Sophia: Oh, I’ve been in something like that but using water but erm
Thomas: Oh yeah, I’ve seen those. Maybe this is just only United States obsession but we’ve got lots of chairs that rub us.
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Joyce: Or vibrating chairs, those vibrating chairs you put coins in.
Thomas: Kind of a variation on that.
Louise: It’s one of the good ones I’ve heard of recently is this alarm clock you can buy that wakes you up naturally, it’s, it’s an alarm clock with a light built in.
Thomas: Oh, like a sunrise in your room.
Louise: And the light comes up gradually and simulates the sunrise. I think, get a window.
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Thomas: Get a window. Just knock a hole in your wall.
Louise: Yeah.
Joyce: Well, depending what the time you get up, you know.
Louise: I suppose.
Joyce: Sometimes it’s still dark.
Louise: For shift work and things like that it might actually be useful.
All: Yeah.
Thomas: Probably.
Sophia: Yeah, if you work at night.