martes, 14 de octubre de 2014

Madrid Teacher: TV Cruelty (Joe Millionaire)

In our Madrid Teacher series this week, four teachers discuss reality TV shows that humiliate contestants. The teachers' conversation gives us an opportunity to revise and get acquainted with some features of spoken English.

First of all, watch the video through to get familiar with the topic of conversation.
Now watch the video more carefully, paying attention to the following features the speakers use in their speech:
  • Fillers to get thinking time: erm; well
  • Use of so as a linking word.
  • Reacting to information you have just heard: Oh; Oh, my God
  • Use of like for an approximating quantity instead of the precise number. 
  • Use of like to introduce an example.
  • Showing agreement: Yea; Yeah, that’s true; I think so too
  • Use of really to emphasize the verb.
  • Use of I reckon to introduce our opinion and not sound too categorical.
  • Use of quite to emphasize the verb.
  • Use of I mean to rephrase what we have just said and make ourselves clear.
  • Use of vague language: this kind of thing
  • Use of auxiliary verb in an affirmative sentence for emphasis: this guy does have

Now it's over to you. If possible, get together with a friend or relative and discuss reality TV shows. What reality TV shows are popular in your country? What other reality TV shows do you know? Do some of them really humiliate contestants? If so, how? Do you agree with the ideas expressed by our Madrid Teachers? Don't forget to use some of the features of spoken English we have dealt with today.

Sophia: Have, have any of you seen Joe Millionaire?
Vicky: I’ve seen an episode, I’ve seen one or two episodes I think.
Sophia: It's a, it's a reality TV show, you have single women who are looking for the man of their dreams and they go on, on dates to, erm, find, well, they get introduced to a man that’s, erm, a millionaire…
Louise: Aha.
Sophia: …so, erm, so he, he meets these women and they get to know each other and, then at the end of the show you find out that he hasn’t got any money…
Louise and Vicky: Oh.
Sophia: …and then she has to decide whether she wants to stay with him or not.
Thomas: Oh, my God.
Sophia: Yeah.
Vicky: But it’s worse. Aren’t there like 20 women all competing for the same man plus these 20 women have to live and eat, and…
Louise: Yeah.
Vicky: …be together all the time.
Louise: And be filmed in their bikini in this bar and all this kind of thing.
Vicky: Yeah.
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Vicky: And they’re trying to impress the same guy. Ha, ha, ha.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: But you can’t really run it for more than one season ‘cause nobody will be tricked after that, will they? Well, maybe like this guy does have a million dollars, I will stay on the show for it.
Vicky: I reckon they earn money to go on, I reckon that every single contestant gets paid…
Thomas: I’m sure.
Sophia: Probably.
Vicky: …quite a considerable…
Louise: It s probably true.
Vicky: …amount to do it.
Louise: Other, otherwise what’s the incentive for going on those shows and humiliating yourself? I don’t quite understand.
Thomas: Maybe it’s the, the possibility of becoming famous.
Louise: Yeah.
Thomas: I mean there really is a, now becoming a track record of people who become famous just for being on reality TV.
Louise: Yeah, that’s true.
Vicky: Yeah.
Thomas: They have these shows in the States similar to, like, dating, finding the person out of the whole group and somebody can be really obnoxious, they actually, erm, make themselves really obnoxious. Then next year, they have their own show.
Louise: Yeah, that’s true.
Vicky: Yeah, yeah.
Louise: That’s true.
Sophia: But, but it’s very, it’s very cruel, it’s very cruel. I mean the way, the way the, hmm, the people are just pushed there and laughed at basically by the public.
Louise: And the presenters can be so cutting the way they…
Vicky: Oh yeah.
Louise: …speak to them.
Sophia: Let’s not talk about the X Factor then.
Louise: Yeah, this kind of thing, Simon Cowell and nasty comments.
Vicky: Yeah, there is such a thing as constructive criticism…
Louise: Yeah.
Vicky: …which is important for everyone in public situations but…
Thomas: Ha, that’s not what the TV viewing public wants.
Vicky: yeah, man.
Sophia: It’s very nasty.
Vicky: It’s just nasty, ha, ha, ha.
Louise: Yeah, it is, it is. They switch, people are switching on the TV to see one smart-alec guy humiliate one poor person. It’s gotta be a fabulous scene. It’s awful.
Thomas: It’s gotta be.
Sophia: But some of them go on the show to audition and they, they should know that their voices are terrible
All: Ha, ha, ha.
Thomas: Oh, yeah.
Sophia: Why hasn’t someone said anything?
Vicky: But everyone has a bad day, sometimes.
Louise: Yeah, that’s true.
Sophia: But some, some of them are really awful so.
Thomas: This is why I don’t own a TV.
Vicky: Hmm, very sensible. Ha, ha, ha.
Louise: I think so too.