martes, 11 de noviembre de 2014

Madrid Teacher: Talking about Pubs

In our Madrid Teacher series this week, three teachers talk about pubs, which gives us an opportunity to revise features of spoken English.

First of all, watch the video through, so that you can get acquainted with the conversation.

Now, pay attention to these phrases in the teachers' speech:
  • Showing agreement: Yeah; Of course; Yeah, that’s it; Yeah, it’s true; Exactly
  • Showing disagreement: No, I, I don’t think so
  • Using really to emphasize the adjective
  • Use of quite to emphasize the adjective
  • Using I mean to paraphrase what you have just said and made yourself clear
  • Using just to emphasize the verb
  • Use of hedging so as not to sound too dogmatic in your opinions: I guess; I don’t think that
  • Use of actually to correct yourself
  • Use of vague language: like
  • Showing surprise: Really?; Wow, what, really?
  • Fillers to gain thinking time: Well; you know
  • Reacting to what you have just heard: Oh! That sounds delicious; That sounds like torture

Now it's over to you. If possible, get together with a friend or relative and discuss your experience of pubs. How do the waiters and waitresses typically behave? What's their attitude to customers? Do you ever engage in conversation with them? How differently do waiters/waitresses behave if you are a regular? What's your experience of pubs and bars in other regions and countries?

Don't forget to use in your speech some of the features of spoken English we have revised today.

I love going to the Australian pubs. I know I can go in, and I can get a big, cold beer.
You can do that anywhere.
No, I, I don’t think so. It’s really important to know what you’re getting into when you walk into a particular bar or pub. For example, some bars don’t sell cold beer. I mean it should be cold but it’s not really cold.
Oh, you’re talking about, like, freezing almost.
Ah, OK.
And a lot of bars, if you walk in and you just say, “I’ll have a beer!” Maybe, maybe they, they don’t just serve the person who walked in the door last. There, there could be an order, an unspoken order. In fact, some of the best bars have unspoken orders.
Yeah. Unspoken rules. I mean, what about shouting? I mean, for me it’s quite normal if I go to the pub with my friends, I’ll buy the first round of drinks. And then someone else will buy the second round, and someone else will buy the third round, and hopefully there’s not a fourth round because that might be too much. But, I’m quite used to that. But other places you go to, it doesn’t work that way.
Of course. Some people don’t do that.
It doesn’t work that way here.
It depends on the crowd that you go in with I guess, and, of course, the bar. But there are certain places where, actually, I’d say it’s most places, if you were to snap or whistle at the bartender, . . .
Oh, yeah. . . .’re asking for trouble.
You’ll never get served.
In some bars here, it doesn’t matter what you do. They’re, they’re like permanently bitter. They’re very cynical people. I don’t think that’s. . .
Yeah.  And then, when you respond in kind, you find that they might warm up to you a little bit.
I spent the first few months here trying to be everybody’s friend. “Oh, thank you very much! Hi, yeah! I’d love a beer!” It’s, you know, you’ve got to use the “give me.”
Wow, what, really? OK, I have to try that.  So you have to mistreat them, and if you do that, . . .
Well no, not mistreatment, but don’t waste time on pleasantries. If you’re there for a beer, ask for the beer.
Just, “give me a beer.”  That’s it.
Yeah, that’s it. And that’s the way that certain places work. Other places, you say, you go in and they say, “How’s your day?” or, “What’ll it be, sweetheart?” And you say, “Ah, you know? I think today I feel like this.” Some bartenders don’t care what you feel like. They just want to know what you’re thirsty for.
Yeah, it’s true. There’s this stereotype of bartenders being a shoulder to cry on, you know? The depressed, sad people go in and, you know, they’re drowning their sorrows in a, in a, in a drink and the bartender has to listen to all their worries and all their troubles with their love life.
While they polish glasses or rub their hands in a towel.
Exactly. How many movies have you seen, have you seen that character in?
Yeah, well, if they, you just serve with a smile and a direct look, instead of ignoring people, like they do sometimes.
I’ve got a bar that’s more than a smile. You walk in and the guy kind of shouts something incomprehensible, turns around with a glass, and dips his arm into a cauldron and comes out with steaming broth. And gives you that next to your beer, and takes one for himself. And you have to take a shot of the broth in which snails are fried, and things like this.
Oh! That sounds delicious.
It’s . . .
That sounds like torture.
It, at first, it was. But you realize later on its fortification. And the man’s got quite a few years under his belt. I attribute it to the broth.
Broth and beer.
Broth and beer.
OK. I’ve never heard of that before.
I should, they, I think that might be the name of the bar. OK.