martes, 17 de febrero de 2015

Stop Whining People who complain and moan

In today's Madrid Teacher video, five teachers and students discuss some people's habit to complain non-stop. That gives the opportunity to go over some features of spoken English.

First of all, watch the video through so that you can get a general idea of what the conversation is about.

Now watch the video again, paying attention to the  following:
  • Conversation fillers to gain thinking time: you know; Well
  • Use of adverbs with adjectives and verbs to emphasize the information: really, rather; just
  • Use of actually to introduce a bit of surprising information.
  • Showing surprise: Really?
  • Reacting to what you have just heard:  No way!; That’s terrible!; Yeah can you imagine; That’s interesting.
  • Use of hedging so as not to sound too dogmatic when expressing our ideas: I think so; I guess
  • Actively taking part in the conversation by asking questions and making suggestions: What about other things, like you mentioned before?; What about for example different waters
  • Showing agreement: Coffee, yeah; Yeah! Exactly; That’s right; Absolutely!
  • Use of I mean to paraphrase what you have just said and make yourself clear.

You know, I heard something really interesting the other day. It’s about, for example, in France they were selling wine to the US but it was actually an inferior… very… inferior type of wine and they were selling it as something that was rather expensive. What do you think about that?
How long did this go on for?
It went on for a very long time and no one noticed. That’s the pity.
No way!
That’s terrible!
Yeah can you imagine.
Oh, I would be able to tell in an instant!
Would you?
I think so.
Are you a wine lover?
I love wine, good wine.
Do you know the difference from a good wine and a bad wine?
Yeah! Just based on the colour, the smell, the taste.
I went on a few wine-tastings and they told me all of those things…
…how you were supposed to swish the wine and smell the wine to know if it’s good or not. I still can’t figure it out.
That’s interesting.
Well, yeah, takes some practice, I guess.
I think so, because I like wine too but I cannot notice the difference, ah, well, when the wine is very good, yeah, you can really taste it and it’s delicious, no?, but the difference like.
What about other things, like you mentioned before?
We can talk about, coffee, for example.
Coffee, yeah.
There’s a big difference when we talk about coffee… drinking coffee, I mean, because, for example, in South America coffee is very, very natural, okay, and…
And it’s so good!
…and I can also mention of course Central America, no, coffee from there is very natural and pure and delicious, when it is export(ed) to Europe I think that they mix it and it is not the same.
This morning I had my first cup of coffee with coffee that dissolves in the milk… Never again! Instant coffee.
Oh, no, I don’t like coffee. I don’t know the difference.
What about for example different waters, do you know the difference about different kinds of waters, bottled waters?
I couldn’t tell the difference.
You couldn't? Anyone else? Are you water connoisseur?
I just drink tap water.
Yeah, sometimes I think tap water tastes better.
Sometimes bottled water has a nice plastic taste to it.
Yeah! Exactly.
That’s right.
Wine to water!