Improve Your Everyday Conversation With English Listening Practice
Conversation With English Speakers
Jumping into an informal conversation with English speakers is easy, you just need a plan and something to talk about. You could talk about an opinion, or a fact, something you feel you know enough about and as an English language student, you have the vocabulary and listening skills to maintain the conversation.
We want you to get out there and take some risks with your English speaking, but when you start, you need to do more planning and practice. Later on as you improve you can improvise, but when you start out, it’s best to plan and run through what you might talk about before you jump in.
It is a horrible feeling when you start a conversation you cannot finish, or you feel out of your depth and it makes you feel uncomfortable or the person you are talking to is uncomfortable.
To avoid this feeling, you need to plan ahead and spend time listening to English conversation. Today we give you a great English conversation example you can practice with, you need not remember everything you hear in this conversation, and if you don’t agree with what is said, just flip the opinion and take the other side, for example “I listened to a podcast today that I thought what they were saying was rubbish!”
Transcript: Improve Your Everyday Conversation With English Listening Practice
Hi there and welcome to Adept English. Do you want to improve your conversation? With English conversation, there is no better way to learn than to listen regularly to [English language being spoken]. And the level of what you listen to is important – you need to understand at least 70%, so it’s certainly not important that you understand all of it on first listen. But if you repeat your listening to the same podcast a number of times, the % that you understand will go up each time and you’ll be learning.
Our [podcasts] are a twice weekly conversation, with English written transcript for you to follow so that you can learn everyday English. Basic English conversation for daily use so that you can move towards normal conversation in English with friends.
What’s wrong with fashion?
One of the things that really bothers me is the world of fashion. I do like clothes and I like wearing things that feel nice or that suit me. But I think that fashion is a very wasteful industry – it’s not very eco-friendly! If something is ‘eco-friendly’ it means that it’s good for the environment – and fashion is not!
I don’t have time in the middle of the week to read a newspaper – I catch my news online or on the TV. However, at the weekend, I do like to read the Sunday Times and this British newspaper has lots of sections – a Sport section (which probably I don’t read), a Home section, a Business Section. It also has the Style magazine. Now this is an interesting lifestyle magazine. There’s stuff for men and women, including fashion. It does home decoration topics, wine, food, sometimes health or cars etc. I like the magazine, but I find its fashion articles really annoying.
Clothing featured in there costs a ridiculous amount of money – prices that nobody normal can afford. But its also the never-ending idea that you have to be buying new all the time. I know the fashion industry wants to make money – but if you went with what the fashion pages suggest, then you would bin, you would throw away all your clothes every year and buy them all again, costing hundreds or perhaps even thousands of pounds. Clothes are ‘in fashion’ for a very short time – or that’s the way that the fashion industry would like it. Afterwards, apparently you ‘cannot be seen wearing that!’
Is the fashion industry eco-friendly?
I suppose the fashion industry has to keep on selling, to make money. But it’s just not eco-friendly. If you buy quality clothes, they should last for years. For people on an average budget – that means more of a normal income, what they may be tempted by is called ‘fast fashion’. ‘Fast fashion’ means clothes are made and sold very cheaply, so that replacing them and buying new all the time, is possible. There are people who might buy an item of [clothing for one night out] – and then never wear it again. That’s so wasteful, but it’s not good for the planet!
So the fashion industry is [reluctantly waking up] to the fact that people want eco-friendly clothes. Even the editor of the Sunday times Style magazine last week was trying to promote eco-friendly brands. The trouble is that they are still trying to promote buying new, buying more – albeit made from ‘[sustainable cotton]’ or whatever. ‘Sustainable’ means in eco-terms ‘made from something that doesn’t damage the environment’ or ‘made in a way that doesn’t damage the environment’. And ‘sustainable’ according to the Style magazine means also that the price is way beyond what most people can pay. My response is – how about we just buy fewer clothes? How about we just wear clothes that we’ve had for a long time, but there is nothing wrong with them? There is no need to buy new clothes all the time.
Problems with natural materials
The fashion industry has a big impact on the environment. It’s responsible for a large proportion of the world's wastewater. ‘Wastewater’, all one word is made up of waste, W-A-S-T-E and water, W-A-T-E-R and this means water that’s been ‘used’ – and therefore which has to be processed, before it can be used again. Growing natural materials, like cotton, uses a lot of water. Apparently it takes over [700 gallons of water](https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-impact-of-a-cotton-t-shirt) to make enough cotton for one T shirt. That’s crazy.
Producing clothes also creates a lot of carbon emissions. If you remember, ‘carbon emissions’ is the phrase for what we’re concerned about with petrol and diesel cars too. And fashion creates huge amounts of waste when we throw clothes away. Textiles end up in landfill or being burnt. So ‘textiles’ means cloth or clothing. And landfill, L-A-N-D-F-I-L-L that refers to what we do with rubbish, when we just bury it in the ground. So called ‘fast fashion’ where clothes are sold very cheaply does a huge damage. And it’s something you see a lot of in the UK.
Problems with synthetic materials
So if materials like cotton are bad for the environment, are clothes made out of synthetic materials any better? Well, no. The problem is that they’re putting tiny plastic microfibres into the environment and eventually these end up in the sea. So microfibres are tiny particles which pollute the environment – and which once they’re out there, it’s impossible to remove them. These tiny particles are inside fish, animals and us human beings too. And synthetic materials – so anything polyester or acrylic is a problem. Think of your stretchy jogging pants! On top of this, many clothes are made in countries where workers in the textile industry are treated badly and paid poorly. People may need this work, but the conditions aren’t good.
So this anti-fashion industry feeling is beginning to catch attention. That means that other people are starting to think this way too. Recently it was in the news, that at the Oscars Jane Fonda wore a dress that she’d worn before! I think it’s a problem that this is even in the news, that that is considered newsworthy. But Jane Fonda wore the same dress to the Oscar Ceremony this year, 2020 as she’d worn in 2014 to the Cannes Film Festival! Well, good for her. I guess that’s sustainability, keeping and wearing clothes that you’ve had for a long time, that there’s nothing wrong with. What’s interesting is she’s 82, Jane Fonda and she’s saying ‘I am never going to buy any more clothes now. I have enough’.
So how about clothing manufacturers not selling cheap clothes – but instead making quality ones, that maybe we save up for? With more consideration for how their production might harm to the environment too. How about more clothes are made, with the expectation that they’ll last a long time? So perhaps we’d be willing to pay a little more for good quality. And then the people making the clothes could be properly paid too – and all of us could buy clothes less regularly and wear them longer. Buying fewer clothes and not having to follow fashion trends, but developing our own sense of style. That sounds like sustainable fashion to me!
There’s an opinion to start a conversation, with English language learning at the same time! Let me know what you think! If you like what we’re doing with the podcasts – that’s providing English conversation topics – then why not use our podcast download service? You can buy bundles – that’s groups of podcasts – for a very good price. And these podcast bundles give you hours and hours of listening to quality English – on all kinds of topics, all kinds of subjects.
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There is no better way to improve your pronunciation and accent, your English language skills than listening to English, that’s made easier for you to understand, on subjects that might be thought provoking. So let Adept English help you improve your English skills – speaking especially.
Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.