I’m sure many of you are busy with the coming holiday, I know I am. It’s nearly time to say goodbye to 2020 and what an odd year it’s been. As always, I’m determined to see the weekly English listening practice lesson podcasts go out as normal over the holidays.
Although many of us will be busy celebrating Christmas or similar, I recognise that not all of our listeners celebrate Christmas and these listeners will want to carry on listening to our English language podcasts.
So here at Adept English we always work through every holiday to give all our listeners as much English listening as possible. So there are no excuses, you can all keep learning to speak English even as some of us eat mince pies and eat turkey dinners.
I hope you find some peace and some quiet, some rest and some love and of course some happiness over the holidays. No excuses, keep listening! And see you next week.
Chorizo Quiz Formulating Influence Determined
Hi I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English.
As it’s Christmas week, let’s not work too hard today. I realise that not all of you celebrate Christmas but in many countries, it’s one of the main holiday periods at the moment. So let’s do something a bit more fun and conversational today. Let’s not do any hard and difficult grammar. We don’t want to work too hard, do we?
How about a quiz? A quiz, Q-U-I-Z is a game which involves asking questions. Sometimes these questions could be about general knowledge, knowledge about the world, so questions like ‘Who was the first person in space?’, or ‘Who painted the Mona Lisa?’ (those are easy ones!).
When the pubs are open in the UK, (they’re not at the moment!), there’s a real tradition of pub quizzes. So notice the plural there ‘quizzes’, Q-U-I-Z-Z-E-S. There are quiz nights held in pubs across the UK, where teams compete against each other. And you know, the standard is quite high – they’re not easy questions. Another quiz in the UK which is famous is called ‘University Challenge’.
This quiz has been running as a TV programme for years – and famously it has on it the cleverest people, representing their UK universities, in teams of four people. They’re quite amazing these contestants, and for normal people, it feels like success just to be able to answer a couple of the questions on University Challenge. Notice also, there is a verb ‘to quiz’ meaning ‘to ask someone lots of questions’.
But as I said today, we don’t want to do something especially difficult. So let’s make this a quiz of questions which are just about you, your interests and personal likes. But of course, the idea is that you answer my questions in English, so that you can practise!
So I’m going to go with the idea of ‘icebreaker’ questions – if you don’t know what an ‘icebreaker’ is, then listen to my podcast from last week! So icebreaker type quiz questions, to give you practice might be something like this….
1. What are your favourite toppings on a pizza?
So your answers are probably going to be cheese – hard to imagine a pizza without cheese. And tomato sauce or passata di pomodora, if you’re going to go proper Italian. If you really like cheese, then your answer again might be Italian – Quattro Formaggi – or in English, Four Cheese is a common choice. So that’s could be Mozzarella or Gorgonzola, Ricotta or Parmigiano Reggiano other cheeses. If you like pizza and I know it’s eaten in most countries, then you’re probably familiar with these Italian types of cheese.
So try and get your English language going here. What are you favourite toppings on a pizza? And your job is to answer – in English of course.
More vocabulary. What else goes on a pizza? Well, lots of vegetables as well as tomatoes. You could have onions, mushrooms, garlic, green or red peppers, sweetcorn, olives – my favourite, or jalapenos or chillis, if you like it spicy. In the UK, people also sometimes order their pizza with pineapple on – which I always find a bit strange!
And if you eat meat, then peperoni, that’s P-E-P-E-R-O-N-I, which is spicy pizza sausage. Or chorizo, C-H-O-R-I-Z-O is another spicy sausage which people put on pizza. But often people choose say barbecue chicken – so chicken cooked on a barbecue of course, or ‘pork meatballs’ is another popular choice.
I realise here I’m talking about the choices of pizza topping which people in the UK eat. But I know from my visits to France, that there a whole different lot of things go onto pizza – like fried egg, or potatoes, or fresh cream – or even ‘boudin noir’, which is black pudding. So I know that there are lots of variations around the world on what people like to eat on their pizza.
So try formulating your reply to ‘What are your favourite pizza toppings?’ just for practice.
Next question…coming up
But first, just a pause to say to you that if you have to work really hard to understand this podcast, then consider buying our Adept English 500 Most Common Words Course. It’s a really popular course and it will help you consolidate your learning of the most common words in English.
In English conversation, these most common words make up a very high percentage of what’s said. We tend to use the best known words in conversation, the simple small ones often, so it’s good to make sure that you know them all. Have a look at our courses page at adeptenglish.com – you could be starting this course today!
Icebreaker question number 2, for you to practise your English answer to...
2. What is your most used emoji? ☺
So vocabulary first of all here, though I think it may be the same word in your language. An emoji, E-M-O-J-I - that’s the word for those funny little faces, or pictures, which we include when we’re messaging people ☺. So this is a good icebreaker question to ask people because you probably learn something about their character if they answer this question.
I think emojis are a great way of communicating – especially the faces. If you do a lot of messaging on various apps by text, sometimes an emoji can communicate what it would take a long time to say. And it can also have the function of making sure that people don’t misinterpret what you’re saying. Obviously with a text message, there’s no ‘tone of voice’ – they don’t hear the expression you’re using. So an emoji can be good to help communicate that. Popular emojis include ‘laughing a little’ or ‘laughing a lot’, sometimes ‘with tears’. Or ‘crying emojis’ – or ‘red-faced angry emojis’!
My favourite ones that I use a lot – I like the ‘upside down smiley face’, because that means that you’re being playful, it means ‘Don’t take me too seriously!’. And I like the one on Whatsapp with crossed-eyes and a wiggly mouth and the tongue hanging out. This one means ‘Ah, I don’t quite understand what’s going on!’ Or at least, that’s what I think it means!
Third and final quiz question, ice breaker for you to practice your answer in English….
** 3. Does your car have a name, what is it and why? (Or, if you don’t have a car, do you know someone who has named their car and what is it?)**
The question may assume you have a car, and not everyone does, I realise, especially people who live in big cities. So think of someone you know has named their car. Or do you know someone who has a funny name for their car?
A photograph of a lady in love with her new car. Keys in hand. Will she give her car a name?
So my answer to that question. Well, I’ve had various cars, with various names. And I do have a parental influence here. I distinctly remember as a small child, my dad having a very old car that he called ‘John Willy Howcroft’, because the registration number began JWH and an uncle of mine also had a car he called ‘Old Clara’.
Years ago, I bought a white Fiesta off my mum – and that one was called ‘Lilibet’. I don’t know why, she called it that, but ‘Lilibet’ is the name of the Queen Elizabeth, within her family. I did also have a car called ‘The Black Peanut’ – which was a black Citroen, with the number plate which began ‘KP’ – like KP nuts. Someone ran into the back of that car in Wales and that was the end of him! And my current car – well, it’s a Fiat, so it’s called Guiseppe.
So practice you answer to these questions – in English of course.
Also, keep practising your English through listening – and some speaking, which of course encourages you to think in English too.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.