English For Conversation
Here at Adept English we specialise in helping you with the speaking and listening part of learning to speak English. Our approach to learning to speak English is modern, interesting and delivers results. We have years of experience in helping people learn to speak English fluently, our listen and learn approach to teaching contains all of our experience and gradual improvements over the years in 7 simple steps.
It’s not that my Latin degree or teaching certificates are of no use, it’s just the problem we are trying to solve
“helping you to speak English fluently” is not about the old way of learning to speak English. What we call traditional English learning. We are all about using an approach called language acquisition.
We use modern understanding of how your brain stores language in long-term memory and we use our understanding of the psychology of learning to improve how you go about acquiring a new language and how you overcome the common issues with speaking in a new language.
Listening to a language and comprehension of what is being said is the most important part of being able to speak a language.
It’s the lack of focus on this part of the language learning journey that makes the old traditional methods of learning to speak a new language like English so slow and painful for many English language learners.
We're not saying that the traditional way to learn a new language won’t work, lot’s of people learn to speak new languages using the traditional approach, it’s just slower, more difficult and ultimately an inefficient process.
Most Unusual Words:
Briefings Gabbard Lockdown
Most common 2 word phrases:
Listen To The Audio Lesson NowThe mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.
Transcript: English For Conversation Strange Times Make Unpredictable Popularity
Hi there and welcome to this Adept English podcast.
Before we start today, I just want to remind you about our free course, The Seven Rules of Adept English. If you haven’t signed up for this course yet, then you are missing out! It gives you some very simple but powerful tips for learning the English language. This course describes why our method of learning English is different – and why it works. So if you’re working on your fluency in English, before you go any further, learn The Seven Rules of Adept English. Learn how to spend your language learning time most productively, most profitably.
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Now if you listen to our podcasts regularly, you’ll know that I sometimes do an English lesson – sometimes it’s on grammar, or sometimes it’s a phrase – like the idioms I covered in the last podcast. And sometimes I just try to talk about a topic which I hope is interesting, so that I’m giving you something current and hopefully informative or thought-provoking to listen to, while at the same time giving you opportunity to improve your English language skills. So this podcast is one of those. It’s English for conversation, if you like, an English conversation topic I’m going to talk about.
Interest in US Politics
If you listen regularly, you’ll know that I take an interest in politics, British and European mainly – but it’s also interesting to observe the US election process. If you’ve been listening a long time to Adept English, you’ll remember I did a couple of podcasts around the time of the last presidential election, commenting on the popularity of Donald Trump – trying to understand his success.
US Democratic Nominee Campaign
I’ve been really puzzled by this presidential election process too. ‘Puzzled’ – there’s a good English word. A ‘puzzle’, so a noun P-U-Z-Z-L-E is a game or a test, something which is set, made for you to work out, to solve. So of course, we’d talk about a ‘crossword puzzle’ – I imagine you might know what one of those is. And there’s a verb ‘to puzzle’ – which means to try to work something out. To find it confusing, to not understand, but to be working on it. So my puzzle about the US Election is this. Donald Trump is 72 years old – now he seems to have a strong constitution, he doesn’t seem particularly to be suffering because of his age. But 72 years old in most people’s view is quite old – to do most jobs.
A photograph red white and blue voting badges for American Democratic and Republican parties discussed in this English practice conversation.
But bizarrely, his main rival the Democratic nominee Joe Biden is 77 years old. Since the crisis hit, Joe Biden has had to completely pause his presidential campaign, or his Democratic nominee campaign and isolate at home because he’s at risk because of his age. Bernie Sanders – 78 years old. Michael Bloomberg – out of the running now I know, but Michael Bloomberg is also 78 years old. Now if you were looking to employ someone to recruit someone to do a job for you, even a job which needed a lot of experience, I’m guessing that you might draw the line, you might decide that you don’t want to interview someone who is 77 or 78 years old. Or even 72 years old for that matter.
Now I don’t like the idea of ageism – of prejudice against people because of their age. And of course, there are plenty of people in their 70s and even their 80s who continue to work, enjoy their work and they do a good job. But here we are talking about a big job – the president of the United States. Surely you want someone who is, as we say, ‘at the top of their game’ to do this job? ‘At the top of their game’ - it’s used literally of sports people – so a footballer or a tennis player has a period of time in their life, probably in their 20s when they’re ‘at the top of their game’. And in politics, people are ‘at the top of their game’ rather later in life.
It usually takes experience, knowledge of the world to be a good politician. There are exceptions to this – brilliant younger people – but it’s usually true. And there are other Democratic candidates who are younger, with different ideas and importantly who don’t fit the ‘older white male’ stereotype – like Tulsi Gabbard for instance. She’s unlikely to be a front-runner though, she’s unlikely win the Democratic nomination, but she is different at least.
Is this really the best on offer?!
There are 360 million people in the US – are we saying that these men in their 70s are the best option? Are they the best that the US has available? It sounds unlikely. Unfortunately, it’s also quite a lot about money – and the ability or not – to fund, to pay for a presidential campaign.
We’re being told to watch the governor of New York
What’s been really interesting this week, is the growing popularity of Andrew Cuomo. If you’ve not heard of him, he’s the current governor of New York state – and a Democrat. Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings on the current lockdown situation and the crisis, which is of course, really serious in New York – his briefings are hugely popular at the moment. A ‘briefing’, B-R-I-E-F-I-N-G – means a daily update, a talk to inform everyone of the latest situation. That’s a briefing. Boris Johnson was doing the UK government briefings himself – until he got the virus of course. But people are enjoying the charisma and the confidence of Andrew Cuomo. He’s not a Democratic candidate, but – to use a phrase from Monday’s podcast – he might be ‘a breath of fresh air’ for the campaign. He could be criticized for not responding to the crisis soon enough.
Download The Podcast Audio & Transcript
Early on, he was encouraging people to think first of the economy and go about their business as usual, despite the crisis. Fortunately, he’s now done a 180 turn and he’s giving out the opposite message. Now we might say about Andrew Cuomo that he’s ‘no spring chicken’. There’s another idiom for you. If we say someone is ‘no spring chicken’, we mean that they’re not young, like a spring chicken, they’re getting on in years. And Andrew Cuomo is 62 years old, so he’s not exactly young. However, he would be able to get a presidential term in before he turning 70 least. But he’s not even a Democratic candidate. The American press is now saying ‘Maybe he should be’.
So there are some thoughts for you and that’s some English for conversation for you to practise with. Let us help you learn everyday English and improve your English skill.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.