In today's Speaking English class podcast we discuss how the British are changing the way they think about property in the UK. Because of the restrictions on movement of people, especially younger people, have spent a lot of time thinking about their lives and the importance of quality of life.
Some of you might ask, what does this have to do with learning a language like English? So let me break down the value of this English audio lesson and how it adds value to your language learning journey.
We design the quality of this recording for learning, there are no distractions like music or special effects during the lesson. To keep comprehension simple, we only have one voice to follow. We design the speed of the lesson for learners to follow; we are not talking at full speed.
The lesson comes with a full English transcript. This is not some auto-generated script full of AI (artificial intelligence) mistakes. I’m sure are some point automatic translation will be so good we can rely on it, but until then it’s very important when you learn that you are being given the correct words as you listen.
This lesson type is
listening practice, where you will enjoy shadowing, this is where you will train yourself to mimic an accent. A London, South East accent, the accent most used in the UK by the most people. The UK has many accents, but learning to mimic the most used is an excellent idea when you start out. You will also learn pronunciation, even if you are not speaking out loud, just listening.
The lesson is a story, a brief story that stays in a single context, it’s very important that what you listen to is comprehensible. By this I mean, if you were to talk about a list of colours that are just related because they are colours then that is not great context, however a story about a walk through a garden that talks about the colours of flowers and grass and walls, and wood is the same colour information, provided in a story which maintains a single context. Humans have developed to treat stories as an important means of communicating information we take much more notice of information in this format.
One key to our Listen & learn approach to learning is repeat listening. Spaced repetition is an important part of encouraging your brain to store language learning information, like vocabulary, accents, pronunciation grammar etc. in your longer term memory, which we know it needs to be for automatic language recall.
The lesson also explains a little about contemporary culture in the UK, it provides hundreds of vocabulary words, it’s using everyday English not some dry text book English from 100 years ago. Keeping you interested and focused on the lesson is critical, we need you to want to listen to the lesson again and again without getting bored.
I’ve not even covered
half of the things that are going on in one of our English language podcast lessons. Like the way this learning approach tackles anxiety and self esteem.
Just know that this way of learning is much more in-depth than it may look at first glance.
Chillis Chilli Houseplants
Hi there and welcome to Adept English.
One of the things that I’ve been reading this week, is about how people’s viewpoint is changing around what sort of house, or flat, what sort of property they want to live in.
One of the biggest property websites in the UK, reported in January that the most popular search, the type of property that people searched on most frequently to rent was a studio flat. A studio flat is the smallest kind of flat you can imagine – pretty much all of your living space is in one room. But over the past few months – quite understandably, I think – people’s priorities have changed, what’s important to them is different. Flats, apartments and small studios are no longer the most popular search type and people seeking places to rent, houses and flats, want some outside space, want gardens as well as more space inside the property.
Home isn't a place, its a feeling
⭐ Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie
So the most popular search on the property websites is not a studio flat any more, but a two bedroomed house. Our experiences over the last couple of months, of staying home, working from home, not being able to go out very much – appear to have changed people’s priorities, especially those people stuck in very small flats.
And it appears to be the same for sales, house sales as well as house rentals. ‘To rent’ is when you pay money monthly for the place you live in but you don’t own it. And you’d call that ‘a rental’ or ‘a rental property’. And obviously ‘property sales’ means when people buy a house or flat. People who are trying to sell their homes were previously encouraged to put photographs of their kitchen as the main attraction. A big kitchen is the most desirable thing, with lots of worktop space and entertaining space – somewhere that you can invite your guests.
But apparently now, photographs of any outside space, whether it’s a balcony or a roof terrace, or an actual garden are the most important selling points. And in the cities, it seems as though perhaps people are willing to travel further to work, in order to be able to afford a bigger property, with more inside and outside space, even if it’s further from the centre of town. ‘What you can ‘afford’, that’s A-F-F-O-R-D means what you can pay for, what you have the money for.
Now this may be a short-lived thing and a reaction to how life has been in recent weeks. If you live in a city, it’s true that all the main attractions of that, the bars, the cafe’s, the places of interest to visit are closed. So there’s little advantage to being in a city. And being around lots of people, where it’s very busy has not been the best idea. So it may change back again, I guess, as places reopen. But what’s also been apparent has been an increase in people’s interest both in the outdoors – in going out and being in nature, and in growing, in growing our own plants, again whether that’s indoors or outdoors.
Now as you probably know, I’m pretty keen on gardening and on nature anyway, so that’s little change for me. But I think that people have realised perhaps how important it is to be in green spaces, to be in nature, especially for our exercise. It’s actually therapeutic – it’s good for our mental health, it makes us feel good to be amongst trees, on grass. But interest in growing plants has grown too. And that might be growing vegetables from seed or it might be growing plants in your house – house plants.
The tomato plants I grew from the seed of a tomato by the way – do you remember? Well, they’re now flowering and I’m waiting to see if tomatoes appear on them. I think there’s something important and good for mental health about actually growing things – rather than just visiting nature, taking photographs, thinking how pretty it is and then coming home. You can create your own quite easily – you can be part of it by growing and growing things can make your living space nicer. Houseplants can really make the inside of your house so much more pleasant and they don’t need that much looking after. Houseplants are often like ‘a gateway drug’ – they get you into growing more - it goes from there!
A photograph of a tomatoes on a green plant, as this speak English class talks about improving your quality of life with nature.
So why not try an experiment, if this is new to you? For example, if you like chillis – whether that’s in your chilli-con-carne, in your curry or you simply like to have hot chilli eating challenges with your friends. Why not buy a chilli plant and grow it on your windowsill? All they need is some sunshine through the window – and for you to water them occasionally and give them plant food sometimes.
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The hotter and more sunny your windowsill, the hotter your chillis will be. And if you don’t like chillis, try growing fresh herbs in a pot. Even if that’s just some fresh mint to add to your cocktail, or to your Pimms! They’re really easy plants to grow and there is pleasure and a sense of achievement in consuming things you’ve grown yourself. I think that growing things can be like an addiction – a compulsion – but as addictions and compulsions go, it’s quite a good one, quite a healthy one.
Anyway, if you like our podcasts, if you find that listening to spoken English like this is helping to increase your understanding of the language, and helping you speak English more automatically, then you might like to know about our podcast download service. A large number (75) of our latest podcasts are available to download for free on our website.
But we’ve made well over 300 podcasts now, so rather than waste these lovely podcasts, we’ve bundled them all together, into groups of 50 and you can pay a small fee to download them all at once. Much more convenient and it’ll supply you with so much listening material. If you’re not sure, go to our website at adeptenglish.com and go to the podcast download page. I’ve even made a new video, talking about the podcast download service, for you to watch. There’s an incentive!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.