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Saturday Listening Lesson

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Loaded Word: A word that makes people think of things that aren’t necessarily about the word.

“Outside the box” is a really loaded word. It just makes me think of boring corporate culture.

(2) Outcome: Result. Ending.

We worked hard on the presentation, but had a bad outcome. They chose another company for the project.

(3) Sinking Feeling: A feeling of worry and fear.

I have a sinking feeling that the weather is going to be bad and ruin our picnic event.

Today’s

Questions

1. How does Steve Jobs define the word “design”?

a. The elements that make something beautiful

b. The things that make something work best

c. He doesn’t know

2. How do Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive feel about their first iMac effort?

a. It was great work

b. It was good but not great

c. It was bad

3. What are pressure of commerce?

a. Customers want a great product

b. A need to make money

c. Trying to get investment

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

What does it take to be great?

In today’s lesson, I’ll review a video about Steve Jobs and design at Apple. You’ll learn some interesting vocabulary for talking about design. You’ll also learn some expressions that you might use to motivate yourself and your team.

In the video, we learn that Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive feel design is about working hard and not being OK with something that’s good but not great. We also learn that people think Steve Jobs created a good environment for design. But we don’t learn what that environment is. So, as you watch, think about your opinion. What sort of environment is good for design?

The video begins with Steve Jobs saying:

Design’s a really loaded word. I don’t know what it means. And, so, we don’t really talk about design a lot around here. We actually just talk about how things work. Most people think it’s how they look. But it’s not really how they look. It’s how they work.

Jonathan Ive and the lady then go on to say that Jobs is very good at creating an environment where good design can exist.

At 0:46 Steve Jobs says that everyone wants to make something great, but they don’t all succeed. “There’s a big difference in the outcomes.”

After creating some good work on the new iMac, Jonathan Ive says:

But we had that sinking feeling. You know when you start to…you,you are aware that you’re trying to convince yourself something’s actually better than in your heart you really know that it is.

He has the sinking feeling because he’s been working on the new iMac a lot. And even though it’s good, in his heart he feels that it’s not so great.

Steve Jobs explains exactly:

It’s just not really great. It’s OK. It’s good. But let’s not fool ourselves and call it great.

These are a nice few sentences that you might use with your team after they’ve done some good work, but you need them to do better.

Both men want to do better. Jonathan Ive says Steve Jobs says they could do better.

Steve Jobs explains that:

All of the pressures of commerce are at your back saying no you can’t do that.

The pressures of commerce are the business pressures–the pressure to make money faster, to release a good product fast instead of a great product slowly.

Jonathan Ive finishes by saying that Steve Jobs allows many people to enjoy the design process together.

So, how well did you udnerstand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, B, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To drive value: This means to increase the value of the company, basically to help the company increase profits. Other stuff, like number of customers, can also mean value.

I can’t drive long-term value without sacrificing short-term profits. That’s our choice.

(2) Conflict: Disagreement, different people want different things

The marketing and development teams are often in conflict. It’s a big problem. If they can’t work together, we’ll all fail.

(3) To hide behind something: To use something as an excuse, a reason for failure.

Don’t hide behind the economy. Lots of companies are succeeding even though times are hard.

Today’s

Questions

1. He explains two things in this video. What’s challenging about his job and …

a. …what’s boring

b. …how he makes value

c. …what’s exciting

2. Who is he responsible towards?

a. Shareholders, employees, customers

b. Shareholders, suppliers, customers

c. Shareholders, employees, suppliers

3. What doesn’t he like to hide behind?

a. A value-driven economy

b. A bad economy

c. A customer-driven economy

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Today’s video is about a CEO and why he likes his job. It’s by WOBI and is called: Mark King–What I Enjoy Most About Being CEO. Today, I’ll help you understand that video.

So, in this video he explains two things. He explains what’s challenging, or difficult, about his job. And he explains what’s exciting about his job. Let’s check the most important quotation first. He says:

Being a boss is a challenge because of the responsibility to the shareholders for driving value…responsibility to the workers to provide an environment that’s right for them…and responsibility to the consumer to provide a product that they will really enjoy. A lot of times, the shareholder, the employee, and the consumer; what they want is in conflict. How do you manage the conflict?

His point is that he has three groups that he should make happy. The first are the shareholders–they want value, or profits. Employees want a good working environment. And consumers, of course, want a good product.

He then gives the example of this conflict. If there’s a product that has some problem and you should take it back from the stores, then that’s bad for the shareholders right? For some employees it’ll be bad because that will mean more work and lower bonuses. But for consumers? For consumers it’s great. They won’t have bad products.

So how about you? What would you do in this situation? Do you care more about the shareholders, employees, or consumers? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The exciting part of the job for him is that the challenge never ends. This means that he likes the conflict. He likes balancing the three groups. For example, he says that you can’t hide behind the economy. This just means that even if the economy is bad, he still has to keep trying. Even with a bad economy, the exciting challenge continues.

As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Tush, Tushie, Duff: Butt

Stop sitting on your tush. Get up and do something.

(2) Prevalent: Common, everywhere

Smoking was prevalent in the ‘50s, but these days, not so many people smoke.

(3) To huff and puff: To breath heavily

I was huffing and puffing while I went for a run.

Today’s

Questions

1. What does it mean “to not question something?”

a. To not bother it

b. To not think about whether it’s bad

c. To not worry about it

2. A social interaction got her walking. What’s a social interaction?

a. Something with another person

b. Something with exercise

c. Something unhealthy

3. What was her solution for the problem of choosing health or work obligations?

a. She thought outside the box.

b. She started walking while she worked.

c. She became more creative.

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Nilofer Merchant says “Sitting has become the smoking of our generation.” Scary, but she has a great idea. She says: Got a meeting? Take a walk. Today, I’m going to help you understand her video.

Before I can help you , you’ll need to actually watch the video (see above).

Also, here’s a link that shows you the best way to watch videos.

Today’s video has three parts.

Part 1 is Sitting Is Bad For You. This is from the start to 1:22.

Part 2 is How Her Idea Began. It’s from 1:22 until 2:02.

Part 3 is What She’s Learned. That’s from 2:02 until the end.

So, in Part 1 she explains that people sit too much–usually 9.3 hours a day–and that sitting too much causes health problems like cancer and diabetes. She says that sitting is so prevalent that we don’t even question it. To not even question something is a phrase we use sometimes. We use it to refer to bad stuff that most people don’t think is bad.

Unfortunately, scary statistics don’t cause us to change. In Part 2, she explains a social interaction finally changed her. Basically, a friend asked her to walk during a meeting. She made the idea her own and now she walks 20-30 miles (that’s 30-50 kilometers) every week.

In Part 3, she explains what she learned.

1. Going out of the box leads to out-of-the box thinking. (This just means walking made her more creative.)

2. She found a solution for how to exercise while meeting her obligations. So it’s also possible to find other tough solutions.

In the end, this is a simple, but very attractive idea. Sitting too much is bad for us, so why not get off your tush and start walking?

As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Watch

On YouTube

YouTubeLink

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Subtitles: The words so you can read what people are saying in a video

Foreign movies have subtitles so you can understand.

(2) Transcript: A written version of a video.

I didn’t see the show, but I read the transcript. It was really interesting.

(3) Steps: An ordered list of things to do.

To make a cake, there are 20 steps. First, get some sugar…

Today’s

Questions

1. What’s the first step of watching a video?

a. Get a dictionary.

b. Just watch it.

c. Read the translation.

2. What does “juhwanna” mean?

a. Do you want to

b. Nothing

c. A spice for eating

3. Why should you copy the way people speak?

a. It’ll help your speaking

b. It’ll help your listening

c. It’ll help your speaking and listening.

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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Puzzly_watching_TV

By Jeremy Schaar

Today is Saturday and on Saturdays I’m going to present you with a listening lesson. Usually I’ll choose a TED video or another video from YouTube. Today, however, I’d like to take a few minutes and talk about how to watch a video.

Here are the steps to watching a TED video:

  1. Watch the video
  2. Watch it again
  3. Watch it again with English subtitles
  4. If possible, read the transcript of the video
  5. If possible, read the translation of the video
  6. Watch the video again
  7. Start looking up words in a dictionary
  8. Post comments below the video

The great thing about TED.com is that you can often find subtitles and a translation of the video. It’s a great study tool.

Notice that before you get out a dictionary, you should have watched the video several times. If you want to improve your listening, you need to do it this way. Otherwise it’s just a reading exercise.

After you’ve done all these things, return to the same video in the future. Watch it once a week or so until it gets easy.

My other suggestion is to try and notice how speaking is different than writing. For example, when someone says “Do you want to get something to eat?”, they’ll often say “juhwanna git sumpen tuh eat?” “juhwanna git sumpen tuh eat?”

When listening, try to notice differences between the written words and the spoken words. Then, try and copy those differences when you speak. It’ll really help your listening.

OK. That’s it for today. Next time, we’ll be talking about Nilofer Merchant’s video: Got a meeting? Take a walk.

As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Thanks for using Stuart Mill English. Have a great day.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Sustainable: Possible to continue for a long time.

Our sales level isn’t sustainable. If we don’t increase sales, we’ll fail.

(2) Challenge: Something difficult to do.

It’s a challenge to raise three kids and work full-time.

(3) Inspiring: Something that motivates you.

I think Olympic athletes are so inspiring. I want to work hard like them.

Today’s

Questions

1. What does it mean to be stuck in a rut?

a. Your life is going too easy.

b. You need to work hard every day, but you’re bored.

c. Life is bad for some reason and won’t get better.

2. What does Matt think of big, crazy challenges?

a. They’re impossible.

b. They’re fun, but just for one month.

c. It’s important to make big changes in your life.

3. How many 30 Day Challenges does Matt do in one year?

a. 1

b. 6

c. 12

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

________________________

By Jeremy Schaar

This is one of my favorite videos of all time. It’s easy enough to understand and has an inspiring message. The message is simple: You can do it. (At least for 30 days.)

Matt Cutts is a computer scientist at Google. He’s famous on the internet for explaining how search works and helping people make their websites better.

In this video, he suggests that you try something new for 30 days. In his own life, Matt does “30 Day Challenges” every month. Sometimes he tries to add a new habit like biking to work. Sometimes he tries to subtract a habit like eating sugar.

Why should you try new things every month? For Matt, the answer is that he felt he was “stuck in a rut”. Check out this link. It’s a man who is actually stuck in a rut. What do you think Matt meant when he said he was stuck in a rut?

He learns a few things. First, the 30 Day Challenges make his life more memorable. He remembers the things he does and where he was a lot more after starting the challenges. For example, he remembers where he was when he took the picture.

Second, he learns that he can do anything he wants–at least for 30 days. He even writes a novel.

Finally, he learns that “small, sustainable changes…are more likely to stick.” It means that when he tries to make small changes in his life, he can continue doing them after 30 days. But when he tries to make big changes–even if they’re a lot of fun–he can’t keep doing them after 30 days. So, probably he’s still biking to work every day. But he started eating sugar again after 30 days.

Want more practice? Got questions? Comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, B, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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