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

——————————————

You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

holmwoods.eu

Website Review: www.holmwoods.eu (youtube.com/user/HolmwoodsELT)

In short: They’ve made a bunch of cool YouTube videos. The videos aren’t too strong as stand alone material, but the simple, clear (but natural) language make them great supplemental material for teachers.

For students: If you join, you can use the comprehension questions that come with a lot of videos and readings.

For teachers: Do the free trial at holmwoods.eu to check out some more material. Things are set up for your students to do homework here. Higher level students would get the most out of it.

How to listen to this talk: Christopher DeCharms looks inside the brain

How to listen to this talk: Christopher DeCharms looks inside the brain (a TED Talk)

Low-Level Students: You can use the translations to understand this video

Intermediate-Students: Listen and then use the translations to understand this video

Advanced Students: Don’t use the translations.

Before listening Discuss these questions with a partner (or write short answer to them on your own).

How do we control our muscles?

How do we control what happens in our brain?

What are some ways to change our brain?

Do you think it’s possible to look inside your brain?

Listening Click here to go to the TED website (you need to go there to be able to use the interactive transcript. That way you can listen, read, and repeat certain sections of the talk quickly).

There are subtitles in 27 languages. Below the video, you can select the language that you want for subtitles.

There’s also a box to the right of the video. Click on “Open Interactive Transcript” to see all the words. Click on any word to go to that part of the speech.

Comprehension Questions Did you really understand this talk? Try to answer these questions. (Answers are below.)

Why does he ask the audience to wave at the beginning?

What does he think will be possible in the future?

Why does he say: “You had to take a spaceship. Shrink it down. etc.”

What is “MRI”?

What does he say we can do using MRI?

Doctors have been using MRI for years. What’s new about this?

In the past, what were the three ways to try to impact the brain?

What is the fourth way?

What is “chronic pain”? Why does he mention it?

Why does he ask the audience to flex their biceps?

Activity Do this activity to help you remember what you’ve learned.

Imagine you can change things about your personality. What things would you change and why? Post your ideas in the comments!

Discussion Questions Now discuss these questions.

Do you think it will be possible to change many things about your brain because you can look at your brain patterns? Why/Why not?

Is there anything that is dangerous about this technology? If yes, what? Why?

Imagine that this technology works very well. Do you think children should be allowed to use it?

How about athletes? We don’t let athletes use drugs to change their bodies. Should they be able to change their minds?

Answers

Why does he ask the audience to wave at the beginning? He wants to demonstrate that if you can see something, you do the same thing.

What does he think will be possible in the future? In the future, we’ll be able to look inside our brain and control what’s happening (just like we can control our arms).

Why does he say: “You had to take a spaceship. Shrink it down. etc.” He’s referencing movies and TV shows where people went into bodies using tiny ships. He’s saying that we’ve been thinking about this technology for a long time. It’s going to be true, but different than how we thought it would be.

What is “MRI”? Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

What does he say we can do using MRI? Basically, it’s a way to look inside the brain. We can see what’s happening inside the brain.

Doctors have been using MRI for years. What’s new about this? In the past, we had to wait to see a scan of the brain. Now we can watch brain activity live (like we watch CCTV/a security camera—in real time, without waiting).

In the past, what were the three ways to try to impact the brain? Talking to a psychologist/psychiatrist, taking drugs, having surgery.

What is the fourth way? The way he’s describing, by looking inside the brain, watching what’s happening and controlling it.

What is “chronic pain”? Why does he mention it? Chronic pain can be different things. In this talk, chronic pain is feeling pain even though the source of the pain is gone. Like, someone’s hand hurts even after the hand was cut off. He mentions it as an example of something we’ll be able to see in our brains in the future.

Why does he ask the audience to flex their biceps? He wants to say that you’ll be able to do the same thing with different brain areas. You’ll be able to flex parts of your brain, so to speak.

CNN Student News

Website Review: edition.cnn.com/studentnews

In short: CNN Student News presents the news almost every day in a short video. These are made for teenagers who are native English speakers, but non-native speakers will enjoy them as well. The anchor (news person) speaks quickly and uses some slang and idioms, but students can read the transcript if they need help.

For students: Check out the discussion questions for each story. If you can answer them, then you’ll know that you really understand.

For teachers: Ask your students to follow a topic all semester. At the end of the term, they can present everything they’ve learned.

How to listen to this song: If a Song Could Get Me You by Marit Larsen

How to listen to this song: “If a Song Could Get Me You” by Marit Larsen

You can also listen here, here, and here.

First Listening Question

What is this song about?

Second Listening Questions

Just guess. Who do you think ended the relationship? The girl or the boy?

What would she do to get him to be with her again?

Now read the lyrics

If A Song Could Get Me You Lyrics

I could try you with a waltz
I could try rock and roll
I could try it with the blues
If a song would do

I could sing it high or low
When I let you go you know
I thought it was for the best
Now it is so obvious

So here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

I could run for miles and miles
I’d take off and I’d start flying
I could cross land and sea
If you just believe me

I should not have hurt you so
This old house is not a home
Without you here, there’s no use
I’ve got no time left to lose

So here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

If a song could get me through
I’d sing my way, right back to you
Tell me how, to make it right
Tell me now, I’ll start tonight
I know I could make it last

I swear to you that if I knew
What I was getting myself into
I wouldn’t answer to my fears
I’d never leave you standing there

Just look at me

If you’d only see me
I would prove my love for you
I could swallow half the moon
Just tell me where, tell me when
I will have you back again

Yeah, here it is, here it goes
I could try rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

Yeah, here it is, here it goes
I could try it rock and roll
Change your life forever too
If a song could get me you
I could make it high or low
Sing it on the radio
If that is what I need to do
If a song could get me you

Third Listening Questions

The main line of the song is “If a song could get me you”. This is half of a conditional sentence. How might you finish it? (Hint: There are many examples in the song.)

When do we use conditionals like this?

Who ended the relationship? How do you know?

What three types of music does she mention in the song?

Other than writing a song for him, what are some other things she says she would do?

A Little Extra

What things would you do? Try and write another verse to the song to help Marit get her boyfriend back.

First Listening Answers

What is this song about? This song is about a girl who wants to write a song to get her boyfriend to come back to her.

Second Listening Answers

Just guess. Who do you think ended the relationship? The girl or the boy? She says exactly in the lyrics, but right now, you should just guess. How does it feel to you?

What would she do to get him to be with her again? She would probably do anything, but she’s thinking about writing whatever kind of song would work.

Third Listening Answers

The main line of the song is “If a song could get me you”. This is half of a conditional sentence. How might you finish it? (Hint: There are many examples in the song.) She finishes it with lines that start with “I would” or “I could”. For example, she says: “I could try you with a waltz” and “I would prove my love for you”.

When do we use conditionals like this? This conditional is pretty rare. The form is [subject+past modal+base form of verb, if+subject+past modal+base form of verb]. We use it to describe what we would do in future impossible situations. She thinks it’s impossible for him to return, but if it were possible, she would write him a song.

Another example would be: I would study hard, if I would get an A. It means that an A is impossible, so I won’t study hard. But, if an A were possible (in the future), I would study hard (in the future).

Who ended the relationship? How do you know? She did. “I let you go” means she ended the relationship. She sings:

When I let you go you know
I thought it was for the best
Now it is so obvious

I swear to you that if I knew
What I was getting myself into
I wouldn’t answer to my fears
I’d never leave you standing there

What three types of music does she mention in the song? Waltz, Blues, and Rock and Roll.

Other than writing a song for him, what are some other things she says she would do?

Sing it on the radio

I could run for miles and miles
I’d take off and I’d start flying
I could cross land and sea
I could swallow half the moon

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments!

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