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English as a Second Language Podcast by Center for Educational Development

English as a Second Language Podcast

by Center for Educational Development

Product Details

Offered
Monday-Friday
User Rating
  4.1  Stars Based on 24 ratings

LearnOutLoud.com Review

This podcast is for anyone who wants to improve their English listening and speaking. Their podcast feed features their regular show which covers vocabulary in a variety of situations and also their English Cafe podcast which includes English discussion on various topics to help listening comprehension. Learning Guides, which include transcripts, can be downloaded on their site ESLpod.com. The ESL Podcast is hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, former professor of applied linguistics and education. For anyone looking to learn English, this is the best free resource available on the web.


Description

English as a Second Language Podcast is for anyone who wants to learn or improve their English listening and speaking. This daily (Monday through Friday) 15-20 minute podcast covers a new topic each podcast. The ESL Podcast is hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, former professor of applied linguistics and education. If you are an English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) speaker, then this podcast is for you!


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by Paulette Dale

Reviews & Ratings
User Reviews         Rate this title  

girijad83
Reviewer girijad83
 February 17, 2006
'English as a Second Language' podcast is published by the Center for Educational Development, Los Angeles. Hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, it is broadcast on weekdays and is targetted at those who are learning english as a second or a foreign language. Each podcast is divided into two parts- the first features a dialogue or a story, and the second explains new words and phrases from the story. Finally, there is a rapid version of the story, narrated in the same way a native english speaker would.

This is a highly educational podcast for those learning english as a second language. The host speaks slowly and utters each syllable distinctly, so that listeners have no difficulty following what he says. He uses both formal and informal language, but explains the nuance of each new word or phrase. Apart from the format of the podcasts, I also liked the topics chosen by the host, such as Reading Magazines, Getting a Haircut, Teamwork, etc. They would be useful to young and adult learners alike. I recommend this podcast to everybody who wants to brush up their spoken english.

Podcast Episodes




Podcast Feed URL:

 Podcast Website:
http://www.eslpod.com/index.html

1,055 - Riding Scooters and Motorcyles

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 28, 2014


Not everyone feels safe riding on a motorcycle. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:09
Explanations: 3:19
Fast dialog: 16:53

Bernadette: When you offered to give me a ride to work, I didn’t know you rode a motorcycle. I’m not sure about this.

Pawel: Come on, put on this helmet and get on. You’ll get to work much faster. We can zip around cars and go between lanes.

Bernadette: That’s what I’m afraid of.

Pawel: I’m an experienced driver. I rode a moped when I was a teenager, had a scooter in college, and got my first bike when I was 22. I ride with my motorcycle club every weekend, so you don’t have to worry about safety.

Bernadette: I’m sure you’re a good driver, but one wrong move and I’m road kill.

Pawel: Get on and I promise to behave. I won’t pop any wheelies, spin out, or do any other tricks.

Bernadette: If that was intended to put my mind at ease, it didn’t work.

Pawel: All right, last call. You want a ride to work or not?

Bernadette: Okay, I’m putting my life in your hands. If I die, it’ll be on your conscience.

Pawel: No worries. If we wipe out, it’ll take us both out, so I won’t be conscious to worry about my conscience. Hold on!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #478

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 26, 2014


Topics: Famous Musicals – All That Jazz; Winter Carnivals; irony and metaphor; pronouncing routed and data; hopefully

Words:
choreographer
production
high-life
hallucination
fictional
autobiography
signature
carnival
season
royal court
habitation
toboggan
irony
metaphor
to route
data
hopefully



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1,054 - Finding a Roommate

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 24, 2014


It’s tough to find a person you can live with. Learn how not to do it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:08
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 15:51

Carlos: Now that your boyfriend has moved out, you need a roommate. There’s no way you can afford this apartment on your own.

Inez: I know, but I really don’t want to live with a stranger. I’d have to put up with all of their quirks.

Carlos: I don’t think you have a choice. You need someone to split the rent and the cost of utilities, not to mention your cable bill.

Inez: I’d need someone who could keep the common areas neat and clean, and who can keep their hands off my stuff.

Carlos: I’m sure you’ll manage to find someone with those qualities.

Inez: They’d have to help with chores around the apartment, too, and pitch in with general upkeep.

Carlos: No doubt there’s someone out there who wouldn’t mind doing that.

Inez: Hey, aren’t you looking for a place to live? You could move in here.

Carlos: You mean share an apartment with you? No thanks.

Inez: Why not?

Carlos: I’d just rather not. I don’t think we’d suit.

Inez: Why wouldn’t we?

Carlos: Do you really want me to spell it out for you?

Inez: Yes, in fact, I insist.

Carlos: All right. Let’s just say that you’re a little bit grouchy in the mornings. You know that monster in the Alien movies?

Inesz: Yes. [silence.]

Carlos: Ouch! Ouch! Stop hitting me!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,053 - Buying Food at a Concession Stand

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 21, 2014


Sometimes the food you buy at a movie theater is more expensive than the movie ticket itself. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 17:13

Jim: We only have three minutes before the movie starts. You grab two seats and I’ll hit the concession stand.
...

Suki: Can I help you?

Jim: Yes, I’d like a large popcorn and a hot dog with the works.

Suki: Anything else?

Jim: Yes, I’ll also take an order of nachos and a pretzel.

Suki: Sorry, we’re out of pretzels right now, but we have cotton candy, snow cones, and pizza.

Jim: All right, then give me a slice of pizza.

Suki: Will that be all?

Jim: No, I’d also like a box of licorice, a package of beef jerky, and an ice cream sandwich.

Suki: Anything to drink?

Jim: Yes, I’ll take two large sodas.

Suki: All right, that’ll be $84.50.

Jim: What?! That’s highway robbery!

Suki: Our prices are posted on the board. You can see them right up there. Do you still want all this?

Jim: Just give me the soda and popcorn.

Suki: Are you sure you’ll make it through the movie with just that?

Jim: I have no choice. I’d have to commit robbery if I wanted anything else!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #477

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 19, 2014


Topics: The American Indian Movement of the 1970s; Famous Buildings – The Sears Tower; inception versus conception versus to beget; to get back; cash on the barrelhead

Words:
to relocate
reservation
Civil Rights Movement
specialized
to occupy
demand
to be surrounded
federal agent
consecutive
to threaten
antenna
tenant
inception
conception
to beget
to get back
cash on the barrelhead



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1,052 - A Product Recall

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 17, 2014


If you make a mistake, you usually have to fix it eventually. Find out what happens when a business makes a mistake with its product on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:33
Fast dialog: 16:12

Melissa: This is a disaster! If we have to recall 100,000 units, we’ll take a huge loss this year.

Lee: We have no choice. The product defect poses a safety hazard. If we don’t act quickly, we’ll have a huge liability issue on our hands.

Melissa: I think we’re blowing this out of proportion. Only a small amount of our June product run was affected.

Lee: Yes, but even one case of someone getting hurt because of the defect would be a PR nightmare, and that’s on top of the charges of negligence we’d have to face in court. We need to get ahead of this now.

Melissa: All right, all right. I guess we have no choice. Should we hold a press conference to announce the recall?

Lee: We’ll send out a press release first and then hold a press conference.

Melissa: I’m putting you in charge of it. Get it done.

Lee: You mean in charge of getting the press release sent out?

Melissa: I mean that and the press conference. You can face the press and answer their questions.

Lee: You’re throwing me to the wolves?

Melissa: Not at all. I’m helping you raise your profile in the company. You should be thanking me.

Lee: Somehow I don’t feel so grateful.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,051 - Getting and Making Threats

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 14, 2014


If you are a public or well-known person, there are always going to be some people who hate you, and perhaps even try to hurt you. Find out more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 3:07
Fast dialog: 13:55

Ruth: I’m really glad you’re getting so much support from the public. Look at all of these bags of fan mail.

Carl: Only about half of that is fan mail. The rest is hate mail.

Ruth: Hate mail? Who would send you hate mail?

Carl: Lots of people. People who are disgruntled write to me about their grievances.

Ruth: Really?

Carl: Don’t look so surprised. We’ve gotten bomb threats, and I’ve even received a few death threats.

Ruth: Death threats?! Aren’t you worried about your personal safety?

Carl: Not really. Most people are just venting and others are trying to intimidate me. I’m not going to buckle under just because I get a few letters.

Ruth: But it only takes one mentally unbalanced person to carry through on threats. Have you considered getting a bodyguard?

Carl: No, I don’t need any protection. I just need to keep plugging away and getting things done.

Ruth: I finally know what to get you for your birthday.

Carl: What?

Ruth: A bulletproof vest.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #476

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 12, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Drought and a new gold rush; vendor versus salesman versus pitcher; to clinch versus to breeze into versus to blow away; pronouncing bird versus beard versus bear

Words:
dried up
water level
underwater
gold
sluice box
trap
eddy
natural erosion
landscaping
wildfire
to hose
to be deposited
to chase after
vendor
salesman / salesperson
pitcher / pitchman
to clinch
to breeze into
to blow away



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1,050 - Describing Stomach Problems

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 10, 2014


Not feeling too well? Perhaps it’s something you ate. Learn how to talk about stomach problems on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 17:05

There’s nothing I enjoy more than spending a couple of hours relaxing at a cafe. I sit drinking my tea and reading. What could be better?

Woman: So I think I may have to see a doctor soon. You know I’ve had these terrible pains in my stomach. My digestion is terrible and now I think I might have an ulcer!

Well, I was having a relaxing time until I started overhearing the woman at the next table talking loudly on her cell phone.

Woman: No, I don’t think it could be lactose intolerance. My bowels are working fine. I don’t have the runs or feel constipated. I just get a really upset stomach and these terrible pains.

This was definitely not a conversation I wanted to listen to. I looked around for another table, somewhere I could escape to.

Woman: Yes, I do feel some heartburn and bloating. Do you really think it could be acid reflux? I do have a problem with too much gas and burping a lot. Will an antacid help, do you think?

By this time, I was in panic mode. If I didn’t get away from this woman soon, I’d surely be sick to my stomach!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,049 - Buying Theater Tickets

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 07, 2014


Nothing is better than a good play at a theater. Learn how to buy tickets to one in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 17:24

Susie: I can’t believe I’m going to get to see my favorite actor in a play. I want front row seats!

David: I’m looking at the venue’s seating plan right now and all front row seats are taken for the entire run. I’m guessing that season ticket holders got those.

Susie: Damn! All right. Let’s try to get seats as close to the stage as possible, preferably in the orchestra.

David: The only orchestra tickets still available have partially obstructed views.

Susie: Okay, we’ll take those.

David: But we won’t be able to see the entire stage. These tickets in the loge or mezzanine, or even the balcony will give us a better view of the play.

Susie: I don’t need to see every part of the play. I just want to get as close to him as possible.

David: Wait one second. I see two seats in the second row still available for the matinee performance. Oh no, those are seats for wheelchair access.

Susie: That’s great! We’ll take those.

David: But neither of us needs wheelchair access.

Susie: I’ll break a leg if I have to to get that close to him.

David: Do the words “obsessed fan” mean anything to you?

Susie: You can call it obsession, but I call it devotion!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #475

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 05, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – George W. Bush; I beg to differ, Would it kill you to (do something)?, ashes to ashes (dust to dust); worth more than; hodge podge, gazillion, and tons of

Words:
consultant
governor
salary
approval rating
terrorism
coalition
preemptively
weapons of mass destruction
to invade
to monitor
levee
stabilization
I beg to differ
Would it kill you to (do something)?
ashes to ashes (dust to dust)
worth
hodge podge
gazillion
tons of (something)



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1,048 - Launching an Initial Pubic Offering

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 03, 2014


Make millions of dollars in the stock market! Find out how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:42
Fast dialog: 15:34

Zoe: What are you looking at?

Midas: It’s the prospectus for Boogle’s IPO. I wish I could get in on the initial public offering, but since I can’t, I’ll buy stock as soon as the company becomes publicly traded.

Zoe: I’m not really familiar with how the stock market works. You mean you’re going to buy shares in Boogle?

Midas: That’s right. An IPO is a way for a privately owned company to become a publicly owned one. The owners of the company do it to raise capital, or sometimes it’s for early investors to cash in.

Zoe: Why can’t you buy stock in the initial public offering?

Midas: A company like Boogle works with an underwriter, like a major investment bank, to help set the share price and to find buyers for the initial offering.

Zoe: Okay, I’m following you so far.

Midas: Well, that first sale of stock is usually done in bulk, and I don’t have a few million dollars lying around to buy that much stock. Luckily for me, those first buyers then turn around and sell that stock in smaller amounts.

Zoe: And that’s when you’ll buy.

Midas: That’s right. You should get in on it, too.

Zoe: You mean buy some Boogle stock?

Midas: Sure, why not?

Zoe: And risk losing my shirt? No, thanks!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,047 - Having Breathing Problems

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 31, 2014


Every breath you take, every move you make, we’ll be watching you. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:11
Fast dialog: 14:25

Russ: Why are you wheezing like that?

Cheryl: I’m not wheezing. I’m just a little short of breath. My lungs feel like they’ve closed up.

Russ: Maybe you should get that checked out. You could have asthma.

Cheryl: Do you really think so? My nasal passages have been stopped up, so I just thought I had a bad cold. My sinuses hurt, too.

Russ: I’m not a doctor, but you may have something more serious, maybe bronchitis or pneumonia. You need a chest x-ray or something.

Cheryl: Wow, so this could be something really serious?

Russ: Why do you sound hopeful that you have a serious condition?

Cheryl: I’m not. That would be stupid.

Russ: And yet, you sounded positively giddy that you might be laid up for a couple of weeks. Does this have anything to do with your upcoming business trip to Abrahamville?

Cheryl: If you had to go to Abrahamville, wouldn’t you wish for an out, too – any out?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #474

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 29, 2014


Topics: How to Become a Dentist; The Guano Island Act; classic versus classical; to be there for (someone) versus to take (someone) there; after full deliberation

Words:
routine
plaque
diet
anesthesia
anatomy
periodontics
licensed
birth defect
natural resource
fertilizer
guano
artificial
classic
classical
to be there for (someone)
to take (someone) there
after full deliberation



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1,046 - Types of Luggage

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 27, 2014


Sometimes it is better to travel light, without a lot of suitcases and bags. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:14
Explanations: 3:13
Fast dialog: 17:42

Driver: Ma’am, where would you like these suitcases?

Leona: The three wheeled suitcases should go next to the bed, and the garment bag should be hung up in the closet. Where is my expandable bag?

Driver: Do you mean this duffel bag?

Leona: Yes. You can leave that right there. Hmm, where is my carry-on? All I see is my checked baggage. I thought I gave you my carry-on, too.

Driver: You did, ma’am, and it’s right here.

Leona: Oh, good. When can I expect my trunk to arrive?

Driver: Your trunk? You had a trunk?

Leona: Yes, I had a trunk. Didn’t you see it at the airport?

Driver: Uh no, I must have overlooked it.

Leona: You mean you left behind my trunk?! Who knows what has become of it by now!

Driver: I’m sure I’ll be able to find it and deliver it here to you.

Leona: I knew I should have used a luggage forwarding service.

Driver: You might consider traveling light next time, ma’am.

Leona: What did you say?!

Driver: Nothing! I’m going to fetch your trunk as we speak.

Leona: I should hope so!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,045 - Being Infatuated with Someone

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 24, 2014


There’s a difference between being a fan of someone famous and being a complete lunatic. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 2:27
Explanations: 3:35
Fast dialog: 16:47

Marcel: What is this on your wall?

Fiona: It’s my tribute to Del Gordon, my favorite player.

Marcel: This isn’t a tribute. It’s a shrine!

Fiona: It’s not a shrine. I just have a few pictures of him taped on my wall.

Marcel: You have poster-size pictures of him covering three walls of your room. This goes beyond being a fan. You’re obsessed with him.

Fiona: No, I’m not obsessed. I admit that I’m a little infatuated with him, but it’s a healthy kind of adulation.

Marcel: You’ve definitely gotten carried away.

Fiona: Just a little. I’m devoted to watching him play in every game and I try to find out as much as I can about him, but it’s because I admire him. It’s not like I’m stalking him or something.

Marcel: Then why do you have all of this equipment?

Fiona: That’s in case there’s a sighting of him in this city.

Marcel: A sighting?

Fiona: Yes, there’s a network of fans that keeps tabs on him and if I learn that he’s in town, I can try to get a photo with him.

Marcel: And what are those handcuffs for?

Fiona: I only have those in case he doesn’t cooperate.

Marcel: You’re right. Your infatuation is completely healthy!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #473

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 22, 2014


Topics: Famous Buildings/Structures – The Brooklyn Bridge; The Minimum Wage; to speculate versus to deliberate versus to contemplate; holy moly; down-and-dirty

Words:
suspension bridge
marvel
on site
caisson
permanent
paralyzed
to supervise
federal
interstate commerce
eligible
welfare
opponent
to speculate
to deliberate
to contemplate
holy moly
down-and-dirty



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1,044 - Issuing a Public Apology

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 20, 2014


I’m sorry for all the mistakes I made in this episode. I can promise you that it will not happen again – until the next episode, that is.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:11
Fast dialog: 14:46

Working in public relations, I often have to deal with my clients’ gaffes and blunders. My job is to calm any firestorm before it gets out of hand.

One of the most important things to do whenever there’s been a misstep is to issue a public apology. An apology should say plainly and clearly that the individual or company is sorry and that it takes responsibility for its actions. If possible, the apology should outline corrective actions that will be taken. The key is to come clean, apologize, and take the blame, and to do so quickly and without hesitation.

I give my clients this advice every time they land themselves in a mess, but do they listen to me? The smarts ones do.

And the others? Many of them are still trying to salvage their reputations and to bounce back. And me? I try very hard not to say, “I told you so.”

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,043 - TV Shows Being Renewed and Cancelled

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 17, 2014


What? No good television shows to watch tonight? Perhaps the good ones got canceled already. Find out more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:33
Explanations: 4:05
Fast dialog: 17:52

Mo: I have some bad news: Your favorite TV show has been cancelled.

Amy: I’m not surprised. Ratings plummeted last season, so the writing was on the wall.

Mo: Also on the chopping block is your favorite reality show: American Idiots.

Amy: Oh no, not American Idiots, too! I thought it was gaining ground in the ratings after a slow start.

Mo: Unfortunately, it stayed a cult favorite and never garnered a large enough viewership to be renewed.

Amy: I’ll have nothing to watch next season.

Mo: You can watch some of my shows. All of my favorites are being renewed, with one taking a short hiatus.

Amy: A short hiatus? We all know what that means.

Mo: What are you implying?

Amy: The network will put in a mid-season replacement, and if it does well, you’ll never see your show again.

Mo: That’s not true. You’re just saying that because your shows got the ax.

Amy: No, I’m not. That show is on its last legs. Mark my words.

Mo: Well, even if it’s true, I still have something to watch, for now.

Amy: What are you watching right now?

Mo: A show called Podsters. It’s a reality show where a bunch of podcasters live in a house together and are watched 24 hours a day.

Amy: I’ve never heard of anything so inane. Who cares about the lives of podcasters? They must be the most boring people in the world.

Mo: You might have a point there.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #472

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 15, 2014


Topics: Movies – Amadeus; The Adelsverein; neither and nor: earworm; badass

Words:
composer
lunatic asylum
flashback
envious
revenge
requiem
to take a toll
mediocre
to emigrate
market
settlement
creditor
neither
nor
earworm
badass



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1,042 - Being Diagnosed With and Treated for Cancer

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 13, 2014


Cancer is a serious disease, but you need to see a doctor before thinking you have it. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:42
Fast dialog: 16:09

Vivian: Do you see this lump? I’m sure I have cancer.

Guy: Don’t jump to conclusions. It could be something completely benign.

Vivian: I know it’s not benign. It’s got to be a malignant tumor. The cancer is probably at stage two or three already. The oncologist will probably want to start me on radiation and chemotherapy right away.

Guy: You haven’t seen a single doctor yet and you’re already planning for the worst.

Vivian: Of course I am. I want to be mentally prepared for the bad news. The doctor will do a biopsy, but I already know what the results will be. I’m just hoping the prognosis will be good.

Guy: I think you’re getting way ahead of yourself. It could be something completely harmless.

Vivian: I can’t afford to believe that. I have a family history of cancer. My father was diagnosed when he was 56 years old. It’s true he’s been in remission and hasn’t had a relapse yet, but you never know with cancer.

Guy: That’s right, you never know. You could live to the age of 90.

Vivian: You can fool yourself as much as you like, but I have to face facts – especially as sick as I am.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,041 - Being Rescued

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 10, 2014


Going out into nature can very dangerous. I don’t recommend it, but if you must go, don’t get lost. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:17
Fast dialog: 14:48

Irma: Do you really think we’ll be rescued? It’s been six hours and I’m losing hope.

Bert: It’s hard to say. I’m sure search and rescue teams are looking for us as we speak.

Irma: But what if they don’t come in time? We didn’t bring any provisions and we’re almost out of water.

Bert: You’re afraid of starvation and dying of thirst? I think we’d die from hypothermia or exposure to the elements first.

Irma: Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that until you mentioned it. Hey, I think that’s the sound of a helicopter.

Bert: You’re hearing things. That’s not a helicopter.

Irma: I think I hear search and rescue dogs. I think they’re onto our scent!

Bert: I think you’re starting to hallucinate. I don’t hear anything.

Irma: Can’t you just humor me? I’m trying to keep hope alive.

Bert: Oh, sure. Hey, I think I hear something.

Irma: You do?

Bert: Yeah, it’s Santa Claus on his sleigh.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #471

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 08, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – John Brown; High School Reunions; phantom versus soul; coast versus shore; plug nickel

Words:
abolitionist
to smuggle
fugitive
reward
to raid
arsenal
to be executed
reunion
to dread
to mature
to catch up with (someone)
theme
phantom
soul
coast
shore
plug nickel



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1,040 - Dealing with Bureaucracy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 06, 2014


If you want to do work for the government, be prepared for a lot of rules and regulations to follow. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 4:11
Fast dialog: 19:08

Jogi: I knew when we got this government contract that it would be a two-edged sword.

Deborah: How so?

Jogi: I’m grateful for the work, but having to jump through hoops of the government’s bureaucracy has me pulling my hair out.

Deborah: What’s wrong now?

Jogi: You know that all of our documents have to be submitted in triplicate. I anticipated that and had done everything to the letter, or so I thought.

Deborah: I know. I helped you prepare those documents. What’s the problem?

Jogi: The documents were sent back to us because they say we didn’t follow some of the reporting regulations. But the verbiage in the regulations is so convoluted that I had to interpret them to the best of my ability. I thought I had done everything right.

Deborah: Didn’t they tell you what they thought was done wrong when they returned the documents?

Jogi: All I got was a form letter with no specifics.

Deborah: I suggest calling the office responsible for reviewing the documents and asking someone there.

Jogi: You don’t think I’ve tried? Each time I think I have the right department and leave a voicemail message, either I don’t hear back or I get palmed off on another office. I can’t get a straight answer to any of my questions. I never expected this much red tape.

Deborah: So I see what you mean about that two-edged sword.

Jogi: I can think of one good use for that sword right now – to put me out of my misery!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,039 - Taking a Test Drive

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 03, 2014


Slow down or you’ll miss this great episode about driving cars.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:33
Fast dialog: 16:51

Mario: I’d like to test drive the new Racer.

Leah: Sure, all prospective buyers can take one of our cars for a test drive. May I see your driver’s license?

Mario: Here it is.

Leah: Okay, come with me. Why don’t you get into the driver’s seat and I’ll get into the passenger seat? All right, please buckle up and you can drive it around the block.

Mario: I think I may need to drive it a little farther to get a feel for the car.

Leah: That’s fine, but you’ll need to slow down!

Mario: Slow down? How will I know if this car is right for my driving style if I don’t put the pedal to the metal and put it through its paces?

Leah: I understand you want to get a complete driving experience, but unless you stop driving recklessly, we’ll need to return to the car lot.

Mario: You call this reckless? This isn’t reckless. It’s how I always drive. If you don’t hear the tires screeching, you’re not driving a car the way it should be driven.

Leah: Well, an interesting way of looking at it. Uh, I think we’d better head back to the car lot. I’m feeling a little nauseous.

Mario: Let me guess. You’ve never ridden in a car driven by a racecar driver before.

Leah: That’s right.

Mario: Then this is your lucky day!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #470

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 01, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – James Fenimore Cooper; The Farmer’s Almanac; in favor of versus in (one’s) favor; feat of strength, raw human strength, and to be forced against table’s edge; to multitask

Words”
frontier
pioneer
to be expelled from
prank
to dare someone
interpreter
social equality
prediction
crops
harvest
accurate
circulation
In favor of
in (one’s) favor
feat of strength
raw human strength
to be forced against table’s edge
to multitask



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1,038 - Types and Characteristics of Apartments

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 29, 2014


Looking for a place to live? Find out your options in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:37
Fast dialog: 16:16

Lily: Thanks for coming with me to meet the rental agent to view an apartment, but I think I’m lost. I’m supposed to be there in 10 minutes, but I can’t find it. There are four different apartment complexes located next to each other and they look identical.

Omid: Don’t you have the address?

Lily: Yes, but all of the complexes in this subdivision look the same, and I don’t see a street number on any of them.

Omid: Are you sure we’re looking for a block of apartments? Maybe the apartment is in a mixed-use building, like that one over there.

Lily: I’m pretty sure. At least I know it’s in a high-rise building and the apartment is on the eighth floor. That mixed-use building is only three stories high.

Omid: Oh, then it’s not a duplex or triplex, like those over there.

Lily: No, it’s definitely not one of those. I’d better call the rental agent and get directions.

Omid: Hey, look over there. I see a couple of the residents of that building walking out. Let’s ask them. Excuse me. Excuse me! Oh, they didn’t hear me.

Lily: I’ll just make the call.

Omid: Well, you can be sure of one thing if you move into one of these complexes.

Lily: What?

Omid: The bill collectors will never be able to find you!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,037 - Ending a Party

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 26, 2014


You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Time to end the party in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 2:58
Fast dialog: 14:43

Gunther: I think this party has run its course and I’m ready to call it a night.

Maria: But there are still a few stragglers who seem reluctant to leave. How do we politely tell them to go home?

Gunther: I’ll just make an announcement.

Maria: Wait! That seems kind of rude. Let me try a few hints. I’ll tell them that we’re out of drinks.

Gunther: If you do that, one of those guys is liable to offer to make a beer run. That’s not going to do the trick.

Maria: What if I go over there, yawn, and comment on the lateness of the hour? That should be obvious enough without being too rude.

Gunther: Those people aren’t going to respond to subtlety. Let me handle this.

Maria: What are you going to do?

Gunther: I’m going to do what bars do at closing time. I’m turning up the lights and turning off the music.

Maria: And if that doesn’t work?

Gunther: I’m going to yell “lights out, people!” and mean it!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #469

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 24, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – Grover Cleveland; to understand versus to grab versus to grasp versus to get (it); the suffix –hood; pronouncing words with the first letter “e”

Words:
discontinuous
to be drafted
to nominate
mayor
to veto
commerce
tariff
to oppose
depression
to repeal
to go on strike
trustee
to understand
to grab
to grasp
to get (it)
-hood



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1,036 - Farming and Agribusiness

Author: CentAuthor: er for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 22, 2014


There wouldn’t be much food in the world if we didn’t have farms. But who should own them? Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:08
Explanations: 2:55
Fast dialog: 18:18

Brad: Is this your first visit to this area?

Irene: It is and I’m surprised to see so many farms. I thought farming was a dying industry.

Brad: Family farms and small-scale farming are disappearing, but agribusiness is alive and well, thanks to government subsidies.

Irene: Are they lucrative?

Brad: They can be, but the subsidies were originally given to protect the livelihood of farmers.

Irene: And that’s not what’s happening?

Brad: Well, agribusiness has edged out small-scale farms because output is the name of the game. A lot of small-scale farmers have thrown in the towel.

Irene: That’s a shame, but the subsidies are still used to protect domestic food production, right?

Brad: That may be, but we’re losing a way of life. I come from a long line of farmers.

Irene: And you’re not farming?

Brad: Nope.

Irene: What do you do?

Brad: I work for the government agency that gives out subsidies to the very farms that put us out of business.

Irene: That’s quite a twist of fate.

Brad: You said it.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,035 - Using a Self-Checkout Machine

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 19, 2014


You will get out of the grocery store more quickly if you use the self-checkout line. Or will you? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:38
Fast dialog: 18:52

Claudia: We’re done, right? Let’s get in this cashier line.

Raul: No need. This store has self-checkout machines.

Claudia: I don’t know. I think it would be easier going through a cashier line.

Raul: Using the self-checkout will be much quicker. Let me show you. All you have to do is scan the barcodes on each grocery item.

Claudia: There are no barcodes on fruits and vegetables.

Raul: All you have to do is put them on the scale and find the product on the touch-screen.

Claudia: You look. I’ll start bagging.

Raul: Wait! You’re supposed to wait until everything is scanned before removing items from the bagging area to put in bags. Oh no, now there’s a “see attendant” message on the screen.

Claudia: What do we do now?

Raul: We wait for the attendant to clear the error and void the transaction. Then we start again.

Claudia: Great. You’re right. This is much faster.

Raul: It is if you know what you’re doing.

Claudia: I’ll tell you what. I’ll take half of our groceries and stand in line and you use the self-checkout. We’ll see which is faster.

Raul: That’s a sucker bet. I have no doubt that I’ll be done before you are.

Claudia: I’m not worried. The last one out the door makes dinner.

Raul: You’re on. Just remember that I like my steak well done.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #468

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 17, 2014


Topics: The Jonestown Massacre; Square Dancing; perspective versus prospective versus prospect; scheme versus schema; heart condition

Words:
massacre
to be affiliated with
temple
charismatic
to owe (someone) (something)
to be blackmailed
commune
to be held against (one’s) will
to be disbanded
bankruptcy
caller
revival
perspective
prospective
prospect
scheme
schema
heart condition



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1,034 - Making Changes to a Hotel Reservation

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 15, 2014


Are you travelling soon? In case you have to change your hotel reservations, listen to this episode to learn what to say.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 4:32
Fast dialog: 17:58

Reservation agent: Hello, Milton Hotel reservations. How may I assist you?

Sally: Hi, I’m calling to make some changes to an existing reservation.

Reservation agent: Certainly. Do you have the reservation number?

Sally: Sure, it’s 234678.

Reservation agent: That’s a reservation for Sally Menkel. Is that right?

Sally: Yes, that’s right. I’d like to change the check-in date from September 15th to September 16th.

Reservation agent: Certainly. I can make that change for you. Is that the only change?

Sally: No, the check-out date will also change, from the 23rd to the 24th.

Reservation agent: No problem. We have you arriving on the 16th of September and departing the 24th of September. Will there be anything else?

Sally: Yes, there will be two people in my party, not just one.

Reservation agent: I’ve made that change. Anything else I can help you with?

Sally: Yes, instead of a courtyard room, I’d like a room with a view, preferably on an upper floor.

Reservation agent: I can certainly change that for you, although there will be a change in the room rate. The new rate is $189 per night.

Sally: On second thought, I’d prefer a suite that overlooks the pool. Is that possible?

Reservation agent: Certainly. The new rate is $249 per night.

Sally: Oh, that’s really expensive. I think I’d better to stick to my original room.

Reservation agent: All right. I’ve changed your reservation back to a courtyard room. Anything else?

Sally: Maybe I should shorten my stay. If I do that, I could afford a suite. Yes, let’s change the dates and the rooms again.

Reservation agent: Let me make a suggestion. Let’s cancel this reservation and make a whole new one. That way, we can make sure everything is correct.

Sally: Oh, that’s not too much trouble for you, is it? I’d hate to be a bother.

Reservation agent: No, no trouble at all.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #467

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 10, 2014


Topics: Movies – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Famous Americans: Babe Didrikson Zaharias; to deliver versus to distribute versus to ship; describing the loss of hair on a man’s head; to ward off

Words:
fairy tale
animated
folly
vain
fair
cottage
dwarf
coffin
homerun
All-American
track and field
amateur
to deliver
to distribute
to ship
tonsure
bald spot
to ward off



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1,033 - Dicussing a Victory or Loss

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 12, 2014


Find out how to do some serious trash talking about sport teams in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 2:54
Fast dialog: 15:16

Yolanda: Did you see the game last night?

Bob: You mean the crushing victory of my team over yours?

Yolanda: That’s not how I would characterize it. We fell short in the final seconds, but we played a good game up until then.

Bob: In your dreams. My team dominated from beginning to end. You’re just lucky that it wasn’t a complete blowout.

Yolanda: We would have won if the coach hadn’t decided to throw in the towel early. I think he just melted down under the pressure.

Bob: It’s easy for you to play Monday morning quarterback, but I don’t think anything would have saved your team from going down in flames.

Yolanda: There’s a rematch in three weeks, you know.

Bob: And my team will whup your team again, no question.

Yolanda: You can trash talk all you like. We’ll see if you’re still smiling after my team wipes the floor with yours!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,032 - Different Management Styles

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 08, 2014


Do you think you have what it takes to be a good manager? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 3:56
Fast dialog: 18:07

Bianca: Today’s the day. We’re supposed to find out who the new manager is going to be. I hope they’re not making a mistake by hiring internally.

Conrad: I just hope they don’t pick Melissa. She would be a disaster.

Bianca: Why do you say that? I like Melissa.

Conrad: I like her, too, but she can be so autocratic. Give her a little power and it goes to her head. Every decision would be top-down.

Bianca: You might be right, but I think Quentin would be worse. He would be so laissez-faire that it would be like not having a manager at all. He’d delegate everything and then sit back and do nothing.

Conrad: I’ll grant you that. Quentin would be a horrible manager. What about Jemima? She’s popular with nearly everybody in the office.

Bianca: I suppose Jemima would be a bearable option. She likes to collaborate and often consults with other people to get their feedback. But I’m backing a different horse, one that would be the ideal.

Conrad: Who?

Bianca: You.

Conrad: Me? No way. I don’t have a chance in hell. And plus, how do you know I’d be a good manager?

Bianca: You’d be democratic in your decision-making and I’d like that. You wouldn’t rule with an iron fist.

Conrad: That’s what you think. Give me a little power and you can start calling me commandant.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,031 - Following a High-Profile Court Case

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 05, 2014


Don’t be guilty of not following this important court case. Listen to find out all about it.

Slow dialog: 1:44
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 17:10

Danny: Have you been following the Schirru case?

Carol: Yeah, I have. I think he’s guilty.

Danny: You’re kidding, right? He’s innocent and this is a show trial. The district attorney is conducting a witch-hunt for his own political ambitions.

Carol: No, he’s not. It is a high-profile case, but that’s only because he wants to make an example of Schirru. People like him should be off the streets. Putting him in jail sends a message to other criminals.

Danny: What kind of message?

Carol: The message that the government is cracking down.

Danny: I think it’s just grandstanding and Schirru is being made a sacrificial lamb.

Carol: You can believe what you like, but I think it’s great that the district attorney is taking a stand.

Danny: Yes, but he seems to be doing it at the expense of real justice.

Carol: Not from where I’m standing.

Danny: Then you need to find a new place to stand – preferably one without blind spots.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #466

Author: Center for Educational Development
Tue, Sep 02, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Being a twin; to revoke versus to nullify versus to rescind; waste; bon voyage

Words:
star
twins
identity
to be noticed
to project
to interfere with
resilience
to be (one’s) own person
co-dependence
to dress alike
alliterative
alone time
to revoke
to nullify
to rescind
waste
bon voyage



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1,030 - Adopting a Pet

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 01, 2014


Who wouldn’t want to adopt a cute dog (other than me)? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:14
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 18:16

Gabe: Why are we here? I thought we decided to put off getting a dog.

Rene: I know that’s what you’d like to do, but I thought a trip to the pound might convince you that this is the right time to adopt a dog. Look at this cute little dog. This card lists his breed and says that he was neglected and abandoned. How could you turn down a face like that?

Gabe: I don’t think he’s right for us. Let’s move on.

Rene: Look at this one. It says on his card that when they found him, he showed signs of abuse. Poor baby. How can you not be moved to take this little guy home?

Gabe: Let’s keep moving.

Rene: How about this little dog? I’d hate to see this little guy be put down. Here, pet her and look at her little face.

Gabe: This animal shelter isn’t going to put down these dogs. It’s a humane place.

Rene: They have no choice. They find so many strays that there’s no room to keep them. It’s so sad. It’s tragic, really.

Gabe: Maybe...

Rene: What did you say?

Gabe: I said maybe we could take one home, maybe two.

Rene: Really? Two would be great, but three would be better.

Gabe: Don’t push your luck!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,029 - Types of Vandalism

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 29, 2014


Sometimes when things get dangerous, people like to take the law into their own hands. Find out how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:39
Fast dialog: 18:24

Jim: Did you hear what happened to the Romeros?

Helene: No, what?

Jim: They went on vacation for a week and vandals broke a couple of windows in the back of their house and tagged their living room walls with graffiti.

Helene: That’s terrible! There are always punks who like to egg houses in this neighborhood for fun, but this is much more serious.

Jim: I think things are getting out of hand. Every week or two, we hear of incidents of people having their tires slashed or their cars keyed.

Helene: And the Jamisons had their flowerbeds trampled and a small fire set on their lawn three weeks ago. This neighborhood is really going downhill.

Jim: What should we do about it?

Helene: What do you mean?

Jim: I think we should start patrolling the streets at night.

Helene: You mean organize a neighborhood watch? Wouldn’t that be dangerous?

Jim: If you’re worried, when you see something suspicious, call the police.

Helene: And you think they’ll come in time to catch them? The police aren’t known for quick response times in this neighborhood.

Jim: Then we’ll go after them ourselves.

Helene: You mean be vigilantes? I’m not sure that would be wise.

Jim: Why not? If Clint Eastwood can do it, so can I. Go ahead, punk, make my day!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #465

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 27, 2014


Topics: Famous Songs – “If I Had a Hammer”; How to Become a Social Worker; to dismantle versus to disassemble; guilt versus blame; to cross the great divide

Words:
folk song
tune
labor rights
reasonable
civil rights movement
to hammer out
justice
hospice
mental illness
behavioral problem
psychological
practicum
supervised experience
to dismantle
to disassemble
guilt
blame
to cross the great divide



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1,028 - Describing Order and Sequence

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 25, 2014


Learn how to talk about putting things in order in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:22
Fast dialog: 15:43

Patrick: Okay, your first task is to put all of these files in order.

Maya: Wow, there must be hundreds of files in this storeroom. How am I supposed to organize them?

Patrick: Create a basic filing system. Put things in sequence. If they’re labeled with dates, put them in chronological order. If they’re labeled with names, put them in alphabetical order by last name.

Maya: Okay, but what about this file? It’s labeled with a four-digit number, but it’s not a date.

Patrick: Those are case numbers. Put those in ascending or descending numeric order, whichever makes sense.

Maya: But this file has letters followed by numbers.

Patrick: Then put those in alphanumeric order, first by letter and then by number. Simple, right?

Maya: Yeah, but have you ever considered a more random filing system, something that embraces chaos?

Patrick: No, I haven’t. If I wanted chaos, I’d just go home to my 11 children!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,027 - Adding Condiments to Food

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 22, 2014


What sort of things do you like on your hamburgers and hot dogs? Learn about some delicious (or disgusting) possibilities in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 3:09
Fast dialog: 16:16

Orlando: Hand me that Worcestershire sauce.

Janine: Here. You’re not putting that on your burger, are you?

Orlando: No, I’m using it for my hot dog.

Janine: Wait. You’ve put ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce on your burger, and now you’re going to put Worcestershire sauce on your hot dog?

Orlando: Sure, you’ve got to have Worcestershire sauce on your hot dog.

Janine: No, I don’t. I don’t know anybody else who puts Worcestershire sauce on their hot dogs.

Orlando: You’re missing out. I just need to add a little steak sauce, horseradish, tartar sauce, and a dab of chili sauce and this hot dog is ready to eat.

Janine: That sounds disgusting! Is there anything you won’t put on your food?

Orlando: On this food? Maybe maple syrup.

Janine: What?! You’re the one missing out. Hand me that syrup.

Orlando: That is truly revolting!

Janine: To each his own.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #464

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 20, 2014


Topics: The Roaring Twenties; The Empire State Building; Indians (Asians) versus Indians (indigenous peoples); to blow up versus to explode; staging ground

Words:
decade
booming
to be independent
roaring
invention
flapper
corset
jazz
to improvise
to become established
story
observatory
Indian (Asian)
Indian
to blow up
to explode
staging ground



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1,026 - Marrying Young

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 18, 2014


Getting married is a serious step in one’s life. Learn about people who get married young in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 16:31

Irene: Damon and his girlfriend just got engaged. They’re planning on getting married this summer.

Ken: They’re too young! Marrying young poses all kinds of problems.

Irene: Such as?

Ken: Such as the two of them lacking maturity. They may think it’s fun to play house right now, but they’re not prepared to face the realities and responsibilities of matrimony.

Irene: I think you’re selling them short. They’ve been dating for two years and there’s no ideal age for marriage.

Ken: Yes, but we all know that marrying young will doom them to a life of regrets.

Irene: That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? A lot of people who marry young have successful marriages. I like the idea of growing old with your spouse. You can reach many of life’s milestones together.

Ken: Like reaching the legal drinking age?

Irene: Don’t be facetious. Getting married will give them stability and someone to lean on. I think they’ll be great as a married couple.

Ken: Well, I hope they beat the odds...or at least learn a lot for their second marriages.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,025 - Maintaining Internet Privacy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 15, 2014


Do you think the personal information you put on the Internet can be kept private? Think again! Listen to this episode to find out what you should do to protect yourself.

Slow Dialog: 1:40
Explanation: 4:09
Fast Dialog: 17:31

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t post all of those photos on social media sites.

Pamela: Why not? Only my friends and family are going to see them.

Lorenzo: I wouldn’t be so sure. And I wouldn’t post all of that personal data either or divulge personal information. You don’t know who may gain access to your page.

Pamela: There are privacy safeguards on this website. I can block anyone I don’t know from getting access, so no one can see what I post without permission.

Lorenzo: Well, the people who run the website itself have access. They could track what you do and what you post, and extract data from your page to sell to third-party buyers.

Pamela: No, they can’t do that. I’d know if they were doing that.

Lorenzo: How?

Pamela: Well...

Lorenzo: As I said, that’s happening as we speak. And those are the legitimate uses of your information. Hackers can gain access, too, with malicious intent. They can do a lot of damage with the personal data you’ve posted.

Pamela: So, what should I do?

Lorenzo: Take down most of your posts and photos, at least the ones you wouldn’t want everyone to see.

Pamela: But that would mean no one would know anything about me. Worse yet, it would mean having a really boring page.

Lorenzo: It’s either risk being boring or risk an invasion of your privacy.

Pamela: Wow, what a dilemma!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #463

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 13, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – George H. W. Bush; “architects let rip with a wave of ambitious and beautifully crafted buildings”; to keep (someone) out of (one’s) hair; pronouncing dead versus debt

Words:
to appoint
ambassador
liaison
running mate
foreign affairs
to invade
to denounce
to stockpile
coalition
embargo
recession
domestic
architect
to let rip
a wave of
ambitious
crafted
to keep (someone) out of (one’s) hair



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1,024 - Dealing With a Crisis

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 11, 2014


Busy, busy, busy! There’s always some problem that needs solving at work. Find out how to talk about it in English in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:13
Explanation: 3:10
Fast Dialog: 15:05

Teresa: Hey, where are you going? We have a meeting in 10 minutes.

Adrian: I’m sorry. I’m going to have to postpone. I’m in the middle of putting out fires and I’ve had to clear my schedule to deal with the latest crisis.

Teresa: Can I help?

Adrian: I wish you could. With the new layoffs, I feel like I’m being pulled in several directions at once. As soon as I feel like I’m making headway with one problem, I get another thrown at me.

Teresa: I know exactly what you mean. I always feel like it’s crunch time around here because we’re so shorthanded.

Adrian: I’m so tired of everything being urgent all the time and needing attention ASAP. I long for the days when projects had timelines and people followed them. I’ve got to go.

Teresa: Hey, when are we going to have that meeting?

Adrian: As soon as things quiet down.

Teresa: When will that be?

Adrian: I’ll let you know as soon as the latest disaster has been averted.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,023 - Learning to Act

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 08, 2014


Are you an acting genius? If not, you can learn how to act by listening to this episode, or at least improve your English.

Slow Dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:30
Fast Dialog: 17:27

Richard: It’s 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Why are you banging those pots and pans?

Elizabeth: I have an audition coming up and I’m rehearsing.

Richard: By banging pots and pans?

Elizabeth: I’m up for a part as a 1950s housewife. I need to learn my lines and be prepared to improvise. That’s why I’m cooking you a 10-course breakfast. I want to practice staying in character.

Richard: I don’t really want a 10-course breakfast, but if it helps you with your audition...

Elizabeth: It will. I have to stretch my acting chops and really get into the head of the character.

Richard: Right. Whatever you say.

Elizabeth: “Yes, dear. Your breakfast will be ready and waiting when you want it.” Did I project enough? Did I emote enough?

Richard: You were great. What kind of acting job is this?

Elizabeth: It’s a small one.

Richard: In a film?

Elizabeth: No.

Richard: In a TV show?

Elizabeth: Not exactly.

Richard: What is it?

Elizabeth: It’s a commercial. It’s only a bit part, but you know what they say: There are no small parts, only small actors!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #462

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 06, 2014


Topics: Movies: Singin’ in the Rain; Famous Authors – Clare Booth Luce; to exchange versus to change versus to switch; to walk off; margin

Words:
subtitles
talkie
film studio
rumor
chorus girl
technical problem
to abandon
private school
to abuse
correspondent
to convert
ambassador
to exchange
to change
to switch
to walk off
margin



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1,022 - Being Cited for a DUI

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 04, 2014


It’s really not complicated, guys: Don’t drink and drive. Learn what happens when you do in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:30
Fast Dialog: 17:27

Susan: Hey, Jack, you’re an attorney. Do you know anything about DUIs?

Jack: Sure, I’ve handled a few DUI cases.

Susan: I was just wondering about the penalties for a DUI.

Jack: Well, if it’s a first offense, you’ll be fined and may be placed on probation. You’ll need to attend DUI school, and your license will be restricted, which means you can only drive to and from work and to and from DUI school.

Susan: That sounds serious, but what if it’s not your first offense?

Jack: Then the penalties get even more serious. With your second offense, you’ll probably do mandatory jail time, anywhere from 96 hours to a year, depending on the circumstances. Your driver’s license will be suspended, and you’ll be placed on probation for several years.

Susan: Those are some severe penalties. But what if you already have two DUIs?

Jack: Then you’ll get several months in jail, at least. Your license will be revoked and you may be required to go into an alcohol treatment program. Why are you asking me all of these questions? You’re not in trouble, are you?

Susan: No, I’m not. I just met a guy and I really like him, but I think he just got his third DUI.

Jack: If that isn’t deterrent enough, you may think about what kind of relationship you can have with him – from behind bars!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,021 - Mental Disorders

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 01, 2014


College can drive you crazy, but so can psychologists. Learn about how many problems you may have in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:38
Explanations: 4:10
Fast dialog: 20:25

Dr. Miao: At Berthiaume College, we take mental health issues very seriously. That’s why we have so many mental health services on campus.

Dean: Such as?

Dr. Miao: Well, for example, there is a meeting tonight of our support group for anorexics and bulimics. Tomorrow night, I’ll be speaking to a group of students about depression to make them aware of the warning signs.

Dean: Those are very important issues.

Dr. Miao: Yes, they are. In this student health center, we see cases ranging from social anxiety disorder to schizophrenia. In addition to serious mental disorders, college students are at risk of developing many types of antisocial behaviors resulting from the pressures of college and the stress of being on their own.

Dean: I know what you mean. One of my roommates copes with stress by binge drinking. My other roommate has become obsessive-compulsive. You should see how clean our apartment is.

Dr. Miao: And you? How have you been dealing with the stress?

Dean: Me? I think I’m the only well-adjusted one in the group.

Dr. Miao: Are you sure? You seem to have developed a nervous habit of pulling your hairs out one at a time.

Dean: What?! No, I haven’t.

Dr. Miao: Denying you have a problem is often a sign that you have a problem.

Dean: That’s crazy!

Dr. Miao: Shh! We don’t use the c-word here. Come with me.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #461

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 30, 2014


Topics: The Basics of Basketball; Flea Markets; grass versus herb; delectable versus palatable; be my guest

Words:
offense
defense
to substitute
to block
to foul
to dribble
flea
collectable
antique
second hand
bargain
to negotiate
grass
herb
delectable
palatable
be my guest



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1,020 - Making Verbal Mistakes

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 28, 2014


Ladies and mental men – I mean, “Ladies and gentlemen, this episode is all about making herbal – I mean, verbal – mistakes.”

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:41
Fast dialog: 18:57

Omar: Ha ha.

Faith: What’s so funny?

Omar: I’m editing Paul’s speech so that it can be posted on our website, but I didn’t realize how many verbal mistakes he made.

Faith: Were there a lot?

Omar: Yeah, he mispronounced the last name of the manager in charge of new products, for one. He also stumbled over the name of the new products.

Faith: I did notice that he had a few problems with delivery.

Omar: That’s putting it lightly. He stuttered when trying to list the products’ features. It’s true that some of the verbiage was written like tongue twisters, but I thought he would have had it down cold by now.

Faith: I noticed he made a few slips of the tongue, but I didn’t notice all that. I guess I wasn’t listening too closely. But what were you laughing about when I walked in?

Omar: Paul made a Freudian slip. Instead of saying that “innovation is our bread and butter,” he said that it was our “bed and butter.” Maybe that’s why he had so many flubs. His mind was elsewhere.

Faith: I think you’ll have plenty of material for a blooper reel.

Omar: That’s true. In fact, if this were a film, I’d have more outtakes than usable footage!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,019 - Losing a Passport While Traveling

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 25, 2014


Losing important documents when you’re traveling can be a real problem. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:37
Fast dialog: 18:16

Nina: Oh, my God! I can’t find my passport. I never should have put it in my purse. I’m sure a pickpocket took it.

Serge: Calm down. Maybe you just misplaced it. Let’s turn out all of your pockets and search for it before we panic.

Nina: I know it’s gone. I know it! Flag down the police. We have to file a police report.

Serge: If your passport has been stolen, we need to find the U.S. embassy.

Nina: We’re supposed to continue on to the next country on our tour tomorrow. We’re going to get left behind!

Serge: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If we need to find a U.S. embassy and apply for a temporary passport, we’ll do that.

Nina: It’s Saturday! We won’t get any help at the embassy until Monday. We’ll be stuck here.

Serge: It’ll take as long as it takes. Now, let’s search through all of your belongings before we do anything else.

Nina: I just thought of something.

Serge: What?

Nina: I think I may have left it in the hotel room.

Serge: You think you may have left it in the hotel room.

Nina: Isn’t that good news? All that worry for nothing.

Serge: Let’s not count our chickens. You might have another inspiration.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #460

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 23, 2014


Topics: American Musicals and Movies: Grease; Workers’ Compensation Laws; whirl versus swirl versus eddy; to be curious versus to wonder; beloved

Words:
senior year
reputation
rebel
good girl
to exaggerate
workers compensation
to sue
federal
to put a limit on
disability
industry
miner
whirl
swirl
eddy
to be curious
to wonder
beloved



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1,018 - Raising Teenagers

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 21, 2014


It’s never too early to start preparing yourself for your children’s teenage years – or is it? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:31
Explanations: 3:41
Fast dialog: 18:34

Carl: Hi Marla, I’m really surprised to see you here. I didn’t know you had kids attending this high school.

Marla: I don’t – not yet. I heard about this meeting and decided to attend. It’s best to be ready for those teenage years, don’t you think?

Carl: Sure.

Marla: I heard that the principal is going to talk about different ways to handle our teenagers as they start asserting their independence. I want to be prepared.

Carl: That makes sense, I guess.

Marla: I mean, more and more teenagers are rebelling by getting tattoos and piercings and experimenting with drugs.

Carl: You’ve clearly done a lot of thinking about this.

Marla: I’ve read a few books on the topic, about kids having to deal with peer pressure. It’s my job as a parent to set boundaries and be stricter if it’s called for and ease up when my child needs space.

Carl: That’s all very insightful, but you have some time before all that comes into play, right?

Marla: My little Lucas is already four years old. Who knows when he might start hanging out with the wrong crowd and being led astray. A parent has to be vigilant.

Carl: Right.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,017 - Driving an Off-Road Vehicle

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 18, 2014


Are you ready for an adventure? Learn all about taking a ride on the wild side in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:21
Fast dialog: 16:18

Claudia: When you invited me to go for a drive, this wasn’t what I pictured.

Jae: You’re about to have the ride of your life. Get in and I’ll strap you in.

Claudia: What is this thing?

Jae: It’s an off-road vehicle. Haven’t you seen one before? It has four-wheel drive and can travel on any terrain.

Claudia: When you say “any terrain,” what exactly do you mean?

Jae: With this baby, we can drive on sand, gravel, mud, and even snow.

Claudia: You mean you intend to take me driving on sand and gravel?

Jae: Yeah, just wait until we start spinning and skidding. You’re going to love it. You’d better put on this crash helmet – just in case.

Claudia: I was picturing a drive in the country.

Jae: But this is much more exciting, right?

Claudia: I don’t know...

Jae: Come on. If you’re lucky, I’ll take you mudding next weekend.

Claudia: Whoopee.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #459

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 16, 2014


Topics: The Scottsboro Boys Trial; The Grammy Awards; so versus too; to bash; to whip the crowd into a frenzy

Words:
segregated
racism
to witness
to rape
verdict
jury
to testify
to be paroled
to pardon
album
to release
to nominate
so
too
to bash
to whip the crowd into a frenzy



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1016 - Doing Pro Bono Work

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 14, 2014


Helping others is always a good thing, even when you have no choice. Find out more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:35
Explanations: 3:52
Fast dialog: 17:40

Claire: Welcome to the firm. Are you getting the hang of things here?

Jack: I am. I worked in another firm for two years before coming here, so I have some experience under my belt. But let me ask you one thing: Is the firm serious about wanting each person to do five hours of pro bono work each month?

Claire: It is. This firm takes community service very seriously. Everyone does pro bono work and everybody is expected to hit the target of 60 hours each year.

Jack: This is so different from my previous firm. There, everything was about billable hours. Nobody cared about anything but how many hours we could rack up with each client.

Claire: Billable hours are important here, too, but we bill ourselves as the firm with a social conscience. That’s what sets us apart from our competitors. If you fall short of your expected pro bono hours, believe me, you’ll hear about it.

Jack: It’s refreshing to work for a firm that’s not all about the bottom line.

Claire: Don’t get carried away. This firm is still here to make money. It’s just not 100% of its focus.

Jack: Maybe just 98%?

Claire: That’s right. And in this industry, that’s unheard of.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1015 - Conducting a Search

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 11, 2014


The people in this dialogue are looking for a missing person. Find out if they find him by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:35
Explanations: 3:41
Fast dialog: 15:29

Security Chief: Okay, people. We’ve just had a report of a missing child on this property. We need to find him fast. I want you two to search every room in this building. Look in every nook and cranny.

Ramona: Excuse me, may I ask a question?

Security Chief: You can when I’m done. Now you two, I want you to look all over the grounds. Make sure you check in the undergrowth and in the trees, and cover the entire terrain.

Ramona: Do you mind if I ask...?

Security Chief: I’ll stay here to coordinate the search. Report in if you see anything that could point us in the right direction.

Ramona: I really think I should tell you...

Security Chief: Don’t interrupt, please. The rest of you: Spread out and look in the parking lot and behind the buildings. Look high and low. We’ll search this place from top to bottom and leave no stone unturned. Now, are there any questions?

Ramona: Yes, is the little boy about five years old with brown hair and glasses?

Security Chief: Yes, that’s right. How did you know?

Ramona: Don’t look now, but he’s just about to walk off with your Taser!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #458

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 09, 2014


Topics: Miranda v. Arizona; Famous Americans: Rube Goldberg; to heal versus to cure; to give up versus to give in; no way

Words:
to take into custody
to interrogate
to confess
defense
prosecution
justice
to overturn
sewer
comic strip
escalator
boxing glove
editorial cartoonist
to heal
to cure
to give up
to give in
no way



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1,014 - Becoming a Spy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 07, 2014


I could tell you what this episode about spies is really all about, but then I’d have to kill you. It’s better that you just listen to it yourself.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 20:03

Vaughn: You’ve been reading that novel for hours. What is it?

Sydney: It’s a spy novel and it’s really good. It’s about a man who is recruited by the C.I.A. to work in counterintelligence doing code breaking, but he becomes embroiled in the world of espionage.

Vaughn: That sounds exciting.

Sydney: Yeah, he’s sent on a mission to infiltrate a foreign spy organization and to feed them misinformation. I’d love to be a spy.

Vaughn: You wouldn’t really want to live the life of a spy, would you? You’d have to live a double life, not being able to tell your friends and family that you’re an operative.

Sydney: I wouldn’t care if I could go on clandestine missions to thwart and sabotage the enemy. Working for the C.I.A. would be a dream come true.

Vaughn: You’d have to keep a lot of secrets, not divulging classified information.

Sydney: Yes, so?

Vaughn: Loose lips sink ships.

Sydney: What are you trying to say?

Vaughn: Well, no offense but I think your cover would be blown after about five minutes!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,013 - Living With a Hoarder

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 04, 2014


We all probably keep more things than we really need, but some people go to extremes. Find out how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:14
Explanations: 3:29
Fast dialog: 15:01

Julio: Mom, don’t you think it’s time to get rid of some of the stuff in this house?

Mom: Why? This house is fine the way it is.

Julio: There are parts of this house that are nearly inaccessible. There are stacks of magazines and bags and boxes everywhere.

Mom: I need all that stuff. You know I’ve always been a pack rat.

Julio: I know, but I think things are getting out of hand. You have stuff on every surface and you can’t find anything in here.

Mom: You can’t find anything, but I can put my hands on anything I want at any time. I collect and keep useful things, unlike you young people these days who throw away perfectly good things just because you don’t need them this minute.

Julio: I think your hoarding is becoming compulsive.

Mom: That’s nonsense. Just because you prefer living in a sterile environment doesn’t mean I have to. I don’t mind a little clutter.

Julio: A little clutter?! You have junk mail from 15 years ago!

Mom: You never know when something will come in handy. Now, don’t you have some room in your garage where I can store a few extra boxes?

Julio: No, I don’t!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #457

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 02, 2014


Topics: Famous Songs – “Mack the Knife”; Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods; stem versus stalk versus shoot; using one’s middle name as one’s first name; indeed

Words:

gangster
moritat
up-tempo
jackknife
billow
to ooze
cement
serial killer
reservation
petroglyph
prehistoric
stem
stalk
shoot
indeed



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1,012 - Preventing Shoplifting

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 30, 2014


Some stores have to worry about people stealing from them. Find out what they do to stop theft in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 2:58
Fast dialog: 18:37

Luis: Wow, what happened here? I was only away on vacation for two weeks.

Thelma: While you were gone, we redesigned this store with an anti-theft system.

Luis: Is that why there are surveillance cameras and security guards everywhere?

Thelma: That’s right. We’re losing too much money to shoplifters and I’m finally doing something about it. From now on, it’s zero tolerance. I don’t care if they’re petty thieves or kleptomaniacs. I’m rooting out every instance of shoplifting and prosecuting to the full extent of the law.

Luis: What are all these cases for?

Thelma: I’m putting the pricier merchandise under lock and key, and I’ve put security tags on most other items. I’m weighing whether to do exit inspections. I don’t want to go overboard.

Luis: [sighs] No, you wouldn’t want to do that.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,011 - Building with Wood and Metal

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 27, 2014


If you like building things, then you’ll love this episode about building things.

Slow Audio: 1:24
Explanation: 3:27
Fast Dialog: 16:53

Hugo: Wow, when you said that you did some woodworking on the weekends, I thought you meant refinishing furniture. But this! This is a real workshop and you’re actually building furniture.

Shawna: Yeah, this is what I’m working on right now. I’m building a dining table and chairs.

Hugo: The grain is beautiful on this piece of hardwood. It certainly looks better than the plywood furniture I have in my house. What is all this?

Shawna: Just some basic tools: saws, chisels, and drills.

Hugo: And what is all this metal for?

Shawna: I’m adding some grillwork for the back of the chairs. I don’t usually do metalwork, but I’m keeping it simple.

Hugo: This doesn’t look simple. These pieces have been welded together, and is that used for soldering?

Shawna: You got it. When all is said and done, I’ll have a new dining room set with a large table and eight chairs.

Hugo: Wow, I’m impressed.

Shawna: Want to try your hand at it?

Hugo: No thanks. You see these 10 fingers? I’m rather fond of them.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #456

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 25, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Offensive mascots; capacity versus capability; to punch in versus to punch out; to put the cat among the pigeons

Words:
mascot
racist slur
over the objection of (someone)
offended by
victimized
nation’s capital
bigoted
insensitive
nickname
attachment to
to override
legitimate
capacity
capability
to punch in
to punch out
to put the cat among the pigeons



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1,010 - Using GPS When Driving

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 23, 2014


Don’t get lost while listening to this episode about not getting lost.

Slow Audio: 1:19
Explanation: 3:20
Fast Dialog: 16:43

Justin: Okay, we’re ready. Let’s get on the road.

Fay: Wait! We don’t know where we’re going. We’re strangers in a strange land. Where’s our guide?

Justin: We don’t need a guide. See this? It’s GPS and it’ll help us navigate to where we want to go.

Fay: I’m not sure it’s reliable. We’re in a pretty remote location.

Justin: Relax and let me explain how this works: GPS systems use satellites to locate your current location. Information is transmitted to this receiver, so it always knows exactly where we are. We input the address of our destination and presto! It gives us onscreen or voice directions.

Fay: I know how a GPS system works. I’m worried that there aren’t reliable maps to where we want to go. I read that many printed maps of this region are outdated and unreliable.

Justin: Don’t worry. This GPS is the state-of-the-art. I’m sure it’ll be accurate.

Fay: A fool with a tool is still a fool.

Justin: What did you say?

Fay: Nothing.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,009 - Basic Military Commands

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 20, 2014


Looking for a way to get your children to be more disciplined? Try the unique parenting technique described in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:11
Fast dialog: 15:52

Marta: What’s going on out here? What’s all that noise?

Bruno: I’m putting the troops through their drills.

Marta: Troops?!

Bruno: Watch this. Hey, I didn’t tell you you could be at ease. Attention! Fall in. Forward, march!

Marta: That’s great, but . . .

Bruno: I’m not done. Let me show you what else these troops can do. Halt! About face!

Marta: Don’t you think that it’s time to...?

Bruno: March, march! Double time!

Child: Wah! [Child crying loudly.]

Marta: Come here. Did you fall down and hurt yourself? It’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.

Bruno: Hey, there’s no crying in the military. Don’t coddle the troops, Marta.

Marta: Bruno, your twins are five years old. Don’t you think they’re a little too young to be going to boot camp?

Bruno: No, it’s never too young to instill discipline. Okay troops, fall in. Mark time! Now march, march, march . . .

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #455

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 18, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – James Monroe; to oppress versus to suppress versus to repress; fruit and vegetables versus fruits and vegetables; file not sent/file not supported

Words:
delegate
to appoint
governor
envoy
Secretary of State
prosperity
foreign affairs
Western Hemisphere
to colonize
doctrine
to be in debt
to reimburse
to oppress
to suppress
to repress



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1,008 - Money Laundering

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 16, 2014


Can you make dirty money clean again? Find out how some people do it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:18
Fast dialog: 15:18

Susanna: What’s going on in the office next door? I heard that the police shut down their business.

Clark: You heard right. The cops had long suspected that the business operating out of that office wasn’t legit.

Susanna: Not legit?

Clark: Yeah, it was a front for money laundering. The so-called services it offered were a sham. It was a way for people to send them dirty money and for the business to legitimize those funds.

Susanna: But who was involved?

Clark: I’m not sure, but I imagine they’re people who want to evade taxes or to circumvent certain laws or regulations. I wouldn’t be surprised if their clients were people with underworld connections.

Susanna: You mean organized crime?

Clark: Yeah, they’re probably drug lords, smugglers, and racketeers.

Susanna: Wow and the people who helped them were working next door to us all that time.

Clark: And we didn’t know a thing about it. How awful.

Susanna: How exciting!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,007 - Getting Mugged

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 13, 2014


Be careful walking through the big city! There are a lot of thieves around. Find out more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:08
Explanations: 3:07
Fast dialog: 15:46

Vanessa: Stop thief!

Police Officer: What happened?

Vanessa: I just got mugged. That guy stole my purse, jewelry, camera – all of my valuables!

Police Officer: Were you wearing flashy jewelry and carrying an expensive camera? Those are big enticements for muggers.

Vanessa: I didn’t have anything on that was flashy and I was minding my own business.

Police Officer: Well, you should never go out alone at night, and if you have to, stay in well-lighted areas. Traveling on dim streets makes you a target for thieves.

Vanessa: Thanks for that insight.

Police Officer: Can you describe the person who mugged you?

Vanessa: No, it happened in a flash. I didn’t get a good look at his face, but I’m sure it was a man.

Police Officer: It’s a good thing you weren’t hurt. You should probably learn self-defense in case it happens again.

Vanessa: Thanks a lot. I think I’ve had as much advice as I can take in one night. Are you going to do anything to find that mugger?

Police Officer: Sure, I’ll file a report, but don’t get your hopes up.

Vanessa: Believe me, I won’t.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #454

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 11, 2014


Topics: Movie – The Shawshank Redemption; The Pentagon; to go ahead versus straight ahead; cheesy and quirky; a few quarters short of a buck

Words:
redemption
to be convicted
sentence
parole
inmate
tax
warden
diploma
swamp
stable
Cold War
mission
to go ahead
straight ahead
cheesy
quirky
a few quarters short of a buck



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1,006 - Taking a Campus Tour

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 09, 2014


If you’re shopping around for a university to attend, you’ve come to the right episode. Join us on this campus tour.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 3:32
Fast dialog: 18:45

Ji Won: Come on, Dad, the campus tour starts over there. The guide is ready to begin the walking tour.

Guide: Welcome, prospective students and your parents. My name is Jaime and I’ll be conducting your tour today. This tour will last about an hour, and we’ll be making frequent stops so I can point out some of the most important buildings and areas on this campus.

Ji Won: Dad, are you listening?

Guide: First, let’s stop on the quad. On your left, you’ll see the administration building. On your right are the student union and bookstore. Let’s continue.

Ji Won: Dad, stop checking your email. You promised that you’d make these campus visits with me and help me make a decision about which university to attend.

Guide: We’re passing the sports stadium on your left and the arts complex on your right. Those buildings there are the dorms. The research library is just ahead.

Ji Won: Dad, where did you go?

Guide: Let’s stop here a moment so I can point out the science buildings and research labs. Is something the matter?

Ji Won: I think I’ve lost my Dad. I think we’ll have to take the self-guided tour!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,005 - Complimenting Your Host

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 06, 2014


Did I mention that I think you’re a wonderful cook, and that you look beautiful today? You should definitely listen to this episode about giving compliments.

Slow Dialog: 1:26
Explanation: 3:25
Fast Dialog: 15:27

Anton: Jenny, you’ve outdone yourself. This is quite a spread.

Jenny: Thank you. I’m glad you approve.

Anton: Approve? I think everything on this table looks exquisite and mouthwatering.

Jenny: That’s nice of you to say. I wanted everything to be perfect.

Anton: You’ve surpassed all expectations. If this food tastes even half as good as it looks, you’ll wow every guest.

Jenny: If you don’t stop complimenting me, I won’t be able to stop blushing.

Anton: I’m only just beginning, because you’re a vision in that dress.

Jenny: Oh, it’s nothing special.

Anton: Of course it’s special, but you could wear a sack and look ravishing.

Jenny: Okay, now I know you’re buttering me up. What gives?

Anton: Nothing, nothing at all. You’re so suspicious. I’m just giving you my candid opinion.

Jenny: If you say so. Where’s the camera you borrowed from me for your trip? Did you bring it?

Anton: Ah, the camera. Did I mention how much I admire that necklace you’re wearing?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #453

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 04, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – Amelia Earhart; Prom; ethics versus morals; on the very first day versus on the very day; to warrant and to address

Words:
stunt flying exhibition
biplane
record
aviator
solo
laboratory
navigator
senior class
to promenade
country club
tuxedo
controversy
anti-prom
ethics
morals
on the very first day
on the very day
to warrant
to address



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1,004 - Being Modest and Boastful

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 02, 2014


This is the best episode ever in the history of ESL Podcast. You can learn how not to be modest by listening to it.

Slow Dialog: 1:33
Explanation: 3:53
Fast Dialog: 18:16

Hans: Well, I think the choice is clear. I think we should hire Clark.

Freddie: To me, the choice is clear, too, but I think that choice is Paul. Both Paul and Clark are qualified for the job, but Clark is a blowhard. He was too full of himself.

Hans: Clark may come off as a little overconfident, but he makes a good impression. He would make a much better rep than Paul. Paul was just too low-key and timid.

Freddie: Paul wasn’t timid at all. He was modest and self-deprecating, but he also had a quiet confidence. He wasn’t trying too hard to impress, like Clark was.

Hans: Clark is the kind of person who stands out in a room and gets noticed. That’s what we want in a rep trying to get new clients.

Freddie: I found Clark to be overbearing. Paul, on the other hand, had a way with him. He exuded confidence without having to resort to blowing his own horn.

Hans: I see we’re at loggerheads about this. What do you suggest?

Freddie: Let’s ask them both to lunch and ask Monique to join us. She’s done a lot of hiring and has good judgment.

Hans: You mean you want Monique to make the call so neither of us will be blamed for picking the wrong person.

Freddie: I always thought you were quick on the uptake.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,003 - Describing Duration

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 30, 2014


How long is this episode? Find out how to answer that question by listening to it now.

Slow Dialog: 1:18
Explanation: 3:18
Fast Dialog: 14:22

Kathryn: Are you still watching that movie? It’s been over three hours!

Martin: Yeah, it’s a little long for a feature film.

Kathryn: A little long?! It’s interminable. How can you continue to watch it?

Martin: Well, the first half was interesting and moved at a clip. The middle section did drag a little, but it’s picked up again. It’s nearly over.

Kathryn: I would’ve turned it off long before this. I like movies that are short and sweet. After about 90 minutes, my mind starts to wander, and after two hours, I check out.

Martin: It depends on the movie. Sometimes I watch a movie and it’s so engrossing that time zips by. With other movies, though, time moves at a snail’s pace. This movie is somewhere in between.

Kathryn: Hey, the credits are rolling. You missed the ending.

Martin: No big loss. I knew how it was going to end after the first hour.

Kathryn: Then why did you stick it out and watch the rest of the movie?

Martin: One word: procrastination.

Kathryn: Ah, enough said.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #452

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 28, 2014


Topics: Lau v. Nichols; vaudeville; finally versus ultimately; trickle versus drizzle; coincidence

Words:
to immigrate
bilingual education
native language
school board
school district
violation
to be naturalized
variety show
magic
comedian
juggler
to be inspire by
finally
ultimately
trickle
drizzle
coincidence



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1,002 - An Unwelcome Business in the Neighborhood

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 26, 2014


What kind of businesses do you want to keep out of your neighborhood? Learn the answer in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:10
Explanation: 3:37
Fast Dialog: 18:24

Patricia: Finally! That empty building has a new tenant. That’s great for the neighborhood.

Francois: Think again. The new tenant plans to open a strip club.

Patricia: A strip club in the middle of a residential neighborhood?! That must be a violation of city ordinances. The city won’t allow that.

Francois: I’m not so sure. The tenant has already started moving in and there is no sign that the city is going take action.

Patricia: Then we have to do something to let the city know that we object to a strip club going into that space.

Francois: Good luck getting the city to do anything, much less file an injunction. The mayor is very pro-business and it won’t look good if he tries to shut down any business that could bring revenue and jobs to this dying town.

Patricia: But at what cost? Our kids will have to walk past the strip club every day to and from school. That’s outrageous!

Francois: I suggest channeling that energy into action. If we make a stink and get media coverage, maybe we’ll get some action.

Patricia: Good idea. How can we get the local media to cover a neighborhood protest?

Francois: How about nude picketing?

Patricia: I think that would send the wrong message.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,001 - Practicing Yoga

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 23, 2014


Some say that yoga is very relaxing and calming. Others say it is a great place to meet women. Find out who is right in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:16
Fast dialog: 15:48

Victor: Humph!

Rosaria: What’s the matter?

Victor: I just got back from my first yoga class and I was sorely disappointed.

Rosaria: I’ve heard that yoga is very good low-impact exercise and helps with stress relief. It’s supposed to calm the mind and strengthen the body.

Victor: Yeah, right.

Rosaria: It sounds like you had a bad experience. Did you have a bad teacher?

Victor: The teacher was fine. I learned about mantras and chakras, I learned breathing techniques, and I tried a few basic poses.

Rosaria: That all sounds right from my own experience, such as it is. But, there are a lot of different types of yoga. Maybe you need to try a different kind.

Victor: The problem wasn’t the kind of yoga being practiced. It was the class.

Rosaria: Were the mats uncomfortable?

Victor: No.

Rosaria: Was it too cramped?

Victor: No.

Rosaria: Then what was the problem?

Victor: There was too much testosterone in the room.

Rosaria: You mean you were in a class with just men?

Victor: Yeah.

Rosaria: And that was a problem?

Victor: Do you think I would be taking a yoga class if I weren’t trying to meet women?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #451

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 21, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Beards and facial hair; sin versus transgression; totally versus definitely; “I ever go there”

Words:
to be geared more towards
fashion
beard
tattoo
alternative
to spill over
masculinity
sexual vitality
Greek mythology
facial hair
goatee
mustache
manliness
sin
transgression
totally
definitely



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1,000 - Reaching a Milestone

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 19, 2014


Our millennial podcast is all about reaching an important milestone in your life. Come celebrate with us!

Slow dialog: 2:29
Explanations: 3:54
Fast dialog: 20:02

Jeff: Well, we’ve reached a milestone.

Lucy: Yup, it’s been a long haul, but we’ve finally made it. Did you ever think we’d get here?

Jeff: I admit I had my doubts. At the beginning, I was really dubious that this venture would pan out. I thought that our prospects were iffy, at best.

Lucy: Me, too. We didn’t have an auspicious start, but we had a turning point after a few months of grinding out the work, day in and day out.

Jeff: So, what should we do now?

Lucy: I think we both deserve a celebratory drink, a toast to our achievements...so far.

Jeff: That sounds good. Then what?

Lucy: Put our noses back to the grindstone?

Jeff: I was afraid you were going to say that!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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999 - Being Vague and Unfocused

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 16, 2014


This is an episode with people in it who talk to each other about stuff. If that’s not clear enough for you, well, then, just listen to it.

Slow Dialog: 1:18
Explanation: 3:18
Fast Dialog: 16:31

Thierry: I’m pumped and ready to help paint the community center this weekend. What time are we supposed to get there in the morning?

Bonnie: I’m not sure. Sophia was a little vague about that. She told people to show up when they can make it.

Thierry: That doesn’t sound like an auspicious start. How many people are supposed to be there?

Bonnie: I’m a little fuzzy on that, too. Sophia didn’t have a sign-up sheet. She just told people to show up if they could.

Thierry: I hate to say it, but Sophia is the worst person to be organizing this. Her heart is in the right place, but her head is in the clouds. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more absentminded person.

Bonnie: I know what you mean. She always seems to be daydreaming.

Thierry: I’m going to call her right now and pin her down. She needs to attend to the nitty-gritty if this is project is going to get done.

Bonnie: What if she’s as vague as she usually is?

Thierry: I’ll try speaking to her on a different frequency: Earth to Sophia, Earth to Sophia...

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #450

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 14, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – Charles Schultz and Peanuts; The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; to be pleased to versus to be happy to versus it’s (one’s) pleasure to; to sit versus to seat; willy-nilly

Words:

cartoon
freelance
folks
memoir
tomboy
national park
national preserve
glacier
mine
to designate
volcano
to be pleased to
to be happy to
It’s (one’s) pleasure to
to sit
to seat
willy-nilly



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998 - Meeting a New Neighbor

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 12, 2014


Not all neighbors are friendly, and some are too friendly. Find out more in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:16
Explanation: 3:39
Fast Dialog: 17:42

Nancy: Hello there! Hello!

Eric: Hello.

Nancy: I’m Nancy, your neighbor across the street. You’re new to the neighborhood.

Eric: Yes, I just moved in last weekend.

Nancy: That’s nice. How are you settling in?

Eric: Fine, thanks.

Nancy: Would you like to come over and have a cup of coffee? I can give you the scoop on the neighborhood and give you some tips on places to go and things to do in this area.

Eric: Thanks, but I’m kind of busy right now. I’ll take a rain check.

Nancy: No problem. Stop by anytime. We have quite a few social events in the area that you might be interested in.

Eric: I’m not much of a joiner. I tend to keep to myself.

Nancy: Oh, but we couldn’t let you do that. I’m appointing myself your new social secretary. As a new resident in a small town, you should know that everyone will want to meet you. You’ll be inundated with invitations. I can help you sort them out.

Eric: I appreciate your offer, but if I have to fend off neighbors, I’ll do it myself.

Nancy: Well, suit yourself. I don’t recommend turning down too many invitations or you’ll get a reputation for being a recluse.

Eric: That’s okay with me. I’d rather not be the subject of talk among the busybodies.

Nancy: Busybodies! Well, some people!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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997 - Writing One's Memoirs

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 09, 2014


Would anyone be interested in buying the story of your life? Learn some tips on what to include in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:22
Explanation: 3:32
Fast Dialog: 16:12

Oscar: We’re thrilled that you’ll be publishing your memoir with our company. You’ve had such an interesting life. I’m sure you’ll have lots of titillating stories to tell.

Liz: Well, my memoir will certainly have a lot of stories about my career: the people I’ve worked with and the kindness I’ve encountered in this industry.

Oscar: That’s nice, but people buy autobiographical books for the juicy details, the more salacious the better.

Liz: I was really thinking of focusing on the people who helped me in my career and their selflessness.

Oscar: But I thought you were interested in writing a tell-all book. Considering how many times you’ve been married and the affairs you’ve had, you must have lots of steamy stories.

Liz: I don’t want to be telling tales about people I love or once loved. I want to focus on the positive.

Oscar: You could do that, but your books won’t fly off the shelves without those juicy details.

Liz: Really?

Oscar: Really.

Liz: Maybe I could tell one or two scandalous stories.

Oscar: Now you’re talking.

Liz: There was that infamous party where a cat fight broke out between...

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #449

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 07, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – William Henry Harrison; fringe benefits versus benefits package versus compensation package; teacher versus professor

Words:
to enlist
settlement
to negotiate
treaty
to ally
Whig
to nominate
campaign
log cabin
slogan
inauguration
to be limited
fringe benefit
benefits package
compensation package
teacher
professor
I mean it



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996 - Importing Goods to the U.S.

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 05, 2014


You can sell almost anything in the U.S., but you’ll have to pay taxes to do it. Learn more in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:13
Explanation: 2:58
Fast Dialog: 14:04

Daniel: You look like you’re sitting on pins and needles.

Muriel: I am. I’m waiting to hear if our goods have cleared customs yet. We’re in big trouble if our 50 crates aren’t released soon.

Daniel: You’ve filled out the proper paperwork. What could go wrong?

Muriel: You have no idea how much red tape there is when importing goods to the U.S. There are all kinds of rules to follow and we have to pay the correct tariffs.

Daniel: But I thought we had a free-trade agreement with Niebuhrland. All goods imported from and exported to Niebuhrland should be duty-free.

Muriel: Most things are duty-free, but not everything. There are tariffs on spirits and the tax rate varies depending on the type of spirits. It’s all very confusing.

Daniel: Well, sitting here fretting won’t do any good.

Muriel: If only I had access to those 50 crates of spirits...

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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995 - Proper Behavior at a Formal Event

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 02, 2014


Learn how to behave yourself at a formal event, or at least how to talk about behaving badly in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 2:52
Fast dialog: 12:53

Rodney: Ha-ha! Did you hear what I said? Funny, right?

Samantha: Behave yourself! This is a serious and solemn occasion, not a time for levity.

Rodney: Loosen up. We have to endure two hours of this ceremony.

Samantha: It’s indecent the way you’re behaving. Don’t you have any sense of decorum?

Rodney: Lighten up. You’re such a stick-in-the-mud. There’s nothing unseemly about cracking a few jokes when everybody here is taking themselves too seriously.

Samantha: Your problem is that you have no sense of dignity. Don’t you realize that your stupid jokes cheapen the occasion? You’re a disgrace.

Rodney: Don’t get all huffy. All right, if you won’t join in, I’ll try to be serious.

Samantha: That’s better.

Rodney: I would seriously like a drink. Bartender!

Samantha: [Groans]

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #448

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 30, 2014


Topics: Famous Songs – “Que Sera Sera”; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown; demand versus request versus requirement; discrimination versus segregation; a great deal

Words:
to stab
assassination
to distract
signature
sweetheart
chorus
massacre
to settle
reservation
tribe
to capture
destruction
demand
request
requirement
discrimination
segregation
a great deal



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994 - Describing Accuracy and Inaccuracy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 28, 2014


If you love movies about women hunting with bows and arrows, this is the episode for you.

Slow dialog: 1:10
Explanations: 3:00
Fast dialog: 12:47

Rona: This is impossible. I’m never going to hit the target. Why is it that I’m the only one in this archery class who has no aim?

Leonardo: You’re doing fine. I can tell you’re new to this. It takes some practice to develop any precision.

Rona: But you seem to be picking it up quickly.

Leonardo: I’m taking this class as a refresher. My father taught me the rudiments of archery when I was a kid and I thought I would take it up again.

Rona: You’re really good. You’ve hit the bullseye three times already.

Leonardo: I’m using a much more forgiving bow than you are. If I aim for the target, I can usually get the arrow in the neighborhood of the bullseye.

Rona: You’re just trying to make me feel better. I’m hitting wide of the mark every time!

Leonardo: I think your arms are too tense and that tension is ruining your accuracy. Here, let me help you.

Rona: Watch out. With my aim, I could take you out.

Leonardo: I’ll take my chances.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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993 - Doing Spring Cleaning

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 25, 2014


It’s that time of year again, when you have to clean and organize your house before summer. You can listen to this episode while you’re doing it.

Slow dialog: 1:07
Explanations: 2:49
Fast dialog: 16:11

Malcolm: Do we really need to start doing spring cleaning today?

Lorna: We really should. The drapes need to be washed, the walls need to be wiped down, and the attic needs cleaning out. And we really should clean the upholstery on the sofa and dining chairs.

Malcolm: That’s a lot of work for two people.

Lorna: And I haven’t even mentioned what needs to be done in the kitchen. We need to defrost the freezer, clean the oven, clean out the cabinets, and scrub the floors.

Malcolm: I’m not sure I have the energy for all that.

Lorna: We also need to wash the windows, window screens, and windowsills, steam clean the carpets, and sweep out the garage.

Malcolm: If we hope to do all of that this weekend, then I think we need reinforcements.

Lorna: What do you have in mind?

Malcolm: I’m not the high school football coach for nothing.

Lorna: You mean...?

Malcolm: I think the guys need an extra hard workout this weekend.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #447

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 23, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – John Philip Sousa; Confidential Magazine and the Criminal Libel Suit of 1957; developer versus programmer versus coder; describing a person with a good character

Words:
composer
to conduct
march
to dedicate
official
to be inspire by
libel
obscenity
to indict
to extradite
to subpoena
mistrial
developer
programmer
coder
upstanding
honorable
principled



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992 - Loan Forgiveness Programs

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 21, 2014


If you’re looking for a way to pay off your student loans, we may have the answer for you in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:16
Explanation: 3:14
Fast Dialog: 15:35

Martin: One hundred eleven days and counting.

Georgina: Are you counting down to something?

Martin: I’m counting down to the day when my student loans will be discharged. I only took this job because it qualifies for the loan forgiveness program.

Georgina: But you’ve worked here for over two years already. You mean you’ve been working to pay off your student loans all this time?

Martin: That’s right. I took out loans to subsidize my college education. After I graduated, I had a choice to either start repaying the loans or work in a public service job for three years.

Georgina: Three years is a long commitment.

Martin: You’re telling me, but I had no choice. It was either that or be indebted for the next 10 to 15 years. I couldn’t take that.

Georgina: Now I get it.

Martin: Get what?

Georgina: I’ve noticed you’ve been happier lately and I thought you were finally enjoying your work here, but now I know it’s because you’re getting closer to getting out from under your loans.

Martin: That’s right. In less than four months I’ll be free at last, free at last!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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991 - Describing Distances

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 18, 2014


Some people don’t like walking even a short distance. Learn about one of them in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:17
Explanation: 3:42
Fast Dialog: 15:42

Sandra: Where will we be staying when we visit Trumanville?

Roger: We’ll be staying in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the town, but a stone’s throw from some of the major sites we’ll want to see.

Sandra: I hope there’ll be a lot of taxis around. You know I hate to walk.

Roger: Trumanville is a very walkable city and we’ll be within walking distance to everything. We’ll be able to go nearly everywhere on foot.

Sandra: I told you. I hate to walk. At least we’ll be within close proximity to the beach.

Roger: Actually, the areas near the beach are too expensive, and we can’t afford it. And plus, the beach is in a remote part of town, and staying there would mean being in the boonies for our entire trip.

Sandra: But we could take taxis.

Roger: Taking taxis everywhere would be really expensive.

Sandra: Tell me that we’ll at least be in the vicinity of good shopping areas.

Roger: It might be a bit of a hike to the shops, but it won’t be too onerous to walk.

Sandra: Read my lips. I don’t want to walk everywhere. Maybe we can rent a car or hire a driver.

Roger: Are you out of your mind?! This is supposed to be a budget vacation, not a luxury trip. I’m not made of money, you know.

Sandra: And I didn’t know you were such a cheapskate!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #446

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 16, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – La Brea Tar Pits; until versus till/‘til versus by; to restore versus to recover; CCU (coronary care unit)

Words:
fossil
to preserve
stuck
asphalt
flypaper
to succumb to
torn apart
to wander
predator
scavenger
climate
precaution
to undergo
until
till / ‘til
by
to restore
to recover
CCU (coronary care unit)



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990 - Being Socially Popular

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 14, 2014


Is being popular with the other kids at school really that important? Find out in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:02
Explanation: 3:08
Fast Dialog: 14:48

Rosa: Has the mail come yet?

Grant: We didn’t get any mail today.

Rosa: Damn it!

Grant: What’s the matter?

Rosa: I’m waiting for an invitation from Joanna to her birthday party. I heard that she’s having a big bash and it’s going to be the party of the season.

Grant: You’re worked up over a party?

Rosa: It’s not just any party. It’s the social event of the year. Anyone who’s anybody will be there. If I don’t get an invitation, it means I’ve been snubbed. I’d never be able to live it down.

Grant: Who is Joanna anyway? She’s just another rich girl, right?

Rosa: No, she’s not. She’s the most popular girl at school and the leader of the in-crowd. If she so much as talks to you, you’re in. But if she gives you the cold shoulder, you’re out. You’re nobody.

Grant: That’s ridiculous. She only has the power to do that because you all worship her. One of these days, I hope somebody takes her down a peg.

Rosa: But nobody would dare to go against Joanna. It would be the end of their social life.

Grant: So what?

Rosa: So what?! I should know better than to talk about it with a clueless guy!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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989 - Dealing with a Mass Transit Strike

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 11, 2014


How do you get to work when there are no buses, trains, or subways? Maybe you don’t. Learn more in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:35
Explanation: 3:37
Fast Dialog: 14:21

Marge: Where have you been? You should have been home over two hours ago!

Homer: I’ve been trying to get home. Haven’t you been watching the news? The transportation workers union has voted to strike. There was a mass walkout at 4:30 p.m. today.

Marge: You’re kidding! I didn’t know anything about it. They walked off the job right before the afternoon commute?

Homer: Yeah, I think it was calculated to make the biggest impact so that the powers that be will sit up and take notice.

Marge: You mean the walkout has halted services on all public transportation – all buses, trains, and subways?

Homer: Yes, that’s right. Everything is at a standstill. There are a lot of disgruntled commuters out there.

Marge: When will services be restored?

Homer: I have no idea. I imagine things won’t get back to normal before tomorrow morning’s commute.

Marge: So what are you going to do?

Homer: I might have to stay home from work. I’m stranded with no mass transit services.

Marge: Oh, that’s a shame.

Homer: Isn’t it, though?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #445

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 09, 2014


Topics: Movies – Titanic; The Ford Motor Company and the Model T; holiday versus feast versus celebration; impunity versus retaliation versus notoriety; to think of versus to think about

Words:
maiden voyage
iceberg
to sink
fictional
flashback
architect
to gross
founder
innovator
carriage
assembly line
profit
holiday
feast
celebration
impunity
retaliation
notoriety
to think of
to think about



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988 - Playing Fair in Business

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 07, 2014


They say that all is fair in love and war, but what about business? Learn the answer in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:26
Explanation: 3:07
Fast Dialog: 15:54

Marcel: Hey, why do you have the file for the Donovan account on your desk? I thought that was Evan’s account.

Amanda: It is, but I’m about to snatch it from him. He won’t know what hit him.

Marcel: You’re stealing his account? If you do that, you’d better watch your back.

Amanda: You’ve got it all wrong. This is payback. Three months ago, when I was on the verge of getting the Moralez account, Evan swooped in and snagged it. He doesn’t play fair and now neither do I.

Marcel: This sounds like the beginning of a feud.

Amanda: Evan started it. If he wants to play hardball then what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Marcel: You’re not worried that he’ll up the ante and try to do something even more underhanded?

Amanda: Evan doesn’t scare me.

Marcel: This could easily escalate.

Amanda: Like I said, I’m not afraid of Evan. This is business. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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987 - Taking Prescription Drugs

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 04, 2014


Just because a doctor gave you medication, doesn’t mean it is safe. Learn why in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:12
Explanation: 3:36
Fast Dialog: 17:07

Paula: Okay, I’m off to bed.

Marcus: Wait a second. Where are you going with all of those pill bottles?

Paula: My doctor prescribed a couple of medications to help me sleep.

Marcus: Let me see those. You have four different medications here. This is a painkiller, this is a sedative, this is a tranquilizer, and this is a stimulant.

Paula: I don’t take that last one when I go to bed.

Marcus: You mean you take the first three every night?

Paula: Not every night.

Marcus: I can’t believe that your doctor would prescribe all three of these medications just to help you sleep. This seems like overkill.

Paula: I saw more than one doctor. They each gave me a different prescription.

Marcus: How do you know they won’t interact and produce side effects?

Paula: A doctor prescribed each one. I’m sure they’re safe.

Marcus: Yes, but does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? I’m confiscating these until you can talk to a doctor or pharmacist to make sure you won’t overdose by taking all three of these at one time.

Paula: But how will I fall asleep until then?

Marcus: You’re always telling me how boring I am. I’ll just regale you with stories of my youth. Let’s start at the beginning. My earliest memory is...

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #444

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 02, 2014


Topics: American Authors – J.D. Salinger; Comedy in Print – Mad Magazine and The Onion; scanty versus inadequate versus deficient; inquiry versus investigation versus research; so-called

Words:
to be drafted
stress
first person
slang
phony
recluse
seclusion
comics
authority
circulation
satirical
imitation
scanty
inadequate
deficient
inquiry
investigation
research
so-called



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986 - Buying and Selling Family Heirlooms

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 31, 2014


Is everything you inherit valuable? Find out in this episode about family heirlooms.

Slow Dialog: 1:16
Explanation: 3:28
Fast Dialog: 16:19

Anne: Where are you going with that?

Ivan: I’m taking this clock to an antique dealer. Rather than having it gather dust on the mantelpiece, I thought I’d get it appraised and maybe sell it.

Anne: You can’t sell that! It belonged to our grandfather. It’s a family heirloom.

Ivan: It’s not a family heirloom. It’s just a clock that Grandpa had in his house. He didn’t mean for it to be passed down from one generation to another. I don’t even know if it’s valuable or collectable. These clocks could be a dime a dozen.

Anne: But it’s valuable to me. It has sentimental value. As a little girl, I remember visiting Grandpa and seeing that clock on his shelf. If I had inherited it, I know I wouldn’t be looking to sell it to make a quick buck.

Ivan: I’m not looking to make a quick buck, but what if Grandpa left it to me because he knew I would be able to put the money that it would fetch to good use?

Anne: Well, are you? Are you going to put the proceeds to good use?

Ivan: Sure, of course I am.

Anne: Are you going to tell me what you’re spending it on?

Ivan: Not on your life!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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985 - School Fundraisers

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 28, 2014


School in the U.S. have lots of fundraisers for all kinds of reasons. Learn more about it in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:17
Explanation: 3:23
Fast Dialog: 17:18

Valerie: What’s this?

A.J.: It’s a note from Rachel’s school. It’s about the next fundraiser.

Valerie: Oh no, not another one. What is it this time – a raffle, car wash, or spaghetti dinner?

A.J.: It’s none of those things. It’s a combination bake sale and craft sale. Parents are supposed to donate baked goods and handmade items.

Valerie: This is crazy. Every month there’s something else. Last month, it was a candy sale. I had to hit up everybody at work, and that’s on the tail of raffle tickets the month before. It’s like this every year.

A.J.: I know, we already donated a lot of things to the rummage sale last semester and gift certificates for the silent auction two months ago. With two kids in two different schools, I feel like we never get a breather.

Valerie: I know and there’s more. Brian’s school is asking parents to buy a brick that will be part of a new school building and our names will be engraved on it.

A.J.: You’re kidding, right? One more fundraiser and my name will get engraved, all right – on my tombstone!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #443

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 26, 2014


Topics: American Musicals – Fiddler on the Roof; How to Sue Somebody (How Civil Lawsuits Work); reporter versus journalist versus correspondent; expense versus expenditure versus cost; bottom line; to run (something) by (someone)

Words:
musical
tradition
role
to scramble
kosher
to protest
to sue
civil court
plaintiff
defendant
preponderance
witness
damages
reporter
journalist
correspondent
expense
expenditure
cost
bottom line
to run (something) by (someone)



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984 - Competing in Business

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 24, 2014


If times are tough for your business, you may need to make some changes. Learn about your options in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:18
Explanation: 3:08
Fast Dialog: 16:28

Yoko: We used to be the only game in town. Now we have three competitors and they are luring away our customers.

Cedric: I know. We need to do something before we go under. What about price matching?

Yoko: Our prices are already competitive. If we want to focus on price, we’ll need to undercut our competitors.

Cedric: Slashing prices would be really hard on our profit margin, but these are desperate times. What do you think of a two-for-one deal? We could offer it for a limited time.

Yoko: We can do that if lowering our prices doesn’t work. I’m thinking we could go in another direction. What do you think about offering freebies or gifts with purchase?

Cedric: I think that’s a good idea. The more frills we include the better our services look. What kind of frills?

Yoko: I’m not sure, but the more bells and whistles the better.

Cedric: And if all of this doesn’t work?

Yoko: Then we’ll be up the creek without a paddle!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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983 - Breaking Bad Habits

Author: Center for Educational Development
Thu, Mar 20, 2014


I have this bad habit of repeating myself. I have this bad habit of repeating myself. Listen to this episode and you’ll see what I mean.

Slow Dialog: 1:26
Explanation: 3:29
Fast Dialog: 16:10

Counselor: Welcome everybody. You’ve all joined this support group because you have some bad habits that you’d like to break. Would anyone like to introduce themselves and tell us about their bad habit?

Stu: Uh yeah, I’m Stu and my wife signed me up for this support group because she says I have some really bad habits. One of my worst is my nail biting. You can see that they’re pretty ragged.

Counselor: Thank you, Stu. Is there anyone else...?

Stu: Oh yeah, I also smack my gum. That drives my wife crazy, so I try not to do it in her presence.

Counselor: Well, thanks for sharing, Stu. If we could move on to...

Stu: I also tend to tap my fingers and crack my joints, which my wife says is really annoying, though her hair twirling is pretty annoying to me.

Counselor: Stu? Let’s let a few other people...

Stu: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention what my wife says is my most annoying bad habit.

Counselor: What is that?

Stu: I tend to interrupt people in conversation.

Counselor: Really? I hadn’t noticed.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #442

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 19, 2014


Topics: American Presidents – Woodrow Wilson; junction versus intersection versus interchange; proprietary versus patent; to bluff (one’s) way into a secure area

Words:
income tax
salary
graduated
antitrust
market
to merge
to campaign
league
occupation
allied
international relations
terms
junction
intersection
interchange
proprietary
patent
to bluff
secure area



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982 - Home Shopping

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 17, 2014


You don’t have to go to a store to buy junk. Now you can buy it from your home! Find out how on this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:17
Explanation: 3:52
Fast Dialog: 17:52

Victor: Turn off the TV and put down that phone. I know what you’re about to do.

Julia: I wasn’t going to do anything.

Victor: You’re watching the home shopping channel and you have the phone in your hand, which means you’re about to call them and order something. Admit it.

Julia: I just wanted to ask some questions about this amazing item that’s on-screen right now. It’s 30 percent off if I call within the next eight minutes. Look how nice it looks on the model. It’s a limited edition necklace. If I don’t call soon, they’ll be sold out!

Victor: That’s why I have to keep you from calling. You don’t need another piece of second-rate jewelry from the home shopping channel.

Julia: Oh, look what you’ve done! They’re sold out. But hey, look at that machine they’re demonstrating. It’s amazing what it can do.

Victor: You don’t need another ridiculous gadget that you buy after watching some rigged demonstration. You know that they never work the same way at home as they do on TV.

Julia: Some of them do. Remember that machine I bought for washing nuts? That worked well.

Victor: Yeah, and how much use did we get out of that? We have an entire garage full of steals you just couldn’t resist. That’s why I need to do something drastic.

Julia: What?

Victor: I’m confiscating that remote!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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981 - Diplomatic and Economic Sanctions

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 14, 2014


International tensions are high in this episode about two countries that don’t get along.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 14:15

Andy: Well, it’s happened.

Marjorie: What’s happened?

Andy: The U.S. has placed diplomatic and economic sanctions on McQuillanland. It’s about time! The McQuillanland government has violated international law for the last time!

Marjorie: That’s great, but what does it really mean?

Andy: Well, it means that all high-level talks between the U.S. and McQuillanland have been called off, and the U.S. embassy is closing.

Marjorie: That sounds serious.

Andy: You bet it is, and that’s just the beginning. With economic sanctions, there’ll be serious consequences for business and trade. There’ll be an embargo on U.S. companies doing business there, and there’ll be a naval blockade to enforce it.

Marjorie: Wow, the McQuillanlanders have really done it this time.

Andy: They have. What made them think they could thumb their noses at us and get away with it?

Marjorie: I have no idea, but they’re about to find out what the repercussions are when they flout international law!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #441

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 12, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Saving the oldest photograph; law versus rule versus policy; to stem from versus to be derived from; bring it on; infomercial; hawking; exercise fad

Words:
studio
to show (something) off
luminous
three-dimensional
nanoparticle
to scatter
nanotechnology
unwittingly
degradation
to corrode
chemical mechanism
to preserve
law
rule
policy
to stem from
to be derived from
bring it on
infomercial
to hawk
exercise fad



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980 - Retiring Abroad

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 10, 2014


Should you move to another country after you retire? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 17:43

Wanda: I just heard the news. You’re moving to McQuillanland?

George: I am. I’ve decided to retire abroad.

Wanda: Why?

George: It makes a lot of sense for people with a fixed income. Social Security will only go so far here, but the cost of living is much lower in other countries, including McQuillanland. I can live it up at a fraction of the cost of living modestly here.

Wanda: But you’re moving away from all of your friends and family.

George: I can stay in touch remotely and there is an American expat community there so I can make new friends. I am a little worried about learning the language and adjusting to life abroad, but I’ll be living a simpler life there and there’ll be less stress.

Wanda: But sometimes things aren’t so reliable when you live abroad.

George: Like what?

Wanda: I’ve heard that the Internet services can be unreliable and power outages are common in McQuillanland. Are you sure you want to put down stakes in a foreign country?

George: What do I have to lose? I already have my residency visa and a condo on the beach waiting for me. The real question is: when are you going to take the plunge?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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979 - Types of Humor

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 07, 2014


What could be funnier than an episode about being funny? Listen and find out.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 2:48
Fast dialog: 18:47

Kyle: Are you watching that sitcom again? It’s so stupid. There’s nothing witty or original about the humor.

Paulina: I don’t need highbrow jokes. I enjoy all kinds of comedy.

Kyle: You mean you like screwball and slapstick humor.

Paulina: Yes, so?

Kyle: So? It’s so juvenile.

Paulina: I know that it’s hard for people like you who like satire to appreciate the more wacky kinds of humor, but you might try getting off your high horse once in a while.

Kyle: I’m not snooty. I’m just discriminating. I like comedians with a dry sense of humor like that self-deprecating guy on that show I watch.

Paulina: That show is a snoozefest. That guy bores me to death.

Kyle: And this show does it for you?

Paulina: You bet.

Kyle: There’s no accounting for taste!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #440

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 05, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – Typhoid Mary; The National Hot Rod Association; complex versus complicated versus intricate; needle hit the groove; to lampoon; loner; pastime; to clean versus to cleanse

Words:
bacteria
contaminated
quarantine
healthy carrier
to petition
outbreak
stroke
contagious
hot rod
drag racing
chaos
national
sophisticated
complex
complicated
intricate
groove
to lampoon
loner
pastime
to clean
to cleanse



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978 - Getting Access to Restricted Areas

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 03, 2014


Halt! This episode is for authorized listeners only. But, well, okay, you can listen, too.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:11
Fast dialog: 17:47

Security officer: Excuse me, sir, but this is a restricted area. Only authorized personnel are permitted.

Carl: I just want to take a quick look. Is this really where the president will be speaking?

Security officer: I can neither confirm nor deny that, sir. Please step aside.

Carl: What if I have press credentials? Could I get in then?

Security officer: Only if you’ve been screened by security. Really, sir, I must ask you to leave this area. It’s off-limits to you.

Carl: Couldn’t I just hang around and watch while people arrive? I won’t say a word.

Security officer: No, and if you persist, I’ll have to have you shown out.

Carl: I’m not causing any trouble. I’m an American citizen and this is a free country! I can stand wherever I want to.

Security officer: Not on private property. Jim, could you please escort this gentleman off the premises?

Carl: Hey, this is a travesty! I’m going to file a formal protest!

Security officer: You do that. Just do it off the premises.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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977 - Parts of the Body

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 28, 2014


You know that the leg bone’s connected to the ankle bone. Now learn the other parts of the body by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:35
Explanations: 3;45
Fast dialog: 18:31

Sonia: What in the world is that?!

Nadir: It’s a life-size figure of George Washington. It’s for Leon’s school project.

Sonia: Then why are you making it?

Nadir: I’m not. I’m just helping him.

Sonia: Uh-huh. Why does George Washington have really big hands and flat palms?

Nadir: He cut down the family’s cherry tree. Remember? He probably needed big hands to do that.

Sonia: And why does he have little tiny feet with six toes on each foot and no ankles?

Nadir: I made a little mistake with those, but they’ll be covered up with shoes, so no one will see them.

Sonia: And why is George’s head shaped like an egg? His ears are lopsided and his earlobes are disproportionate to his other facial features.

Nadir: That’s why I made the forehead and chin bigger, so no one will notice those ears. We’ll probably put a hat on him anyway.

Sonia: But his legs look really thin on top and thick on the bottom, with kneecaps that stick out.

Nadir: I’ll put pants on him, so no one will see those either.

Sonia: So it won’t matter if he’s not anatomically correct, right?

Nadir: Right.

Sonia: Good thing this isn’t for science class!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #439

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 26, 2014


Topics: Panama Canal; Famous Songs – “Fever”; to squander versus to lavish versus to waste; self-conscious versus self-confident versus self-aware; as tough as they come

Words:
canal
man-made
explorer
jungle
proposal
survey
fraud
locks
feat
pseudonym
to cover
mad
to squander
to lavish
to waste
self-conscious
self-confident
self-aware
as tough as they come



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976 - Showing Immaturity

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 24, 2014


You better not cry, you better not pout, because if you do, you could find yourself out of work. Grow up and listen instead to this episode on immaturity.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 18:13

Romero: Are you going to tell Amber that she can’t have Saturday off of work or should I?

Alice: You’d better tell her. I don’t think she’s going to take it well.

Romero: I’ll do it, but I’m not looking forward to it. She can be really immature when she doesn’t get what she wants.

Alice: Yeah, that’s why I don’t like working with her. If things don’t go her way, she pouts and whines. I don’t know why they don’t fire her.

Romero: I think she’s just a little inexperienced. This is her first job, after all. Some of her behavior is pretty childish, but when she’s not kicking up a fuss or moaning about something, she does good work.

Alice: That’s like saying somebody is a good worker when they’re not napping!

Romero: She’s not that bad, but we do have to look past some juvenile antics when our employees are so young.

Alice: Yeah, too bad we can’t have seniors selling to teenagers.

Romero: I think that would open a whole different can of worms!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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975 - Making Food from Scratch

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 21, 2014


We’ve cooked up a nice serving of ESL Podcast today, with only the freshest English available. Enjoy!

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:19
Fast dialog: 15:47

Ann: I’m so excited to have the entire family coming for a visit. For our first family dinner next Friday, I’m making everything from scratch. I’m pulling out all the stops.

Walt: But have you ever made anything from scratch?

Ann: Sure I have, plenty of times.

Walt: If you say so, but our pantry is full of canned foods and jars, and nearly everything we’ve cooked in the past year has been premixed. Are you sure you’re up to cooking a dinner for 12 from scratch?

Ann: How hard could it be? I just need to make sure that the ingredients I buy are fresh, follow the recipes closely, add plenty of fresh herbs and spices, and multitask.

Walt: You mean do a juggling act. It’ll take a lot of work and organization to pull this off.

Ann: I’m up to the challenge. And I have a backup plan.

Walt: And that is?

Ann: Have you ever heard of the raw food movement?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #438

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 19, 2014


Topics: Movies – A Streetcar Named Desire; Bryce Canyon National Park; lockout versus walkout versus strike; Sweet Sixteen, Elite Six, and Final Four; to dote on

Words:
performance
to adapt
leave of absence
to intimidate
controversial
censor
national park
pioneer
rock formation
hoodoo
geologist
hiking
lockout
walkout
strike
sweet
elite
final
to dote on



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974 - Talking About Old Crimes

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 17, 2014


Try to solve murder mysteries from many years ago in this episode on crime.

Slow dialog: 1:13
Explanations: 2:51
Fast dialog: 15:51

Paul: What are you watching?

Della: I’m watching a really good show about cold cases. They take unsolved crimes from decades ago and reconstruct them, trying to solve them once and for all.

Paul: But after all this time, isn’t the trail cold? How do they solve the crimes with no new leads?

Della: They go over the witness testimony and use scientific methods that didn’t exist many years ago.

Paul: Isn’t there a statute of limitations for most crimes?

Della: Yes, but not for murder.

Paul: I really doubt a TV show can solve crimes that the police couldn’t crack. Are any crimes really ever solved on the show?

Della: Yes, of course.

Paul: How? Through crack investigative methods or a keen eye for detail?

Della: Deathbed confessions.

Paul: Ah.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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973 - Attracting Someone's Interest

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 14, 2014


Did you see that beautiful woman over there looking at you? Me neither, but, hey, it’s possible that she was. Find out who she was looking at by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 2:49
Fast dialog: 15:54

Angie: Ooh, it looks like Joanna has her sights set on you. Look at how she’s giving you the eye.

Kenji: Is she? I hadn’t noticed.

Angie: Watch out, she usually gets what she wants and she doesn’t take no for an answer.

Kenji: I’m not interested in Joanna at all. She’s not my type.

Angie: Then you’re the only one. Every guy I know thinks she’s hot. She has a bunch of them at her beck and call.

Kenji: Then she won’t care if I don’t take an interest in her. I don’t like women who behave as though they’re God’s gift to men.

Angie: Don’t look now, but she’s making a beeline for you.

Kenji: Then that’s my cue to beat a speedy exit.

Angie: Are you sure you want to give her the brush off?

Kenji: I’m sure. That’s one woman I don’t want to tangle with.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #437

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 12, 2014


Topics: American Authors – William Faulkner; soap box derbys; to deceive versus to cheat versus to lie; to appreciate; to go green

Words:
inspriation
to drop out
semester
aristocracy
fictional
theme
controversial
manuscript
derby
fiberglass
sponsor
track
stock market crash
to deceive
to cheat
to lie
to appreciate
to go green



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972 - Paying an Employee Under the Table

Author: CAuthor: enter for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 10, 2014


The two things you cannot avoid in life are death and taxes. But some people try anyway, as you will learn by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:06
Fast dialog: 16:09

Martin: I’m confused. I’ve been going over the books and I don’t see several members of the staff listed and accounted for.

Jina: Oh, I have a special arrangement with a few of them. I pay them under the table.

Martin: Are you sure that’s wise? You could get busted for tax evasion.

Jina: No one will be the wiser if I pay a few people off the books. All of the people I hire want a job, and a few of them I pay under the minimum wage. Since they don’t have to report their income, they come out ahead in the end. So what’s the problem?

Martin: I just want to make sure you’re aware of the ramifications. If the government finds out about it, you could be up the creek.

Jina: I’m not worried. Everybody does it.

Martin: If you say so. I’m willing to turn a blind eye, but you’re on your own if you get audited!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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971 - Getting in to See a Busy Doctor

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 07, 2014


Try not to get sick when your doctor is busy. But if she is, then listen to this episode about what you should do.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:08
Fast dialog: 16:14

Monique: Ugh!

Jurgen: What’s the matter?

Monique: My GP referred me to a specialist for my back problems, but she doesn’t have any openings for eight weeks! I’m waitlisted in case there’s a cancellation, but if there isn’t one, I’ll have to endure this pain for at least another eight weeks.

Jurgen: Can’t you just go see another specialist?

Monique: I could, but my GP says that she’s the best in the business. In the meantime, I’ll try to see a physical therapist about my neck. It’s flaring up again.

Jurgen: At least you’ll get some relief.

Monique: Maybe. I have to call back tomorrow morning to see if she can fit me in. She’s really booked up, too. While I’m waiting, I guess I could try to see the podiatrist about my feet.

Jurgen: You’re having feet problems, too?

Monique: Yeah, my whole body is falling apart. I think I’m nearly past my expiration date!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #436

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 05, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Crowdsourcing; inn versus motel versus resort; to captivate versus allure; to leave versus to go away versus to go out

Words:
to finance
storefront
bank loan
investor
assets
to give away
to grow (a business)
paradigm
filmmaker
personal film
to sign away
artistic freedom
inn
motel
resort
to captivate
allure
to go away
to go out



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970 - Having a Backup Plan

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 03, 2014


Don’t be caught unprepared! If you’re first plan doesn’t work, have another plan to use in its place. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:33
Explanations: 3:26
Fast dialog: 17:52

Jerome: This is a very dangerous undertaking. Do you have a backup plan if anything goes wrong?

Sandy: It’ll work. I’ve come up with contingencies for every possible setback.

Jerome: It’s just that I’d like to know we have some recourse if anything goes wrong.

Sandy: My plan is foolproof. Failure is not an option.

Jerome: But don’t you think we should consider some alternatives? If, God forbid, anything goes wrong, it would be good to have an escape hatch, don’t you think?

Sandy: That won’t be necessary. If anything goes wrong, it’s every man for himself.

Jerome: What?! I thought we were in this together? What happened to, “Stick with me and you can’t go wrong”?

Sandy: That was before I realized what a liability you are.

Jerome: A liability?!

Sandy: In a dangerous plan like this, there are bound to be some casualties – a sacrificial lamb or two.

Jerome: Yes, but I didn’t know you’d double-cross me before we even got started!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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969 - Using Electronics on Airplanes

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 31, 2014


You’re not leaving on a jet plane if you don’t turn off your cellphone. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:52
Fast dialog: 17:28

Flight attendant: I’m sorry, sir, but all passengers need to turn off their portable electronic devices for takeoff, so you’ll need to turn off your laptop.

Alec: I just need to finish one last email.

Flight attendant: Sir, we can’t take off until you turn that computer off.

Alec: Fine. It’s off. Why all the fuss, anyway?

Flight attendant: It’s regulations. Signals emitted by electronics may interfere with the plane’s communication systems or navigation.

Alec: All right.

Flight attendant: Sir, you’ll also need to turn off your tablet computer and your cell phone. Those are also considered portable electronic devices.

Alec: You’ve got to be kidding me. You mean I have to sit here twiddling my thumbs while I wait for the plane to take off? I thought the FAA eased up on those regulations.

Flight attendant: I’m afraid not, sir. Please power down all of your devices so we can proceed with takeoff.

Alec: Okay, fine. What am I suppose to do until we get the all clear to use our electronics again?

Flight attendant: Perhaps you could read a magazine.

Alec: That’s what I was doing on my tablet before you made me turn it off.

Flight attendant: Perhaps you could take a flying leap out the window.

Alec: What did you say?

Flight attendant: I said, “Look at that luggage heap out the window.”

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #435

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 29, 2014


Topics: American President – James Madison; function versus reception versus banquet; worthy versus worth it; all of a sudden versus out of the blue

Words:
Constitution
plantation
delegate
Federalist
checks and balances
amendment
to capture
opponent
neutral
colonization
rheumatism
liver failure
function
reception
banquet
worthy
worth it
all of a sudden
out of the blue



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968 - Recording an Outgoing Voice Mail Message

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 27, 2014


Hello. I’m sorry I’m not available to give you a description of this episode. Please leave a message and I’ll call you (maybe).

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 5:11
Fast dialog: 21:42

I hate the sound of my own voice. I always have. When I’m speaking to an audience, I always sound forced and unnatural. So when we had to set up our new voice mail system’s outgoing message, it took me a few tries to get it right:

“Hello, you’ve reached Martin Navra at McQ Corp. I’m not available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. Thank you for calling.”

No, that wasn’t quite right. I gave it another shot.

“Hello, you’ve reached the voice mail for Martin Navra at McQ Corp. I’m in a meeting or away from my desk. Please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon as I can. If your call is urgent, please contact Julia Mann at 555-434-3232. Thank you.”

That seemed okay, but since I was leaving on vacation next week, I needed to record a temporary outgoing message as well. This is what I came up with.

“Hello, you’ve reached the voice mail of Martin Navra at McQ Corp. I will be on vacation from March 3rd through March 10th. If you need to reach someone immediately, please call Julia Mann at 555-434-3232, or dial “0” to reach reception. Otherwise, please leave a message and I’ll return your call when I return. Thank you.”

I was finally done. The good thing is, whenever I call to retrieve my voice mail messages, I can bypass my outgoing message. With any luck, I’ll never have to hear my own voice again – ever!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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967 - Feeling Embarrassed

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 24, 2014


Do you like to stand on top of tables and sing old ‘70s songs? Really? Okay, then I guess you’ll like this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:15
Fast dialog: 15:10

Lois: Please don’t embarrass me at the party tonight.

Roger: Me, embarrass you? I’d never do that.

Lois: You have, though, more than once.

Roger: Name one.

Lois: At the Johnsons’ party, you danced on the table while singing “I Am Woman”!

Roger: I was being the life of the party. Everybody thought it was funny.

Lois: It was humiliating! Didn’t you notice more than one person cringing and the awkward silence in the room when your song ended?

Roger: No, I didn’t, but I did notice Malik laughing his head off and the Johnsons smiling.

Lois: That’s because Malik has your sense of humor and the Johnsons were humoring you. They were trying to put a good face on your impromptu performance.

Roger: I’m not going to be a wallflower just because you can’t take a joke. My exuberant personality is what gets us invited to so many parties.

Lois: Yeah, right. Can I at least get you to promise not to sing?

Roger: And disappoint my audience? Not a chance!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #434

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 22, 2014


Topics: Famous Songs – “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”; Niagara Falls; assessment versus evaluation versus appraisal; sympathy versus empathy; to take (one’s) time and to take a load off

Words:
homesick
to pitch
bay
steep
cable
fog
waterfall
factory
to generate
hydroelectric
barrel
fine
assessment
evaluation
appraisal
sympathy
empathy
to take (one’s) time
to take a load off



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966 - Converting to Another Religion

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 20, 2014


Changing religions is not like changing your clothes. Or is it? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 3:30
Fast dialog: 17:26

Debbie: Okay, I’m off. I’ll be back around eight o’clock.

Marcelo: Hey, where are you going in such a hurry?

Debbie: I’m going to my religious education class.

Marcelo: Religious education class? What’s that about?

Debbie: Well, I’ve decided to convert to McQuillanism.

Marcelo: I’m not familiar with that denomination. It is Christian, isn’t it?

Debbie: No, it isn’t, but there are some similarities in the spiritual teachings between McQuillanism and Christianity, but we have different ways of worshiping – different prayers, hymns, and rituals.

Marcelo: It doesn’t sound legit. Are you sure McQuillanism isn’t really a cult?

Debbie: Of course not. My spiritual leader has been tutoring me on the tenets of the faith so I understand it, but I can see why you’d question it, since you don’t know anything about it.

Marcelo: Well, as long as you’re satisfied.

Debbie: I am and I can’t wait to become a full-fledged McQuillanite. McQuillanism is a little unconventional, but we take our faith very seriously.

Marcelo: Have it your way. What’s that you’re carrying?

Debbie: It’s a cat costume. As I said, we do things a little differently.

Marcelo: I’m sorry I asked.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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965 - Meeting Your Boyfriend's/Girlfriend's Parents

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 17, 2014


Meeting your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s parents can be as fun as being eaten by wild animals. Join the good times by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:44
Fast dialog: 16:03

Ronny: Ready?

Judy: Ready as I’ll ever be.

Ronny: Try to work up a little enthusiasm about meeting my parents.

Judy: It’s not them I’m worried about. It’s me. What if I don’t pass muster?

Ronny: My parents are going to love you. They’re open-minded and nonjudgmental people. They won’t care about anything except that I like you and you make me happy.

Judy: Me and parents are like oil and water. I’ve never been good at making a good first impression.

Ronny: Then you’ll gradually win them over. Meeting my parents will be a cakewalk. They’re nice people. It’s not like you’ll be running the gauntlet meeting my nine brothers.

Judy: You didn’t tell them I’d be meeting your parents tonight, did you?

Ronny: I may have mentioned it to Mark. Why?

Judy: What if they decide to show up and ambush me?

Ronny: They won’t.

Judy: If you found out that one of your brothers were bringing a girlfriend home to meet your parents, wouldn’t you want to be there?

Ronny: You have a point there, but it’s too late to back out now. Put on your game face and let’s go, or we’ll be late.

Judy: Okay, but just don’t be surprised if I make a break for it.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #433

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 15, 2014


Topics: Famous Americans – Carrie Nation; The Beach Boys; to pump up versus to balloon versus to beef up; historic versus historical; vigilance

Words:
temperance
alcoholic
chapter
Prohibition
raid
hatchet
to release
surfing
hippie
hit
lyrics
hip
to pump up
to balloon
to beef up
historic
historical
vigilance



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964 - Using Infographics

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 13, 2014


Get your point across quickly and effectively by using an infographic, Learn more about it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:33
Explanations: 3:51
Fast dialog: 16:08

Mario: That’s a lot of text in your proposal. Are you sure people are going to take the time to read all of that?

Cleo: It’s a complex proposal with a lot of moving parts. I can’t simplify it without leaving out essentials.

Mario: What you need are infographics. You can encapsulate and communicate a lot of information by using visuals.

Cleo: This is a serious business proposal. I want people to take it seriously, and I don’t want them to get distracted by a lot of color pictures.

Mario: That’s precisely why you have to use infographics. Look at these reports and proposals I’ve received in the past year. Everybody is communicating complex sets of information and statistics in maps and graphics. You can even show hierarchies and networks easily using infographics.

Cleo: I didn’t know it could be done in such a professional way, but I don’t know the first thing about creating infographics.

Mario: Lucky for you, I know an expert.

Cleo: Who?

Mario: Someone who is enormously talented, but underappreciated.

Cleo: I don’t think I know anyone like that.

Mario: Hmph!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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963 - Admiring a Baby

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 10, 2014


How cute is that baby? Learn how to describe little ones in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:31
Fast dialog: 14:28

Maya: Isn’t this baby precious? She is just darling. Coo chi coo.

Jean-Paul: Why do women fawn over babies? One baby looks pretty much like any other.

Maya: You wouldn’t say that if you’d ever spent time with babies. Come over here and look at this one. She’s a doll and her face is so expressive. Aren’t you a little doll? Aren’t you?

Jean-Paul: I’m not wasting my time looking at a little brat. Let’s go.

Maya: Wait, she’s smiling. Come look!

Jean-Paul: She has gas and needs to be burped. I don’t even need to look at her to know that.

Maya: You wouldn’t say that if you looked at her face. She has the most angelic expression on her face and the sweetest temperament.

Jean-Paul: Whatever.

Maya: Just come over here and look at her.

Jean-Paul: You’re not going to let me leave without looking at her, are you?

Maya: I think you’ll find her just as lovable and adorable as I do.

Jean-Paul: All right, let’s take a look at this precious darling of an angel with an expressive face.

Maya: See what I mean?

Jean-Paul: She is, well, kind of cute and cuddly.

Maya: When you see her don’t you just want to...

Jean-Paul: Coo chi coo. Coo chi coo.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #432

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 08, 2014


Topics: Presidential Libraries; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; people versus peoples; officer versus official; to continue versus to carry on

Words:
term
to donate
to preserve
estate
endowment
artifact
legend
ghost
to descend
prank
saddle
victim
people
officer
official
to continue
to carry on



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962 - Recovering After a Setback

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 06, 2014


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Learn how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 16:10

Carl: Come on, let’s go. I have $500 burning a hole in my pocket.

Shelly: Where are we going?

Carl: We’re going to the track. I have a tip on a sure thing for one of this afternoon’s races. This is exactly what I need after last week’s setback.

Shelly: You mean after losing all of your money last week.

Carl: Right, but all I need to do is to get that monkey off my back and then I’ll have a reversal of fortune. Winning big this afternoon will be the start of a new winning streak.

Shelly: Maybe what happened last week is really a sign of things to come. Maybe it was the start of a losing streak.

Carl: Don’t jinx me with that kind of negativity. I’ve always believed that when you meet with a setback, come back with all you’ve got.

Shelly: Does that mean what I think it means?

Carl: Yes, that’s right. I’m plunking down all $500 on that race. I can’t lose.

Shelly: But what if –

Carl: Don’t say another word. When I win and get back in my stride, you can say, “Congratulations!”

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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961 - Learning to Dance

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 03, 2014


Dance your way into the heart of the person you love with this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:46
Explanations: 3:22
Fast dialog: 13:48

Arthur: You know that you’ve taken on an impossible task, right?

Martha: Teaching you to dance? I’m sure you’re selling yourself short.

Arthur: No, really, I have two left feet. I’m completely uncoordinated and have no sense of rhythm. I’m just not cut out for dancing.

Martha: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll just start by loosening up and swaying to the music. You don’t even need to swing your hips yet.

Arthur: That’s good, because I don’t think I can learn even the simplest dance steps.

Martha: Not only will I teach you some useful dance steps, we’ll put together a dance routine down the line.

Arthur: That seems like a pipe dream to me.

Martha: Nonsense. Before long, dancing to you will be as effortless as breathing.

Arthur: But until then, I’ll look and feel like a dancing hippo!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #431

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 01, 2014


Topics: Ask an American – Firefighter inmates; catastrophe versus calamity versus disaster; can’t hardly wait versus can hardly wait; so that

Words:
adrenaline rush
to fight fires
rocky terrain
sandy terrain
anywhere between
gear
flood
search-and-rescue operation
emergency response
firefighter
hero
zero
to incarcerate
catastrophe
calamity
disaster
so that



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960 - Giving Someone Your Recommendation

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 30, 2013


I can’t recommend this episode too highly for those looking to help a friend get a job.

Slow dialog: 1:31
Explanations: 3:07
Fast dialog: 14:41

Jimmy: My cousin Sal said that he put in an application for a job here.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s right.

Jimmy: Well?

Suzanne: Well, what?

Jimmy: Are you going to hire him?

Suzanne: I’m not sure. He doesn’t have any experience and he didn’t provide any references.

Jimmy: I can vouch for him. Sal is solid. He’s a really nice guy.

Suzanne: I appreciate you putting in a good word for him, but I need more assurance than that he’s a nice guy. He needs to have the temperament, work ethic, and skills for this job.

Jimmy: What he doesn’t know he’ll learn on the job. He’s a quick study.

Suzanne: How can I justify hiring someone with no experience, while passing up applicants who are better qualified?

Jimmy: He has my ringing endorsement. What else do you need? He’ll work as hard as I do.

Suzanne: That’s exactly what I’m afraid of.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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959 - A Territorial Dispute

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 27, 2013


What happens when more than one country says it owns a certain piece of land? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:05
Fast dialog: 16:40

Roberta: So this is McQuillanland!

Eli: Well, that depends on whom you ask. This area has been under territorial dispute since 1963.

Roberta: Who else claims it?

Eli: Its neighbor, Tseland. Tseland annexed it after the brief war in 1963, but McQuillanland refuses to recognize the change in boundaries.

Roberta: I didn’t know that.

Eli: McQuillanland contends that the demarcation for the border is this river, but Tseland says that it rules over this entire valley. Since most of the people who live here consider themselves McQuillanlanders, they say possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Roberta: Wasn’t there a treaty at the end of the conflict?

Eli: There was, but the wording was vague and the dispute has continued to this day.

Roberta: So if we committed a crime right here, right now, which country would have jurisdiction?

Eli: Let’s not find out.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #430

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 25, 2013


Topics: American Musicals – My Fair Lady; Chautauquas; to reply versus to comply versus to meet; mild versus tender; to have the munchies

Words:
musical
myth
phonetics
aristocrat
dubbed
to be accustomed to
lecture
correspondence course
imitator
talent
spiritual
mediocre
to reply
to comply
to meet
mild
tender
to have the munchies



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958 - Selecting a Neighborhood to Live In

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 23, 2013


Downtown or the suburbs? Not everyone agrees about where the best place to live is. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 3:20
Fast dialog: 17:33

Leona: I want to live close to downtown. We can get everywhere on foot and walk to most amenities.

Jeremy: Downtown is always bustling and noisy, and the crime rate is really high. I’d rather have proximity to parks and open spaces.

Leona: If we lived downtown, we wouldn’t have to worry about commute time and traffic. I could walk to work and you could take public transportation.

Jeremy: That’s true, but there aren’t any good schools near downtown.

Leona: Hello, we don’t have any kids.

Jeremy: Not yet. I want to settle down somewhere for a while, not move every couple of years.

Leona: Is that why you want to live in the suburbs? The suburbs have no character. Everything is cookie-cutter.

Jeremy: That’s not true.

Leona: Downtown has character and it’s close to nightlife.

Jeremy: That’s less important to me than a place in a quiet neighborhood. Imagine lounging in the backyard or taking a walk in the park. We can raise our kids in a close-knit community.

Leona: I think you’re planning for a family that we don’t have.

Jeremy: Yet!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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957 - Doping in Sports

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 20, 2013


Nowadays, when professional athletes perform very well, people think they’re using drugs to help them. Learn all about it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:08
Fast dialog: 18:08

Mia: This is ridiculous! They’re going to suspend Eric Rodrigo for doping.

Alex: From what I’ve read, he failed his random drug test and they found performance-enhancing drugs in his system.

Mia: But he’s one of the best players on the team. Without him, we won’t have a chance to get to the playoffs.

Alex: He should have thought of that before he decided to cheat. I’m surprised they’re only suspending him for a few games. Last year, a player on another team was banned for life from the sport and stripped of his championship titles.

Mia: In my opinion, they completely overreacted and one of the best players in the game is off the field forever.

Alex: You don’t think that people who use steroids and other banned substances should be punished?

Mia: Not when the fans are the ones who really pay the price.

Alex: So you’re in favor of allowing performance-enhancing drugs in sports?

Mia: Sure, why not? If everybody is doping, it levels the playing field.

Alex: I am really glad you’re not the commissioner!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #429

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 18, 2013


Topics: Cajun Culture; The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show; to preserve versus to reserve; yada, yada, yada versus blah, blah, blah; Dear Sir/Madam versus To Whom it May Concern

Words:

Cajun
descent
peace treaty
to pledge allegiance
isolated
to preserve
dog breed
spectator
proceeds
parody
handler
coveted
to preserve
to reserve
yada, yada, yada
blah, blah, blah



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956 - Running a Family-Owned Business

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 16, 2013


You don’t get to choose your family, but you can pick where you work. Learn what happens when people decide to work with their family in a business.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 17:51

When I took over the family business three years ago, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. My uncle, who ran the business before me, established a clear chain of command, which I thought would eliminate infighting and bickering. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Despite clear lines of authority, family members tend to take sides and play the blame game whenever anything goes wrong. In the end, they always look to me to resolve conflict, and I have no choice but to enter the fray.

Another big problem is the hangers-on. Those are the family members who aren’t suited for this line of work, but who need jobs. What do I do with them?

What do you do when everything falls on your shoulders? Well, I’ve developed a thick skin, and when someone inevitably reminds me that blood is thicker than water, I remind them that business is business.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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955 - Dating a Possessive Person

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 13, 2013


If you have a jealous boyfriend of girlfriend, they probably won’t want you to listen to this. Improve your English and your relationship by listening to it anyway.

Slow Dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:34
Fast Dialog: 18:08

Eliana: You’re here! I didn’t think you’d be able to come.

Matt: Why? I like seeing a movie with my friends as much as the next guy.

Eliana: Yeah, but it’s been weeks since we’ve seen you, ever since you started dating Helen.

Matt: She doesn’t own me. She’s a little possessive, but I put my foot down when she gets too clingy.

Eliana: Doesn’t she get jealous if you so much as look at another woman?

Matt: She’s the jealous type, that’s true, but I reassure her all the time that she’s the only one I want. It’s true that she’s critical of other women, too, but what woman isn’t? She’s fine if she knows where I am and whom I’m with.

Eliana: You mean you have to report in to her on your whereabouts?

Matt: She likes to know what I’m doing. She’s just concerned about me, that’s all.

Eliana: She seems really controlling.

Matt: What did you say?

Eliana: Nothing. I see Xavier and Sophie over there. Ready to get our tickets?

Matt: Hold on one second. I just need to text Helen an update. If she doesn’t hear from me every half hour, she worries. Isn’t that sweet?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #428

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 11, 2013


Topics: Famous Americans: Jim Thorpe; United Code of Military Justice & Common Crimes; pre-paid cell phones; abbreviation versus acronym; a matter of form

Words:
intramural team
hurdle
pentathlon
decathlon
amateur
posthumously
absent without leave
desertion
espionage
non-judicial punishment
court martial
civilian
to top-up
abbreviation
acronym
matter of form



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954 - Participating in Winter Sports

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 09, 2013


Win an Olympic medal in English by listening to this episode on winter sports.

Slow Dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 3:01
Fast Dialog: 18:47

Hanna: It’s finally snowing outside! Soon we’ll be able to get out the sled.

Ahmed: Sledding is for kids. I’m going downhill skiing as soon as there’s enough powder. I can’t wait to feel the wind in my hair as I careen down the side of a mountain.

Hanna: You’re more likely to be on the bunny slopes! You’ve only been on a snowmobile once and gone cross-country skiing a few times. What makes you think you’ll be able to ski the slopes like an expert?

Ahmed: I can ice skate better than you can, so no matter what, I know I’ll be better at it than you’ll be. When I get the hang of skiing, I’ll probably try snowboarding.

Hanna: Now I know you’re blowing smoke. You don’t have the nerve.

Ahmed: Oh, yeah? I challenge you a game of one-on-one ice hockey.

Hanna: You’re twice my size! Make it a snowball fight.

Ahmed: You’re on!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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953 - Living with Insects and Spiders

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 06, 2013


Who doesn’t love insects and spiders? The woman in this episode, that’s who. Learn about the joys of the great outdoors in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:12
Fast Dialog: 14:31

Judith: Ahh! Get it off me!

Murad: It’s just a tiny spider. Don’t freak out.

Judith: I hate spiders. What is this place you’ve brought me to?

Murad: It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the world and we’ll be staying here tonight.

Judith: You mean we’ll be roughing it in this cabin? Is that a cockroach that just ran across the floor?

Murad: Maybe. In this place, you’ll see some of the most amazing things. It’s the next best thing to sleeping in the open.

Judith: Great. Can you close that window? There are flies and moths everywhere, and I think those were bees and wasps just outside the door.

Murad: They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Listen to that! We can fall asleep to the sound of crickets.

Judith: Ouch! I think I’ve just been bitten by a giant mosquito.

Murad: You’re imagining things. Look at those butterflies just outside the window. Don’t you think they’re beautiful?

Judith: Do you know what would look beautiful to me right now? A really big mosquito net!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #427

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 04, 2013


Topics: Famous Authors: E.B. White; Name change after marriage; appliance versus utensil; to jibe (with) versus to be at odds with; I’m here versus I’m in here

Words:
contributing
prose
poetry
essay
concise
maiden name
convention
feminist movement
poll
marriage certificate
Social Security
Internal Revenue Service
appliance
utensil
to jibe (with)
to be at odds with
I’m in here
I’m here



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952 - Dealing With Rising Production Costs

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 02, 2013


Making money in your business can be difficult if the prices keep going up. Learn about ways to solve that problem in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:15
Fast Dialog: 16:40

Giovanni: There are no two ways about it. We have to raise prices.

Melanie: We can’t. We already raised prices earlier this year. Doing it again risks alienating our customers.

Giovanni: What else can we do? Our production costs have risen nearly 15 percent. We’ve tried absorbing them and offsetting them, but nothing has worked. Our profit margin continues to shrink and we don’t have any other choice.

Melanie: What about lowering the quality of our raw materials? We could use a cheaper supplier.

Giovanni: That’s a sure way to lose customers. If we start cutting corners on quality, our customers will leave in droves.

Melanie: What if we discontinue manufacturing some of the less popular items? That should save us some money.

Giovanni: Not enough. We either raise prices or stop production altogether.

Melanie: There is one other option.

Giovanni: What?

Melanie: We could reduce our workforce.

Giovanni: You mean fire people? That’s off the table!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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951 - Parts of a Hospital

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 29, 2013


Find out about parts of a hospital in this episode.

Slow Dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:34
Fast Dialog: 15:45

Jordan: Excuse me, my girlfriend was brought into the hospital about two hours ago, but I can’t find her.

Admissions Clerk: Why was she brought into the hospital?

Jordan: I’m not sure. I got a call from her coworker, but she didn’t give me any details.

Admissions Clerk: If it weren’t an accident, then she wouldn’t be in the emergency room or the trauma unit.

Jordan: It may have been her heart. She has a heart condition.

Admissions Clerk: Then she might be in the cardiology department. If she is in severe condition, she’ll be in the ICU.

Jordan: It may also be the baby. She’s pregnant.

Admissions Clerk: Then she might be in the obstetrics and gynecology department. And if the baby has been born, it would be in the neonatal unit.

Jordan: I’m just not sure where to go. Maybe I’ll start in the cardiology department.

Admissions Clerk: That’s fine. Go past the neurology and oncology departments and it’s on your right. If you see the burn unit, then you’ve gone too far.

Jordan: You can’t look her up for me to see if she’s been admitted?

Admissions Clerk: I’m sorry, but our computer systems are down right now. If you wait until they’re up again, I can try to find her for you.

Jordan: And go out of my mind worrying? No thanks. I’m going to find her, even if I have to look behind every bedpan!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #426

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 27, 2013


Topics: Ask an American: Art conservation; bravery versus gallantry; to escape versus to abscond; how to communicate time

Words:

conservator
mural
legacy
artist
earthquake damage
subsequent
to manifest
intention
competently
to recreate
interpretation
objective
bravery
gallantry
to escape
to abscond



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ESLPodcast Introduction - What is ESLPodcast?

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 22, 2005


Begin with this introduction to ESLPod.com's English as a Second Language Podcast.

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ESLPodcast #100 - An Interview with Dr. Jeff McQuillan

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 07, 2005


Happy birthday, ESL Podcast! Listen to an interview of Dr. Jeff McQuillan by Dr. Lucy Tse.

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More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: E015167