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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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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

1,203 - Completing a Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Program

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 29, 2016


End your addiction to drugs and alcohol and become addicted to ESL Podcast instead. Learn how on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:47
Explanations: 3:31
Fast dialog: 17:26

John: I’m glad to see you’re back and looking so healthy.

Lindsay: Thanks. Rehab wasn’t easy, but getting treatment for my addiction saved my life. I’d hit rock bottom.

John: Recovery from substance abuse isn’t easy, but I’m happy you got the help you needed.

Lindsay: I’m glad I checked into an inpatient program. I was able to detox, and I’m now getting the medication and counseling I need.

John: I thought you were done.

Lindsay: No, I’m now in their outpatient program, with a plan for staying sober so I won’t relapse.

John: And you’re staying away from temptation?

Lindsay: Absolutely. I’m only going clubbing two nights a week, instead of every night.

John: Uh, is that wise?

Lindsay: It will be a good test of my self-control.

John: That doesn’t sound…

Lindsay: [sound of a car horn] Sorry, there’s my ride. We’re checking out a new club tonight.

John: Yikes.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 552

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 27, 2016


Topics: American Presidents – Barack Obama; Famous Songs – “Anchors Aweigh”; diffidence versus timidity versus shyness; receipt versus reception; no problem versus not at all versus no big deal

Words:
community organizer
healthcare
candidate
rising star
biracial
campaign slogan
grassroots
polarized
affordable
anchor
ashore
foam
diffidence
timidity
shyness
receipt
reception
no problem
not at all
no big deal



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1,202 - Describing Student Achievement

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 25, 2016


Do you want your children to do better in school? Learn what not to do in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 4:18
Fast dialog: 18:04

Jeannie: Everything okay?

William: No, I just got off the phone with my daughter’s school and they’re not putting her in the gifted and talented program.

Jeannie: That’s disappointing, but wasn’t she struggling in school last year?

William: Her teachers were thinking of putting her in remedial classes. Can you believe that? My daughter is getting poor grades because she’s bored in school. She tunes out. She’d be coasting in her classes if the teachers would just challenge her.

Jeannie: Are you sure that’s the problem? My son was considered low-achieving in the lower grades, but since starting high school, he’s doing a lot better.

William: I’m telling you, my daughter could be high-achieving if they’d only put her in the gifted and talented program. It’s all about teacher expectations.

Jeannie: Well, it’s not all about expectations…

William: Are you trying to tell me that my daughter is slow and I should just accept it?

Jeannie: I’m saying that kids develop at their own pace. Some are late bloomers.

William: Nobody in my family has ever been late in anything, and they’re not going to start now.

Jeannie: Putting pressure on her might make matters worse.

William: Who’s putting pressure on her? Maybe I can help her by getting her tutors in every subject and enrolling her in summer programs.

Jeannie: Maybe she just needs more time…

William: And let her waste her potential? What kind of father would I be then?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,201 - Types of Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 22, 2016


If you’re thirsty, take a sip of this episode and learn about non-alcoholic drinks.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 2:53
Fast dialog: 13:31

Asa: What can I get you to drink?

Elizabeth: I’ll have a glass of water, thanks.

Asa: Are you sure you don’t want something else? I have soft drinks, orange juice, lemonade, and fruit punch.

Elizabeth: No, thanks. I’m trying to cut back on my sugar intake.

Asa: In that case, how about an energy drink, sports drink, or bottled tea?

Elizabeth: No, really, I’m fine with water.

Asa: Ah, I bet you’d like some tea or coffee, right?

Elizabeth: No, all I want is a glass of water.

Asa: Okay, do you want tap water or bottled water, flavored water or carbonated?

Elizabeth: Do you mean to tell me you have all of those drinks in your refrigerator?

Asa: It pays to own a beverage company.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 551

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 20, 2016


Topics: Movies – Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Famous Americans – Luther George Simjian; to distract versus to detract; in a manner of speaking; thanks a bunch

Words:
UFO
alien
encounter
tune
intertwined
science fiction
conspiracy theorist
to invent
patent
flight simulator
automatic
teller
to distract
to detract
in a manner of speaking
thanks a bunch



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1,200 - Learning a Skilled Trade

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 18, 2016


Want a new job? Good with your hands? Learn about different trades in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:35
Fast dialog: 16:39

Jeannine: What are you going to do now that you’ve graduated from high school?

Orlando: I’m going to trade school. My father was a stone and brick mason and my brother is a mechanic, but I think I’m going to try something different.

Jeannine: Like what?

Orlando: Maybe I’ll study to become an electrician or plumber. Those are skills that are always in demand.

Jeannine: Don’t they have long apprenticeships?

Orlando: Yes, but it’s better than training to be a machinist or technician. It’s easier to open your own shop as an electrician or plumber.

Jeannine: With your skills, you can always get a job as a carpenter.

Orlando: I think carpentry is a dying art. Most people don’t get furniture or other things custom-made anymore.

Jeannine: You know, you could always take a completely different path, learning a completely different skilled trade.

Orlando: Like what?

Jeannine: You could become a medical or dental technician or even get a cosmetology degree.

Orlando: Are you serious?! Would you want these hands cutting your hair?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,199 - Eating on the Run

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 15, 2016


No time for a good lunch? Try eating some bad food instead! We’ll show you how on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:33
Explanations: 3:22
Fast dialog: 16:54

Sam: Wait a second. Is this all you’re having for lunch, this microwaved burrito?

Leticia: That’s all I have time for. It’s better than just eating it out of the package, right?

Sam: That does not look appetizing. I see indigestion in your future.

Leticia: It’s filling and that’s all I care about. I need to gulp down something before the meeting at 1:00.

Sam: Why don’t you brown bag it? Even if it’s something premade, you won’t have to rely on instant food.

Leticia: Who has the time to prepare a lunch? This burrito is actually more than I eat on most days. Normally, I munch on candy bars or bags of chips and forgo lunch altogether.

Sam: That’s not very healthy.

Leticia: No, but it keeps me going when I’m on the run on busy days like this. I have a stash in my desk. Do you want to take a look?

Sam: That collection makes fast food look like haute cuisine!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 550

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 13, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Casey Jones; Classic TV – Happy Days; to try out versus to examine versus to test; dude and buddy; courtesy of

Words:
railroad
flagman
(train) engineer
whistle
shift
hero
ballad
middle-class
drive-in
epitome
cool
season
to try out
to examine
to test
dude
buddy
courtesy of



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1,198 - Failed Government Projects

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 11, 2016


If you think building a new sports stadium is a great way for your city to make more money, think again. This episode explains what can go wrong.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:00
Fast dialog: 16:42

Mariana: How long do you think it will be before the stadium is finished?

Klaus: Don’t hold your breath. The plan for the stadium is fundamentally flawed, but the government rammed it down the throats of the voters.

Mariana: Do you really think the project is doomed?

Klaus: Haven’t you heard the reports of corruption and poor management? They’re cutting corners left and right. I wouldn’t be surprised if the stadium is being built with shoddy materials.

Mariana: Then the entire thing is a joke!

Klaus: Yes, and the joke is on us. Government officials are going through the motions, not caring about the results. All they care about is lining their pockets.

Mariana: I have heard about the cost overruns. Do you think the city will ever recoup the money spent on this project?

Klaus: Maybe a little, if we can sell the entire thing as scrap metal!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,197 - Reaching a Legal Settlement

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 08, 2016


Sometimes you will get more money from resolving your problems without going to court. Learn how to do it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:36
Fast dialog: 16:44

Nadia: I’m not sure about this civil lawsuit. I don’t want a long trial.

Andre: Relax. This case will never go to trial. For disputes of this kind, neither party wants to fight it out in court, so we almost always reach a settlement.

Nadia: If we do go to court, the legal fees could skyrocket. I couldn’t afford that.

Andre: If we reach a settlement, you won’t have to worry too much about that.

Nadia: All right, but what if they don’t want to admit wrongdoing?

Andre: If we reach a settlement, they don’t need to. They’ll simply pay out.

Nadia: Even if they don’t admit it, at least I’ll be able to talk freely about it.

Andre: Well, that might be a problem. Many settlements require confidentiality – from both parties.

Nadia: You mean if I settle, I can’t talk about it?

Andre: If there is a confidentiality clause, you’d be in breach of contract if you discussed the settlement.

Nadia: I didn’t know that. You mean I can’t talk about what they did to me without getting my day in court?

Andre: That’s the long and short of it.

Nadia: I guess justice is blind – but only for the rich!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 549

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 06, 2016


Topics: Musicals – Porgy and Bess; Tupperware; finish versus objective versus destination; to tumble short of (one’s) dreams, to form a habit, and to leave (something alone); to call it a day/night

Words:
opera
disabled
jazz
to be ready for
to produce
blackface
container
plastic
airtight
direct sales
incentives
finish
objective
destination
to fall short of (one’s) expectations
to tumble
to form a habit
to leave (something) alone
to call it a day/night



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1,196 - Checking Facts and Figures

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 04, 2016


Accuracy is important in any business. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:40
Explanations: 3:31
Fast dialog: 15:59

Takagi: Before we disseminate this report, I need you to fact-check it. I don’t want a repeat of what happened last year.

Ellie: What happened last year? I wasn’t working here then.

Takagi: Last year’s report had a lot of small inaccuracies and a few major errors. We ended up having to issue a second version of the report.

Ellie: Okay, but I thought it had already been signed off on by the department heads.

Takagi: It has, but those are the same department heads who skimmed the report last year and didn’t catch all those problems. I want you to go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

Ellie: What should I check?

Takagi: Everything. I want you to verify the facts and figures and to flag anything that is outright wrong or even a little suspect.

Ellie: Okay, I’ll do that, but this will take some time.

Takagi: What are you doing this weekend?

Ellie: Nothing, now.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,195 - Types of Allergies

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 01, 2016


It’s no joke: You may be allergic to cats and dogs. Find out what you may have to do about it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:09
Explanations: 3:47
Fast dialog: 17:12

Bert: Doctor, give it to me straight. Is my medical condition serious?

Doctor: I suspect that your rashes and other symptoms are the result of allergies.

Bert: Allergies?! I thought I had some kind of serious disease.

Doctor: Allergies can be serious. I’m going to give you tests to see what you’re allergic to.

Bert: You mean I might have allergies to more than one thing?

Doctor: There are many kinds of allergies. Some people have food allergies and have adverse reactions when they ingest or even come near some types of food.

Bert: That sounds terrible. I hope I don’t have food allergies. I would have to restrict my diet.

Doctor: Other people have seasonal allergies to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.

Bert: That would mean I couldn’t do some types of outdoor activities.

Doctor: Many people are allergic to pets, most commonly cat or dog dander.

Bert: Oh no, I’d have to get rid of my three cats or dog!

Doctor: You might also be allergic to dust mites, insect bites, or even mold spores in your home.

Bert: You mean I might have to move out of my house?

Doctor: If mold is detected in your home, you might need to move out temporarily while the mold is removed.

Bert: Are you sure I don’t have some kind of disease? I think I’d prefer that to allergies!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 548

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 30, 2016


Topics: American Authors – Edith Wharton; American Songs – “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”; to matriculate versus to enroll versus to register; to bid versus to tender; period versus dot

Words:
high society
debut
mirth
values
appropriate
reverend
national anthem
hymn
liberty
pilgrims
pride
to matriculate
to enroll
to register
to bid
to tender
period
dot



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1,194 - Using a Map Program

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 28, 2016


If you are feeling a little lost, perhaps you need a good map program. Learn how to use one in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:46
Fast dialog: 17:07

Caroline: I just got an email from Sandra with her new address. I wish I knew what kind of neighborhood our daughter is living in.

Bryce: Let’s find out. I’ll type in her address on this map program.

Caroline: That will just tell us where she’s living within the city, not what kind of neighborhood it is.

Bryce: Just wait. I can show you the street view of her apartment and you can see what her building looks like.

Caroline: Wow, that’s amazing, but doesn’t the building look a little run-down?

Bryce: That’s what you get with high-resolution images. You see every detail. You can navigate around and see a panoramic view of her street.

Caroline: Oh, that doesn’t look very clean or safe.

Bryce: Let me show you an aerial view. The satellite view will give you a better idea of the entire area.

Caroline: Is that an airport nearby and are those factories? What will this other view show us?

Bryce: That provides real-time traffic information and allows for route planning. It looks like she lives on a highly congested street. Hey, where are you going?

Caroline: I’m going to visit our daughter. I want to see for myself what kind of hovel she’s living in!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,193 - Reducing Food Waste

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 25, 2016


Waste not, want not! Learn how to talk about food you can eat, and food you can’t, in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:16
Fast dialog: 16:45
Jon: Wait! What are doing with that squishy tomato?

Marta: I’m tossing it. It’s no good anymore.

Jon: I’ll take it, and I’ll take that stale bread, too.

Marta: Stop! You can’t fish that out of the trash.

Jon: I’m trying to do my part to reduce food waste. Tired vegetables are still okay to eat, as are bruised fruit.

Marta: Fine, but not once they’ve been discarded. Stay out of my trash.

Jon: What you are going to do with this graying meat?

Marta: I was going to throw that out, too.

Jon: I’ll take it. I’m sure I can make something edible with it.

Marta: You can’t be serious. I’m all for doing my part, but I draw the line at eating spoiled meat.

Jon: It’s not spoiled. It’s just beyond the peak of freshness.

Marta: Well, be my guest. You can have all of this food.

Jon: And to show my thanks, I’ll invite you over to lunch tomorrow.

Marta: Thanks, but no thanks.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 547

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 23, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Thomas Paine; Classic TV – The Twilight Zone; responsibility versus accountability versus liability; to go haywire versus to go crazy; pronouncing whole, hole, role, and holy

Words:
tax collector
to publish
anonymously
to rebel
independent
pamphlet
common sense
to try
twilight zone
evil
to pre-record
responsibility
accountability
liability
to go haywire
to go crazy



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1,192 - Using a Property Management Company

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 21, 2016


If you need someone to help you run your office building, this episode will give you the English you need to know.
Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 4:02
Fast dialog: 18:28

Sonia: Hello, Fickle Property Management Company.

Frank: Hello, I own an office building on Broadway Boulevard and I’m interested in hiring a property management company.

Sonia: You’ve called the right place. We help you advertise your vacant units, show empty properties, and screen prospective tenants.

Frank: The building is partially occupied right now and I want to be sure that any new tenants are financially sound.

Sonia: That’s why we require a rental application with financial details and check their credit history. We are very thorough.

Frank: Will you also draw up the rental agreement?

Sonia: Yes, we handle all of the rental details, including the deposit and delivery of keys.

Frank: What if tenants have problems?

Sonia: We are on call 24/7 and will send out someone from our maintenance department to deal with any problems.

Frank: This sounds like what I’m looking for. What is your fee structure?

Sonia: Oh, our services are very reasonable.

Frank: When can you start?

Sonia: As soon as you sign an agreement with us.

Frank: Great. Can you email the agreement to me right now? The building has some stopped-up toilets that need attention ASAP!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,191 - Living on the Fringes of Society

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


Teenagers sometimes wear strange clothing. Find out some reasons why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:37
Explanations: 3:17
Fast dialog: 13:57

Carla: Why do those teenagers have to dress like that? Don’t they want to fit in?

Donald: Maybe they feel marginalized and they’re showing their feelings of alienation through their clothes.

Carla: That’s just a bunch of psychobabble. Nobody is treating them like second-class citizens. They’re choosing to set themselves apart, to make themselves outcasts.

Donald: Maybe they don’t feel they have the same access and privileges that other people do because of social class, religious beliefs, or other factors.

Carla: Nobody is shunning them. They choose to live on the fringe of society. They need to stop making themselves conspicuous and integrate into society.

Donald: What if they doubt they’d be accepted?

Carla: That’s ridiculous.

Donald: Would you want one of them as your neighbor?

Carla: Well, I . . . well . . .

Donald: I think I’ve proved my point.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 546

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


Topics: Paul Bunyan; American Songs – “You’re the Top”; big versus huge versus massive; at all and show off; to be beside (oneself)

Words:
legend
axe
lumberjack
canyon
hero
mainstream
chopping block
duet
bonnet
to outdo
collar
catchy
big
huge
massive
at all
show-off
to be beside (oneself)



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1,190 - Dealing With Foot Problems

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


Get on your feet, talk a walk, and listen to this episode on how to talk about feet in English.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 3:37
Fast dialog: 14:58

Walt: What are you doing?

Francesca: I’m selecting and organizing my photos for a presentation.

Walt: Oh, can I see? All of these photos are of feet!

Francesca: Well, I am a podiatrist and I’m giving a talk about foot conditions.

Walt: Ew, some of these are really disgusting!

Francesca: You’re looking at some of the most common foot conditions: blisters, corns, bunions, calluses, and athlete’s foot.

Walt: What is that?

Francesca: That’s an ingrown toenail and those are infected toenails.

Walt: I’m really glad I don’t have either one of those problems.

Francesca: You should be even happier you don’t have one of the more serious conditions such as fallen arches, a clubfoot, or arthritis in your feet.

Walt: But I do have one problem. Let me take these shoes off and show you.

Francesca: Pee-ew! I don’t even need to look at them to know you have very bad foot odor.

Walt: What should I do?

Francesca: Get some new shoes, keep them dry, and change your socks every day.

Walt: Every day? You mean I have to own more than one pair?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,189 - Sentencing a Criminal

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 11, 2016


Learn how not to spend the next 35 years in prison in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 3:27
Fast dialog: 20:14

Nancy: Hey, where have you been?

Geraldo: I’ve been in the other courtroom watching the sentencing of that murderer.

Nancy: Which murderer?

Geraldo: The one who failed to get the charges reduced through a plea agreement. During the trial, her attorneys tried to show that there were mitigating circumstances, but the judge didn’t buy it.

Nancy: Didn’t she commit two murders?

Geraldo: That’s right. The judge sentenced her to 35 years to life in prison for each crime.

Nancy: Will she serve them consecutively or concurrently?

Geraldo: She’ll be serving them consecutively, so even with time off for good behavior, she’ll be spending the next 50 years or so in prison.

Nancy: So her only hope now is an appeal, right?

Geraldo: That’s right. I’ll be following this case for a long time to come.

Nancy: And getting lots of good copy.

Geraldo: Of course. What would we crime reporters do without juicy murders?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe 545

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 09, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Mel Blanc; American Presidents – William McKinley; to fill in versus to complete; telephone phrases used to tell someone you can’t talk now; so long

Words:
role
to hire
voice-over
animated
coma
to imitate
seizure
protective tax
strategy
to explode
territory
anarchist
to fill in
to complete
to hold on
so long



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1,188 - Advertising to Children

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Mar 07, 2016


If your child wants to buy some toys he saw on TV, find out who is to blame on this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 2:40
Fast dialog: 14:53

James: Look at that! It’s commercial after commercial. It’s terrible how advertisers are going after kids.

Vicky: They’re just doing their job, marketing to a lucrative demographic.

James: But just look at what our kids are bombarded with: toy commercials and junk food ads!

Vicky: Children’s television is no different from any other type of programming. Commercials are a fact of life.

James: But don’t you think it’s wrong to manipulate young viewers with these commercials? Aren’t they more susceptible to false advertising?

Vicky: Shh! That’s our company’s product commercial. It really gets your attention, doesn’t it?

James: Yeah, it’s grand, just grand.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,187 - Visiting Churches, Mosques, and Temples

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Mar 04, 2016


Visit a holy place in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 4:06
Fast dialog: 17:35

Cassius: You’ll need to cover up if you want to go in there. This is a house of worship.

Brittany: All right, if you say so. I don’t really want to go into this mosque or temple or whatever it is.

Cassius: Keep your voice down. Can’t you see that there are people at the altar in prayer?

Brittany: I’ll just stay outside. Maybe I’ll walk over to that building over there with the dome and steeple.

Cassius: That’s not a steeple. It’s a minaret, and that’s a mosque. You’re definitely not going in there dressed like that.

Brittany: Why not? I’m curious about other religions. I just want to see what it’s like inside and take lots of pictures.

Cassius: These are holy places. You can’t just barge into a house of worship to satisfy your curiosity.

Brittany: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me wanting to observe local people worshipping their gods. I’m very interested in the local culture.

Cassius: Would you like a tourist coming into your church and taking pictures of you while you’re in prayer?

Brittany: I don’t belong to a church, but if I did, I’d welcome anyone who wanted to have a look.

Cassius: Other members of your congregation might not feel that way, but do what you like. I’ll be right here ready to dust you off when they give you the boot!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #544

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Mar 02, 2016


Topics: The Boston Tea Party; American Authors – Edna St. Vincent Millay; biological parent versus birth parent versus real parent; existing versus existent; That’s going to do it for today

Words:
harbor
colonist
to take revenge
tax
to be represented
patriot
intolerable
poem
to be published
liberal
pen name
isolated
biological parent / birth parent
real parent
existing
existent
That’s going to do it for today



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1,186 - Being in a Severe Storm

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 29, 2016


Some people actually like bad weather. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:36
Fast dialog: 16:05
Shana: Hey, did you hear that? There’s a severe storm coming. Let’s hope for the best.

Aecio: Yeah, I hope it doesn’t leave a lot of damage. We haven’t recovered from the aftermath of the last big storm.

Shana: No, when I said I was hoping for the best, I meant I’m hoping to catch it on film. The weather forecaster says that their radar has detected a big cyclone forming over this area.

Aecio: Let me get this straight. You’re hoping for a big storm?

Shana: Yeah, I’m a storm chaser. I’ve captured lots of tropical storms on film, and even a small tornado, but never a hurricane or typhoon.

Aecio: You mean you actually chase after storms?

Shana: Yeah, it’s fun. I hope one day to be there for a really big one and somehow get into the eye where it’s calm.

Aecio: You understand that with big storms come strong winds and floods, resulting in the destruction of homes and general chaos.

Shana: I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I’m just looking for a thrill.

Aecio: Right, just a little harmless fun!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,185 - Smuggling Across Borders

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 26, 2016


When you go to another country, be sure not to bring something you shouldn’t. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:40
Explanations: 3:57
Fast dialog: 17:36

Christina: What is the holdup? There are cars backed up for half a mile.

Harry: I bet the border patrol is looking for smugglers.

Christina: Do you really think so? I wonder if there could be a drug mule in one of these cars carrying illegal drugs.

Harry: It might be drugs, but it could be any kind of contraband. I’ve heard that there’s a problem with gunrunning and other kinds of arms trafficking across these borders.

Christina: Maybe they’re looking for people trying to sneak into this country without permission.

Harry: Or they could be looking for people trying to import exotic species without permission.

Christina: What kinds of exotic species?

Harry: Plants and animals that aren’t allowed to be brought into this country, at least not without quarantine.

Christina: Plants? You mean like these herb plants I bought?

Harry: I doubt if they’re prohibited. Wait, you can’t leave the car!

Christina: What if this is contraband and they catch me with it?

Harry: They’ll confiscate it and send us on our way.

Christina: Are you sure?

Harry: Sure, I’m sure. They’d be much more interested in the bats I’m smuggling in my pants anyway.

Christina: What?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #543

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


Topics: The Jason Bourne Films; American Presidents – Andrew Johnson; to shiver versus to tremble versus to quiver; at-risk student

Words:
identity
amnesia
troubled
supremacy
ultimatum
rumor
tailor
to secede
to veto
citizen
to impeach
reputation
to shiver
to tremble
to quiver
to shake
at-risk student



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1,184 - Being Boastful

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 22, 2016


This is the greatest podcast episode in the history of the world! Find out why by listening to it today.

Slow dialog: 1:44
Explanations: 3:49
Fast dialog: 17:03

My boss is a complete blowhard. He likes to boast about his accomplishments and acquisitions every chance he gets. Unfortunately, I seem to be his favorite audience.

Boss: You won’t believe what I did over the weekend. I went mountain climbing and skydiving.

What I wanted to say was, “Uh, spare me!” But what I said instead was, “Oh, really? How exciting.”It doesn’t take much encouragement to get him going.

Boss: And I found time to test-drive the new McQ sports car yesterday. I’m thinking of buying one.

Do I really look that gullible? I knew that the boss didn’t have that kind of money, but I didn’t let it show on my face and simply said, “That’s a very impressive car.”

Boss: I have my eye on a luxury vacation condo by the lake. Some lucky girl will get to stay there with me.

Now I knew he was blowing smoke, but what could I say? I just muttered, “Lucky girl,” and left it at that.

What was the point of all that, unless…

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,183 - Air and Water Pollution

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 19, 2016


If you think the air and water are dirty, find out what you can do about it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 3:39
Fast dialog: 15:55

Julia: Stop poisoning us! Stop poisoning us!

Robert: Why are you picketing in front of this factory?

Julia: This factory is polluting our air and water. They’re responsible for contaminating the environment with dangerous chemicals and waste.

Robert: But your entire family works here. Aren’t you concerned you’ll cause trouble for them and the other workers?

Julia: What’s more important is their health. The air quality in and out of this factory is at toxic levels and it’s endangering their health, not to mention what it’s doing to the ozone.

Robert: That’s terrible. Maybe I should help you picket.

Julia: Here’s a sign.

Robert: Okay, but maybe picketing is taking things a little too far.

Julia: No way! Did you know that runoff from the factory has tainted the groundwater? Did you know that workers and people in the community are breathing in dangerous particulate matter?

Robert: I didn’t know that. Do you have proof of all that?

Julia: Of course I have proof. Environmental groups have done independent tests.

Robert: Then it’s actually dangerous for me to be standing here talking to you and breathing in this toxic air.

Julia: That’s true and your willingness to help me picket is really commendable. Hey, where are you going?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #542

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 17, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Benjamin Franklin; Lowriders; mentor versus role model versus hero; take it ‘til you make it; dice roll

Words:
apprentice
printer
colony
currency
almanac
to invest
to invent
electricity
spy
to emigrate
generation
enthusiast
mentor
role model
hero
fake it ‘til you make it
dice roll



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1,182 - Finding a Parking Space

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 15, 2016


It doesn’t do any good to drive to a restaurant if there’s nowhere to park. Learn how to solve this problem in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:10
Explanations: 3:42
Fast dialog: 15:39

Alan: We have to find a parking space. Let’s drive around the block one more time. Did you say that the restaurant we’re going to has no off-street parking at all?

Sasha: None. When I called the restaurant earlier today, I was told they have ample street parking.

Alan: Obviously not on a Saturday night. Look, there’s a space!

Sasha: No, look at the curb. That’s a loading zone and the area in front of it is a red zone.

Alan: This is impossible. We’ve driven along this street four times and there are no parking spaces, not even ones with meters. I’d be willing to plug the meter all evening if we could just find a space.

Sasha: I have an idea. Pull into that red zone.

Alan: Okay, but we can’t park here. What’s that?

Sasha: This is my grandfather’s handicapped placard. I borrowed it. We can park here with this.

Alan: I don’t think so. We’re going to get a parking ticket or worse, and we really shouldn’t be using your grandfather’s placard anyway.

Sasha: Do you know how many strings I had to pull to get a reservation at the hottest restaurant in town? Come on, let’s go. Why are you checking your wallet? Dinner is my treat.

Alan: I just want to make sure I have enough cash for a taxi when your car gets towed!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,181 - Making a Comeback

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 12, 2016


Who says you only get 15 minutes of fame? Learn about becoming famous a second time in this episode.
Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:51
Fast dialog: 14:56

Eileen: What are you doing with all that band equipment?

Dex: The guys in the band are planning a reunion. It’s time for our comeback. It will be the stuff of legends!

Eileen: Aren’t you afraid of being called has-beens after all these years?

Dex: Bite your tongue. There is a groundswell of support for this reunion and we’re not going to disappoint the fans.

Eileen: Groundswell? Are you referring to that local news article about one-hit wonders asking, “Where are they now?”

Dex: There was a lot of good response to my quote about our possible reunion. After a 20-year hiatus, I think fans are ready for more music from us. It should lead to a tour.

Eileen: Resurrecting your music career might be harder than you guys think.

Dex: Stop being such a killjoy. This reunion could lead to an entire new generation of fans.

Eileen: Or you could become the laughingstock of the music world.

Dex: Okay, that’s enough. You’re officially out of the band.

Eileen: I didn’t know I was in the band.

Dex: I had considered making you a backup singer, but I can’t deal with your negativity.

Eileen: Oh, poor me. I’ll never find stardom.

Dex: You’ve had your chance!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #541

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 10, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Mae West; Harvey Washington Wiley and The Poison Squad; real versus actual versus true; lunch versus a lunch; to put (one’s) shoulder to the wheel

Words:
debut
to produce
to convict
to corrupt
morals
sex symbol
poison
squad
agriculture
additive
to regulate
lobby
real
actual
true
a lunch
to put (one’s) shoulder to the wheel



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1,180 - Price Gouging

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 08, 2016


Why are the prices so high? Learn some basic economics in this lesson.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:42
Fast dialog: 17:22

Pedro: Why are you changing the prices on all of those items in the store?

Elisa: Haven’t you heard? There’s a hurricane coming. People will be stocking up on basic necessities.

Pedro: I know that, but that still doesn’t explain why you’ve decided to jack up prices.

Elisa: There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of a spike in demand during emergency situations. We’re in business to make money.

Pedro: That’s price gouging and you know it. There are laws against that. And plus, we shouldn’t be exploiting people’s fear.

Elisa: I’m not responsible for that hurricane and I didn’t tell people to hoard. I’m not hiking prices so high that people can’t afford it. I’m just increasing them to discourage hoarding, that’s all.

Pedro: I don’t know. It still doesn’t feel right. It feels like we’re profiteering.

Elisa: No, we’re not. We’re making a sound business decision. Hey, where are you going with those?

Pedro: I’m putting some of these items in the back to reserve for people who can’t afford your new prices, the poorest and the most vulnerable in our community.

Elisa: You’re not suggesting we give those items away!

Pedro: You’ll thank me later for helping you to assuage your guilty conscience.

Elisa: Hmph!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,179 - Reading Food Labels

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Feb 05, 2016


Read the label, and set a better table. Find out how to read food labels in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:29
Explanations: 3:35
Fast dialog: 18:19

Amy: Put a big bag of those potato chips in the basket.

Giorgio: Have you read the nutritional label on these chips?

Amy: No, but look. This doesn’t have very much saturated fat, trans fat, or sodium.

Giorgio: Look at the serving size. It’s three potato chips. How often do you stop at three chips?

Amy: Okay, no potato chips. I’ll get this package of cookies. There aren’t many calories or carbohydrates in these or much cholesterol or sugar either.

Giorgio: Look again. The serving size is one cookie. There are 40 cookies in each container.

Amy: Not everything has to be healthy and good for me.

Giorgio: No, but you have to get your protein and fiber from somewhere. If you look at the percent daily value on the things you’re eating, you’re not getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs.

Amy: This isn’t all I eat. I eat other things, too.

Giorgio: Like pizza, hamburgers, and fries?

Amy: I might not have the best diet, but I’m healthy as a horse.

Giorgio: Maybe a horse ready to be put out to pasture!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #540

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Topics: American Movies – Planet of the Apes; American Presidents – Zachary Taylor; to improve versus to boost versus to enhance; to grow on (someone) and (one’s) bark is worse than (one’s) bite; Script by Dr. Lucy Tse versus Scripted by Dr. Lucy Tse

Words:
ape
alternate
to crash
to capture
inhabitant
to escape
special effects
prosthetic
to rule
to promote
border
against all odds
to improve
to boost
to enhance
to grow on (someone)
(one’s) bark is worse than (one’s) bite



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1,178 - Using Profanity

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Feb 01, 2016


Be careful what you say when you are in front of children! Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:18
Fast dialog: 14:02

Cameron: Oh, f-!

Dorothy: Watch your language. I don’t want the kids to hear foul language.

Cameron: Sorry, I stubbed my toe. What’s the big deal? Kids hear all kinds of cursing on TV and in movies.

Dorothy: Not my kids, at least not yet. I don’t want them learning to swear before they learn to walk. I don’t want them to grow up to be rude and offensive people.

Cameron: You can’t protect them from every damn thing people say.

Dorothy: Okay, that’s it. If you’re going to live here, we’ll need a swear jar.

Cameron: A what?!

Dorothy: A swear jar. For every swear word you say, you’ll need to put a dollar into the jar. We’ll save the money for the kids’ education.

Cameron: What the f-?!

Dorothy: Hey, there will be no profanity of any kind in this house. I don’t want you to be a bad influence on my children. Go ahead. Put a dollar into that jar.

Cameron: I’m not putting a dollar into that jar.

Dorothy: My house, my rules.

Cameron: Unbelievable!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,177 - Pedestrian Safety

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Nobody walks in L.A. But if you do, find out why you need to be careful by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 16:38

Rueben: I never imagined walking our daughter to school could be so dangerous.

Carla: What happened?

Rueben: We were walking on the sidewalk approaching the intersection. The crossing guard was there to stop traffic so we could cross the street. We were halfway through the designated crosswalk when a guy driving like a demon whips around the corner.

Carla: And he didn’t stop at the stop sign?

Rueben: No, he didn’t even slow down.

Carla: Didn’t he see the crossing guard or the other pedestrians?

Rueben: There are several big trees there, so it’s a blind corner with limited visibility.

Carla: Still, he should have stopped. Was anyone hurt?

Rueben: No, we were able to get out of his way, but he could have easily taken out five or six people!

Carla: That’s crazy. What we need are flashing crosswalk signs. Maybe that would get drivers’ attention.

Rueben: And maybe armor for our daughter, too?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #539

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 27, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Sally Ride; American Presidents – Millard Fillmore; rational versus rationale; killing it in the cost per wear category; to requite

Words:
physics
outer space
astronaut
to train
space shuttle
satellite
to investigate
role model
comptroller
balance
compromise
fugitive
rational
rationale
killing it
cost per wear
to requite



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1,176 - Limits to Advancement at Work

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 25, 2016


If you didn’t get a raise last year, maybe it isn’t because you’re lazy. Find out whom you may be able to blame for your troubles in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 16:41

Gloria: Did you hear that Manuel is quitting? He took a job with another company.

Sam: I’m not surprised. He came up against the glass ceiling and he decided to jump ship.

Gloria: Really? I didn’t know he was bucking for promotion.

Sam: He’s been trying to become a manager for three years, but other people have been promoted over him or they’ve hired from outside the company.

Gloria: I didn’t know that. I was aware of the wage disparities within the company and the gender pay gap within each department, but this is news to me.

Sam: Haven’t you noticed that people who take extended leave to have children or try for some type of work-life balance are passed over for plum assignments, raises, and promotions? There are definite limits to advancement.

Gloria: I thought it was just favoritism on the part of the bosses. Their friends got promoted and other people didn’t.

Sam: That’s certainly true, but that’s only part of the story.

Gloria: Why are we still working for a company with such unfair policies?

Sam: Speak for yourself. I’m giving notice today.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,174 - Describing Video Quality

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 18, 2016


Don’t ever ask me to film your wedding. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 14:01

Amelia: I wish we had hired a professional videographer to film it instead of asking your friend Lenny to do it.

Victor: This video isn’t so bad. The production quality isn’t the best, but he did a pretty good job.

Amelia: It’s not bad if you like your video out-of-focus. There are no transitions between scenes and the lighting is terrible. At best, it looks like a rough cut.

Victor: It is a little rough, I admit.

Amelia: There are problems with the audio, too. There are sections of dead air when the audio cuts out. And when there is audio, the volume isn’t uniform.

Victor: That’s true, too, I guess…

Amelia: And the handheld camera footage is so shaky that I feel ill watching it.

Victor: Lenny was just having a good time, getting into the spirit of it.

Amelia: Is that why he got close-up shots of all of the pretty women and none of the other guests?

Victor: Well, you know Lenny. He’ll do better next time.

Amelia: Next time?! How many times do you plan to get married?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,175 - Getting a Fresh Start

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 22, 2016


A whole new world awaits you when you move away from home, but are you ready for it? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:29
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 14:35

Nico: I’m moving to Atlanta. I want a fresh start.

Celia: This is a surprise. I thought you were going to stick it out here and try to put the past behind you.

Nico: There are too many reminders here. I want a clean slate. What’s done is done and I’m tired of blame and recriminations.

Celia: I’m glad to hear you’ve stopped beating yourself up over what’s happened, but are you sure moving away will help you move on?

Nico: The world is my oyster now, isn’t it? I can live anywhere I want to and do anything I want to.

Celia: I guess so, but are you sure you want to uproot and leave town?

Nico: I’m not trying to reinvent myself, but if I’m going to start over, I might as well do it in a new town.

Celia: I guess a new town is a good place to start a new life and maybe you’ll find a new love. Many people bounce back from a difficult divorce.

Nico: I’ve sworn off women. The only female I want in my life right now is my dog Fifi!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #538

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 20, 2016


Topics: Famous Americans – Daniel Boone; Famous Songs – “Somewhere over the Rainbow”; to distract, to foil, and to thwart; to reach versus to achieve; pronouncing “h”

Words:
to explore
wilderness
rural
frontier
to capture
hero
expansion
rainbow
wizard
imaginary
lullaby
to melt
to distract
to foil
to thwart
to reach
to achieve



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1,173 - Flying on a Budget Airline

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 15, 2016


Sometimes a cheap airline ticket ends up costing you more than you planned. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:31
Explanations: 4:18
Fast dialog: 18:36

Anton: It’s amazing that we were able to get these airline tickets so cheaply.

Federica: It’s great, isn’t it? We can fly to Lawrence City for a fun weekend. Let’s check in using this kiosk.

Anton: Hmm, this is asking me to pay $50 to bring a piece of luggage aboard. I didn’t know there were such strict baggage restrictions.

Federica: I didn’t realize it either.

Anton: And we have to pay another fee to reserve a seat. I didn’t know that the default was open seating.

Federica: Me, neither.

Anton: Did you know that we’re not flying directly to Lawrence City, but making two stops on the way?

Federica: Oh, no!

Anton: And there are other hidden fees for what they consider add-ons, things we would normally get for free on other airlines, like a soda, snack, blanket, and in-flight entertainment?

Federica: No, that’s news to me.

Anton: Here’s the kicker. We’re not flying into Lawrence City Airport but to a remote airport 60 miles away. We’ll pay a lot for ground transportation to our hotel. Should we get a refund and forget about the trip?

Federica: Sorry, one thing I do know is that there are no refunds or changes allowed.

Anton: I should have known flying on a budget airline would be like this. It doesn’t seem like such a good deal now, does it?

Federica: No, this airline has turned nickel-and-diming into an art form!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #537

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 13, 2016


Topics: American Authors – Walt Whitman; The Supremes; abbreviated versus concise versus succinct; to withdraw versus to retreat; to stretch

Words:
printer
to observe
poetry
taboo
edition
revision
indecent
immoral
supreme
signature
sophisticated
solo
abbreviated
concise
succinct
to withdraw
to retreat
to stretch



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1,172 - Booking Space for Business Events

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 11, 2016


Planning your next big meeting at somewhere other than your office? Listen to this episode to learn how to talk about it in English.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:28
Fast dialog: 17:43

Roberto: All right, we have to find meeting rooms and a banquet hall for the annual sales meeting and luncheon. Do you have any ideas?

Nicole: We could hold it at a hotel as we’ve done in past years or we can try the convention center.

Roberto: The company has grown so much in the past year. I don’t think the hotel has the capacity we need. The convention center sounds like a better option.

Nicole: The advantage of the hotel is that it has in-house catering and waitstaff for the luncheon.

Roberto: Yes, but we can bring in outside catering, which would give us more food options. The large convention center rooms will also allow us to configure the space the way we want it.

Nicole: But the hotel meeting rooms have built-in A/V. I’m not sure that’s available at the convention center.

Roberto: All right, I think we should visit both venues and book after we’ve met with the event managers. Agreed?

Nicole: Agreed. And we’ll need to sample the catering options, right?

Roberto: Of course. What are expense accounts for?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,171 - Cancelling a Service

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 08, 2016


All good things must come to an end, including some service contracts. Learn how to cancel one in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 4:00
Fast dialog: 17:27

Diana: You’ve reached customer service for Bully Services. How may I help you today?

Phillip: I’d like to cancel my service.

Diana: Why do you want to cancel?

Phillip: I’m switching to another company with cheaper services. I’m no longer under contract so there should be no early-termination penalties.

Diana: Let’s take a look at your account. I’m sure we can make you an offer so you won’t want to discontinue service.

Phillip: I’ve made up my mind. I just want to cancel.

Diana: As a customer service rep, it’s my job to find a way to retain you as a valued customer. Please bear with me, sir.

Phillip: Really, I’m not interested in any offers you can make. No high-pressure tactics are going to work with me, so please just cancel my service.

Diana: Please, sir, be reasonable. I’m trying to work with you so you won’t miss out on our great deals. If you sign a new two-year contract or set up auto-pay, I can offer you…

Phillip: I’m not interested. I want to cancel – now!

Diana: Just let me tell you about these three plans that are available to you at a lower price. I know that deep down you don’t really want to cancel your service.

Phillip: I do want to cancel my service and I want to do it right now!

Diana: Sir, please! You’re being a little pushy.

Phillip: I’m being a little pushy?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #536

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jan 06, 2016


Topics: Ask an American – Corporate Data Security; consulting versus consultancy; to conduct versus to operate

Words:
system administrator
social media
to craft
painfully
tool kit
attack
technique
solution
packaged
optimist
to up (one’s) game
next-generation
defense
innovation
consulting
consultancy
to conduct
to operate



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1,170 - Naming Children

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jan 04, 2016


Are you named after anyone you know? Find out about choosing baby names in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:19
Explanations: 3:57
Fast dialog: 20:42

Celeste: So, here is my shortlist.

Albert: A shortlist for what?

Celeste: Baby names.

Albert: We have months to decide. Don’t you think we should wait?

Celeste: No, I want to be prepared. Here, take a look. See what you think.

Albert: Ezekiel?! You want to name our child Ezekiel? He’ll be teased by every kid in school.

Celeste: It’s a family name. I was trying to appease my parents. They’ve been suggesting a lot of family names. We could call him by a nickname, maybe “Zeke.”

Albert: I’m not naming my child Ezekiel. His name would be Ezekiel Eckleman. That’s a mouthful. I also want to steer clear of alliterative names. I’ve never liked them.

Celeste: Okay, are there any names you like on my list?

Albert: Not Alan Phillip. That’s for sure.

Celeste: Why not? I thought we’d name the baby after my grandfather. Alan is a nice first name and Phillip is a nice middle name.

Albert: His initials would be “A.P.E.” – ape! He would never live that down.

Celeste: How about “Mikol”?

Albert: You mean an alternate spelling for “Michael”? People don’t know how to pronounce a name with an odd spelling.

Celeste: Well, are there any names you do like?

Albert: Albert Eckleman Junior has a nice ring to it.

Celeste: As you say, we have months to decide. Let’s keep an open mind.

Albert: Humph!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,169 - Being Talkative and Reserved

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jan 01, 2016


Some people talk too much, while others have the opposite problem. Learn to talk about talking in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:31
Explanations: 3:04
Fast dialog: 14:35

Marcia: Phew! I thought they’d never leave.

Artem: I enjoyed their company, didn’t you?

Marcia: Jessie is fine, a little reserved and soft-spoken, and on the shy side. Kelly, on the other hand, talked our ear off. No one could get a word in edgewise with her.

Artem: I thought Kelly’s anecdotes were funny. She was a little long-winded, I’ll admit, but I enjoyed talking to her more than trying to make conversation with Jessie. She is so close-mouthed and guarded that it was like pulling teeth.

Marcia: I’d rather talk to someone who is a little reticent than a loudmouth.

Artem: Ooh, that’s a little harsh.

Marcia: Maybe you’re right, but I don’t like the blathering, gossipy type.

Artem: I wonder…

Marcia: What?

Artem: I wonder what they’re saying about us.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #535

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 30, 2015


Topics: American Movies – American Graffiti; American Presidents – Franklin Pierce; magazine versus journal; straw man argument and cognitive dissonance; several and actually

Words:
graffiti
to graduate
drag race
to be based on
tagline
profitable
soundtrack
to resign
to nominate
deadlock
to fail
magazine
journal
straw man
cognitive dissonance
several
actually



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1,168 - Reading Contracts Carefully

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 28, 2015


Have you ever clicked “I agree” on a website without having read what you are agreeing to? Find out why that’s a bad idea in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:41
Explanations: 4:00
Fast dialog: 19:25

Barbara: Just sign on the dotted line and be done with it.

Sean: Didn’t your parents ever teach you to read every document carefully before you sign it?

Barbara: Not when the contract is boilerplate. All of the terms are standard.

Sean: No, they’re not. Did you notice in the fine print that if the agreement is cancelled, we’re on the hook for additional charges?

Barbara: Really? No, I guess I missed that.

Sean: If you had gone through this document with a fine-tooth comb as I have, you would have noticed that there are loopholes for the other side to end the contract at any time.

Barbara: I guess I overlooked those.

Sean: And there are contingencies for problems on their end, but not on ours.

Barbara: Wow, I didn’t realize they were trying to screw us. Maybe we shouldn’t do business with them.

Sean: Relax. This is par for the course with this kind of contract. They try to sneak in all kinds of things and it’s our job to find them. We just have to be vigilant, that’s all.

Barbara: Do you think this is going to take much longer? They’re waiting in the other room to finalize the agreement.

Sean: It’ll take as long as it takes. What do you think that cot is for?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,167 - Birth Order and Sibling Rivalries

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 25, 2015


I think having lots of brothers and sisters is wonderful, especially during the holiday season. But not everyone agrees, as you’ll learn in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:29
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 18:09

Nancy: Isn’t this a great time of year? Families get together over the holidays.

Yasmani: Maybe it’s nice for some families, but I dread my family get-togethers.

Nancy: How come?

Yasmani: I have a big family and there has always been a lot of sibling rivalry.

Nancy: I’m sure that was true when you were growing up, but you’ve all grown out of it, haven’t you?

Yasmani: Not us. The firstborn still thinks he’s in charge, the middle children still act up to get attention, and the baby of the family is still rebellious.

Nancy: That’s true in a lot of families.

Yasmani: Yes, but when we get together, we compete to show up the others. We brag, argue, and nitpick. It’s rather pathetic, actually.

Nancy: How do your parents handle all that?

Yasmani: They’ve always left us to our own devices. We just fight it out amongst ourselves.

Nancy: So, there’s no loving bond between the siblings.

Yasmani: Oh, we love each other, but we compete with other, too. It’s complicated.

Nancy: Then I should be glad to be an only child?

Yasmani: That’s right. Count your blessings!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #534

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 23, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – James Whistler; American Songs – “Moon River”; bunglingly versus blunderingly; comparable versus compatible; uppercase, lowercase, and capital letter

Words:
strict
bohemian lifestyle
etching
symphony
to stand out
to declare bankruptcy
productive
to reflect
in style
heartbreaker
drifter
rainbow
bunglingly
blunderingly
comparable
compatible
uppercase
lowercase
capital letter



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1,166 - Discussing Philosophy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 21, 2015


To be or not to be? That is the question we attempt to answer on this episode on philosophy.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:33
Fast dialog: 16:43

Rene: Why are you sitting here just staring into space?

Francis: I’m pondering life.

Rene: That sounds profound.

Francis: I’m examining my life from a metaphysical standpoint. I’m not sure I really exist. Maybe my entire life is an illusion and there’s no such thing as reality.

Rene: Okay. Are you sure you’re feeling all right?

Francis: I’m better now that I’ve made some decisions about my epistemological outlook on life. I’m allowing reason and logic to guide me.

Rene: That’s great, but you still seem a little distracted.

Francis: That’s because I’m wrestling with some major questions about ethics and morality. It’s not easy always trying to do the right thing.

Rene: I can understand that, but could you get me…?

Francis: But then I think that perhaps the only thing that matters in life are esthetics, and I should devote my life to creating beauty.

Rene: That’s a nice idea, but have you given any thought to how you’d pay the rent? You could start by getting me a cup of coffee.

Francis: Ah, I see you’re a realist. Do you want your usual or do you want to hear the specials?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,165 - Eating Spicy Foods

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 18, 2015


Want to go to eat and feel hot, hot, hot? You can spice up your life by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:14
Fast dialog: 15:45

Akim: Oh, this is so good! Why are your eyes watering?

Wendy: It’s so spicy! When you invited me over for curry, I didn’t know it’d be so hot.

Akim: This is mild or maybe medium. I make another version of this that’s much hotter. In fact, I like mine with some extra peppers and some hot sauce. Do you want any?

Wendy: Are you kidding me?! The roof of my mouth is on fire.

Akim: You must have very sensitive taste buds. This has a little kick to it and it’s pungent and zesty, but it’s not too spicy.

Wendy: You must have no taste buds at all if you think this is mild. My mouth needs to cool down from all that heat. I need more water – now!

Akim: All right, but you don’t want to fill up on water. I’ve made a special dessert.

Wendy: Is that supposed to be mild, too?

Akim: No, that really is spicy!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #533

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 16, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – John Tyler; The Hindenburg Disaster; result versus consequence versus outcome; ready versus willing; to keep (someone) in the loop

Words:
delegate
to follow in (someone’s) footsteps
legislature
to run for office
to resign
succession
to veto
airship
to transport
explosion
electricity
to leak
result
consequence
outcome
willing
ready
to keep (someone) in the loop



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1,164 - Making Office Renovations

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 14, 2015


Sometimes trying to make things better only makes them worse. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 3:15
Fast dialog: 16:32

Alice: I can’t hear you over that hammering. When are these renovations going to be done?

Dilbert: They’re already two weeks past the scheduled completion date and I can only guess at the cost overruns.

Alice: It feels like they’re never going to finish.

Dilbert: I know. When the renovations were announced, I was glad to hear that the office would be reconfigured for better use.

Alice: Me, too.

Dilbert: The upgrades sounded good – new lighting fixtures, flooring, and sound-deadening walls and ceilings.

Alice: I was looking forward to an updated look with new built-ins. This old furniture shows lots of wear and tear.

Dilbert: Yeah, now all I want is to be rid of all this dust. Who can work with this racket?

Alice: Heh? What did you say? Did you say you can’t hack it? Me, neither!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,163 - Types of Religious Leaders

Author: Center for Educational DeveloAuthor: pment
Fri, Dec 11, 2015


Get your thinking caps on for this episode, in which we teach you how to address different kinds of religious leaders.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 3:37
Fast dialog: 17:41

Mary: I feel like an idiot!

Alexei: Why? What happened?

Mary: I just called the bishop over there “pope.”

Alexei: That’s not so bad. You gave him a promotion. At least you didn’t call him “rabbi.”

Mary: Don’t laugh! When I agreed to work at this interfaith conference, I didn’t know I’d need a crash course in identifying religious leaders from their dress.

Alexei: It can’t be that hard. That man over there is clearly a cardinal and the woman next to him is probably a minister by the look of her clerical collar.

Mary: What about the man in robes over there?

Alexei: He’s probably a lama or a guru. He’s definitely not an imam, but I’m not entirely sure how I would address him.

Mary: See what I mean? I keep saying the wrong thing.

Alexei: These religious leaders don’t expect laypeople like you and me to know as much as they do about religious dress.

Mary: That’s what you think! I called that man over there “preacher” and he gave me a dirty look.

Alexei: No wonder. He’s the caterer.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #532

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 09, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – Mary Baker Eddy; The Kennedy Space Center; what for? versus for what?; possibility versus opportunity; iron and iron law

Words:
to found
religion
injury
to cure
to criticize
to promote
aeronautics
space
shuttle
mission
to explore
what for?
for what?
possibility
opportunity
iron
iron law



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1,162 - Staying in an Inexpensive Hotel

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Dec 07, 2015


You can stay at a cheap hotel. You can stay at a nice hotel. But can you really find a hotel that’s nice and cheap? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:16
Fast dialog: 16:50

Suzanna: Remind me why we’re staying in this fleabag motel in the seedy part of town?

Kenji: We agreed that we would skimp on the accommodations so we could spend more money on activities and eating out. Remember?

Suzanna: I remember, but I didn’t bargain for someplace as run-down as this. Look at the peeling wallpaper and moldy bathroom.

Kenji: It’s pretty bad, isn’t it? Look on the bright side. At least it’s not rat-infested.

Suzanna: That’s small comfort. Well, I think I’ll take a short nap before we go out for dinner. Uh!

Kenji: What’s the matter?

Suzanna: This comforter is filthy. I doubt housekeeping has changed it in months!

Kenji: Let’s get out of here and go get a drink. That should cheer us up.

Suzanna: Good idea. If I have more than one, maybe I won’t care so much where we’re staying.

Kenji: Given the state of this room, we might need an entire pitcher!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,161 - Traveling by Light Rail

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Dec 04, 2015


We take you for a ride in this episode about light rail transit.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 14:59

Jean: Look out!

Gordon: Don’t worry. That’s just a light rail train. The new light rail system shares the road with street traffic.

Jean: Phew! For a second there I thought we were going to collide with it.

Gordon: Didn’t you see the operator seated at the front of the train? She watches out for other drivers.

Jean: I didn’t know they have operators. I thought they were automatic.

Gordon: No, they’re not like some forms of rapid transit.

Jean: I see now that they ride on tracks and are powered by overhead electric lines.

Gordon: That’s right.

Jean: I’d like to give light rail a try.

Gordon: Really? Well, there’s no time like the present. I’ll take you to the nearest stop. There’s the platform over there.

Jean: But I thought you agreed to give me a ride into the city.

Gordon: And deprive you of a new travel experience? Never!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #531

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Dec 02, 2015


Topics: American Movies – Laurel and Hardy Films; The New York Public Library; to proofread versus to copyedit; no longer versus anymore; wild card

Words:
comedy
to star
to direct
sound effects
to make a mess
to sympathize
public
research
institution
manuscript
resident
to proofread
to copyedit
no longer
anymore
wild card



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1,160 - Being Reprimanded at work

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 30, 2015


Behave yourself at work or you may find yourself looking for a new job. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 0:47
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 17:33

Tania: What time is your meeting with Ted?

James: It’s at 3:00. Why?

Tania: You don’t seem worried. If I were being accused of misconduct and up for disciplinary action, I’d be on edge.

James: It was a minor offense. I’m sure I’ll just get a slap on the wrist.

Tania: I heard about it and it didn’t sound that minor.

James: People blow things out of proportion. It’s not like I’ll be up for dismissal or anything.

Tania: I hope not, but you might get a written reprimand placed in your personnel file. That could affect your chances for a raise or promotion.

James: I don’t have much of a chance of getting either one, quite frankly, so why sweat it? I’ll deal with whatever punishment I get.

Tania: I’m glad that’s your attitude.

James: What I say is: Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,159 - Describing the Fit of Clothing

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 27, 2015


Does this dialogue make me look fat? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:45
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 18:42

Vera: How do these pants look on me?

Wang: Uh, aren’t they a little too tight? They look like they’re cutting off circulation in your legs.

Vera: They’re a little snug, but they show off my curves, don’t they?

Wang: I suggest going up a size. Something a little less form fitting would be a lot more comfortable.

Vera: I’m not going for comfort. I’m going for style.

Wang: Here, try these pants. They’re looser and offer more room.

Vera: These don’t show my shape at all. They’re not in the least flattering.

Wang: But you can move in them without busting a seam.

Vera: You’re missing the point. I want to look good in these pants no matter what.

Wang: Spoken like a true slave to fashion!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #530

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 25, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – James Buchanan; The Board Game “Monopoly”; here/there you go; expendable versus expandable; the devil’s/Devil’s own

Words:
legislature
to disband
tension
complication
monopoly
property
rent
to be bankrupt
patent
royalty
invention
landlord
expendable
expandable
the devil’s/Devil’s own



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1,158 - Cold Weather Complaints

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 23, 2015


For people who hate cold weather, this episode is for you.

Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 3:17
Fast dialog: 18:35

Boris: Come on, keep climbing! This is the best exercise you’ll get all winter.

Kay: My face hurts and I can’t stop shivering.

Boris: If we pick up the pace, you’ll warm up.

Kay: I doubt it. I can feel my core body temperature dipping. I feel hypothermia coming on.

Boris: Don’t be silly. You’re dressed in layers, with fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin and insulates your body from the cold. The worst you’re going to get are dry skin and cracked lips.

Kay: Then why do I feel pins and needles in my hands and numbness in my feet?

Boris: Maybe you’re just getting used to the cold. You’ll feel warmer in a minute.

Kay: But what if they’re signs of frostbite? I think I’ll turn back before I freeze.

Boris: And miss out on these awe-inspiring winter views?

Kay: I prefer the awe-inspiring views of a blazing fire!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,157 - Describing Nudity

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Nov 20, 2015


Put your clothes on before listening to this episode about how to describe people without their clothes on.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:35
Fast dialog: 17:57

Venus: Kids, cover your eyes! Don’t look at that. I didn’t know there would be nudity here. Why did you bring us here?

Milo: I brought you here to see this celebration of the beauty of the human form.

Venus: This is obscene! Look at the bare breasts on that one and the one over there is topless. That man’s private parts are on display for everyone to see. Most of these are butt naked!

Milo: Can’t you see past the nudity to appreciate the artists’ creations?

Venus: I’m not one of those people who go to nude beaches and run around in their birthday suit completely uninhibited. This is shameful!

Milo: This isn’t a nude beach. It’s a museum. Your kids are here to appreciate some of the finest art in history.

Venus: I don’t call this art. I call it pornography. I’m taking my kids out of here. Oh my God, there are full frontals wherever you look! Kids, keep your eyes covered. We’re leaving.

Milo: All right, but I was just trying to open your kids’ eyes to art.

Venus: You’ve opened their eyes all right, and I’m slamming them shut!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #529

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Nov 18, 2015


Topics: Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys Book Series; Famous Americans – Martha Graham; enterprise versus entrepreneurship versus start- up

Words:
series
fictional
detective
mystery
pseudonym
role model
classical
to choreograph
technique
exaggerated
jerky
foundation
enterprise
entrepreneurship
start-up
to prohibit
to inhibit
I can’t even



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1,156 - Unsafe Factory Conditions

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Nov 16, 2015


Safety is important at work, and not just because a government inspector might visit your job site. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:42
Explanations: 3:38
Fast dialog: 18:38

Kathy Lee: You won’t find any problems in your inspection of our factory.

Rashed: I’m glad to hear that. Where do these stairs lead?

Kathy Lee: It’s just a level for storage. You don’t need to see that.

Rashed: I need to inspect every part of this factory. Please step aside.

Kathy Lee: If you insist.

Rashed: You have people working on this floor and it’s not structurally sound, and certainly not intended for heavy manufacturing. This attic was never meant for industrial use.

Kathy Lee: It’s only temporary…

Rashed: There are no fire escapes, fire extinguishers, or emergency exits.

Kathy Lee: Well, I…

Rashed: None of the workers are wearing protective clothing and I see signs of child labor.

Kathy Lee: No, no, no, I wouldn’t hire anyone underage.

Rashed: I am ordering an immediate shutdown of this factory due to flagrant violations of building code and labor laws.

Kathy Lee: But you can’t do that! We have orders to fill.

Rashed: Not when this building is in danger of imminent collapse.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #528

Author: Center for Educational Development
Thu, Nov 12, 2015


Topics: Movies – The Usual Suspects; Tribal Colleges and Universities; effectiveness versus efficacy; to consider and to differentiate; common responses to “Thank you”

Words:
usual
suspect
version
limp
to round up
innocent
notorious
tribal
to force
reservation
quality of life
social services
effectiveness
efficacy
to consider
to differentiate



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1,155 - Getting an Online Degree

Author: Center for Educational Development
Sat, Nov 14, 2015


It’s no longer necessary to go to a university campus to get a college degree. Find out if that option is right for you in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 4:06
Fast dialog: 18:52

Carlos: So where are you planning on attending college?

Torrie: I’ve picked Harford University.

Carlos: The only Harford University I’ve heard of is a degree mill.

Torrie: I’m sure it’s not the same one. The Harford University I’m attending is accredited, at least I’m pretty sure it is. The best part of going to Harford is I’ll never have to attend classes on campus. I can do all of my coursework online.

Carlos: You want to attend an online university? There are some legitimate ones that offer good distance education, but many have low admissions standards and don’t provide a very good education.

Torrie: Not Harford. It’s a good degree-granting institution and they even give you credit for relevant life experience. I won’t need to take very many courses to graduate.

Carlos: That sounds pretty fishy to me.

Torrie: Don’t worry. My transcript and degree will be indistinguishable from those from a traditional university, without nearly as much work.

Carlos: That should tell you something. How is their job placement rate?

Torrie: I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be as competitive as any other college graduate.

Carlos: If you say so. What are you doing right now?

Torrie: I’m playing a video game stealing cars. At Harford, that’s considered relevant life experience. Cool, huh?

Carlos: Yeah, cool.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,154 - Visiting Historic Sites

Author: Center for Educational Development
Tue, Nov 10, 2015


I’m never too tired to visit one more historical site, even if it’s not historic. Find out what I mean in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 4:13
Fast dialog: 17:44

Mary: I think we should call it a day.

Will: I think we still have time to visit one more historic site and this one is amazing. They’ve done a great job with preservation and restoration.

Mary: It’s not another old castle, is it?

Will: It’s not any old castle. This one dates back to the 1300s. If we’re lucky, we’ll be in time for the last guided tour with a docent who’s knowledgeable. And I hope we have time to visit the archives, too.

Mary: Oh no, not the archives.

Will: I wonder if they’re doing reenactments to commemorate any major historical events during our time here?

Mary: If we visit this castle today, we’re not coming back. There is a lot to see in this city other than old castles and monuments.

Will: Like what?

Mary: Like art museums and stores. It would also be nice to relax a little while on vacation.

Will: But what’s art and shopping when you’re in one of the most ancient cities in the world? And there’s no time to relax. We only have four days here. We have to make the most of it. Hey, where are you going?

Mary: I think it’s time to split up. You go see your castle and I’ll explore on my own.

Will: But you won’t get the full benefits of being in one of the most ancient cities in the world.

Mary: I think I’ll survive.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,153 - Getting Advice from Mothers-in-Law

Author: Center for Educational Development
Sat, Nov 07, 2015


According to your mother-in-law, your life would be so much better if you’d just listen to your mother-in-law. Find out why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:39
Explanations: 4:07
Fast dialog: 20:05

Marc: Who was that?

Carla: It was your mother – again. She wanted to give me another piece of unsolicited advice about housekeeping. She’s called five times this week already.

Marc: She’s just trying to be helpful.

Carla: I wish she’d do it without being so critical. I feel like she enjoys finding fault with everything I do.

Marc: She’s a little overeager to help, that’s all. Don’t think of it as her interfering. Think of it as her giving you support. She isn’t like your mother.

Carla: What do you mean?

Marc: What do I mean?! She’s constantly giving me advice on how to be a better husband.

Carla: Well, we just got married and she wants our marriage to be the best it can be.

Marc: I know, but your mother has a really sharp tongue and she doesn’t hold back. She butts in whenever I’m trying to do something to tell me how to do it better.

Carla: Just like your mother, she’s only trying to help.

Marc: With her constant sarcastic comments?

Carla: That’s just her sense of humor. She doesn’t mean anything by it. She likes you.

Marc: She has a strange way of showing it.

Carla: All of this talk about mothers-in-law is getting our blood up. At this rate, we won’t be able to follow the best piece of marriage advice we’ve received so far.

Marc: Which was?

Carla: Don’t go to bed angry.

Marc: Who’s angry?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #527

Author: Center for Educational Development
Thu, Nov 05, 2015


Topics: Soccer in the United States; Famous Americans – Robert Frost; to suck versus to lick; to leave (someone) to his/her own devices; to cross someone and talking-to

Words:
standard
association
to govern
tournament
confusion
to bid
elegy
to publish
collection
New England
rural
blood clot
to suck
to lick
to leave (someone) to his/her own devices
to cross (someone)
talking-to



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1,152 - Collecting Debt

Author: Center for Educational Development
Tue, Nov 03, 2015


If someone owes you money, how do you get them to pay you back? Find out what happens if they don’t pay you in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:11
Fast dialog: 15:34

Ken: Look at this list of customers who still owe us money. How is this business supposed to survive if we keep extending credit?

Marjorie: We started doing it because some of our best customers didn’t have ready cash. They’re good for it.

Ken: I know they’ll eventually pay their outstanding debt, but what are we supposed to do in the meantime? We need that cash to buy stock.

Marjorie: We can call in the debt and set a deadline for repayment. We can give those who are really hard up an extension on a case-by-case basis.

Ken: What if they still don’t pay? We’d have to turn it over to a collection agency. We’d only get 40 cents on the dollar, but we’ll have to close our doors if we don’t collect.

Marjorie: Using a collection agency would be a last resort. I’ll call each of our major debtors and have a talk with them. I’m sure they’ll come through.

Ken: I hope you’re right or we will be the ones asking for credit!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,151 - Working as a Street Performer

Author: Center for Educational Development
Sat, Oct 31, 2015


Come to Hollywood and be a star performing on one of our lovely streets! Find out how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:38
Explanations: 3:30
Fast dialog: 16:33

Giancarlo: Whoa, where are you going? I thought we were going to hang out.

Alana: I’m going to work.

Giancarlo: Work? I didn’t know you got a job.

Alana: I’m busking on Main Street.

Giancarlo: You mean you’re panhandling? That’s not working.

Alana: I’m not panhandling. I’m working for tips. I perform, try to draw a crowd, and then pass the hat.

Giancarlo: Can you really make money that way?

Alana: You’d be surprised. I got the idea from Danielle and her friends. A group of them do street theater and comedy routines. A friend of theirs juggles and does acrobatics. Another guy does magic tricks.

Giancarlo: And they do all this on the street? Don’t they get hassled by the cops?

Alana: The cops occasionally tell them to move along or tell the crowd to disperse, but if they’re respectful and nobody complains, they get left alone. Hey wait, where are you going?

Giancarlo: I’m going with you. I want to give this street performing a try.

Alana: What can you do?

Giancarlo: I’m a man of many talents.

Alana: Are you?

Giancarlo: Don’t look so surprised!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #526

Author: Center for Educational Development
Thu, Oct 29, 2015


Topics: Ask an American – Journalism and Technology; liberal arts; second to (the) last; I am hearing you

Words:
journalist
to vet
fluid
multimedia
marketing
distribution
arm
panorama
tornado
to rip (something) out
to stitch
to raise new question
to manipulate
reality
liberal arts
second to (the) last
I am hearing you



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1,150 - Avoiding Topics in Conversation

Author: Center for Educational Development
Tue, Oct 27, 2015


Let’s not talk about the topic of today’s episode right now. So, how’s your day going?

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 4:00
Fast dialog: 18:29

Lila: Why aren’t you dating? I have so many friends who would love to go out with you.

George: Let’s change the subject. Talking about my love life isn’t very interesting.

Lila: But really, you’re not getting any younger and…

George: Moving on! Have you seen any good movies lately?

Lila: Listen, all of your friends are settling down and you don’t want to go through life alone and lonely…

George: That reminds me, didn’t you say that you were going to get another dog so that Rover isn’t lonely when you’re not home?

Lila: Forget about my dog. You remember Rachel, don’t you? She just broke up with her boyfriend and she’d be perfect for you.

George: Speaking of Rachel, how is her mother? Wasn’t she in the hospital?

Lila: If Rachel isn’t your type, how about Amina? She has great legs and I know you’re a leg man.

George: And now for something completely different…How is your diet coming along? Have you lost any weight yet?

Lila: I don’t really want to talk about my weight.

George: But I think you’re having trouble shedding those pounds, right? I have lots of suggestions on what you can do.

Lila: Anyway, as I said before, I don’t really want to talk about my diet…

George: You need to cut out sweets if you want to lose weight. Are you eating too many sweets?

Lila: That’s none of your business!

George: My sentiments exactly!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,149 - Delaying Making a Decision

Author: Center for Educational Development
Sat, Oct 24, 2015


I can’t decide how to describe this episode. I know, I know, you’re waiting for me, but I promise I’ll tell you . . . later.

Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 3:19
Fast dialog: 14:44

Thomas: You’ve hemmed and hawed for weeks. It’s time to make a decision.

Eugenia: I know, but I need to sleep on it. This is a very big decision.

Thomas: You’ve dragged your feet for far too long. Are you having second thoughts?

Eugenia: No, no second thoughts. I just want to be absolutely sure I’m making the right choice. I’m on the fence between two options. We’ll have to live with this decision for years.

Thomas: I thought you’d already made a tentative decision days ago.

Eugenia: No, no, no. In my mind, the jury is still out.

Thomas: You can’t leave everyone hanging.

Eugenia: I know that, but how can I choose if I’m not 100% positive about either option.

Thomas: I understand that, but it’s now down to the wire. You’ve got to bite the bullet and decide.

Eugenia: I know. If only I had a few more days to think about it…

Thomas: Too late. They’re here.

Eugenia: The painters are here?

Thomas: Yes. So will this be a blue or green house?

Eugenia: How about stripes?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #525

Author: Center for Educational Development
Thu, Oct 22, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – W.C. Fields; The Video Game Pong; trim, quarter- round, and carpenter; to condemn and conscious; transliteration

Words:
stage name
solo
to boast
signature
demanding
humor
contract
to mutter
hand controller
patent
to be based on
trim
carpenter
to condemn
conscious
transliteration



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1,148 - Distinctive Facial Features

Author: Center for Educational Development
Tue, Oct 20, 2015


They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if a person really is sort of ugly? Learn how to talk about it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:06
Explanations: 3:08
Fast dialog: 17:46

Mona: How is the portrait coming along?

Leonardo: I’m done with the sketches and I’m ready to start on the painting.

Mona: This commission is quite a godsend for a new artist. If you do a good job with this portrait, you may get other commissions.

Leonardo: It’s all the same to me. I paint them as I see them.

Mona: Well, I hope not exactly as you see them. A portrait has to be flattering, doesn’t it?

Leonardo: You mean I should downplay bulging eyes, hooked noses, and double chins? No way. That’s what makes each face distinctive.

Mona: Maybe that isn’t the best way to think about it. Everybody has an image of themselves in their mind’s eye. You would just be capturing that image.

Leonardo: I’m an artist, not a psychologist. If they have squinty eyes, ears that stick out, a weak chin, or thin lips, that’s what I’m going to paint.

Mona: But this sketch shows a really prominent forehead and a receding hairline. Maybe you could just…

Leonardo: No! I have to be true to my art. I’m not compromising.

Mona: [sigh] I was just hoping you could finally make enough money to move off of my couch!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,147 - Types of Students in School

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 16, 2015


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I’m talking about high school, of course. Learn how to describe your fellow students in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:26
Fast dialog: 18:31

Cheech: Is this your old yearbook?

Boo: Yeah, I found it while cleaning out my closet.

Cheech: Look at your picture! You look like you were an honor roll student.

Boo: Don’t be fooled. I was just an average student, not the valedictorian, but not a dropout either.

Cheech: Who is that? She’s very pretty.

Boo: That’s my friend Marlene. In high school, she was good at everything. She had a high GPA and took every availableAP class.

Cheech: So she was a nerd.

Boo: No, not at all. She was also a jock, a member of lots of student clubs, and was student body president.

Cheech: Wow, she must have been popular.

Boo: She was, but she wasn’t stuck-up. She got along with everybody, not just the football players and cheerleaders. She was friends with geeks and goths, too. Everybody liked her.

Cheech: Where is she now? Do you still keep in touch?

Boo: Yes, of course. She’s doing very well and is very successful.

Cheech: And single?

Boo: Yeah, but you’re not her type.

Cheech: And what type is that?

Boo: You? Definitely a druggie.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #524

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 14, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – Chester A. Arthur; intimate versus personal versus private; particular versus specific versus in particular; I beg your pardon

Words:
legal right
to discriminate against
to sue
reputation
to retire
spoils
to import
civil service
merit
to betray
to exclude
miner
intimate
personal
private
particular
specific
in particular
I beg your pardon



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1,146 - Negotiating With a Street Vendor

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 12, 2015


Learn how to get a great bargain in English in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:37
Explanations: 3:51
Fast dialog: 16:16

Sean: Just look at the quality of that. You won’t find a finer one anywhere.

Patrice: It’s nice, but it’s more than I want to spend.

Sean: Okay, just for you, I’ll knock off 10%. What do you say?

Patrice: I think it’s still too pricey. I think I’ll pass.

Sean: Wait! Don’t be so hasty. What you have there is a one-of-a-kind item. You don’t want to pass up something this special.

Patrice: I’ll think about it…

Sean: How about if I throw in a second one for the same price, a two-for-one offer?

Patrice: I thought you said this was one-of-a-kind.

Sean: Did I? I meant to say that there aren’t many out there like it. I just happen to have two. How about it?

Patrice: I think I’ll shop around first.

Sean: This offer is only good right now, so don’t walk away.

Patrice: Like I said, I’ll think about it…

Sean: All right. Name your price. Make me a reasonable offer and I’ll let you have it.

Patrice: How about 30% off?

Sean: That’s highway robbery! I’m just a street vendor trying to make a living here.

Patrice: Take it or leave it.

Sean: All right, you have a deal. You drive a hard bargain. You wouldn’t be looking for a job, would you?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,145 - Using Herbs and Spices in Cooking

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 09, 2015


Spice up your food and your English by learning how to talk about seasonings in cooking in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:17
Explanations: 2:48
Fast dialog: 15:55

Gisela: That smells wonderful!

Danny: This is my family’s recipe. The secret is in the combination of seasonings we use.

Gisela: I can see that. You must have 30 different dried and fresh herbs and spices on this counter.

Danny: To get a bold flavor, we use a lot of aromatic seeds, barks, and roots.

Gisela: How much do you put in of each one?

Danny: Precise measurements aren’t really necessary. I put in a pinch of this and a dash of that. I add them to taste.

Gisela: So getting the recipe wouldn’t do me any good, huh?

Danny: I’m afraid not. I learned how to make this in my mother’s kitchen.

Gisela: Would you teach me if I volunteered to be your apprentice, doing all of your prep work?

Danny: That depends.

Gisela: On what?

Danny: On how quick you are with this potato peeler.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #523

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Oct 07, 2015


Topics: American Movies – Frankenstein; Famous Americans – James Brown; to boost versus to foster versus to encourage; funky; right as rain

Words:
horrifying
to be obsessed
experiment
laboratory
to be capable of
nightmare
shocking
entertainer
insufficient
label
show business
flashy
activist
to boost
to foster
to encourage
funky
right as rain



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1,144 - Being Assertive and Meek

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Oct 05, 2015


Learn how to get what you want, when you want it, in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:49
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 16:55

Victor: We need to take the bull by the horns. In the meeting today, we’re going to give it to them straight, no more hemming and hawing.

Maura: You’re right. We need to tell them what we really think and be done with it.

Victor: Definitely. We’ve been conciliatory long enough. Today, we need to be insistent without being too pushy.

Maura: Being unassuming and deferential has its place, but not if we seem meek. We need to be assertive without being too in-your-face.

Victor: You’re absolutely right. One of us has to speak up.

Maura: Yes, one of us has to be bold. They’ll have to take us seriously this time.

Victor: Okay, ready?

Maura: Sure, I have your back.

Victor: Huh? I thought you were going to do the talking.

Maura: Uh, I thought you were.

Victor: Maybe we should wait for the next meeting to take them on.

Maura: I totally agree. It’ll give us a little time to work up to it.

Victor: Exactly!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,143 - Repairing an Appliance

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Oct 02, 2015


Fix it or replace it? Learn how to talk about getting your appliances fixed in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:32
Explanations: 3:33
Fast dialog: 16:33

Virginia: Hand me that screwdriver, will you?

Alonso: Don’t tell me you’re trying to fix that dryer yourself. We need to call in an authorized repairman or repairwoman.

Virginia: Do you have any idea what they’ll charge?

Alonso: All right, then I’ll call a handyman and see if he knows anything about fixing dryers.

Virginia: If he doesn’t, he might make matters worse. I think it’s just a matter of clearing a clog or replacing a worn component.

Alonso: Yes, but which one? We should just upgrade to a newer model.

Virginia: This dryer does not need to be replaced. It’s not that old.

Alonso: But it’s been on the fritz on and off for a year.

Virginia: I don’t want to throw out a perfectly good appliance just because of a minor problem.

Alonso: Well, this “minor problem” is the reason I had to walk to work in damp clothes this morning.

Virginia: That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Alonso: In the middle of winter?! You try walking with icicles in the most uncomfortable places!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #522

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 30, 2015


Topics: American Playwrights – Eugene O’Neill; The Passenger Pigeon; spare versus slender; Was I wrong!

Words:
boarding school
to be reborn
to feature
sailor
intermission
critic
to translate
passenger
to migrate
crop
to hunt
to be extinct
spare
slender
Was I wrong!



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1,142 - A Boating Accident

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 28, 2015


Going out on a boat doesn’t have to be dangerous. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:49
Explanations: 3:52
Fast dialog: 17:51

Liset: I should never have gotten on this boat. We’re going to sink. I know it!

Mark: Calm down. The water is a little rough today, but there’s nothing to worry about. You have your life jacket on, right?

Liset: Oh my God, water is splashing into the boat. We need to start bailing right now!

Mark: Don’t be ridiculous. That’s just a little sea spray. Sit down and relax.

Liset: Look out! There’s another boat over there!

Mark: It’s just passing by. We might feel its wake, but we’re not going to capsize. I promise you that.

Liset: How long do you think we can survive adrift on the water?

Mark: We are not going to sink. I’m telling you.

Liset: I wonder how long we’ll be marooned on an island. I hope to see my family again someday.

Mark: All right, we’re return to the shore. It’s clear that you’re not enjoying this.

Liset: I didn’t know we’d be sailing in the middle of a squall.

Mark: There’s a gentle breeze today, that’s all. I’m sorry I didn’t wait for a completely calm day to take you out on your first boat ride.

Liset: My first and last!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,141 - Proofreading a Document

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 25, 2015


Make sure you chck for misteaks before your ready to publich something. Learn howe in this epasode.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 2:52
Fast dialog: 13:52

Russell: Hey, LeeAnn, you were an English major, right?

LeeAnn: Yes.

Russell: Could you proofread this for me?

LeeAnn: I don’t know. Do you want me to proof it for content or for structure?

Russell: For everything.

LeeAnn: So you’re asking me to fact check all of the facts and figures and to parse each line to find any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.

Russell: That’s right. I used the spell check on it, but some typos may have slipped through. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were riddled with other errors, too.

LeeAnn: Right. What about the formatting?

Russell: Check that, too. You can edit out the errors as you go along.

LeeAnn: You want me to proofread and edit it?

Russell: Sure, if you don’t mind.

LeeAnn: You do realize that this is a 400-page document, right?

Russell: Is there a problem?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #521

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 23, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – Jackson Pollock; American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; to restrain versus to refrain versus to subside; velocity versus quickness; to have been down that road before

Words:
to settle
to experiment
landscape
abstract
to pour
society
to prevent
cruelty
shelter
humane
investigation
to restrain
to refrain
to subside
velocity
quickness
to have been down that road before



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1,140 - Dealing With a Language Barrier

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 21, 2015


If you have trouble understanding another language – and who doesn’t? – then listen to this episode to learn how to talk about it.

Slow dialog:
Explanations:
Fast dialog:

Carol: Send another memo to the Gibberese office. I think we have our wires crossed again.

Art: Don’t you think it would be better to call the office and speak to someone there? You might be able to get to the bottom of the misunderstanding more quickly.

Carol: I don’t speak Gibberish and we don’t have anyone bilingual in the office to act as an interpreter.

Art: Which means there’s no one who could translate our correspondence into Gibberish to make things easier.

Carol: That’s right. And plus, leaving a paper trail is better.

Art: You mean in case we have to cover our asses.

Carol: I wouldn’t put it like that, but breakdowns in communication are inevitable and it’s always helpful to be able to trace their source.

Art: Right. Okay, I’ll draft a memo and pass it by you before I send it, okay?

Carol: Sounds good.

Art: What I don’t understand is why we don’t simply hire people for this office who are fluent in Gibberish.

Carol: Do you know anyone who speaks Gibberish?

Art: Plenty!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,139 - Major Historical Periods

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 18, 2015


This episode may not be historic, but it is about historical periods. Listen to find out how to talk about different periods of history.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 4:09
Fast dialog: 17:09

Livy: Tell me again why we’re here on a Saturday afternoon.

Nicholas: You’re going to love this museum. It has artifacts and exhibits from all the major periods in history, from prehistoric days to the present.

Livy: Hmm, fascinating.

Nicholas: It is, isn’t it? We follow the timeline of human history from one room to the next. See? This room is devoted to ancient history and ancient civilizations.

Livy: Is there a gift shop?

Nicholas: Sure, there’s one on the way out, but let me show you a few things in this room. It’s all about the Middle Ages. Check this out. Doesn’t it blow your mind?

Livy: Yeah, wow, great. Actually, it’s all kind of dull. Isn’t there something more exciting to see?

Nicholas: You want excitement? Then let’s skip ahead to the rooms on the Renaissance. Look at this!

Livy: This is all great, but I’ve seen enough. Let’s keep going.

Nicholas: We’re rushing past the best exhibits, but if you want to keep going, I guess we can do that. These next rooms are devoted to more recent history, the Industrial Revolution and pre- and post- World War years.

Livy: Is there anything else?

Nicholas: You mean you’re done looking at over 3,000 years of historical exhibits? This is one of the best museums in the world. I could spend all weekend here.

Livy: That’s because you’re a history buff. Hey, that room is about the Information Age. Do you think I can check my email in there?

Nicholas: [sigh]

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #520

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 16, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – Henry Gaylord Wilshire; The Flatiron Building; regime versus regimen; to laugh versus laughter; to unveil versus to reveal; to light up

Words:
political activist
socialism
scar
profit
cheap
lifestyle
ardent
billboard
argument
folly
landmark
trendy
regime
regimen
laugh
laughter
to unveil
to reveal
to light up



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1,138 - Dating Nice Guys and Bad Boys

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 14, 2015


Do women really want to date nice guys? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 18:06

Jack: I’ve had it. I’m going to start treating women like dirt. I’d get more dates.

Alison: What brought this on?

Jack: I got dumped again by a woman who thinks I’m too nice – too nice! She says she wants to be with someone who’s more assertive and unpredictable. She didn’t say it in so many words, but that means she thinks I’m a wimp and I’m boring.

Alison: My guess is she wants a bad boy. A lot of women go through that phase. We want excitement and drama, the thrill of the chase.

Jack: You mean they choose to be with selfish, irresponsible jerks because it’s exciting?

Alison: I hate to say it, but it’s true. But I’m telling you, this phase doesn’t last in most women. When we want to settle down, that’s when we look for the nice guys.

Jack: You mean I have to wait until then to get a nice girlfriend?

Alison: No, I simply mean that until then, nice guys finish last.

Jack: Well, I’m not willing to wait.

Alison: Where are you going?

Jack: I’m going to work on my swagger and my sneer.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,137 - Using Battery Power

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 11, 2015


Brother, can you spare a battery? Learn how to be prepared for the world of modern devices in this episode.

Slow dialog: 15:37
Explanations: 3:32
Fast dialog: 1:30

Luisa: The battery on my computer is almost out of juice.

Allesandro: Did you bring a spare?

Luisa: It’s a rechargeable battery, so instead of replacing it, I need to plug it in, but there are no outlets in here.

Allesandro: I don’t see one either.

Luisa: Forget it. I’ll just finish watching the movie on my phone. Oh no, my phone battery is running low, too. It’s a high-capacity battery and is supposed to discharge slowly, giving me a full day of power. I don’t know what’s wrong with it.

Allesandro: Do you want to borrow my radio? At least you can listen to music for a while.

Luisa: A radio? You mean an old-fashioned radio?

Allesandro: Yeah, it uses disposable batteries and I brought plenty.

Luisa: No, thanks. I don’t think a radio will do me any good. Maybe there’s an emergency generator around here. I just need enough electricity to finish watching my movie.

Allesandro: I don’t think that will do you any good, and plus, the emergency generator is supposed to be used for emergencies and only in the event of a power failure.

Luisa: Exactly! What can be more of an emergency than not knowing how a movie ends?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #519

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 09, 2015


Topics: American Authors – Tom Wolfe; Aerosmith; to convince versus to compel; latter versus last; ultimate

Words:
journalist
to research
drama
flashy
streamline
to hallucinate
fiction
bonfire
unique
soloist
to dedicate (oneself)
to be inducted
to convince
to compel
latter
last
ultimate



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1,136 - Missing a Deadline

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Sep 07, 2015


If you’re late on a project, finish it and then listen to this episode. It will teach you how to talk about missing your deadlines.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 16:22

Oliver: I’ve just had to tell a client that I’m running behind and I won’t make the deadline.

Alena: How did she take it?

Oliver: Not so well, at first. I knew she wouldn’t be happy, so I’ve been in a dilemma for days: Should I tell her now that I’m going to miss the deadline, or wait until the deadline has passed.

Alena: For what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing. It gives her advance notice in case it affects other parts of her project.

Oliver: That’s what I thought, too. I also offered to make up for any inconvenience the delay would cause.

Alena: Did she take you up on it?

Oliver: No, she said that giving me a three-day extension wouldn’t set her back, but if it dragged on for longer than that, it would put her in an awkward spot, and she would let me know.

Alena: I’m glad you came to an understanding. So you’ll have it done by the new deadline, right?

Oliver: Yes, even if I have to do without sleep, food, or bathroom breaks for the next week.

Alena: That’s very dedicated of you, though potentially messy.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,135 - Having Hearing Problems

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Sep 04, 2015


Having problems HEARING? Then listen to this episode on having problems with your ears.

Slow dialog: 1:41
Explanations: 3:33
Fast dialog: 15:08

Bernadette: Why are you mumbling?

Claude: I’m not. I said, “What’s wrong with your hearing?”

Bernadette: Nothing is wrong with my hearing. You just need to speak up.

Claude: I’m practically shouting. You need to see a doctor about your hearing loss.

Bernadette: I’m not hard of hearing. It’s probably just a buildup of earwax.

Claude: This is more serious than earwax. Do you hear ringing in your ears?

Bernadette: Not more than usual.

Claude: Meaning you usually hear ringing sounds?

Bernadette: Sure, who doesn’t?

Claude: Uh, normal people. Have you been asking people to repeat themselves? Are you having trouble hearing people when there’s a lot of background noise?

Bernadette: Maybe.

Claude: It might be something as simple as an infection, but it could be more serious, like damage to your eardrum or inner ear if you can’t hear sounds at low decibels.

Bernadette: I am not getting a hearing aid.

Claude: Would you prefer people to yell?

Bernadette: What?! Smell? You think I smell? Well, that’s just rude!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #518

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Sep 02, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – Franklin Delano Roosevelt; to be trapped versus to be lodged; to keep it together, to keep a stiff upper lip, and as luck would have it; pardon me

Words:
to make a name for (oneself)
to appoint
administrator
to run for
to contract
paralyzed
to recover
brace
fireside
subsidy
alliance
to decline
to be trapped
to be lodged
to keep it together
to keep a stiff upper lip
as luck would have it
pardon me



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1,134 - Describing Position and Location Within a Group

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 31, 2015


Get in line and learn about how to talk about positions and location within a group in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:01
Fast dialog: 16:30

Selena: Don’t look now, but a big group of mothers are coming to this house to give you a piece of their mind.

Justin: What?! I meant it as a joke. I didn’t mean anything by it.

Selena: You’ll have to tell that to Sally. She’s at the head of the group and she’s flanked by Maria and Veronica.

Justin: Oh no, not them. I’d rather be confronted by anyone but those three.

Selena: They’re not the only ones. They’re backed by a group of at least 15 parents.

Justin: Maybe some of those on the periphery are just spectators, waiting to see what the rest of the group will do.

Selena: Don’t count on it. They look determined.

Justin: Who are those in the back?

Selena: Those bringing up the rear? I think those are a few fathers with a message of their own.

Justin: What should I do now?

Selena: Start by waving a white flag.

Justin: And then?

Selena: Try a sincere apology, with a healthy dose of groveling.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,133 - Getting Immunizations Required by School

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 28, 2015


Are vaccines for your children dangerous or necessary? Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:26
Explanations: 3:46
Fast dialog: 17:44

Jonas: Hi, Jenny. Are you getting your kids ready for school, too?

Jenny: Yes, as you can see, we’re buying lots of school supplies.

Jonas: Did you get the school letter reminding parents to submit proof of immunization before the first day of school? I know that your youngest is starting school this year.

Jenny: Yes, she is, but I’m thinking of getting an exemption. I’m not sure vaccines are safe and I don’t want to take a chance with her health.

Jonas: The immunizations required by the school are standard – measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio – all vaccines your other children have had.

Jenny: But when I looked at the list, there were a few I didn’t recognize – diphtheria, hepatitis, and rubella. Who knows what our kids are getting!

Jonas: The ones you mentioned are standard, too. Don’t you remember the outbreak of whooping cough last year? If our kids had been immunized, they wouldn’t have gotten sick.

Jenny: I’ve read somewhere that vaccines might be dangerous. I just don’t want to jeopardize their future.

Jonas: That’s precisely what you’d be doing if you opted out of immunizations.

Jenny: Why’s that?

Jonas: Because your children won’t be getting an education. The school is barring any children who don’t get immunized from attending school.

Jenny: I call that irresponsible!

Jonas: That’s exactly the word that came to my mind.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,132 - Defending Your Ideas at Work

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 24, 2015


Having a good idea in business does you no good unless you can defend it. Learn how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:22
Explanations: 3:24
Fast dialog: 18:50

Monica: That’s why I don’t think it’s doable. We should consider other ideas.
...

That was Monica. She’s my co-worker and my nemesis. She criticizes all of my ideas, but I’ve learned that the best defense is to not get defensive.
...

Kazuya: I appreciate your feedback. I understand your reservations, but let me show you these figures I’ve worked up, which I believe will address your concerns.
...

I knew Monica would attack my ideas, so I had come prepared.
...

Monica: That’s all very impressive, but I still think we need to consider other options.
...

Unfortunately, when Monica digs in her heels, I know that the only thing to do is to placate her. That plus a delaying tactic usually works.
...

Kazuya: Your comments have given me a lot to think about. We’re running short on time and we want to get to the other topics for discussion, so let’s come back to it next week.
...

Luckily, I know something else about Monica: She has a short attention span. By next week, she’ll be onto her next victim!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #517

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 26, 2015


Topics: Movies – Die Hard; American Authors – Emma Lazarus; in front of versus ahead of versus before; as if versus as though versus as for; to take stock

Words:
to be separated
to give (something) another try
to freshen up
hostage
safe
cowboy
to be descend from
to be well received
to dedicate
to persecute
to huddle
to yearn
in front of
ahead of
before
as if
as though
as for
to take stock



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1,131 - Visiting Archaeological Sites

Author: CAuthor: enter for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Much of what we know about ancient civilizations is buried in the ground. Learn how to talk about archaeology in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:55
Fast dialog: 17:13

Lillian: Look at this! I’m going to take this home as a souvenir.

Bruce: You can’t do that. That might be an artifact of some kind. It belongs to this archaeological site.

Lillian: It’s just a rock. No one will miss it.

Bruce: That’s not the point. Everything here should be preserved. That’s the point of doing a careful excavation. Everything should be recorded and nothing should be lost.

Lillian: Take it easy. It’s not like I’m defacing anything. And if they’re trying to preserve this site, why are they doing this dig? Wouldn’t it be better just to leave it frozen in time?

Bruce: The point is to learn more about the peoples of ancient civilizations who lived here in prehistory.

Lillian: In my opinion, it’s disrespectful to disturb burial mounds and tombs. They were never meant to be desecrated like this.

Bruce: Some people would agree with you, but that’s the price we have to pay to add to our knowledge about human history. I really think you should leave that rock where you found it. It could be a fossil.

Lillian: Do you really think so?

Bruce: You never know. You could hold in your hand the key to understanding this entire civilization.

Lillian: Wow, if I take it, I could preserve it for posterity.

Bruce: What happened to leaving things undisturbed?

Lillian: That’s before I realized I could go down in history for my own discovery!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #516

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 19, 2015


Topics: Ask an American - Community policing; perspective versus notion versus viewpoint; to burst out versus to break out versus to explode; "Don’t count every hour in the day. Make every hour in the day count!"

Words:
to mess with (someone)
to pull (someone) over
to fit the description
misunderstanding
workplace
scenario
crisis
volatile
racial issue
pre-existing
in place
perspective
notion
viewpoint
to burst out
to break out
to explode
to count



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1,130 - Eating Breakfast Foods

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 17, 2015


Start off your day with a good breakfast. Learn the names of common breakfast foods in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 16:35

Emil: Look at this breakfast buffet. Wow, I’ve died and gone to heaven!

Tammy: I think I’ll just grab some cereal, fruit, and a bagel.

Emil: What?! How can you pass up this amazing buffet? I’m starting with some bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns.

Tammy: I don’t normally eat a big breakfast. If I’m still hungry after this, I’ll have some pancakes.

Emil: Pancakes! I’m going to have some pancakes when I’m done with this first round, plus some waffles and French toast.

Tammy: Well, more power to you. I can’t imagine anyone eating more than what’s already on your plate.

Emil: I’ve only just begun. After the pancakes, waffles, and French toast, I think I’ll have an omelet and some biscuits and gravy. I might even have room for one or two of those doughnuts.

Tammy: You’re not serious.

Emil: I’m dead serious.

Tammy: You sound like you’re planning on staying here all morning.

Emil: That’s right. Do you want to meet me back here for the lunch buffet?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,129 - Experiencing Virtual Reality

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 14, 2015


Sometimes, things aren’t what they seem. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:29
Explanations: 3:23
Fast dialog: 14:06

Tatiana: Why are you wearing those funny goggles?

Moustafa: I’m trying out a new kind of virtual reality.

Tatiana: You mean like flight simulators?

Moustafa: This is much more sophisticated. This system creates a complete sensory experience. I can see, hear, feel, and nearly taste this 3-D simulation.

Tatiana: I don’t see how it can do that.

Moustafa: With the help of these goggles and headphones, this computer program recreates what it’s like to actually be in a particular place, at a particular time. It even allows me to interact with different people and things.

Tatiana: I can see how that would be useful for gaming, but...

Moustafa: It’s not only for gaming. It’s useful for a host of other things, including relaxation. For instance, right now I’m experiencing what it’s like to be outdoors with the sun shining and the birds chirping.

Tatiana: If you open the door, you’ll see that the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.

Moustafa: Yes, but with virtual reality, I may never have to get out of this chair again. Now isn’t that progress?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #515

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 12, 2015


Topics: Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Famous Americans – Mary Pickford; to infer versus to deduce versus to derive; to clean out versus to free up; civil disturbance versus civil unrest

Words:
to found
Underground Railroad
bureau
coeducational
vocational
intellectual
Liberal Arts
higher education
to go on tour
production company
sweetheart
to adopt
to infer
to deduce
to derive
to clean out
to free up
civil disturbance
civil unrest



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1,128 - Store Promotions and Giveaways

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 10, 2015


Buy one, get one free with this episode! Learn all about contests and competitions at a store.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:25
Fast dialog: 16:46

Sonia: What is all this?

Paul: These are entry forms and materials for our new store promotions and giveaways.

Sonia: What prizes can people win?

Paul: There are different kinds, because we’re running several promotions at once. We have scratch-off cards to win instant prizes, including t-shirts.

Sonia: Those t-shirts are really nice. I’d like one of those.

Paul: We also have a collect-and-win game. People collect codes printed on our products. When they’ve collected a certain number, they win gift certificates to spend in our store.

Sonia: Wow, that’s great. I’d like a gift certificate.

Paul: We also have a sweepstake. Enter to win one of three grand prizes: a TV, a Hawaiian vacation, and a brand new car!

Sonia: Wow, I definitely want one of those.

Paul: Do you know what you can do to win?

Sonia: No, what?

Paul: Quit your job. The rules say that employees and their families are not eligible.

Sonia: I don’t suppose I can find a way around that.

Paul: Not unless you’re considering divorcing your husband or disowning your children.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,127 - Paying for College

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


It can cost a lot of money to go to college in the U.S. Learn how to pay for it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 3:50
Fast dialog: 18:41

Chris: Which colleges are you applying to?

Marcella: None. I can’t afford to go to college. Even if I lived at home, tuition, fees, and books are just too expensive.

Chris: You could apply for financial aid.

Marcella: I don’t want to get a bunch of loans and be in debt for the next 10 to 20 years. It’s not worth it.

Chris: Loans aren’t so bad, especially ones that are federally subsidized. Apart from that, you could get need-based grants or work-study. Put all of that together and college can be affordable.

Marcella: I don’t want to go into debt of any kind.

Chris: You could go to a community college and transfer to a four-year university after two years. Community college tuition is much lower.

Marcella: But who has the time? I have to work full-time to pay my bills.

Chris: Then think about a program that has a service commitment.

Marcella: What do you mean?

Chris: There are teaching, military, or community service programs that will forgive or pay off your loans if you work for the organization for a few years after graduating.

Marcella: And be an indentured servant? No, thank you!

Chris: Okay, but most good jobs nowadays require a college degree.

Marcella: Not if you really have talent

Chris: Talent?

Marcella: Yeah, haven’t you seen me mime? That’s my ticket to a great career.

Chris: I’m happy to hear you have such a practical plan mapped out for your future.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #514

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Aug 05, 2015


Topics: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre; American Playwrights – David Mamet; to atone versus to make amends versus to do penance; compassion versus empathy; to reckon

Words:
massacre
gang
reputation
to retire
bootlegging
Prohibition
organized crime
rival
raid
working class
anti-Semitism
staccato
to atone
to make amends
to do penance
compassion
empathy
to reckon



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1,126 - Using a Pawnshop

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Aug 03, 2015


If you need money fast, you may have to get a loan from a pawnbroker. Find out how it works in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:13
Explanations: 3:32
Fast dialog: 16:54

Jamaica: I need to raise some cash right away. I’m thinking of hocking a few things. You’ve used the pawnshop down the street before, right?

Nolan: Yeah, a few years ago when I lost my job. I needed a short-term loan to tide me over until I could find a new one.

Jamaica: Is the place legit?

Nolan: It seemed to be. I have no complaints.

Jamaica: That’s good. How would I go about pawning something?

Nolan: It’s pretty simple. You bring the pawnbroker something that’s worth money to use as collateral and then you get a loan for a fraction of its value. Then, you have 90 days to repay the loan, plus interest and fees.

Jamaica: How do I redeem my item?

Nolan: You just show them your pawn ticket.

Jamaica: That sounds pretty simple. What if I can’t repay the money by the deadline?

Nolan: Then you forfeit your item. The pawnshop tries to sell it to recoup the money they lent you.

Jamaica: Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to pawn my collection.

Nolan: Your collection of what?

Jamaica: Action figures. I have the entire collection of ESL Podcast action figures. There’s Jeff, Lucy, Warren, Jessica, Adriano, Pao, LeeAnn, Alison . . .

Nolan: I said something worth money, remember?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,125 - Serving Alcoholic Drinks

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 31, 2015


Have another round of drinks before you listen to this episode (that is, if you’re old enough to drink).

Slow dialog: 1:30
Explanations: 3:04
Fast dialog: 14:04

Bethany: Where is everybody?

Nathan: While you were in the bathroom, the other guys left.

Bethany: In that case, I should go, too. It’s getting late.

Nathan: The night is young. Let me get you a refill.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t have another drink. I had a neat drink after dinner and I’m still feeling the effects. I’m a lightweight and I’m not normally a drinker.

Nathan: What’s the harm? Have one for the road. I’ll serve this one straight up and with a twist of lemon. It’s my specialty. I could also mix you a cocktail, if you prefer. Consider it a nightcap.

Bethany: No, I really shouldn’t.

Nathan: All right, I’ll just top off that drink in your hand.

Bethany: No, it’s late, I’m tired, and I have to go.

Nathan: Don’t rush off. You wouldn’t want to get a reputation for being a spoilsport, would you?

Bethany: I prefer that to the alternative!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #513

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 29, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – The Fox Sisters; Famous Songs – “I’m a Little Teapot”; to lack versus to be short of versus to be shy of versus to be out of; to clean versus to wash; pronouncing “Wh”

Words:
spiritualism
medium
spirit
fake
code
séance
cult following
hoax
teapot
handle
spout
to tip
to lack
to be short of
to be shy of
to be out of
to clean
to wash



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1,124 - Hiding Money Offshore

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 27, 2015


It is said that the only certain things in life are death and taxes. Find out if you can avoid at least one of them in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 3:27
Fast dialog: 16:55

Sabrina: Wait! Don’t deposit that money into our regular bank account. I’ll take care of it.

Luis: Okay, but why?

Sabrina: I’ve come up with a way for us to avoid paying so much in taxes each year. I’ve opened an offshore account in the Crook Islands. We can funnel our money into that account and it’ll be untraceable.

Luis: But that’s tax evasion.

Sabrina: The banks in the Crook Islands have ways of covering up the paper trail so no one will be the wiser.

Luis: That doesn’t make it legal.

Sabrina: They haven’t caught us yet.

Luis: You mean you’ve already started putting money into that account?

Sabrina: I’ve been depositing money into it for nearly a year.

Luis: And when were you going to tell me?

Sabrina: I’m telling you now. Trust me. These tax havens are very popular with the rich. We’re just taking a page from their book on how to save money.

Luis: We’re going to get caught. We should come clean now.

Sabrina: That’s why I didn’t tell you before! I knew you’d make a fuss about it.

Luis: And you were right. We need to quietly close the account and bring the money back.

Sabrina: Then we’ll have to pay taxes on it and maybe even a penalty, more than we would’ve had to pay in taxes originally.

Luis: Right and that’s called poetic justice.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,123 - Describing Pleasant Scents

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 24, 2015


Wake up and smell the coffee, folks. It’s time to learn how to describe scents in English.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:13
Fast dialog: 13:57

Kitty: Oh, smell that. Isn’t that delectable?

Pepe: Yes, it’s pleasant.

Kitty: Pleasant? It’s heavenly. It has a nice fruity scent, not too sweet.

Pepe: If you say so. I don’t want to buy anything that has a strong perfume smell. I’m a guy.

Kitty: I know, but you want to exude a sexy scent that captivates the opposite sex, right?

Pepe: I’m not sure about that. I just want to smell fresh and clean.

Kitty: All right, how about this one?

Pepe: Uh, it smells musky.

Kitty: Musky is good. Musky is sexy.

Pepe: Not to me. Let’s stick with something basic. I’m buying this one.

Kitty: But that one smells like detergent!

Pepe: Yes, because that’s what I’m buying – detergent for my clothes. I don’t need any fancy scents on my clothes.

Kitty: Have it your way, but you’re missing out on a chance to lure women with your scent.

Pepe: I’ll pass up that chance, thank you very much. If I follow your advice and buy this perfume-smelling detergent, women will definitely get the wrong idea about me!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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ESL Podcast Special Edition: 10th Anniversary Video

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 22, 2015


Help us celebrate our 10th year as one of the world's most popular podcasts with this special anniversary video edition!

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English Cafe #512

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 22, 2015


Topics: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire; Radio City Music Hall and The Rockettes; Satan versus Devil versus demon versus evil; to know best; with regard to

Words:
immigrant
rag
fire escape
to mourn
sprinkler system
manslaughter
to acquit
commission
code
philanthropist
optimism
ostentatious
synchronized
Satan
Devil
demon
evil
to know best
with regard to



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1,122 - Making Peace

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 20, 2015


Come on, people now! Let’s try and love one another right now. Learn how in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:24
Explanations: 3:16
Fast dialog: 16:38

Vladimir: We need a ceasefire. The violence is escalating and we need to put a stop to this.

Hilary: I agree, but do you think our enemies will agree to a truce?

Vladimir: They’re as embattled as we are. They may welcome a suspension of hostilities until we can agree on a peace treaty.

Hilary: I hate to think what their conditions will be for an armistice. This war has dragged on for so long.

Vladimir: I suspect they feel the same as we do. If we make a conciliatory gesture, I think they’ll respond in kind.

Hilary: Do you really think so? We won’t come off as weak?

Vladimir: I don’t think so. We’re taking the first step to peace. They’ll see that.

Hilary: If you say so. All right, let’s do it. This war with our neighbors is getting old. Do you want to bring them this fruitcake or should I?

Vladimir: I’ll take it, but first I’ll make sure their ugly, dirty, mean barking dog that wakes me up in the middle of the night is tied up. I don’t want to become a casualty while bringing them this peace offering!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,121 - Outdoor Sun Protection

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 17, 2015


If you’re out in the sun all day, you better be prepared. Learn how to talk about it in English in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:23
Explanations: 2:49
Fast dialog: 12:13

June: Wait! You forgot your sun hat.

Wally: I’m not wearing that hat. It looks ridiculous on me.

June: It’ll protect you from the sun’s rays. You’re too fair to be outdoors for long without protection. You don’t want to get another sunburn.

Wally: I’m wearing sunscreen. I’ll be fine.

June: This ChapStick has an SPF of 100. You’ll need that, too.

Wally: All right. Anything else?

June: Yes, these sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

Wally: Okay, I’m leaving now. I’m surprised you didn’t get me some protective clothing. My arms and legs are exposed.

June: I’m glad you reminded me. Here’s a sun cape. It’s made of a breathable fabric. Make sure you wear it every minute you’re outside. Promise?

Wally: [sigh]

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #511

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 15, 2015


Topics: American Movies – Toy Story; The United States Naval Academy; buddy versus chum versus pal; fee versus pay; Clean clams crammed in clean cans

Words:
animated
perspective
cowboy
astronaut
mission
spaceship
to escape
commercial
to be depressed
faculty
officer
navigation
buddy
chum
pal
fee
pay
clam
to be crammed



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1,1120 - Breaching a Contract

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 13, 2015


If you sign a legal agreement, there are consequences for not doing what you promise. Find out more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:28
Explanations: 3:10
Fast dialog: 15:47

Sandra: I don’t know what to do. Our contractor installed the wrong equipment and now we’re having major problems. I’ve tried contacting her, but she’s dodging my calls. The trouble is I’ve already paid her in full.

Antonin: Well, that’s a breach of contract. Your only recourse might be to take her to court.

Sandra: I’d hate to do that. I’d rather settle this out of court.

Antonin: I don’t blame you, but if she’s hiding out or has washed her hands of this whole situation, suing her might be the only way to compel her to fix the problem.

Sandra: We’ve already suffered major damage as a result of her mistakes.

Antonin: Then that’s all the more reason to see your attorney. You’ll need to go to court to collect damages.

Sandra: Aren’t you an attorney? Couldn’t you help us?

Antonin: I’m a divorce attorney. I can only help you if you’re married to your contractor.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,119 - Methods for Quitting Smoking

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 10, 2015


Looking to kick the habit of smoking? Find out all the ways not to do it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:01
Fast dialog: 16:52

Lisa: This is it. I’m quitting smoking for good.

Michael: Good for you. Are you going cold turkey?

Lisa: No, I tried that, but it didn’t work. I craved cigarettes too much.

Michael: How about nicotine gum? Have you tried that?

Lisa: Yes, but I didn’t like the side effects. It irritated my throat.

Michael: That’s too bad. I suppose you’ve tried nicotine patches, too?

Lisa: Yes, I have. I became addicted to the patches and couldn’t wean myself off of them. I just traded one addiction for another.

Michael: And electronic cigarettes?

Lisa: They only made me want to smoke a real cigarette. They were no help at all.

Michael: So, what now?

Lisa: I’m going to try hypnosis. I hear that it works for some people.

Michael: And if that doesn’t work?

Lisa: The last resort is acupuncture. Some people say that’s effective for quitting smoking.

Michael: If you say so. Sometimes the cure is truly worse than the disease!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #510

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 08, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – Benjamin Harrison; to call the shots versus to wear the pants; inquiry versus enquiry; There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Words:
rank
incentive
to expand
pension
to make a deal
domestic
to restrict
monopoly
to dissolve
fine
surplus
charismatic
to call the shots
to wear the pants
inquiry
enquiry
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”



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1,118 - Bidding on Online Auctions

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jul 06, 2015


Get a good deal on an online auction. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:22
Fast dialog: 16:26

Jermaine: Wait! You shouldn’t bid on that auction right now. Wait until the last minute.

Bethany: This auction has a buy-it-now price of $25 and free shipping.

Jermaine: Don’t pay the buy-it-now price. The minimum bid on this item is $10 and the current bid is only $12.50. There’s no reserve, so if you wait to bid, you may snag it for a much lower price than $25.

Bethany: Okay, I guess I can wait, but why can’t I place a bid of $15 right now?

Jermaine: First of all, the bidding on this auction goes up by increments of 50-cents, so the next bid would be $13.00. You could place a maximum bid of $15.00, but someone might outbid you at any time.

Bethany: But couldn’t that happen anyway? Even if I wait until the last minute someone could sneak in and bid a higher price.

Jermaine: You mean they could snipe you? They could, but not if you snipe them back. It’s all in the timing.

Bethany: You seem to know a lot about online auctions.

Jermaine: That item you’re bidding on, guess who listed it?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,117 - Assembling Furniture

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jul 03, 2015


Like putting together toys for your children, putting together furniture can be a painful experience. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:25
Explanations: 3:36
Fast dialog: 15:56

Armand: Did you know that this nightstand required assembly when you bought it?

Suzanne: The box said that it required simple assembly. I guess what’s simple to them isn’t simple to us.

Armand: You can say that again. These instructions aren’t in English, there are no diagrams showing how the parts fit together, and we seem to be missing parts. I also question the quality. It’s mainly made of particleboard and plywood. Do you think we should return it?

Suzanne: No, let’s just keep it and do the best we can.

Armand: That’s hard to do when there seems to be a design flaw with the drawers. The pieces don’t fit together as they should. These nails are also bent and these screws look defective.

Suzanne: It’s not looking good, is it? I also bought this because I thought everything could be assembled using Allen wrenches, but it looks like we’ll actually need a hammer, screwdriver, and maybe a drill.

Armand: Well, let’s see what we can do. If we don’t have the right tools or parts, I have a solution.

Suzanne: What?

Armand: Duct tape.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #509

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jul 01, 2015


Topics: American Playwrights – Arthur Miller; Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; to evoke versus to invoke; fluently versus fluency; pronouncing bought and boat, late and let, and beer and bear

Words:
poverty
working class
anti-Semitism
faulty
illusion
contempt
to air
brainchild
script
to host
cardigan
segment
to evoke
to invoke
fluently
fluency



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1,116 - Reading and Processing Emails

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 29, 2015


Modern life requires email for most of us. Learn how one person deals with it all in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:37
Explanations: 4:24
Fast dialog: 19:42

Every day I feel more and more overwhelmed by email. Once I turn on my computer and look at my inbox, I get sucked into reading and responding to emails.

I have a personal email account and an email account for work. With my work email, I try to take an organized approach. I scan each email looking at the sender and subject line, and delete the ones I don’t need or want. With the remaining ones, I archive some, file others for future reading, and write replies to the rest. I’ve set up templates for the routine emails, but spend a lot of time drafting personalized responses to the rest. That takes up a large part of my workday.

When reading my personal email, I take my time. Yes, I get the usual junk that slips through the spam filters and get newsletters I keep meaning to unsubscribe from, but people who have my personal email address are mainly friends and family.

When I’m done and I look at the clock, I’m often surprised at how much time I’ve spent processing email. That’s time I could have been spending working on my Celine Dion impression.

“Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on...”

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,115 - Buying Meat from a Butcher

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 26, 2015


Not everyone who likes to eat meat wants to know where the meat came from. Learn the facts about food production in this episode.

Slow dialog: 2:24
Explanations: 3:27
Fast dialog: 15:51

Butcher: Good morning. What can I get for you?

Samantha: I’d like some lamb chops, pork chops, and some beef, but I’m not sure which cuts I want yet.

Butcher: You’ve come to the right butcher shop. Everything here is fresh. Everything comes straight from the slaughterhouse.

Samantha: Um, I’m glad to hear that.

Butcher: In fact, we got in a shipment of game and poultry just this morning. You can buy them bone-in, boneless, or whole. They’re as fresh as if you got them from your own farm or brought them down with your own shotgun.

Samantha: Uh, that’s great. I see that you sell marinated and stuffed meats, too.

Butcher: Yes, we do. We even make our own sausages. We use only the freshest ingredients. They’re so fresh I wouldn’t be surprised if they got up and walked across the floor.

Samantha: Right. I think I’ll just take the chops for now.

Butcher: Are you sure? I can show you some of the best prime cuts of beef you’ll ever see. They’re so fresh you could...

Samantha: No, no, that’s all for now. I suddenly feel like a salad for dinner instead.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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Learn English Magazine is Here - Special Announcement from ESLPod.com

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 24, 2015


I have some very exciting news to announce today: ESLPod.com now has an app on the Apple and Android app stores. It’s called Learn English Magazine, and it’s free!

Learn English Magazine includes some of the best material from our website, plus several new ways to improve your English, including videos, cartoons, and articles that you can only find in the magazine.

Every regular issue is free.

Apple users can download the app and subscribe here.

Android users (4.1 or later operating system) can download and subscribe here.

There are already four cool issues for you to download and enjoy. We’ll be publishing the magazine every two weeks.

To my knowledge, Learn English Magazine is the only free magazine app for learning English on either the Apple or Android app stores, so be sure to share the news with your friends, family, and coworkers.

Also in the magazine is the opportunity to sign up for a new special report I’ve written with information on how to improve your English, called “5 Things You MUST Know to Improve Your English.” To get the special report and additional tips on improving your English speaking and listening, download the magazine app, subscribe, and look for the special report offer inside the magazine.

If you have ever wondered how you should go about improving your English quickly, then you should read this special report, which you can only get in the magazine.

Here are some of the item in our latest issue (Issue #4):
>Videos: Fling, Cast, or Toss?
> My Life in English: The Catcher in the Rye and the American Teenager
> Vocabulary: Why Having Convictions is Not the Same as Being a Convict
> Business English: Selling on the Internet
> Warren Ediger’s America: California’s Beauty in the Work of John Muir
> Life in the U.S.: Why Dumb People Call the Police
> Last Laugh: No Strings Attached (Cartoon)

Oh, and if you have time after you download the app, I would really appreciate it if you could write a review in your country’s app store. The review does not need to be in English, and it would really help us get the word out (let other people know) about the new magazine.

~Jeff



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English Cafe #508

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 24, 2015


Topics: American Musicals – Cabaret; The Guggenheim Museum; relation versus relationship; rerun versus syndication; belly of the beast

Words:
to premiere
master of ceremonies
cabaret
boarding house
to claim
errand
abstract art
to exhibit
distinctive
dome
to take away from
impressive
relation
relationship
rerun
syndication
belly of the beast



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1,114 - Forms of Government

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 22, 2015


Plutocracy is the rule of the rich. Find out about other forms of government in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:37
Fast dialog: 17:19

Margaret: Okay, the teacher said that we should set up an ideal form of government for our imaginary country and then work out detailed plans for governance.

Tony: I think the simplest is a dictatorship. I’ll make all of the decisions.

Margaret: You’re sounding like a fascist. This is supposed to be a partnership, remember?

Tony: Okay then, let’s make it a monarchy. I can be king and you can be queen.

Margaret: You’ll probably still make all of the decisions as king. Maybe we should consider an oligarchy. Your family and mine can rule equally.

Tony: That’s fine with me, but you’re the communist, or at least socialist. Don’t you think an oligarchy would be too elitist? I would think you would prefer a meritocracy of some sort.

Margaret: This isn’t about my personal politics. It’s about what’s best for our imaginary nation. How about a simple democracy?

Tony: There’s nothing simple about a democracy. How about no government at all?

Margaret: You mean anarchy?

Tony: Sure, that would be the simplest.

Margaret: Why do I get the feeling that you’re making suggestions based on the amount of work this assignment will take, rather than political considerations?

Tony: That’s because you’re very perceptive. I have a big weekend planned!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,113 - Having a Family Portrait Taken

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 19, 2015


Let’s get our picture taken for the family photograph that everyone will laugh at in 10 years.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 3:22
Fast dialog: 15:03

Dad: Okay, everybody, take your places.

Mom: We’re in our places. Can’t the photographer just take the photo?

Dad: We have to pose. The whole point is to look natural.

Mom: If you wanted a natural family photo, why are we in a portrait studio in the middle of a sitting?

Dad: I want us to stand in front of a nice background and pose with nice props. I’m tired of looking at the photos that we take. They’re not very good and require hours of touching up or creative cropping.

Mom: Instead, we’re supposed to look natural wearing color-coordinated clothing and standing in unlikely poses.

Dad: Don’t be like that. Generations to come will cherish this family photo.

Mom: I doubt it.

Dad: How about if I ask the photographer to take some shots just of you?

Mom: You mean like the headshots Hollywood stars get?

Dad: Uh, sure, if that’s what you’d want.

Mom: Well, in that case, I’ll need to have my hair cut, get my make-up done, and buy a new outfit...

Dad: What have I gotten myself into?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #507

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 17, 2015


Topics: The Leo Franks Trial; on hand versus in hand versus at hand; discrete versus discretion

Words:
superintendent
to strangle
prejudice
factory
to get rid of
to coach
to flirt
to prey on
alibi
to appeal
to commute
pardon
on hand
in hand
at hand
discretion
discreet
to be into (something)



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1,112 - Doing Impressions

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 15, 2015


Being able to talk and act just like someone else isn’t always a funny thing. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 16:46

Edison: [in a high-pitched woman’s voice] “I’m paying you less and working you harder. What are you complaining about?”

Kay: Ha, ha. You sound just like Justine! You really have a gift for doing impressions, but maybe we should shut the door.

Edison: Oh I’m not worried about Justine hearing me. She’s my boss, but she’s not the boss of me.

Kay: What would she say if she saw you imitating the way she walks and the gestures she makes?

Edison: We all know what they say: Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Right?

Kay: I’m not sure Justine would see it that way. It sounds more like mockery to me. I think it’s all in the tone.

Edison: It’s a simple parody of how she normally addresses the staff. It’s all done in good fun. It’s not mean-spirited.

Kay: Of course not, but she might take it the wrong way.

Edison: Then she would need to learn to laugh at herself. It’s healthy for the ego.

Kay: “Whatever you say, boss. You’re always right, boss.”

Edison: Who was that supposed to be?

Kay: Remember what you said about imitation being the best form of flattery...

Edison: That was supposed to be me? Me?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,111 - Symptoms of Depression

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 12, 2015


If you’re feeling a little sad today, listen to this episode to learn about how to talk about in English.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 2:40
Fast dialog: 14:18

Emily: I think Jackson is depressed.

Shivan: How can you tell?

Emily: Well, he’s been suffering from a loss of appetite and is generally lethargic.

Shivan: Have you noticed any other symptoms?

Emily: He seems to have trouble concentrating and has insomnia.

Shivan: Um, really?

Emily: Yes, and I’m afraid he’s having suicidal thoughts. He seems distant and distracted, staring off into space. He’s not his usual self.

Shivan: How can you tell?

Emily: What do you mean?

Shivan: I mean, he looks the same to me. He just swims back and forth in the fish tank.

Emily: Just look at him. He’s on the edge of mental collapse!

Shivan: Somebody is.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #506

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 10, 2015


Topics: Ask an American - International work visas; to demonstrate versus to indicate versus to denote; hoot and to not give a hoot; Nice to meet you

Words:
skill set
workforce
competitive
to stretch
innovative
to sponsor
current
up
chances are
optimism
prospects
mobile
marketplace
to demonstrate
to indicate
to denote
hoot
to not give a hoot
Nice to meet you



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1,110 - Experiencing a Drought

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 08, 2015


Sometimes sunny weather can be a bad thing. Learn why in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:39
Explanations: 3:34
Fast dialog: 14:17

Fabian: How long do you think this drought is going to last?

Lia: I have no idea, but I’m not worried. I grew up in the desert. Not having enough precipitation was just a fact of life.

Fabian: Yes, but people here aren’t used to getting this little rainfall. Their livelihood depends on having a reliable water supply for their crops.

Lia: You make it sound like we’re experiencing another Dust Bowl when the water table is just a little low.

Fabian: I think it’s a little more serious than that.

Lia: What we need here is a reservoir. That would give this town the water reserves it needs in case of a drought.

Fabian: What we really need are fewer dust storms and more thunderstorms.

Lia: And for people to stop over farming. That and deforestation are half the problem.

Fabian: You may be right, but that’s not what people want to hear right now. They need some relief.

Lia: Maybe the town’s water conservation efforts will make a difference.

Fabian: Well, I’m certainly willing to stop bathing if it’ll help.

Lia: I thought you already had.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,109 - Reading Poor Handwriting

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Jun 05, 2015


Even with all of our wonderful technology, we still sometimes need to write with pen and paper. Learn about how some people don’t do that very well in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:29
Explanations: 3:18
Fast dialog: 15:03

Lily: Can you make out what this says?

Hassan: Geez, who wrote that?

Lily: My doctor. She wrote down some instructions for me, but I can’t read her handwriting.

Hassan: I have no idea what that chicken scratch says.

Lily: I think that’s a “T,” but maybe it’s an “F.”

Hassan: Face it. Those scribbles are illegible. Why don’t you take a photo of that and email it to her nurse? Maybe she can decipher it for you.

Lily: I feel like if I just keep at it, I’ll be able to work it out.

Hassan: Patients shouldn’t have to try and read a doctor’s sloppy writing. What if they misinterpret it and do the wrong thing as part of their treatment?

Lily: This note isn’t that bad. I think I might have the first two words figured out already.

Hassan: Then you’re better at reading bad penmanship than I am. Maybe you should have a try at these English essays. I have 60 of them to grade.

Lily: Wow, looking at these, I’d say you have 60 future doctors in the making!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #505

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Jun 03, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – Jonas Salk; The Wanamaker Department Stores; it’s all yours; good for you; fair enough; hyphen versus dash; All of the good, none of the bad

Words:
physician
research laboratory
vaccine
virus
immunity
to eradicate
paralysis
epidemic
to patent
department store
amenity
retail
it’s all yours
good for you
fair enough
hyphen
dash
All of the good, none of the bad



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1,108 - Foreign Currency Exchange Rates

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Jun 01, 2015


Should your vacation plans depend on the strength of your country’s currency? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:16
Explanations: 3:25
Fast dialog: 15:13

Sydney: Where should we go on our honeymoon? I thought Rome would be nice.

Isaac: Let me check. No, that wouldn’t be a good idea.

Sydney: Okay, how about Tokyo? I’ve always wanted to visit Japan.

Isaac: No, I’m afraid not.

Sydney: How are you making these determinations?

Isaac: I’m checking to see if the U.S. dollar has a favorable exchange rate with those currencies. We want our dollars to go as far as they can.

Sydney: You mean you want to pick our honeymoon destination according to the currency market.

Isaac: I’m just saying that we should take advantage of falling currencies or ones that have already depreciated significantly. A strong dollar means we can get more bang for the buck.

Sydney: So you’re saying that you want us to make plans at the whim of the Federal Reserve and central banks.

Isaac: Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m only saying that it would make financial sense.

Sydney: That doesn’t seem like a very romantic way of picking a honeymoon destination.

Isaac: Romance is overrated. Wouldn’t you rather be solvent than sentimental?

Sydney: I’d rather be solvent and sentimental.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,107 - The Death of a Pet

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 29, 2015


All animals eventually die, even your pets. Learn how to deal with it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 3:32
Fast dialog: 15:47

Dad: Honey, I have some bad news for you. Fluffy has gone to the other side.

Sarah: You mean she’s out of her cage again? I’ll go and try to find her.

Dad: No, you don’t understand. Fluffy passed away in the night.

Sarah: Oh, she died! That’s too bad, but she was getting up there in years.

Dad: Yes, but she didn’t die a natural death. She was run over by the neighbor’s car.

Sarah: You mean she was flattened? Cool!

Dad: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way, but I understand if you’re in shock. I guess people show grief in different ways...

Sarah: Fluffy went out with a bang. That’s the way she would have wanted to go.

Dad: I’d like to think of her as being in heaven and she’s gone to meet her maker.

Sarah: I don’t think there’s an afterlife for animals, Dad. It’s all just a part of the circle of life.

Dad: Okay. I thought we could have a funeral for her so we can pay our respects.

Sarah: Is that really necessary?

Dad: I’d thought you’d want one. She was your pet after all.

Sarah: No, let’s just bury her in the backyard.

Dad: And who said that the youth of today is cynical?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #504

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 27, 2015


Topics: American Movies – The Fugitive; The United States Capitol Building; knowable versus scrutable versus tangible; to go through versus to get through; to man up

Words:
fugitive
to be convicted
to derail
scandal
series
architect
to inaugurate
dome
to restore
rotunda
to lie in state
activist
knowable
scrutable
tangible
to go through
to get through
to man up



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1,106 - Getting a Flat Tire

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 25, 2015


Be prepared for problems if you own a car. Find out about a common one in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:19
Fast dialog: 14:45

Jaloliddin: What is that thumping noise?

Minisa: I don’t hear anything.

Jaloliddin: I think you have a flat tire.

Minisa: The left rear tire has a slow leak, but I just inflated it the last time I was at the gas station, so I’m sure it’s fine.

Jaloliddin: No, really, I think you need to pull off to the side of the road.

Minisa: We’re on a busy freeway, but if you insist.

Jaloliddin: Wow, your tire is definitely flat. See how the tire is completely worn out, with hardly any tread left?

Minisa: Yeah, well, I’ve been meaning to get a new one. Now what?

Jaloliddin: We need to change it. Let’s see if you have a jack and a spare tire.

Minisa: I think they’re in the trunk, but I don’t think I could do it myself.

Jaloliddin: [sigh] Right. I’ll change the tire. Do you have a wrench so I can get the lug nuts off?

Minisa: I have some basic tools in the trunk, too, I think.

Jaloliddin: Put your hazard lights on and I’ll get to work. At least your rim doesn’t look bent.

Minisa: I’m glad to hear that. What should I do?

Jaloliddin: Bone up on basic car maintenance?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,105 - Dressing Appropriately for an Event

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 22, 2015


Learn to dress right for a formal event in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 14:45

Patricia: Hey, look at you! You’re all decked out. What’s the occasion?

Renaud: I’m going to the Ortegas’s party. Aren’t you?

Patricia: Yeah, but I’m not getting all dolled up for it. I think the dress is casual.

Renaud: I heard that it’s going to be an upscale affair and I don’t want to be underdressed.

Patricia: But I’d rather not be overdressed.

Renaud: Okay, then what are you wearing?

Patricia: I’m going to dress up these jeans with a chic blouse. And then I’m going to accessorize with this necklace as a statement piece.

Renaud: That’s a nice outfit, but it’s more appropriate for a casual event, not a party.

Patricia: But that’s what I’m trying to tell you. This is not a formal affair.

Renaud: Do what you like, but I’m not going to risk being inappropriately dressed for one of the Ortegas’s parties. I don’t want to be blacklisted and not be invited in the future. Their parties are legendary, with the best food, the best booze...

Patricia: Oh, you’re right. What was I thinking?!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #503

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 20, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – Calvin Coolidge; further versus furthermore versus more; resilience versus resistance; You can say that again.

Words:
taciturn
to strike
labor union
lack of
to appoint
to abuse power
scandal
income tax
estate tax
hands-off
to veto
prosperity
further
furthermore
more
resilience
resistance



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1,104 - Making a Discovery

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 18, 2015


Make an amazing discovery about making discoveries in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:18
Explanations: 2:37
Fast dialog: 12:42

Pierre: How does it feel to be on the cusp of a new discovery?

Irene: Let’s not jump the gun. We’ve made some major leaps forward, but I’m not sure I’d call what we’ve done so far revolutionary.

Pierre: Not yet, but you’re close to a breakthrough. That’s evident.

Irene: I think you might be overstating the case. If we do make a small breakthrough, it will only contribute to the current body of knowledge in the field, not turn the field on its head.

Pierre: I think you’re downplaying the possible impact of such a discovery. I think you’ll be recognized as a pioneer, a real trailblazer.

Irene: And your contribution?

Pierre: You know what they say: Behind every great woman is a great man!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,103 - Sports Tryouts

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 15, 2015


Do you have what it takes to make the team? Find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:07
Explanations: 2:43
Fast dialog: 14:46

Marcela: All right, you’re ready for these tryouts. You’ve passed your physical. You’ve trained for months. You’re going to make that team.

Kenji: It’s okay. I don’t need a pep talk. I’m just going to do the best I can.

Marcela: Yes, but you want to have your head in the right place. You’re going to dominate the field. You’re going to intimidate the other players.

Kenji: No, I only want to impress the coach. I’m going to play hard and hold nothing back.

Marcela: Yes, that’s fine, but you want to send a message to the other players that you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Kenji: I’m going to have faith in my abilities, and hope for the best.

Marcela: At least try to look tough. Try scowling at the other players like you can’t wait to get them on the field so you can crush them.

Kenji: [sigh] I tell you what, why don’t you scowl for me? I think you’re much scarier than any player who’s ever played this game.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #502

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 13, 2015


Topics: The Massie Trial; concept versus content versus context; whereas versus while; [month]+[date] versus [date] of [month]

Words:
to flag down
to rape
evidence
to frame
verdict
hung jury
to confess
to be outraged
lynching
temporarily insane
to testify
to commute a sentence
to forfeit
to nullify
to revoke
nonetheless
nevertheless
to live
live



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1,102 - Discussing Capital Punishment

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 11, 2015


Should the government put certain criminals to death? Learn how to talk about that question in English in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:12
Explanations: 3:09
Fast dialog: 16:06

Simon: What’s all that?

Hilary: It’s a news report about the upcoming execution of Perry Hickock.

Simon: That’s barbaric. We shouldn’t have capital punishment in this day and age.

Hilary: This guy killed an entire family while trying to rob them in their own home. He was convicted of multiple murders and given the death penalty. This is about justice.

Simon: This is about vengeance. He could have been given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. As it is, he has spent 22 years on death row.

Hilary: Oh, I see, you’re one those people who is soft on crime. You think our criminals should be coddled.

Simon: No, I don’t. But aside from my moral objections, executing someone with a lethal injection or the electric chair is inhumane. Many executions are botched each year.

Hilary: So what? These are people convicted of serious crimes. They deserve all the punishment they get.

Simon: I’m going to have to start calling you “Hang ‘em high Hilary.”

Hilary: And I’ll have to start calling you “Soft-hearted Simon.”

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,101 - Problems Getting Along With Family

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 08, 2015


Do your family parties look like boxing matches? Then you’ll enjoy this episode about getting along with your family members.

Slow dialog: 1:14
Explanations: 3:12
Fast dialog: 14:37

Oscar: So you’re back from your mother’s birthday dinner. How was it?

Priscilla: Same old, same old. It isn’t a family gathering without a major meltdown or blowup.

Oscar: Yikes, what happened?

Priscilla: You know how it is. It starts out with bickering and somebody taking offense at some slight or dig, or bringing up some old grievance.

Oscar: Well, that happens in most families.

Priscilla: Yeah, but in mine, they often turn into screaming matches. We all raise our voices and somebody always storms out.

Oscar: Even at your mother’s birthday dinner?

Priscilla: The occasion doesn’t matter. My mother tries to be the peacemaker, but it doesn’t take much for tempers to flare.

Oscar: That never happens in my family.

Priscilla: What?! Your family doesn’t fight when it gets together?

Oscar: No, we try to sweep things under the rug and put on a brave face.

Priscilla: What happens when you get mad at each other?

Oscar: Nothing.

Priscilla: What do you mean nothing?

Oscar: A lot of our family meals are eaten in stony silence.

Priscilla: Wow, I think I prefer our knock-down, drag-out fights!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #501

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, May 06, 2015


Topics: Famous Movies – Raiders of the Lost Ark; Hotel Del Coronado; to forfeit versus to nullify versus to revoke; nonetheless versus nevertheless; to live versus live

Words:
relic
idol
to collapse
to turn on (someone)
superhuman
to capture
swashbuckling
iconic
to be the talk of
to shoot
to be the inspiration for
to haunt
concept
content
context
whereas
while



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1,100 - Making and Receiving a Job Offer

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, May 04, 2015


Getting a job offer is great, but getting a good salary is even better. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:09
Explanations: 3:53
Fast dialog: 19:01

Salima: Hello.

Jake: Hi, this is Jake Nagano at Fixit Corp. How are you today?

Salima: Oh, hi, Jake. I’m fine. How are you?

Jake: Good. The reason I’m calling is that we’d like to offer you the position you interviewed for last week.

Salima: Oh, that’s great. I was really impressed with Fixit.

Jake: I’m glad to hear it. We’re prepared to offer you a starting salary of $55,000. You will get full medical and dental coverage, and vision coverage is optional.

Salima: I see. And vacation time?

Jake: Vacation days, personal leave, and sick leave accrue one day per month in your first year, and then increase with your tenure with the company.

Salima: What would be my job title?

Jake: You’d be a junior specialist and you’d be working under Monique Stansfield, the department manager.

Salima: Is the salary negotiable at all?

Jake: Well, we would consider any counteroffers, but this is a typical compensation package for new hires in these positions.

Salima: I see.

Jake: Why don’t you think about it? I’ll need to hear back from you by Wednesday. Will that work?

Salima: Sure, no problem. Just one more thing: I heard that the company has a box at the stadium...

Jake: Let me stop you right there. I hope that’s not a deal-breaker because it’s taken me...I mean...it takes years for employees to get invited.

Salima: No, not a deal-breaker at all. I’m just a fan.

Jake: In that case, it would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,099 - Child Sports Injuries

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, May 01, 2015


Playing sports can be dangerous, but some parents worry a little too much. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:29
Fast dialog: 16:44

Angela: Wait! I need to put sunscreen on Davy before he goes to the game.

Juan: It’s not sunny today. He doesn’t need sunscreen.

Angela: And here are four water bottles to make sure he stays hydrated and doesn’t get heat stroke.

Juan: One of the other parents is bringing drinks for the kids. It’s fine. We don’t need that.

Angela: Make sure Davy warms up and cools down before and after the game. I don’t want him to strain or sprain anything.

Juan: The coach makes sure they do that. Are you done?

Angela: And here’s a first-aid kit in case he skins his knee or gets any other scrapes. We don’t want to risk infection.

Juan: The reason we signed up Davy for organized sports is that all of this is taken care of. There’s even a certified athletic trainer at each game, one of the parents.

Angela: But the other kids can be so rough. He comes home with bruises all the time. I can’t stand seeing him hurt.

Juan: Do you want to come to the game? You can see for yourself that everything is fine.

Angela: How can I watch Davy running into danger? I’d want to run onto the field and save him.

Juan: You’re right. It’s better that you stay here. If you did that, your son would never live it down!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #500

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 29, 2015


Topics: Famous Americans – Elizabeth Blackwell; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; to delay versus to put off versus to procrastinate; during versus while; sheer

Words:
poverty
to earn a living
to be rejected
to harass
to contract
blind
to incorporate
impressive
wing
temple
cloister
tapestry
to delay
to put off
to procrastinate
during
while
sheer



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1,098 - Riding in a Limousine

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 27, 2015


Party on at the prom! Go for a fun ride in this episode about renting a limousine.

Slow dialog: 1:13
Explanations: 3:30
Fast dialog: 17:21

Mandy: Whoo! Whoo!

Theo: Hey, get down from there. You shouldn’t be sticking your head out of the sunroof.

Mandy: I just wanted to get some air. This stretch limo is amazing.

Theo: Well, I thought I’d rent one and take you to the prom in style.

Mandy: This is the height of luxury. You’ve really outdone yourself.

Theo: Thanks, but maybe we should be careful not to spill drinks on the seats.

Mandy: Everybody drinks and parties in the back of a limo. Why else would they have a wet bar?

Theo: Well, we shouldn’t be drinking out of it. We could get into trouble.

Mandy: The chauffeur doesn’t know what we’re doing back here. The partition is up and it’s soundproof.

Theo: But he could hear us on the intercom system. Let’s just relax and enjoy the ride.

Mandy: You can do that, but I’m going to blast the music and have some fun.

Theo: This isn’t a party bus.

Mandy: No, but it could be a party limo! You’re brilliant. Let’s go pick up a few of my friends. We’ll turn this into a great party.

Theo: What about the prom?

Mandy: We’ll get there, but first we’re going to have a pre-party in our own party limo. What a great idea!

Theo: Me and my big mouth.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,097 - Landscaping a Home

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 24, 2015


Make your house the talk of the neighborhood after listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 16:15

Mona: I want a lawn. I’ve always pictured our new house with a lawn.

Kellan: Lawns require a lot of water and upkeep. I think we should use hardscape for most of the yard and plant only drought-tolerant plants.

Mona: I don’t want my yard to be full of gravel and rocks. I picture a water feature in the middle, with annuals and perennials planted all around it, surrounded by a big, beautiful lawn.

Kellan: We can have some kind of slow-growing ground cover if you want to, but the rest isn’t practical.

Mona: I don’t know what you mean. We can plant a hedge over there and install planters along the walkway.

Kellan: Who will do the pruning and mulching? Who will pull the weeds and mow the lawn? Who will rake the leaves when the seasons change?

Mona: Well, I guess I will, with your help.

Kellan: Don’t count on me. My motto is: No muss, no fuss!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #499

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 22, 2015


Topics: Americans Abroad – The Confederados in Brazil; Chaco Canyon National Historical Park; speaking in tongues, folks, porridge, and just right; to ingratiate (oneself) with

Words:
civil war
economy
to have a tie to
heritage
archeologist
engineering
artifact
to inhabit
architecture
astronomy
tribe
deserted
speaking in tongues
folks
porridge
just right
drama
trauma
to ingratiate (oneself) with



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1,096 - Improving Online Reviews

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 20, 2015


Many people look at reviews online before making a purchase. Learn more in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:08
Explanations: 3:42
Fast dialog: 15:50

Jerrise: Okay, you were right. We need to do something to improve business. Do you think we should take out an ad in the local newspaper?

Russell: We could do that, but I think a better strategy is to improve our online reviews.

Jerrise: Who looks at websites with unsolicited reviews? I’m not convinced that’ll help us.

Russell: Lots of people look at reviews when choosing which business to patronize. Right now, we only have three stars out of five, and that’s hurting us.

Jerrise: It’s hard to believe that adding a star will really improve our business.

Russell: Believe it. And those mediocre reviews we received last week? We should respond to each one and try to make it right.

Jerrise: Those reviews were written by a few disgruntled customers. We’re always going to have a few whiners.

Russell: Yes, but now they’re much more vocal. If they’re not happy with our service or product, we need to compensate them for their bad experience.

Jerrise: That would put us out of business!

Russell: No, that’s an investment in our business reputation.

Jerrise: What you’re saying is that we need to bribe people to write good reviews.

Russell: I wouldn’t put it that way, but we should recognize that crowdsourcing is the wave of the future and we need to move with the times if our business is to survive.

Jerrise: All right. I guess we can try that.

Russell: What are you doing now?

Jerrise: Writing my own review. I’ve always given myself excellent service!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,095 - Childhood Fitness

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 17, 2015


If your children are fat and lazy, you’ll want to listen to this episode on childhood fitness.

Slow dialog: 1:21
Explanations: 3:30
Fast dialog: 17:45

Mom: Hold it right there. Put that candy bar down.

Justin: Mom, I just wanted a snack to tide me over.

Mom: Don’t you remember what Dad said about this family’s need to improve our level of fitness?

Justin: Only old people have to worry about getting fat.

Mom: It’s not just about getting fat.

Justin: But I’m just a kid. I’m in great shape.

Mom: Childhood obesity is a huge problem in this country. Even if you’re not overweight, people your age lead sedentary lives.

Justin: Whatever that means.

Mom: It means that you sit around all day as couch potatoes watching TV and playing videogames. In my day, kids went outside to ride their bikes, climb trees, and run around.

Justin: I don’t have that kind of energy.

Mom: Precisely! You and your brothers are lethargic because you don’t get enough exercise.

Justin: But exercise is tiring.

Mom: That’s because you’re not fit. You have no stamina or endurance.
Justin: I don’t need endurance.

Mom: Stop grumbling. It’s Saturday and you boys should be outside getting some fresh air.

Justin: In Los Angeles?

Mom: Are you smart mouthing me, young man? Get outside or you’ll all be helping me clean the house.

Justin: We’re out of here!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #498

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 15, 2015


Topics: American Movies/Musicals – Mary Poppins; Craigslist; oblivion and to overwhelm; to select versus to elect; wee hours

Words:
nanny
nursery
suffragette
to interview
chaos
to adapt
classified advertisement
to incorporate
to generate
revenue
to crack down
fraud
oblivion
to overwhelm
to select
to elect
wee hours



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1,094 - Tracing One's Genealogy

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 13, 2015


Are you related to Elvis? Find out how to find out in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:20
Explanations: 3:48
Fast dialog: 16:21

Aaron: Do you think you can help me trace my genealogy?

Corrie: Sure, I can try. We can get started by talking to your parents and grandparents. Oral interviews will give us some names of your relatives.

Aaron: I’ve already talked to them and I grew up hearing stories about my lineage on both sides of my family.

Corrie: That’s great. If you know some of the people you’re descended from, we can start by looking at public records and historical records from the area. You’re from Tennessee, right?

Aaron: That’s right. There are a lot of people in Tennessee with my last name, though.

Corrie: Well, we can triangulate the information we get to zero in on your ancestors.

Aaron: What if I want proof positive that I’m related to someone?

Corrie: Then you can have a genetic analysis done. A DNA test is generally accepted proof.

Aaron: Good, it’s about time someone in my family established the blood connections.

Corrie: Blood connections to whom?

Aaron: Elvis, of course.

Corrie: Elvis?! You think you’re related to Elvis?

Aaron: His last name was Presley; my last name is Presley. My first name is Aaron; his middle name was Aaron. It can’t be a coincidence, especially considering my talent.

Corrie: Talent?

Aaron: Sure, listen: “Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go!”

Corrie: I consider that counterevidence!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,093 - Having a Picnic

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 10, 2015


If you like eating outside with the ants and the bugs, you’ll love this episode on having a picnic.

Slow dialog: 1:14
Explanations: 3:39
Fast dialog: 14:42

Bill: Surprise! I brought you here to this beautiful spot for a romantic picnic. I have a very special question to ask you.

Madison: Oh, that’s so sweet. Did you remember to bring a picnic blanket?

Bill: I did. I have everything we’ll need in this picnic basket.

Madison: Don’t put it down there. There are ants. You should put it on the blanket.

Bill: Yes, you’re right.

Madison: And I hope you remembered to bring something to drink. I’m thirsty.

Bill: I brought both food and a bottle of champagne.

Madison: Well, I hope the food isn’t too cold and the champagne isn’t too warm. You know how I hate warm champagne.

Bill: Actually the food is cold because I brought chicken sandwiches and potato salad.

Madison: Oh, I thought you would have brought something a little more, well, gourmet or lavish, something a little special.

Bill: That’s why I brought the champagne. It’ll make this picnic extra special.

Madison: I guess we’ll have to make do with warm champagne and sandwiches. I hope you remembered to bring a corkscrew and some dishes and silverware.

Bill: I bought paper plates and plastic utensils.

Madison: Paper and plastic? I guess we’ll have to make do with those, too. Okay, now, you said you had a special question you wanted to ask me. What is it?

Bill: Question? Oh, never mind. It’ll keep.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #497

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 08, 2015


Topics: American Presidents – James A. Garfield; to resign/draw/abandon match; gorgeous versus magnificent; nail in (someone’s) coffin

Words:
to be raise
canal
to pursue
session
to nominate
candidate
slogan
tow path
administrative
to appoint
patronage system
succession
match
to resign
draw
to abandon
gorgeous
magnificent
nail in (someone’s) coffin



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1,092 - Keeping a Meeting On Track

Author: Center for Educational Development
Mon, Apr 06, 2015


Don’t you hate it when people keep talking at a meeting you want to end? Learn how to deal with that situation in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:10
Explanations: 3:46
Fast dialog: 16:31

Lynda: Could I say one more thing about that?

Bruce: I’m afraid we’re running short on time. Maybe we could wrap up this discussion now.

Lynda: Before we leave this topic, though, I really think we should talk about next year’s plans.

Bruce: That’s outside the scope of this meeting. We can put it on the agenda for next time.

Lynda: But we won’t meet again for a month. We should spend some time talking about our plans for next year. I think we should consider closing the Irvine office and moving it to Franklin. It would save us a lot of money.

Bruce: If we get off on a tangent, we won’t be able to get through our discussion for today. Let’s try to get back on track and discuss the main focus of today’s meeting, which is how to end this year without any more problems. I feel like we’re getting close to making some decisions.

Lynda: We can’t make any decisions when there are still so many unresolved issues. Things are still up in the air because we don’t know what will happen next year. Any decisions we make now will be moot if our assumptions are wrong.

Bruce: I’m afraid we differ on that. I think we have enough information now to forge ahead. We can come to some tentative decisions and make any adjustments later. Should we take it to a vote?

Lynda: If you insist. I still think it’s premature.

Bruce: I’ll take that as a “no” vote.

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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1,091 - Punishing Children

Author: Center for Educational Development
Fri, Apr 03, 2015


Is this a case of bad children or bad parents? Find out for yourself by listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:27
Explanations: 3:36
Fast dialog: 15:44

Yuki: What are you doing?

Al: I’m getting ready to give Charlie a spanking for beating up his classmate. He has to learn that there are serious consequences for his actions.

Yuki: You’re punishing him for beating someone by giving him a beating? That doesn’t make sense. Our response shouldn’t be an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Al: I’m not going to beat him. This isn’t going to be a flogging. I’m going to give him a simple spanking.

Yuki: Corporal punishment isn’t the answer. We can give him a severe punishment without resorting to violence.

Al: What kind of punishment? Withholding his allowance or taking away his toys? Those don’t seem severe enough to me.

Yuki: We could ground him for a month, only allowing him to go to school.

Al: That still doesn’t seem to be enough.

Yuki: All right, we can pull out the big guns then. We could have him spend the weekend with your mother and ask her to talk some sense into him. He’s scared of your mother.

Al: I’m scared of my mother. Do you think it would work?

Yuki: If I were a 10-year-old and I had to face your angry and disapproving mother for an entire weekend, I’d be quaking in my boots!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse



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English Cafe #496

Author: Center for Educational Development
Wed, Apr 01, 2015


Topics: Ask an American – Digital music technology; It’s called being nice versus It’s called been nice; to stutter versus to stumble; mean

Words:
social media
to be signed by
record label
liberating
to do shows
to build a brand
reputation
streaming service
FM radio
music collection
terrestrial radio
relevant
to stutter
to stumble
to mean
mean



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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