Train kept a-rollin’: Train videos for listening and vocabulary.

12th September 2020

A compilation of train-related videos to help you improve your listening skills and to increase your vocabulary.

Contents:

Trans-Siberian Railway:

Listening skills. Native and non-native speakers talking in English. English subtitles.

Shinkansen – 10 cool facts:

Listening to native and non-native speakers.

High-speed trains in China:

Listening skills. English pronunciation & vocabulary.

London Tube at rush hour:

A glimpse of London life.

Why trains can’t go uphill:

Listening skills. English pronunciation. Science vocabulary.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train

Vocabulary for very young learners.

Travelling – The Trans-Siberian Railway

Write down new expressions / vocabulary.

Do you understand the gist (the main points / keywords)

Would this appeal to you ? Why or why not ?

What would you need to bring ?

Shinkansen: Bullet Train – top ten facts:

This is as much as listening exercise as an engineering one. How much can you understand ? Which presenter is easier to understand, the young lady or the man from USA ?

High-speed trains in China:

London Tube at rush hour:

James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?

What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him.

What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?

What do they struggle to do ?

What are the scientific reasons for this ?

Image result for steepest railroad in uk

What was the problem with James May speaking ?

James normally speaks quite clearly, but there were problems. This was due, I feel, to the speed and the amount of language. Look at this conversation analysis: (0. 10 – 0.42):

“And now, ‘Why can’t trains go uphills ?’ Well, the smarter ones amongst you will have recognised already, especially if you’re a qualified railway engineer, this is a bit of a trick question because of course, train can go uphills … they’re just not very good at it.

If you think about the topography of most of the world, this is clearly a bit of a problem. Human being can, albeit rather sweatily, motivate themselves up a gradient of around eighty degrees, or one in a quarter.”

Listen again– hear how James:

  • links words
  • uses expressions (bit of a)
  • adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses. 
  • Creative use of adverbs – ‘sweatily’ shows how words can be made into adverbs by adding –ly to the end

Think – does James need to add the clauses ? What is the purpose ? Consider the medium (TV, internet, blog etc) and the target audience.

James is speaking to a fluent, English-speaking audience, probably native speakers, or people who have lived in the UK for a long time. Therefore, they will be more used to this natural way of speaking.

This is why I recommend student put their text books down and read real English books, watch English-speaking films and TV shows and sing English songs. It really helps.

He does make allowances for non-British audiences by showing two fifty-pence coins, but his language isn’t downgraded.

Kindergarten song – Choo Choo Train:

Listening exercises: Top Gear Special … what can go wrong ?

28th April 2020

Movie] Top Gear - Vietnam Special - KLNetBB

Top Gear is a famous British show about cars, motoring, driving and crashing !

Here is an opportunity to hear British English being spoken at a natural pace, and to learn new expressions and colloquialisms (everyday spoken words, not usually found in student text books).

Top Gear Vietnam

Top Gear filming hour-long special in Vietnam | Autoblog

The chaps arrive in Vietnam are are given a challenge … to buy a car for 15 million Dong. That sounds a lot of money, but it is nowhere near enough to buy a car, not even an old, second-hand one. Instead they decide they can only afford motorbikes.

Now for the challenge.

This clip has subtitles. Watch it repeatedly, concentrating on the body language, the expressions on the faces and the way two of the men are excited while Jeremy (the very tall man in the Vietnam T-shirt) is less than happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKg-jCV-YM0&list=PLPJI_c2ou1sQgmufw3aUzI1h5ZLQpZybv&index=2

[Note: some of the subtitles are WRONG !]

The challenge is to ride their motorbikes from Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) to the North, past Ha Noi, near the Chinese border.

Don't do the Top Gear Vietnam Thing: Part 1 - Adventure Rider

Richard, the smallest man, tells Jeremy his scooter will be useless … why ?

What expression does Richard use to mean ‘out of control’ ?

How does James, the man in the white shirt, describe the challenge ?

What is Jeremy’s reaction ? Can you copy his expression and voice ?

Confession: I find myself rewatching the Vietnam special all the ...

What would be the problem riding a bike like this Vietnam ?

What is the longest or strangest or worst journey you have ever made ?

Tell the class about it, trying to use as many new expressions as you can, and with the appropriate stress and intonation.

Pronunciation

Try to sound like to the chaps – intonation and stress and phrases.

Top Gear Vietnam (07.00 – 8.46): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1zfuBgCUqY&t=48s

Worst car in the world

What are the problems ? Can you imitate Jeremy’s intonation ?

“…known in Vietnam as the ‘common car’ has an engine, but it’s hard to say what sort.”

watch the whole clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd5ka91fkDo

New Technology Information: Top Gear Season 12

Adult Professionals: Mechanics, Part 4

12th February 2020

Contents

Conspiracy theories

Engineering marvels

Why trains can’t go uphill

Conspiracy Theories:

Have you heard of film director Stanley Kubrick ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR_e9y-bka0

Did we REALLY go to the Moon ?

Are there ALIENS ?

DID the Wright Brothers actually invent the airplane ?https://www.businessinsider.com/10-items-not-invented-by-who-you-think-2011-8

WRIGHT BROTHERS

Which of these surprised you ?

Engineering marvels

Which ones impressed you most ?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFbug8as10U

James May – why can’t trains go uphills ?

Image result for james may train uphill

What do you think of James’ pronunciation – can you understand all ? Try to copy him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbUsKWbOqUU

What is the problem with trains and going up gradients ?

What do they struggle to do ?

What are the scientific reasons for this ?

Image result for steepest railroad in uk

What was the problem with James May speaking ?

James normally speaks quite clearly, but there were problems. This was due, I feel, to the speed and the amount of language. Look at this conversation analysis: (0. 10 – 0.42):

And now, ‘Why can’t trains go uphills ?’ Well, the smarter ones amongst you will have recognised already, especially if you’re a qualified railway engineer, this is a bit of a trick question because of course, train can go uphills … they’re just not very good at it.

If you think about the topography of most of the world, this is clearly a bit of a problem. Human being can … albeit rather sweatily, motivate themselves up a gradient of around eighty degrees, or one in a quarter.

Listen again– hear how James:

  • links words
  • uses expressions (bit of a)
  • adds addition information / commentary in supporting clauses. 
  • Creative use of adverbs – sweatilyshows how many words can be made adverbs

Think – does James need to add the clauses ? What is the purpose ? Consider the medium (TV, internet, blog etc) and the target audience.

James is speaking to a fluent, English-speaking audience, probably native speakers, or people who have lived in the UK for a long time. Therefore, they will be more used to this natural way of speaking.

This is why I recommend student put their text books down and read real English books, watch English-speaking films and TV shows and sing English songs. It really helps.

He does make allowances for non-British audiences by showing two fifty-pence coins, but his language isn’t downgraded.

Intonation – SO important to assist in conveying meaning.