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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Catching Up with an Old British Friend.
John: And in this lesson you’ll learn how to speak in the second person.
Kellie: The conversation takes place at Craig’s flat.
John: It’s between Craig and Lucy, and as they’re best friends, they will be speaking informally.
Kellie: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Lucy: I feel like I haven’t seen you in weeks!
Craig: That’s because you’re always too busy with your new job or new boyfriend to come and visit your oldest and dearest friend.
Lucy: I’m sorry. It’s been a hectic three months since I started my job but I’m getting used to it now so I have more time. How’s the job hunting going for you? They’re recruiting again at my place so I could get you an application form.
Craig: Banking isn’t my style. I’m more of a free spirit than that.
Lucy: It’s a good job, Craig. The pay is competitive, there are opportunities for advancement and a healthy benefits package. They can provide a company car and private health insurance and their pension scheme is one of the best in the country. You could look at the application at least.
Craig: I’m sure that it’s a great place to work but I’m not as motivated as you, Lucy. I don’t want the big career, company car or childcare vouchers. In fact, I don’t know what I want at all.
Lucy: You should get out and try a few different things. Some random jobs or night courses and see what appeals to you. You don’t have to have your whole life planned out before your twenty-second birthday, you know. You should take time to decide what’s best for you.
Craig: You have everything planned out.
Lucy: That’s because I’m either unique or nuts, depending on how you look at it.
Craig: Definitely nuts.
Kellie: In this dialogue Lucy was trying to talk Craig into applying for a job with her company. She listed some of the highpoints and I have to say, where do I sign up??
John: (laughs) Yeah, it sounds like a good job, doesn’t it! There are lots of benefits.
Kellie: Is it common for employers to offer so many benefits?
John: I think a lot of companies offer something, but only the larger companies will offer as much as Lucy’s does!
Kellie: What exactly are benefits?
John: They’re anything other than a salary that an employee gets from their employer.
Kellie: What are the most common benefits?
John: Company pension schemes, definitely. You pay into it, and so does the employer. Company cars and fuel allowances are popular too.
Kellie: For business trips?
John: Maybe. If the employee’s regular work involves a lot of travelling they often get reimbursed or have a company car. Health insurance is becoming popular too.
Kellie: Health insurance?
John: Yes. Although healthcare is free in the UK, there are still private companies that provide health care, often quicker and in nicer hospitals, so sometimes people like to go private. The insurance would pay for it.
Kellie: All of these benefits seem a good way to get extra things from the company without paying tax, like you would on your salary.
John: Ahhh, of course you pay tax on them! The employer or employee will need to submit a form to the taxman every year that lists the exact amount of these benefits. Some things aren’t taxable and some things are, but they all need to be declared.
Kellie: Do you know anything about the forms?
John: They’re either P9 or P11D forms. The P11D is the more common and comprehensive, as it covers nearly every benefit you can have.
Kellie: Okay. Let’s move on to the vocab.
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Kellie: oldest and dearest [natural native speed]
John: something or someone that you have known a long time and have affection for
Kellie: oldest and dearest [slowly - broken down by syllable] oldest and dearest [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: hectic [natural native speed]
John: very busy
Kellie: hectic [slowly - broken down by syllable] hectic [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: job hunting [natural native speed]
John: the action of looking for new employment
Kellie: job hunting [slowly - broken down by syllable] job hunting [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: free spirit [natural native speed]
John: someone who makes their own rules and isn’t tied down to what is expected of them by society
Kellie: free spirit [slowly - broken down by syllable] free spirit [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: awful [natural native speed]
John: terrible, horrible, not good
Kellie: awful [slowly - broken down by syllable] awful [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: company car [natural native speed]
John: a car provided by employer for business use
Kellie: company car [slowly - broken down by syllable] company car [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: pension scheme [natural native speed]
John: a plan to save money for retirement.
Kellie: pension scheme [slowly - broken down by syllable] pension scheme [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: childcare vouchers [natural native speed]
John: money deducted from the wage by the employer in order to pay for childcare.
Kellie: childcare vouchers [slowly - broken down by syllable] childcare vouchers [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: nuts [natural native speed]
John: informal term for crazy
Kellie: nuts [slowly - broken down by syllable] nuts [natural native speed]
Kellie: Our first item of vocab for this lesson is “oldest and dearest”.
John: You can use this to refer to the people that mean the most to you – your closest friends and family. Craig is Lucy’s best friend, so he is also her oldest and dearest.
Kellie: Where does the phrase come from?
John: From the two words themselves. It’s literally your oldest and dearest – the friends you’ve known the longest, your “oldest”, and the friends that are closest to you, your “dearest”.
Kellie: That’s a sweet phrase! Next is “free spirit”.
John: Ah, this is someone who doesn’t live to society’s rules and expectations, and finds their own way in life. In the case of Craig, now that he has his degree he’d be expected to get a good job and beginning settling down and working towards his future. But, he says he doesn’t want to be tied down to those expectations. He wants to do his own thing.
Kellie: When you say society’s rules, do you mean laws?
John: No! Free spirits aren’t criminals, they’re just individuals.
Kellie: I understand. Finally we have “nuts”.
John: Obviously nuts are a food, but in this case it means “crazy”. Somebody can be described as “nuts” or a situation can be seen as “nuts”. It’s a very informal term but is a nice one to use, as it isn’t considered rude or impolite. Lucy uses it to refer to herself as it’s a light term, and not too serious.
Kellie: Thanks for that. Now, let’s move onto the grammar

Lesson focus

Kellie: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to give advice using “could” and “should”.
John: Yes. In the dialogue, Lucy is trying to motivate and advise Craig to get a job.
Kellie: She didn’t have much success, did she?
John: I don’t think so! She said to Craig that he “could look at the application at least”. She later says that he “should try and get out and try a few different things”.
Kellie: She gave advice using both “should” and “could”. Can you explain the differences?
John: When she said that Craig “could” look at the application, she was only making a suggestion. There are many other things that Craig could do that could be just as beneficial to him as looking at that application.
Kellie: And the use of “should”?
John: In this case, she was offering firm advice. Lucy believes that in Craig’s situation of not knowing what he wants to do, the best course of action is to try different things until he can decide. She isn’t thinking about other options, as she believes that is the best one.
Kellie: “Could” is the softer, more suggestive form, whereas “would” is firmer and more convincing.
John: Yes. Lucy also says that Craig “should take time to decide what is best” for him. Again, this is pretty firm advice that Lucy believes he shouldn’t rush into anything. If she had said “could take time to decide what is best” for him, then it would have just been a suggestion.
Kellie: In this “could” scenario, Lucy doesn’t believe he should wait, she is just offering the idea for his consideration.
John: Yes, that’s correct. If someone asks for your advice on a topic but you don’t have any good advice for them, use “could”. It’s not firm and insinuates that you know there are other, possibly better options available.
Kellie: If you are sure, use “should”.
John: Yep. That insinuates that you believe this is the best option, and the one you think the other person should take. Maybe you have experience of the situation yourself?
Kellie: Hmm, I think we should end the lesson.
John: Yes, we could do that!


Kellie: See you next time!
John: Thanks for listening, everyone. Bye!


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Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners!

How is your job? Do you have time to meet with your friends?

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