Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Kellie: Talking About Your Weaknesses in English. In this lesson, you’ll learn about applying for a job.
John: This conversation takes place in Craig’s flat and is between Craig and Lucy.
Kellie: They’re close friends so it will be an informal conversation.
John: Let’s listen to the conversation!
DIALOGUE
Lucy: Thanks for helping me out with this. I need a fresh pair of eyes as I’ve been staring at it for too long.
Craig: No problem! I’m willing to help you with your job applications as long as you keep bringing me lager.
Lucy: Thanks for the support. I think my CV is finished; I’ve listed my education and employment history and have included a couple of references, but the questions on the application are giving me a headache. Question one is “what do you consider to be your biggest weaknesses?” How do I answer that? I want to answer honestly, but not with a weakness that’ll make them throw my application straight into the bin.
Craig: You have to be sneaky and answer with something like “I push myself too hard and get frustrated when I don’t achieve my usual high standards.”
Lucy: Oh, that’s good! I hope the person in HR who sifts the
applications likes that.
Craig: Or, you could say “apprentice mechanics that chat me up in pubs.” Been on that date yet?
Lucy: (sarcastically) Ha, ha. You’re too funny for your own good, you know that? And no, no date yet. We’ve texted a few times and have a date arranged for Saturday.
Craig: Good luck! Having a mechanic around to do free repairs might be handy!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Kellie: Now that Lucy has graduated, she’s applying for jobs.
John: That’s right. Applying for jobs can be a tricky process, especially when it comes to writing a CV.
Kellie: What exactly is a CV?
John: It’s a short, only one or two pages, summary of your experience and who you are. The job you’re applying to may have its own application form but they’ll usually want you to send in your CV too.
Kellie: What does CV stand for?
John: It stands for curriculum vitae, but everyone calls it a CV because it’s easier! In other English speaking countries it’s usually called a resume. Writing a good CV that will stand out from everyone else’s is tricky. They all follow the same basic pattern as you have to include your previous jobs, education and skills.
Kellie: How do you make it stand out from the crowd?
John: You have to sell yourself in your CV and convince the employer that they should employ you, so always change your CV so that it fits the job you’re applying to. If the job involves working with people, highlight any jobs or activities that have involved working with people.
Kellie: So a summer spent working on a farm with only animals for company would not be a good thing to highlight in this case!
John: I wouldn’t think so, no! Try writing about how you worked closely with another farmer instead!
Kellie: Okay, let’s move onto this lesson’s vocab.
VOCAB LIST
John: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is:
Kellie: application [natural native speed]
John: a written or spoken request for a job, often short for application form
Kellie: application [slowly - broken down by syllable] application [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: CV [natural native speed]
John: an acronym of curriculum vitae – a short description of a person’s employment history and education that is submitted when applying for a job
Kellie: CV [slowly - broken down by syllable] CV [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: employment history [natural native speed]
John: a person’s past employment
Kellie: employment history [slowly - broken down by syllable] employment history [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: weakness [natural native speed]
John: a flaw, an aspect of a person’s personality that is not strong
Kellie: weakness [slowly - broken down by syllable] weakness [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: bin [natural native speed]
John: a place to throw away rubbish or garbage
Kellie: bin [slowly - broken down by syllable] bin [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: sneaky [natural native speed]
John: to be deceitful and not tell the truth
Kellie: sneaky [slowly - broken down by syllable] sneaky [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: high standards [natural native speed]
John: expecting a high level of performance or quality
Kellie: high standards [slowly - broken down by syllable] high standards [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: HR [natural native speed]
John: an acronym of human resources, the department in a company that deals with employees
Kellie: HR [slowly - broken down by syllable] HR [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to sift [natural native speed]
John: to sort through information
Kellie: to sift [slowly - broken down by syllable] to sift [natural native speed]
John: Next
Kellie: to text [natural native speed]
John: to send an SMS message (not an email) via a mobile phone
Kellie: to text [slowly - broken down by syllable] to text [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Kellie: Craig told Lucy that she should be sneaky when completing her application. So, what does the adjective “sneaky” mean?
John: It means to be deceptive, cunning and sly. For example, imagine there’s a box of cakes in the studio but there’s only one left and we both want it. If you distracted me somehow so that you could take the cake without me noticing, that would be sneaky.
Kellie: I would never do that! I have a friend who, whenever, it’s his turn to buy a drink, always manages to go home and avoid it. Would that be sneaky, too?
John: Yeah, it would. Usually there’s an advantage over other people to be gained when being sneaky. Big businesses sometime use underhand and sneaky tactics to beat their competitors. Finding out another company’s bid for a contract and then purposely undercutting them would be sneaky.
Kellie: Okay, I think I got it. We also have the phrase “high standards”.
John: “High standards” are individual and dependent on the person or organisation you’re talking about. It’s the level of performance expected and is usually set quite high. Falling short and not achieving those “high standards” is seen as failing.
Kellie: You said that an organisation can have “high standards” too.
John: Yeah, that’s right. A company’s “high standards” could refer to the level of performance expected from the employees but could also refer to a standard of behaviour too. If there is a story in the newspapers about a footballer getting drunk or getting in a fight, you sometimes see a statement from his football club saying that he has “failed to uphold the high standards of the club”.
Kellie: So in this case, his behaviour wasn’t at the level expected of him from his football club?
John: Yep. My “high standard” when recording these lessons is that we will do it all in one take and without any mistakes. When we don’t achieve that “high standard”, it really depresses me.
Kellie: We’ll try harder next time! Onto the grammar!

Lesson focus

John: The grammar in this lesson is really simple and easy to grasp, but it will make your English sound a lot more natural.
Kellie: It’s all about how to quote speech, right?
John: Yeah. In text it’s easy because there are speech marks to highlight where speech starts and speech ends, but when speaking we don’t have that cue. We need different ways to tell the listener that what we’re saying are someone else’s words or quoted text.
Kellie: So, how do we do that?
John: It’s all to do with tone and the rhythm of your speech. A brief pause before you quote is a good start. It doesn’t have to be long, just don’t run the words together as you can sometimes do in English.
Kellie: A pause, okay. Anything else?
John: The most important thing is to change your tone slightly. It doesn’t have to be a large change as we’re not voice acting or recording dialogue for the next Pixar movie, but a slight shift higher or lower will make the speech standout. Making your voice louder and clearer is also a good technique.
Kellie: Any examples from the dialogue?
John: Sure! “You have to be sneaky and answer with something like ‘I push myself too hard and get frustrated when I don’t achieve my usual high standards.’” In this case I think you’d both raise your voice slightly and make it clearer, as you’re quoting something that is more formal than the regular speech.
Kellie: So your voice would also take on the formality or informality of what you’re quoting?
John: Yeah, that happens pretty naturally, I think. You can compare that last piece of dialogue with a more formal quote to “or, you could say ‘apprentice mechanics that chat me up in pubs.’” That’s a more informal pattern of speech from Craig, so the tone would be different. It wouldn’t change from his regular tone of voice too much.
Kellie: So how can we tell he’s quoting there?
John: From what he said before the quote.
Kellie: Ah, he said “you could say”.
John: Yep. As well as changing the tone and pausing, you can make the distinction clearer by using words such as “say” or “like”, as in the dialogue. That’s definitely the easiest way.
Kellie: “He said, ‘see you tomorrow!’” would be an example of that?
John: Perfect! You used both a marker such as “said” and also changed your tone.
Kellie: Yeah, that felt pretty natural.
John: It sounds a lot better than [read flat] “he said ‘see you tomorrow’”, doesn’t it?
Kellie: Yeah, I could hear the difference!

Outro

Kellie: Well, that’s all for this, so see you next time.
John: Thanks for listening. Bye!
Kellie: Bye!

7 Comments

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever written an English CV?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 12:54 AM
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Hello Guy,


Thank you for taking the time to leave us your comment. 😇

If you ever have any questions, please let us know.


Best,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Guy
Tuesday at 07:07 AM
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Hello

Good lesson A lot of work but it is very interesting

Thanks

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:02 AM
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Hello Ruben,


Thanks for the great question.


In American English they tend to use 'z' in some words, and in British English they tend to use 's.' Same meaning, just slightly different spelling for that reason.


Feel free to ask us any more questions you have throughout your English language studies. 😄😎


Cheers,

Éva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Ruben
Saturday at 06:51 AM
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Hi!


What's the difference between Organisation and Organization?

Englishclass101.com Verified
Monday at 09:39 PM
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Hello AungZW,


Thank you for your message.


We hope you can soon write it :)


Please let us know if you have any questions.



Cristiane

Team Englishclass101.com

AungZW
Saturday at 12:33 AM
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