Communications

Here is the transcript for the Real Exam English podcast episode about communications.

The way we communicate has changed significantly with the advent of technology and it is a subject that is quite common in English exams. It´s also a subject that has a lot of specific phrasal verbs and you are going to hear loads of them today. All of the questions today, and every day, are from previous English exams so it´s fascinating to see how native English speakers answer them. We have speakers from the USA, England, Scotland, Australia and Ireland today so it´s super to get these different perspectives from around the globe.

Ok then, let´s go with the questions.

How do you keep in touch with friends who don´t live near you?

It’s become harder and harder as time has gone on primarily just because of how busy You know I am with work in my family. I have less time to reach out and make phone calls to friends because I don’t have that much time to myself as far as You know, having an hour to spend, you know, on a phone call when I can be spending an hour doing something else around the house so it’s been harder. I do still try, you know, text messages connecting on social media.

Here we have our first few types of communicating, phone calls, text messages and social media. We also have our first phrasal verb relating to communicating which was to reach out to someone, which means to try to communicate with someone.

How often do you meet friends for a chat?

I think I do this a lot less than I would like to I, but I’m really trying harder to do that on a more regular basis, so I have some really good friends that I might only see once every couple of months and I would like to see them much more regularly. Uhm, so I’m trying to do that for example. Recently I started going to the gym with a friend of mine twice a week and these little short catchups we only got like half an hour 40 minutes But it means that I’m keeping in touch with her and just generally having a chat and it’s so helpful for me an I really want to be able to do that more with more friends. But I think because of kovid it’s been so scary to catch up with friends and I’m dreadful at getting in touch with people anyway. But maybe that should be a fun New Year’s resolution.

Here is our next batch of phrasal verbs. We had to catch up with someone which we had in a previous episode, and means to meet with a friend you haven´t seen in a while. We had the verb here, to catch up and we heard the noun also, to have a catchup. Then we heard to get in touch with someone and to keep in touch with someone. Very similar really, to get in touch means to make contact with someone and to keep in touch means to maintain that contact.

Do you prefer to text people or phone them?

Text them always text them. I generally get slightly confused when my phone starts ringing lower. Well, like I’ve forgotten the original purpose of telephone. I’m fairly capable of expressing myself through text, so I feel like I can get all of the point across that I need to can say a lot of things at once without Being cut off it or you know getting delayed by conversational nonsense and fun? Also, you can send memes to each other and stuff like that. So a very 3 dimensional way to communicate and I appreciate it.

The phrasal verbs this time are to get across and to be cut off. So to get something across means to convey a message to someone. For instance, the government is trying to get the message across to the public that it´s important to wear face masks. Then to be cut off or to get cut off is when you are on the phone speaking to someone and you lose connection with them for some reason.

Are you somebody who enjoys talking?

Absolutely. I love talking. I was nicknamed Miss Blah blah blah by an old history teacher. Although I love talking and I love socializing and that’s what I’m really missing during this pandemic I’m also someone who does need alone time. I’m an only child and I’ve lived by myself now for Eight years and I’ve really enjoyed my personal space, so I love talking. But at the same time I love my own peace and quiet.

We had a nice simple way to agree here at the start, that was absolutely. You could also say definitely, totally, exactly or for sure., much better than just saying yes. Also, we heard a good use of the connector although. Although I love socializing, I also need time alone. Remember to practice using connectors like although, despite and in spite of. They are excellent to use in your speaking and writing and also appear quite frequently in Use of English if you are doing a Cambridge exam.

Do you do you prefer to text people or to phone them?

Text absolutely. If somebody calls me and I look at my phone, I’m just rolling my eyes like why? Why are you calling me?

Yeah, OK and why?

Why is the text better?

I am like an introverted, shy person. So it’s like if you’re gonna call me at least give me a warning like my sister FaceTime me the other day and I’m like what is she doing right? So I answer and I’m like hello and she’s like oh I just wanted to say hi. OK, hi, now what you know and it’s just so weird I just it’s awkward for me like conversations on the phone. But when I actually get on the phone I’m fine. Fine, but it’s. Just I get nervous. I don’t know why.

Ok so we hear absolutely hear again, that´s what all the native speakers are using guys! We had plenty of adjectives here too. Introverted and shy, which are words for someone who likes to spend time alone and doesn´t enjoy mixing with others. We heard weird, which is like strange, we had awkward which kind of means embarrassed or nervous in this context. We also had fine and nervous, so a wide range of adjectives there to impress the examiner.

how often do you meet with friends for a chat?

Obviously given lockdown and stuff not as often as I would like, but I’ve got a group of friends who are maybe 6 deep that are really close friends. Some of them I see maybe once a year, some of them I don’t see for weeks on end and some I speak to everyday. Well, they I think it really. It’s really different. I think for everyone it depends on your relationship, workload, family time and all that kind of stuff, but I would like to speak to my friends a load more often. It’s a lot easier just now with current situations and lockdowns and stuff, and zoom and teams and all that kind of stuff being available. But yeah, it’s definitely. How often do I meet? Not enough is what I have to say. Ideally at least once a week.

So this speaker might not see his friends for weeks on end, this means without interruption or continuously. For example, the teenager played Fortnite for hours on end, much to his father’s dismay. He started off his answer saying “given lockdown, not as often as I´d like”, so given in this context means considering. It´s a nice structure to use, given that it’s going to be raining tomorrow I don´t think we should have a barbecue.

How do you keep in touch with friends who don´t live near you?

Lots of different ways, actually. I mean sometimes I’ll go And visit them. Invariably I will talk to them by social media. Will pick up a phone and call them or they will call me. Sending emails lots and lots of different ways. I mean definitely we use social media because it’s. It’s it’s very, very useful. On emails and and you know things like that, so yeah, it’s it’s it. It it really does depend, and sometimes you know if they live very very far away and time zones are quite different. And sometimes it’s just nice to arrange a visit, go travel and see them and actually spend some proper time catching up. But usually it’s it’s my phone. It works out of it. If I’m calling a text message. 

Do you like sharing photos with people you know?

Sometimes it depends on photos and it depends on who. I know an. I mean, I think photos are great and they are great to share. But you know there are a lot of not so great photos that have been taken that people sort of Sharon and I think you know our culture generally is is is. Set up so that people just share sometimes without asking if it’s OK, and I think you know there are times when it’s better to get a person’s permission before you decide to share it with the world. But as a general principle, yes, I do like sharing photos. 

How do you keep up with the latest world news?

I tend to. Essentially search different engines. So for example, I’ll go onto Google and I’ll look up news sites. So the BBC News is quite good for sort of stuff like that, but then I also look at The Economist and there’s basically various publications I tend to look at an. And it depends on sort of what I’m interested in. I’m not a big fan of Yahoo or Bing’s search engines for media because they sort of to my mind they tend to use. I’m quite sort of tabloidesque celebrity type news things, and I’m generally not quite it. I’m not really interested in that, so. I look at newspapers like the Independence Online or Guardian or sort of BBC News and sometimes I’ll even this Aljazeera or France 24 and I also look at a number of Dutch newspapers because I find that they’re kind of world World News is is is pretty good from our sort of European perspective. And then if I’m. Interested in. Sort of a slightly different take on things, and I’ll use the World Service or I’ll look at sort of. Not Asian or African newspapers because it always gives a slightly different perspective and similarly if you look at sort of CNN or Fox News, depending on your preference. So for me, it’s CNN, then that kind of gives an American centric version of. A world events. That’s how I tend to do it. 

 Wow, a really wide range of media there. We´ve spoken before about the importance of topic-relevant vocabulary and here we head about search engines, newspapers, tabloidesque celebrity new and publications. Then the speaker spoke about getting a different perspective on things and rather than repeating the same phrase she said that wants to get a different take on things, which is basically the same meaning as a different perspective or a different way of interpreting the same information. The last thing to point out is yet another great way to give an opinion and that was to my mind. So you could say To my mind, the best English language podcast is Real Exam English, hurrah!

This is what are the advantages and disadvantages of communicating in these different ways so we have face to face meeting, writing a letter, chatting on line, having a video conference, and giving a lecture.

Ok guys that´s about all for today. Make sure to make a note of all of the phrasal verbs you heard today. It´s a good idea to make a list of all of the new phrasal verbs you come across. You´ll notice that the same ones keep coming up again and again, you´ll hear them in the listening parts of exams, in the readings and also even in the speaking questions themselves, and of course you will come across them in the use of English if you are doing a Cambridge exam. So yea, make a list for yourself, on your computer or on paper and try to put them into practice in your speaking or writing exams.

Alright, and since today´s episode is about communications why not get in touch with me on social media on Facebook or Instagram, let me know what you think of this episode and if you have any tips or requests for future episodes.

Thanks a million for listening today, all the best, Trevor

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