Simple English Listening

Improving PRONUNCIATION, Using Drones to Save the Amazon, Electric Cars, Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma' (Pre-int / Int)

October 25, 2020 Tristan Palumbo
Simple English Listening
Improving PRONUNCIATION, Using Drones to Save the Amazon, Electric Cars, Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma' (Pre-int / Int)
Chapters
Simple English Listening
Improving PRONUNCIATION, Using Drones to Save the Amazon, Electric Cars, Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma' (Pre-int / Int)
Oct 25, 2020
Tristan Palumbo

Join us every Sunday. Topics: improving your PRONUNCIATION, using drones to save the Amazon, electric cars and Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma'

Please subscribe.

Lots of new vocabulary including: casual, imitate, logger, drones, renewable, non-renewable, polarization, fake.

- Youtube videos every THIRD Sunday. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1

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Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 

Show Notes Transcript

Join us every Sunday. Topics: improving your PRONUNCIATION, using drones to save the Amazon, electric cars and Netflix's 'The Social Dilemma'

Please subscribe.

Lots of new vocabulary including: casual, imitate, logger, drones, renewable, non-renewable, polarization, fake.

- Youtube videos every THIRD Sunday. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1

-Follow + like the Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/simpleenglishlistening

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 

Hello everybody,

How are you today?? I hope you feel well, and I hope you feel beautiful!

Thank you for joining us for another weekly casual chat in English, in simpler English, to learn English.

A casual chat ('casual' means, informal, not too serious, fun). A casual chat. The opposite of casual is 'formal'  

Today, in our casual chat, I'll share with a way to improve your pronunciation, it's a simple technique, which is called 'shadowing', I'll summarize two stories from around the world of positive news and new ways that people are helping the environment, helping the sustainability of nature. And finally, I'll discuss with you a documentary I watched on Netflix called 'The Social Dilemma' which is about social media which is very interesting.

Welcome everybody. Remember, we release podcasts, weekly, once per week every Sunday. Please subscribe so you don't miss any new episodes. And feel free to get in touch, to comment on the 'Simple English Listening' Facebook page! I love hearing from you. Also, a link to the transcript, to the words will also be there so you can read with me, if you like.

Ok, first, how to improve your pronunciation? To improve your pronunciation, try shadowing me. What 'shadowing' means is, repeat words and repeat phrases exactly how I say them just after I say them. So, just after I say something, you repeat it. And it's as simple as that.  Here is an example.

(Example plays)

When you hear my podcasts try to repeat many words and phrases. 

This way we get more familiar with English pronunciation and get more confident in speaking. You'll become more familiar with how English is spoken, the pauses, the breaks, the flow. And also, your listening will improve and we use different muscle combinations in our face and tongue when speaking English. By 'shadowing', your body becomes more comfortable using these different muscles and muscle combinations. And, it's kind of fun and it's easy to shadow! You don't need to think very hard.

Try to imitate the speaker ('imitate', meaning, try to copy it exactly like the speaker - the same emotion, the same feeling, the same tone, the same timbre, 'timbre' means 'texture' when talking about sounds. Different timbres include, loud, soft, rough, smooth).

 Here's another example of me shadowing a French presenter. This is Johan from the channel Francais Authentique 

 (Example plays)

Next, let me share with you some positive news stories from around the world!

First, a problem in the Amazon Rainforest in South America is deforestation. 'Deforestation' is the cutting down of trees. This is a problem because they say the Amazon are the world's lungs, (breathe in and out) the trees give us oxygen.

How do they catch the illegal loggers (a 'logger' is a person who cuts down trees, a 'logger'). They use local indigenous tribes (indigenous tribes are the people that have been living there for hundreds and hundreds of years, deep in the jungle). These people can protect nature by identifying loggers and collecting evidence of illegal logging activities.

Now, they are being taught to use drones! Drones are perfect for this task! 'Drones' are the mini helicopters that carry cameras. These days, photographers and video-makers often use drones to get good shots from very high up in the sky.

Now, they are running five separate drone-operating courses to teach these indigenous people how to use the drones. This way, the indigenous tribes can create high-resolution images and video and also the GPS coordinates of illegal logging sites and activities.

Illegal logging is also a major cause of the big wildfires that we've seen in the Amazon over the last two years. Illegal loggers cut down the trees to make room for cattle, for cows, to make hamburgers etc..

How much does it cost? What's the cost to train a group of indigenous people to use a drone, and the cost of a drone? Only about 2000 dollars American.  So this is positive news because that's quite cheap for the work it can do.

Next story: electric cars! Here in Vietnam there are new developments and projects to have more electric cars. This will help to slow down air pollution.

By 2021, so, in  three months time - one out of every 7 cars in Europe will be electric! So, will be powered by battery, not by petrol and oil and dead dinosaurs, yea? This is because the European Union is forcing member countries to use less non-renewable energy. Non-renewable energy is oil, gas, coal etc.. and they want more renewable energy. Renewable energy is wind, solar energy, tidal energy. Yea, one thing I noticed in Japan and in South Korea when I went, now is that so many cars there are electric and in other wealthier Asian countries too. 

Ok, so the third thing to talk about today:

I watched a documentary on Netflix called 'The Social Dilemma'. This is all about how social media is now controlling our lives and our thinking. 'Social media' is Facebook, Youtube, Instagram etc.. I will try to summarize the message of the documentary. You should watch it!  It's very mind-opening and might give you a new perspective, a new opinion about social medi

Our thoughts are based on what we've seen or heard. We think about the things we've seen or heard throughout our life. We mostly see or hear things from social media these days, right? Maybe not mostly, but very often we hear and see things from social media.

We spend hours, reading information from social media. Social media shows you things you might be interested in!  Many of the things you think about, you think them because you've seen it in social media. Social media then shows you more things you might be interested in and a kind of bubble of information forms around you. A personal bubble!

And it's all nice in your bubble! All the information are things you're interested in, ideas that you agree with, people you agree with, Youtube stars you agree with. And we all live in our own bubbles of information. Our social media bubbles are made of the things we're interested in, the things we believe. I have my own bubble! In my bubble, on my Google feed, my Facebook, on Youtube, it's all ideas I agree with, and that I'm interested in.

So, when somebody talks about something that's not in my bubble. OMG! I don't know what they're talking about or I don't understand them! I can't speak to them about it, I don't know anything about it, I can't relate to them. They might say something like 'OMG! Kim Kardashian has had more plastic surgery' and I have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. I know Kim Kardashian is a famous American celebrity but I honestly don't know what she looks like. For me, in my bubble - that news is not important.

How this is bad? Is because, let's use American politics as a quick example. The two opposite parties are Republicans under Donald Trump and the Democrats, under Joe Biden.  Somebody who likes the Republicans, for example, lives in a bubble of information that says the Republican way is the correct way, all of this information agrees with you, the democrats are crazy, don't listen to them! However, somebody who supports the democrats, they live in a bubble of information that says the Republicans are crazy, they are completely incorrect.

So what happens, is, there is less and less common ground, less shared information between people, so people develop more extreme and more opposite ways of thinking to each other!  We call this 'polarization', polarization is a term you often see these days. 'Polarization' which means more people strongly believing opposite points of view. Like the north and south pole - opposites. And this polarization is powered, by the algorithms of social media.

The documentary also talks about fake news, so, news that is not real, not real facts. 'Fake' news. Now fake news spreads across the internet six times faster than true news, so the documentary says. So all of this fake news is added to people's personal information bubbles.

So now, you have people believing all kinds of untrue things, and conspiracy theories that they believe with all of their heart. Why? Because everyone in their bubble is also saying 'yes it's true, it must be true! They're only listening to people that agree with them and people who interested in the same things as them. 

For example, some non-truths that many Republican voters believe as fact: is that Obama, President Obama wasn't born in the USA, that climate change and global warming does not exist, that Hilary Clinton is a murder and a big one nowadays, this might sound really ridiculous to you. But the big one: they say that 33%, so one-in-three republicans voters believe the QAnon theory. The QAnon theory is that President Trump is defending is protecting our planet, our Earth from Satan-worshiping, from devil-worshiping sex criminals, these criminals include many famous Hollywood movie stars and democrat politicians.

The question is, if there were no social media and fake news, and people, all people were still reading the same newspapers, listening to the same stories on the TV as 20 years ago, would people now still believe these kinds of things? Maybe not.

So now you have people of different opinions, who just can't understand each other, people now just live in completely different bubbles of information -  in completely different worlds.

And the documentary goes onto say - that this is a threat, (a 'threat', meaning, this is dangerous) for democracy. Because democracy is when people of different opinions work together, they work together to solve problems and lead the country. How can you work together with someone who you think is 100% wrong, who lives in a different world, who is even, a little bit crazy, right?

It made me think about my own life and my own bubble. So we all have our own bubble which the algorithms of social media have given us  So dig this ('dig this', is an informal slang phrase meaning, 'check this out'):

So I made a three-part series about the history of Hong Kong and the present day situation there now! I reported the news about this topic, and for me, it was the most important thing in the world at that time! One third of my whole Google feed was dedicated to news about Hong Kong and I spoke to my work colleagues like, 'can you believe this situation??' And they're like 'yea I've heard of it, what's happening in Hong Kong again?' And I reply 'what do you mean you don't know?'

You see, in my bubble, in my information world. It was massive, big big news. But for other people it was a little bit of news, a small bit of news, no big deal. My bubble was telling me something different to theirs.

And another one, so I had this idea that there would be a big market crash in the economy, the biggest market crash since the 1920s maybe because I had been watching videos by economists and people who also believe there will be a big market crash, so you should buy gold and silver and bury it in your garden and eat the key etc.. Then, I spoke to my mother and friends and they say 'Tristan, you should really stop listening to these videos, what are you talking about? Maybe there'll be a small market crash but no big deal, relax'. 

So my bubble, was making me feel and think a certain way. The algorithms of Facebook, Google and Youtube were directing my thoughts to believe that these things were maybe much bigger and much worse than maybe they actually truly are. I mean, I don't know but, we must be open-minded.

To summarize, what this documentary is saying, lots of our thinking is directed by the algorithms, they show you more things you might be interested in, and of course why do they want you attention? The advertising, right? That's how social media make their money.

So, your bubble. Think about it. What's the biggest news in your life right now? Is it really that big, how true is it really? 

Anyways, I strongly recommend the documentary on Netflix 'The Social Dilemma' it definitely makes you think, which is good, which is healthy.

So, listen to this podcast as many times as you can to take in, to learn, to absorb more new language. See if you can listen to it at least 3 or 4 times. Please subscribe to the channels and to your podcast app and it's been a pleasure as always. 

Feel free to leave a comment on the Facebook page, I love hearing from you guys! And remember, if you want to see the transcript, please check out the podcast website which I have put a link to on the Facebook page.

Lots of love, see you guys later.