Five tips to improve your speaking skills 16/17 ep.27
In this week's Premier Skills English podcast, Rich and Jack talk about the latest news from the Premier League as Manchester City win in the Champions League and Burnley crash out of the FA Cup. The language focus this week is on different ways to improve your speaking skills. Jack and Rich share five tips that could help you with your speaking skills. We also explain the phrase 'underdog' and talk about how it is used in football. We also have a new football phrase for you to guess and a Premier League prediction for you to make. Enjoy!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. You can see two examples here:
League One Millwall knocked out Premier League Champions, Leicester City.
I'm supporting Southampton. I always like to see the underdog win.
There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Can you remember all of them? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words in context. This can really help with understanding.
Learner Training - Speaking Skills
In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack shared five tips to improve your speaking. Think about the advice they gave you and how it can help you develop different learning strategies and study skills. Look at the five tips again. Do you do any of these things? Do you think they could help you with your English?
Five tips to help you think about speaking
- Don't worry about grammar when you're speaking.
- Set yourself a goal.
- Find a friend.
- Speak out loud.
- Set your mobile phone to English.
Look at the five situations below. Think about what we said in the podcast and try to connect each tip to one of the situations below:
- Take an English exam.
- Play a board game in English.
- Find out what time your local supermarket closes.
- Speak about last weekend's football matches.
- Putting together some furniture you have bought from Ikea.
Can you think of any other strategies that you use to get more speaking practice and improve your speaking skills? Can you think of any other situations where you might use some of these tips?
Rich: Hello my name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?
Rich: In this week’s show, we’re going to talk about the latest in the Premier League and we’re going to talk about five ways that you can improve your speaking.
Jack: Nice, you know, language learning is not that different from football training.
Rich: It’s funny that you say that because that’s what we’re going to speak about - learner training!
Jack: But, before all that, let’s take a look at this week’s Premier League headlines.
Rich: City win Champions League thriller against Monaco.
Jack: Manchester City beat Monaco in a crazy match in the Champions League. Raheem Sterling put city ahead but Monaco hit back to lead 2-1 and 3-2. Then, back came City with three more goals to win the match 5-3.
Rich: A weekend of shocks in the FA Cup.
Jack: Lincoln City became the first non-league team to reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup for 103 years when they beat Premier League Burnley 1-0. And, this wasn’t the only shock. League One Millwall knocked out Premier League Champions Leicester City.
Rich: Southampton and Manchester Utd are ready for the first major trophy of the season.
Jack: This weekend Premier League teams Manchester Utd and Southampton meet at Wembley Stadium for the League Cup Final. United could win the Cup for the sixth time whereas Southampton are looking to win it for the first ever time.
Rich: I’m going to be supporting Southampton in that one. I always like to see the underdog win.
Jack: Underdog is a word we use in football a lot and means the team that is less likely to win or the team that people think has less chance of winning.
Rich: Manchester Utd are definitely the favourites because they haven’t lost in ages.
Jack: mmmm I’m not sure that you always support the underdog…..maybe as a Liverpool fan you just don’t want Manchester Utd to win?
Rich: No, no, of course not…..
Rich: Many Premier League managers have spoken about English and how important communication is between players on the pitch.
Jack: Some managers are not native speakers, English isn’t their first language, but they’ve put the time and effort into learning it.
Rich: Manchester Utd’s Jose Mourinho speaks six languages! He was once called a translator but because he doesn’t speak all six languages fluently said it was insulting to professional translators.
Jack: But, maybe it’s not important to speak English fluently it’s just important to speak so you can be understood - you need to be able to communicate well.
Rich: When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool he said that his English was really bad. He said that he would have to make an effort to be understood so he would choose his words carefully.
Jack: He said it’s not important to be fluent in a language. I think it depends what you mean by fluent. If it means no mistakes and to speak like someone who was born in the UK, then no I don’t think it’s important. But it is important to be able to communicate and get your message across.
Rich: So, Tip number one is ……...fluency is more important than accuracy. Try not to think about the grammar that you are using. The message is much more important. Be creative and spontaneous with your English just like David Silva or Alexis Sanchez is with a football!
Jack: Good tip. I think one of the most important things is to have the motivation to learn. If you are motivated, you are more likely to be successful in your learning.
Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, spent a year studying English in New York. He took a year away from football because he knew English was important and he wanted to work in the Premier League.
Rich: He studied english so that he could work in the premier league. He had a clear goal to motivate his learning. So... Tip number two is……….set a goal. If you have a goal or objective to learn English this will be much more motivating. Maybe your goal is to pass an international English exam or you want to speak in English when you go on holiday.
Jack: Or maybe your goal is to speak in English about your favourite topic - football.
Rich: Yes, it’s very important to set a goal and that is a very good tip. Managers have to be very good communicators but players have to communicate on the pitch, too.
Jack: The Everton manager, Ronald Koeman, thinks players communicate less than in the past.
Jack: He blames smartphones. He thinks players use them too much. They are always on their phones and don’t speak or listen to each other.
Rich: So, does he want to change this?
Jack: Yes, he thinks that this obsession with smartphones has a negative impact on the pitch because players don’t want to communicate with each other.
Rich: How is he trying to change this?
Jack: At training, Koeman uses activities that focus on communication. They do movement based activities and have to speak to a teammate at the same time.
Rich; What do they speak about?
Jack: I don’t know but I think it sounds like a good idea and we want you to do this, too..
Rich: Sounds like a good idea. Tip number three to improve your speaking is…….. find a friend.
Jack: It’s not possible to improve your speaking without practising with someone else. You need to practise your conversation skills, you need to learn to listen, take turns and you want to be able to respond naturally to what people say.
Rich: One good tip is to play games with a friend. Board games and card games are great to practise your English in a natural way.
Jack: I think that this is a good idea. Getting together with your friends to speak English is a bit weird and can feel very awkward. When you play a game, you have a start and a finish and can focus on conversation skills.
Rich: But... what if you don’t have any friends?
Jack: Oh Rich... I’m your friend.
Rich: That’s not what I meant... I have lots of friends.
Jack: I’m sure you do. But that’s a good question, what if you’re alone or don’t know anyone else who is interested in speaking English?
Rich: Hmmm. That is a good question and that’s why tip number four is…...speak aloud.
Jack: Really? Speak aloud to yourself?
Rich: Talk about what you are doing or what you are thinking in English. Practise conversations and phrases you will use with different people and in different situations. Nobody will think that you are crazy because nobody can hear you!
Jack: I talk to myself in the shower.
Rich: Really? I sing when I’m in the shower. Aren’t you learning French?
Rich: Maybe you could practise what you are going to say in your next class.
Jack: Je vais essayer.
Rich: Errr.. sorry? What? Let’s move back to English and to football.
Jack: OK, we said earlier that the Everton manager doesn’t like smartphones, but technology is not always bad. In fact, it can be very helpful.
Rich: So, tip number five is ……… change your mobile phone language to English.
Jack: Have all your apps in English and all the instructions, too.
Rich: And you can use OK google. Do you know it?
Jack: Yes, I use it a lot. You can speak into it and Google will search for your answer.
Rich: I think it’s nice because you can use your English and you know you’re communicating successfully if Google gives you the answer you’re looking for.
Jack: Let’s have a go…….how do you activate it?
Rich: You say OK google.
Jack: Ok google…….Is it going to rain today?…….
Jack: What time does Tesco supermarket open tomorrow?
Rich: That’s cool. Have a go at using it and make sure your mobile phone is in English. That will make sure you’re practising your English every day.
Jack: And just like a Premier League footballer that trains every day you should practise your English every day, too.
Rich: Because practice makes…..
Jack: No, don’t say that. It’s such a cliche. So, our five top tips to improve your speaking are.
Rich: Tip number one: fluency is more important than grammar..
Jack:: Tip number two: set yourself a goal.
Rich:: Tip number three: find a friend
Jack: Tip number four: speak out loud nobody will think you are crazy!
Rich: Tip number five: Use your mobile phone in English
Player of the Week
Jack: There were some great performances by Premier League players last week.
Rich: Sergio Aguero was looking good in the Champions League and Jamie Vardy got a good away goal for Leicester.
Jack: But our Player of the Week this week is Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Rich: Kane scored a hat-trick in a London Derby against Fulham last weekend to help Spurs into the quarter-finals.
Jack: Yes, Spurs are looking good in the Cup. I’m looking forward to Arsenal beating them in the final!
Rich: That’s would be a great result for you, Jack. You can read all about Harry Kane in our Player of the Week article. It’s up on the homepage and there is a link on the side of this page.
Can you work out this week’s football phrase?
Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week?
Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was ‘giant killer’. The phrase is used to describe a small team from a lower division that beats a team from a higher division. Lincoln City are giant killers. They beat Burnley to become the first non-league team to play in the FA Cup quarter-finals for over 100 years.
Rich: An amazing result. Lincoln play Arsenal in the next round. Are you nervous?
Jack: I think we’ll be OK.
Rich: Famous last words, Jack. Anyway, congratulations to Kwesimanifest from Ghana, Liubomyr and Alex from Ukraine and Shobonenok from Russia, you all got the right answer. What’s the football phrase this week?
Jack: The football phrase this week is just one small word. The word is *** and is a word all of you will know because it’s normally used to describe a part of your body. But, in football, it describes one of the games in a series of games between two teams. In European cup matches, you usually have two ****; the home *** and the away ***.
Rich: In the Champions League, Manchester City won their first *** against Monaco 5-3; Leicester lost 2-1 in their away *** against Sevilla and Arsenal… well, let’s not talk about that!
Jack: No, let’s not!
Premier League Prediction
Rich: Last week’s prediction was in the FA Cup and I’m happy to say that I got the right result and the right score when I said that Leicester would be the victim of a giant killing against Millwall.
Jack: Yes, well done. I along with our listeners thought Leicester would win. You’re looking good in our prediction league; 6 points clear. What’s your prediction this week?
Rich: I’m going to watch another cup match this weekend; the League Cup final between Manchester Utd and Southampton. I said earlier that I want Southampton to win because I always support the underdog so I’m going to a predict a win for Southampton. I think Manchester Utd have been playing lots of matches recently so it will be difficult for them - this match is much more important for Southampton. Final score Manchester Utd 1-2 Southampton.
Jack: I’m not sure. I think it will be close but I think it will be 1-1 and Manchester Utd will win the cup in a penalty shootout.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week.
Jack: Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. And remember to make your match prediction in the vote.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
Check your understanding:
Last week's featured match was a 1-0 win for Millwall against Leicester in the FA Cup. Rich predicted a 1-0 win for Millwall which gives him three more points, but Jack and our listeners thought that Leicester would win. Those three points take Rich to the top of the Prediction League with 19 points. Remember, it's one point for the correct result and two additional points for the correct score. The big match this week is the League Cup Final - Southampton take on Manchester Utd. Can you predict the right score?
|Millwall v Leicester (FA Cup)||Total Points||Manchester Utd v Southampton (League Cup Final)|
|Jack||0||11||1-1 (Man Utd win on pens)|
Make your prediction now!
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich talked about the importance of communication in the Premier League and shared some tips to improve your speaking skills.
How important is it for managers and players to speak English in the Premier League? How good does their English need to be?
Can you compare football training and language learning? What are some of the similarities?
Are the five tips given in the podcast helpful? Do you do any of the things that Jack and Rich spoke about? What do you do to improve your speaking skills?
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and the questions above in the comments section below.