Learning Vocabulary: The Environment
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich and Jack go to a car showroom because Jack is thinking of buying an electric car. The language focus is on words and phrases we use to talk about the environment. In this week's task, we want you to tell us if you would buy an electric vehicle. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: The Environment
Rowan: Hello my name’s Rowan
Rich: My name’s Rich
Jack: and I’m Jack
Rowan: And welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rowan: Don’t forget you can find the transcript for all our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: In this week’s roleplay, I’m buying a new car.
Rich: Yes, Jack has a really, really old car. I call it an old banger in the roleplay. I think he needs to change it for something that is newer, more reliable and kinder to our planet.
Jack: And I agree with Rich, I want something that is more environmentally-friendly. Rich wants me to buy an electric car, but I’m not so sure.
Rowan: In the roleplay, Rich and Jack go to a car showroom to look at some cars. Will Jack buy an electric car? You’ll find out in the roleplay.
Rich: In our language focus this week, we’re going to look at vocabulary connected to the environment. We’ve got a little quiz for you based on eight words and phrases we use in the roleplay.
Jack: And your task this week is to tell us what you think about electric vehicles. Are you seeing more of them on the streets? Would you buy one?
Rich: If you are listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.
Rowan: On the Premier Skills English website you’ll also find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, and a task for you to complete.
Jack: You’ll also find a community of friendly listeners to interact with, in our comments section.
Rich: And that includes us - we’re always around to answer questions and join in the discussions.
Rowan: But if you listen on Apple Podcasts you can always write your answers to our questions or any other comments in the review section.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Rich: OK, our football phrase. If you’ve not listened to the podcast before, every week we set our listeners a language challenge. We explain a football phrase or word and you have to guess what it is.
Rowan: When you know the answer, go to the Premier Skills English website and write the word or phrase in the comments section for this podcast. If you’re correct we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast.
Jack: Thanks for all your answers last week. The first listener with the correct answer was Fathi from Malaysia. Well done Fathi and welcome to Premier Skills English!
Rich: And congratulations to these other listeners who also got the correct answer to our football phrase: Liubomyr from Ukraine, MoBeckham and HSN and Max Alex from Vietnam. It was a very difficult phrase last week.
Rowan: If you didn’t hear last week’s football phrase the answer is at the end of this podcast but we’re going to give you one more chance to guess last week’s football phrase. Are you ready?
Jack: The phrase was to **** *** ****** *** ***** ***. This phrase is often used when there is a penalty. The penalty taker makes the goalkeeper think they are going to shoot in one corner of the goal but then shoots in the other. The ball goes one way and the goalkeeper the other - she’s **** *** ****** *** ***** ***.
Rowan: Remember that the answer and our new football phrase is at the end of this podcast.
Rich: If you remember, our last podcast was all about Scotland and the Scottish capital - Edinburgh.
Jack: Thanks for all your comments on the website. We’re really happy that you enjoyed it.
Rich: It was good to hear from HSN from Turkey who has been to Edinburgh and told us how friendly everyone was there.
Jack: And it was nice to hear what you know about Scotland, too. Wsanta told us how that he like Scottish Whisky and it’s important not to spell it with an e because that means it’s from Ireland and not Scotland - not that that is necessarily a bad thing.
Rich: Alex from Ukraine told us about a famous song all about Edinburgh and left a link in the website if you want to have a listen.
Jack: And well done to Vic from Mexico who successfully translated the six words from standard English to Scots in the task we gave you last week. I’m sure you’ll have no problems with language if you visit Scotland, Vic.
Rich: If you haven’t heard this podcast it’s called English and the UK: Edinburgh and you can find it on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts.
Introduction to roleplay
Rowan: As we said earlier, in this week’s roleplay Jack and Rich are going to a car showroom because Jack needs a new car.
Jack: While you listen we want you to answer three questions:
Rich: Question one: What advantages of electric cars are mentioned?
Rowan: Question two: What disadvantages of electric cars are mentioned?
Jack: Question three: Do I buy a car in the end?
Jack: Hop in.
Jack: Where’s this fantastic car showroom you’re going to take me to then?
Rich: It’s not that far - on the old industrial estate on the other side of town. Do you think your car will make it?
Jack: Of course it’ll get there.
Rich: I’m glad you’ve decided to get rid of this old banger at last.
Jack: It’s not that old, but yes it’s time to make a change.
Rich: These old cars pump out so much pollution. Look at all that dirty air behind us. We should get them all off the road.
Jack: I don’t think the emissions are that bad but diesel cars aren’t the best. I might go for a hybrid.
Rich: A hybrid. Nah! If you’re thinking of going green you should go for an electric car.
Jack: Going green?
Rich: Thinking more about the environment. To go green.
Jack: Ah! Yes, I want to be environmentally-friendly - It’s important to not do things that harm the planet. I don’t use plastic bags, I recycle, I always turn off the lights, but an electric car … it’s a big purchase - an electric car … maybe ...
Rich: The car showroom is just here. Pull up around the corner. I don’t want anyone to see me get out of this heap of junk.
Rowan: Good morning, gentlemen. I see that you’re looking at the Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Jack: The Vauxhall Corsa-e? I wonder what the e stands for.
Rich: It stands for electric.
Rowan: Yes, it’s one of our best sellers. Are you thinking of going for an electric car?
Jack: I’m not sure. It’d be a big change. I’m worried about how far they go, about running out of battery. How often do you have to charge it up?
Rowan: The Corsa-e has a range of 400 kilometres or about 250 miles if you prefer.
Rich: That’s probably more than a full tank of petrol in the car you have now. Think about those fossil fuels you’re not burning.
Jack: Yeah, electricity is much cleaner - more eco-friendly. It’d be good not to be using petrol or diesel that comes from oil.
Rich: Especially if the electricity comes from renewable energies like wind and solar. Renewables are being used more and more these days.
Rowan: And think about all the money you’d save not going to petrol stations to fill up.
Jack: Yeah, that’s a very good point. A very good point because look at that price tag.
Rowan: It is expensive but in the long term buying an electric car is going to save you money, save you time and save the planet.
Rich: We all need to take action on climate change - we can see it happening everywhere. Freak weather, more storms, a hotter planet. And I saw in the news that you won’t be able to buy a diesel or petrol car soon anyway. They’re going to be banned.
Rowan: That’s right. This car is the future. They don’t emit any greenhouse gasses at all. No carbon dioxide, no nitrous oxide, no methane.
Jack: My carbon footprint would definitely go down if I replaced my old car with this one.
Rich: Go down? Your carbon footprint would go down astronomically. How often do you use your car? Twice a day on average? The amount of greenhouse gasses you use every time you get into your car would go from loads to zero.
Jack: So, do you just charge the car up at home?
Rowan: There are more and more charging points but yes you normally charge your car at home. You just plug it in and you’re ready to go in the morning. I tell you what, if you buy today, we’ll even throw in a free wall charger.
Jack: Free? I like the sound of that.
Rich: Before the roleplay, we asked you two questions. The first question was: What advantages of electric cars are mentioned?
Rowan: The main advantage was that electric cars are much better for our planet than traditional cars that emit more pollution. Other advantages mentioned were saving money on petrol and the convenience of charging up an electric car at home.
Jack: Our second question was: What disadvantages of electric cars are mentioned?
Rich: Well, Jack had a few worries but the main disadvantage was the price tag. Jack thinks that electric cars are expensive.
Rowan: And our third question was whether Jack bought the car or not. Well, he hasn’t yet but he’s thinking about it and I think my offer of a free charger may persuade him to buy.
Jack: In the roleplay, we used lots of language connected to cars and connected to the environment.
Rich: If you want to learn more vocabulary connected to cars we’ve got examples and activities on the page for this podcast on the Premier Skills English website.
Rowan: And we also did a podcast a few months ago called Learning Vocabulary: Pros and Cons where we look at the language of cars. We’ll put a link to that podcast on the side of the page for this one.
Jack: But now we’re going to concentrate on language connected to the environment. In the roleplay, we spoke a lot about why electric cars are good for our planet and why traditional cars are not so good.
Rich: We’re going to focus on eight words and phrases that we used in the roleplay.
Rowan: We’re going to do a little quiz, right?
Jack: That’s right.
Rowan: Can I be the quizmaster?
Jack: Sure, Rowan. Rich and I will be the contestants and all of our listeners have to try to get the answers before either of us do.
Rich: Sounds good to me. So there are eight questions?
Rowan: Give us a few minutes. I need to write the questions.
Rowan: Hello and welcome to the Premier Skills English quiz. Welcome, Jack. Welcome, Rich and welcome to all our listeners.
Rowan: We have eight questions and the winner will go home with tonight’s top prize - a Vauxhall Corsa-e!
Jack: Really? An electric car to the winner?
Rowan: Not really but just go with it. It’s a quiz we need a prize.
Rowan: Ready? Question one: We often use this word to talk about what makes the air dirty but there are many types of this. Some of them include: light, noise, water, and even radioactive.
Rich: Makes the air dirty? Are we talking about chemicals here?
Jack: You can’t ask questions.
Rich: Pollution. The answer is pollution. You can have air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution.
Rowan: Very good, Rich. One-nil. Question two: You often see this word on products you buy in shops. It means that they don’t harm the environment.
Rowan: It’s a good guess but not the word I’m looking for. Over to you, Jack.
Rich: Environmentally friendly.
Rowan: Sorry, Rich. I’ve got to take your first answer. Jack?
Jack: I think the answer is environmentally friendly.
Rowan: And there’s the equaliser. One all.
Rich: Oh, come on.
Rowan: Question 3: The answer to this question is a colour connected ...
Rowan: A bit too quick there. Rich. The answer to this question is a colour connected to the environment. If I want to help the planet someone might say they are going.
Jack: The answer is green and the phrase is to go green it means to do things in a more environmentally friendly way.
Rowan: Very good. Jack takes the lead. Two-one. Question four: The phrase I want is connected to the weather.
Rich: Stormy weather?
Rowan: You need to stop interrupting, Rich. The phrase I want is connected to the weather; especially an increase in temperatures - it is a problem caused by humans.
Jack: Global warming?
Rowan: That’s a good guess and might be right but the answer I was looking for was climate change. No change in the scores, let’s move on to the next question.
Rowan: Question five: These substances come from under the ground and have been formed from dead plants and animals over millions of years. Coal and oil are good examples.
Rich: Got it. Fossil fuels. Coal and oil come from fossils - dead plants and animals that’s why we call them fossil fuels.
Rowan: Very good, Rich. That’s the equaliser. Two all.
Rowan: Question six: Who can tell me the name which is given to the chemicals that are released when fossil fuels are burned that stop heat from the earth escaping into space and cause global temperatures to rise?
Rich: That’s a difficult one.
Rowan: I can repeat the question. I’m looking for a collective name that is given to a number of different chemicals. These chemicals are released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. These chemicals stop heat from the earth escaping into space and cause global temperatures to rise.
Jack: No, I’m not sure about this either. Can we have a clue?
Rowan: OK, the main example is carbon dioxide but nitrous oxide and methane are others.
Rowan: Nearly, but that’s not quite right.
Jack: Greenhouse gases.
Rowan: Correct answer. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide cause temperatures to increase when there are too many of them in the atmosphere.
Rich: That was a tricky one. What are the scores?
Rowan: That’s three-two to Jack. Two more questions.
Rowan: Question seven: Energy from the sun or from the wind are often called what?
Rich: Renewables or renewable energies. Get in! That’s another equaliser. Three all.
Jack: Calm down, Rich. It’s only a game.
Rowan: It comes down to this - our final question - who’s going home with that electric car? Question eight: This phrase is used to measure how much carbon dioxide somebody uses in their everyday activities or life.
Rich: Oh, yeah it’s on the tip of my tongue ...car, car, car ...
Jack: Carbon footprint. The answer is carbon footprint.
Rowan: And there we have our winner - Jack you go home with tonight’s star prize - a brand new Vauxhall Corsa-e.
Rich: But I was about to say that answer?
Jack: Come on Rich. It’s only a game.
Rowan: We hope that quiz was fun and useful and helped you learn a few words and phrases connected to the environment.
Rich: All the vocabulary we looked at in the quiz was also in the earlier roleplay if you’d like to go back and look at the transcript to check your understanding.
Jack: You can find the transcript and some more activities connected to the language we used in the roleplay and quiz on the Premier Skills English website. This podcast is called Learning Vocabulary: The Environment and you can find it in the skills section on the website.
Rowan: The task we want you to do this week is to tell us what you think about electric vehicles.
Rich: Are you seeing more of them on the streets? Do you see electric cars? Electric bikes? Or other types of electric vehicles where you live?
Jack: And would you buy one? Is your next bike or car going to be an electric one?
Rowan: Why would you buy an electric vehicle or what would stop you buying an electric vehicle?
Rich: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: Have you got a football phrase for us, Rich?
Rich: This week’s football phrase is an ******** **** ****. The referee awards an indirect free kick for minor offences such as when players block another player. You can’t score from an ******** **** **** and when one is awarded the referee will keep their arm in the air until it has been taken.
Jack: Let’s see if anyone gets it right and who is first this week. If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was to send the keeper the wrong way.
Rich: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rowan: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page.
Jack: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rowan, Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
Where’s this fantastic car showroom you’re going to take me to then?
These old cars pump out so much pollution. Look at all that dirty air behind us.
It’s a big purchase - an electric car.
The car showroom is just here. Pull up around the corner.
It is expensive but in the long term buying an electric car is going to save you money.
I tell you what, if you buy today, we’ll even throw in a free wall charger.
Listen to the roleplays again to hear how Rich, Rowan and Jack used these words and phrases.
In the roleplay, you heard Jack, Rowan and Rich using words and phrases about the environment. Here are some of the phrases that were used in the roleplay. Do you know the phrases in bold?.
These old cars pump out so much pollution. Look at all that dirty air behind us.
If you’re thinking of going green you should go for an electric car.
I try to be environmentally-friendly. I don’t use plastic bags, I recycle, I always turn off the lights ...
Think about those fossil fuels you’re not burning when you drive an electric car.
Especially if the electricity comes from renewable energies like wind and solar.
We all need to take action on climate change - we can see it happening everywhere.
This car is the future. They don’t emit any greenhouse gases at all. No carbon dioxide, no nitrous oxide, no methane.
My carbon footprint would definitely go down if I replaced my old car with this one.
Traditional cars versus electric cars
In the roleplay, Jack is thinking about replacing his old traditional car with an electric car. Look at the words and phrases in bold from the roleplay. Which words and phrases do you associate with electric cars and which words and phrases do you associate with more traditional cars?
I don’t think the emissions are that bad but diesel cars aren’t the best.
I’m worried how far they go, about running out of battery. How often do you have to charge it up?
That’s probably more than a full tank of petrol in the car you have now.
Think about all the money you’d save not going to petrol stations to fill up.
There are more and more charging points but yes you normally charge your car at home.
You just plug it in and you’re ready to go in the morning.
Describing a car
When we describe a car, we can use many different adjectives. Take a look at these descriptions.
My car is very reliable. You can trust it to start every morning.
My car is very economical. When I fill it up, the petrol lasts for ages!
I have an electric car. It's very environmentally-friendly.
I have a four-wheel drive. It's not very fuel-efficient but it's safe and very spacious.
If you want to learn more about the language of cars and driving, take a look at this lesson and podcast: How to drive a car.
In this week’s task, we want you to answer a few questions about electric vehicles:
- Are you seeing more electric vehicles on the streets? Do you see electric cars, bikes or other types of electric vehicles where you live?
- Would you buy an electric vehicle? Is your next bike or car going to be an electric one?
- Why would you buy an electric vehicle or what would stop you buying an electric vehicle?
Try to use the words and phrases connected to the environment we introduced in the podcast. Write your answers below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!