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Learning Vocabulary: Connection Problems

Learning Vocabulary: Connection Problems

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich and Jack call their boss and have a few technical problems with Skype. Can they get their microphones and cameras to work properly? The language focus is on words and phrases connected to online calls. In this week's task, we want you to tell us about a time you had a technical problem with an online call or a funny story you've heard in the news connected to online calls. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.

Transcript

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen again and read the transcript at the same time.
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Learning Vocabulary: Connection Problems
Introduction 

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Rich: This week’s podcast is all about getting connected online. Lots more people are working and studying from home right now which means online meetings and lessons. 

Jack: And not everyone is finding it that easy. Microphones not working, cameras pointing up noses, kids running up to the screen when mum or dad is talking to the big boss.

Rich: Yes, things can go wrong sometimes.

Jack: In this week’s roleplay, we have an online meeting with our boss and not everything goes to plan.

Rich: We have a few problems - a few technical issues.

Jack: After the roleplay, we’ll take a look at some of the language that we used connected to online calls and we’ll have a task for you to do.

Rich: If you’re listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out our website.

Jack: That’s because on the Premier Skills English website you’ll also find the transcript, examples and activities to help you understand the language, a task for you to do and a community of friendly listeners to interact with, in our comments section.

Rich: And that includes Jack and me - we’re always around to answer questions and join the discussions.

Jack: A lot to get through today and before we get into all that we need to look back at last week’s football phrase.

Last week’s Football Phrase 

Jack: If you didn’t hear our football phrase last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. 

Rich: Jack didn’t think anyone would get this phrase right, but lots of you did. The phrase was ***** ****. The phrase describes opponents that you often lose against and rarely play well against even if, on paper, you have better players than them. Many clubs have a ***** **** and it is often difficult to find the reason why they always lose against them. 

Jack: We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase. 

Rich: The first listener to get it right last week was Sabanoleg from Ukraine. Congratulations Sabanoleg - you’ve got the phrase right many times but I think this is the first time you were first to it!

Jack: A big well done to Marco from Mexico, Luibomyr from Ukraine, Lakerwang from China and Elghoul from Algeria. All of you got the right answer, too.

Rich: Remember we’ll have a new football phrase for you to guess at the end of the show.

Introduction to Roleplay

Jack: In this section, you’re going to hear a roleplay. Jack and Rich need to speak to their boss.

Rich: At the moment, the only way to do that is online so they give her a call on Skype.

Jack: While you listen we have a two questions for you to answer:

Rich: The first question is: Which pieces of technology are not working?

Jack: And the second question is: Who do you think will be most embarrassed about what happens?

Roleplay

(Skype call)

Jack: Morning, Rich. How’s it going? Rich? Rich? I can see you but I can’t hear you.

Jack: OK, OK so you can see me. I can see you waving. Can you hear me? What about a joke? Let me see … Why are Norwich City the strongest team in the Premier League?

Jack: You don’t know? You don’t want to know?

Rich: Please, stop - the worst joke ever and probably the oldest!

Jack: Your mic’s working now.

Rich: Yes, just in time. How’s it going?

Jack: Good - well not that good. The website is down.

Rich: Oh no?

Jack: Yes, I just get an error message. A 502 error message. Can you check that it’s the same with you?

Rich: Yes, I’m checking now. Yes, the same here. What shall we do?

Jack: I’ve already told tech support and they’re on it but we probably need to give Bob a ring to let him know. It’s probably just a temporary server issue but he’ll want to know.

Rich: I’ll add him to the call.

Jack: Sure - a group chat. Good idea.

(Skype Call)

Rich: Bob. It’s Rich and Jack here. Can we have a quick word?

Jack: Bob? Is your mic on? Everyone seems to be having technical problems today. 

Rich: I can’t see him or hear him. Can you see us, Bob? I don’t think he can hear us.

Jack: BOB YOUR MIC IS SWITCHED OFF. CAN YOU SWITCH IT ON?

Rich: Shouting won’t help if his speakers aren’t working. He needs to check his audio settings. 

Jack: I thought maybe he had his headphones plugged in and had left them on his desk.

Rich: He’s got his camera on now but I can only see the top of his head - not the best view.

Jack: Shhh! He could turn his speakers on at any moment plus that’s not very nice.

Rich: I don’t think he’s even noticed that we’re calling him. He’s still eating his breakfast in his pyjamas.

Jack: Perhaps he meant to decline our call instead of accepting it?

Rich: Maybe. Bob seems to be eating coco-pops for breakfast. I’d always thought of him as more of a porridge man.

Jack: I’m going to send a message in the chat. 

Rich: Type how are the coco-pops?

Jack: No! Hi Bob. Can you hear us?

Rich: He’s just nearly choked on his coco pops.

Jack: He can see us now. I don’t think he can hear us. 

Rich: Morning, Bob. We can’t hear you. 

Jack: Hang on, he’s typing something. He can hear us now - he’s got his headphones on.

Rich: Can you go to your audio settings, Bob?

Jack: Click on the three little dots in the top left corner - next to your name.

Rich: OK Bob, yeah, sure - we’ll call back in a few minutes.

Jack: He’s gone but he hasn’t hung up. Where’s he going?

Rich: I think he’s getting changed. Bob! Oh no - quick, turn it off. 

Language Focus

Jack: Before the roleplay, we asked you two questions. Did you manage to answer them?

Rich: The first question was: Which pieces of technology are not working?

Jack: Well, it wasn’t that the tech wasn’t working it was that Rich and Bob were having problems making them work.

Rich: Yes, I was having problems with my microphone at first but I got there in the end.

Jack: And Bob was having problems with everything. His microphone wasn’t working so he couldn’t speak to us, his speakers weren’t working so he couldn’t hear us and his camera, well that was working but it was in the wrong place and he forgot to turn it off.

Rich: It wasn’t an ideal online call. The second question was  Who do you think will be the most embarrassed?

Jack: Well, we all sometimes have technical problems but I don’t think I’ve ever left my camera on by accident - I think Bob would be the most embarrassed.

Rich: But we will never tell him about it, will we?

Jack: No, never.

...

Rich: Let’s take a look at some of the language we used in the roleplay.

Jack: Let’s start by thinking about how we could help someone who is having technical problems.

Rich: I sometimes have to help my dad with Skype when I call him because he can’t get things to work properly. I have to tell him how to go to his audio settings by clicking on this button or that icon.

Jack: Yes, I sometimes need to help older relatives, too. I also sometimes say things like press this button but these aren’t the correct words. We should be saying click on the icon.

Rich: On a computer, we click on things. We click on links and icons. An icon is a small symbol that represents a programme, an app or another page. 

Jack: We might click on icons to open up a programme. On mobile phones, we tap on icons to open up an app. We tap on something with our fingers.

Rich: Click on or tap on an icon. Let’s look at a few more actions we used in the roleplay. You can add someone to a call.

Jack: To add is to put something together with something else. We added Bob to our group chat. There were two of us on the call and we added Bob to make three.

Rich: Some other examples are: Can I add your name to the list? Can you add a bit more salt to this? Could I just add a little more to what you are saying here? 

Jack: We can accept or decline an online call. When we accept a call we want to speak to the person calling and we might click or tap on a green icon of a telephone. 

Rich: When we decline a call we don’t want to speak to someone and we might click or tap on a red icon of a telephone. 

Jack: We might decline a call because we are busy and call them back later. Call back is a useful phrasal verb - it means to phone someone again.

Rich: In the roleplay, we said that we’d call back in a few minutes because Bob was busy.

Jack: We used another phrasal verb in the roleplay - to hang up. 

Rich: To hang up means to end a call. Bob forgot to hang up at the end of our Skype call but we hung up before anything embarrassing happened!

Jack: Hang is both a regular verb and an irregular verb. We can use hung or hanged in the past but I think it is more common to use hung when we use this phrasal verb.

Rich: I hanged up the phone - I hung up the phone. Yes, I would say hung up.

Jack: Let’s take a quick look at a few other words we used in the roleplay. We had quite a few mic problems in the roleplay.

Rich: The mic is the microphone. In the roleplay, we were saying things like your mic is off and can you turn your mic on?

Jack: We spoke about headphones and speakers. You listen through these. Your headphones go on your head - earphones go in your ear. 

Rich: Speakers are either in your computer - internal speakers - or you have some external speakers on your desk or maybe you have other speakers to listen to music on.

Jack: Let’s look at one last phrasal verb - to plug in. I think it’s a useful one. In the roleplay, I said Bob might have his headphones plugged in.

Rich: To plug something in or to plug something into something means to connect a piece of electrical equipment to the main electricity supply or to another piece of electrical equipment.

Jack: You plug headphones into a computer or your mobile for example. You probably plug your laptop into the socket in a wall. If you forget to plug something in, it won’t work or will run out of battery.

Rich: OK, that’s enough language for now. There are more examples and activities to check your understanding of all these words and phrases on the Premier Skills English website. 

Jack: To find this lesson, go to the homepage or click on skills, then click on podcasts and finally click on Learning Vocabulary: Connection Problems.

TASK

Rich: Your task this week is to tell us about a problem you have had or someone else has had when making calls online.

Jack: Tell us who you were calling and what problems you had.

Rich: Was it a problem with your audio or video settings? Did someone forget to plug in their headphones? Was the camera in the wrong place? Did you fix the problem? How?

Jack: Many people are getting used to using online calls for the first time right now and there have been a few funny stories related to online meetings in the news. Can you tell us about a funny story you’ve heard about?

Rich: Try to experiment with some of the language we introduced in the roleplay.

Jack: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts if that’s where you listen to us.

Football Phrase

Rich: It’s your turn with this week’s football phrase, Jack.

Jack: I’ve got a more straight forward phrase this week. Well, I think it’s straight forward. This week’s football phrase is *** ** ***. When a match is described as *** ** *** it means that both teams are attacking a lot and the play is moving from one side of the pitch to the other a lot. *** ** *** matches are usually exciting to watch, have lots of attacking play and lots of goals.

Rich: Let’s see who can get it right. Before we leave you we also need to tell you last week’s football phrase. The answer was bogey team.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show. 

Rich: If you have any questions or comments or suggestions for the podcast or anything football or English related, you can leave them on the website in the comments section, on social media, on apple podcasts or you can email us at premierskills@britishcouncil.org.
 
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?

OK, OK so you can see me. I can see you waving.

Good - well not that good. The website is down.

I’ve already told tech support and they’re on it.

We probably need to give Bob a ring to let him know.

He’s still eating his breakfast in his pyjamas.

I’d always thought of him as more of a porridge man.

Hang on, he’s typing something. He can hear us now - he’s got his headphones on.

Listen to the roleplay again to hear how Rich and Jack used these words and phrases.

What goes wrong when Jack and Rich give their boss a call on Skype?

Vocabulary

Online Calls - Hardware

In the roleplay, Rich and Jack tried to speak to their boss online but Rich and his boss had a few hardware problems. Hardware is the word that is used to describe the physical objects connected to computers such as a mouse or a keyboard. Have a look at the sentences below and check you understand all the words in bold

Bob? Is your mic on? We can't hear you. Everyone seems to be having technical problems today. 

Shouting won’t help if his speakers aren’t working. He needs to check his audio settings

I thought maybe he had his headphones plugged in and had left them on his desk.

He’s got his camera on now but I can only see the top of his head - not the best view.

Lots of people are working from home right now.

Vocabulary

Online Calls - Actions

In the roleplay, Rich and Jack also used a few words and phrases to describe the actions that often take place during online calls. Have a look at the sentences below and check you understand all the words in bold. If you're not sure, have a listen to Jack and Rich's explanation in the language focus ().

I’ll add him to the call.

He needs to check his audio settings.

I thought maybe he had his headphones plugged in and had left them on his desk.

He could turn his speakers on at any moment.

Perhaps he meant to decline our call instead of accepting it?

I’m going to send a message in the chat. 

Click on the three little dots in the top left corner - next to your name.

OK Bob, yeah, sure - we’ll call back in a few minutes.

He’s gone but he hasn’t hung up. Where’s he going?

Activity 2

Activity 2: Complete the sentences by typing words and phrases we looked at in this podcast.
Can you type the right words?


You can take all kinds of classes online! Zumba online anyone?

Quiz

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Task

Connection Problems

Do you use Zoom or Skype or something else to make video calls?

This week’s task is to tell us about a problem you have had or someone else has had when making calls online.

Tell us who you were calling and what problems you had:

  • Was it a problem with your audio or video settings?
  • Did someone forget to plug in their headphones?
  • Was the camera in the wrong place?
  • Did you fix the problem? How?

Many people are getting used to using online calls for the first time right now and there have been a few funny stories related to online meetings in the news.

  • Can you tell us about a funny story you’ve heard about?

Try to use some of the language that we have introduced in this podcast and do you know the punchline (answer) to the 'bad' joke Jack told at the beginning of the roleplay?

Write all your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!

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Comments

hsn's picture
hsn
03/11/2020
TR
5533
points

Two friends are chatting on the skype call. Let's say “A” and “B”. Their microphones are switched on and properly working. Audio setting is O.K. Speaker turned on. Headphone plugged in. They can see and hear each other.

The web site isn’t down and there is also no any server issue to be fixed or needed tech support.

But A wants to make a joke and says that he couldn’t hear . B starts to speak loudly . Then A says “Why are you shouting! I’m not deaf-:)

P.S.
I've stayed in Norwich for a little time but I don't know punchline of the joke.
Bye.


hsn's picture
hsn
03/11/2020 17:13
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
5533

Two friends are chatting on the skype call. Let's say “A” and “B”. Their microphones are switched on and properly working. Audio setting is O.K. Speaker turned on. Headphone plugged in. They can see and hear each other.

The web site isn’t down and there is also no any server issue to be fixed or needed tech support.

But A wants to make a joke and says that he couldn’t hear . B starts to speak loudly . Then A says “Why are you shouting! I’m not deaf-:)

P.S.
I've stayed in Norwich for a little time but I don't know punchline of the joke.
Bye.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/06/2020
TR
6510
points

I think this week's football phrase is ( end-to-end stuff )


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/06/2020 20:03
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

I think this week's football phrase is ( end-to-end stuff )

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/06/2020
TR
6510
points

Actually , the problem was regarding online teaching with my students while have remote teaching
We decided with our school administration to use zoom platform but it was a kind of novel to many teachers and parents for sure.
We started the first lesson back in April and suddenly all the students popped up one after another but there was a tech problem with a couple of students. I asked them to check the adio settings and the headphones so we started to see them.
However , the other girl discovered that her laptop camera was broken down so I talked to her mum and we ended up switching to her mum's smartphone.
Eventually , we worked on the lesson and it was an exciting experience.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
14/06/2020 19:54
Turkey
Manchester United
6510

Actually , the problem was regarding online teaching with my students while have remote teaching
We decided with our school administration to use zoom platform but it was a kind of novel to many teachers and parents for sure.
We started the first lesson back in April and suddenly all the students popped up one after another but there was a tech problem with a couple of students. I asked them to check the adio settings and the headphones so we started to see them.
However , the other girl discovered that her laptop camera was broken down so I talked to her mum and we ended up switching to her mum's smartphone.
Eventually , we worked on the lesson and it was an exciting experience.

Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
07/05/2020
BR
615
points

My answer is late, but the podcast is great again.

I have been using Zoom and Skype quite a lot, either to communicate with my friends or for English lessons and academic meetings.

Some weeks ago I have a problem with an online call after had arranged an online class with a private teacher. The problem was in the online school's server, and I couldn't enter into the classroom on time neither have my money back. I got crazy that day.

I think some episodes ago you told us about the employee who had forgotten the camera on while he or she was going to the bathroom. A quite embarrassing situation!


Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
07/05/2020 14:54
Brazil
Tottenham Hotspur
615

My answer is late, but the podcast is great again.

I have been using Zoom and Skype quite a lot, either to communicate with my friends or for English lessons and academic meetings.

Some weeks ago I have a problem with an online call after had arranged an online class with a private teacher. The problem was in the online school's server, and I couldn't enter into the classroom on time neither have my money back. I got crazy that day.

I think some episodes ago you told us about the employee who had forgotten the camera on while he or she was going to the bathroom. A quite embarrassing situation!

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
22/04/2020
UA
4408
points

I think that a phrase is '*** ** ***'.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
22/04/2020 09:53
Ukraine
Watford
4408

I think that a phrase is '*** ** ***'.

Scooby joker
21/04/2020
TH
11
points

The football phrases is Derby


Scooby joker
21/04/2020 08:26
Thailand
Leicester City
11

The football phrases is Derby

Vic
21/04/2020
MX
817
points

Well I didn´t has a problem with the audio, the problem was to share the control of my computer to the guy of tch support, I can´t find the icon for share control, was embarrased.

Yes, in a call, the big boss, moved their lips, but anybody can heared him.

Actually, nobody use the camera, its a prevention...

For fix the problem, always call the tech support, they hate me...


Vic
21/04/2020 00:20
Mexico
Liverpool
817

Well I didn´t has a problem with the audio, the problem was to share the control of my computer to the guy of tch support, I can´t find the icon for share control, was embarrased.

Yes, in a call, the big boss, moved their lips, but anybody can heared him.

Actually, nobody use the camera, its a prevention...

For fix the problem, always call the tech support, they hate me...

elghoul's picture
elghoul
19/04/2020
DZ
3988
points

With all the new software still being added to our desktop, laptop and cellphones we are often overwhelmed when we try to use them. The messenger's calls are not well transmitted and SKYPE connections sometimes badly connected. The audio material on my desktop is not completely furnished so I cannot speak without microphones. I prefer my Samsung tablet with its camera incorporated and its mic integrated in the listening kit.

Bad Joke punchline, Norwich City  at the bottom in the table are the strongest team because they are lifting all others on their shoulders.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
19/04/2020 13:32
Algeria
Manchester City
3988

With all the new software still being added to our desktop, laptop and cellphones we are often overwhelmed when we try to use them. The messenger's calls are not well transmitted and SKYPE connections sometimes badly connected. The audio material on my desktop is not completely furnished so I cannot speak without microphones. I prefer my Samsung tablet with its camera incorporated and its mic integrated in the listening kit.

Bad Joke punchline, Norwich City  at the bottom in the table are the strongest team because they are lifting all others on their shoulders.

Rich's picture
Rich
19/04/2020
ES
594
points

Fantastic that you are using your Samsung Tablet!!

I'm not sure if I should congratulate you on your language skills for understanding the joke or commiserate with you because the joke is so bad!


Rich's picture
Rich
19/04/2020 21:17
Spain
Liverpool
594

Fantastic that you are using your Samsung Tablet!!

I'm not sure if I should congratulate you on your language skills for understanding the joke or commiserate with you because the joke is so bad!

elghoul's picture
elghoul
18/04/2020
DZ
3988
points

The phrase is *** ** ***.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
18/04/2020 16:15
Algeria
Manchester City
3988

The phrase is *** ** ***.

hayato
18/04/2020
JP
442
points

I think the phrase is box to box


hayato
18/04/2020 06:56
Japan
Everton
442

I think the phrase is box to box

Rich's picture
Rich
18/04/2020
ES
594
points

Hi Hayato,

It's a good guess but not the phrase we're looking for. The phrase we're looking for describes a match and box-to-box is more often used to describe a midfielder. A box-to-box midfielder is a player with lots of energy who defends and attacks.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
18/04/2020 10:55
Spain
Liverpool
594

Hi Hayato,

It's a good guess but not the phrase we're looking for. The phrase we're looking for describes a match and box-to-box is more often used to describe a midfielder. A box-to-box midfielder is a player with lots of energy who defends and attacks.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
17/04/2020
MX
79
points

I took me a while haha, *** ** *** match!


Marco Zapien's picture
Marco Zapien
17/04/2020 19:11
Mexico
Wolverhampton Wanderers
79

I took me a while haha, *** ** *** match!

Gergő Nagy
17/04/2020
HU
3396
points

Correct me, please.
I don't use Skype or Zoom. I'm a student from Hungary, who has to do the GCSE exam with the other students in 4th of May.
I was a problem with this situation when the "Learning from home" learning have been started. My secondary school didn't know well my email address, because they missed a character, so the educational material didn't arrive. This was an embarrassing situation but after 3 days it was OK. We don't have to communicate on camera only in written so i have no proble with neither microphone and the speaker.
Unfortunately i don't have funny story.
This week's football phrase maybe is: COUNTER ATTACK


Gergő Nagy
17/04/2020 18:56
Hungary
Chelsea
3396

Correct me, please.
I don't use Skype or Zoom. I'm a student from Hungary, who has to do the GCSE exam with the other students in 4th of May.
I was a problem with this situation when the "Learning from home" learning have been started. My secondary school didn't know well my email address, because they missed a character, so the educational material didn't arrive. This was an embarrassing situation but after 3 days it was OK. We don't have to communicate on camera only in written so i have no proble with neither microphone and the speaker.
Unfortunately i don't have funny story.
This week's football phrase maybe is: COUNTER ATTACK

sabanoleg
17/04/2020
UA
2337
points

I deem the phrase is"*** ** ***".


sabanoleg
17/04/2020 18:36
Ukraine
Arsenal
2337

I deem the phrase is"*** ** ***".

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1mobeckham6510
2Alex_from_Ukraine6292
3hsn5533
4wsanta5086
5kwesimanifest4768
6Liubomyr4408
7elghoul3988
8assemjuve3705
9aragorn19863557
10Gergő Nagy3396
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71520
2Ukraine33416
3Spain28630
4Serbia27294
5Brazil22773
6Albania20578
7Vietnam19992
8Turkey19886
9Macedonia19074
10Bosnia and Herzegovina16333
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United142518
2Liverpool110076
3Chelsea89284
4Arsenal85416
5Manchester City57418
6Tottenham Hotspur19085
7Newcastle United10506
8West Ham United7536
9AFC Bournemouth4548
10Crystal Palace4470

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Vocabulary: Online calls

Task: Resolving a technical issue