Learning Vocabulary: COVID Kindness
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich and Jack talk about helping out during the current COVID-19 crisis. They talk about some of the work Premier League players and clubs have been doing and then take a more light-hearted approach in the roleplay. Rich has been trying to help in his neighbourhood but it's not been a total success. The language focus is on words and phrases connected to helping others. In this week's task, we want you to tell us about a community project in your city or neighbourhood. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: COVID Kindness
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: We’ve called this week’s podcast COVID kindness. Because of the virus and what’s happening all around the world with people staying in and not seeing each other, the British Council and Premier League are sharing ideas that combat the problems of isolation, of being alone and not being able to go out.
Jack: The Premier League is running a campaign called #WeAreOneTeam that encourages people to help each other and the British Council has a campaign called #CultureConnectsUs which shows people how we can all get through this together.
Rich: We want to focus on the language related to acts of kindness that are happening in communities around the world.
Jack: In this week’s podcast, we’re talking about helping one another and what we can do to help our neighbours.
Rich: And not only the people living next door to us but everyone in our communities that might be having a difficult time at the moment.
Jack: I think it’s brilliant that so many people are showing that we are one team right now and we can all work together to help each other get through these troubling times.
Rich: And in the roleplay, we’re going to take a more light-hearted approach to this as I try to help out in my community
Jack: Rich has a few problems, but his heart is in the right place!
Rich: After that, we’ll take a look at some of the language that we use in the roleplay.
Jack: If you’re listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcast platform, you should also check out the website.
Rich: 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.
Jack: And that includes Rich and me - we’re always around to answer questions and join the discussions.
Rich: A lot to get through today and before we get into the main course we need a starter which is 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: The word was *********. The word was connected to last week’s podcast because the word means running but with a ball at your feet. Wingers are usually the best players at *********. To give you a bit of extra help - this is something that babies do a lot.
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 Liubomyr from Ukraine. Congratulations again Liubomyr but your compatriot Sabanoleg was only a few minutes behind you!
Jack: A big well done to Mario from Mexico, Elghoul from Algeria, Hayato from Japan, Lakerwang from China and Rafael Robson from Brazil. 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.
Jack: Before we do this week’s roleplay, we wanted to share with you some of the heart-warming stories we have heard from the world of football in the last week or so.
Rich: So many people and organisations have been doing wonderful things during the COVID-19 crisis to help people in their communities and further afield. We can’t mention all of them here so we’re going to look at a few things that Premier league clubs and players have been getting involved in.
Jack: As you say, there has been so much good. One great example from the Premier League is Chelsea handing over their stadium hotel to nurses, doctors and other health workers.
Rich: That’s great. Ex-Manchester United duo Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have done the same thing with the two hotels they own in Manchester.
Jack: The Premier League and individual clubs have donated millions to the cause but it’s the individual stories that often catch the eye. Players and teams have been donating to food banks not only in the UK but in their home countries and towns as well. I’ve been reading about Everton’s Yerry Mina and Richarlison helping with food deliveries in Colombia and Brazil.
Rich: I’ve also seen that many Premier League clubs have set up schemes that involve contacting older fans that are in self-isolation. Lots of clubs have signed up ex-players to call older fans to talk about matches in the old days. I think this is a great idea - it’s not always about the money.
Introduction to Roleplay
Jack: In the next two roleplays, you’re going to hear about Rich’s recent attempts to be more neighbourly. I say attempts because he’s not entirely successful.
Rich: While you listen we have a question for you to answer:
Jack: What does Rich get wrong?
Roleplay Part 1
Rich: Hey, Jack. How’s self-isolation going?
Jack: I wouldn’t exactly call it self-isolation! Can you hear the kids screaming? I’ve had to listen to the soundtrack from Frozen at least 12 times today.
Rich: Let it go, Jack!
Jack: Yep, I know that one. What’s up?
Rich: I’ve been trying to get out. Anything to get out! I’ve been trying to help out people who live near me, you know, the neighbours and people who can’t get out at all at the moment.
Jack: That’s a kind thing to do - very considerate. I’ve heard of all types of volunteer groups springing up to help people.
Rich: Yes, I decided to volunteer to help out delivering food in our neighbourhood but it’s not been going that well …
Rich: (knocking) Yes, is that Mr Hollis - it’s Rich here from meals on wheels. We’ve got a food delivery for you.
Rich: Mr Hollis … Mr Hollis
Jack: Oh, hello there young man.
Rich: Are you Mr Hollis? I’ve got a delivery for you. This should keep you going for a few days.
Jack: That’s wonderful. It seems rather a lot. I live on my own you know. I only ordered a few tins of beans and some fresh fruit and vegetables.
Rich: Don’t worry about that - it will keep you going for longer. What have we got here? Here we go. 24 cans of beer.
Jack: I don’t drink - I’m not sure this ...
Rich: Look! Apple pies. Three family apple pies .
Jack: Well, I like an apple pie but three …
Rich: Shaving kit.
Jack: I haven’t shaved off this beard since 1978.
Rich: And here. These must be your tins of beans … oh dog food … Have you got a big dog Mr Halls?
Jack: Mr Hollis - I’m Mr Hollis and I haven’t got a dog I’m afraid.
Rich: There seems to have been a mistake. I’ll tell you what, I’ll get this delivery to Mr Halls and I’ll get right back to you ...
Language Focus 1
Jack: Before we go back to the roleplay, we’re going to pause and look at the question we asked you and take a look at some of the language we used in this section.
Rich: Before the roleplay, we asked you to listen for what I got wrong.
Jack: Well, it seems that Rich delivered the food to the wrong address. He confused the man’s surname with someone else’s but he promised to go back later so all is well.
Rich: What about some of the language that might be useful to learn in that section.
Jack: Let’s start with why - why you want to help.
Rich: I want to help because I want to help people who live near me. These people are my neighbours. The people who live on your street or near you are your neighbours. The people who live next to you are called your next-door neighbours.
Jack: You want to help people who live in your neighbourhood. Your neighbourhood is the area where you live. A city is made up of many different neighbourhoods.
Rich: I wanted to help my neighbours, the people who live in my neighbourhood. I said I wanted to be more neighbourly.
Jack: To be neighbourly means to be friendly and kind to the people who live near you.
Rich: So there are three words to learn here neighbour - neighbourhood and neighbourly. In the roleplay, I was helping out by volunteering to deliver food in my neighbourhood.
Jack: To help out is a phrasal verb but it’s not a difficult one to understand because it means to help - especially in difficult situations.
Rich: I want to help out - I want to help people who are in difficult situations. A similar phrase is to lend a hand. I want to lend a hand by helping with food deliveries.
Jack: Volunteer is a useful word connected to helping out. It can describe a person who does work for free by his or her own choice and it can also be used as a verb. Rich said he had volunteered to help out with food deliveries.
Rich: Volunteering is something that more and more people are getting involved in. Let’s now go back to the roleplay and while you listen we want you to answer another question.
Jack: It’s the same question as last time - what does Rich get wrong?
Roleplay Part 2
Jack: That’s not so bad Rich. You’re trying to help and there are always going to be a few teething problems when you start something new.
Rich: You’re right and Mr Halls got his dog food a few minutes later. I think the dog had been waiting for a while - it nearly bit my hand off when I arrived.
Jack: It’s nice to contribute but maybe that’s taking things too far. So, you went back and got the right parcel for Mr Hollis?
Rich: Well, that’s when things start to get worse. You know I really want to help and there are so many ways we can volunteer at the moment. I’ve also volunteered at a football phone bank in the afternoons.
Jack: Oh, what’s that?
Rich: A group of volunteers are connected with older people living alone in our communities through shared interests and we give them a call once a day to see how they are and chat. The idea is to combat loneliness.
Jack: That’s a great idea. I imagine you’re calling to bore people I mean talk to people about Liverpool football club.
Rich: Exactly, but that’s where things took a turn for the worse …
Rich: Hello is that George. I’m calling from the football phone bank. How are you today?
Jack: Just grand, lad. Lovely for you to call. Are you a Liverpool fan then? I’m sure I recognise your voice.
Rich: A massive fan. I love Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Jack: Yes, lad they’re good players but I bet you’re too young to remember Tommy Smith and Roger Hunt in the 1960s and 1970s - they were wonderful players.
Rich: I would have loved to have seen them play - it would be interesting to see them play in this season’s Liverpool team Mr Hollis … Mr Hollis!
Jack: Call me George, lad. What did you say your name was?
Jack: So you just put the phone down? What about his food?
Rich: Exactly. I was mortified.
Jack: The poor bloke. First you pretend to deliver his food telling him you’ll be back later then he’s settling into a nice conversation - probably the only conversation he has all day and you hang up on him.
Rich: I know! Don’t rub it in, I was panicking.
Jack: I bet he didn’t have any tea either!
Rich: All right!
Jack: So, what did you do then?
Rich: Well, I rang the food volunteer group and said there had been a horrible mistake. I asked them if I could come and grab Mr Hollis’ parcel and take it round to him.
Jack: And did you get it right the second time?
Rich: I did. I was so relieved. His parcel also included tea bags! He was really nice about it when I explained what had happened. He still thinks Roger Hunt was better than Mohamed Salah though!!
Language Focus 2
Jack: Good to see that everything worked out in the end. Before you heard the second part of the roleplay we asked you a question. Again we asked you what Rich got wrong.
Rich: Well, I’d already muddled up Mr.Hollis’ food order but it got worse because I forgot all about it when I went to my other volunteer group in the afternoon. He didn’t have any food.
Jack: But Rich got a chance to make up for his mistake when he luckily called Mr. Hollis in the afternoon although he probably shouldn’t have just hung up on him.
Rich: OK, let’s have a look at some of the language we used in that section.
Jack: In that section, Rich was volunteering at a phone bank where he contacted older people who are living alone and might be feeling lonely.
Rich: They’re two useful words to compare: alone and lonely.
Jack: Alone basically means without other people. If someone lives alone there are no other people living in their home.
Rich: Lonely is connected more to feelings and that you have no friends or no-one to speak to. So a person can live alone and not be lonely and maybe even feel lonely when they don’t live alone.
Jack: The idea of the phone bank is to combat loneliness. Loneliness is the noun from lonely.
Rich: To combat something means to battle against something; to stop something from getting worse. To combat loneliness means to prevent people from getting lonely.
Jack: I said that it was good that Rich was contributing something by helping in his community.
Rich: To contribute means to give something in order to help with something. People often contribute money, food or clothes but you can also contribute time. That’s what I was doing in the roleplay.
Jack: In the roleplay, Rich phoned an older person. We’ve already mentioned that the purpose of these calls was to combat loneliness. In the roleplay, we said that it was important that the callers had shared interests.
Rich: To have shared interests means to be interested in the same topics and hobbies.
Jack: Rich and Mr Hollis’ shared interest is football.
Rich: We could also say that we have something in common. This means the same but is more general. When you have lots of things in common - you have the same interests, you might be from the same place, you might do the same job - those kinds of things.
Jack: A final phrase I want to look at is to keep in touch. To keep in touch means to stay in contact with someone by communicating with them regularly.
Rich: If you know someone who is lonely or maybe just living on their own, don’t forget to keep in touch - I’m sure they would appreciate your call.
Rich: This week’s task is for you to tell us about a scheme or project that helps people in your neighbourhood or community.
Jack: What does the scheme or project involve? How does it help people in your community?
Rich: Is it something new because of the current crisis or something that has been going for a long time?
Jack: Is it run by volunteers or a voluntary group or is it led by the government or other organisation?
Rich: Have you ever volunteered? How do you or how could you help people in your neighbourhood?
Jack: Try to use some of the language that we have introduced in this podcast.
Rich: 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.
Jack: It’s your turn with this week’s football phrase, Rich.
Rich: I’ve got a really strange phrase this week. It’s also a little disgusting. This week’s phrase is ***** ****. 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: And why is this phrase a little disgusting?
Rich: Ah, yes, the first word can also be used to describe the little green bits of mucus that children pick out of their nose.
Jack: Yes, disgusting! 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 dribbling.
Rich: 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.
Jack: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
He has a few problems but his heart is in the right place.
We wanted to share with you some of the heart-warming stories we have heard from the world of football.
I’ve also seen that many Premier League clubs have set up schemes that involve contacting older fans that are in self-isolation.
There are always going to be a few teething problems when you start something new.
I imagine you’re calling to bore people I mean talk to people about Liverpool football club.
Exactly. I was mortified.
He’s settling into a nice conversation - probably the only conversation he has all day and you hang up on him!
I know! Don’t rub it in, I was panicking.
I was so relieved. His parcel also included tea bags! He was really nice about all of it though.
Listen to the roleplay again to hear how Rich and Jack used these words and phrases.
Helping others (part 1)
In the roleplay, Rich spoke about how he was trying to help in his local community. It didn't all go to plan. Here are a few of the words and phrases Rich and Jack used about helping others in the first part of the roleplay. Do you understand the words in bold? If you're not sure, have a listen to Jack and Rich's explanation in the first language focus (8:16 - 10:50).
I’ve been trying to help out people who live near me, you know, the neighbours and people who can’t get out at all at the moment.
I’ve heard of all types of volunteer groups springing up to help people.
I decided to volunteer to help out delivering food in our neighbourhood but it’s not been going that well …
You're attempting to be more neighbourly - it's a good idea
I want to lend a hand by helping with food deliveries.
Volunteering is something that more and more people are getting involved in.
Helping others (part 2)
In the second part of the roleplay, Rich spoke about how he was helping out by calling people who may be lonely in his neighbourhood. Here are a few of the words and phrases Rich and Jack used about helping others in the second part of the roleplay. Do you understand the words in bold? If you're not sure, have a listen to Jack and Rich's explanation in the second language focus (13:50 - 16:50).
It’s nice to contribute but maybe that’s taking things too far.
The idea is to combat loneliness.
A group of volunteers are connected with older people living alone in our communities through shared interests.
When you have lots of things in common - you have the same interests, you might be from the same place, you might do the same job.
If you know someone who is lonely or maybe just living on their own, don’t forget to keep in touch - I’m sure they would appreciate your call.
A Community Project
This week’s task is for you to tell us about a scheme or project that helps people in your neighbourhood or community. Here are some questions to help you:
- What does the scheme or project involve? How does it help people in your community?
- Is it something new because of the current crisis or something that has been going for a long time?
- Is it run by volunteers or a voluntary group or is it led by the government or other organisation?
- Have you ever volunteered? How do you or how could you help older people in your neighbourhood?
Try to use some of the language that we have introduced in this podcast.
Write all your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!