Speaking skills: A person you admire
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich talk about the backgrounds of some Premier League players and Rich talks about one player that he admires. Then, we ask you to tell us about someone you admire. The language focus is on the words 'for', 'since' and 'ago' and how we can use them to talk about time. We also focus on vocabulary connected to personality and look at how we use adjectives and nouns to talk about different personality characteristics. As always, we also have a new football phrase for you to guess. Enjoy!
Jack: What are you reading, Rich?
Rich: I’m reading this book about where footballers come from. It’s really interesting.
Jack: Footballers come from all over the world, that’s a photo of Yaya Toure, isn’t it?
Rich: Yes, yes it is.
Jack: Wasn’t he born in Ivory Coast?
Rich: Yep. It’s a really good read. Did you know that his two brothers were professional footballers, too?
Jack: I did. Kolo played for Liverpool and Arsenal.
Rich: It’s a really good book. I’ll lend it to you when I’ve finished it.
Welcome - Someone you admire
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 podcast, we’re talking about famous people you admire. We’re going to talk about someone that we admire and we’re going to ask you to tell us about someone that you admire.
Jack: And we’re going to look at the words; since, for and ago.
Rich: We also have a set of adjectives for you to learn. The adjectives are all connected to positive characteristics.
Jack: So, the key word in this podcast is to admire. I think we should start by looking at this word in a bit more detail.
Rich: To admire means to respect someone because of something they have done or for their personal qualities.
Jack: I admire doctors and firefighters who work in dangerous situations. They are brave or courageous because they put their own lives at risk to help others.
Rich: Yes, I also have a lot of admiration for doctors and firefighters. But, admiration, doesn’t always have to be about something as important as life and death. For example, I admire footballers like James Milner at Liverpool and N’golo Kante at Chelsea. I admire them because they are tenacious - they never give up - they always give 100%.
Jack: Yes, Kante is not very tall and when he was younger lots of clubs didn’t give him a chance. But, he never gave up and look at him now!
Rich: There’s a section on N’golo Kante in this book I’m reading. I’m going to talk about one player I admire in the next section.
Jack: Rich, you’ve already mentioned N’Golo Kante and Yaya Toure. Who else have you read about in that book?
Rich: There’s a section on Jamie Vardy.
Jack: Everyone knows that story! It’s a good story though. He was working in a factory just a few years ago and now he’s a Premier League Champion. There’s going to be a Hollywood movie about it.
Rich: Alright, well, there are lots of other interesting stories, too. Did you know that there are quite a few footballers that arrived in the UK as asylum seekers?
Jack: I know about Saido Berahino. He plays for Stoke now and he arrived from Burundi as a child.
Rich: Victor Moses at Chelsea came to the UK as an asylum seeker, too. And there are a few other footballers who were refugees when they were kids - like Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren who had to escape the war in Bosnia in the 1990s.
Jack: Who are you reading about at the moment?
Rich: Antonio Valencia
Jack: Ah ... The Manchester United player.
Rich: Yes, he has an interesting background, too. He grew up in poverty and now well ... I don’t think he needs to worry about money anymore.
Jack: Why do you admire him?
Rich: I’ve always admired him as a player because I think he’s really hardworking on the pitch. Like Kante and Milner I mentioned earlier. But now that I’ve read more about him I admire him even more.
Jack: He’s from Ecuador, isn’t he?
Rich: Yes, he is. He was born in a very poor, small town in the north-east of Ecuador 31 years ago. Valencia has said in interviews that kidnapping is a big problem in his hometown and one of the first things he did when he had enough money was to move his family to Quito - the capital.
Jack: He must have had an amazing journey - from there to Old Trafford!
Rich: As a kid, he used to play football barefoot - without any boots or socks. And he used to sell drinks outside a stadium with his mum and then after the match would look for empty plastic bottles that his family could sell for a little bit of money.
Jack: How did he find a club?
Rich: He didn’t play on a football pitch until he was 11 years old. And then, when he was 16, he was spotted by a scout and asked to play in Quito the capital. He didn’t tell his dad because he wanted him to finish his studies. His mum gave him the money for the bus ticket and said goodbye.
Jack: That’s really brave to leave home at just 16.
Rich: Yes, I think it shows real courage. Everything that I’ve read about Valencia is that he’s very determined and ambitious, too. He played in the capital for three years, and then, when he was just 19, he moved to Spain on his own.
Jack: Wow! That must have been difficult.
Rich: It wasn’t a great success and he only stayed in Spain for one year but Valencia was determined. He didn’t return home - he moved to England to play for Wigan. He has been living in the UK since 2006 - for over 10 years.
Jack: Ecuador to Wigan! I imagine that was a culture shock!
Rich: Yes, the book tells one story of Valencia being very shy and not being able to speak English or read Spanish but he also showed how independent and self-reliant he was. Within three days he had bought a car and rented a house by himself.
Jack: And he plays for Manchester Utd now - one of the biggest football clubs in the world!
Rich: He moved to Manchester Utd 8 years ago and has played over 200 times for the club, won the Premier League twice and has been captain of his country since 2014. I think his story is a good one and the qualities I admire most about him are probably his courage, his determination and his independence.
Jack: Yes, I agree, it’s a great story. Now, we want you to start thinking about a person you admire. It can be a footballer but it could also be another famous person or someone in your family or someone you know.
Rich: After you listen to the next section we want you to tell us about this person in the comments section including some of the language we are going to talk about now.
Jack: Let’s look at some of the language we used in that last section. We’re going to look at three words; for, since and ago.
Rich: All these words are used to talk about time. But we use them in slightly different ways.
Jack: Let’s look at ago first. We use ago to talk about something that happened at a specific time in the past. Rich ‘When did you leave the UK to go and live in Spain?’
Rich: Good question. About 10 years ago. I moved to Spain about 10 years ago.
Jack: When we use ago we talk in the past. We use the past simple in the example that Rich used in the last section. He said ‘He was born 31 years ago’.
Rich: Let’s move onto the next word since. We use since to talk about when something started in the past.
Jack: When we use since we usually use the present perfect. Rich, ‘How long have you lived in Spain?’
Rich: Erm ... since 2007. I’ve lived in Spain since 2007.
Jack: You can see that Rich used the present perfect here. This is because he’s talking about something that started in the past; Rich moved to Spain, and hasn’t finished. Rich still lives in Spain today.
Rich: Also remember that we use since to show a starting point in time. So, the starting point could be a year like 2007, or a time, or month or an event. You could say I’ve been doing this since 2007, since 6 ’o'clock, since May, or since my birthday.
Jack: One example from the earlier section was ‘Antonio Valencia has been captain of his country since 2014.’
Rich: The third word we want to look at is ‘for’. We use for to talk about a period of time.
Jack: Rich, ‘How long have you been living in Spain?’
Rich: For about 10 years. I’ve been living in Spain for 10 years.
Jack: Rich said for 10 years. That’s the period of time. The period of time could be ten minutes, ten days, ten centuries whatever. Be careful with the pronunciation. When we use for as a preposition, it’s pronounced Fe, not for like the number.
Rich: You might have noticed that I used the present perfect in this example but for can be used in other tenses, too. For example, Antonio Valencia played in the capital for three years.
Jack: If you want to practise this a little more, we’ve got some activities to help you further down the page.
Rich: We also used lots of vocabulary earlier and we’ve got some activities to help you with that, too so don’t forget to have a look.
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 ‘memorabilia’.
Rich: Memorabilia is the stuff you collect that is connected to a famous person, an interesting place or activity. Jack collects football memorabilia. Old things connected to football. Old match programmes, coins and medals that kind of thing.
Jack: Well done to Liubomyr and Violinka from Ukraine, Elghoul from Algeria, Mon from Egypt, Anhduongspurs, and phhchoung123 from Vietnam, dvd023 from Spain, Emir from Bosnia, Ahmed Adam from Sudan, and Kwesimanifest from Ghana. You all got the right answer!
Rich: So, what’s this week’s football phrase, Jack?
Jack: This week’s phrase is **** *****. This is a difficult phrase to know. On the first of July the football season officially ends and many players are out of contract. This means that their contracts with their clubs officially end and they can sign for any other club and their previous club doesn’t receive a transfer fee. These players are called **** ****** and clubs like to buy them because they’re cheaper.
Rich: That is a difficult one. Let’s see if anybody can get it right. Maybe we’ll put a few clues in the comments section if nobody gets it.
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.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used lots of adjectives connected to personality that might be new for you. You can see two examples here:
Everything that I've read about Antonio Valencia tells me that he is very determined and ambitious.
Valencia was very shy and not able to speak English but he also showed how independent and self-reliant he was.
There were a few more tricky adjectives in the podcast. Did you know what they all meant? 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.
For, Since and Ago
All three of these words are used to talk about time in different ways.
For is used to describe a period of time such as a number of minutes, days or years etc. For can be used when we are talking about the present, past or the future. Take a look at this example from the podcast:
Antonio Valencia played in the capital (Quito) for three years.
Since is used to describe a point in time in the past. This point could be a year (2012), a month (May), a time (6 o' clock), or an event (my birthday, last season) etc. Since is generally used with the present perfect to talk about something that started in the past and continues in the present. Take a look at this example from the podcast:
Antonio Valencia has been captain of his country since 2014.
Ago is used to describe something that happened at a specific point in time in the past. When we use ago we talk in the past and we usually use the past simple. Take a look at this example from the podcast:
Antonio Valencia was born 31 years ago.
In this week's podcast, Rich and Jack used a few examples of for, since and ago. In this activity, take a look at one section from the podcast and try to put the correct word in each gap.
Nouns and Adjectives
Earlier, you looked at ten adjectives to describe positive characteristics. Many of these adjectives were taken from this week's podcast. All ten adjectives can also be used as nouns. Look at these sentences from the podcast:
I think firefighters are courageous because they work in dangerous situations.
One of the qualities I admire most about Antonio Valencia is his courage.
In the first example the adjective (courageous) is used but in the second sentence, we need to use the noun (courage) because we are not describing the person directly; we are talking about the quality. All ten of the adjectives we looked at in activity 1 can be changed into nouns. Do you think you know all ten? In this activity, take a look at the words and decide if they are adjectives or nouns.
Who do you admire?
In the podcast, Rich spoke about Antonio Valencia - a footballer who he admires. Can you remember the definition of admire?
Admire means to respect someone because of what they have done or a personal quality that he/she has.
The noun is admiration and the definition is:
Admiration is the feeling of respect that you have for someone because of what they have done or a personal quality that they possess.
We would like you to tell us about a person that you admire. This person can be a footballer, a sports person, a celebrity, a politician, someone in your family or someone you know. We want to know:
- Where does this person come from? What is his/her background?
- What positive qualities does this person have?
- What has this person done to earn your admiration? Why do you admire this person?
We would like you to write about this person in the comments section below. We like you to try and use some of the language (for, since, ago) and vocabulary (determined/determination) that you have studied in this lesson. We would also like you to respond to other user's comments and tell them what you know about the people that other users write about.
What do you think?
In this week’s podcast, Rich spoke about a person that he admires.
Which people do you admire in the game of football? Who do you admire outside of football?
Tell us more detail about one person that you admire. Look at the task above for some extra questions and try to use some of the vocabulary from this lesson in your answer.
Remember to write your guess at this week's football phrase and answer the questions above in the comments section below.