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Empathy in language


Follow-up Preview
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Lana: Tell us how you feel about enthusiasm in general, can you fake it? Does it come by nature? Can you be enthusiastic all the time, every day? Because you generally are, but, you know, there are some moods, as you said.
Larry: Yeah, well, you know, I think enthusiasm is a blessing and a curse at the same time. So, the blessing obviously is that it gives us life, you can say. It gives us life, it animates us. It’s what gets us up in the morning. It’s what gets us through the day, in a sense. You know, I’m not talking about wildly enthusiastic, but I mean some sort of sense that there is a brightness, there’s going to be some bright moments in the day and you are looking forward to that. And that’s a blessing, but the curse is that enthusiasm is something that is always about change, OK? If you the life, it’s change. If you have no life, you’re basically in bed with the covers all over your head, and that’s it. Right? So you have to manage change. Change can be scary. Change can be something that is difficult to… difficult, you know. If you change your job, that’s stressful, if you change the way you live, if you go to another culture or across the street to another house…
Lana: Or with a project, you don’t know what to expect, how it’s going to turn out… it’s a change.
Larry: All change is stressful. So, it works in both ways.
Lana: So, the correlation between enthusiasm and change, just to make sure our viewers understand, is..? What’s the point here about to change?
Larry: You know, if you are in a language field, if you learn English, if you are enthusiastic, that gives you motivation to learn that language and you will probably do well in your studies. And at the same time it can be stressful because you put certain… You have certain expectations that you want to achieve and it can be challenging and it can be stressful, so it’s both. But you have to expect both – if you want to make progress, if you want to do well, you have to accept the stress as well as welcome the enthusiastic animation and the drive to accomplish that.
Lana: Yeah, because learning is also a change. You are changing, you’re getting better, your know-how is getting better, so it’s also change, whether it is going to be positive outcome, whether you were going to make any progress… And speaking about enthusiasm in learning, as a learner and as a teacher, do you have any comments here, why is it’s a very important value in the process?
Larry: Well yeah, if I’m going into the class and I’m feeling kind of down in the dumps, basically depressed, and if I go and I’m not really enthusiastic, and I just said they’re in a kind of, you know, monotone voice, I’m not up and showing some enthusiasm, let’s say I’m walking around, I’m using my hands, I am showing that there is something there inside me, then my students are probably going to fall sleep on me, because they come in the evening after a long day and they’re tired. So, as a teacher, it is my obligation, you could say, to be there…
Lana: You have to kind of be uplifting, but it has to come from the right place, right, you cannot fake it…
Larry: Well, yeah…
Lana: Unless you can 🙂
Larry: You can to a certain degree. Yeah, but there has to be some genuinity there. But let’s say that’s the responsibility of a teacher – to show enthusiasm, and whether it’s being partly fake or not, it doesn’t matter, right? Because not everybody is always on the top of the game all the time and not totally and completely enthusiastic all the time.
Lana: But it’s about trying and the willingness to reach for it, to find that deeper motivation. Speaking of teachers and American teachers in particular, because this is what Larry is all about, enthusiasm is a kind of, this is how we perceive it, when it comes to Americans, enthusiasm is a kind of a value of American culture, am I right?
Larry: Yeah, I would definitely say that’s true. Well, I mean, if you think about it, Americans, outside the Native American population, Europeans who came over, now they had to have that enthusiasm, they had to have a sense that something was going to be better. So, for them to leave their home, leave their job, if they had one, leave the culture that they know, go to a continent they don’t know anything about, take a long trip by the way, because airplanes were not available obviously, so they had to take ships, weeks and weeks to get there, even to some point that some of them died on the way…
Lana: That’s the change we are talking about!
Larry: Yes, exactly. So there had to be enthusiasm, if you want to call it that, there had to be some animation, something that was going to get them do that, OK?
Lana: To survive, basically…
Larry: Yes, and once they got to America, they actually many times left the place ones they had arrived to America, to the west… so there was a constant movement. And American culture is all really based on that, it’s based on change, change of everything.
Lana: The drive!
Larry: Oh, yes! It’s change of everything – it’s change your job, it’s change your partner, it’s change your residence OK, everything is change. True America is a very dynamic culture. But it’s also a lot of stress that’s associated with that. I think probably more Americans are in therapy and counseling than any other people in the world, true. So there are a lot of stressors that come from this enthusiasm, as well as the sense of dreaming the dream and achieving things that many people cannot possibly imagine would ever be achieved.
Lana: I love that!
Larry: So, there is both that running. There is the stressors, there is the downside to it, and there is also the greatness that comes from that.
Lana: Wow! Well said, Larry, really well said. I have to take, like just a second or two, just to give it some thought because it was really well said. It goes way back, is deeply rooted, wow! And you know people today perceive, people who might not understand the whole process in the history, people tend to say like: oh, it’s very fake, it’s very maybe annoying, kind of irritating, you know, and Americans always smile, all this enthusiasm on the outside… But is it actually fake? You would say it has deeper value to it.
Larry: Yes, absolutely, there’s more to it.
Lana: Really well explained. OK Larry, I hope will be able to pass on some enthusiasm to our viewers as well. I really enjoyed being here and I would really love them to feel that, ha?
Larry: Yes!
Follow-up Preview
Excited or exciting? Adjectives ending with -ed or -ing
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Barb: Lana, you look exhausted! Sorry for being so honest, but you really do. Is everything OK?
Lana: Is it so noticeable? Yes, everything is fine, actually, it’s great, it’s just that the last two weeks have been pretty exhausting for me. You know, I’ve been working on this online course and it’s a very exciting project, but very challenging as well.
Barb: I can only imagine. I know it takes a lot of time and energy. Are you worried how it’s going to work out?
Lana: Hmm, it’s more like about being excited than worried, it’s like an adrenaline rush, if you know what I mean? I’ve been so excited about it, in a creative sense, and, you know, many people are involved so I would really like for people to love it. I try hard to make it as interesting as possible. That’s the most worrying part, the thing that worries me the most – if it is going to be interesting enough for the people, you know, are they going to watch it… I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or money.
Barb: Oh, no way! I’m sure they will love it, don’t worry. And I’m sure it will be interesting enough, and educational, too. People are interested in learning English lessons online.
I truly believe this is the right way. I am personally inspired by these lessons.
Lana: And that’s the effect I would like to have and get from people! I would like to make this online course not only interesting but also inspiring! There is more to it – to encourage learners to step out of their comfort zone and to feel less terrified when they communicate in English. I know how terrifying it is – and word “terrifying” isn’t too strong for this – when you know what to say, but you just can’t say it in a language that’s not your first language.
Barb: Yeah, it can be really frustrating! Terrifying, like you said. You get stressed and, in a way, you don’t feel like yourself anymore.
Lana: Yeah, you lose it. You kind of don’t shine the way you would otherwise. There is nothing more frustrating and limiting than that, isn’t it?
Barb: Absolutely. I get frustrated when I can’t express myself the way I could in my own language.
Lana: That’s my point, yes. So I really care how people feel about it, and if I can help them in any way, that’s what I’m here for! That’s why I’m so excited and exhausted at the same time, now that you have asked. But I’m not frustrated about it, you know… It’s just how it’s supposed to be with projects like this, I guess.


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Telephoning – Reaching a person
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OPERATOR: Delta Corporation.
MARKO: Hello, this is Marko Tomić. Can I speak to Ms. May, please?
OPERATOR: Which department is that?
MARKO: Human Resources department. I believe it is extension 57.
OPERATOR: May I ask from which company you are calling?
MARKO: It’s West End school.
OPERATOR: Thank you. Please hold.
MARKO: Thank you.
OPERATOR: Sorry Sir, I’m afraid the line is busy. Would you like to hold or call back?
MARKO: I don’t mind waiting.
After a couple of seconds…
OPERATOR: Mr. Tomić, I have reached Ms. May’s office, but I was told she was on a business trip until tomorrow. Would you like to leave a message?
MARKO: Oh, I see. Please tell her to call me back. I’m calling about the in-house language courses.
OPERATOR: Sure, may I have you phone number?
MARKO: Yes, it’s 094552761. Thank you.
OPERATOR: No problem. Have a nice day.
MARKO: You too. Bye.
Follow-up Preview
Present simple vs. Continuous Part 2
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Lana: Hi, Larry, you teach people of various profiles. Could you tell us what are the current trends in language learning?
Larry: Sure. Like in every other aspect of human activity, there are also trends in language education. Nowadays people are busier than ever so they are looking for more flexible and effective ways of learning, . More and more people are taking interactive, online courses. Also, online programs are becoming more personalized and adaptive because educators are turning more and more to individual styles of teaching. In other words, people demand personalized service and expect faster results.
Lana: I see. Yet, traditional ways of learning language are still popular, right? I mean, do you still teach traditional classes in classrooms?
Larry: Yes, I do. People still attend classes in the school, they usually sign up for a course and take, say, 60 lessons in a group.
Lana: When you compare the traditional courses in school and online courses, which one has more advantages?
Larry: Oh, it’s hard to say. Classroom-based learning has a certain dynamic and students like being in the classroom together. They can discuss, exchange ideas and learn from each other. They can also go for coffee afterwards – you don’t get that with online courses! 🙂 Online learning, on the other hand, has other advantages, it offers more flexible schedules and it is often cheaper. But, as I said, what is missing is the social aspect and (the vibes of the) classroom atmosphere.
Lana: Yeah… I couldn’t agree more. And, Larry, are you personally learning any foreign languages at the moment?
Larry: Yes, as a matter of fact, I’m currently working on my Croatian.
Lana: And how many languages do you speak?
Larry: I have conversational knowledge of Norwegian, and English, which is my mother tongue.


Interactive Test Preview
Exited or exciting? Adjectives ending with -ed or -ing
Interactive Test Preview
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