• Topics: American Presidents – Barack Obama; Famous Songs – “Anchors Aweigh”; diffidence versus timidity versus shyness; receipt versus reception; no problem versus not at all versus no big deal

    community organizer
    rising star
    campaign slogan
    no problem
    not at all
    no big deal

  • Let’s not talk about the topic of today’s episode right now. So, how’s your day going?

    Slow dialog: 1:25
    Explanations: 4:00
    Fast dialog: 18:29

    Lila: Why aren’t you dating? I have so many friends who would love to go out with you.

    George: Let’s change the subject. Talking about my love life isn’t very interesting.

    Lila: But really, you’re not getting any younger and…

    George: Moving on! Have you seen any good movies lately?

    Lila: Listen, all of your friends are settling down and you don’t want to go through life alone and lonely…

    George: That reminds me, didn’t you say that you were going to get another dog so that Rover isn’t lonely when you’re not home?

    Lila: Forget about my dog. You remember Rachel, don’t you? She just broke up with her boyfriend and she’d be perfect for you.

    George: Speaking of Rachel, how is her mother? Wasn’t she in the hospital?

    Lila: If Rachel isn’t your type, how about Amina? She has great legs and I know you’re a leg man.

    George: And now for something completely different…How is your diet coming along? Have you lost any weight yet?

    Lila: I don’t really want to talk about my weight.

    George: But I think you’re having trouble shedding those pounds, right? I have lots of suggestions on what you can do.

    Lila: Anyway, as I said before, I don’t really want to talk about my diet…

    George: You need to cut out sweets if you want to lose weight. Are you eating too many sweets?

    Lila: That’s none of your business!

    George: My sentiments exactly!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

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  • Topics: Movies – Die Hard; American Authors – Emma Lazarus; in front of versus ahead of versus before; as if versus as though versus as for; to take stock

    to be separated
    to give (something) another try
    to freshen up
    to be descend from
    to be well received
    to dedicate
    to persecute
    to huddle
    to yearn
    in front of
    ahead of
    as if
    as though
    as for
    to take stock

  • Topics: Famous Americans – Muhammad Ali; The Golden Gate Bridge; valuable versus invaluable; north/south versus northern/southern; common ground and universal experience

    to take up
    to reign
    social activist
    to be drafted
    to indict
    north / south
    northern / southern
    common ground

  • Topics: Famous Americans – Charles Schultz and Peanuts; The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve; to be pleased to versus to be happy to versus it’s (one’s) pleasure to; to sit versus to seat; willy-nilly


    national park
    national preserve
    to designate
    to be pleased to
    to be happy to
    It’s (one’s) pleasure to
    to sit
    to seat

  • Do you ever go to the supermarket without finding what you’re looking for? Learn more about it in this episode.

    Slow dialog: 1:11
    Explanations: 3:17
    Fast dialog: 16:18

    Stocker: Can I help you find something?

    Meg: Yes, I’m looking for coffee.

    Stocker: That’s on aisle 3. Let me show you where it is.

    Meg: Thanks. Hmm, I don’t see the Jitters brand that I normally buy.

    Stocker: It looks like we’re out of stock. We should get another shipment next week.

    Meg: Okay, I’ll check back. I’m also looking for the Fructose brand soda, but I didn’t see it in the soda aisle.

    Stocker: I’m afraid that’s been discontinued. Their parent company no longer makes soda.

    Meg: Really? I love Fructose soda. How about the Mushy brand bread? I didn’t see it when I checked the bread aisle.

    Stocker: We no longer stock the Mushy brand. There were so quality control issues at the company, so we’ve pulled all of their products from the shelves. Can I help you find anything else?

    Meg: No, I guess I’ll just have to try some new brands. Oh, yes, do you carry Worm organic apples?

    Stocker: We normally do, but they’re out of season right now. We won’t have any until early summer.

    Meg: All of this shopping and I have nothing to show for it. I guess I’m going home empty-handed.

    Stocker: We do have chocolate cakes and cookies on sale.

    Meg: I’m there!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • Take a look in the mirror and see if you recognize yourself in these descriptions of the beautiful people.

    Slow dialog: 1:30
    Explanations: 3:18
    Fast dialog: 17:55

    Pamela: You know that your tongue is hanging out of your mouth, right?

    David: That’s because I’ve never seen so many beautiful women in one place before. Why have I never been to this beach before? Look at her! She’s a hottie!

    Pamela: Isn’t that what you said about that woman over there?

    David: No, I said she’s a babe. Look at the way she sways when she walks.

    Pamela: Stop ogling her or her boyfriend or husband is going to come over here.

    David: I’m not ogling. I’m admiring the perfection of the female body.

    Pamela: You’re undressing her with your eyes. Avert your gaze before you regret it. Oh, wow!

    David: What?

    Pamela: Check out that guy over there. Hello, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome!

    David: That pretty boy over there? He’s too into himself. Look at the way he’s posing so every woman on this beach can get a look at him. He’s nothing but an exhibitionist.

    Pamela: And the women you’ve been ogling in the teeny tiny bikinis?

    David: Those women? They’re just showing off what God gave them!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • Lights! Camera! Action! We’re off to the movies. Learn how to talk about seeing a good film in this episode.

    Slow dialogue: 0:57
    Explanations: 2:37
    Fast dialogue: 15:35

    Martin: What did you think of that movie?

    Joanna: It was okay, but I’m not really into big-budget movies with a lot of special effects and big-name stars.

    Martin: Oh, you’re a film snob. I bet you only watch indie films made on a shoestring budget with low production values.

    Joanna: No, that’s not true. I just don’t like crowd-pleasers that are predictable. I like movies that stretch the imagination and have some artistic value.

    Martin: You mean you like those weird movies with no plot and a lot of strange characters. They’re artsy, but leave you totally confused.

    Joanna: I don’t mind some ambiguity, if that’s what you mean.

    Martin: Well, I’m going to see the new Spiderboy movie next week. I don’t suppose you want to come?

    Joanna: Spiderboy? I’ve been looking forward to seeing that movie.

    Martin: But it’s a big-budget blockbuster.

    Joanna: I can’t watch artsy films all the time. Variety is the spice of life, don’t you think?

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • If you can’t read this, then put on your glasses and listen to this episode on having bad eyes.

    Slow dialogue: 1:07
    Explanations: 2:45
    Fast dialogue: 15:19

    Sue: This medication I’m taking is messing with my vision. Everything is blurry.

    Hamed: That’s a good reason for you to stay home from work today.

    Sue: I can’t. I have to give a presentation this afternoon and I can’t flake out on my coworkers.

    Hamed: What good are you to them if you’re blind as a bat?

    Sue: Everybody else will have crystal clear vision, so all I have to do is to put in an appearance. Things may not be as sharp as I’d like them to be, but I can still make out people and objects – as long as they’re really big.

    Hamed: I don’t think your coworkers are going to want you to blindside them today with your strange behavior. You’re going to do more harm than good.

    Sue: I can see well enough. I only see double if I move my head like this. Whoa…

    Hamed: At this point, I don’t care if you have X-ray vision. That medication is affecting more than your vision. It’s impairing your better judgment!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • Learn how to take and leave phone messages in this podcast.

    Slow dialog: 0:57
    Explanations: 3:42
    Fast dialog: 21:10

    I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home. As soon as I walked in the door, though, the phone rang.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Evelyn: Hi, could I speak to Tony?

    Paolo: He’s not here right now. Can I take a message?

    Evelyn: Do you know when he’ll be back?

    Paolo: No, I don’t.

    Evelyn: Okay. I’ll call back later. Thanks.
    Ten minutes later, the phone rang again.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Pam: Hi, is Tony there?

    Paolo: No, he’s out.

    Pam: Could I leave a message?

    Paolo: Sure. Give me a second to get something to write with…Okay, I’m ready.

    Pam: Could you tell him that Pam called and ask him to call me back as soon as he can.

    Paolo: Does he have your number?

    Pam: He should, but I’d better give it to you. It’s 279-555-6347.

    Paolo: Okay, I’ll tell him.

    Pam: Thanks.

    As soon as I put down the receiver, the phone rang again. I couldn’t believe it.

    Paolo: Hello.

    Susan: Hi, is this Tony?

    Paolo: No, I’m his roommate, Paolo. Tony’s not here right now.

    Susan: I need to get a hold of him. Do you have his cell number?

    Paolo: Uh, yeah, I do, but I’m not sure he wants me to give it out.

    Susan: Oh, I’m sure he’d want me to have it.

    Paolo: I tell you what. Why don’t I take your number and have him call you back?

    Susan: I really need to get a hold of him right away.

    Paolo: I’ll give him your message as soon as he gets home.

    Susan: Fine. This is Susan and my number is 742-555-3655. Please make sure he gets it. It’s important. Bye.

    Paolo: Bye.

    As soon as she hung up, I took the phone off the hook for the rest of the night. I’d had enough of being Tony’s answering service for one night!

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

  • Learn how to ask for clarification in English in this podcast.

    Slow dialog: 0:54
    Explanations: 2:29
    Fast dialog: 12:46

    I was negotiating a contract with a new business partner, and we had a meeting to clarify the terms.

    Bill: If I understand the terms correctly, the length of the contract would be one year with a one-year option. Is that correct?

    Ms. Samuels: Do you mean the contract for equipment rental or the one for training?

    Bill: I was under the impression that both contracts had the same terms.

    Ms. Samuels: Yes and no. Let me see if I can clarify that. The terms are the same except that the contract for training has a clause that allows for the cancellation after the first six months.

    Bill: Could you elaborate on that?

    Ms. Samuels: Sure. What I mean is that either side could cancel the training contract after the six months as long as it’s in writing.

    Bill: Let me see if I have that right. This contract is for six months of training, but if it isn’t cancelled, continues for another six months. Is that right?

    Ms. Samuels: Yes, that’s right.

    Bill: Okay, that’s clear enough. Let’s move on to the other terms . . .

    Script by Dr. Lucy Tse