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088 Topics: Yellowstone National Park, summer jobs for teenagers, I’ll be in later versus I’ll be in late, loudly versus aloud versus loud, pronouncing lounge, lunch, and launch

Complete Transcript
You're listening to ESL Podcast's English Café number 88.

This is ESL Podcast's English Café episode 88. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California. How are you today?

On this Café, we're going to talk about the summertime. We're going to talk about summer jobs, what teenagers do to make money in the summertime in the U.S. We're also going to talk about a very famous and popular vacation place, or vacation destination, in the U.S. called Yellowstone National Park, our first national park. And as always, we'll answer a few questions. Let's get started.

Did you know that ESL Podcast has a website? Oh yes, it does! Go to www.eslpod.com. You can download a Learning Guide for this episode or take a look at our ESL Podcast Store, which has some additional courses you may be interested in.

I record the Podcast episodes several weeks in advance, meaning this podcast was recorded at least six or seven weeks ago. I mention that because sometimes I get emails from people saying, “Oh Jeff, could you talk about this story that happened in the news today,” or “this week.” And unfortunately, we tape these in advance so by the time we tape them and you hear them the news is rather old.

A couple of things we're going to talk about today are very appropriate for the summertime. The first is one of our most famous national parks in the United States, called “Yellowstone.”

Yellowstone is the first national park that the U.S. Government established, back in 1872, and every American knows about Yellowstone Park. It's very famous. It is located in the state of Wyoming, which is in the western part of the United States. It is south of the state of Montana. The park actually goes into part of Montana and Idaho, two other states in the west.

Yellowstone is a very popular vacation destination – a place where people go on their vacation. It's not close to any big city, so you have to drive there. But, it's a beautiful park. I visited it once back when I was eight or nine years old, back in the 1920s!

It happens to have some very interesting natural features. One of them is called a “geyser.” “Geysers” (geysers) it when you have water that is naturally heated in the ground, and it shoots up in the air – it goes up into the air – the water goes up very high from the ground.

The most famous geyser in Yellowstone is called “Old Faithful.” It's called “Old Faithful” because the word “faithful” means reliable, something you can count on, we would say. Something you can depend on, you can expect it to happen on a certain regular schedule, and Old Faithful is a geyser that regularly shoots out water. You can even put the time that it's going to come out next. So, people gather around it to watch it. It is a very large geyser.

Yellowstone also has what are called “hot springs,” and these are pools of water that are heated from the ground, and they're quite interesting to see. Yellowstone is actually over what is called a “super volcano.” A “super volcano” is an area where there is a large volcano (volcano). A “volcano” is a hill or a mountain where hot, what we would call, “lava” (lava), which is a kind of liquid rock, and this hot lava comes out the top of the mountain.

Some famous volcanoes would be Mount Vesuvius in Italy and Krakatoa in Indonesia. There are also famous volcanoes in other countries. Mexico has Popocatépetl, near Mexico City. Hawaii also has several mountains that are volcanoes, especially on the island of Hawaii.

Yellowstone, then, is on top of a volcano, and that helps explain these interesting natural features that it has. I think it is definitely worth a trip to visit Yellowstone if you ever come to the United States or if you live here, although, as I said before, it's not close to any big city unfortunately, but it is quite beautiful.

Our second topic today is summer jobs. Yellowstone is a place where families go on vacation during the summer, but the summertime is also a time when kids – when teenagers try to find a job to make some money. This is a very common thing in the U.S., students in high school and in college try to get a summer job to make some extra money; we might call it extra “pocket money.”

Your “pocket” (pocket) is the little bag that is inside of your pants, usually in the front of your pants or jeans, and you have one on each side. You often have a pocket in the back. Men keep their wallets in their back pocket. So, the expression “pocket money” means a small amount of money, money that you could carry around with you in your pocket. It's not going to be enough to pay for all of your expenses, but it can help you pay for some things.
The U.S. government has laws protecting teenagers, regulating or stating how much they can work, and when and where they can work. Most teenagers get their first job when they are 16 years old. And the reason they wait, many times, until they are 16 is because the U.S. federal law says that once you are 16 years old you can work as many hours as you want as long as the job isn't dangerous. If it's a dangerous job, you need to be 18 years old. But if you are 16, and want to get a job at McDonald's – we would call that a job “flipping burgers” – then you can do that.

“To flip” (flip) means to take, in this case, the hamburger, throw it up in the air so it cooks on the other side. It's what you do when you cook the hamburger. Generally speaking, we use that expression “flipping burgers” to mean having a job that is not a very good job, it doesn't pay you very much money; it may be a temporary or a summer job.

Many teenagers do get jobs working at restaurants – fast food restaurants like McDonald's, and after the age of 16, they can work as many hours as they want. However, it is possible for someone who is 14 or 15 to get a job, however there are more restrictions. There are more limitations, so many companies don't want to hire anyone under the age of 16; they don't want to give anyone under 16 a job.

There are, as I say, restrictions on those who are 14 and 15. They can only works so many hours every day. They can't work after 7:00 at night during the school year, 9:00 at night during the summer. However, there are some teenagers who do get jobs when they are 14 and 15.

I had my first job when I was 15 years old, working at a car wash in St. Paul, Minnesota. A “car wash” is a place where people bring their cars to be cleaned. I worked at this car wash, which was also a gas station, so I used to go and put gas in people's cars. We would say I used to pump (pump) gas. “To pump gas” is to put gasoline into your car. The machine that puts the gasoline into the car is called the “pump,” or a “gas pump,” so it can be a noun or a verb.

I worked in this car wash and I would dry the cars off with a towel after they went through the washing machine that we had. It was very difficult work. I hated it, but I wanted some pocket money – I wanted some money to go and buy records and books and other things. I wanted to be able to buy a bike – a bicycle, so I got this job working in the summertime.

There are other summer jobs that teenagers get, both 14 and 15 year olds as well as those 16 and over. Sometimes teenagers will get jobs cutting lawns. A “lawn” (lawn) is the grass that is in front and in back of many houses. To cut the lawn would mean to have what we would call a “lawn mower” (mower), which is a machine that cuts the grass to keep it short. The verb is “to mow” (mow) the lawn. “To mow the lawn” is to cut the lawn, or the grass. I also used to mows lawns in the summertime for neighbors and for my uncle, who lived close to us.

After working at the car wash during the summer of my 15th year, when I turned 16, meaning when I was 16 years old – we use the verb “to turn” an age, meaning to become 16 – I got a job at a nursing home, a place where old, sick people are taken care of, often, and there I was a dishwasher. So I washed dishes, and that was, again, not a very nice job, but I remember it being a job that paid more money than the car wash.

Finally, a few months later, I got my third job as a teenager, and that was working at a large store, where I was in the key shop. So, it's a place where you bring a key in order to make another key - to make what we would call a “duplicate” (duplicate). A “duplicate” is a copy of a key that you would make for your lock.

Some teenagers get jobs being camp counselors. Many children, during the summertime, spend a week or two weeks what we call “summer camp.” I talked about summer camp back in English Café number 44, so take a listen to that if you're interested in knowing more about summer camp, which is also a very popular tradition in the U.S.

There are also some teenagers that get internships during the summertime. An “internship” (internship – one word) is an opportunity to work in a company to learn something. Sometimes you get paid. Sometimes you work for free; you do not get paid, but you get experience in learning different things so you have some more experience when you want to get a regular job as you get older.

Those are some of the typical summer jobs that teenagers have in the United States. When I was growing up, in my neighborhood all of the teenagers would get a job during the summertime, and they would work, many times, 40 hours a week during the summer in order to make more money. Of course, not all students get jobs in the summertime, but many do.

Now let's answer a few of your questions.

Our first question comes from Vietnam, from Tuyet (Tuyet). Tuyet wants to know the difference between the expression “I'll be in later” and “I'll be in late.”

When you say that you will “be in,” usually you are talking about going to work – going to your job. Someone may say, “What time will John be in,” meaning what time will he get here – when will he arrive.

The expression “I'll be in later” means that I will arrive sometime after the current time. It will be 15 minutes; it could be four hours; it could be four days. It's not specific: I'll be in later – at a later time.

The expression “I'll be in late” usually means that you will be there at a late hour – at the end of the day or later than you normally arrive. So, if it is 9:00 in the morning, and someone says, “I'll be in late today,” they may mean they'll be in at 2:00 or 3:00 in afternoon, much later than they would normally be in.

Our next question comes from Laurence (Laurence). I'm not sure where Laurence is from. Let's say he's from Mars! Laurence says that he wants to know the difference between “loudly” (loudly), “aloud” (aloud), and “loud” (loud). Well, all of these words are very similar, but they each mean something a little bit different.

Let's start with the word “loud” (loud). “Loud” means something that is at a very high volume, something that is the opposite of soft – this is soft, or quiet. This is loud. “Loud” is something you can hear more easily because it is at a higher volume, or it is something that is very noisy. You could say, “The cats in my neighborhood are very loud,” or “they made a loud noise,” you mean that they are very noisy; you can hear them very easily.

The word “aloud,” adding an “a” in front of the word, means that you are able to hear something. It's the opposite of silence. “I'm going to say something aloud,” meaning I'm going to say it so that you can hear it. You could, for example, pick up a book and read it to your young child, you would read it aloud – you would say it aloud so that they could hear the words as you read them. We also sometimes use the expression “out loud” to be the opposite of silent. “To say something out loud” means that you say it so that people can hear you. It's the opposite of saying it just in your own head, but no one can hear you.

So, “loud” means high volume or noisy. “Aloud” means you are able to hear it. Finally, we have the adverb “loudly,” with an “ly” at the end, which means with a lot of noise, with a high volume. So, it's similar to “loud,” but “loud” is an adjective; it would go before a noun, for example. “Loudly” is an adverb, which means that it would be used with a verb. For example: “Could you speak more loudly please?” “Loudly” is connected to the verb “speak”; you want someone to speak, or to talk, in a higher volume so you can hear them more easily. So, “loudly” is an adverb, “loud is an adjective, and “aloud” is an adjective. Thank you Laurence, wherever you are, for that question.

Our final question comes from Carlos. Carlos (Carlos) is in Columbia. Carlos wants to know a little bit about how to pronounce certain words. It's sometimes difficult to do pronunciation on the podcast because it's easier if you can look at it. So, if you have a Learning Guide or you go to our website, and you click on the name of this Café – English Café 88 – you'll be able to see the words that I am pronouncing.

One of the words Carlos wants to hear pronounced is l-o-u-n-g-e, which we would pronounce “lounge” – “lounge.” A “lounge” is a place, for example, in a hotel where you sit and wait for other people; that could be a lounge. The other word is l-u-n-c-h, and that's pronounced “lunch.” That's what you eat – the meal you eat in the middle of the day. Finally, there's l-a-u-n-c-h, which is “launch.” “To launch” means to begin something. So, we have “lounge,” “lunch,” and “launch,” three different words, three different pronunciations.

If you have a question that you'd like to ask us, just email us. Our email address is eslpod@eslpod.com.

From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. We'll see you next time on the English Café.

ESL Podcast's English Café is written and produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. This podcast is copyright 2007 by the Center for Educational Development.

geyser – a natural spring that periodically or occasionally sends water from the ground up into the air

* Some geysers shoot water into the air every few minutes, but other ones go off only once an hour or even less often.

faithful – reliable; predictable; dependable

* Pierre’s car is old, but it is so faithful that he was able to drive it across the U.S. without any problems.

hot spring – hot water that comes from deep below the ground, often smelling like sulfur or bad eggs

* After hiking in the mountains all day, they enjoyed soaking their tired feet in the natural hot springs.

volcano – a mountain that has a hole on top where hot gases and lava (melted rock) come out

* Mount St. Helens is a famous volcano that exploded in Washington in 1980.

lava – hot, melted, liquid rock that comes out of a volcano

* When lava comes out of a volcano, it burns and covers everything it its path.

pocket money – a small amount of money that one carries and spends on little things that he or she wants or needs

* Each week, Henrietta gives herself $20 of pocket money to spend on coffee, snacks, and other little things.

to flip burgers – to have a job that isn’t very impressive, doesn’t require very much education, and doesn’t pay very well

* My father told me that if I didn’t want to flip burgers for the rest of my life, I needed to earn a university degree.

to pump – to use a machine to move air, water, or another liquid out of one thing and into something else, such as to take gasoline from a station and put it into a car

* You need to pump more air into your bicycle tires before we go for this ride.

to mow – to cut the grass; to use a machine to make the grass in one’s yard shorter

* During the spring, the grass grows quickly and Cesar has to mow every weekend.

duplicate – a copy; something that is identical to the original

* Do you know where I can make a duplicate of my house key?

internship – an opportunity for a student to get professional experience by working for a few months, usually for little or no money

* The university requires all students to do a three-month internship before graduation.

camp counselor – a person (often a high school or college student) who takes care of a small group of children at a summer camp, usually leading activities and sleeping where the children sleep

* If you like children and you enjoy spending time outside, consider being a camp counselor.

loudly – noisily; with a lot of noise; not quietly

* The man spoke so loudly that everyone could hear him even though he wasn’t using a microphone.

aloud – spoken; for other people to hear; using one’s voice

* The teacher asked Becky to read page 17 aloud to the rest of the class.

loud – noisy; with a lot of noise; not quiet

* The music isn’t loud enough. Could you turn up the volume?

What Insiders Know
The National Park Service

The United States has many “national parks,” which are areas that are protected by the federal government because of their beauty, history, or importance to the natural environment. The first national park was Yellowstone National Park, which was established in 1872.

The National Park Service (NPS) is the U.S. “agency” (a part of the government) that is responsible for national parks. NPS was created in 1916 and today it is responsible for 390 “sites” (places or locations).

NPS tries to help visitors enjoy their national parks. Employees known as “park rangers” try to teach visitors about the parks’ history and natural resources. Sometimes the rangers organize educational “hikes” (outdoor walks) and “campfire talks” (discussions around an outdoor fire at night). These are usually free.

Most of the U.S. national parks charge an “admission fee,” which is money that one must pay to enter the park. If you plan to visit many national parks, you can purchase a “pass,” which is a small card or a piece of paper that gives someone permission to enter many different parks. The NPS “annual” or yearly pass is called “America the Beautiful.”

Normally you can drive to a park, pay the admission fee or show your pass, and enjoy what the site has to offer. But some national parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, are very popular and require “reservations,” which are arrangements to visit the park at a particular time in the future. People who want to go “camping,” sleeping in a tent or trailer at the national park, usually need to make a reservation and pay an additional fee.