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0126 Awards Show Season

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 126: Awards Show Season.

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast episode 126. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

The script and research for today’s program is provided by, as always, Dr. Lucy Tse.

This podcast is going to be talking about all of the awards or prizes that are given to the best songs, movies, and television shows in the United States. Let’s get started!

[start of story]

It's that time of year again. It's award show season. No, I'm not talking about the Nobel Prizes. I'm talking about the entertainment awards. This is the time of year when the TV shows and movies are nominated as the best of the year. Celebrities get together at an award ceremony and the winners are announced. My favorites are the Emmy Awards for television, the Academy Awards for the movies, and the Grammy Awards for records. But, I'm up for almost any award show‚ The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, even the People's Choice Awards.

For some people, the best part of watching the award shows is the pre-show. The celebrities arrive on the red carpet and are interviewed. Sometimes what they are wearing, made by the top designers and jewelers, gets more attention than anything they say. But, it's still fun to see all of the celebrities all in one place, and you never know what will come out of their mouths when they win ; better yet, when they lose.

[end of story]

We’re talking about awards or prizes that are given to movies and songs, television programs in the United States. Our story begins by saying, “It’s that time of year again.” “it’s time of ” is an expression that we use to say, once again, this is the weeks, the months when we do a certain thing. You can use that expression for “It’s time of the week .” You can say, “It’s that time of year.” You can use it with other types of time. But when we say, “It’s that time of year again” we mean once again, we are going to get the same event, the same thing is going to happen. But what’s going to happen here is that there are going to be Awards Shows and the story continues, “It’s Award Show season.”

A “season” (season) is a period of time. A couple of weeks, a couple of months, whenever something is happening so, “Award Show season” are the weeks and months when there are these prizes given and they’re given at a show. So, “Award Show” is usually in a big theater or in a big room where everyone comes together and they give out the award. Notice the verb there “to give out an award” – means to give someone an award.

Well, to give out the award would be the actual show, in this case. Well, the story says, “I’m not talking about the Nobel prizes.” And you know the “Nobel (Nobel) Prize” is one of the most famous prizes in the world, given to the best scientists and the best people who are good writers, the best writers. There’s also the Nobel Peace Prize and these are given every year in Stockholm, Sweden. Well, we’re not talking about the Nobel prizes, not that important. We’re talking about entertainment awards. And this is the time of year when the TV shows and movies are nominated. “To be nominated,” “to nominate” (nominate) – “to be nominated” – with a “d” at the end – means that you can win that prize. Usually, it doesn’t mean that you won – that you have won the prize. It means that you could win the prize. You are a nominee, you are nominated. So, for example, for the movie awards, the Academy Awards, we call them, they have four or five films or directors or actors who are nominated in each category, meaning they give out lots of awards. They give one award for different types of movies, for different people in the movie, the most important actor or actress – man, woman, so forth. Well, these are categories that have four, five nominees – people or films, movies that are nominated. Then they vote - the people who vote for the award will vote – pick one of those five as the winner.

Well, in the award shows, there are celebrities. And “celebrity” is a famous person – an actor, or a director, usually someone involved in entertaining other people like songs, movies and TV shows. Well, these people are all celebrities and they get together at an award ceremony. An award show can also be called an “award ceremony” (ceremony). A “ceremony” is a formal event in which you give someone something or something important happens. There are lots of different types of award ceremonies or award shows. The television people have their own awards and in the United States, the awards are called the “Emmy” (Emmy). That word doesn’t mean anything in English. An “Emmy” award or simply an “Emmy” is an award that is given for the best television shows, the best television actors, so forth. For a movie, they’re called the “Academy Awards” (academy). Some people call them simply, the “Oscar Awards” or “The Oscars.” “The Oscars” are the little award – what the actual award is called. It’s a man in gold and it’s you know, maybe a foot, 12 inches, 16 inches high, and that’s called “The Oscar.” So, the “Academy Awards” or the “Oscar Awards” are for movies. And for songs, in the United States, they’re called the “Grammy Awards” (grammy). Again, doesn’t really mean anything in English – the word “Grammy.” It probably comes from “Gramophone” which is an old type of way of playing music or sound. But the “Grammy Awards” are for songs or for records. And a record, of course, is a collection of songs.

Well, in the story, the person says, “I’m up for almost any award show.” When you say, “I am up for something” you mean I am willing to do or watch, in this case, that show. “I am up for swimming” means I’m interested in going swimming. I would want to go swimming if I had the chance. So, “I’m up for any award show” means I would watch any award show if it were on television. And then there’s a list of some other famous award shows in the U.S. – the “Golden Globes” (globes). “Golden,” of course means that it looks like gold. The “Golden Globes” are awards that are given to both movies and television shows. The “SAG Awards” (SAG) – the “S” stands for screen. A “screen” is what you go into when you go into a movie theater. You see the movie on a movie screen – “screen.” Well, “screen” – the SAG Awards are for the screen actor or Screen Actors Guild. And a “guild” (guild) is an old word in English. Here it just means the union or the work organization. Well, they have the Screen Actors Guild – these are all the actors – their organization – they have their own awards. And there’s also something called the “People’s Choice Awards” where you can, living in the United States, vote for your favorite TV show or movie. And that’s called the “People’s Choice Awards.”

For many people, the most interesting part of the award show is not the actual show, but what happens before the show. What’s sometimes called a “pre-show” – (pre) show. And the “pre-show” is when the stars and the celebrities arrive at the theater or the place where the award ceremony is being held – is going on. And when they arrive, they usually walk up a carpet that is on the ground and it is a “red carpet.” In fact, the expression in English, “to roll out the red carpet,” meaning to put down the red carpet – means to give someone a very good treatment, to do everything you can to make someone feel welcome. Well, the stars come up the red carpet and there are television stations and reporters from newspapers that interview them, that talk to them and one of the things they talk about, particularly for women, is the kind of dress they are wearing. In fact, one question they will often get is, “What are you wearing?” Of course, they’re usually wearing a dress – the women are – but what that question means is who’s the designer, who made your dress. And people who design, who make dresses and figure out how they should look are called “designers.”Of course, stars also have diamonds and other types of jewelry, like a ring or earrings, and these are made by people called “jewelers.” A “jeweler” (jewelers) is someone who sells – makes and sells jewels.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of story]

It's that time of year again. It's award show season. No, I'm not talking about the Nobel Prizes. I'm talking about the entertainment awards. This is the time of year when the TV shows and movies are nominated as the best of the year. Celebrities get together at an award ceremony and the winners are announced. My favorites are the Emmy Awards for television, the Academy Awards for the movies, and the Grammy Awards for records. But, I'm up for almost any award show‚ The Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, even the People's Choice Awards.

For some people, the best part of watching the award shows is the pre-show. The celebrities arrive on the red carpet and are interviewed. Sometimes what they are wearing, made by the top designers and jewelers, gets more attention than anything they say. But, it's still fun to see all of the celebrities all in one place, and you never know what will come out of their mouths when they win ; better yet, when they lose.

[end of story]

Remember to visit our website at www.eslpod.com for a script for today’s podcast.

From Los Angeles, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
that time of year – a period or season that happens once a year, a range of time or span of time during the year when an event happens

* The temperature outside continued to get hotter, and Anya knew that it was almost that time of year when she would spend most of her days at the swimming pool.

award show season – a span of time that occurs once a year when entertainers receive prizes for being the best of their group or type, and the giving of these prizes can be watched on television

* Ruben watched a lot of television and movies, and he liked award show season because he likes to know if any of his favorites win awards.

Nobel Prize – an award that honors the person or people who did the most important work in science, literature, economics, or the promotion of peace in a particular year

* Vanessa’s goal was to write books that would win her the Nobel Prize for Literature.

to be nominated – to be given the chance to be named the best or chosen as the best; to be picked as one of the people who might win an award or prize

* Randell was upset that his favorite actress was not nominated for an award because he thought she was the best.

ceremony – an event that honors a person or group of people; an event that formally states that a person or action is important

* The business had a ceremony to honor the workers who did the most for the company over the past five years.

Emmy Awards – a program or event shown on television each year where prizes are given to honor the people who did the best work in television from the previous year

* Miki wanted to know if her favorite television show would win anything at the Emmy Awards this year.

Academy Awards – an event shown on television each year where prizes are given to honor the people who did the best work in film from the previous year

* Jesse was happy that his favorite movie won "Best Picture" at the Academy Awards this year.

Grammy Awards – an event shown on television each year where prizes are given to honor the best singers, songwriters, and other people in the music business

* Cecile does not listen to much music, so she did not know the singer who was awarded "Best New Artist" at this year's Grammy Awards.

Golden Globes – an event shown on television each year where prizes are given to honor the people who did the best work in television and film from the previous year

* Wyatt watched the Golden Globes to learn about the best movies from across the world.

SAG – Screen Actors Guild Awards; an event shown on television each year where prizes are given to honor the actors who did the best work in movies and television programs from the previous year

* Tiffany wanted her favorite television actor to win an award at the SAG Awards this year.

People's Choice Awards – an event shown on television each year where viewers choose the best movies and television programs, and honoring the people who did the best work creating or acting in these movies and programs

* In the year 2003, the movies Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring both received the same number of votes for "Favorite Motion Picture" at the People's Choice Awards.

pre-show – a program seen on television that plays directly before the main program is shown; a program that plays directly before an awards program and shows the actors, musicians, or other entertainers as they come to the location where the award program will occur

* The program comes on at 8:00 PM, but the pre-show starts at 7:00 PM.

red carpet – a red strip of cloth that lies on the ground and creates a path for actors, musicians, or other important guests to walk on

* The actor felt very important as he walked down the red carpet at his first award's show.

designer – someone who is famous or well-known for designing (planning and creating) clothing that costs a large amount of money

* Pamela loved fashion and only wore clothing made by famous designers.

jeweler – someone who is famous or well-known for making jewelry

* Antony went to a jeweler to buy a necklace for his wife's birthday.

Culture Note
Academy Award Voters

Once a year in February or March, you’ll see on American television the Academy Awards, more popularly known as the Oscars. The Oscars are given to the best movies of each year. If you enjoy movies, you probably know about the Oscars, but do you know who actually “picks” (selects; decides) the winners?

The organization that “gives out” (presents) the awards is known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, although it is more commonly referred to simply as “the Academy.” The Academy has over 5,700 members, and each member belongs to one of 15 “branches” or groups, depending on what part of the movie business you are in, such as actors, directors, writers, and more. In order to become a member of the Academy, you have to be selected and approved by other members. You can’t just “apply” (ask to join); you have to be asked first. Membership is for life; you remain a member until you die.

You will not be able to find a list of the members of the Academy anywhere. The list is secret; the Academy won’t officially tell you who is a member and who votes each year for the Oscar winners. But in 2012, the Los Angeles Times newspaper investigated and found out the names of almost all of the members, about 89% of them. Here’s what they found about the people who vote for the Oscar winners:

- 96% of all Academy voters are white, 2% African American, and slightly less than 2% Latino/Hispanic

- 77% are men

- All but one of the 15 branches is over 90% white (the actor’s branch is 88% white)

- 50% of the members have been active in making movies in the past 2 years

- The “median” (average) age of an Academy member is 62; only 14% of the members are under the age of 50

We can compare these “statistics” (numbers; figures) to the American population, where 64% are white, 16% Latino, 13% African American, and a little over 4% Asian American. As you can guess, a little more than half of the population is female, and less than 20% over the age of 65.