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上一篇:047 Topics: Retirement communities, American superstitions, fling vs. throw vs. toss

下一篇:049 Topics: Labor Day, charitable organizations in the U.S., safety vs. security, clutch vs. grip vs. grab

048 Topics: After school activities, ethnic neighborhoods in Los Angeles, nude vs. naked vs. bare, anything but

时间:2018-05-01   访问量:1922   View PDF
Complete Transcript
You're listening to English as a Second Language Podcast’s English Cafe number 48.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast’s English Café episode 48. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this Café, we're going to talk about what high school students do after school, what are called after school activities. We're also going to talk about the city of Los Angeles, different neighborhoods that are famous and you might want to visit if you come to Los Angeles, so a little bit about the city. And as always, we'll answer a few questions. Let's get started.

Our first topic today is after school activities. These are things that students do at the end of the school day. Schools in the United States, like in many countries, begin their year in the fall. Traditionally, the first week of September is one of the first weeks of school, maybe the second week of school; some schools start at the end of August. It's different in every state, and even in every city there might be a different day that the public school begins. The school year in the United States goes from September until June. Here in California, there are usually about 180 days that students go to school.

Well, although school, of course, is mostly about studying, or should be, in the United States, it is very popular for students to do something other than study after school. In fact, I think, the average student in an American high school is probably much more involved in activities than in other countries. This can cause problems when the students don't study enough, but after school activities are an important part of American school culture and it's something that many people like to participate in.

There are lots of different activities that students can do after school. One of the more obvious choices is to play on a sports team. The most common sports in the United States are what we would call football - most of the world would call it American football - basketball and baseball. Football is in the fall: September, October, November; basketball is in the winter: November, December, January, February; and baseball is in the spring: March, April, May, June.

Those are the three most popular sports in American schools. Those are also the three most popular sports in American colleges and universities and that's important to think about because if you are a good athlete, a boy or a girl who is good at sports, you are going to, in many cases, go for the sport where you have the most opportunities. If you're very, very good, you might get a scholarship to a university or a college that will pay your tuition and pay your bills - your expenses. So, although there are other sports that are popular, for example, soccer, which is the most popular sport in the world, is popular in the United States, but it's more popular among younger children than among older children and high school students, partly because in the universities and in the professional world you have a lot more opportunities if you play basketball, baseball, or football. Now, there are some very good soccer teams, well, not the United States soccer team, but there are good soccer players in high school and college here in the United States, but it's not where many of our best athletes go. An athlete, “athlete,” is someone who plays sports.

Students involved in athletics or sports are usually asked to practice with their team every day or every other day, almost every day, it depends on the sport. The coaches for the teams - a coach, “coach,” is the leader of the team, usually it's a teacher at the school who wants to make some extra money, and so the school will pay him or her extra money, maybe $2,000-3,000 dollars to be the coach, and many big sports teams in high school have more than one coach. The students will practice and then they have games and tournaments as competitions. A tournament, “tournament,” is a competition between different sports teams.

Sports is not the only thing that American students do after school. Many of them also do other things. For example, American high schools publish a book every year with the picture of all of the - pictures rather - of all the different students, and there's also pictures of other activities that students do, after school activities, and this book is called a yearbook, “yearbook,” one word. This is a book that is written and done by the students. Everyone who wants a copy can buy a copy at the end of the year. The tradition in American high schools is that when you get your yearbook, you ask your friends to write a note and their name in your yearbook, to sign your yearbook, to write a note to and put your name there. So, the yearbook is a very popular activity for some students who like to write or who like photography. There's also, in most American high schools, a newspaper. Sometimes it's once a month, sometimes it's once a week or more. The newspaper, again, is another after school activity.

There's also music groups. Orchestra, “orchestra,” is when you have a large group of musicians who play classical or other types of music. There's also something separate, which is called the band, or the marching band. The marching, “marching,” band, “band,” is a group of players that participate by providing music at the sporting events, the football game or the basketball game, so there are no violins or no cellos in the marching band. That's also a very popular activity for those who can play a musical instrument. If you like to sing, most American high schools have a choir, “choir.” A choir is a group of people who sing.

There are also clubs in American high schools for specific languages. So, if you are studying Spanish - you want to be a Spanish speaker - you can join the Spanish Club, or the French Club, or the German Club, or the Japanese or Chinese or whatever language. Spanish is the most popular language in America high schools, French is probably second, third is probably German. Much more popular now, however, in some schools are some of the Asian languages, Chinese and Japanese especially.

The students can also be part of the drama club, and these are students that put on performances, put on a play, usually one or two plays during the year. Finally, there is the debate and speech team. Debate, “debate,” is when you have two people who are arguing or have a disagreement about something and it's a competition where each side takes a position, that is, each side has an opinion, a different opinion about a topic. There's also an activity called speech, and as you might be able to guess, speech is students who get up and give their own speech about a topic, or sometimes they give a speech that is famous, but they give their own interpretation of the speech. So, there are many different activities involved in speech.

Now, which activity was I involved in in high school? I'll let you guess. It involves a lot of talking. That's right, speech! That's the activity for me. I was not a football player, unfortunately.

Let's move on to our second topic today, which is talking about neighborhoods here in Los Angeles. I get many emails from people who ask me to talk about Los Angeles, this beautiful city that I live in, so I thought I would talk a little bit about what we would refer to as ethnic neighborhoods. Ethnic, “ethnic,” refers to people from different countries who still associate with their country or identify themselves with that country. Sometimes they speak the language of that country, sometimes they don't.

In the large American cities, such as Los Angeles and New York, there are different areas of the city where people from one country often live together. These are usually given special names. The two ways that we normally name these neighborhoods, or these areas, is by attaching the word town to the end of the country. For example, we have Chinatown, “Chinatown,” all one word, and this is an area where there are people who are originally from China now living here, in Los Angeles. And, there's a Chinatown in Los Angeles, in San Francisco, in Toronto in Canada, in New York, in Chicago - most big cities have a Chinatown. We also have, in some cities like Los Angeles, a Koreatown, and that is where we have a large population of people originally from Korea.

So, putting the word town at the end of a word…of a country is one way that we give a name to these areas. The other way is that we use the word little, and we use the name of the country or a city in that country. So, here in Los Angeles we have an area called Little Tokyo, “Tokyo.” Tokyo is the capitol of Japan. Some people call it Japantown but it's more commonly called Little Tokyo. And, that's an area near downtown Los Angeles where there are Japanese immigrants and restaurants and other businesses.

We also have other areas here in Los Angeles. We have Little Armenia, and these are people who come originally from Armenia. We have Little Ethiopia. Again, it's a area, couple of blocks, where you find businesses from people originally that came from Ethiopia. We also have several neighborhoods in Los Angeles that are Spanish speaking, where we have immigrants who now live in Los Angeles, from different Spanish speaking countries.

There isn't really one area in Los Angeles that we would call Little Mexico or Mexicotown. There isn't anywhere like that. The area where there were a lot of Mexican-Americans originally here in Los Angeles, at least in the last 50-60 years, is East Los Angeles. So, if someone says they are going to East L.A., that's a area where there are a lot of immigrants originally from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries.

Those are some of the most popular ethnic neighborhoods in Los Angeles. There are other neighborhoods too that aren't necessarily connected to one country and maybe we'll spend some time on another podcast talking about other parts - famous parts - of Los Angeles. Almost every country that has immigrants here in Los Angeles has an area in the city where you can buy food and go to restaurants from that country.

Now, let's answer a few questions. Our first question today comes from Phil, “Phil,” in France. Phil wants to know the difference between the words nude, “nude,” bare, “bare,” and naked, “naked.” Well, I didn't ask Phil why he wanted to know the difference between these words, but I will tell you anyway.

All three of these words can mean someone, a person, who does not have any clothes on, who's not wearing a shirt or pants or underwear, that would be someone who is nude, or naked, and those words mean the same. The word nude is used also to describe a painting or a picture or a statue, a sculpture that doesn't have clothes on it. So, for example, the - what we call in English, the Venus de Milo, the famous statue of the goddess Venus that is now in the Louvre in Paris - we would say that that is a nude. She does not have any clothes on. She doesn't have any arms either, but that's a different issue.

Naked is something that you would used to describe a person in every day life. So, naked is much more common term than nude. There are some words that we use nude with, for example, the beach. If there is a beach by the ocean or a lake where people go and they don't wear clothes, we would say that is a nudist beach, “nudist.” A nudist is someone who doesn't like to wear clothes in public. You may also hear the term nude bathing or nude sunbathing. These are people, again, who like to go out and tan their entire body, and not just their arms and legs, I guess. So, that is some of the uses of the word nude and naked. Naked is how you would describe yourself after you get out of the shower. You could say, “I'm nude,” but you'd probably more commonly say, “I'm naked,” but, if you're talking about a statue by Michelangelo, you would use the word nude.

Bare, “bare,” is an adjective that we can also use to describe someone who doesn't have any clothes on, although usually we say bare-naked; we combine the two words. Bare can also be used to describe a object, a thing, not a person, that doesn't have something on it. For example, “the wall was bare,” meaning there were no pictures, there was nothing hanging on the wall, nothing attached to the wall. We'd say that's a bare wall. We wouldn't say a naked wall or a nude wall. So, you can use that word, bare, in describing things, but if you're talking about a human being, you would probably say bare-naked or just naked. Well, I think we've said enough about naked people!

Our second question today comes from Malaysia, from Thomas, “Thomas,” in Malaysia. He wants to know the meaning of the expression anything but, anything, “anything,” but, “but,” two words. We use this expression, anything but, when we are trying to tell someone that we really don't like a certain thing, we really hate a certain thing, that we don't want to do it and we would do anything else before we would do that thing. So, your friend says to you, “Do you want to go dancing with me,” and you say, “Oh, no! Anything but dancing!” That means I will do anything with you, but I do not want to go dancing. That would be the worst thing for me to do.

Thomas has another question about the expression having said that. When you hear that expression, having said that, usually it's when someone is making a statement about something. There's saying one thing and then they're going to say something different that may even contradict the first thing they said. To contradict, “contradict,” means to say the opposite of something. That is one way that we use this expression. Let me give you an example, “I love to go to Minnesota. Having said that, I never go during the wintertime.” So, first I say I want to go to Minnesota then I say, well, but not during the wintertime. We use the expression, having said that, to tell the person listening to us that we're going to say something after that is going to disagree, contradict, or be different from the first thing that we said.

If you have a question about a word or expression you don't understand in English, email us at and we'll try to answer it in our Café.

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

ESL Podcast English Café is written and produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006 by the Center for Educational Development.

athlete – a person who plays a sport well

* Some college athletes spend so much time practicing and traveling that they have trouble passing their classes.

coach – a person who teaches others to play a sport, or is the instructor or leader for a sports team

* They are hoping that the new coach can get the players into better shape.

tournament – a series of contests that players play in where they compete for a big prize

* The tournament started out with 20 players, and now there are only two left.

yearbook – a book published at the end of each school year that describes and shows the events that happened during that year

* If you look in the school yearbook, you’ll see a picture of all of the students who played football that year.

orchestra – a large group of people who play musical instruments together, usually with string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections

* The orchestra stopped playing when the actors came on stage.

marching band – a large group of people who play musical instruments outside and who usually walk and use other movement as part of their performance

* The marching band performed on the football field where all of the fans could see them.

speech – a formal talk given to an audience

* At the party to celebrate the store opening, the owner gave a speech.

debate – a formal discussion on a particular topic with two or more people giving different and usually opposite opinions

* I watched the presidential debate on TV and I didn’t think that either candidate had good arguments on the issues.

choir – a group of singers who sing together

* He loves to sing and decided to join the choir at his church.

ethnic – describes a smaller group of people who are from the same country or culture

* There are ethnic groups from all over the world in the city of Los Angeles.

nude – wearing no clothes; usually used when talking about art

* Do you think anyone would buy a nude painting of Dr. Jeff McQuillan?

naked – wearing no clothes

* During the hot days of summer, you can see some young kids running naked on the beach.

bare – something that doesn’t have anything on it; “bare-naked” means to be wearing no clothes

* This room is too bare. I think we need to add another chair and a small table.

anything but (something) – not to like something

* She likes to try new things and will eat anything but fish.

to contradict – to say that something is not true; to say the opposite

* He knew that his manager was wrong but he didn’t want to contradict him in front of everyone at the meeting.

What Insiders Know
Knock-knock Jokes

Knock-knock jokes are a type of joke that is very popular with children in the U.S. They are usually very “silly,” or foolish, and they always follow the same pattern. The joke begins with the first person knocking at the door and the second person asking who they are.

Here are some examples:

Joke 1: Joke 2:

A: Knock knock. A: Knock knock.

B: Who’s there? B: Who’s there?

A: Boo. A: Olive.

B: Boo who? B: Olive who?

A: Don’t cry. It’s only a joke! A: Olive you!

Most knock-knock jokes are “puns,” or jokes that are funny because one word has two meanings or because two words with different meanings sound alike. In Joke 1, “Boo who” sounds like “boo hoo,” the sound people make when they cry. So, the last line, “Don’t cry. It’s only a joke” shows that there is a misunderstanding. Person A thinks that person B is crying, when they are only asking who is at the door.

In Joke 2, “olive” is what we call the small black fruit that grows on trees and that is used to make oil for cooking. It sounds like, “I love.” So, the last line, “Olive you!” sounds like “I love you!”

上一篇:047 Topics: Retirement communities, American superstitions, fling vs. throw vs. toss

下一篇:049 Topics: Labor Day, charitable organizations in the U.S., safety vs. security, clutch vs. grip vs. grab