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  • Hi, I'm Oli. Welcome to Oxford Online English!  

  • In this lesson, you can  learn how to talk about apps.  

  • You'll see how to talk about different types of smartphone apps and give your opinions about them.

  • How many apps do you have on your  phone? Which one do you use the most? Are they  

  • easy to use, or could they be improvedKeep watching this video to learn the language you need to know 

  • to answer these questions in  accurate, natural-sounding English.

  • Another thing: don't forget to turn on  subtitles if you need them! This video has  

  • English subtitles; click the 'CC' button on the  video player to turn them on. Now, let's start

  • Have you ever heard of FitGrid?

  • No, but let me guess. Is it a new app? Yes, that's right. Apparently, it's a  

  • mix between a social media app and a fitness appIt looks really cool – I'm going to download it.

  • How many apps do you have now?

  • I'm not sure exactly, but it must be well over  a hundred. From time to time I delete the ones I  

  • don't usebut then I download more. I'm a bit of  an addict. What about you? How many do you have?

  • I don't know. Not many. Just the basics, you  know. I have WhatsApp of course, a banking app,  

  • Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, FacebookNetflix, and a couple of games. Perhaps about  

  • ten in total. How can you possibly have more  than a hundred?! What kinds of apps do you have?

  • Well, I'm a big fan of social media, so I have  all the social media appsalthough I mostly use  

  • Instagram and Twitter. What I like about Instagram  is that it's great for sharing photos and videos.  

  • I watch a lot of movies, sohave Amazon Prime and Netflix.  

  • Then there are shopping appsmusic apps like Spotify,  

  • reading apps, and, most importantly, food  delivery apps, because I don't know how to cook.

  • You know there are apps which  teach you how to cook, right

  • Can you remember some of the different  types of app that we talked about

  • There are social media appsfitness apps, banking apps

  • shopping apps, reading apps, TV apps

  • games, music apps and food delivery appsYou heard us refer to all of these in the  

  • dialogue. Can you think of any other types of app? There are many, of course, but one good example is  

  • educational apps and language learning apps

  • Look at some questions you heard, in the dialogue. Think about how you could answer.

  • For the first two, you could answer togetherlike this: 'The last time I downloaded an app  

  • was last weekend. It was a game called 'Dinosaur  Rock'. Now I have around 25 apps on my phone.' 

  • When you answer the third questiontry to give an extended response.

  • Don't just say 'I have lots of  different apps.' Give some more details!  

  • Talk about the different types of apps you have.

  • For example, you could say 'I'm a fitness  fanatic, so most of the apps on my phone are  

  • related to keeping fit. It's almost like havingpersonal trainer on your phone, which is great.' 

  • Pause the video and try  to answer the questions now

  • Could you do it? If not, go back  and listen to the dialogue again.

  • Next, let's look at how apps work

  • So, what's your favourite app at the moment?

  • Well, it's been around for a while, but  right now, my favourite app is Plant Nanny.

  • Seriously? It's called Plant Nanny? Does it  help you to look after your house plants?

  • No, it reminds you to drink enough  waterso you don't get dehydrated.

  • Do you really need an app to encourage you  to stay hydrated? But, OK, how does it work?

  • Well, you download the app and you input some  personal information like your height,  

  • your weight and your level  of physical activityand  

  • Plant Nanny tells you how much  water you should be drinking.

  • Right

  • Then you choose a plantthe plants are super  cuteand every time you drink a glass of water,  

  • you tap the screen, and the app records  how much water you drink. Basically,  

  • if you drink enough wateryour virtual plant will grow.

  • Does it send you annoying reminders all the time?

  • You do get reminders from time to time.  I think they're helpfulbut you can  

  • disable them if you like. You should try it

  • Many apps are designed to make our lives easier.

  • Look at these sentences. Which verbs are missing? Pause the video if you want more time to think

  • OK? Let's check

  • The highlighted verbs all use the same  grammatical pattern. Can you identify it

  • All three verbs follow the pattern: verb  plus object plus to plus infinitive. When  

  • you learn verbs like this or practisetry to practise using full phrases.  

  • This way, you can remember the pattern more  easily when you're speaking, and avoid mistakes.

  • Here are two other useful verbs  which follow the same pattern

  • Let's think about messaging apps, like  

  • WhatsApp or Telegram. Could you make a sentence  to describe them, using 'allow' or 'enable'? 

  • You could say, 'Messaging apps enable  us to keep in touch with our family and  

  • friends', or 'WhatsApp allows me  to call people I know for free.' 

  • What about Instagram

  • You could say, 'It allows us to upload and share  images and videos.' What about Google Calendar

  • You could say, 'It helps you to  remember important appointments.'

  • Just be careful with 'let'. When you  use 'let', the pattern is different

  • What's different? There is no 'to' in front  of the verb. This time the pattern is

  • Now, it's your turn. Think of an app  that you like and explain how it works

  • Try to give a detailed answer, using  some of the verbs you saw before.

  • For example, you could say: 'The app  I like best at the moment is Mint.  

  • It helps you to track your spending, which is  important to me as I'm a student and I don't have  

  • much money! Using Mint lets me see my spending  habits and control my money more effectively.' 

  • OK? Pause the video and try  to answer the questions now.

  • How did you get on? Could you  use the verb patterns fluently?  

  • If not, repeat your answer several  times, until you can do it easily.

  • Next, you're going to talk about  why you likeor dislikean app

  • Why are you such a fan of Plant Nanny?

  • Well, before I started using this app, I never  used to drink enough water. I used to drink too  

  • many caffeinated drinks and I was always ending up  with a headache. Plant Nanny is quick and easy to  

  • use. It's very convenient, because you only need  to tap the screen when you drink a glass of water.  

  • I think the simplicity is one of the thingslike most about itit's very user-friendly.  

  • Obviously it's useful, because it helps you to  stay hydrated, but at the same time it's fun.  

  • Plant Nanny has changed my  life. I can't live without it..!

  • I'm afraid I have to admit  that I don't see the point of  

  • apps like Plant Nanny. I think these kinds  of apps are a complete waste of time.

  • OKfair enough. You mentioned that you have  a couple of game apps on your Smartphone.  

  • Which games do you have?

  • My favourite game is Chess.

  • Chess?! I haven't played chess in... years!

  • You probably think it's very outdatedbut in fact online chess is incredibly  

  • engaging and interactiveand you can  play against people all over the world.

  • Sounds good

  • Think about the first question you heard  in the dialogue: 'Why are you such a fan  

  • of Plant Nanny?' How could you answer this, if  someone was asking about an app you really like

  • You could say something like:  'It's quick and easy to use.' 

  • 'The simplicity is one of the  things I like most about it.' 

  • 'I can't live without it!' 

  • For the second example, you could use different  nouns in place of 'simplicity'. For example:  

  • 'The convenience is one of the  things I like most about it.' 

  • You also heard the words 'user-friendlyand 'engaging'. What do you think?  

  • Do you think these adjectives have  a positive or a negative meaning

  • If something is user-friendly, it  means that it is easy for anyone to use  

  • or understand ityou don't need  any special experience or skills.  

  • You can also say that something is  'intuitive' – this has a similar meaning

  • If something is engaging, it is interesting  in a way that attracts your attention.  

  • Teachers usually try to make their  lessons as engaging as possible

  • In the dialogue, you also heard some language used  

  • to talk about apps that you don't like. Can  you remember any of the words or phrases

  • What about you? Choose an app that you like –  or maybe that you dislikeand explain why you feel this way

  • Pause the video now and try  to make a few sentences.

  • For example, you could say 'One app  I really like is Loom, which you can  

  • use to record and share videos. I think one  of the reasons I like it is its simplicity.  

  • It's intuitive, so you can learn  how to use it quickly and easily.' 

  • Or, 'Have you ever heard of an app called  Yo? It's kind of like a social media app,  

  • but you can only text one wordYo. Seriously.  I just don't see the point of an app like this!' 

  • Done? Great! Let's look at our last point

  • Do your students use language learning apps?

  • Suremy students are a lot  more tech-savvy than I am..!

  • OK. So, what are some apps you would recommend  to someone who wants to learn a language?

  • Well, for starters I'd recommend WordyIt's a great way to memorise vocabulary.  

  • It's very user-friendly and students  love it because they don't feel as if  

  • they are studyingthey learn  while they are playing games.

  • But do they actually learn  anything? Is it worthwhile?

  • Absolutely! It has its limitations of course  – you're not going to become fluent overnight  

  • or anything - but Wordy has a lot to  offer. It's definitely worth a look.

  • Right. Sounds good.

  • Another recommendation would have to  be Get This! It's beneficial because it  

  • focuses on listening skills and it encourages  students to understand language in context.  

  • It's more challenging than Wordy but at the  same time I would say it's more rewarding, too.

  • OK. So Wordy and Get This. Any others?

  • Well, High Flyer has been around for a while  

  • but in my opinion it's well worth  downloading it. It's designed with  

  • higher level students in mind, and many of my  advanced level students tell me it's invaluable

  • Do you ever use apps to help you learn English? If  so, what are some apps that you would recommend

  • In the dialogue, you heard some language used  to make recommendations. Can you remember

  • Be careful with the form after 'recommend'.  You can say: 'I'd recommend Wordy'.  

  • Or: 'I'd recommend downloading Wordy.' So, you  can use a noun or an -ing verb after 'recommend'. 

  • Also, remember that 'worthis followed by an -ing verb

  • You also heard some other adjectives, such  as worthwhile, beneficial, challenging,  

  • rewarding and invaluable. These can all be  used to describe language learning apps.

  • If an app is worthwhile, it is  important and useful in some way.  

  • Similarly, an app which is beneficial  to you is helpful to you

  • Something which is challenging is difficultbut  in an interesting way which tests your ability.  

  • If you manage to do something  challenging, it is often rewarding or satisfying

  • Finally, in the dialogue you heard that the High  Flyer app is invaluable. First, let's check.  

  • Do you know what valuable means

  • In this context, it means 'important or useful'.  What about invaluable? What does invaluable mean

  • Often we use the prefix 'in-' to show the negative  of a wordlike 'ability' and 'inability'  

  • or 'capable' and 'incapable' – so you might  expect that 'invaluable' means 'not valuable'. 

  • In fact, invaluable means 'very  valuable or useful' – so be careful!

  • If you're wondering why this is, it's because  'invaluable' relates to the verb 'value',  

  • with the meaning of 'put a price on something',  

  • and not the adjective 'valuableas it's used in modern English.  

  • 'Invaluable' literally means that you can't put  a price on something, because it's so important

  • Now, it's your turn. Think about an app you  would like to recommend. It doesn't have to  

  • be a language learning app. What could you sayPause the video and try to make a sentence or two.

  • For example, you could say: 'An app I'd recommend  is Splitwise. It helps you to track money you  

  • spend in a group, so if you go on a trip with  your friends, you can see who owes how much to  

  • whom. It's definitely worth a look, because it  means you don't have to split every expense,  

  • which saves time and effort.' Finally, we have a challenge for you.  

  • Let's see if you can put together all  the language we covered in this video.

  • Here are some questions

  • Feel free to watch sections of  the video again if you need to.  

  • Then when you're ready, pause the video and  say your answer out loud. Or, write your answer  

  • down and share your recommendations  with other students in the comments!

  • That's all. Thanks for watching!

  • See you next time!

Hi, I'm Oli. Welcome to Oxford Online English!  

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 US apps app nanny plant recommend dialogue

How to Talk About Apps in English - Spoken English Lesson

  • 17 2
    lyLee Li posted on 2021/04/11
Video vocabulary