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  • Hello, and welcome back.

  • Now, I know it has been a while.

  • I haven't made any new lessons in the past couple of months.

  • I've had a lot on my plate.

  • I've had a lot of projects going, even though I've been reading all of your comments and

  • responding to as many as I can almost every single day.

  • Well, I'm back now, and I'm back today with the first in a series of lessons on advanced

  • spoken English.

  • These lessons will help you to improve your listening ability, and most importantly, your

  • speaking skills, both for everyday communication and if you're preparing for an exam with

  • a speaking component like the IELTS.

  • Now, I'll make sure to put the text of what I say up on the screen, and I'll also make

  • sure to highlight any useful vocabulary that you can take away from this lesson.

  • Now, the way we'll do this is we'll take a topic, and I will be interviewed on the

  • topic, sort of like in an exam.

  • That is, somebody will ask me questions and I will answer those questions as naturally

  • as I can.

  • That is, I'm not going to try to simplify my answers.

  • I'm going to answer as I would in real life.

  • Now, in this first lesson, I thought we'd take the topic of work.

  • So, we'll start by talking about my work and what I do, and then we'll move on to

  • more abstract and advanced questions.

  • Now, after the conversation ends, we will discuss the most important vocabulary items

  • from the conversation.

  • So, if you're ready, let's begin.

  • Let's talk about work.

  • Tell me about what you do in your job.

  • Well, I'm an English teacher.

  • It's probably more accurate, though, to say that I'm an ESL teacher, ESL being short

  • for English as a Second Language.

  • I specialize in teaching English as a Second Language to adults.

  • Even though I've taught classes for children, the bulk of my experience has been in working

  • with adults, especially in business English and exam preparation courses.

  • Now, recently, my focus has shifted to teacher training and doing research in the field of

  • language acquisition.

  • That's the study of how people learn languages.

  • Do you like your job?

  • Absolutely.

  • I love my job.

  • See, teaching is something that I've always gravitated towards naturally ever since I

  • was a kid.

  • Now, whenever there's an opportunity to share a piece of knowledge that I have with

  • somebody and see that person take that knowledge and use it to make their life easier or better

  • in some way, I eagerly take that opportunity to teach.

  • So, teaching is something that I enjoy immensely, and it's the perfect job for me.

  • What was your dream job when you were younger?

  • Well, that's a tough one because like most people I wanted to be different things at

  • different times.

  • I remember wanting to be a pilot when I was a little kid.

  • I had a lot of toy planes that I would play with.

  • As a teenager, I would daydream about being a celebrity.

  • But the first job that I can probably say was truly a dream job for me was computer

  • programming.

  • I was probably in my late teens when I got into it.

  • That's when I discovered the joy of coding.

  • Because if you think about it, the job of a software programmer is essentially to solve

  • problems in the context of computers or information technology.

  • So, it was that problem-solving element that really drew me to programming.

  • Now, even though I ended up becoming a teacher, I still see my present job as a series of

  • challenges that need to be overcome.

  • And that's really what keeps me going.

  • Do you think most people work in jobs that they love?

  • Probably not.

  • Why not?

  • Because I think you have to be incredibly fortunate to have grown up in the right circumstances

  • that allow you to discover what really drives you to be able to make a career out of it.

  • I think that the traditional route that most people take is that they graduate from college

  • and then they either take the best-paying job that's available to them at the time,

  • or they take the job that they think offers the brightest career prospects for the future.

  • And a lot of people do so out of financial necessity.

  • Because you have to put food on the table.

  • That's the primary concern.

  • Do you think it's important for people to enjoy what they do in their job?

  • I think so.

  • I think so.

  • I mean, whatever your job is, there's always going to be some things about it that you

  • find unpleasant.

  • There's things that I don't like going.

  • I don't like having to write up student reports.

  • In my previous job, I had to sit through a lot of meetings, and I used to hate doing

  • that because I thought those meetings were a waste of time.

  • I thought they were unproductive.

  • So, it's unrealistic to expect that everything you do has to be enjoyable.

  • I think, instead, the key is to have enough challenging tasks in your job, or at the very

  • least, finding a way to do mundane tasks in a way that challenges you.

  • I think you have to look at it like a video game.

  • Because when people play video games, what they do is every time that they play the game,

  • they try to get a higher and higher score.

  • So, I think that they key is to keep challenging yourself.

  • What kinds of activities do people find challenging?

  • In their jobs?

  • Well, it depends.

  • I'd say it depends both on the job and the kind of person that you are.

  • Because like I said, I like tasks or activities that require me to use my analytical ability,

  • tasks that have that problem-solving element.

  • But another person might like a job that's more social because for them, it's about

  • the human dimension.

  • And, you know, having to work with people, and getting things done through working with

  • people can be challenging in its own right.

  • And so, I think it depends.

  • What happens when people don't find their job challenging or satisfying?

  • Well, it becomes hard to get out of bed and drag yourself to work every morning.

  • Because if you hate your job but you continue doing it, then it means that you're doing

  • that only for the paycheck that it brings in every month.

  • And that kind of motivation, doing it just for the money is hard to sustain over the

  • long term.

  • And people of my generation, us millennials, are probably a lot more sensitive to this

  • that our parents were.

  • Because it's very common nowadays to hear people talking about retiring early.

  • That's the idea that you save up a lot of money with a view to retiring as quickly as

  • you can.

  • So, they want to escape the rat race?

  • Exactly.

  • You know, they don't want to spend their lives slaving away in a corporate office just

  • to make ends meet.

  • They want to get out of the rat race.

  • Do you think it's a good thing for a person to retire early, say at 40 rather than 60?

  • Well, sure.

  • I mean, if that's what you want to do, then it can be great.

  • You can do all the things that you've always wanted to do with your life.

  • You can start checking off your bucket list.

  • Now, there's anand I don't say this in a bad waybut there's an obsession

  • among millennials with travel.

  • A lot of people nowadays want to explore the world, they want to experience different cultures,

  • taste different cuisines, things like that.

  • So, if you retire early, then you'll get to do that.

  • Although, I would think that if you have found your true calling in life, then you would

  • never want to retire because what you do then becomes such a fundamental part of your identity,

  • that you'd never want to give that up.

  • Maybe as you get older, you might start to work less, but you wouldn't want to give

  • it up entirely.

  • Do you think people will work less in the future?

  • Maybe.

  • It's conceivable that as technology advances people will work less and less in the future.

  • Who among us could say that we don't depend on a great deal of technology just to keep

  • us afloat in our daily lives?

  • Because I know for a fact that my own life would come to a standstill if my fridge or

  • my washing machine or my microwave oven stopped working, at least until I found alternative

  • ways of doing those things.

  • But I think that even more than as individuals, as societies, so much of what we take for

  • granted today runs on a foundation of technology, and if that broke down, then we're looking

  • at large-scale chaos in society.

  • Why do people use so much technology in their everyday lives?

  • To make their lives easier.

  • See, I think the ultimate aim of technology is for human beings to not have to do any

  • work at all, where we just chill on our couches and order our robot servants about to get

  • whatever we want.

  • Would that be a good or a bad thing?

  • Well, if it made people lazy and if it made useless to the point where they couldn't

  • get anything done without the use of machines, then it would be a bad thing.

  • But, if people used automation to automate more routine or tedious tasks to free up time

  • or resources that they could use to become more productive and to solve problems –I

  • keep going back to problem-solvingbut if people can use that to solve problems and

  • to think more, then I think it would definitely be a good thing.

  • all right I think that's a good place for us to end this conversation let's now go on

  • and discuss the most useful and the most important vocabulary from this lesson all right I'm

  • back here with this document now before we discuss the vocabulary I just want to suggest

  • that after you watch this discussion that you go back and listen to that conversation

  • again because it will help to really reinforce the vocabulary in your head and another thing

  • you can do as you rewatch the conversation is you can pick particular sentences and practice

  • saying them after me because that will help you to improve your pronunciation now I'll

  • make sure to make this document available for you to download I'll put a link in the

  • description I'll also include the entire transcript of the conversation so that you can read it

  • in your own time okay let's discuss the vocabulary now item number one is to gravitate to or

  • gravitate towards this means to be attracted to something sth means something so to be

  • attracted to something or to move towards something and this expression comes from the