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English Tip: How to Answer a Question about Your Performance at Work
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 35: Teaching Tuesdays, “English Tip: How to Answer a Question about Your Performance at Work.” [Instrumental]
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation. Now here are your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Lindsay: In today’s episode, we’ll show you how to answer a key question about your performance at work, plus three other very common native expressions in the English language.
Gabby: All right. Welcome everybody to the ‘Teaching Tuesday.’ Hey Lindsay!
How’s it going?
Lindsay: Hey Gabby. What’s up?
Gabby: Oh, not much.
Gabby: So we wanna (want to) talk about some phrases from the last episode where we talked about our New Year’s English reverse resolutions. And the key question here was “How did it go?” So we wanna (want to) talk about what this question means and also how to answer it. So what does it mean if we say “How did it go?”
Lindsay: Yeah. So this question’s pretty broad, right? So it’s, you could answer this in a number of ways, but basically, it just means (kind of) ‘what happened?’ right?
Lindsay: And we want to know whether things went well or didn’t go so well.
Gabby: Yeah, exactly.
Lindsay: So how did it go? So what’s one way – so if things went well, what are some ways that you might answer this?
Gabby: “Was amazing.”
Lindsay: “Went so well.”
Gabby: “It was all right.” We could say “All right.” We could say “Okay.” Lindsay: Or “Not bad.”
Gabby: Yeah. “It was more or less.” Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah. And if it didn’t go so well, if it’s a thumbs down situation…?
Gabby: Well, (you know), we tend to put a positive spin on things anyway.
Gabby: So even if it was horrible, you might not want to say it was terrible, you could say, “Well, I’m sure next time will be better.” Lindsay: Yeah. And just to note that that’s also a very (kind of) American point of view, right? This is something that we do in the US. We like to look on the bright side as they say. It’s actually an idiom in our, in our language.
Lindsay: (Um) to look on the bright side to kind of see the positive side of things, and (uh), so just to, to take note of that, it’s kind of interesting.
Gabby: Yeah. ‘It could have been better’ or ‘it will be better next time.’ Great.
Gabby: And – (I mean) those are several options that you could use to answer this question quickly, but if you want to go more in depth with your own answer and try this out related to something you’ve done like a meeting or presentation or talking about your year, (um) Lindsay has a special program to help you out with this.
Lindsay: Yeah. So when you guys are actually gonna (going to) try to really own your English skills and take your English to the next level, listening is a really key piece, but the other piece is practicing. And I know that a big problem that a lot of you guys have is a lack of opportunities to practice your English with native speakers. Is it true?
Lindsay: I think it’s true.
Lindsay: So I’m working on a project called “Speakative” and this is a new online platform that I’m creating to help you connect with native speakers and to practice your English after learning very specific vocabulary words. So if you wanna (want to) check that out, I’ll give you a session for free if you come over to www.speakative.com. That’s s-p-e-a-k-a-t-i-v-e.com. So come on over there and I’ll see you there!
Gabby: That sounds awesome.
Lindsay: Yeah. Thank you. I’m very excited about it.
Gabby: Very cool. So we covered that important question, “How did it go?” But we have three bonus phrases for you that we’re going to quickly explain.
(Um), so what’s the next one Lindsay?
Lindsay: Okay. So the next phrase is ‘to give yourself credit.’ Gabby: (Um) ‘to give credit.’ So like to recognize your efforts.
Lindsay: Yeah. Credit is a positive thing. It’s (um) recognition, right? So give yourself credit. Sometimes, it’s hard to, as we said it’s hard to (you know) (uh) recognize what you’ve done that’s good (um) ‘to give yourself credit.’ Gabby: Yeah. Great. It’s important. (Um) the next phrase we have is ‘to put a spin on something.’
Lindsay: This is kind of a cool phrase.
Gabby: Yeah. If you ‘put a spin on something,’ you’re giving it your own unique (uh) perspective or your unique thought. (Um) ‘putting a spin’ is just making something a little bit different.
Lindsay: Mm-hm. Yeah, kind of turning it – sometimes it could be – yeah a slight change or it could also be (sort of) turning it upside down and taking a reverse point of view on it.
Lindsay: Yeah. So ‘put a spin on it.’
Gabby: Cool. And our last phrase today is a phrasal verb ‘taking off.’ So this can mean a few different things. We were talking about our podcast here. You guys are listening so much that the podcast and the downloads of the podcast is (are) really ‘taking off.’
Lindsay: Yeah. That means it’s succeeding. In this case we’re talking about, we’re having a lot of success with the podcast…
Gabby: Very quickly.
Lindsay: …thanks to you guys. Yeah.
Lindsay: Absolutely. So to take off. And it also could mean, so an airplane takes off.
Gabby: Yeah. Or like “Hey, I’m taking off. I need to leave now.” Lindsay: Yeah or ‘taking off’ your hat.
Gabby: There you go.
Lindsay: ‘Taking off’ your shoes.
Lindsay: This phrasal verb has a lot of meanings.
Gabby: Or ‘can you take 50% off?’
Gabby: …and give me a good deal?
Lindsay: Right. Oh my gosh. How many meanings are there?
Gabby: There are a lot. Yeah.
Lindsay: So the one we want you to focus on today is as we just said, succeeding… Gabby: Yeah.
Lindsay: …and surging.
Gabby: My career is ‘taking off.’ Great. Cool. So we want to give you guys a chance just to repeat really quick (quickly). So repeat the phrases after us please.
First: “How did it go?”
Lindsay: And ‘to give credit.’
Gabby: ‘To put a spin on something.’
Lindsay: ‘To take off.’
Gabby: All right. Thanks you guys.
Gabby: Hey Lindsay. So I’ve heard some of your students have been using the premium transcripts for this podcast. Tell me about that.
Yeah. (You know) this podcast is just, is fantastic if you wanna (want to) have some fun and you wanna (want to) learn a little bit, you wanna (want to) get a little bit of motivation for your English. But (you know) my students are actually really, really serious about improving and I’m, I’m excited about that. That’s why I’m working with them. And so, so for them, the way for them to actually really improve is to use the premium transcripts. So we’ve been using those in class together (um) and they’ve been able to learn a ton.
Yeah. Actually my students, too, (uh) they read the transcripts. You can read them out loud. You can do (um) some shadowing with the transcripts as well. You can look up vocabulary. You can do a lot of things. I don’t want to go on and on, but the premium transcripts are super helpful and we want to encourage those of you who are serious about improving your English this New Year to try them out. You can find them at allearsenglish.com/conversations.
Lindsay: All right. So please check it out. Thanks guys.
Gabby: Thank you.
Lindsay: Thanks for listening to the All Ears English Podcast. We’re here to help you learn English and you can help us by leaving a five star review on iTunes.
See you next time.
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