1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.
2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.
If you’ve ever traveled, you know that different countries handle traffic very differently.
For starters, in some countries you drive on the left side of the road, as in England or Thailand. In other countries you drive on the right side of the road, as in Mexico or the US.
Speed limits vary too. To most Americans, the fast-moving traffic on European highways can be pretty frightening.
Furthermore, how drivers deal with traffic signals like stop signs or traffic lights differs from country to country. Aside from traffic jams in major cities like LA, traffic in the US is fairly tame.
But Americans wouldn’t know what to do with all the bicycle riders in China or all the motorcycles in Thailand. In Mexico City, intersections jam up with cars whose drivers honk their horns and proceed regardless of red lights.
Listen to Mason and Toby talk about traffic!
1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.
2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.
Toby: So, I think it’s really funny how, we’re, we’re… we tend to be sort of a law-abiding, uh, society.
Mason: We do?
Toby: Well, everybody stops at the stop signs and the red lights. I mean, you go to Mexico City; you go to Bangkok, like…
Mason: Yeah? It’s just not happening?
Toby: No! Traffic signals abroad are mere suggestions.
Mason: I, see… maybe this is just me ‘cause I tend to be a really aggressive driver and I acknowledge that the rules are there to keep order. Um, but there are times when the order’s not necessary. Like, if I’m driving home at 2, 3 in the morning, I’ll slow down at a red light and I’ll stop, but if no one’s coming, I’ll probably run it because I’m, like, you know, there’s really no point in me waiting here for two minutes for nothing.
Toby: I will definitely run it.
Toby: But you never see people…
Mason: I don’t just go through.
Toby: ... in the middle of the day running red lights.
Mason: Mm hm.
Toby: Well, and now you can get busted on video camera.
Mason: Uh huh.
Toby: Which is lame!
Mason: Yeah, you gotta be careful. That’s why I ride my bike everywhere. Because they can’t give me a bike ticket. Although, I mean, technically they can.
Toby: They can. I got pulled over on my bike.
Mason: Even on your bike?
Toby: Yes. And it goes on your driving record. It can affect your insurance.
Mason: Well, so that’s why we’re all following the rules.
Toby: It’s lame. It’s so lame.
Mason: It’s because it goes on our record…
Toby: Exactly. It costs a lot of money.
Mason: ... And it costs us more.
Mason isn’t sure he agrees with Toby. He is an aggressive driver who will sometimes break the law if it seems like the law makes no sense.
Toby sees his point, but she is hesitant to get busted since she got pulled over on her bicycle.
What is traffic like in your country?
Do people obey the traffic laws?