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.
Sergio Rodriguez is a fast guy who likes to run. He moves so smoothly around the court, people have taken to calling him Spanish Chocolate. Whether he’s playing with the Spanish national team or in the NBA, Sergio often gets from one side of the court to the other so quickly that no one can stop him from scoring. In basketball, that’s called a fast break.
Recently, Sergio took a break from practicing with the New York Knicks before a game to help you learn more about fast breaks and to talk about his experiences learning English.
3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.
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.
Jason: Alright, welcome to English, baby!. I’m Jason here with Sergio Rodriguez of the New York Knicks. So, how much English did you know when you got to the US and how much did it improve once you got here?
Sergio: When I was in Spain I was learning English, but it wasn’t enough to come here, and get a conversation with a person who speaks good English. So I tried to learn when I was a kid and when I was playing pro in Spain because I knew that I’d get an opportunity to come to the NBA. When I got here it was so much easier because I was always around people that speak fluent English so I got much better when I got here my first year and then through the years I’ve been learning a lot more.
Jason: You’re a real fast guy, you like to do fast breaks. Can you teach all the English, baby! members, what is a fast break?
Sergio: A fast break is all about quick decisions I think, try to think fast, try to get everybody involved in the fast break.
Jason: How do you see a fast break coming? How do you know when you have a chance?
Sergio: First of all, to get a fast break, 90% of the time you gotta get the rebound and you gotta get stop on defense. So that’s the first signal that you have to play a fast break. Also, when the other team scores on you, you can do a fast break if they are hanging around, you see an opportunity to get into the lane and you can do a fast break.
Jason: So, basically, you just get down the court before everybody else, right?
Sergio: Yeah. Basically, it’s run faster than everyone, and try to get the basket, be the first one. I really love to play the fast break.
Jason: In your regular life, like day to day, do you like to see an opportunity and just go for it like a fast break?
Sergio: I guess a fast break is to take quick decisions, so in my life I try to get a little bit calm with my decisions. But also, I try to do things and live the life and take advantage of that.
Jason: Thanks so much, Sergio. Can I get you to give me a high five and say, “English, baby!”
Sergio: English, baby!
Sergio Rodriguez just finished his third year in the NBA. He had studied English before he came to the US, but when he arrived, he found it was hard to have a conversation with a native speaker. Now, his English is very good, so we asked him to teach a lesson on the term “fast break.”
Naturally, a fast break is something that happens fast. Sergio says it’s about “quick decisions.” If his team stops the other team from scoring, they will try to run and pass the ball ahead so they can score before the defense tries to stop them. It helps if the other team is kind of relaxing for a moment, hanging around at the other end of the court. That’s a good time for a fast break.
Sergio says he loves to play the fast break and likes to get his teammates involved in fast breaks. Several players on a team will often have to pass the ball in order create an opportunity for a fast break.
Outside of basketball, Sergio says he likes to think more carefully about his decisions. But he also likes to live life to the fullest. Are you a cautious person or do you make quick decisions?