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.
In his first year out of the French-speaking Caribbean island, Guadeloupe, Rodrigue “Roddy” Beaubois has proved that he can score in the NBA. He’s good at long, three-point shots and has solid moves around the basket. He even scored 40 points in one game!
Some of Roddy’s most spectacular moments in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks involved the alley-oop, one of the most exciting plays in basketball. An alley-oop takes teamwork and involves a long pass, a high jump and a slam dunk, but Roddy will tell you more.
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: Welcome to English, baby! I’m Jason here with Rodrigue Beaubois of the Dallas Mavericks. How are you?
Rodrigue: I’m good, and you?
Jason: Good! This is your rookie year, and you’ve thrown down a lot of amazing alley-oops this year. Could you tell us what an alley-oop is, for all the people learning English out there?
Rodrigue: Someone is supposed to throw the ball in the air, the guy is supposed to take it, jumping, and just put the ball in. The purpose to just throw the ball in the air is so you can just dunk it, or lay it in, you know.
Jason: And I’ve heard that the phrase “alley-oop” comes from a French phrase used by acrobats, something like “allez hop”, is that right?
Rodrigue: I think it’s “allez hop” I guess, I don’t know!
Jason: What does that mean?
Rodrigue: Okay, “allez” is “let’s” but the last, I can’t really, I don’t know.
Jason: Does it mean, like, “let’s go” or something like that?
Rodrigue: Close, I guess.
Jason: So how much English did you know when you got to the US, and how much has it improved over your first year here?
Rodrigue: For sure I’ve improved a little bit, but, yeah, I’ve got a lot to learn because my English wasn’t good when I first came here so I still need to learn but it’s better every day.
Jason: Thanks a lot Rodrigue, can I get you to give me a high five and say “English, baby!”?
Rodrigue: English, baby!
As Roddy explains, an alley-oop is when one player throws a long pass to another player, who jumps into the air, catches the ball and slam dunks it without touching the ground. It’s a move that requires teamwork and communication, and one that Roddy is likely to participate in on any given night.
The alley-oop is a pretty acrobatic play, especially for the player who finishes it. It makes sense then, that the term “alley-oop” comes from a phrase used by French acrobats, “allez hop.” Roddy, whose native language is French, says that the meaning of this phrase is close to “let’s go” but is a little hard to translate.
Is there a phrase in your language that’s similar to “let’s go?” What play would you like to see Roddy pull off this year in the NBA Playoffs?