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Learn English with this technology lesson

Date: Apr 17 2013

Themes: Tech

Grammar: Present Progressive Tense


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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“No, no, Marie, honey. Listen, I can explain. It’s not… Marie? I’ll explain everything.” A man in a suit walks down the street, and he’s looking right at you. He’s alone, but he’s speaking in an emotional manner. With one hand he carries a briefcase, while he holds a coffee and gestures with the other hand. You look behind you, but you are the only one on the street. Who could this man be talking to?

In the past, we may have thought this man and others speaking by themselves in public were suffering from a mental illness. Now, because of hands free cell phone technology, we can’t be sure. In this English lesson, learn how Mason and Greta feel about hands free cell phone technology.




1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  I am really bummed out because my phone is kind of like, half-broken right now.

Greta:  Oh, that’s terrible. What’s wrong with it?

Mason:  Well, one of the microphones stopped working, so I can’t use it if I just hold it up to my ear and talk on it. But I can use it if I have a headset connected to it.

Greta:  Like a bluetooth, or an earpiece thing that you would wear?

Mason:  Yeah.

Greta:  Yeah, I think, I think the thing that weirds me out about people who wear their bluetooths all the time is that I’m never quite sure if they’re talking to me or if they’re talking to somebody on the phone. Like, they’ll be standing in line in a coffee shop and they’ll be talking very excitedly, and I’m don’t know if I’m supposed to turn around and engage in the conversation or if they are on the phone. It’s just, I can never read if they’re interacting with just that person in their ear. They also look crazy when they walk down the street and they are just talking because something about having a hand up to your ear with a phone in it makes you look, you know, legitimate.

Mason:  Yeah, there’s definitely kind of a social signal that goes out on that. It’s funny. I mean, it’s really cool technology, right?

Greta:  Sure.

Mason:  But it’s almost like our brains haven’t evolved from the days when there were phone booths and phone conversations are private things that you have to be in a deliberate space and use very deliberate tools to do it. Now it’s just anytime, anywhere, talking on my phone doing whatever I want.


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Mason’s cell phone microphone is broken, and he must use hands free technology to talk on his cell phone.

Greta feels confused when she sees or hears someone talking on the phone using a bluetooth or headset. She doesn’t know who that person is talking to! Mason thinks that in the past, a phone conversation was private, but now people talk on their phones whenever and wherever they want.

Do you use bluetooth technology or a headset? What do you think when you see people using this technology in public? Do you think that it is acceptable for people to have cell phone conversations anytime and anywhere?



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Did not use Bluetooth so far only held him my hands

03:21 AM Apr 17 2013 |



I used to make calls with hands free when my leavings of batteries are less than 20%.

01:44 AM Apr 17 2013 |




I don’t use bluetooth anymore on phone. It is practical but my phone is not broken yet.

It is safer to use bluetooth while driving a car. But the small news or comments can break the concentration, so it’s still dangerous in a way.

I wouldn’t mind if people using bluetooth in public, maybe they have important stuffs to be discussed right away, none of my business. Nevertheless if the bluetooth person which is stranger is standing or sitting next to me, i would weirded out too like greta. Firstly i would be confused if they talk to themselves, to other people or to me. Second, i could hear their conversation even if i don’t want to, it makes me guilty somehow and annoying if they have loud voice! Better walk away.

12:43 AM Apr 17 2013 |

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