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Part 3

Living in the countryside

This episode's vocabulary

  • Surrounding (noun) - the place where someone or something is and the things that are in it.
  • Unequivocally (adverb) - in a way that is total, or expressed very clearly with no doubt.
  • Migration (noun) - the process of people travelling to a new place to live, usually in large numbers.
  • Manicured (adj.) - if something, such as a garden, is manicured, it is well cared for and looks very tidy.
  • Rugged (adj.) - (of land) wild and not even; not easy to travel over.
  • Untamed (ad.) - left in a natural or wild state.
  • Sparsely (adj.) - small in numbers or amount, often spread over a large area.
  • Setting (noun) - the position of a house or other building.
  • Nature connectedness - how being in nature is good for you
  • Association (noun) - the fact of being involved with or connected to someone or something.
  • Resentful (adj.) - feeling angry because you have been forced to accept someone or something that you do not like.
  • In a nutshell (idiom) - very briefly, giving only the main points.
  • Environmental degradation (noun) - reduction in the quality of the environment due to man-made and natural factors.


Questions and Answers

M: Rory, do you think more people will leave in the countryside in the future?

R: Oh, I hope not. It might disrupt the natural balance even more than it already is. But they should definitely visit. Despite my hopes, though, I can see more and more people moving there since they can work online, and the relatively nicer surroundings that the countryside provides.

M: Is it possible that all the population will move to the cities?

R: Well, up until two years ago, if you'd asked me that, I would have said unequivocally yes. But there seems to be a trend of outward migration now. Like I said, people know that they can work online, so they no longer have to move to the cities unless they have some sort of job that demands this. So when it comes to the future, your guess is as good as mine now.

M: Is there anything special about the countryside in your country?

R: Well, it's interesting, you should say that because I was thinking about this recently. England tends to have flatter and more manicured countryside areas. By comparison, Scotland seems more rugged and untamed with a wilderness in forests in greater numbers, or amounts, if it's the wilderness, we definitely have everything at a higher altitude as well. It's also more sparsely populated. If we compare it to the rest of the world, then we have some unique species like the red squirrel and the Osprey, which tend to live there in greater numbers too.

M: Why do people like to go to the countryside?

R: Well, generally, I'd say people like to be in natural settings. There's this concept called nature connectedness. And that means that we feel better when we're in such places for more than, well, anything more than 20 minutes. So it's like there's this natural pool that takes people there to have this experience.

M: And why do some people dislike going to the countryside?

R: I think it's because they just have negative associations with it. So perhaps they've been before and didn't have a very good time, or they're worried about getting dirty. Or maybe they just don't have access. And so they're a bit resentful of the people that do have access.

M: What do people usually do when they go to the countryside?

R: Well, in a nutshell, they walk and generally enjoy the experience. Outside of that, I think it depends on your age. Older people will be happy to watch the wildlife and see how it looks. Younger people will probably want to play in it and interact with the wildlife if they can.

M: Do you think young people who live in the country want to move to a city?

R: I think it's certainly one of the more likely possibilities. People often want to experience things outside of what they take for granted, and they want to explore a bit. And why not, it's not like the rural areas are going anywhere. So they can go back if they want to, assuming the environmental degradation isn't too bad. But that shouldn't happen in their lifetimes to such a great extent.

M: And do you think that the countryside has changed over the years?

R: It's probably changed over the decades and centuries, but I don't think it's changed over individual years. These processes take much longer.

M: And what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in the countryside?

R: Well, I suppose the advantages are that you have the sense of nature connectedness, like I said. A serious disadvantage to overcome would be the fact that you're far from like cities and all of the creature comforts that are there.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your lovely answers!

R: That's okay. Hopefully, I've given you fields of vocabulary to cover!

M: Oh, fields of vocabulary and valleys of grammar.



M: Yeah, dear listener, so the countryside is a new IELTS topic in speaking part three. So we may not have all the questions because again, this is a new topic, but I think we've covered the major ones. So first of all, Rory has used lots of topic-specific vocabulary, about the nature, about the countryside, and all that stuff. For example, we have the natural balance. It will disrupt the natural balance.

R: Yeah, so the natural balance is really just a phrase that I use without thinking about it. I'm trying to think what it is. It's just the way that nature works together in harmony. And so if lots of people go there, there'll be lots of waste and pollution. So that will disrupt this harmony, how things work together.

M: And we have nice surroundings in the countryside. So surroundings - like whatever surrounds you. So people might move to the countryside to have nicer surroundings, for example.

R: Relatively. I mean, I would rather be in the countryside than be surrounded by like, apartment blocks.

M: Steel and glass. And then Rory has used an interesting word, which she couldn't pronounce, and it took him two attempts to say it. Unequivocally.

R: Unequivocally. But that just means, it's another way of saying yes, 100%, no exceptions. So you're probably better to say that. Unequivocably.

M: So it's like will all people move to the cities? And you go, I would say unequivocally. You know what I mean. Yes. Don't do that.

R: If you can say like, it's good for practicing your pronunciation. Just don't do that during the exam when they're just like.

M: Yeah, because even an educated native speaker sometimes can't pronounce words from his own language. Unequivocally. It means like it's total. It's like, no doubt, it's like, unequivocally yes. It's like, super yes. 100% yes. So, dear listener, if you feel that this word is not for you, forget about it and focus on other ones.

R: No, keep trying. Just don't screw it up in the exam.

M: Yeah, but you know, what happens, usually we say, okay, okay, I'm gonna say this word, but I'm gonna say it correctly. Okay. Okay. And then in the exam you go... It's this, usually. Okay. Like I said, it's a very nice one, very natural. Like I said, blah, blah, blah. And then you continue saying, whatever you were saying. Like I said.

R: Yeah. Like I said, and I talked about people working online before. So it's like, well, like I said, people can work online, so probably, they'll go there.

M: Hmm. And then when the examiner asks you to describe a countryside in your country, or just in general, there should be some adjectives, descriptive adjectives. And Rory, you said, like, England tends to be flatter. And the more...

R: Manicured. That's the same word in Russian.

M: Unequivocally, unequivocally manicured.

R: However, there's a phrase there that you can use to buy yourself time. It's interesting, you should say that because I was thinking about this recently.

M: About what?

R: Anything. Ask me literally any question, you could start your answer with that.

M: Okay. Do people go to planetariums in your country?

R: That's interesting, you should ask that because I was thinking about this recently.

M: Yeah, planetariums, like, the places where we go to learn about stars and planets. Planetariums. Okay. Yes, yes, that's a good strategy. And then Scotland, freedom is untamed, and wild. And...

R: Well, compared to England, it is, but there are fewer people living here.

M: It's rough. It's for real men who drink whiskey in their cornflakes for breakfast. They don't eat their cornflakes, they drink.

R: People love to like have this fantasy, but it's probably not true.

M: In Scotland, people drink their cornflakes, so funny, and they eat their whiskey. Okay. Dear listener, I think it's funny, come on, you can laugh. It's a bit silly, but you know. So what adjectives can our listener use? Rory, serious now.

R: Well, untamed, wild, higher altitude, high altitude, sparsely populated, not many people live there. And then you just talk about what's their unique species, and then whatever species exists in your country. Although to be honest with you, I didn't think that through because red squirrels is a species that lives in the countryside. I'm not really sure about Ospreys actually. offsprings might be seabirds more than they are countryside birds. However, Scotland's a very small country so they don't have far to fly.

M: Why do people go to the countryside? Again the expression is to go to the countryside, visit the countryside or go to the country. You can paraphrase it like this. And people enjoy to be in natural settings. To be in natural settings, enjoying spectacular scenery and peaceful nature. And then Rory said, nature connectedness, connectedness.

R: That is a high-level piece of vocabulary because even I didn't know what that was up until six months ago. We were learning about it from my university course. And it's all about how being in nature is good for you, be in nature.

M: So how do I use this nature connectedness? Like people go to the countryside to experience...

R: Nature connectedness.

M: Or because of nature connectedness.

R: No, they go there to experience it.

M: Hmm. Okay, sweet. And yeah, so, so far we have, unequivocally, we have manicured and nature connectedness. These are the keywords of this episode. Whoa. What do people do in the countryside? Well, and then he goes in a nutshell.

R: Yeah, I said, I wouldn't say in a nutshell, but i have.

M: Explain yourself, explain yourself, what, why what's what's?

R: I got bored and thought I would spice things up by just throwing in a nutshell in there. And it makes sense because we talk about the countryside.

M: So you think, you really think that you spiced it up?

R: We talked about the countryside? Where do you find nuts? In the countryside. Yes, it's a pun.

M: It's a pun. Yeah. And you just say in a nutshell, and you'll look at the examiner. Come on. Do you get it? Do you get it? Nuts in the countryside.

R: Yeah, and then the examiner failed you.

M: And the examiner like looks at you. Like, come on. Stop it. Yeah. And then you squeeze in a couple of dad jokes. Or Christmas cracker jokes, or some of the Rory's jokes. My jokes are all fine. They're all sophisticated and super funny. Of course.

R: Yeah, whatever.

M: Whatever. Right. Where were we? Yeah, in a nutshell. But just don't stress this word. Don't just go like, in a nutshell, no, like in a nutshell, walk and genuinely so the stress should be on keywords. Which you say after this in a nutshell thing. It's interesting, you didn't mention any of the drinking, any, any. No barbecues.

R: Well, you can drink anywhere.

M: Well, yeah, but usually people go and drink in the countryside because connect connectedness.

R: No, they don't

M: Okay. In Russia usually.

R: I don't think drinking alcohol is going to enhance your nature connectedness. It's probably not going to damage it either.

M: Hmm, okay, interesting. Yes. So people are happy to watch the wildlife who have the wildlife. Younger people play, interact with the wild love, love, life.

R: Wild love?

M: Interact with the wildlife, wildlife. You have to open your mouth, wildlife.

R: Wlidlife.

M: Which means kids kill birds and bugs, they destroy the plants. They peak all the plants and flowers and they run around and step on different...

R: You have a very pessimistic view of how children behave in nature.

M: Oh, okay. When the examiner asks you about the future, you can go and it's certainly a likely possibility.

R: Ad then explain why.

M: Yeah. And again, it works with any question. Will more people visit planetariums in the future Rory?

R: Certainly a likely possibility. People love the planet.

M: Right, environmental degradation.

R: Yes, that's the downside. So it's just like the environment gets destroyed by people who don't look after it.

M: Yeah, by children who want to play...

R: I don't think it's children leaving like trash and cars unlike abandoned cars by the sides of the road. I think that's adults. And I think adults should be behaving but more responsibly in the countryside.

M: Hmm. But I think children watch their parents who just throw stuff everywhere. And they do the same. So...

R: Yes, but then whose problem is that?

M: Parents. Yeah. Parents are always to blame. Just if in doubt, blame parents. Hello, mom. Yeah, no, actually my parents taught me to collect all the rubbish and when we used to go to the countryside and we still do, we collect like everything and sometimes I still collect even more. So if I go somewhere and I see that rubbish is all over the place, I do pick it up.

R: Anyway.

M: Anyway, Rory, are you the countryside guy?

R: I love the countryside. I am less than a mile from it. I live close to the beach as well. So I'm the beach gu, too.

M: Thank you very much, dear listener, for bearing with us, for listening to us. We love you, we hug you. Let's be with this nature connectedness, unequivocally yes. Unequivocally yes.

R: And unequivocally, bye!

M; Bye! Bye!


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