Premium Transcripts
Part 3

Remembering things

This episode's vocabulary

  • Have sth on your plate (idiom) - to have something, usually a large amount of important work, to deal with.
  • Lose track (of sth) - to stop keeping a record of something, or stop being certain that you know or remember what has happened.
  • Diary planner (noun) - a book with a separate space or page for each day, in which you write down your future arrangements, meetings, etc.
  • Memorial (noun) - an object, often large and made of stone, that has been built to honour a famous person or event.
  • Significance (noun) - importance.
  • To recall (verb) - to bring the memory of a past event into your mind, and often to give a description of what you remember.
  • False memory (noun) - an experience that a person remembers having, but that did not in fact happen.
  • Adept (adj.) - having a natural ability to do something that needs experience that a person remembers having, but that did not in fact happen.
  • To affect (verb) - to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something.
  • To escape (verb) - to get free from something, or to avoid something.
  • Dull (adj.) - not interesting or exciting in any way.
  • Significant (adj.) - important or noticeable.
  • Prolonged (adj.) - continuing for a long time.
  • Fall by the wayside - if someone falls by the wayside, they fail to finish an activity, and if something falls by the wayside, people stop doing it, making it, or using it.
  • Underlying (adj.) - real but not immediately obvious.
  • Lesser (adj.) - used to describe something that is not as great in size, amount, or importance as something else.
  • Imagery (noun) - the use of words or pictures in books, films, paintings, etc. to describe ideas or situations.


Questions and Answers

M: What do you think of people who use calendars to remind them of things?

R: Well, I'd be interested to know what else they had in common with me, to be honest. I haven't met many people who do that sort of thing outside of my family. Of course, few people are as organized as we are, so it would be cool to find other people who are like that.

M: What kinds of people are more forgetful?

R: Well, probably people with a lot on their plates. If you have a lot of things to remember, then you're more likely to lose track of them in your mind. That's why having a diary planner is important. So probably people who don't have them are also going to forget things more often, aren't they?

M: Do people like things of memorial significance?

R: Well, I imagine that will depend on the kind of person you are, really. Won't it? And also what the memorial is. So some people see such things as just clutter and ways to make a mess out of the place while others see them as keystones in their memories. So it comes down to the individual, frankly. We're talking about things of personal significance. If we talk about public memorials, then it's also connected to the culture and not just the individual.

M: Which is better for keeping childhood memories, photos, or videos?

R: Probably photos unless you're recording a particular process or event or need to remember the words people said. Usually, a photo can remind you of that, though, assuming you were there. If you aren't, or if you weren't there, then a video might be more suitable. For example, with weddings, they take all day and they have speeches and ceremonies, so a video could capture them quite well, I think.

M: Do you think that's keeping a diary can lead to creating false memories?

R: I suppose it depends on the purpose of the diary and the personality involved in writing it, and when they write about the events in question. So if you're quite a dishonest person, or have trouble objectively recalling things, then it might do. The same is true for writing about things days or weeks after they happen. Like your memory becomes increasingly unreliable, the further away from the events, well, taking place. A diary is meant to be an honest reflection of the person keeping it though. So if you can't be honest with yourself, then you probably have bigger issues than false memories, haven't you?

M: But do you think that people these days are not keen on keeping a diary?

R: No, I think they're more adept at blogs. They put their thoughts and memories out in the public sphere, and that's not always the best idea.

M: Why do people remember very little about things which happened to them in early childhood?

R: Well, there are all kinds of reasons aren't there, you might have had a brain injury that affected your memory, or that affects your memory. Or maybe it was so long ago that the fine details escape you. Alternatively, maybe it was very dull and not worth remembering in the first place.

M: Do you think that there are people who do remember things well? The things which happened to them in early childhood?

R: Oh, yeah, invariably there will be some people with better memories than others. But most people couldn't recall the significant events.

M: What childhood memories do people usually have?

R: Well, it's sort of like I said there. I think major events or things that happened for a prolonged period of time so, well, like friendships or going to school or birthday parties and celebrations. I think specific events only get remembered if they have particular emotional weight behind them, like something very funny or something very sad happened. More minor things like brushing your teeth tend to fall by the wayside, don't they?

M: Do you think these memories are the same with all the people?

R: Well, you're more likely to remember something significant than a minor detail. I think that's true in all cases, the extent to which you remember them might vary from person to person, because memory is a biological process, but the underlying concept behind them will be the same.

M: Can technology help people remember past events?

R: Well, it already does, doesn't it? I mean, we're recording now. So that helps us remember what people said. And we can use cameras to take pictures and make videos of different events. Like I said, voice recorders are also useful to a lesser extent if we're focusing on the imagery. I think, more advanced systems like using phone records and text messages and emails, they're also useful for that purpose.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your lovely answers! This is the end of the speaking test! Bye!

R: Hooray! Except not goodbye, because now we're going to talk about vocabulary and grammar!



M: You see, I find it a bit strange, because the cue card, speaking part two card, a course that impressed you, and then we have questions about remembering things. So can we now brainstorm some questions that are connected to courses? Maybe the examiner can ask you in speaking part three, like, what courses do people usually take? What do you think?

R: Well, that's a listing question. Your examiner usually asks you a higher-order question. So it would be something like, what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking courses? Or what are the features of a good course? Or what are the features of a bad course? So it's really not going to be asking personal questions about like what you think personally, it will be about concepts like advantages and disadvantages, or prioritizing things.

M: Yeah. Yeah. Or like which courses are more popular now than before, for example.

R: We should do a Podcourse on that as well, to be honest with you. I'm writing this down, because that's something. We should do how to answer different kinds of questions. Especially since these ones are ridiculous.

M: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. True. Because in speaking, part three will have frameworks, we have the questions, like questions about the future. Advantages and disadvantages. Yes. And you can prepare for these kinds of questions. Yep. Absolutely.

R: And it is very easy, because I know exactly how they make the questions for these. And so do you?

M: Yeah, absolutely. I have the frameworks, the typical questions.

R: So, premium listener, you have just heard us come up with ideas for some new courses, that are gonna save your butt.

M: On the spot. Yeah, we are planning our podcast on the spot, you know.

R: This is how we do it.

M: Just like that.

R: This is how the professionals work. So let's talk about things that help us remember. Calendars.

M: Calendars. Oh, Gosh. So do you have a calendar?

R: My family does. I don't. I have diaries. Oh, no, that's so true. I have a digital calendar. I have my Google Calendar. I schedule my appointments with it. I forgot about that. Now, that's a good point. So, if you have a digital calendar, maybe for your work, then talk about that. I didn't. That was silly. Oh, oh, well. I like my answer anyway.

M: Yeah, it was fine. So like, what do you think of people who use calendars to remind them of things? So digital calendars, paper calendars, they remind us of other things.

R: Yes.

M: And people are organized.

R: So you could say, for example, that they have something in common with you, or maybe other people in your family or in your culture. If you're very organized in your culture, then you could talk about digital calendars. I didn't. But it doesn't matter. Organization in general, because here we are invited to talk about the kind of people. So organized. What are other ways of talking about people who are organized?

M: Focused, disciplined.

R: Yes.

M: Oh, yes, schedule oriented, disciplined. Then people could be forgetful. So if I forget things, I'm forgetful, and I need stuff to remind me of. Preposition is of. Remind people of something. So Rory mentioned a...

R: A diary planner, you have a diary, like a journal. There two kinds of diary. One is a journal for recording your thoughts and one is a planner for recording events. I have a diary planner because I plan things and I write my thoughts down somewhere else.

M: Careful, do not confuse this word with dairy. Dairy products. Like milk, yoghurt. Dairy, Diary planner. Okay? And people keep a diary. So keep a diary, like Bridget Jones' diary. It could be an online diary, I think, or just on paper. Hardcore people.

R: Why do people forget things? Because they have a lot on their plate. What a great idiom.

M: Yeah, people have a lot on their plate.

R: That's another way of saying I have a lot of things to do. I'm very busy. I have a lot on my plate.

M: I have a lot of food on my plate yum, yum, yum.

R: Yeah. It's not about food. It's about actions.

M: And then our question of the day. Do people like things of memorial significance? What does it mean? Memorial significance.

R: What does it mean? There are so many ways, they're like... When I first heard the question, I thought about things that help people remember things. So that's not very specific. Is it? So for example, a photo album or maybe something that you bought from a place to help you remember it. But then I thought about memorials like to remember soldiers in a war, for example. So you could go anywhere with this. And I think I did. I said, I talked about the individual level and the cultural one.

M: Yeah, you are an educated native speaker, Rory. An educated.

R: Whoever wrote this question wasn't an educated native speaker because I have no idea what that means. Memorial significance.

M: Yeah, so in the exam, the question could be rephrased, yeah? So something like why do people or do people like thinks that they remember?

R: Do people like things that help them remember stuff? I suppose that's the question.

M: Yeah.

R: And really, it will depend entirely on what the thing you're trying to remember is then, because some people don't want to remember things like I don't want to remember the first time I ate bananas because it was absolutely disgusting. And I hate bananas. But I do want to remember the first time I had pizza because pizza is awesome.

M: Yeah. And also, people buy souvenirs. As you say, like all this clutter. Clutter - like unimportant things. We buy souvenirs and we have certain things. Like for example, oh, I have this cup. And this cup reminds me of Rory. And every time I look at the cup, I think of Rory. So stuff like this, you know.

R: What on Earth are you talking about? If the examiner asks you such a bizarre question, then you should just be like, I think you need to rephrase that question.

M: Yes, yes, dear listener.

R: Could you rephrase that question, please?

M: Could you rephrase the question?

R: Yeah.

M: Not repeat. Rephrase, rephrase.

R: Maybe, could you rephrase the question so it makes sense, please?

M: Oh, God.

R: Because examiners are human, sometimes they make mistakes. But what a, what a, what a weird question.

M: Yeah.

R: Anyway, we did a great job. We've said it comes down to the individual, which is something that you could say in response to any question.

M: Yep, it comes down to the individual, it comes down to the culture, it comes down to the weather.

R: Which is just meaning this thing is important, at the most basic level. But if you say it comes down to then you've used an idiomatic expression, so your score for vocabulary would be higher, and you bought yourself time.

M: True, true. We keep our memories. So childhood memories, IELTS people's favourite questions. What's your favourite childhood memory? So keep our childhood memories, photos, videos, recordings. If you use the word remind, so what's the preposition? Remind you of something, yeah? So most people keep their memories as photos. What's the proposition there?

R: Take photos, but that's a verb. Take photos of something.

M: Yeah, yeah. But if I want to say like, I keep my childhood memories in photos, in videos, as videos.

R: As, because your memory is actually in your head. Like that's where the memory comes from.

M: So from your head, it goes to the video, so I keep it as videos.

R: I keep it to remind me of the memory in my head.

M: Oh, yeah, I know. And then you've used a synonym. Recall things.

R: Yes. Because we can't just keep saying remember. Got to be like, sometimes I have difficulty recalling things. Or it's difficult to recall this event or if I recall correctly.

M: If I remember correctly, yep. False memories. What are they? It's actually an interesting notion. False memory. Because they say that I can plant a false memory into your head.

R: Yeah, but can you really?

M: Yeah, there've been experiments. And it's on a scientific level. There's one lady, well, there was one lady, and she actually proved and she planted some false memories in many people's heads as an experiment to kind of to see if she can do it. And oh, gosh, it's ridiculous. And also hilarious that people actually remembered what they didn't have.

R: Isn't that just the impression like people create the memory in their own head so you just feed them the information to lead them to the wrong conclusion. But that's not a memory, that's an impression or information.

M: Yeah, yeah, true, true. Or we can call it like a false memory, like wrong impression, or a false memory. Now, dear listener, you know, something from psychology, or shall we call it, I don't know, neurology, neuroscience? What is it? I don't know. Your early childhood is when you were two years old, one year old, i don't know, two months?

R: It's when you're very young. If they don't specify the time period, then early childhood just means when you're young, because in different cultures, the idea of early childhood means different things. In some cultures, you're a child until you're 13 and then you become an adult.

M: Yeah, true.

R: Whereas where I am, if you're not an adult until you're, well, 16 or 18.

M: Hmm, I thought 35.

R: For some people, some people never grow up.

M: I liked the way how you answered this question. Why do people remember very little about their early childhood? There are all kinds of reasons. Yeah. And you did use a tag, a tag question. There are all kinds of reasons, aren't there?

R: And then go on to explain. So it will be falling intonation if you're going on to explain further. There all kinds of reasons, aren't there? You might have had a brain injury. Probably important to focus on the grammar here. You might have had. Oh, module verb. And also perfect tense.

M: Present Perfect. Yeah, cool. Cool. Because we can't say you might have, you might have a brain injury, because it's in the present. So we need to refer to the past. So you might have had. You might have had means that you had, maybe you had a brain injury.

R: This discussion of grammar is gonna give me a brain injury.

M: Yeah, it's quite dull. Okay.

R: Yeah. Dull and not worth remembering.

M: Mm-hmm.

R: So that's a good point. Not worth plus -ing.

M: Yep. Yeah, cool one. So different things affect your memory. Affect - like they have an influence on your memory. Affect. Affect your memory.

R: The period of time. So you might, if it's a long time ago, you might forget the fine details. So fine details, like you have the basic concept, just the main idea. And the fine details are like things that tell you more about this individual thing. So everybody has a childhood, but the fine details make it your childhood.

M: Yeah. And you can see the fine details escape you.

R: Yeah. Which just means I can't remember the fine details. So you could just say it escapes me right now. Which means I don't know, I can't remember.

M: And then about childhood memories, you can talk about friendships, going to school, birthday parties, celebrations. Stuff like that. Brushing your teeth when you were a baby. Do babies have teeth?

R: That's a good point. When do you start brushing your teeth.

M: Yeah. When do you start brushing your teeth? Oh, that's a good question.

R: I think you're supposed to start brushing your gums anyway, when you're quite young. Because they have toothpaste for babies. Yeah. You're not supposed to brush actually, it's funny because you're not you're told to brush your teeth. But you should be brushing the line where your gums meet your teeth, because that is where the bacteria builds up.

M: Right.

R: That's what my dentist told me.

M: Oh, wow. Oh, exciting. Dear listener, do you remember when you started brushing your teeth? Huh?

R: Oh, we need to talk about, we need to get another task to talk about teeth because I know all sorts of things about teeth now after my latest visit to the dentist.

M: Let's talk about shoes one more time, and then we can talk about teeth. Okay?

R: Great.

M: And a typical question about technology. So will technology replace our memory? Or can technology help people to remember things? Yes, yes. Because we can't remember anything without technology these days. Rory, do you remember your phone number? Or your friends' phones? Or birthdays?

R: Oh, I know my normal phone number because we still use it. I can't remember my phone number from 10 years ago.

M: Yeah.

R: It escapes me. On the subject of escape, we should probably escape to record another episode now. So thank you very much for listening with your transcript. And if you didn't have the transcript, then make sure that you download it now. Use the link in the description.

M: We hope that you will remember the vocabulary and grammar from this episode.

R: For a high score.

M: Rory score, band nine score. Thank you very much for listening! Bye!

R: Chao!

M: Arrivederci!


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