Premium Transcripts
Part 3

Learning

This episode's vocabulary


  • Constraint (noun) - something that controls what you do by keeping you within particular limits.
  • Spreadsheet (noun) - an electronic document in which information is arranged in rows and columns, and can be used to do financial calculations and plans.
  • Contingent on/upon sth - depending on something else in the future in order to happen.
  • To deem (verb) - to consider or judge something in a particular way.
  • Literacy (noun) - the ability to read and write.
  • To intervene (verb) - to intentionally become involved in a difficult situation in order to improve it or prevent it from getting worse.
  • Transmission (noun) - the process of passing something from one person or place to another.
  • Downside (noun) - a disadvantage of a situation.
  • Facet (noun) - one part of a subject, situation, etc. that has many parts.

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Questions and Answers


M: Alright, Rory, make some noise.

R: Hello! It's me!

M: Raw, Rory, raw!

R: Oh, no. That sounds like a lot of effort.

M: Okay, let's talk about learning.

R: I don't think it is. It's just they have to, well, narrow their focus because of time constraints, as well as the relevance of the material or the subject. I imagine many people have dinosaurs, for example, but might not have the time to learn about them to as greater depth as they had before they had jobs to worry about. At the same time, no one really wants to learn about spreadsheets, but it's kind of essential for many people's jobs.

M: Why don't adults usually like to learn new things?

R: I'd imagine for the same reason as children, it's not particularly relevant, or at least it doesn't seem so. Or it doesn't seem interesting. Adults can be, well, they can get bored, too, you know?

M: And what about children? Why don't they like to learn anything new?

R: For the same reasons. I don't think adults and children are that different in that respect. It's just that adults have greater reserves of patience when it comes to dealing with boring stuff.

M: And what are the reasons?

R: What, why they don't want to learn? Well, like I said, it's not it's either it's not interesting, or it's not relevant. These same things apply to children.

M: Is it the government's responsibility to assist people in learning?

R: That's probably contingent on what's being learned. If it's an area that's deemed to be a national priority like literacy, then, of course, the government should fund and support this, and many of them already do in state schools. If it's something that's more niche, or just learned out of interest, then it's perhaps not the most important thing that governments should intervene in and provide funding for.

M: And why do you think some people stop learning at some point in their life?

R: Well, I think it's always one of the two choices either because it's no longer relevant or because it's not interesting. It's always going to be like that. It doesn't matter how old you are, these are the two primary reasons why people stop learning, or they're dead, and they can't do it anymore.

M: What are the differences between education in the past and education today?

R: I suppose it's less about the transmission of knowledge and more about the construction or sorry, the CO construction of it for starters. So teachers and students are more likely to work together on things rather than just students passively learning about it or being told about it. And there's greater room, or greater room for and appreciation of student voice. And oh, in addition to, well, there's greater variety in terms of materials. I could go on. Because actually, I think a great deal has changed. But I'll stop there.

M: And do you think this is for the better or for the worse?

R: I think, well, all the changes in education are designed for the better. Whether they work out that way is up for debate, because the mechanism is so poorly understood.

M: What are the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning?

R: I used to think there were only downsides, to be honest with you. However, it turns out, there are actually quite a few advantages. It's convenient for one thing, and it's more time-efficient. Since that you, you can just sit on your computer and join a class at the touch of a button and there's no travel time involved. Moreover, the material can be presented in a variety of ways. I suppose the downsides are if you have poor equipment that will be hard to get, well, it will be hard to access the content. And it isn't very healthy to be sitting for long periods. But such difficulties are, well, relatively easy to overcome.

M: What will people have to learn in the future?

R: Well, I'm not a fortune teller. So it's difficult to say with any great degree of accuracy. However, probably something to do with technology. I think that the role of technology in our lives is just expanding into sort of every facet of them. And I think as in addition to that, we'll probably need to learn more about ourselves and our own health and well being just because that's something that people are developing an increased awareness of too.

M: Excellent. Thank you so much, Rory! We've learned so much from your answers!

R: I hope so!


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Discussion


M: Yes, so dear listener, because speaking part three is, well, we don't have exact questions that the examiner might ask you in speaking part three. So that's why we have collected the questions which were reported by different people who took IELTS. And they said, okay, so they asked me about this. And the questions were like this. So we give you kind of approximate questions. And we can now think about what other questions could be asked about learning. So the speaking part two topic was "Describe something you are interested to learn or improve". So what other questions can the examiner ask here in speaking part three about learning, about education? Rory, so what do you think? Apart from the ones that we've just discussed?

R: Well, let's go back to our taxonomy of questions, shall we?

M: Say, kind of questions about the future? Questions, comparing the past and present. So education in the past and the present, then kids versus adults? So kids learn something but adults learn...

R: Yeah. So it might be like, why do you think education has changed so much? Or it could be, some people think that online education might be a problem? But what's your opinion?

M: Yeah, so something about online education. What do we have to learn in our life? Why people stop learning? Why is it difficult to learn?

R: There's also like, comparing and contrasting. So what is similar and what's different, advantages and disadvantages? And you can compare and contrast thing. Like we already talked about the past and the future. But we'd also talk about different countries, for example, or different ways of doing things. What's the best?

M: Yeah, what's the best way of learning new things? Yeah, yeah. With friends, or, for example, people learning on their own or with a tutor, with an instructor. Online versus offline learning. So yeah, stuff like that. And so, remember that the examiner will listen to what you're saying. And then ask questions about what you have just said. Okay? So the examiner has more freedom here. Okay. So speaking about adults, and why it could be hard for adults to learn things. Rory, you said that adults have to narrow their focus, because of time constraints can constraints, time constraints.

R: But that just means that they have less time. Time constraints to be things like, you have to work, you got to spend all day learning. So that means you have less time to learn.

M: And you narrow your focus of learning. So instead of like learning 10 languages, you just narrow it down to like maybe one or two languages, because of time constraints. And then why people dislike learning something new, so the major reasons, it's not relevant, or it's not interesting. So people are bored. That's why they just stopped learning.

R: Yeah. I feel like those are the only reasons or could there be any more?

M: But what about if something that's just too difficult? You know, you start learning Japanese, for example. And you see, oh, it's just too difficult, you know?

R: Yeah, but some people find, like difficult things interesting.

M: What about if people don't have enough money? For example, they were doing this course. And it was great. And then okay, so there's no more money, and yeah, I just stopped doing that.

R: Well, that's, that's why you stop doing a course. It's no why you stop learning about something.
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M: Hmm. So I can kind of continue learning on my own, yeah?

R: Yeah. But are questions about, yeah, like, that's confusing learning with having money. Like, you don't need to pay to learn things. You could pay to learn them in a specific way, or from a specific person. But you could just as well learn about the subject for free.

M: True.

R: It might take more effort, but it's not, okay, that's about money.

M: Yeah. So as long as it's interesting, it's relevant to your life. And so it's not relevant. What do you mean by that? Do you mean, like, it's not relevant to my life? So I don't use this knowledge in my life.

R: It could be or it's just it's not. There isn't a purpose behind it. It lacks meaning. Although I suppose that's, that's a bit different from being relevant. But the two are connected.

M: And then if we speak about the government, so should the government help people in learning and then Rory says, That's contingent on the words being learned. So that depends on, yeah?

R: Yeah, I got bored of seeing that depends on. Its contingent on.

M: And then the passive voice what's being learned? So what people are learning? What is being learned? That's continuous passive, dear listener, all right? So you can say like, it depends on what people are learning. But Rory is super cool and educated. That's why he says, that's contingent on what's being learned. Yeah.

R: Sorry, I was just gonna say there must be a difference between that's contingent, and that's, and that depends on.

M: So what's the difference? What's the difference?

R: I don't know. But there must be one, cuz otherwise, you wouldn't have two different phrases. Contingent on versus dependent.

M: I think contingent is a bit more formal. And yeah, just sounds cool.

R: Yeah. So depend is about what it relies on and contingent is about what's possible. But not certain.

M: No, no, we didn't understand that. What?

R: Well, for example, you wouldn't say I'm contingent on my friends. So it's, you'd say you depend on your friends, wouldn't you?

M: Yeah. But in context, for example, like, oh, where were you going today? Well, that's contingent on my friends. Maybe they prefer to go to a pub, or they prefer to go to a swimming pool? No?

R: I think it'd be better to say that's dependent on my friends or it's contingent on what my friends want to do. So there it's not actually your friends, it's their ideas about the world. And again, what they've made possible.

M: So that's contingent on something. Right? On something.

R: Yeah. So there's a difference. It's really narrow, though. So if you are aiming for a band nine score, that still doesn't matter, because they're still used interchangeably. But there's a difference. And that's what it is.

M: So then you add an if sentence. Like if it's an area that is a national priority, like literacy. Literacy is being able to read or write, and write. Literacy. So if it's an area of national priority, then the government should fund and support this. Yeah? So the government should fund this. So give funds or allocate funds, give funds to education?

R: They do, though, I think just about every government supports literacy.

M: Speaking about the differences between education in the past, and now we can say that it's about transmission of knowledge. So the transmission of knowledge is what?

R: Well, you just tell people instead of work on it together.

M: Yeah.

R: So imagine a lecture theater where the lecture or just sits and speaks?

M: No, we don't have it anymore, right? Well, it's everywhere. Still.

R: We do. But it's, it's supplemented by different ways of engaging students in the learning process, because, well, it's difficult for it to work that way. They need chances to ask questions and demonstrate understanding so they can move on to the next level of complexity. Otherwise, there's no point.

M: True. Yeah. So now teachers and students are more likely to work together on things rather than they learn certain things in a passive way. And you can use a passive structure rather than being told about it. So to be told about it, so rather than being told about it. So students prefer to do things themselves, rather than being told about it. And then you can talk about the appreciation of student voice. So kind of students actually speak up and say something, right?

R: Well, that's part of it. But student voice is specifically anything students have to say about education. So it wouldn't necessarily be about the subject that they're learning about. It might be about how the school should be run, for example.

M: Yeah, so the teacher is no longer the only authority. Now we kind of ask our students and take their feedback into consideration. Oh, god, what's going on? What is going on? The teacher used to be in the spotlight used to be the most important person. Everybody believed the teacher but now it's like, yeah, it's a mess. Students have their own opinions. What? Yeah, I'm joking. I'm joking. Now about online education. You said that there are certain downsides. Yeah, so downsides like disadvantages. And we can say that it's convenient and it's more time-efficient this online education. There are certain downsides.

R: That's for talking about the advantages, I suppose.

M: Oh, yeah, sorry. It's convenient, more time-efficient. But then the disadvantages, is that the downsides, if you have poorer equipment, it will be hard to access the content.

R: Or low-quality equipment.

M: Low-quality equipment. Yeah, it's also unhealthy to be sitting for long periods. And, yeah, we have certain difficulties to overcome. But then you can join a class at the touch of a button, which is nice. At the touch of a button, you touch a button, and Bob's your uncle, you are studying online. Hey, hey! Rory, but what about you? Do you prefer online or offline? Are you an online person or an offline person?

R: I prefer online now. I can't, I'm an online person now. I'm not going back.

M: Really? Oh, wow.

R: Yes, are you?

M: I'd say I'm half and half. I'm half online and half of offline. So I enjoy the convenience of online education. But also I enjoy this like physical contact, like being in the same room with like real people. So I go half, half.

R: Great. And two halves together, make something complete. And we are completely finished with this episode. Bye!

M: Bye!

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