This episode's vocabulary
- Culmination (noun) - the point at which an event or series of events ends, having developed until it reaches this point.
- Hold beliefs - to believe in something.
- Reinforce (verb) - to make something stronger.
- In conjunction with - if one thing is done or used in conjunction with another, the two things are done or used together.
- Massively (adverb) - extremely or very much.
- Superior (noun) - a person or group of people who are higher in rank or social position than others.
- In play - in action.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory will describe a time when he changed his opinion. He will say when it was, what his original opinion was, why he changed it, and explain how he felt about it. Rory, hello.
M: Are you ready?
M: OK, fire away.
R: So a major change in mindset for me occurred a few years ago, just a few years ago, actually. It wasn't a specific time and place, more like the culmination of various ideas and concepts that I've been learning about. Originally, I thought that teaching could only be effective if done in a group with a coursebook. But my previously held beliefs were challenged when I read a book called "Teaching unplugged", and that was just the start of the process. I had to reinforce this new set of ideas with actual practice, and I did so when I was teaching my classes after that. I kept thinking, like, why not take a chance and make a change? So I did. And I haven't looked back since, actually. It wasn't just about reading the ideas that helped, but it was also having the opportunities to try them out and the encouragement to do so. Everybody finds lessons straight from the book to be quite dull and unengaging. So I was really looking for, like looking for ways to challenge that, I suppose. And this worked in conjunction with encouragement from my superiors and colleagues who were very keen on promoting this kind of way of going about things. At first I felt a little nervous about it, since it could all go so horribly wrong and look massively unprofessional. But with time, patience and more than a little bit of good luck, I felt really confident about it and I still do. And now, I hardly ever use a book in my lessons. And you can see this. I even put some on my Instagram and it all matches up and aligns quite nicely. But yeah, I think it sort of started with "Teaching unplugged" and all of the different processes described in there. But like I say, there were other forces in play at the time, I guess.
M: Do you often change your opinion?
R: No, not really. This is very unusual for me.
M: Yay! Thank you, Rory. So when, if you get such a card like describe a time when you changed your opinion. Yeah, you can, for example, talk about a story when you read the book and then changed your views. What else can our listener talk about?
R: That's all.
M: Yeah, that's all, that's it. Or you, for example, if you saw Rory's face on YouTube and before you thought that he is not that handsome and then, whoa, you saw his face and now he's handsome. So you have changed your opinion.
R: Or probably the opposite, to be honest with you.
M: I didn't picture you to be that handsome.
R: But you met me,
M: No, the girl. OK. Dear listener, so we have a listener and this listener didn't see Rory. Right. So, but then she went to our YouTube channel where our speaking course is and saw Rory. She saw three Rories at the same time on this course. And then she wrote to us a lovely comment like, oh, Rory, you're actually really handsome, more handsome than I thought, which is nice.
R: People often say that like when I have dates, you're so much more attractive then you are on pictures. And I'm sort of like, thank you. That's such a nice way of saying that my pictures are horrible, but OK.
M: Yeah. Anyway, so now you're listening to this. Could you choose a situation when you change your opinion? Again, you can make it up. You can talk about Rory, really. Or maybe you thought that this podcast is not so good, but now you're sure that it's awesome and full of goodies, quality goodies. So, Rory, you said a major change in mindset for me.
R: Yeah. So instead of saying, like one time when I changed my opinion, like basically saying what it says in the prompt, you can change your opinion, change your mindset, change your ideas about something. Yeah, I changed my mindset.
M: Yeah, my mindset. It's nice to paraphrase the prompt. The prompt that the task that the examiner gives you.
R: And then here you just say like when it was but you could just say like it was in the past sometime. And you mentioned what time it was. So don't worry about being too specific. Just be like oh, a few years ago, whatever.
M: Yeah. Just a few years ago, just a couple of years ago. A couple of years. A few years ago. So just some years ago.
R: And you can do this. It's not just with the prompt. For this specific thing you could also talk about any time you have to discuss a period of time. And then you can also move on to say it wasn't a specific time and place, more like something else. And then in terms of structuring your answer further, if you need to talk about a time in the past compared to now, you can say originally, blah, blah, blah, but now.
M: Mm hmm. Yeah. And you do use the present perfect because the prompt tells you... Oh, no, actually describe a time when you changed your opinion, so you can use the past actually.
M: But you say like oh I've never changed my opinions before.
R: Exactly. Or I could say so I did change my opinion and I have never looked back then.
M: Yeah. So look back on something. So when you look back on your past year. Yes, so I never looked back since.
R: And then you can structure your answer further by saying, oh, it's not just about blah blah blah, it's also about this, which is an also signpost in terms of structuring your answer as well. It's important to point these out because, you know, my answers are really specific to me. But we should also talk about how you like phrases that you can use for yours as well. And another one, of course, is like at first I was a little nervous, but with time, blah, blah, blah, I feel quite confident.
M: Yeah. The last question in the prompt is usually explain how you feel about it. And again, in many topics you have the same question. So that's why at first I felt blah blah, but now I feel blah. Yeah. About feelings you can say, like I felt a bit nervous, I feel confident, I feel really confident.
R: I feel reassured that I made the right decision.
M: Yeah, absolutely. I really enjoyed how you said in conjunction with. Wow. This is so less common. So this worked in conjunction with encouragement.
R: So it's like saying it worked together with, but you know, instead of saying together, you say conjunction.
M: Yeah. So this is less commonly used vocabulary.
R: To get back to the original topic, we talked about changing opinions, changing mindset. You can also talk about previously held beliefs, which is something that you used to think. But you you can have beliefs, but you also hold them. So think about your beliefs in your hand.
M: Hold a belief. You can also say I used to believe that. Used to, but not anymore. Yeah, and about changes, we make a change. We have an episode about change with some good collocations. So I decided why not take a chance and make a change. That's a good one.
R: Which is a line from a Kelly Clarkson song actually.
M: Oh, really?
R: Yeah. I realized that afterwards. I was like, oh yeah, I just quoted Kelly Clarkson. So Kelly Clarkson, thank you very much. Take a chance. Make a change. Breakaway. Scotland freedom. Even though she's from Texas.
M: Yeah. And while you're telling your story, you can actually ask questions. So you are telling your story. And then I thought like, why not take a change.
R: Make a change.
M: No, take a chance. Not make change... Yes, so you are asking a question and you are using different intonation patterns, which is a lovely, lovely. Water. Give me some water. Water episode. Do you remember our water episode?
R: What are you talking about?
M: Water. Okay. Okay. We are going off on a tangent.
R: We? You.
M: I am going off on a tangent.
R: And looked massively unprofessional, which is another expression that I used.
R: If you, you can be unprofessional, but you can also be massively unprofessional.
R: Because something could go wrong. Idea, possibly, the things that could happen.
M: Yeah. It's better to use model verbs to kind of hedge your statement. It could go wrong.
R: And could look massively unprofessional.
M: It might. It might look massively unprofessional.
R: And if you're massively unprofessional, you can also be unengaging, which is just another way of saying uninteresting.
M: Unengaging, yeah.
R: But this is not unengaging.
M: And dull, this is not dull. At all.
R: No. And we need to talk about other changes in opinion in part three. So we'll do that.
R: Sort of like a clunky segway into our next topic. But until then bye!
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