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Episode 29 - Transcript

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Hello, I'm Jacek Olender, and this is PoLoop Angielski Podcast. For more materials for learners of English and the transcript of this episode, go to my website, Today, I would like to tell you, or rather remind you about my "relevant today" posts on Instagram, every day, usually very early in the morning, often before you even wake up, I share an expression related to current events, hence the name - relevant today. These expressions are closely connected to what is happening in the world on a particular day. I come across these words and phrases while reading the morning news and drinking my morning coffee. Sometimes, quite often actually, a phrase lodges in my head, so becomes stuck in my head the previous day. And in the morning I just turn it into a post. Selecting these expressions is often hard. But what helps me is just imagining my students and asking myself if they would benefit from using these words and expressions. If the answer is yes, I make posts about them.


Why don't I just choose random words and expressions, but write about the ones that appear in the news? There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, I'm a news junkie, someone who likes following the latest events in the world. So it was only natural for me to incorporate what I would do anyway into something that others could benefit from too. I'd also like to point out that I teach adults, often skilled professionals, and what I learn from them is that the anxiety that they experience when using English is not a result of fear that they might not be able to communicate about matters related to their jobs, but rather other topics - topics that adult people usually talk about when they meet, for example, for lunch, often issues that are currently in the news, business, politics and culture stories that you can find in the media. So relevant today posts are aimed at helping them to discover phrases that could be used in these conversations. There is also another additional value in focusing on current news stories in my posts. Since these expressions come from the latest news stories, you are more likely to come across them again and again, watching TV, browsing the internet, or reading the press. This will give you this extra exposure to them and reinforce your understanding and usage of the phrases. So what I'm trying to say is that it will be easier for you to remember them. Your brain will make a subconscious link between the phrase and the story, so if this story pops up in a conversation, your brain will have no problem retrieving it, getting it out of the depths of your mind. In my "relevant today" posts, I also tried to provide you with a wider perspective. That's why I include a few additional examples of how these expressions are used in a variety of contexts. And I also put some extra information about the origins of the phrase. This will develop your sort of intuitive feel for them and help you use them correctly in different situations. If that's not enough, you can check how well you remember the phrases by doing my weekly quiz, which followers of PoLoop Angielski Instagram profile get every Friday.


So to give you a taste of what my "relevant today" Instagram series had on offer last week, let me tell you about three posts. The first one was about the verb "emulate". In my post I talked about how Apple TV+ is trying to emulate the success of the French language series produced by Netflix. Over a week ago Apple TV+ released "Liaison" its first dual French and English language series. Apple executives hope their show will be a great hit, similar to Netflix's "Lupin", or "Call My Agent." They want to emulate the success of these series. From my post, you can learn that "emulate" means to imitate something or someone because you admire them. So for example, young football players try to emulate professional football stars. Companies emulate the successful business strategies of their competitors. And a lot of us emulate the habits of people we admire. The post also gives you examples of other phrases with similar meanings to "emulate", such as "to model yourself on someone" or "to follow in someone's footsteps". The former means using someone as an inspiration for your behaviour, while the latter is used often in the context of pursuing a similar career as someone else, especially an older family member. Another post last week focused on the phrasal verb "to come off something," which means to stop taking something, such as medicine, drug or alcohol. The post is based on a news story from England. The NHS England is planning to help millions of patients come off antidepressants and painkillers by sending them to art, music and gardening classes. A lot of us are trying to come off sugar, caffeine, and sometimes alcohol, so the phrase will definitely come in handy in any conversation about bad habits. The post presents also additional meanings and uses of "come off". So, for example, you can learn that if a button has come off your shirt, it is no longer attached to it. If your plan has come off without a hitch, it succeeded without any problem. If the joke didn't come off as intended, nobody laughed. If the stain doesn't come off, you have difficulty removing it. The third example comes from the words of business news. During its 2023 Investor Day, Tesla laid out plans to cut production costs by half in the future generations of cars. When you lay out ideas, principles, plans and so on, you present them carefully and clearly, something you might want to do during any presentation. In this episode, I've been trying to lay out my reasons why I post phrases based on news stories. My post on the phrase "to lay out something" laid out other meanings and uses of this phrasal verb. When you lay out a map on the table, you spread it out so it is seen easily. If the magazine is beautifully laid out, iIts content is arranged in an attractive way. And if you have laid out a fortune on the repairs to your car, you have spent a lot of money.


And this brings me to the end of today's episode. I am sure that now as soon as you finish listening to me, you will rush to PoLoop Angielski Instagram profile and start following it. But don't be selfish. Share it with your friends, with your family members, anyone who like you wants to improve their English. I know that "relevant today" posts are especially popular with one type of people - those preparing for IELTS exam, so don't forget about them. Thank you for listening, and I'll talk to you next week. Bye!

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