Thu, 2 October 2014
This week on elllo.org, Abidemi and Jeremy talk about teachers that had a big impact on their lives. See the transcript below.
Remember that you can go to the website to see the video, learn now words, download the audio and take a quiz.
Transcript of conversation:
Jeremy: Abidemi, so looking back at your life as a student, can you tell me a little bit about your experience with the best teacher that you had, and maybe a little bit about your worst teacher?
Abidemi: Sure. I think I’ve had many, many great teachers. I’ve been really blessed in that way. Thinking back now, I remember my teacher when I was in primary 6 in Nigeria, actually. His name was Mr. Oleaer. And this teacher was a math and science teacher. And I think the best thing about him was he really took a personal interest in all of us. We could tell that he really cared. Although, he was very much a teacher, he took that authority role but at the same time, he was like our friend. Like during the break time, we would approach him, we would talk to him. And over the summer, he tutored a few of us for the entrance examination to high school because we have that system in Nigeria.
So it was just fun. Every time we saw him, we just have a good time with him. And I remembered he talked to me. He mentored—he was like a mentor. He came to me, and he was wondering what I wanted to be in the future and he made some suggestions because of the scores I had in his class. And to this day, I still remember him. He sticks in my mind. And having taught for a little bit as well, I think for me too, he’s one of the people that I tried to model myself after. I model myself after him. Maybe not even consciously, but I liked the fact that he was a teacher and we knew it but at the same time, he was very friendly. So I really love that aspect of him.
How about you, Jeremy? Anyone comes to mind?
Jeremy: You know, it was more just sort of teacher qualities that I remember from a number of different teachers. And what I always really—when I look back and think about teachers that made a difference, it was teachers that recognized students’ weakness and tried to counsel them or to sort of—in my case, it was that I was a very, very shy person. And a teacher who would talk to me a little bit and give me encouragement if I did a presentation, which was just the worst thing I could possibly ever do because I was so nervous. But teachers that recognized I had a real serious shy problem, and that they would just give a little bit of encouragement. And those with little bits of encouragement, over time I started to gain a little bit more confidence. And by the time I was in university, I still had a problem with giving presentations but—even in university, I had teachers who would compliment me on a job attempted—and I wouldn’t really say well done, but I tried.
And those were the things that really stood out, teachers that recognize when people have issues in their life and they really try to encourage them to overcome those issues. It wasn’t just one teacher. It was a number of teachers. But not all teachers did that. Some of them, it wasn’t part of their job description to be a counselor, I guess, and it was more work and they just didn’t attempted or didn’t care or maybe didn’t recognize it. But some people really thought, here’s a guy who maybe needs a little bit of extra boost, and they would try to help me out. Those are the probably the things that stick out in my mind. And like you, I try to model myself after those teachers to try to find students who need a little bit of extra encouragement and make them feel better about themselves.
Abidemi: I think that’s great. I think as teachers, everyone, if you have an opportunity to be a teacher, one of the best things you can do is to try and find the potential in each and everyone of your student because everyone has something special in them. And for a teacher to recognize that, it’s so awesome. It’s amazing. Yeah.
Jeremy: I think you’re right.
End of Transcript
Thu, 11 September 2014
Transcript of Conversation
Todd: So I'm here with Dan, and he lives in Bali, Indonesia. And he’s talking about slow travel, which is the concept of living in a foreign country for a long time to experience the culture and the lifestyle.
Dan, can you talk a little bit about the cost, like if somebody wants to really do this, how much money do they need for housing, transportation, food, things like that?
Dan: Well, when I quit my job four years ago, I had a mantra in my head. And I always said, all I need to be happy in life is a thousand bucks and a backpack. And I thought, if I could really simplify my life and take away all the overhead cost of car payment or a mortgage on a house or student load debts, credit cards, things like that, all I would need is a thousand dollars of income a month in order to own my time and to spend my time going to anywhere I wanted.
I think realistically in places in Southeast Asia, if you want to move around every two or three months or go visit friends at another city, you're going to want at least $1,500 to $2,000 a month. And that’s going to give you, I would say, a quite luxurious lifestyle.
Obviously, you could come here to Bali and live for $700 a month and you could do the same in Nha Trang like we’re talking earlier, maybe even easier in Vietnam. But the real cost come in is when you want to explore and move around internationally. So if you’re living in Nha Trang and you’d like to visit a friend in Bangkok every three months or something like that, you’re going to want more like 1,500 to 2,000 a month.
Todd: So could you like break down the cost? So what kind of cost are we talking here? Like how much would you pay for housing? How much would you pay, you know, for food every month? How much would you pay for health insurance? Things like that.
Dan: Sure, I mean, if we can make like a vast generalization across Southeast Asia in general. I know it’s a huge place but in most places for a furnished apartment, for a solo traveler, you’re going to look at anywhere from $250 to $750 a month. So let’s just ballpark it and say $500. You know, in a place like Manila, you’re going to get a great apartment for $500. In a place like Bangkok, you’re going to get even better apartment for $500. And again, you have to commit to a month at least to get these kinds of rates. But if you’re willing to do that, stay for few months, you’re going to get really good advantage there.
Let’s take Bangkok as an example. $500, you’re going to have a great apartment. For another $500, you are going to eat like King Midas. And then let’s say your internet is $30 a month and your health insurance in $120 a month. We’re at about $1,200 a month now. And I’d say, on top of that, it's all about the most dangerous habit for your wallet on the planet, and it is travel. So if you decide that you want to go home for Christmas and you want to go home for Thanksgiving as well for Americans, you know, that’s going to kill your piggy bank. But if you don’t travel so much, you could easily stay in a place like Bangkok for $1,000 to $1,500 a month.
Todd: So, what about like a, you know, going out having beers and thinks like that? Like are there certain habits that you have to kind of curtail or keep down so that you save money?
Dan: Well, it really depends where you live. So, in the Philippines you could go out and party every night and it won’t make a dent in your wallet. Whereas in places like here in Bali, you had to be really careful because beers can be $7 for one cocktail. So if you go out to the club and you order 4 cocktails, and you meet a cute girl and you buy her 2 cocktails, that could easily turn into a $50 evening, and that’s going to kill your traveler’s budget.
So generally in Southeast Asia going out for social drinks isn’t a big impact on your wallet because booze here is relatively cheap. But definitely that can have a big impact.
Todd: Alright, thanks for the advice.
End of Transcript
Tue, 2 September 2014
This week on elllo.org we hear from Dan, an Americna businessman working abroad, and he talks about why he likes to live in Bali and why it is a good place to set roots.
The full episode online comes with a video, quiz, audio vocabulary and a speaking/listening challenge. You can get it here or at the link below:
Transcript of the Conversation
Todd: So now Dan you live in Bali, Indonesia, which is a very beautiful place and you do a lot of business in Southeast Asia. Why do you think Southeast Asia is a good place to do business?
Dan: Well, one of the primary reasons is the lifestyle. If you are generating a reasonable income on western standards, you can—what we do is, you know, perform some global arbitrage. You can take that western level salary and move it to a developing area of the world like here in Southeast Asia, and your purchasing power is much greater.
So if you’re selling products in a higher valued economy like Germany and you’re living in Vietnam, you’re going to be able to experience a much higher lifestyle. And we call that concept arbitrage. You know, currency markets and stock traders have used that kind of concept all the time because they’re dealing with very liquid assets. In our case, you know, our locations weren't always so liquid. It wasn’t always so easy to change your location. Now with internet style business, it’s getting easier.
So primarily, the lifestyle, I found that that’s a great tool for recruiting because staff, they want to have a great lifestyle too. So if you can set up an office in a place like Bali, Indonesia, it’s like paradise on earth. It’s so beautiful here, people want to join you, and so it’s great for recruiting as well.
Todd: Do you find it’s harder to get work done in a beautiful place. I mean, Bali is basically paradise. Can you still follow the nine-to-five work grind and get things done?
Dan: I find that I get more work done in Bali because the cost of living here is lower on all fronts. Not only is food cheaper, rent cheaper, but it’s easier to get people to help you out to do things. For example, in United States, I can't afford to pay somebody to do my laundry. It’s too expensive. But here in Bali, I have somebody do my laundry and that saves me two hours a week.
Simple things like that start to add up. It’s a very relaxed and healthy place that helps me focus on work. I have a lot of friends that live in New York city for example and they spend so much time traveling on the train, making money to afford living there, and I see that as a much more stressful, difficult environment to really be productive and creative. Here in Bali, I have no problems focusing on my work.
Todd: So what kind of work schedule do you follow, like do you work every day? Do you work like eight hours straight? Do you work at night? Because you’re dealing with different time zones with people all around the world. You said your market is mainly in the States. Could you talk a little bit about your work routine?
Dan: Sure. It’s actually defined by what I feel like my biorhythms are. To use a really colloquial phrase, car guys in United States use a term called torque band. And that’s when your engine is the strongest—at what time your engine the strongest? And for me that’s 7:00 to 11:00 in the morning, and 7:00 to 11:00 in the evening, and right now it’s sort of 2:33 PM. This is generally a time that I would relax. I would close my computer. I would get in the pool. I’d meet with some friends, maybe take a walk, listen to some podcasts, and relax until dinner time. After dinner time have a coffee and continue working.
So, it’s primarily for me, that just seems to be when I’m most creative and I have no idea why.
Todd: It sounds like a nice life.
Mon, 9 June 2014
This week Sorie and Mark talk about the future and money and saving for retirement.
Go to elllo.org for the full lesson online on the web or mobile phone.
Mark: Hi, Sorie. Talking about money, do you worry about money?
Sorie: Yes, I do. I especially worry about the future, about my retirement plan. And I’m not saving any money at the moment. And I have friends around me that are already saving up for their retirement. I’m 27 years old right now and I’m not sure if I should be concerned or not. Are you concerned?
Mark: Well, what kind of options are there? How would you want to save up?
Sorie: Well, first of all, right now, I don’t have the option to save for retirement.
Mark: Because you don’t have any money?
Sorie: Yeah, the present is plenty to think of. I haven’t got my head around the future yet. Do you have any recommendations at how I could do it?
Mark: Well, national pension plan or kind of put a little bit aside every week or forget about it. You’re only 27.
Sorie: Yeah. It’s very interesting, you know, because I know some people that instead of having a retirement plan, they decided to have a lot of kids and have their kids pay for them when they grow up and they get older. So that may be an option for me.
Mark: Yeah. And from where from also, that’s kind of the norm perhaps.
Sorie: Yeah, that’s right. How about you?
Mark: Yeah, I’m a bit older than you and I don’t have a pension plan either. But I’m not quite so worried about it right now.
Sorie: The time will come though.
Mark: The time will come and the more I think about, the more we talk about it, it’s definitely something to be considering. But it’s interesting in national pension plan, isn’t it because what if we leave? What if we won’t live in this country anymore, we had to move to another country and then we work there a little bit. And then we move to another country.
Sorie: So as an international person, it’s difficult to commit to a national pension because you don’t know where you’re going to end up, right?
Sorie: That’s what you’re saying, I see.
Mark: So if that was the case, it would seem that putting a little bit away every month or every week personally in an account would be a good idea.
Sorie: And are you committed, like, can you do that every month? Can you?
Mark: Yeah, I think I can do that. Yeah, but it’s interesting that I haven’t considered such things. And now when we consider it and realize how important it is, it’s probably a good thing to be considering.
Wed, 5 February 2014
This interview is great for Business students. It is advanced but if you spend a little time working with the transcript and repeating phrases and words you don't know, you'll really improve your English and sound smart!
Go online to elllo.org and look for #1284 to read the transcript and take the quiz.
Mon, 27 January 2014
Spencer talks about how her accent has changes over the years and Joel gives students some advice: be proud of your accent!
For a full transcript, interactive quizzes, and vocabulary go to elllo.org and look for #1282.
Thu, 16 January 2014
Carlo and Vesna talk about the food and wine in Croatia.
Go online at elllo.org and look up 1279 to read the entire transcript, watch the slide show, and take the interactive quiz.
Wed, 1 January 2014
Sarah and Peter talk about the difference between people in Southern US and the rest of the country.
After you have mastered all the vocabulary and phrases in this episode, try to explain the differences people have in different regions where you live.
For the full transcript, go to elllo.org and look for episode 1276.
Wed, 1 January 2014
Peter and Sarah talk about North Carolina, a state in the US.
Go to elllo.org and look for episode 1275 for the full transcript.
Tue, 17 December 2013
Ade talks about some of the popular dishes in Spain. She goes into detail about paella, one of the most famous dishes, but also one of the dishes with the most different variations.
For a full transcript of the audio and to practice vocabulary, go to elllo.org and look for #1273.