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English Teacher John Show 59 – Transcript

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It’s another episode of the English Teacher John Show. In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Earthquake! The earth was shaking here in Japan!
  • The Live Earth event on 07-07-07
  • A language segment: be used to something, get used to something
  • Learn about a couple of IDIOMS — short end of the stick, stick up for someone or something
  • PODnobbin’ looks at other English learning podcasts
  • Some quotations from Albert Einstein.

Enjoy and learn!

Colored text is informational only and not included in the audio file. Transcript may differ from actual audio recording.


Hey, are you gonna ask me ‘What’s shakin’?. ‘Cause I’ll tell you what … There was some earth shakin’ and quakin’ going on here in Matsumoto, Japan a couple of days ago. For the next half an hour or so, let’s hope the only things quakin’ shakin’ rockin’ and rollin’ are the English Teacher John Show number 59, and your language learning brain cells.

[intro music]
SEGMENT 0 – INTRODUCTION & INDEX – Videos in English learning

Welcome to The English Teacher John Show No. 59. In our program, which is targeted for English learners of all abilities, we use clear and easy-to-understand English. We’re going to call this episode the “JOHN’S-LAZY-AND-HE-TAKES-TOO-LONG-TO-FINISH-PODCASTS” episode.

That’s right. It’s show number 59 and it’s the “JOHN’S-LAZY-AND-HE-TAKES-TOO-LONG-TO-FINISH-PODCASTS” episode. I’m pretty sure that you guys can all agree with that! After an absence of a few weeks, we’re back and my name is John Koons. I am the very lazy host of the English Teacher John Show and our other video and audio podcasts. We are coming to you from our residential studio here in beautiful Matsumoto, Japan, and for today’s show we’re using a new — though borrowed — Samson C01U USB condenser microphone. Does my voice sound as sweet as ever?! Hmmmm. I don’t know about that.

Hey, let’s quickly talk about videos. At one of our universities here in Matsumoto, we just finished making some video DVDs for use in the classroom. Are you watching videos as part of your English language learning? Do you go to YouTube or Google Video or Blip.tv and watch videos in English? What do you think? Is it a good way to spend your time? Is it useful? Some people really believe that they improve their English by watching English movies or TV programs. Well, I guess the good thing is that video material in English is available around the world. It seems that Hollywood movies, American and British TV and maybe also Australian TV programs and of course, online video sharing sites like YouTube; well, English film and video content is just about EVERYWHERE!

When you’re watching and listening, of course you can try to understand the English dialogue. But don’t forget the value of other kinds of activities, like after-viewing discussions about: issues that are raised in the video, whether it’s a drama fiction film or a documentary; the quality of different aspects of the film or video — the plot or the acting, the lighting, the sound. You could stop the video at certain points and have a quick conversation about what may happen next — try to guess what will happen to some of the characters, or what will happen in the plot. There are lots of ways to use video other than just using it as a listening comprehension activity. So, think about that; think about some other ways you could use the video.

Hey, you can send me links to your favorite English videos. How’s that sound?

It is English Teacher John Show number 59, and let’s take a look at today’s show …


We’ve got a full show for you today. There are 6 segments, or sections or parts.


Intro – videos in English Lessons – how best to use?
1. News: Earthquake in Japan on ‘Marine Day’, July 16th
2. Wikipedia profile – Live Earth, Live Earth pledge
3. Language – get used to; be used to
4. Idioms (2) – short end of the stick; stick up for someone or something
5. PODnobbin’ (1) – check out these English learning podcasts
6. Quotations – Albert Einstein

Alright. Let’s get on with the show!



Story 1: Japan Earthquake!

From the Japan Times (japantimes.co.jp)

Powerful earthquake slams Niigata; Seven dead and more than 830 injured
What’s news? Well, I don’t usually like to talk about such negative things here and disasters but we had an earthquake here in Japan. Not only in Japan, it was very close to where I live here in Matsumoto. Actually, from the Japan Times website which is japantimes.co.jp, their headline was:

Powerful earthquake slams Niigata; Seven dead and more than 830 injured

A severe earthquake wreaked havoc on a wide portion of Niigata Prefecture and surrounding areas Monday morning, killing seven people, injuring more than 830 and destroying 500 houses.

The Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 6.8 and registered a rare upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale, which tops out at 7.

So, that is from the Japan Times. The center was in Niigata; my wife and I live in Nagano but it’s not very far away, only I guess a couple hours drive or something like that. Not so far away.

Well, let me tell you an exciting story about this earthquake …

I was out riding my bike on a day which started off cloudy but soon became a pleasant, sunny day. I like climbing hills on my bike and that’s exactly what I was out doing; grunting and grunting, sweating and pushing, pedaling … So, there I was, deeply focused on my task of getting to the top of the hill, and of course looking forward to a nice rest at ‘Panaorama Point’, where I would read a little, eat some of the o-inari rice and tofu rolls that I had in my bag. Well, anyway, I wasn’t there yet, still a few more minutes of climbing, AND THEN … RIGHT AT 10:13 am Japan time … just this last Monday, just yesterday. Yes, in this land of restless tectonic plates, well, nothing. I didn’t feel anything. Nothing at all. NOTHING! In fact, I didn’t even know there had been an earthquake until my wife told me about it.

Later that day in the afternoon, though, an aftershock came and our house made some creaking noises and I experienced that, probably I heard it more than I felt it, the aftershocks.

Though I didn’t really experience the earthquake, many people did, people here in Matsumoto and all the way in Tokyo. Some people died — I think nine people died — and many have been injured, a lot of houses and other buildings have been destroyed. Let’s hope that people recover from their losses and that the suffering doesn’t last too long.

Alright, that’s it for our What’s News? earthquake story. Now, let’s move on to 7/7/07 and Live Earth, coming up next on our WIKIPEDIA PROFILE.




Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_earth

Yes, it’s time for our Wikipedia Profile. Today, we’ll talk about 7/7/07, July 7th, 2007 which just happened, and the Live Earth concerts. Well, this is from the Wikipedia website.

Wikipedia Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_earth

That’s the link and now, let’s read from the Wikipedia site:

[start:text from wikipedia website]

Live Earth was a series of worldwide concerts held on July 7, 2007 that initiated a three-year campaign to combat climate change and advocate environmentally-sustainable living. The concerts brought together more than 150 musical acts in eleven locations around the world and were broadcast to a mass global audience through radio, television, and the Internet.

The umbrella organization for the event was Save Our Selves, founded by Kevin Wall, and included major partners such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, the Alliance for Climate Protection, MSN, and Control Room, the production company which produced the event. The logo for the event was the Morse code distress signal. The worldwide producer of talent and programming for all of the events was Aaron Grosky. Unlike the similar Live 8 concerts, which were free, Live Earth charged admission but the event was made broadly available via television and the Internet. The event set a new record for online entertainment by generating more than 9 million streams,[1] while its television ratings were characterized as a “flop” in terms of programming for BBC One.


In addition to raising awareness of global warming,[5] on June 28 2007, it was revealed that Live Earth is to be the launch event for the Live Earth Call to Action.[6] During the concerts people were asked to support the following 7-point pledge:[6]

1. To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;
2. To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become ‘carbon neutral;’
3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
5. To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;
6. To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,
7. To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.


The concerts were held on all seven continents: in Johannesburg, South Africa; New York and Washington, D.C. in the U.S.; Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan; Shanghai, China; Sydney, Australia; London, England, in Hamburg, Germany; and interestingly, in the British Antarctic Territory, Antarctica.

Okay, that’s Live Earth and that’s our Wikipedia Profile. Next, we’ve got a short LANGUAGE lesson for you.




Today’s language structure: be used to s.t.; get used to something

Yep, it’s time for the language segment and you may hear the wind in the background. The wind has kicked up and I’m leaving the windows open and the doors open here. You may here some wind chimes and some wind howling in the background.

Today’s Language structure: be used to something; get used to something

Well, I live in Japan and things are a little different than they are in the U.S., which is where I’m from. I also lived many years in India and I have to say that life in Japan is very different from life in both the U.S. and India. I had to GET USED to many things in Japan; get used to. At first, some things felt different and even a little uncomfortable, but now I’m USED TO many of them. I’m used to it. I’m used to them.

For example:

I’m used to eating rice all the time.

I am getting used to the Japanese school year, which starts in April and ends in March.

I‘m not quite used to being polite and so formal all of the time.

BE USED TO st.; GET USED TO s.t.: It means to become familiar with something that at first feels strange or different but then, it starts to feel comfortable and normal. You’re getting used to it, or you are used to it.

Ding ding ding. This is different than USED TO, as in: My father and I used to go boating together every weekend.

That is a different language structure with a different meaning. Today we’re talking about BE USED TO and GET USED TO to mean: become familiar with or when something becomes comfortable for you. At first, it’s strange or different, and now it’s comfortable, you’ve gotten used to it; you are used to it.

Here are some more examples:

In Japan, people eat a lot of rice. I am used to it now, but in the beginning it was strange for me.

She is getting used to driving on the left side of the road.

I don’t know if I‘ll ever get used to all of the comics and animated movies everywhere all the time here in Japan. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to all of the comics. (In Japanese, comics and comic books are called manga.)

How about this one … You might like this. This example uses both meanings of the language structure used to:

Hey, the English Teacher John Show podcast used to come out once a week.

Yeah, I know, but I‘m getting used to it being it being so irregular these days!

I‘m getting used to John’s laziness with the podcast.
(Hey, everyone, sorry about that!)




A. short end of the stick – to suffer the bad effects of a situation

B. stick up for s.t./s.b.to support or defend someone or something, could be a person, an idea or policy, a belief.

Yep, it’s idiom time and I think we have a couple of good ones for you today, and both have the word ‘stick‘.

[idiom 1: short end of the stick]

Our first idiom is: short end of the stick. The short end of the stick.

You guys just have to hammer in a few nails, but my chore is to clean all of the floors. I think I got the short end of the stick. The short end of the stick.

Yeah, it means to suffer some bad effects of a situation, especially when compared with the effects on other people. You received something that was less desirable, or you were affected more negatively than someone else. You got the short end of the stick.

Everyone got a big piece of cake but I could only get a tiny piece. I got the short end of the stick.

[idiom 2: stick up for someone or something]

Our second idiom today is: stick up for someone or something. To stick up for someone or something.

You’re the only one who supported me when the whole family thought I was wrong. Thanks for sticking up for me. Thanks for sticking up for me.
(It means: thanks for SUPPORTING me. Thanks for defending me).

When you stick up for someone, you support them, or defend them. Usually we use this when a large or small group of people are criticizing someone, or criticizing an idea or policy. You can stick up for a person or you can stick up for an idea, policy or belief. And, we can also use it in the negative too.

No, sorry, but I can’t stick up for you this time. You’re on your own.



SEGMENT 5 ­– PODnobbin’ (No. 5)

Let’s do some PODnobbin’. Wait a minute … what’s PODnobbin’? In this part of the show, we take a look at a recent podcast episode, not the English Teacher John Show, another one. And usually it’s a podcast specifically for English learners. Okay, here we go.

PODnobbin’ selection 1

Splendid Speaking – http://splendidspeaking.com
Podcast Topic: Using anecdotes to make a point
Level: high intermediate to advanced
Duration: 11 minutes

I found a podcast called Splendid Speaking, at www.splendidspeaking.com. The episode is called: Using Anecdotes to Make a Point.

In this episode, neither of the speakers is a native English speaker; one is from Romania and the other is French. I think it’s not too difficult to understand, especially since they are non-native speakers, and probably they are speaking more slowly and probably with a more limited vocabulary. They are talking about museum policies and services, and I think there’s some pretty good language in this podcast. The duration is about 11 minutes.

Well, that’s Splendid Speaking at SplendidSpeaking.com and the episode is called Using Anecdotes to Make a Point.

Well, that’s it for PODnobin’. You can find the links to these PODnobbin’ podcasts on our website at english teacher john dot com.

Next up, it’s some famous, or maybe not-so-famous quotations!




I think you guys know that I regularly listen to a podcast that’s called Science Friday, and that’s at sciencefriday.com. They recently did a discussion about Albert Einstein, so I thought I’d include some of his quotations in today’s show.

First, Albert Einstein was born in Germany on March 14, 1879 and he died on April 18, 1955. He was a German-born theoretical physicist best known for his Theory of Relativity.
I think Einstein had a fair amount of creative and insightful quotes, as I looked at all of the different ones I could find. For example, he said:

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

And, how about this Einstein quote:

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

It’s kind of ominous.

As I am in the education field, I thought this one was interesting:

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

And, finally:

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Well, that is it for Albert Einstein and our Quotations segment.

You can find English quotations at many websites. I can recommend a few:

http://www.bartleby.com/quotations – a great free reference site for all things English




Well, I think we’ve reached that point. I think it’s about time to wrap up this episode number 59. You can find our blog, all of our video and audio podcasts, some transcripts, other language help and more, at our always-a-work-in-progress website english teacher john dot com. Please be aware that we do not have transcripts available for all episodes; not yet at least.

Our email address is podcast at english teacher john dot com. Also, you can leave us a voicemail message on skype, at s k y p e ID english teacher john (no spaces).

[John’s Africa Flickr Photos]
Hey, have you checked out our Africa photos? Vivid memories from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara. They are on our flickr page at flickr dot com slash photos slash english teacher john.

Thanks as always to Martin Chenhall, our music man. You can check out his myspace page, just do a search on martin chenhall (m-a-r-t-i-n-space-c-h-e-n-h-a-l-l) at myspace.com.

Thanks to all of you for listening to the English Teacher John Show. My name is John Koons on this rainy Friday afternoon. Have a great week.

© Copyright 2005-2007 English Teacher John, John Koons. All rights reserved.

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