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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: American English Conversations - Elementary Intermediate and Advance Level

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hometowns

Beth hey Beth how's it going Ali hi I'm

fine how are you fine thanks Beth this

is Lee Lee this is my friend Beth nice

to meet you

nice to meet you are you from around

here

no I'm from Seoul Korea really that's

interesting

Seoul's the capital of Korea isn't it

yes that's right how about you what's

your hometown I'm from San Anselmo

California San Anselmo is that a big

city

no it's a small town in Northern

California there are about 20,000 people

there what's the population of Seoul

it's a really big city there are over 10

million people in Seoul wow that's a lot

of people yes it is but there's good

public transportation so it isn't bad

how about the nightlife are there any

good clubs or discos are you kidding

there are hundreds Seoul has fantastic

nightlife

oh I have to run the library closes in

10 minutes

see you guys later bye Beth take care

Beth you too bye

shopping

hi Beth come on in hi Alicia how are you

doing pretty good

Alicia this is my friend Ali he's from

Silver Spring Maryland hi Ali

it's nice to meet you nice to meet you

too well please come in and have a seat

Thanks can I get you something

coffee soda oh no thanks no thank you

I'm fine

so Alicia we're going to go shopping do

you want to come gee I don't know

I shop mostly online these days really

why is that because it saves time and

gas all right what do you mean well you

don't have to drive your car right and

you don't have to look for parking the

mall is so crowded these days

yeah but online you can't see things

very well and you can't touch them and

with clothes you can't try them on I

like to browse when I go shopping me too

and it's such a nice day why do you want

to sit in front of a computer screen

yeah I see what you mean but I don't

have much money no problem

you can come with us and save money how

we aren't going to take any money or

credit cards with us and we aren't going

to spend any money we're just going to

look around that's right

we're going window shopping great idea

then I am going

bein in touch

li are you okay what's the matter

yeah Li why are you so sad I'm reading

an email from my mom in Korea is she all

right

yes she's fine but I miss her and I miss

my other family and friends in Korea

I guess I'm homesick yeah I sometimes

get homesick for my family me too

I really want to see my family and

friends in California soon how often do

you hear from your family Li besides

email I get two or three letters a month

how about you I usually call home I

usually stay in touch just by phone

because it's easy well I really want to

talk to my family email just isn't the

same but it's expensive to call Korea Oh

call them lis just talk for three

minutes yeah

that's not very expensive in fact you

can use my phone card good idea call now

before we go to the movies there's a pay

phone over there you're right I really

need to talk to them but wait for me

okay great

calling a hospital

welcome to Faber Hospital and Clinics if

this is an emergency please hang up and

call 9-1-1 please listen carefully as

our menu options have changed for the

24-hour pharmacy please press one for

family medicine press 2 for the health

clinic press 3 to speak to the operator

please press zero or just stay on the

line hmm I need the clinic I'll press 3

health clinic can I help you

yes I think I have the flu I feel awful

would you like to make an appointment

yes I'd like to see a doctor all right

could you come in tomorrow afternoon at

1 o'clock yes I can come then Oh should

I bring any money no just your ID and

insurance card okay now could I have

your name and insurance number yes my

family name is halal H al al my first

name is Ali a li and my insurance number

is zero zero zero four eight one six two

four okay you're all set don't forget to

bring your health insurance card when

you come in tomorrow okay all right

we'll see you tomorrow at 1:00 yes thank

you thank you very much bye-bye

going out

okay great I'll see you tomorrow at 7

o'clock right bye

hmm who was that yeah someone special

that was Michelle a really nice guy in

my computer science class he asked me

out

I accepted so so one phone call and now

you have a boyfriend

oh come on Alicia he's not my boyfriend

yet

well it sounds nice I need my parent's

permission to go out on a date with a

boy yeah one of my friends here at the

college is from India and he says in his

country parents used to arrange all

dates and marriages too and sometimes

they still do wow that's interesting hmm

you said your friend is from India

that's right and your friend is a guy

right yes his name is Varun well a

girlfriend of mine in my math class is

from India too

her name is par veena do you think Varun

would like to meet her you mean on a

date sure why not

that's a great idea Alicia I don't know

maybe they need their parents permission

oh come on me okay okay I don't know why

you want to be a matchmaker but all

aspirin great and I'll call Parveen up

sleep-deprived

Ali what's the matter you look so sleepy

yeah can't you wake up this morning no I

can't I can hardly keep my eyes open I

was up late last night my friend had a

party I only got about four hours of

sleep why didn't you sleep in this

morning I have to meet my study group at

the library we have a big test next week

a big test

why didn't you study last night instead

of going to the party oh it's okay I

studied a lot before the party maybe

that's not a good idea why not I read a

research study it said that if you don't

get enough sleep after you study you may

forget 30 percent of what you studied

especially if you studied something that

is very complex 30% that's almost 1/3

yes that's a lot

are you sure Alicia yes even two days

after you study if you don't get enough

sleep

you forget a lot it's called being

sleep-deprived well I read that eating

right can help you study you mean what

you eat helps you study yes there are

chemicals that help you stay alert

I think the best foods are fish eggs soy

rice and peanuts so you should get

enough sleep and eat the right foods

that sounds like good advice I'll see

you two later where are you going Ollie

home to take a nap

looking for a summer job

thanks for coming with me to the

placement center Ollie don't mention it

it's nice to have your company besides I

need to find a summer job - what kind of

job are you looking for Ollie I'm hoping

to find one in my major public health

I'm sure you can do you have any

experience in public health yes I do I

worked part time in a lab in Maryland

last summer that's great I want to find

a job writing for a local newspaper I'd

like to be a reporter your majors

journalism isn't it uh-huh I had a great

job last summer when I was in Mexico

City really what did you do I worked

part time for Excelsior

it's the biggest newspaper in Mexico

what did you do there I wrote local news

stories you know news about Mexico City

but someday I want to write

international news stories then I can

travel around the world and find out

what people are like in other places

that sounds wonderful

I'm sure you can do it are there any

jobs in public health on the bulletin

board no I don't see anything

interesting you should try looking on

the web there are some great job sites

that's how I found the job in Mexico

City that's a good idea do I search for

Public Health

try jobs in public health or the names

of specific jobs I search for newspaper

reporter I'll go to the computer lab

right now and try that see you later

at a food court

Wow look at all these different places

to eat you said it

there are so many choices American fast

food Chinese Italian vegetarian I can't

decide what to eat what are you going to

have Dan I'm hungry I'm going to the

fast food place I want a double

cheeseburger and a large order of fries

oh how many cheeseburgers do you eat

every week you had a couple at the

picnic yesterday didn't you yeah so what

I like cheeseburgers

I think that's worried about you why I'm

healthy

but cheeseburgers have a lot of fat and

a lot of calories okay okay

what are you going to have I'm going to

have some tofu and rice at that Chinese

place oh I forgot you're a vegetarian

right right hmm I think I'm going to

have a salad are you on a diet

no diet I just like to eat healthy food

what are you going to have to drink a

large Cola a large Cola but there's lots

of sugar and soda Dan's right and sugars

bad for your teeth

alright I'll have a diet cola there's no

sugar in that great and I'll have a

salad too

arriving in San Francisco

look guys up ahead they're San Francisco

we're almost there

look at that skyline what's that tall

triangular building it looks like a

tower that's the Transamerica building

it's one of San Francisco's landmarks

it's almost as famous now as the Golden

Gate Bridge the cable cars Chinatown

well I can't wait to go to all those

places and Alcatraz - you said it

Alcatraz used to be the prison where the

most dangerous criminals in the United

States were put now it's a really

interesting former prison and great

place to tour let's try to go there

tomorrow then we can also do something

else tomorrow dan what's wrong with the

car yeah why are we going slower oh no I

think we have a flat tire we have a

spare tire don't we yes I think so I'll

pull over there it is it is a flat tire

now who can help me change it I can I

can't believe we have a flat tire

and just before we got to San Francisco

Oh it'll take us just a few minutes to

change it then we can start to explore

the city

day

come in hi Alicia how's it going hi Lee

I'm fine but busy what are you doing I'm

making a sign for Earth Day

Earth Day what's that on Earth Day

people think about pollution and other

problems with the environment

really when is Earth Day next Monday and

is it every year yes it is the first

Earth Day was in 1970 and it now happens

every year on April 22nd on that day

people talk and learn about problems

with the environment like how well one

year thousands of people came to

Washington DC to support clean energy in

Italy 150 towns and cities had car less

weekends when nobody could drive you

mean Earth Day happens all over the

world yes it sure does Earth Day happens

in many countries and what's going on

here at the college there's a lot

happening at the college at the student

union

there will be exhibits on pollution

students will also plant some trees

around the college campus so what are

you planning to do on Earth Day I'm

planning to give a speech about

pollution also I'm going to carry this

sign what does it say save the earth

that's great Alicia can I go with you

and help I want to help the environment

too Shirley would you like to carry a

sign too yes I sure would

meeting new friends

hi how are you doing hi

you're Jack right yeah and sorry you're

Peter Peter Reilly oh yeah we met on

campus last week Peter this is my friend

Ming Lee she's just moved into the

building

hi Ming Lee nice to meet you

you can just call me Ming Lee's my last

name

Oh mang that sounds Chinese oh so you're

from from San Francisco my parents came

over from Hong Kong before I was born

oh that's cool actually I was thinking

of taking Chinese this term maybe you

could help me

well my Chinese really isn't very good

listen Peter we're really hungry did you

want to get something to eat with us

sorry I can't I have to go meet my new

roommate

oh okay well stop by sometime I'm up in

212 hey I'm on the same floor I'm in 220

no kidding

well nice meeting you Ming I'm sure I'll

see you guys soon

see you later

you

vacation plans

Wow look it's raining cats and dogs

again I hate this weather wind is winter

break start winter break it's only

October I know but I'm sick of studying

I want to go someplace warm and lie on

the beach for a week someplace where

it's sunny and dry Florida or Hawaii

maybe yeah where we can go swimming and

snorkeling and get a great tan now

that's my idea of a perfect vacation not

mine I can't swim very well and I don't

like lying in the Sun oh yeah how come I

don't know I just prefer the mountains

especially in winter I love snowboarding

in fact I'm planning to go to Bear

Mountain with some friends in December

do you guys want to come no thanks I

went there last year I was freezing the

whole time anyway I don't know how to

ski very well last year I fell about a

hundred times

Peter how about you sorry I'm like Jack

I don't want to go anyplace where it's

below 70 degrees by the way what's the

weather forecast for tomorrow the same

as today cloudy cold and a 90% chance of

rain oh no I left my umbrella at the

library you can borrow mine I've got an

extra one

shopping for food

well I got a few groceries that aren't

on the list I can see that we're not

shopping for an army you know I always

do this when I'm hungry well let's see

what you have here some nice fresh

strawberries for only a dollar 79 a

pound well that's fine they always have

nice produce here but why do you have

all these cookies don't you like them oh

I don't know I hope you got a box of

tofu well I think I forgot where's the

aisle with the Asian foods again aisle

three I'll go get it

wait this steak you got looks really

expensive well it isn't it's on sale for

just three dollars 99 cents a pound and

what's this

more ice cream we already have a quart

at home why don't you put it back

meanwhile I'll get in line right here

I'm sorry miss this is the Express line

and it looks like you've got more than

ten items oh and we don't take checks

here

in the city

Peter are you going downtown today

uh-huh

why can you give me a ride I have to run

some errands where do you need to go a

lot of places first I have to go to the

bank could you drop me off at the corner

of King Boulevard and 2nd Avenue King

and second oh sure I know where that is

but why are you going to the bank why

don't you use the ATM machine on campus

cuz my debit card isn't working I've got

to get a new one and the cleaners is

next door to the bank I have to pick up

some clothes there anyway why don't you

use the laundry room here in the

building

I'm not picking up laundry it's dry

cleaning by the way is there a computer

repair shop near there I need to drop

off my laptop computer repair oh yeah

there's a good buy across the street

from the bank they fix computers there

oh that's convenient so what are you

going to do downtown I'm going to the

courthouse I've got to pay a traffic

ticket no kidding I have to pay a ticket

too

I just got a ticket last week but Kenji

you don't drive I know I got a ticket

for jaywalking really yeah I didn't know

it's illegal to cross in the middle of

the street

finding the right apartment

I'm so stressed out

my landlord just raised my rent I think

I'll have to move really you know my

building has some vacancies it's a

pretty nice place and it's just 10

minutes from campus oh yeah how much is

the rent for a studio there are no

studio apartments in our building my

neighbor just moved out of a one-bedroom

he paid $850 a month I think well that's

not bad

tell me more well one bedrooms come with

a bathroom a kitchen a fireplace in the

living room pretty big closets and are

you looking for a furnished or

unfurnished place unfurnished I have all

my own stuff what about parking and

laundry there's no garage you have to

park on the street but there is a

laundry room downstairs hmm I think I'm

interested could you give me the address

sure it's twelve thirteen Rose Avenue

the manager's name is mr. Azizi call him

up or just stop by and talk to him

thanks Ming I'm going to do that

tomorrow for sure

learning new customs

so salma is this your first trip to the

United States yes it is and what's your

impression so far well the people are

really friendly and the city is

beautiful but the food well it's not so

good oh yeah that's what I thought too

when I first got here but I'm used to

American food now I actually love hot

dogs and french fries

so last night I took Salma to a Mexican

restaurant I wanted her to try something

exotic did you like it yeah the food was

pretty good but it was too much I

couldn't finish it all

someone was amazed when I took the

leftovers home in a doggie bag yeah

that's funny isn't it they call it a

doggy bag but it's for people anyway

what else surprised you that the

restaurant was so cold

we don't use air-conditioning so much in

my country oh and the water had ice in

it too I had to put on my sweater I was

so cold excuse me hello oh hi Eduardo

excuse me miss but we don't allow cell

phones in the restaurant oh sorry I

didn't know

Eduardo I'll have to call you back

that's strange for me in Lebanon we use

phones everywhere I mean we try to talk

quietly in a place like this but same in

Japan this kind of rule is getting more

popular though I'm sorry Salma no no

it's okay When in Rome do as the Romans

do

during a health club

hi I'm Adele I'm sure you're going to

like it here let me show you around

here's the weight room we've got the

newest machines our instructors can show

you how to use them this is cool

yeah I really need to start lifting

weights and here is a cardio class I've

never tried cardio it's just dancing

isn't it not really actually they're

working harder than you think and cardio

is very good for your heart it sure is

but you should do it at least three

times a week if you want to be in good

shape well I already jog three times a

week that's terrific

you also have boxing and yoga classes

here don't you yes I'll give you a

schedule of classes when we finish our

tour now here's our swimming pool Wow

look at that woman in the middle lane

she's really fast isn't she oh yeah

that's Ellen one of our instructors I'd

like to take lessons from her you're not

the only one come on I'll show you the

showers in the locker room you know if

you want to join our gym you ought to do

it before the end of the month

really why well because we have a

special discount for students this month

let's go to my office and I'll tell you

all about it

watching TV

hey listen to this

the average American watches four hours

of TV a day a day you're joking no it

says so right here in this newspaper hmm

I guess you're an average American Jack

you always have your TV on come on are

you saying I'm a couch potato yeah I

really think watching TV is a waste of

time

oh come on some programs are bad like

those soap operas but what about sports

or the news you watch those sometimes

don't you well actually for the news I

prefer the newspaper or the Internet

why first because they give you a lot

more information and I can read them

anytime I want plus I hate all the

commercials I know what you mean that's

why when the commercials come on I just

turned down the volume or change

channels yeah I noticed that channel

surfing drives me crazy okay next time

you come over I'll let you have the

remote control oh that's so sweet

but I have a better idea next time I

come over let's just turn the TV off

meeting old friends

mean look I can't believe it it's Dan

hey Dan how are you

Yolanda Ming Wow

I haven't seen you guys since graduation

night I know you look great Thanks

so do you so what have you been up to

well I go to Faber College really do you

like it yeah so far but I've been

studying really hard sure you have so

what's your major it's computer science

ah that makes sense you always were good

at math and science thanks anyway what

have you guys been up to well I'm a

sales rep for a publishing company no

kidding

how do you like that oh I love it

I'm on the road a lot but I get to meet

some interesting people that's terrific

and how about you Yolanda I'm studying

pre-med at State College Wow

you can be my doctor you always were

good at science too

well it was great seeing you both let's

keep in touch from now on email me

sometime here's my address

explaining a sport

okay guys let's warm up and stretch

we've got to work on balance and

flexibility so men when did you get into

this karate stuff Karate zappa knees

Ming's showing us Taekwondo and it's

Korean cool so what's the difference

Taekwondo uses hundreds of different

kicking moves but karate

well Kenji it sounds like you know

something about karate yeah

karate uses more punches and blocks too

maybe you've seen guys break wooden

boards with punches you know like I

learned that when I was in school that's

great I wish I could do that

so Ming why did you get into Taekwondo I

had a Korean friend in middle school and

he said it could help me get in shape

and build my confidence so I tried it

and I really liked it it looks like you

succeeded well I'm still working on it

I've really improved my speed and power

it also helps you focus you'll see

awesome let's get started

college campus

excuse me could you tell me where

Kimball hall is oh you mean Campbell

Hall oh yeah right do you see that brown

building over there uh behind the

fountain yeah that's it come on I'm

going there too are you here for the

English placement test yes I am how

about you actually I'm one of the

English teachers here oh really

maybe I'll be in your class it's

possible what's your name

ma Rico Honda but most people call me

Mari and you

I'm Nancy Anderson so where are you from

Japan aha and how long have you been

here just three weeks really but your

English sounds great

Thanks that's because my family used to

come here every summer to visit my

grandmother when I was little I can

speak pretty well mm-hmm but now I want

to go to college here so I need to

improve my skills especially writing

yeah so that's why I signed up for this

English program I see what do you want

to major in international business my

father has an import-export company and

he does a lot of business here in the

States

oh oh I see and I also want to take art

classes because I'm really into art art

and business wow that's an interesting

combination but can't you study those

things in Japan well sure but you have

to speak good English these days to get

ahead in business

it's better for my career if I go to

college here

well here's Campbell Hall good luck on

the placement exam it was nice meeting

you Mari Thanks you too see you later

bye bye

being a place to live

hello may I speak to Nancy please

speaking uh hi my name is Mari and I'm

calling about the room for rent I saw

your ad at the campus housing office oh

right okay

uh are you a student well right now I'm

just studying English but I'm planning

to start college full-time in March I

see oh where are you living now I've

been living in a house with some other

students but I don't like it there why

what's the problem well first of all

it's really noisy and it's not very

clean the other people in the house are

real slobs I mean they never lift a

finger to clean up after themselves it

really bugs me I need a place that's

cleaner and more private

well it's really quiet here we're not

home very much what do you do I teach

English at the college wait a minute

didn't we meet yesterday at the

placement exam oh you're the girl from

Japan what was your name again Mari

right what a small world it really is by

the way who else lives in the house the

ad said there are three people well

besides me there's my husband Andrew and

my cousin Jeff he's a musician and a

part-time student uh are you okay with

having male roommates sure as long as

they're clean and not too noisy don't

worry they're both easy to live with

okay um is the neighborhood safe oh sure

we haven't had any problems and you can

walk to school from here well it sounds

really nice when can I come by and see

it can you make it this evening around

5:00

then you can meet the guys - yeah five

o'clock is good what's the address

it's three four seven five Hayworth

Avenue do you know where that is no I

don't okay from University Village you

go seven blocks east on Olympic Avenue

at the intersection of Olympic and

Alfred there's a stoplight turn left and

go up one and a half blocks our house is

in the middle of the block on the left

that sounds easy yeah

you can't miss it listen I've got to go

someone's at the door

see you this evening okay see you later

bye bye bye

borrowing money

hello hi dad Jeff how are you I'm fine

dad how's mom did she get over her cold

yes she's fine now she went back to work

yesterday that's good um dad I need to

ask you something

sure son what is it well the truth is

I'm broke again could you lend me $200

just till the end of the month broke

again Jeff when you moved in with Nancy

and Andrew you said you could make ends

meet but this is the third time you've

asked me for help I know I know I'm

sorry but see my old guitar broke and I

had to buy a new one I can't play on a

broken guitar right look Jeff if you

want to play in a band that's okay with

me

but you can't keep asking me to pay for

it okay okay you're right

but what do you think I ought to do

everything costs an arm and a leg around

here well first of all I think you'd

better go on a budget make a list of all

your income and all your expenses and

then it's simple don't spend more than

you earn but that's exactly the problem

my expenses are always larger than my

income that's why I need to borrow money

from you then maybe you should work more

hours at the computer store dad I

already work 15 hours a week how can I

study and work and find time to play

with my band come on Jeff when I was

your age I know I know

when you were my age you were already

married and working and going to school

that's right and if I could do it why

can't you because I'm not you dad that's

why

all right Jeff calm down I don't expect

you to be like me but I can't lend you

any more money your mother and I are on

a budget too you know

maybe I should just drop out of school

work full-time and play in the band in

the evenings I can go back to school

later I wouldn't do that if I were you

yeah but you're not me remember it's my

life all right Jeff

let's not argue why don't you think

about this very carefully

and call me back in a few days and in

the meantime you'd better find a way to

pay for that new guitar yes dad all

right goodbye son

finding a job

hey Jeff what's going on oh I'm looking

at the classified ads it looks like I

have to get a job I thought you had a

job at a computer store or something

yeah but that's part time I need

something full-time really but what

about school what about your band

how can you work full-time well to tell

you the truth I'm probably going to drop

out of school for a while I'm just not

in the mood for studying these days I'd

rather spend my time playing with my

band but my father won't support me if

I'm not in school I see well what kind

of job do you want to get well ideally

something involving music like in a

record store but if that's not possible

I don't know but whatever I do it'll be

better than my first job oh yeah

what was that believe it or not the

summer after I finished high school I

worked at Burger ranch you in a

fast-food place what did you do there I

was a burger flipper you know I made

hamburgers all day long that sounds like

a pretty boring job it was the worst and

I haven't gone inside a burger ranch

since I quit that job hi

what's so funny do you remember my job

at the burger ranch oh yeah that was

pretty awful but actually it doesn't

sound so bad to me right now why Nancy

what's wrong

oh I'm just really really tired I'm

teaching four different classes this

term and two of them are really large

sometimes I think I've been teaching too

long how long have you been teaching 12

years maybe it's time to try something

else

like what

well I've always wanted to be a writer I

could work at home oh don't listen to

her Mari she always talks this way when

she's had a bad day at school at least

you have a good job Nancy look at me

I'm broke and dad won't lend me any more

money oh stop complaining if you're so

poor why don't you go back to the burger

ranch listen you two stop arguing look

at me I can't work at all because I'm an

international student okay okay I'm

sorry Nancy tell you what let's go out

to dinner

I'll pay but you're broke alright you

pay

a single mother

who's there it's Sharon and Joey hi come

on in

what's happening Jeff can you do me a

big favor I just got a call from the

office they want me to look into a

computer problem right away would you

mind watching Joey until I get back

sure no problem is he asleep yeah he

just fell asleep 10 minutes ago he

usually sleeps for a couple of hours at

this time of day but if he wakes up just

give him a bottle oh what a cute baby

he's so little

mari this is our neighbor Sharon and her

son Joey Sharon

this is our new roommate mari nice to

meet you you too

listen I've got to take off thanks so

much Jeff for helping me out bye

hey Jeff I didn't know you liked babies

well Joey is special I take care of him

from time to time when Sharon's busy and

then she does favors for me in return

like last week she lent me her car and

her husband is he she's not married I

don't think she ever was actually never

nope never I think she's happy being a

single mother

oh is that pretty common in America well

it's certainly becoming more and more

common even Nancy used to talk about it

you know before she got married hi guys

hi hi uh what were you saying about me

that you used to talk about having a

baby by yourself

before you met Andrew oh yeah I worried

that time was running out you know like

what if I never got married maybe I'm

old-fashioned but I could never bring up

a baby by myself I think it would be so

difficult

yeah raising a child is tough I'm really

lucky I met Andrew and if you have a

baby you'll have Jeff here to help you

with babysitting we'll see

speaking of babysitting I'd better check

up on Joey

using technology to stay in touch

come in

am i interrupting it's okay I was just

catching up on my blog oh yeah what's it

about mostly it's about hip hop like

here's a comment from a guy named Hassan

talking about let's see hip hop in

Istanbul in Turkey Turkish hip hop sure

and here's one from my friend Hiroshi

the drummer in Tokyo hmm

maybe I should start a blog about

learning English well it's a great way

to meet new people that's for sure and

all you need is an internet connection

well speaking of the Internet I wanted

to ask your advice about something okay

what's up well I just got my cell phone

bill for last month and it was $160 ouch

yeah I can't believe it

cellphone calls are so expensive here

are they cheaper in Japan much cheaper

and we use our cell phones for email to

a lot of people don't even own a

computer amazing what you can do with

cell phones these days talk take

pictures send email yeah but anyway Jeff

I need to find a cheaper way to stay in

touch with my parents and my friends in

Japan and I heard there's a way you can

call overseas for free using your

computer do you know anything about that

of course it's a technology called voice

over Internet I use it all the time how

does it work well you need a computer

with a sound card if you've got that

yeah I do and you also need a microphone

and a headset hmm I don't have those no

sweat

you can buy them at any electronics

store okay what else well then you'll

need to download the software which is

free and then if the person you're

calling installs the same soft

where there's no cost for calling but

what if they don't

can I call from my computer to someone's

phone yes there's a charge for that but

it's a lot cheaper than using your cell

phone believe me could you show me how

it works on your computer right now

no it's night time in Japan now can we

do it in about three hours

no problem I'll be here great see you

later

what do people really mean

Yolanda hi hi Mari how are you fine

thanks um is anyone sitting here no have

a seat Thanks so how have you been oh

you know busy I've got school and work

and I'm getting ready for my brother's

wedding next month oh yeah anyway it's

gonna be a huge wedding and excuse me uh

Nancy over here hi Nancy this is Yolanda

she works in the library Yolanda this is

my housemate Nancy she teaches English

here

nice to meet you Yolanda you too well

listen actually I've got to go I have to

be at work in ten minutes I'll see you

soon Mari we'll go to a movie or

something

sure how about Thursday night I have to

check my calendar I'll call you okay

okay see you ah I don't understand

Americans huh did you hear what she said

I'll call you we'll go to a movie but

every time I try to pick a specific day

or time she says she's busy she has to

check her calendar and then she doesn't

call mm-hmm why do Americans say things

they don't mean they act so nice like

they always say how are you but then

they keep on walking and don't even wait

for your answer there's so how do you

say it

two-faced I know it seems that way

sometimes Mari but it's not true it's

just that for Americans friendliness and

friendship aren't always the same thing

what do you mean well as you know

Americans can be very open and friendly

like they invite you to sit down they

ask you questions they tell you all

about their families so naturally you

think they're trying to make friends

with you but actually friendship real

friendship doesn't happen so quickly

so when people say how are you they're

just being polite

they don't really care not exactly the

thing you have to understand is that how

are you isn't a real question it's more

like a greeting a way of saying hello

aha I get it and have a nice days just a

friendly way to say goodbye exactly

now you're catching on but I'm still in

the dark about Yolanda does she want to

be my friend or not it's hard to say

maybe she's just too busy these days I

guess you'll just have to be patient hmm

that's good advice I guess Thanks

what do you like to do for fun

come in hi hey Dan how you doing great

thanks hey I burned you some new CDs

cool hi you were at our show last night

right yeah I was sorry Mari this is Dan

dan this is Mari it's nice to meet you

nice to meet you too oh let me get that

I'll be right back okay

so Mari did you have a good time at the

club last night yeah it was pretty wild

what did you think of our band well your

music is great for dancing but to tell

you the truth it was kind of loud I

guess I really prefer jazz do you go to

concerts much no not very often I can't

afford them they're so expensive yeah I

know what you mean

well what do you like to do for fun I

love to eat I love going to different

ethnic restaurants and trying new dishes

what's your favorite kind of food well

Japanese of course what about you well

I'm not crazy about sushi or sashimi but

I really like Mexican food oh I can't

stand beans and I don't like cheese uh

what about Indian food

I don't care for it too spicy

do you like American food you know

hamburgers hot dogs french fries yuck

all that fat and salt and sugar we don't

see eye to eye on anything do we well

let's see what's your opinion of Modern

Art there's a wonderful show at the

County Museum right now to be honest I

don't get the modern stuff I prefer 19th

century art you know Monet van Gogh

Renoir hmm how do you feel about sports

are you interested in football American

football I

hate it basketball it's okay

how about tall musicians with curly hair

it depends okay I got it

how about tall musicians with curly hair

who invite you to a movie

science-fiction sounds great finally we

agree on something

to clone or not to clone

your dog is so adorable Nancy how old is

he 11

wow that's pretty old yeah I just love

him so much I don't know what I'll do

when he's gone well you can clone him

you know clone him you're joking right

yeah of course but actually it is

possible scientists in Korea have cloned

a dog you know I saw a picture of it in

Time magazine really I've heard of

cloned sheep and mice and rabbits but

not pets like dogs oh yeah

believe it or not there is a company in

California that offers a pet cloning

service for fifteen thousand dollars you

can have an exact copy of your pet

that's so weird

actually it kind of scares me pretty

soon they'll start cloning people and no

I don't think that's gonna happen

I think cloning will be used in positive

ways like what like saving endangered

species for example scientists could

save the giant panda and other animals

before they become extinct

oh yeah and another thing I heard that

scientists will be able to clone body

parts you know just grow a new heart or

a new tooth uh-huh

that's what stem-cell research is all

about which is similar to cloning a lot

of medical problems are going to be

solved with that for sure well I'm all

for that

especially if it can help us live longer

or if they can help your dog live longer

right right

you

a baby shower

hi Jeff hi Sharon look what I got in the

mail

Hey hi Mari join us for a baby shower

honoring Nancy Anderson April 5th 11

a.m.

hosted by Sharon Smith and Carolyn

Freeman oh good you got the invitation

so can you make it I think so but well

what does a baby shower exactly you know

it's a party for a woman who's going to

have a baby um it's like a welcoming

ceremony for the new baby

it's a party then why do you call it a

shower because the custom is to shower

the woman with gifts for the baby

get it I see are you invited to Jeff no

way no man allowed really well not

exactly lots of baby showers include men

these days but traditionally showers are

hosted by a woman's girlfriends or

female relatives and they're only for

women hmm

but is it Nancy and Andrews baby due at

the end of May and this invitation says

April 5th well yes the custom is to have

a shower before the baby is born when

the woman is 7 or 8 months pregnant very

interesting and everybody brings a gift

right something for the baby

you know toys or clothes or something

for the baby's room ok the invitation

says it's for lunch so yeah we'll have

lunch and afterwards we'll play games

games what kind of games girl games

silly games like bingo or guessing games

or baby trivia games and the winners get

small prizes it sounds like fun it is

and then at the end of the party there

is usually a cake with baby decorations

and then the mother-to-be

opens her presents well the guests are

still there sure that's my favorite part

everybody gets to see the gifts and go

ooh

ah and see how happy the woman is wow

that's so different from our custom in

Japan we usually don't open a gift in

front of guests really that is different

well what kind of gift do you think I

should get for her she's registered

online so you can see what she's already

gotten and what she still needs would

you like me to write down the Internet

address for you sure that would be great

is there anything I can do to help with

the party maybe do the flower

arrangements or something oh thanks but

it's not necessary everything is all

taken care of just come and have fun

The Description of American English Conversations - Elementary Intermediate and Advance Level