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BBC 6 minute English-70 Years of Learning

BBC 6 minute English-70 Years of Learning

BBC 6 minute English-70 Years of Learning

   

Transcript of the podcast

Rob: Hello, I’m Rob and this is 6 Minute English and I’m joined this week by Finn. Hello Finn

Finn: Hello Rob

Rob: We are in a celebratory mood this week Finn aren’t we

Finn: Yes we are. We have something to shout about – it’s the 70th anniversary of the BBC teaching English to the world

Rob: Happy birthday to us! So, we have been teaching English for 70 years – actually Finn I think we look quite good for 70

Finn: Yes, not too many grey hairs. And you would think that if our audience has been listening for 70 years they would be fluent – or perfect speakers of English by now. Maybe we should just go home now

Rob: Stay where you are – of course you know Finn that our audience is always changing. New people are finding us and wanting to learn English and we’ll be finding out why they do very soon. But let’s see what you’ve learnt over the years and see if you can answer this question. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, what is the most commonly used English word. Is it

a) I b) and c) the

Finn: Rob, I think it has to be c) the

Rob: I’ll let you know the answer at the end of the programme. Now let’s talk more about 70 years of teaching English. The BBC’s English-teaching department first started transmitting radio programmes in 1943. The world was a very different place then

Finn: Yes. World War Two was taking place and many parts of Europe were occupied by German forces. It was felt that by teaching other nationalities English, they could understand radio news bulletins on the BBC Empire Service – the old name for the BBC World Service

Rob: So, for many listeners there was a practical need to learn English

Finn: After the war there was a big demand in people wanting to learn English and the BBC tried to do this in “…light and entertaining dialogues in simple, though not basic, English.” That’s conversations that sounded natural and interesting to listen to

Rob: A bit like our programmes today. In the years after the war, people wanted to learn English not just to understand programmes on the BBC but so they could do business with or work for companies around the world. So we could say it had an economic benefit

Finn: Today, people are learning online via the internet and some are learning English to communicate with – or talk or write to – other non-native speakers, particularly on social media

Rob: That’s true. We can hear from some students now who are learning English here in the UK. See if you can hear why they think it’s important to learn English

Vox pop of students

My name is Bruno, I am from France, I like to learn English because this language is international and I can use it to have a conversation with people from different countries. I have more liberty if I want to speak with different people

My name is Juan Reynoso, I come from Peru. I want to learn English because I think this is the language the world speaks

Rob: Some good reasons there. Bruno and Juan want to learn English to communicate with others. Bruno says it gives him more liberty – he means freedom to speak with and understand other people

Finn: So, English is good for that but let’s hear some more practical reasons – or ways that it will be a real benefit to someone’s life

Vox pop of students

My name is Rafael Guimaraes, I come from Sao Paulo in Brazil. I’ve chosen English because I am studying business so it’s very important for my career and also because you can communicate to people from all over the world

My name is Ivo. I am from Lima, Peru. I am planning on studying mechanical engineering and there is not much market for it in Peru, so I’m thinking of going abroad and for that I will need to learn another language so that’s why I’m learning English too

Rob: So, Rafael and Ivo are learning English to help with their studies. They hope it will help their career

Finn: The jobs they will end up doing. So really they are learning English to help themselves

Rob: Well luckily, BBC Learning English is here to help those and many other students around the world learn English. It is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages so it is good to have a least a smattering – a small understanding – of English

Finn: Yes, and if you want to live in the UK it’s now expected that you can speak at least some English. But come on Rob, let’s face it, learning a new language is fun too

Rob: That’s true and it’s been fun teaching it for 70 years – let’s hope we’ve helped at least some of you learn the language. Now Finn, let’s find out if you answered my question correctly. Earlier I asked you what is the most commonly used English word

Finn: I said the

Rob: And you are right. The is the most commonly used word. Well, that’s all we have time for today. Please join us again soon and keep learning English with BBC learning English

Both: Bye

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