Session 2

Today we examine one scientist’s analysis of teenagers, homework and the brain. Can she explain why teenagers leave their homework to the last minute?
Har’a xiinxala saayintistii tokkoo hojmanee fi sammuu ijoollee umurii waggoota kudhanoota keessaarratti dhiheesite sakataana. Ijoolleen hojmaneesaanii hanga daqiiqaa dhumaatti maaliif akka utuu hinhojjetin turan ibsuu dandeessii?

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Why do teenagers leave their homework to the last minute?

Today we examine one scientist’s analysis of teenagers, homework and the brain.
Har’a xiinxala saayintistii tokkoo hojmanee fi sammuu ijoollee umurii waggoota kudhanoota keessaarratti dhiheesite sakataana.

Before you listen

1) How many reasons can you think of that explain why many teenagers leave their homework until the last minute?

2) Check the Session Vocabulary. Make sure you understand what these pieces of vocabulary mean.

 - Pre-frontal cortex

-  Neuroscientist

3) Based on the vocabulary in Question 2, what kinds of reasons do you think we will learn about today?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

Show transcript Hide transcript

Caalii
Yooyyaa! Odeessaalee Afaan Inglizii sirri ta'an akka hubattuuf bakka itti si barsiifnutti dhihaate caqasuuf baga nagana dhufte! An Caaliidha.

Tom
And I'm Tom. Hi everyone! Today we're talking about teenagers, homework and the brain.

Caalii
Did you do your homework when you were a teenager? 'Teenager' jechuun ijoolee umuriinsaarnii waggoota kudhanoota keessa jiran.

Tom 
Yeah I did, but, often at the last minute which means as late as possible!

Caalii
Har'a maaliif ijoolleen heddu hojmaneesaanii dursanii akka hineegalle, saayinsiin sammuu ibsuu yoo danda’e ilaalla.

Tom
And today's guest is a neuroscientist so get ready for some difficult vocabulary!

Caalii
A neuroscientist jechuun saayintistii nerviiti. Kiliippiin har'aa Raadiyoo BBC 4 The Life Scientific irraa argame. Saayintistiin nervii Saaraa-Jeen Blaakmor waa'ee sammuu ijoollee ibsuutti jirti. Waa'ee kutaa sammuu 'pre-frontal cortex' jedhamuu ibsiti. Kutaan sammuu kun eessatti argama? Akkasumas hojiilee 'tasks' akkamii hojjetaa?

Insert
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain right at the front, just behind the forehead. And it's involved in a whole range of very high-level cognitive tasks such as decision-making and planning.   

Tom
So, unsurprisingly, the pre-frontal cortex is at the front of the brain, just behind the forehead.

Caalii
Siirriidha. Forehead jechuun adda. Jecha 'fore' qubee 'e' ykn afaan Ingliziin 'e'kan jedhamu akka maxxantuu duraatti yoo dabalate hiikaa 'jalqaba' ykn 'fuuldurarra' jedhu qabaata. 'Forehead' Kutaa sammuu gara fuulduraa kan ibsuudha. Fakkeenyi biroon 'Forethought', wantokko duraan dursanii yaaduu waliin kan hidhatudha.

Tom
Yeah. If we 'give something some forethought' it means we think first, or plan.

Caalii
Akkasuma karoorsuun hojiiwwan kutaan sammuu kun raawwatu keessaa isa tokkodha! 'decision-making' murtee kennuunis akkasuma hojiisaati. Hojiiwwan kanneen ibsuuf, maq-ibsa kam gaalee 'high-level' tti aansitee fayyadamti.

Insert
The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain right at the front, just behind the forehead. And it's involved in a whole range of very high-level cognitive tasks such as decision-making and planning.

Tom
She used the word 'cognitive'.

Caalii
Cognitive, kogniitiiv, jechuun maq-ibsa gochaa sammuu keenyaan walitti dhufuudha.
Cognitive tasks hojiiwwan sammuun raawwatamaniidha. 

Tom
And she also used the expression 'a whole range ofcognitive tasks.

Caalii
'A whole range of' irraatti maqaan wayita dabalamu, ibsa sadarkaa olaanaafi akaakuu garagaraa eeruu ta'a.

Tom
Note that the presenter says 'tasks'.  I say 'tasks', and this is because of our different British accents. Both are fine, so use whichever one's easiest for you.

Caalii
Saayintistiin nervii, waa'ee guddina sammuu ijoolee yeroo umurii dargagummaa 'adolescent years' dubbatu. Walitti dhufeenyi jechoota 'expectations', 'waantawwan ni ta'u jedhamanii eegamani' and 'development', 'guddina' gidduu jirtu maali?

Insert
We know that this region is undergoing very, very large amounts of development during the adolescent years. And so in terms of the expectations that we place on teenagers, to, for example, plan their homework, might be too much given that we know that the region of the brain that's critically involved in planning is not developed yet.

Tom
Aha! So, in the last sentence she mentions that the area of the brain involved in planning isn't developed yet!

Caalii
That's right! Yaada ishee, isa wanti fuulduratti ijoolleerraa eegnu tarii olaanaadha jedhu deeggaruuf ibsannoo kamiin fayyadamti? 'Might be too much' jedhu booda ammas caqasi.

Insert
…the expectations that we place on teenagers, to, for example, plan their homework, might be too much, given that we know that the region of the brain that's critically involved in planning is not developed yet.

Tom
Did you catch it? She said 'given that'.

Caalii 
Given that jechuunibsannoo 'waan dhugaa tokko yaada keessa galchuu' jechuudha.

Tom
So, given that we know that teenagers' brains are still developing, is it fair to expect them to be as good at planning as adults are? What do you think?

Caalii
Well, Tom, given that we're out of time, I don't think I can answer that question! Maaliif walquunnamnee yaadakee nutti hinimnee? Turtii nu waliin qabaatteef galatoomi!  

Tom
Thanks for joining us everyone! See you next time for more Listen Here! Goodbye!

Language features

fore

Fore can be used in many ways and relates to being at the front of something, or first.

The fastest horse was at the fore throughout the race!

It is more often used as a prefix to modify other words.

forehead – the front of your head.
forename –
your first name

We often use the expression ‘give [something] some forethought’. This means to consider something happening in the future.

different accents

There are a lot of different accents in British English. In this episode different speakers pronounce the words ‘tasks’ differently.

When pronouncing words like ‘tasks’, ‘grass’ and ‘castle’, Tom uses/æ/. This is a short vowel sound.
The presenter in the audio clip uses /a:/ - this is a longer vowel sound. You can hear this sound in words like ‘car’ and ‘far’.

Both of these forms are fine to use. Differences in regional accents are widely tolerated within the UK.

cognition

Cognition is a noun which refers to thinking and mental processes. It is a word used in scientific or formal contexts.

Drinking alcohol can lead to impaired cognition.

Cognitive is the adjective form.

The ability to plan is a cognitive function. It comes from the human brain.

adolescence

Adolescence is the period of life during which one’s body changes from a child’s body to that of an adult.

Our son spent a lot of time in his room during his adolescence.

Adolescent is an adjective. It can also be used as a countable noun to refer to a young person.

The adolescent brain is always developing. (adjective).
I was a very difficult adolescent; I was very moody.(noun – person).

Why do teenagers leave their homework to the last minute?

3 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
Deebii sirrii ta’e fili.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Did you leave your homework until the last minute when you were at school? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of Listen Here! When we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
Kutaa Listen Here kan qooqa daran faayida-qabeessa ta’an keessatti barannuufi daandeettiiwwan dhageettiikee ittiin shaakaltutti yeroo itaanu walitti deebina.

Session Vocabulary

  • the last minute
    daqiiqaa dhumaa

    neuroscientist
    saayintistii sirna nervii

    pre-frontal cortext
    Maqaa kutaa sammuu keessaa tokko ta’eef kennameedha

    forehead
    adda

    fore
    fuuldura

    forethought
    wantokko dura dursanii yaaduu

    cognitive
    kogniitiv ykn beekumsa

    adolescent
    ijoolee umrii dargaggummaatti gala jiran

    expectations
    wantota ni ta’u jedhamanii eegaman

    development
    guddina