Session 5

Can the behaviour of chickens teach us about our own behaviour? Some studies say it can! Today we are explaining the ideas behind this theory.
Amalli lukkuuwwanii waa’ee amala keenyaa nu barsiisuu danda’aa? Qo’annoowwan muraasni akka danda’am himu. Har’a yaadawwan yaadrimee kana duuba jiru ibsina.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

What can chickens teach us about productivity?

Can the behaviour of chickens teach us about our own behaviour? Some studies say it can! Today we are explaining the ideas behind this theory.
Amalli lukkuuwwanii waa’ee amala keenyaa nu barsiisuu danda’aa? Qo’annoowwan muraasni akka danda’am himu. Har’a yaadawwan yaadrimee kana duuba jiru ibsina.

Before you listen

Consider the following questions:
1) How might chickens and humans demonstrate similar behaviour?
2) In which parts of society are humans organised into structure of command?

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 nagaan dhufte! An Caaliidha.

Tom
I’m Tom! Hi everyone! Now, chickens are not famous for being clever.

Caalii
Sirriidha. Kan caqasa jirru, cuunfaa qorannoo ykn yaalii saayintistii waa’ee hormaata ‘productivity’ lukkuuwwaniirratti godhameedha.

Tom
The experiment looked at two flocks of chickens – an average flock and a ‘super-flock’.

Caalii
‘A flock’ jechuun gurmuu lukkuuwwaniiti. Wanti tokko, daran baay’ee ykn haalaan jabaa ta’uusaa eeruuf, jecha ‘super’ jedhamu duratti dabalu dandeenya. 

Tom
We can. ‘Super’ comes from ‘superior’, meaning ‘better’. So, the ‘super-flock’ was made of chickens chosen by scientists because they were the best at producing eggs.

Caalii
Kiliippii har’aa The Joy of 9-to-5 irraa argame kana caqasii.Ogeessi qor-qalbii tokko  argama qorannoo ibsuutti jirti. ‘super-chickens’ meeqatu lubbuun hafee?

Insert
He compares the two flocks over six generations. The average flock just gets better and better and better. Egg production increases dramatically. The super-flock of super-chickens, right, at the end of six generations all but three are dead. Because the other three have killed the rest.

Tom
She said ‘all but three’, which means most of the super-flock died!

Caalii
‘All but’ eegaa jennee booda lakkoofsa itti dabaluun ‘haganarra kan hafe hundumatu’ jechu dandeenya. I could say ‘all but one of the staff are at work today’, as Phil isn’t here, but everyone else is!

Tom
And, interestingly, the average flock of chickens were fine! Their egg production actually increased dramatically.

Caalii
Dramatically’ ngochima yeroo mara gochawwan akka ‘increase’ ykn ‘decrease’ cimsuuf itti fayyadamamuudha. Jechoonni lamaan dabala hormatinaa ibsaan kamii? Gaalee ‘average flock’ booda waan isaan jedhan caqasi.

Insert
He compares the two flocks over six generations. The average flock just gets better and better and better. Egg production increases dramatically.

Tom
She says ‘it just gets better and better and better’.

Caalii
‘Just gets’ jechuun, gaalee barama hinta’in wayita ta’u hiiknisaa ‘t a’uu ittifufa’ jechuudha. For example, English just gets easier and easier as you practise!

Tom

Right! She also repeats an adjective to show continuing improvement over time. The adjective, which is ‘better’ is stressed. ‘And’ is unstressed. Practise saying it with me.

better
and better
better and better
better and better and better

Caalii
Thanks! So, what can we humans learn from these chickens?

Tom
Good question – here is the last section of our clip. Which part of our lives does she suggest the experiment is similar to?

Insert
The super-flock of super-chickens, right, at the end of six generations all but three are dead. Because the other three have killed the rest. They've achieved their individual productivity by suppressing the productivity of the rest. And that's what we do at work.

Tom
So, she compares the behaviour of the chickens to our own human behaviour at work.

Caalii
Sirriidha! Akka ishiin eertuutti, sababni lukkuuwwan jajjaboon walajjeesaniif, hundisaaniiyyu caalanii argamuu waan fedhaniifi.

Tom
That’s right! I think her point is that only some people can be the best, or can be bosses, or can be managers. Not everybody can be at the top of a hierarchy.

Caalii
‘Hierarchy’ jechuun gulantaa jechuudha . Hierarchical structures can be too competitive! Is there a more positive way we can describe hierarchies?

Tom
Yes there is, and it’s about chickens! When chickens eat, we say that they ‘peck’. We use the phrase ‘pecking order’ to describe hierarchies in a more informal or more positive way.

Caalii
Oh! So, are you at the top of the BBC pecking order?

Tom
No, I’m not! The editor's at the top of the pecking order! And he won’t be very happy if our programme’s too long!

Caalii
That’s right! Hundi keessanuu waan caqastaniif galatoomaa!

Tom
Bye! See you next time!  

Language features

super-

Super’ is an adjective which means ‘superior’, or better. We can use it as prefix to suggest a stronger, bigger or better version of something. It can be hyphenated or not, depending on the subject.

The super-chickens in the experiment were chosen due to their high levels of productivity.
Our new farming methods are very effective! We have a superabundance of food this year!

all but [+ number]

We can say ‘all but’, plus a number, to mean ‘all except’. We often use the preposition ‘of’ to relate this expression to a particular group.

All but two of the class did the homework. The pair who didn’t do it received detention.
 
 
We can also use all but without a preposition, although this is less common.

A: How many students did the homework?
B: All but two.

repeated comparative adjectives

We often repeat comparative adjectives to show a continuing trend or progression over time. These most often relate to size or quantity.

My granddaughter gets bigger and bigger every time I see her!
She’s eating more and more as she gets older!

This episode contains an example of an adjective being said three times. However, as a rule, we normally just say the adjective twice.

to just get 

We use ‘just get’, plus an adjective, to mean ‘continue to become’.

As the day continues I just get more tired!

We often use this structure with repeated comparative ajectives (see above).

I stopped watching the film; it just got worse and worse.

What can chickens teach us about productivity?

2 Questions

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

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

What are you getting better and better at? 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.
Sagantaa Listen Here kan qooqa daran faayida-qabeessa ta’an keessatti barannuufi daandeettiiwwan dhageettiikee ittiin shaakaltutti yeroo itaanu walitti deebina.

Session Vocabulary

  • flock
    gurmuu lukkuuwwanii(maqaa tuutaa)

    to increase dramatically
    haalaan dabaluu

    hierarchy
    gulantaa/ sadarkaa

    hierarchical
    sadarkaawaa/gulantaawaa

    a pecking order
    gulantaa uumamaa