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.
የዶሮዎች ባህሪ ስለ ሰው ልጆች ባህሪ የሚጠቁመው ነገር ይኖር ይሆን? አንዳንድ ጥናቶች የሚያሳየው ነገር ሊኖር ይችላል ይላሉ። ዛሬ ከዚህ መላ ምት ጀርባ ያሉ ኃሳቦችን እናብራራለን።

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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.
የዶሮዎች ባህሪ ስለ ሰዎች ባህሪ የሚጠቁመው ነገር ይኖረዋል? አንዳንድ ጥናቶች የሚያሳየው ነገር ሊኖር ይችላል ይላሉ። ዛሬ ከዚህ መላ ምት ጀርባ ያሉ ኃሳቦችን እናብራራለን።   

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.

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ምህረተስላሴ
ጤና ይስጥልን፤ የእንግሊዘኛ ዜናዎችን ለመረዳት የሚያስችል ቋንቋ ወደምናስተምርበት Listen Here! – መሰናዶ እንኳን በደህና መጡ። ምህረተስላሴ እባላለሁ።

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

ምህረተስላሴ
ትክክል ነው። አንድ ሳይንቲስት ስለዶሮዎች ምርታማነት productivity’ የሰሩትን ጥናት ውጤት እያዳመጥን ነው።

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

ምህረተስላሴ
‘A flock’ የዶሮ ስብስብ ማለት ነው። የአንድን ነገር መላቅ ወይም ግዝፈት ለመጠቆም super’ የተባለውን ቅድመ ቅጥያ መጨመር እንችላለን። 

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.

ምህረተስላሴ
ዛሬ የምናዳምጠው The Joy of 9-to-5  ከተባለ መሰናዶ የተቀነጨበ ነው። አንድ ሳይንቲስት የምርምሩን ውጤት እያብራሩ ነው። ከ ‘super-chickens’ መካከል ምን ያህሉ ተረፉ?

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!

ምህረተስላሴ
ከሁሉም በስተቀር ለማለት ስንፈልግ ‘all but’ የሚለውን ሐረግ ከቁጥር ጋር መናገር እንችላለን። 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.

ምህረተስላሴ
‘Dramatically’ የሚለውቃልእንደ 'increase’ እና decrease’ ያሉ ግሶችን ለማጠንከር የምንጠቀምበት የግስ ገላጭ ነው። የምርታማነት መጨመርን የሚገልፁት ሌሎች ሁለት ቃላት የትኞቹ ናቸው? ከ ‘average flock’ በኋላ ምን እንዳሉ ያዳምጡ።

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

ምህረተስላሴ
'Increases dramatically' 
እጅጉንይጨምራል።

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

ምህረተስላሴ
‘Just gets’ መሆኑን ይቀጥላል ለማለት የምንጠቀምበት ኢመደበኛ አገላለፅ ነው። 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

ምህረተስላሴ
Thanks! So, what can we humans learn from 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.

ምህረተስላሴ
ትክክል። ሀያላን ዶሮዎች ከሁሉም የላቁ ለመሆን በሚያደርጉት ፉክክር እርስ በራሳችው መገዳደላቸውን ጠቁመዋል።

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.

ምህረተስላሴ
Hierarchy የእርከን ደረጃ ማለት ነው። 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. Just like the average chickens in the experiment!

ምህረተስላሴ
Oh! So, are you at the top of the BBC pecking order? ‘Order’ ተርታ ማለት ነው።

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

ምህረተስላሴ
That’s right! ስላዳመጡ እናመሰግናለን።

Tom
Bye! See you next time!  

Language features

super-

Super’ is an adjective which means ‘superior’, or better. We can use 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 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 adjectives (see above).

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

What can chickens teach us about productivity?

3 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
ትክክለኛውን መልስ ይምረጡ

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Join us for our next episode of Listen Here! when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ጠቃሚ የቋንቋ መሰረታዊያን ለመማር እና የማዳመጥ ክህሎትዎን በመለማመድ ለማዳበር በቀጣዩ ሊስን ሂር መሰናዷችን ይጠብቁን።

Session Vocabulary

  • flock
    የዶሮዎች ስብስብ (የጋራ ስም)

    to increase dramatically
    እጅጉን/ በሚያስደንቅ ሁኔታ መጨመር

    hierarchy
    የደረጃ እርከን

    hierarchical
    እርከናዊ/ ከእርከን ጋር የተያያዘ

    a pecking order
    ተፈጥሯዊ የእርከን ደረጃ