English at University

Intermediate level

Episode 7 - The Seminar

Episode 161024 / 24 Oct 2016

Episode 7 - The Seminar 

Mary's had her first Business Studies lecture and now she's decided to go to Professor Not's evening seminar – that's when a group of students meet with their teacher to discuss what they've learnt. But the problem is there's always a chatterbox – you know, someone who likes to do all the talking!

Language focus

Learn phrases about getting yourself heard:

Would you mind if I had a chance to speak please?
I would like to say something too, if you don't mind.
Thank you for giving me the chance to speak.
I'd like to contribute to the discussion please.

Here are some other phrases you could use:

If you don't mind, I think it's my turn to speak.
Would you like to hear my thoughts on the subject?
If I could interupt you there...

Vocabulary

Words and phrases related to talking too much

a chatterbox
put a sock in it!
(be able to) get a word in edgeways
pipe down
zip it
talking someone's ears off

Transcript

Narrator
It's time for English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad. Mary's had her first Business Studies lecture and now she's decided to go to Professor Not's evening seminar - that's when a group of students meet with their teacher to discuss what they've learnt. But the problem is there's always a chatterbox - you know, someone who likes to do all the talking...

Prof Not
So glad you could make my seminar Mary... although I don't know where everyone else is... maybe it's the rain.

Mary
...well, it is quite wet out there...

Sharon
...there you go Robert - red wine for you and - oh, hello... it's Mary isn't it?

Mary
What are you doing here - I thought you just did administration?

Sharon
I do... but Robert, I mean Professor Not, likes help with his spreadsheets and photocopying and stuff.

Prof Not
Yes, I give you a lift home after the seminar - as you live round the corner from me.

Mary
Oh right, I didn't know...

Sharon
...anyway, don't mind me. I'll just sit here while you chat about clever things like business - is it just you tonight Mary?

Daniel
I'm not too late am I... you did say eight o'clock?

Prof Not
Yes I did - come and sit down... no, not on my books... just there. Have you met Sharon?

Sharon
Hello!

Prof Not
So, let's begin shall we. Now I talked about business being an economic system, but what do we mean by 'system'?

Mary
I think... 

Daniel
Well, obviously a system is a thing... you know...

Mary
But...

Daniel
And 'economic' is about... the economy. Yeah?

Narrator
Daniel - put a sock in it! You can't get a word in edgeways with him around. Mary, don't let him dominate the conversation - he needs to pipe down and you need to speak up - be polite but firm and say you want a chance to speak...

Mary
Oh right, if I must. Daniel - would you mind if I had a chance to speak please?

Daniel
Oh right... yeah, of course... I was just explaining that economics is...

Mary
I know... but I would like to say something too, if you don't mind.

Prof Not
Exactly. I think Mary should give us her views - so Daniel... zip it... please.

Mary
Thank you for giving me the chance to speak. I'd like to contribute to the discussion and say that to be in business you need something to sell.

Sharon
Oh, that's very good Mary.

Narrator
Excellent Mary - very impressive. Once Daniel stopped talking your ears off, you finally got a chance to express yourself with the help of these useful phrases...

Would you mind if I had a chance to speak please?
I would like to say something too, if you don't mind.
Thank you for giving me the chance to speak.
I'd like to contribute to the discussion please.

Narrator
You can practise these phrases, pick up a few more plus learn some top tips for studying in the UK on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Now, how's Professor Not's seminar going?

Prof Not
...so I think you'll find some useful stuff in my book 'Mind Your Own Business' - but we'll call it a day for now - I'll see you at my next lecture.

Mary/Daniel
Oh yes... thank you... it's all very interesting.

Sharon
Oh look at the rain out there - it's pouring. Still giving me a lift home Robert, hmmm?

Prof Not
Yes, yes, of course - maybe I could drop you off on the way home too Mary?

Mary
If it's not too much trouble... 

Prof Not
Of course not Mary. But sorry Daniel, it's quite a small car so I don't think we'll fit you in.

Daniel
Oh, oh ok. I like walking.

More

If you're studying abroad and need help with your English, we have lots to offer on our BBC Learning English website.

If you need advice on how to say things, check out these 'How to...' programmes from our BBC Learning English archive. 

Next

In the next episode, Mary visits the most important place she needs to go to for help her with her studies.

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