Conversation Lesson 19
Lesson 19 - When Do I Start?

In this lesson Anna has to walk to work because the Metro is closed. She calls to tell her boss she is late. Ms. Weaver wants her to come and talk about a new assignment. What will Anna do?
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Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Hi there! Summer in Washington, D.C. is hot and sunny. I always ride the Metro to work. Riding the Metro is cool and fast. But today it’s closed. So, I am walking to work.
(On the phone) Ms. Weaver, I am late this morning. The Metro is closed. So, I am walking to work.
Caty: That’s too bad. It’s really hot today.
Anna: Yes it is.
Caty: When you arrive, please come to my office. I have important news to tell you.
Anna: Of course. Good-bye. My boss has news for me. The question is: Is it good news or bad news?
(At work)
Anna: Hello, Ms. Weaver.
Caty: Anna, I have good news and I have bad news. Which do you want to hear first?
Anna: The good news. No … okay, the bad news.
Caty: The bad news is you are not good at reading the news.
Anna: Oh. I am very sorry to hear that.
Caty: So, starting next month you will not read the news.
Anna: Next month is July. You are firing me in July.
Caty: No. I am not firing you in July … or in August or in September. That is the good news.
Anna: Okay. You are not firing me. I am not reading the news. What will I be doing?
Caty: Well, you are good at asking questions. You are good at talking to people. You are good at showing your feelings. And you are great at being silly.
Anna: Thank you, Ms. Weaver. But what does all that mean?
Caty: I have a new assignment for you! Your skills are perfect for a new show … a children’s show.
Anna: A children’s show ... That is awesome! When do I start?
Caty: You start next month. Start thinking of ideas for the show.
Anna: I have tons of ideas! I can show children what it’s like in outer space ...
Caty: Great …
Anna: … or in the deep, dark ocean …
Caty: Those are great ideas, Anna. Please go think of more … at your desk.
Anna: Yes. What other things can I show them? Mt. Everest! Everyone has different skills. You have skills. I have skills. The important thing is to know what you are good at. Until next time!

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

Learn to pronounce the new words for this lesson and the months of the year. Learn about using which for offering choices and every or next with time words.

In this video, learn how English speakers say the second month of the year.
New Words
  • arrive - v. to come to or reach a place after traveling
  • assignment - n. a job or duty that is given to someone
  • child - n. a young person (plural: children)
  • closed - adj. not operating or open to the public
  • deep - adj. having a large distance to the bottom from the surface or highest point
  • everyone - pron. every person; everybody
  • fire - v. to dismiss (someone) from a job
  • idea - n. a thought, plan, or suggestion about what to do
  • mean - v. to cause or result in (something)
  • month - n. any one of the 12 parts into which the year is divided
  • Mt. Everest - n. a mountain in Asia; it is the highest mountain in the world
  • ocean - n. the salt water that covers much of the Earth's surface
  • other - adj. used to refer to the one person or thing that remains or that has not been mentioned
  • outer space - n. the region beyond the Earth's atmosphere in which there are stars and planets
  • perfect - adj. having all the qualities you want in that kind of person or situation
  • silly - adj. playful or funny
  • skill - n. an ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice
  • ton - n. informal: a large amount; in the US, a ton is a unit for measuring weight that equals 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms)

What are your skills? Do you use them at work or at school? Tell us about a couple of skills you have. Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then practice talking with a friend about what you do at different times of the year. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Source: Voice of America
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