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TOEIC Vocabulary in the News #4
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Fighting continues in Afghanistan.

>>人気ブログランキングはこちら
Go to BBC Learning English, listen to the report, read the script and come back.

So, what is the report about?

What do you think?

TOEIC vocabulary

including
additional
occurred
location
organisation
volunteers
investigating
incident
According to
officials
broke out
nearby
carried out
sheltering
currently
hold talks
urged
minimise

A: So, what is the report about?
B: It’s about US airstrikes in Afghanistan. Taleban militants killed three police and the US military attacked them from the air and killed not only Taleban fighters but also women and children.
A: What do you think?
B: That’s terrible. The Afghans have been fighting for a long time. I came to know Afghanistan at the time of the Moscow Olympics. As a young boy, I was interested in running and Japan had good male marathon runners at that time; Seko and the Sou brothers. They were going to Moscow but they couldn’t because the Japanese government decided to boycott the Olympics as a protest against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Back then it was wrong for the Soviet Union to send troops to Afghanistan, but now it is OK for the US to send troops to the same country. Something is not quite right. The Afghans must be tough fighters; they used to fight against the USSR, then they fought among themselves, and now they are fighting against the US. They’ve been fighting continuously for 30 years



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テーマ:TOEIC - ジャンル:学校・教育

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2009/05/09(Sat) 13:08:45 | | #[ 編集]
 I can't express my opinion flatly on such a military actions, because I have littile
knowledge about the historical background on Afghanisitan. It's my fault but the only thing I want to say now is that revenge is never sweet anywhere and anytime. Wars always bring ordinary innocent people deep grief and despair. Also, many fighters have suffered trasuma for a long time even after a war. Day by day, the number of stupid human behaviors is
icreasing against our will.
Now, we should pay more attention on what the world happens now and will happen and
have an opinion on anything. Thank you for your information.
Aside from the main topic, I would like you to describe advantages of taking TOEIC Tests. Recently, I'm enjoying listening scripts and shadowing as you advised us learners
to get a higier score of listening part 3 and 4. I thhink my pronunciation is better than I
was. I would rather improve my Englsih ability than get a better score. Would you please
tell us your idea of taking various English tests? What have made you challenge tests so
many times?
Preparing for such tests is more meaningful, thoughI don't like to be an underdog. Please
give some encouragement for examinees preparring for the test.
2009/05/12(Tue) 00:25:47 | URL | あかつき ちか #-[ 編集]
Hi Chika,

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.
Do you want to learn more about Afghanistan? You can read a brief summary on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan
It would be a good reading practice too.

You asked me about the advantages of taking TOEIC tests. There are several advantages I can think of. First, it helps you to discipline yourself. If you are taking the TOEIC in three weeks time, you study hard for that. If you are not doing an exam, you may get lazy and stop studying. Second, you can check your progress with your TOEIC scores. When you study English, you don’t know for sure whether your English is improving, or how much your English has improved. The TOEIC gives you scores to indicate your progress, or the lack of it. They are not very accurate sometimes but it’s good to have a rough estimate of your progress. When your score goes up, at least you can “feel” your English has improved, which motivates you to study more. Third, people recognize your TOEIC scores. If you passed an English exam that is not widely known, that wouldn’t help you get a job, but if you get a high score on the TOEIC, that may help you find a job. There might be some more advantages. What do you think are the advantages of taking the TOEIC? Why do you take it?

You also asked me why I’ve taken many exams. When I was going to English language schools in London, the courses they offered lead to the Cambridge exams. I was there for six years so I took many Cambridge exams. But in Japan, people don’t know about the Cambridge exams, so I need to take other exams that are widely recognized in Japan, such as Ekiken, UN Eiken, TOEFL and TOEIC. Now I earn a living from TOEIC-related work, so I take the TOEIC to know the exam better. I also enjoy taking it.

Are you taking the TOEIC this moth? If so, good luck.
2009/05/13(Wed) 00:38:00 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]
Hi Chika,

Thanks for your response. So, you are taking the TOEIC this month. I wish you good luck.
You made an interesting point about English tests. Yes, they are fair to everybody.
It’s good to know you listen to TBR. We will do it again on the 31st. I hope you will enjoy it.
Take care.
2009/05/14(Thu) 16:33:53 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]
Taliban
>What do you think?
>B: That’s terrible.

ここはIt's terrible というべきですね。

Thatは相手の言ったことを指すから。
質問自体がterribleなわけではない。
2009/05/20(Wed) 09:13:48 | URL | Ray #-[ 編集]
他の例
まあ、英会話を教えたことがあるならば、
日本人がitを使いすぎるのは当然知っているとは思うけど、上のケースでは逆にitとするべきだね。

逆の例

A“I hear about 2 million people took the TOEIC test last Friday”

B“That's interesting.”

この場合は、thatでいいよね。分かっていると思うけど。

名前をチラチラ見たからどんな人かと思ったけど、俺のほうがちょっと上かな(独り言)。。
もう来ないから安心していいよ。ドングリの背比べだしね。


>他の人へ

TOEIC満点と言ったってたいしたことはないんだよ。それはこの先生が一番よく知っている。僕も満点。

満点の私でも映画なんか分からないところだらけだ(笑)。

英語の勉強の近道は、「先生を当てにしないこと」。これに尽きるんだよ。先生はドングリだから。ビギナーは別としてね。
2009/05/20(Wed) 10:43:05 | URL | Ray #-[ 編集]
Dear Ray,

Thank you for your comments. They are very interesting. Let me reply point by point.

>>What do you think?
>>B: That’s terrible.

>ここはIt's terrible というべきですね。

Is that so? I didn’t know. I haven’t paid much attention to the difference between “it’s” and “that’s”. They are sometimes interchangeable, aren’t they?

>Thatは相手の言ったことを指すから。

Is that always so?

>質問自体がterribleなわけではない。

I think it’s contextually clear enough that “that” refers to the news report (or the fact that innocent civilians were killed in airstrikes).

>まあ、英会話を教えたことがあるならば、
>日本人がitを使いすぎるのは当然知っているとは思うけど、

I read about that somewhere recently. When I was teaching at an English conversation school, I wasn’t aware of that, though.

>上のケースでは逆にitとするべきだね。

Thank you for your advice. It must be so. But let me check with a native speaker, just in case.

>逆の例

>A“I hear about 2 million people took the TOEIC test last Friday”

>B“That's interesting.”

>この場合は、thatでいいよね。分かっていると思うけど。

Yes, it should be “that” here. Thanks for the good example, though the first sentence is a bit odd both semantically and syntactically.

>名前をチラチラ見たからどんな人かと思ったけど、俺のほうがちょっと上かな(独り言)。。

That’s sweet. Surely your English is better than mine because you know how to use “it’s” and “that’s”, and I don’t. It’s a pity that your comments are in Japanese; we missed the chance to admire your great command of English.

>もう来ないから安心していいよ。

Please come back again and leave some more comments. I found your comments really refreshing. I had a few drinks tonight and I was a bit tipsy. But now I’m completely sober after reading them.

>ドングリの背比べだしね。

That’s a good analogy.

>>他の人へ

It’s very kind of you to leave a message to my blog readers.

>TOEIC満点と言ったってたいしたことはないんだよ。

I agree with you 100% here.

>それはこの先生が一番よく知っている。

That’s right. How did you know?

>僕も満点。

So, you have taken the TOEIC. I thought you didn’t like it.

>満点の私でも映画なんか分からないところだらけだ(笑)。

What kind of movies are you talking about? Some movies are easier to understand than the others.
By the way, you used 俺, 僕, 私 above, which made me wonder if you are not what you are. Are you sure you are Ray?

>英語の勉強の近道は、「先生を当てにしないこと」。

For me, learning English is not really勉強. It’s more like training; you have to practice yourself. So, I agree that learners should not expect their teachers to provide everything they need. And teachers are not perfect. I’m far from that. I teach English but I’m an English learner too. I always make mistakes and learn from them, like other learners.

>これに尽きるんだよ。

Sure.

>先生はドングリだから。

Are you a teacher, too?

>ビギナーは別としてね。

Do you mean beginners need teachers?

2009/05/21(Thu) 11:36:31 | URL | Masaya #-[ 編集]
Dear Ray,

I asked a Canadian friend of mine about the difference between “that’s” and “it’s” that you pointed out above. The below is our e-mail exchange.
---------------------------------------
Me → Dan
"It's" and "that's" are sometimes interchangeable but not always.
Sometimes I'm not sure which one to use.
One of my blog readers asked me a question relating to this point and I can't answer it, so I need your help.

Imagine that you and your friend have just heard a news story about US airstrikes in Afghanistan in which a lot of people were killed. Your friend asks you your opinion:
Your friend: What do you think?
You: That's terrible. / It's terrible.

In this situation, is either of them better/more natural than the other? Or are they equally good/natural?
Which one would you use?
---------------------------------------
Dan → Me

With regard to "that's" vs. "it's" I'd say there's a difference in that "that" is used in a more specific way and "it" is used when referring to something in a general way, but not always, as in the second and third examples below.

A: I'm really sore from yesterday's jog.
B: That's too bad.

Above, we wouldn't say "It's too bad" because we don't need to refer to soreness after jogging as something that is generally "too bad".

A: There was a plane crash in Afghanistan.
B: That's terrible.

Above, we have to consider that "that" is referring to the news of a plane crash and so I can't imagine using "it" in this situation unless we're adding information about the actual crash or site of the crash, i.e., "It's terrible (the situation around the crash site)."

A: I should check to see if this sentence is correct.
B: That's right.
B: It's right.

Above, the sentence are quite different in that "That's right" is referring to the full idea of the sentence or the intention of the speaker, whereas "It's right" is coming from someone who knows that the sentence is correct and thus is specific to "the sentence" and not being used as a confirmation.
----------------------------------------
Me → Dan

Let me confirm just one thing. When someone asks me my opinion about something, say a news report, should I use "that's" in my reply?

For example:

Radio: There was a plane crash in Afghanistan on Friday. More than 100 people died ....
A: What do you think?
B: That's terrible.
---------------------------------
Dan → Me

I'm fairly confident that "that" would be used when giving an opinion after hearing news.

Unless you're adding to the news you've heard.

A: There has been excessive rainfall in Yamagata.
B: It's really doing a lot of harm to crops there, eh?

Again, "that" seems more closely targeting a sense of some particular thing, whereas "it" feels like it is more generally targeting the idea.
----------------------------------

So, when we give an opinion after hearing news, we should use “that”.

Thank you for drawing my attention to this interesting point.
2009/05/22(Fri) 20:07:10 | URL | Masaya #jo06q36w[ 編集]
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