Conversation Lesson 20
 
 
 
 
Lesson 20 - What Can You Do?

In this lesson Anna meets her friend Pete in a coffee shop. Pete needs a job. Can Anna help him to find the right job for him?
Conversations Lessons
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Lesson Video

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

Anna: Hi, there! Washington, D.C. is a great place to work. Many people here work in government and politics. But there are many other jobs. You can work at a hospital; a university. You can work in a coffee shop. Wait a minute, I think I see a friend of mine. Pete? Is that you?
Pete: Hi, Anna.
Anna: You look different. Your beard … is really big.
Pete: You don’t like it, do you?
Anna: No, no. You just look … different.
(To server) Thank you. So, what’s wrong? You look sad.
Pete: I don’t have a job.
Anna: Sorry, I can’t hear you.
Pete: I do not have a job!
Anna: Oh. I’m sorry to hear that, Pete.
Pete: I don’t have a skill.
Anna: Everyone has a skill. You need to find yours.
Pete: I don’t know, Anna.
Anna: Pete, I am good at asking questions. Let me ask you some.
Pete: Really, Anna? Can you help me?
Anna: Yes, I can. Let me help.
Pete: Sure, Anna. Maybe you can help.
Anna: Can you write code?
Pete: Sure, c-o-l-d. How is this going to help?
Anna: No, not “cold.” Code; you know, for making phone apps, or websites. You can make tons of money writing code.
Pete: Tons of money? But I can’t code.
Anna: Next question. Can you drive?
Pete: Do you mean drive a race car? It’s really hard to be a race car driver. First, you need a race car ...
Anna: No, I mean drive a taxi or drive a bus.
Pete: No, I always fall asleep when I drive.
Anna: Oh, that’s not good. Next question. Can you teach? You can be a teacher in a school.
Pete: No, I cannot teach.
Anna: Can you cook? You can be a chef in a restaurant.
Pete: No, I can’t code! I can’t teach! I can’t cook! Anna, I can’t do anything. This is sad. I’m gonna write about my feelings in my blog.
Anna: You write a blog?
Pete: Yeah, I write a blog.
Anna: How many followers do you have?
Pete: I don’t know … 59,538.
Anna: Pete, that's a lot of followers! You can make money writing!
Pete: Writing is easy. Everyone can write.
Anna: Not everyone can write well. You can be a writer!
Pete: I can be a writer. I can be a writer! I can be a writer! Thanks, Anna.
Marsha: Hi, Pete. Hi, Anna.
Pete: Hi, Marsha. Excuse me, I have to go.
Marsha: Where are you going?
Pete: I’m going to be a writer!
Marsha: Good luck, Pete!
(To Anna) He does know that it’s not easy to be a writer, doesn’t he?
Anna: There are many different jobs you can have in Washington, D.C. Pete wants to be a writer. I wish him luck. Lots of luck. Until next time!
Listening

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

In this video, you can practice saying the new words and learn how to ask questions when you do not understand someone clearly.
Pronunciation

This video teaches about the shortened form of cannot and the two ways to pronounce can.
New Words
  • app - n. a computer program that performs a particular task (such as word processing)
  • beardn. the hair that grows on a man's cheeks and chin
  • blog - n. a Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences
  • chef - n. a professional cook who usually is in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant
  • code - n. - a set of instructions for a computer
  • code - v. to change (information) into a set of letters, numbers, or symbols that can be read by a computer
  • drive - v. to direct the movement of a vehicle such as a car, truck, or bus
  • easy - adj. not hard to do
  • follower - n. a person who likes and admires (someone or something) very much
  • good luck - expression. used to say that you hope someone will succeed
  • hard - adj. physically or mentally difficult
  • lot(s) or a lot (informal) lots - n. a large amount
  • hospital - n. a place where sick or injured people are given care or treatment and where children are often born
  • school - n. a place where children go to learn
  • taxi - n. a car that carries passengers to a place for an amount of money
  • teacher - n. a person or thing that teaches something
  • university - n. a school that offers courses leading to a degree and where research is done
  • website - n. a place on the World Wide Web that contains information about a person, organization, etc., and that usually consists of many Web pages joined by hyperlinks
  • well - adv. in a skillful way
Activity

In this lesson, Anna is helping her friend Pete. He needs to find a new job. How do you try to help your friends? Write about the ways you help your friends. Write in the Facebook Comments section below. Use the Activity Sheet to practice talking about jobs and skills. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Source: Voice of America
 
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