Conversation Lesson 1
Lesson 1 - Budget Cuts

In this lesson we meet Anna's co-workers at The Studio: Anna, Jonathan, Amelia, Kaveh, and Penelope. Rumors of budget cuts travel through the office. But who is going to get fired?
Conversations Lessons
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16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Lesson Video

Watch the video and then read the video script.
Video Script

Anna: Hum. Oh! “Important meeting. Everyone must come.” Well, back to work! And my boss has called a meeting. I wonder what it's about. Maybe we're all getting raises! Ooo, there's Jonathan! Maybe he knows.
Professor Bot: Hi! I'm Professor Bot! This video is all about work. People talk about jobs and things that happen at work. Your assignment is to find as many work words as you can. Don't worry, I'll help.
Anna: So, Jonathan, what do you think today's meeting is about? The email sounded important.
Jonathan: Well, I have heard people in the building talking about budget cuts.
Anna: Oh! Budget cuts? Wait, who has been talking about budget cuts?
Jonathan: Mark in Accounting.
Anna: Mark in Accounting? That's one person. That's not “people.”
Jonathan: I know, but Mark knows everything that goes on at The Studio.
Anna: That is true. But wait, look at us. We shouldn't gossip. That's how rumors start. We'll just go to the meeting and see what happens.
Jonathan: You're right. No more talk about budget cuts.
Amelia: Budget cuts? Oh no!
Amelia: I just heard Anna and Jonathan talking about budget cuts.
Kaveh: That must be what the meeting is about. When there are budget cuts, people lose their jobs.
Amelia: Not you. You're a good reporter.
Kaveh: And it's not you. You've done a great job as a videographer.
Amelia: I can't go back to being a detective. Criminals scare me!
Kaveh: And I can't go back to being a teacher! High school kids scare me!
Professor Bot: Did you hear any work words? They talked about a lot of jobs. You can make the name of a job by adding an ending to a verb! Kaveh reports, so, he's a reporter. Amelia used to detect, so she was a detective. If you teach, you're a teacher. And a videographer….uh, I think you understand. Back to the story.
Kaveh: Penelope, have you heard the news? Today's meeting is about budget cuts.
Penelope: That's awful! What should I do?
Kaveh: Update your résumé. I’ve already updated mine. I’ll see you at the meeting.
Ms. Weaver: Hello everyone! Quiet, please. Quiet, please!
Ms. Weaver: This meeting won’t take long. Then you can all leave.
Ms. Weaver: What is wrong with everyone? You look like I'm going to fire you. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Seriously, what is wrong with everyone?
Anna: Excuse me, Ms. Weaver?
Ms. Weaver: Yes, Anna.
Anna: Well, everyone has been worrying about, you know … We’ve been worrying that you are going to fire us!
Ms. Weaver: I’m not going to fire any of you! No! The reason for this meeting is to tell you what a good job you’ve been doing and give out new assignments. Budget cuts have been happening. But only one person has lost their job -- Mark in Accounting? Now, let’s talk about those new assignments.
Professor Bot: Ms. Weaver's team is doing a good job! How did you do? Did you find all of the work words? Here's a list you can check.
budget cuts

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.
New Words
  • accounting - n. the skill, system, or job of keeping the financial records of a business or person
  • assignment - n. a job or duty that is given to someone
  • boss - n. the person whose job is to tell other workers what to do
  • budget - n. an amount of money available for spending that is based on a plan for how it will be spent
  • calm - adj. not angry, upset, excited, etc.
  • criminal - n. a person who has committed a crime or who has been proved to be guilty of a crime by a court
  • detective - n. a police officer whose job is to find information about crimes that have occurred and to catch criminals
  • email - n. a system for sending messages from one computer to another computer
  • fire - v. to dismiss (someone) from a job
  • go on - phrasal verb. happen
  • gossip - v. to talk about the personal lives of other people
  • lose - v. to fail to keep or hold
  • raise - n. an increase in the amount of your pay
  • résumé ​ - n. a short document describing your education, work history, etc., that you give an employer when you are applying for a job​
  • rumor - n. information or a story that is passed from person to person but has not been proven to be true
  • scare - v. to cause (someone) to become afraid
  • update - v. to change (something) by including the most recent information
  • used to - v. used to say that something existed or repeatedly happened in the past but does not exist or happen now
  • videographer - n. a person who records images or events using a video camera
Source: Voice of America
Additional Conversation Lessons

English conversation lessons. 52 lessons covering pronunciation, speaking, writing, and grammar topics....these lessons are for beginning students.

This is a collection of 30 situational conversations which focus on a wide variety of communicative and natural encounters in English....these lessons are for beginning students.

This is a collection of 36 situational conversations which focus on spoken American English in a relatively natural way....these lessons are for intermediate students.

This is a collection of 30 situational conversations. Each conversation is accompanied by language notes....these lessons are for advanced students.
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