1. Listen to someone talking about communication across the generations. Tick (✓) the things he mentions.
1 Millennials like connecting with people online.
2 Millennials and Veterans usually hate each other.
3 Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are similar because they both express how they feel.
4 Men and women have different ways of communicating.
5 We shouldn’t get upset because other generations don’t do what we expect.
6 It’s important to use correct spelling when writing an email or text.
7 Different generations can learn a lot from each other.
2. Listen again and answer the questions.
1 Which generation is the speaker from?
2 What does Generation X believe communication is important for?
3 Which two generations don’t want to talk about their personal goals?
4 What do Millennials expect other people to tell them?
5 What can younger generations offer to older generations?
1, 3, 5, 7
2 Building relationships and developing ideas.
3 Veterans and Baby Boomers.
4 How they’re doing.
5 Teaching them about life in the modern world.
Four generations – and they all prefer communicating in different ways. There are sure to be misunderstandings and other problems, right? Well, there don’t have to be.
OK, so I’m a Millennial – I was born in 1990 – and so being able to connect with people is really important to me. I’m constantly trying to learn, grow and change. And, for me, fast on-screen communication is the best way to do this. I love the way that the internet puts you in touch with all kinds of people you wouldn’t meet in everyday life.
Generation X, on the other hand, uses communication to build relationships and develop ideas. This sounds pretty good, but they express their feelings and opinions directly, and aren’t afraid to say or write how they feel. My boss is Generation X, and she definitely has an opinion on everything!
And, of course, at home I spend time with Baby Boomers and Veterans. My dad is a typical Baby Boomer. They have a lot in common with Generation X – they can be quite direct about what they think. I don’t always agree with his opinions, but I do appreciate his honesty – usually! And Baby Boomers definitely prefer face-to-face communication. My dad’s really not very good with emails, social networking or anything like that.
My grandparents are in the generation called Veterans. For them, communication is something that keeps people together and traditions alive. Both Veterans and Baby Boomers take time to talk things over that matter to their job or family, but are not that interested in chatting about personal goals and development.
Understanding these different communication styles is really important for improving our relationships, both at work and at home.
So, for example, one really big difference between us Millennials and the other three generations is that we expect people to tell us – gently – how we’re doing. So, I used to get a bit annoyed with my boss for not giving me enough feedback about how things are going at work.
But then I realised that other generations don’t necessarily notice this difference, so I learnt not to be upset if older people didn’t praise me all the time, and I also learnt to ask for help if I needed it.
Similarly, some of us Millennials find it difficult when people criticise us or disagree with us. Generation X and Baby Boomers will tell you clearly if they don’t like something. Don’t take it personally – although that’s often easier said than done!
On a practical level, it can help to use different communication styles with different generations. Pick up the phone, write emails, and make time for face-to-face conversation. When you do, pay attention to your writing style. You might think an informal style is friendly, but to an older person it can seem rude.
Finally, understand that communication differences across generations do exist. So talk about them – with people of all ages. This can open the door to other conversations. You can learn a lot by hearing older people’s experiences, and in turn you might be able to teach them about life in the modern world.
1. Listen to Part 1. What is the customer buying?
2. Listen again and underline the correct answers.
1 Becky is buying flowers because she’s going to someone’s house / getting married.
2 She doesn’t want roses because she doesn’t like them / they’re too romantic.
3 She likes / doesn’t like the tulips.
4 She will buy flowers in another shop / come back later.
The customer is buying flowers.
1 going to someone’s house
2 they’re too romantic
4 buy flowers in another shop
RACHEL Really? Oh, no … the bookshop?! What? Are you sure? Oh, thanks for letting me know. Yes, see you soon, Jo. Bye.
BECKY Excuse me?
R Oh, sorry! I thought you were just looking.
B Um, I want something for a friend’s wife. I’m going there for dinner.
R OK. What sort of flowers does she like?
B Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t met her yet.
R Right, well, in my opinion, roses are always a good option.
B Um, aren’t they a bit romantic?
R Yes, I know what you mean.
I guess something like tulips might be better.
B Yes, they’re lovely. How much are they? … How much are the tulips?
R Oh, they’re … sorry.
B It’s OK. I’ll try somewhere else. Thank you.
R Hello? Yes. Yes, it is.
3. Listen to Part 2. Answer the questions.
1 Where are the people?
2 What are they doing?
4. Listen again and answer the questions.
1 What will happen to the bookshop?
2 What problem will this cause for Rachel?
3 What is Mark’s advice?
4 What does Rachel say happened at work?
1 They’re at home in their flat.
2 They’re cooking and laying the table for dinner.
1 It’s going to be another florist’s.
2 It will be even harder for her to make money.
3 Don’t worry about it until you’re sure.
4 She was rude to a customer.
MARK Rachel? You OK?
RACHEL Oh, I’m sorry, love. I’m just a bit worried. Jo phoned today and said that the old bookshop is going to be turned into another florist’s.
M The bookshop on the corner? I didn’t know they’d sold it.
R Me neither. What am I going to do? It’s hard enough already to make money, but I think it’s going to be impossible with another florist’s in the same street.
M Yeah. Was Jo sure about this?
R I don’t know. She seemed pretty certain.
M Well, if you ask me, it’s not worth worrying about until we know for sure.
R I know, but I can’t help it – it’s on my mind. I was even rude to a customer today.
M Really? That’s not like you. What happened?
R Well, I wasn’t exactly rude, just not very helpful.
M Hey, don’t worry about it. Let’s just forget about work. Personally, I need a relaxing evening!
R Me too!
M Anyway, Tom and Becky will be here in a minute. I think we should check on the food.
R Yes. I don’t want anything else to go wrong today. So, what’s Becky like?
M That’ll be them now!
4. Listen to Part 3. What is happening?
MARK Hi! Come in! Hello. Come on in. Rachel, this is Tom and Becky.
TOM Hello, Rachel. Good to meet you.
RACHEL Hi, Tom.
BECKY Hi, Rachel. I think we’ve met before!
R I’m so sorry about earlier! I had something on my mind.
B Don’t worry. Um, I was going to bring you some flowers, but I couldn’t get any!
R Thank you.
1. Listen and answer the questions.
1 What system does Maria use for learning vocabulary?
2 What system does Maria’s sister use?
3 Does Gilberto think either system will work for him?
1 She records words on her phone, then listens to them while she’s running and puts them into sentences.
2 She writes words on cards and adds a picture or a definition, an example and sometimes a translation, too.
3 No, because he needs to see things written down, but he thinks he’s too lazy to write word cards.
MARIA How’s your revision going?
GILBERTO Not so good. I think I can remember most of the grammar, but remembering vocabulary’s a bit harder, for me anyway.
M Yes, there are a lot of words to remember.
G What about you?
M For me, it is probably the opposite – I find the grammar hard to get my head around, but the vocabulary is a lot easier. I’ve been testing myself at home and it’s OK.
G How do you manage to remember all the words, though? What’s your secret?
M Well, it’s no secret! I have this kind of system for learning words that seems to make it easy …
G OK, what?
M Well, when I get home from class, I record all the new words I’ve learnt onto my phone. And then I might do something like go for a run, and I listen to them when I’m running. And I make up these sentences with the words and say them to myself.
G As you’re running?
M Yes, as I’m running – I just say the sentences quietly to myself.
G Do you remember what the words mean?
M Most of the time. If I forget, I check in my notebook when I get home from my run. And sometimes I play the words and write them down. I think the most important thing is to keep repeating them. I don’t know why, but remembering the sounds of the words is important for me. Like, last week I learnt the word ‘shine’ – you know, like ‘the sun is shining’. And that ‘sh’ sound at the beginning of the word makes me think of light that’s getting brighter and brighter.
G Interesting. But I don’t know if it would work for me. I need to see things written down. I need to look at the word.
M Right – my sister’s like that too. She uses vocabulary cards. Have you tried that?
G No. How does that work?
M She has these small cards and writes all the new words on a card with a picture, or a definition and an example – sometimes a translation too. It worked really well … for a while.
G For a while? Why? What happened?
M She left all the cards on a train.
G Oh, yes. That’s probably what I would do!
M I felt so sorry for her – after all that work.
G It sounds like a good idea, but it sounds like you have to be quite organised to have a card system.
M Yes, that’s true.
G And, to be honest, I think I’m maybe too lazy to write all those cards and keep them with me wherever I go!
1. Listen to a conversation between Bridget and Joe and tick (✓) the correct answers.
1 What is the main topic of their conversation?
a the subject Bridget studies at university
b a holiday that Bridget has had
c a website that Bridget is creating
2 Bridget is feeling very tired because she has …
a been writing something in a foreign language.
b had a lot of essays to write for university.
c just returned from a holiday in Mexico.
3 Bridget wants Joe to help her to …
a check her grammar and spelling.
b design a website.
c improve her Spanish.
4 Bridget shows Joe a photo of a place in …
2. Listen again. Underline the correct words to complete the sentences.
1 Bridget has just started / almost finished / stopped working on her website.
2 At her university, Bridget is a student in the French and Spanish / Latin American studies / Culture and Politics department.
3 Bridget’s website is for students at her own university and also for students all around the world / in Colombia / in Mexico.
4 A professor / Another student/ Nobody else has helped Bridget to write the information she needs for her website.
5 Chichen Itza is the name of a building / a city / a university they can see in her photo.
6 Joe thinks the photo of Chichen Itza is absolutely perfect / the wrong size / too old-fashioned for Bridget’s website.
1 c 2 a 3 b 4 b
1 almost finished 2 Latin American studies
3 in Mexico 4 Another student
5 a city 6 absolutely perfect
JOE So, Bridget, are you going to tell me about your website? Are you working on it at the moment?
BRIDGET Yes, it’s almost ready, but it isn’t finished just yet.
J And who’s it for?
B Well, you remember what I’m studying, don’t you?
J Yes, uh, well. You’re studying French or Spanish or something, aren’t you?
B Well, sort of. I’m in the Latin American studies department so yes I learn Spanish but I also study history, culture, politics- all that kind of thing.
J Oh right. So the website is for the Latin American studies students?
B Yes, but not just for them. It’s also for students of Spanish and for students from the World History department too. They’re all going to use it. And all the information on it has to be in Spanish as well as English so that I can keep in touch with all the students I met at UNAM.
B Oh, that’s the name of the university in Mexico where I was studying.
J Oh, I see. So, are you writing everything in Spanish as well as English?
B Yes, I’m completely exhausted!
J I’m not surprised! That sounds like an absolutely enormous job!
B Well, I’m not doing everything on my own. There’s a Colombian girl, Monica, she’s helping me to check my grammar and spelling and stuff.
J Oh, OK. So what can I do to help?
B Well, I’m not very good at web design so would you have any time to look at it for me? I need someone to check that everything on the website is working properly.
J Well, I’m a little busy …
B You have to help me, Joe! You’re my only hope!
J OK, OK. I’ll help you!
B Wonderful! So, I’ve chosen the main photo for the website. But I thought maybe I could ask your opinion?
J Sure, let’s have a look.
B Great. It’s here on my iPad.
J Wow! This is great! Where’s this place?
B It’s called Chichen Itza.
J Is that the name of the pyramid in the middle of the photo?
B No, Chichen Itza’s the name of the ancient city. The pyramid … I can’t remember what the name of the pyramid is.
J Well anyway, it’s a great photo for your website. It’s got history and culture and it just looks really cool.
B Great! So, when can you help me with the design of the website? Do you have anytime…
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