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RUTH: Hello and welcome to another programme in the series 'Say It Again'. My name is Ruth, and with me this week, I have Bela. Usually I have Aries, but she's visiting her family in Singapore. While she's away, Bela is taking her place in the studio. You'll find Bela's accent different, she's from India. Welcome Bela, to 'Say It Again'.

BELA: Hello Ruth, thank you very much for your welcome. I'm pleased to be here with you today and I'm looking forward to spending the next few weeks 'saying it again' with you.

RUTH: Each week in 'Say It Again,' we look at different aspects of the English language. Today, our topic is 'discussions'. To discuss something means to exchange or compare ideas and ways of thinking about it. We don't always think the same as our friends and so it's good to hear what they think. Sometimes too, it's good to explain our ideas because as we do, it becomes clearer in our own minds. It's good to discuss things in a friendly way. In English, there are phrases which help the discussion to be friendly. In a friendly discussion, you don't want to start an argument, so you can say, "I sometimes think..." instead of 'but I think!' which can be rude. Do you remember Grace from our dramas? Maybe I need to introduce her to Bela. Grace has enjoyed disagreeing with her elder brother, Jim. This week, she's joined by her younger brother, Paul. In this next drama, they are discussing 'sleep' or rather in Paul's case, lack of it. Listen out for what you think are friendly discussion statements.

Conversation

RUTH: Did you hear any friendly discussion statements? Let me give you some clues. Bela, did you hear Paul say, 'I sometimes think...'?

BELA: Yes Ruth, I think I did. Paul said to his sister that he sometimes thought that going to bed late helped him spend good time revising his work.

RUTH: Let me repeat that sentence again. Why don't you say it again with Bela after me? 'I sometimes think....'

BELA: 'I sometimes think....'

RUTH: Bela, why don't you finish the sentence off?

BELA: 'I sometimes think that people in Britain are too polite!

RUTH: Do you Bela? Well, let me reply to that statement. I've heard that Chinese people are too blunt - that means sometimes too outspoken.

BELA: Oh! Do you think so, Ruth?

RUTH: No, not really! I only said, 'I've heard that...' This means that it may not be true. Not everything you is true, is it? So another friendly discussion sentence you can use is, 'Well, I've heard that...' This means it might not be certain, what I've heard could be wrong.

RUTH: I have a friendly discussion statement for you, Bela. It's about football. Well, I've heard that some English football teams, like Manchester United, are working hard! I've also heard that English footballers aren't training hard this season!

BELA: I see what you mean, but Manchester United are doing very well. Their footballers are working very hard.

RUTH: Yes, Bela. You used a good phrase for disagreeing, 'I see what you mean, but...' First you agree with me, 'I see what you mean...' Then you say, 'but' and you explain what you think about the subject. Let me say that phrase again and Bela will repeat it. Why don't you say it again with Bela after me? 'I see what you mean, but...'

BELA: 'I see what you mean but...'

RUTH: There will be another chance at the end of the programme for you to practice each of the friendly discussion statements we've just been using.

RUTH: Each week on 'Say It Again', we look at different aspects of the English language. And if you've listened to 'Say It Again' before, you'll know we also have a true story. Over the next six weeks, we have the true story of Hui Chan Hop. He became a drug smuggler. And as we listen to his story, you'll be able to hear how Hui's life changed. Even when he was in prison, he was able to find help. His story is being read each week by Dick.

Story Testimony

'"I will beat you if you do not study hard!" Hui's father would say. Hui just wanted to go outside and play football and basketball. His father would scowl at him and say "There is no money in sport." Hui was frightened by his father's anger, and left home in a hurry. He ran off and stayed with a gang in the Malaysian town where he lived. His father caught up with him and took Hui home. There he beat him, and tied him up with dog chains. Later, at another school, Hui became the football team captain and eventually he was known as a famous Malaysian footballer.

At the age of 19, he began to drink alcohol, gamble his money and have many beautiful lady friends. When Hui was 22, his father died. Hui was at his bedside and the last words his father said to him were: "Son, only God can help you, if you want to help yourself." Hui was getting greedy, and he wanted more money. So he started smuggling rice from Thailand into Malaysia. He was working for a big time gangster. While he was working for this gangster, Hui learned to speak English and the Thai language. When his boss died suddenly, he became a tour guide, but he continued smuggling.

He realised that the big money was in drug smuggling, especially heroin. He met up with a group of men who were sending drugs to Europe. So he left the travel company; and started to smuggle drugs into Europe. His first trip made him wealthy, a second journey made him even more rich. However, he spent it all very quickly, and as a result, all his friends left him. He became angry, and started drinking cheap Thai whisky, which made him ill. "It will kill you!" said the Thai people.'

RUTH: I hope you'll listen each week to find out all that happens to Hui. Bela and I started this programme talking about friendly discussions and phrases that are acceptable in stating your opinion. We'll repeat them again now for you. Why don't you repeat them after me with Bela? 'I sometimes think...'

BELA: 'I sometimes think...'

RUTH: Another phrase we used was, 'Well, I've heard that...'

BELA: 'Well, I've heard that...'

RUTH: We then practiced using the word 'but'. 'I see what you mean, but...'

BELA: 'I see what you mean, but...'

RUTH: It's good to practice your English conversation with a friend. Why don't you try and use each of these sentences with a friend this week. Now Bela, before we finish this programme I want to ask you a question. Have you enjoyed 'Say It Again?'

BELA: Yes Ruth, I really have. It has been good to be here with you. I'm looking forward to being with you again.

RUTH: Well, next week we are continuing to look at friendly discussion sentences. Bela and I hope that you'll join us again next week.

BOTH: Goodbye.

[ mp3 ]
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