Improve your ability to speak English

Meet Debra

W:   Hi! My name is Debra Garrel. I’m a 20-year-old communications major at New York
University. I love being at university. I’m enjoying my courses and I meet many new people every day. It seems like a new adventure, and I love adventures!
I spent my childhood traveling all over the world and learning about different cultures. You see, my father works for the World Bank, so our family has always moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Mongolia, East Timor, Brazil, Nigeria, the Netherlands, and the United States. The hardest part of growing up was saying goodbye each time we had to move. But I would always remind myself that I would make new friends soon, and I always did. I’ve learned not to be shy!
After leaving one place, I would always email or call my old friends. I would tell them about the new adventures I was having, and ask them about new things in their lives. That is probably the reason I chose to major in communications. I like to keep in touch.
It’s obvious that I love to travel, isn’t it? But I also enjoy dancing, reading, going to the theater, and riding horses. If you share any of these interests and would like to learn more about me, please let me know. And if you have different interests, I’ll remind you: I’m always looking for a new adventure!

What’s in a Name?

W:   Sy, do you have a local driver’s license that we can rent the car with for our trip this weekend?
M:   Sure, Jen, here you are.
W:   It says here that your name is Sarang Patel, but I thought your first name was Sy!
M:   Sy is my nickname, and Sarang is my given name. It means “navigator” in Hindi. At the time I was born, things were confusing and difficult for my family in India. My parents wanted a son who could lead and guide our family to success.

W:   Well, I just hope you can lead and guide all of us to the beach this weekend.
M:   Ha ha, very funny! So, your nickname is Jen, and your given name’s Jennifer. Do you know how you got that name?
W:   Actually, I was named after my father’s grandmother, Guinevere.
M:   Wasn’t Guinevere the wife of King Arthur in that old story from England?
W:   Yes she was, and her name means “pure.”
M:   It’s interesting how people get their names. In India, we don’t name children after their relatives like they do in America. To me, it’s strange to see names like Jack Johnson Junior and George Bush Senior.
W:   Usually it’s a way to show respect for a person, but some people make it ridiculous. You’ve heard about George Foreman, the famous boxer, haven’t you?
M:   No.
W:   Well, he had five boys, and he named each one of them George, after himself.
M:   It must be confusing when the phone rings at his house!

The Right Career

B :   People need to consider important factors when choosing a career. In my opinion, the most important factor is to choose a job that goes well with your personality. Are you an outgoing person who loves meeting new people and talking to them? Perhaps you should become a tour guide or a teacher. Are you shy? Maybe you should be an accountant or a scientist.

Remember, you will do your job almost every day. If you have to change your personality when you work, you probably won’t be very happy. And neither will the people you work with. Nobody wants an unfriendly tour guide or an impatient teacher. Are you a moody person? In most jobs, you will be expected to control your emotions. That’s hard to do if your mood changes often. In that case, you might want to work alone. Perhaps you could be a writer or an artist.
There are other factors to consider, such as salary and status. However, what good is a large salary or high status if you don’t like your job? You should consider your personality, find out what you are very good at doing, and then find the right career to go with all this. Too many people choose a career because it pays well. Too often, they find they don’t like their jobs. But by then they feel like they’re in a trap, and they can’t escape. Finding a good career is important. Think about it and choose carefully.

Body Language

G :   Did you know that words are not the only thing we use to communicate? Most of our messages are sent through body language. Only about 10 percent of communication is done through the actual words of a conversation. Isn’t that strange? If we understand body language well, we can learn a lot more about what other people really think. We can also use body language to send the right message to others. Have you ever felt dislike for someone without knowing why? Well, he or she might have been sending out a negative message through body language.
What kind of things should you look for if you want to understand body language? First, look at people’s eyes. If people are lying, they may not look directly at the person they are talking to, and the pupils of their eyes may shrink. Next, look at people’s arms. Arms crossed in front of the body might mean a person is unfriendly or afraid. He or she might be trying to say, “Stay away.” If the arms are by the side or at the back of the body, the person might be saying, “Come closer. I won’t hurt you.” But keep in mind that there is no accurate way to interpret body language all the time. Sometimes, talking is still the best way to communicate. However, knowing about body language will improve the way you communicate and help you understand other people better.


M:   If you like animals and science, you might want to be a veterinarian. Veterinarians are animal doctors. They take care of sick and injured animals. Like doctors, vets perform surgery and give medicine.

When an animal is sick, vets examine it to find out why. They look for clues in the way an animal looks and acts. For example, if a dog is walking in a strange way, it might have injured its leg. Vets need to observe animals carefully, since animals cannot speak to tell anyone what is wrong.
Vets prevent health problems in animals by giving vaccinations and check-ups and fixing teeth. They also teach owners how to feed and train their animals. Vets use special tools to perform surgery. They fix broken bones, take out tumors, take X-rays, and treat wounds.
Most vets treat small pets, including dogs and cats. A few vets focus on large animals, such as sheep, cows, and horses. Large-animal vets usually drive to ranches and stables where their patients live. Often, they help when the animals give birth. Vets who work with large animals often work outside in all kinds of weather.
A few vets work in zoos and aquariums. They care for zebras, sharks, and other wild creatures. Because animals can get sick at any time, vets often work long hours. Many vets like their work because they can be with animals every day, even though sick animals can sometimes bite or kick their vets.

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