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Interactive video lesson plan for: English at University: 10 - Learn phrases about asking for clarification plus phrases using 'easy'

Activity overview:

Mary's course in Business Studies is underway, but she hasn't really learnt much yet. Also, she's not quite sure what it is Prof. Not wants. She learns how to ask for clarification when there's something she doesn't understand.
For more, visit our website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/english-at-university/ep-161114

TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
Hello and welcome to English at University - the series that teaches some English phrases to help you through your first year of study abroad.

Mary's come to the UK to study Business at the University of Studies – she's learning about student life but she hasn't learnt much about business yet – however she's about to go to her second lecture, so all that might change….

Prof.Not
…so business really is the life blood of the economy – and we can read more about that in my book. Anyway, the subject of your first assignment…

Mary
What's an assignment?

Daniel
It's a piece of work- like an essay – you have to do as part of your studies. I love assignments: I'm always very good at them.

Prof. Not
…Daniel, can you pay attention please. This is very important – your assignment can be quite short or very long and it's about business and what-not. Type it out and send it to me – easy really.

Narrator
Oh dear. It's easier said than done. He's not very clear about what he wants. Are you confused Mary?

Mary
I am a bit. Quite short, very long, 'business and what-not'… what exactly does he want?

Narrator
It's time to ask for clarification. You need to ask him how many words he wants and how it should be presented. How he wants it delivered and most importantly – when's the deadline? Get those details right and you're on your way to preparing your first assignment.

Mary
Right – got it – clarification. Professor…

Prof. Not
Mary?

Mary
I need some more details before I begin my assignment please. I really need to know the theme of the assignment…

Daniel
Duh! Obvious! It's about techniques for good business - is it not?

Prof.Not
Professor Not to you – and no, I think the question is 'Why is business the life-blood of the economy?' So just write something about that…

Mary
Yes… but how many words do you want… how would you like it presented – text, photos, graphs?

Prof. Not
Yes Mary, all that kind of stuff. And hmmm, I'm easy - shall we say 2,000 words? We can meet later if you need more help…

Mary
It's OK - just let me know how we should deliver it to you when it's finished.

Prof. Not
You can drop it round to my house if you like.

Daniel
Oh really… what's your address?

Prof. Not
On second thoughts, just email it to me. My (email) address is on the board.

Mary
But how long have we got… I mean, when is the deadline for completing our assignment?

Prof. Not
Errr, how about midnight, two weeks tomorrow? Must dash, I've got a - errr…. a meeting.

Narrator
Good work Mary. Hopefully you're much clearer about what's expected from you for your first assignment. You effortlessly managed to ask for some specific information by using these questions…

I need some more details before I begin my assignment please.

I really need to know the theme of the assignment.

How many words do you want?

How would you like it presented?

How should we deliver it to you when it's finished?

When is the deadline for completing our assignment?

You can practise these phrases, pick up a few more plus learn some top tips for studying in the UK on our website at bbclearningenglish.com.

So now there's some real work to be done, who's going to get started first? I think we know who!

Daniel
This assignment should be a cinch – you know, easy!

Mary
Time to head to the library then.

Daniel
Really, already… I was wondering if you'd like to… err… go for a coffee, get to know each other… that kind of stuff?

Mary
OK that's a nice idea… Oh hello Professor… oh, hello Sharon…

Sharon
Oh hello sweetheart.

Prof. Not
Sorry about rushing off. I meant to say, I'm doing a workshop on study skills in fifteen minutes… in the library… if you're interested?

Mary
Oh yes, I'll definitely be there. Are you coming, Daniel?

Daniel
Yeah, suppose so. I don't like coffee anyway.

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