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Lesson 1: Budget Cuts


Summary

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?

Conversation

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.

boss
meeting
raises
email
budget cuts
Accounting
gossip
rumors
lose
reporter
résumé
videographer
detective
teacher
update
fire
assignment

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

Learning Strategy

The learning strategy for this lesson is Make Inferences. That means making a guess based on what you know.

In the video, you hear Amelia tell Kaveh: "I just heard Anna and Jonathan talking about budget cuts. Kaveh makes an inference when he says, "That must be what the meeting is about. When there are budget cuts, people lose their jobs."

As you learn English, you can use this strategy to help when you do not understand every word you hear or read. Making an inference means you guess, using what you do understand, about new words or expressions in English.

Listening Quiz

Free Materials

Word Book
Word Book

Download the VOA Learning English Word Book for a dictionary of the words we use on this website.

For Teachers

Send us an email if you have comments on this course or questions.

Grammar focus:

Review: Present Perfect (has/have + past participle) Present Perfect gives the idea of completion.

New: Present Perfect Continuous (has/have + been + ing verb)
Present Perfect Continuous sometimes focuses on something unfinished and how long something has been happening.

Topics: Agent Nouns, New occupations, Evaluating People's Activities

Learning Strategy: Make Inferences

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