Maura: Today, we are going to learning English and topic is about English people living in Canada. So, I’m going to interview a good friend of ours named Helen. Say hi.

Helen: Hi.

Maura: She is English originally from Liverpool, in England, and she’s been living in Canada for about 8 years now, and she has spent some time learning French as well, because we’re living in the province of Quebec. And that is actually where we met. Isn’t that right?

Helen: That’s right.

Maura: Yeah. I think it was about 5 or 6 years ago that I was taking a French class with Harp, and we had some other friends who had taken a class with you. Right?

Helen: That’s right.

Maura: And how has your French come along since then? Helen: It’s been about 6 years since I started learning French. And I think in Montreal it can be easy to speak English because not everybody speaks to you in French or answers you in French. My French is pretty good, I would say. You need to keep it up, you need to speak a language every day to improve, to be better at it. But overall it’s good. It’s pretty good.

Maura: Good. Nice. And I know it’s a different experience for people who come from other countries because in Canada, no matter where we are in Canada, when you’re young and you grow up here, you take French classes, so you at least have a basic understanding if you want to learn. But when you came to Quebec, did you have any knowledge of French before?

Helen: In England we have to take French for 6 years in school, in high school, and I forgot most of it by the time I arrived in Canada and then I ended up in Banff, in Alberta, where it’s mostly English speaking, but I made friends with some Quebecois people and just wanted to practice my French a little bit so that kind of gave me a good base before moving to Montreal.

Maura: So you did have a pretty good base when you got here then.

Helen: Yeah, not bad. I found, though, that the French that we learned in England is from France, so it’s a completely different accent. When I first arrived, I couldn’t understand Quebecois at all. I didn’t think it sounded like French. But now that I’ve been here for 7 years, it’s the opposite. I find I can only understand the Quebecois and the French seems completely different.

Maura: I had exactly the same experience. When I was in France and I knew a little bit of French, I could understand the French there and not the French from Canada, and now it’s the same experience.

Helen: That’s it. But now I think that the Quebecois French… It sounds more American in a way, because we’re surrounded by North American culture, so in that way, it’s just easier to pick up, I find. The French accent from France is a little bit harder to pronounce sometimes.

银行英语情景 第185期:银行卡业务 申领手续(1)


银行英语情景 第185期:银行卡业务 申领手续

Welcome to IBJ. What can we assist you with today? 欢迎光临IBJ银行。我们今天有什么可以帮助您的吗?

Hello. Yes, I’ve just read your leaflet about the new MoneyLink Card. 你好。是的,我刚刚看到你们有关新的灵通卡的宣传单。

I was wondering how I go about applying for one. 我想知道如何申请此卡。

This scheme has just started and you will be one of our first 100 customers, so if your application is accepted, you will receive some rather nice perks. 这项业务刚刚开始,并且您将在我们的前100名客户之列,因此,如果您的申请被接受的话,您将得到一些非常好的额外优惠。

That does sound good. 这听起来不错。

I’m already an account holder, have been for many years. 我已经有账户了,开了很多年了。

And I already have your existing card. 而且我已经有你们现有的银行卡了。

That should make things perfectly simple, then. 那么,这应该使事情变得很简单啦。

Actually, if you had waited a little while longer, we would have notified you by post. 其实,如果您再多等一段时间,我们也会致函通知您的。

Perhaps your letter is already in the mail! 也许你们的信已经在邮递当中了!

So, I can just upgrade automatically? 这么说,我可以自动升级啦?

May I have your details, and I’ll check for you. 请您给我您的详细信息,我会为您查一下。

of course…. 当然可以….

OK, so you are already a gold card holder, with a sound credit history. 好的,您已经有金卡了,信用记录良好。

That means we can automatically upgrade you to our new platinum card. 这意味着我们可以自动为您 升级到我们的新的铂金卡。

Wonderful! And, you mentioned “perks”? I do hope I’ll be getting some of those. 太好了!还有,你刚提到过”额外优惠”吧?我真的希望我将得到一些优惠。

ILC, teaching Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and many other languages

这10个伪生存技能 相信就死定了

You will need to learn all the following things:


Myth: You can suck the venom out of a snakebite.


mandarin chinese lesson hong kong


Fact: If a bite delivers venom, it’ll immediately enter the bloodstream. Putting your mouth on the bite will deliver extra bacteria to the wound and may simply get venom into your mouth and esophagus. If someone gets bitten, try to keep the person’s heart rate low and hold the affected limb below heart level while getting to a hospital.


Myth: Always play dead when you are attacked by a bear. (English language course)


learn mandarin in hong kong


Fact: If you are out in the woods and you see a bear, the general advice is to quietly back away. If it’s in your yard or around your campsite, make yourself large and loud, which hopefully will scare it off.


But in the case of an actual attack, your reaction strategy should depend on the bear and on the type of attack. Never play dead if a black bear attacks — always fight back.


In most cases, a brown or grizzly bear attacks to defend itself or its cubs. At these times it will warn you off by making noise and pretending to charge. Back away from a defensive attack slowly. If the bear makes contact, play dead lying on your stomach with your hands over your neck. But in the rare case of a predatory attack, which comes with no warning (or if the bear seems to be stalking you), fight for your life.


Myth: You need to find a food supply immediately if you are lost in the wilderness.


chinese class hong kong


Fact: Not even close. You can survive up to six weeks without food. The exact amount of time might vary, depending on starting point and other health issues, but water and shelter from the elements are far more important.


Myth: The fluid in a cactus can save you from dying of thirst. (Learn Chinese)


learn chinese in hong kong


Fact: If you’re experienced enough to pick out the one kind of barrel cactus that you can filter water from safely, this may work. But most of the time, cactus fluid will make you sick, causing you to vomit up precious liquid and leaving you more dehydrated.


Myth: Moss grows on the north side of a tree.


mandarin lesson in hong kong


Fact: Moss can grow on all sides of a tree, depending on environmental conditions. Don’t depend on this bit of folklore for navigation.


Myth: If an animal eats something, it’s safe for you to eat it.


mandarin course in hong kong


Fact: Birds and squirrels can eat certain berries and mushrooms that would kill a person.


Myth: Rub someone’s skin or put them in a hot tub to warm them up if they’re freezing.


cantonese course in hong kong


Fact: Rubbing frostbitten skin can damage it even more, and hot water can be shocking or damaging for someone dealing with frostbite and hypothermia. You need to warm someone back up slowly, preferably with blankets and some warm water bottles under their armpits.


Myth: If a shark attacks you, punch it in the nose.


learning mandarin hong kong


Fact: It’s really hard to land a solid punch on the nose of a moving shark. In the rare cases in which a shark comes in for a bite, try to put a solid object between you and animal. If that fails, claw at its eyes and gills.


Myth: Always swim parallel to shore if you are caught in a rip current.


mandarin class hong kong


Fact: A rip current is scary, but swimming directly parallel to shore works best if the current goes directly out to sea. This isn’t wrong, but it’s good to know that many rip currents come in at an angle — your general idea should study and be to stay alongside the shore, but swim perpendicular to the current as much as you can “at an angle away from the current and towards the shore,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. It might be easier to swim one direction instead of the other. And don’t tire yourself out too much; it shouldn’t feel as if you are going upstream. If you can’t swim out, tread water until you can.


Myth: A lean-to is a great shelter.


cantonese class hong kong


Fact: The right shelter depends on surrounding conditions. In high heat you need shade, but in cooler climates, staying warm is a priority. This means protecting yourself from wind, but it also means building up a layer to insulate you from the cool ground at night. A lean-to might help protect from wind and the elements, but may not be enough to provide warmth.



Zheng Lanqing – the sole member of one family to survive a tour boat sinking in waters off Thailand last Thursday – sits in a chair with a bag in his hand. Inside are clothes for his dead wife, daughter, son-in-law and 18-month-old granddaughter, whose bodies are in a morgue.

郑兰庆 —— 是上周四发生的泰国游船倾覆事件中全家唯一的幸存者 —— 他坐在一把椅子上,手里拿着一个袋子。袋子里是他已故妻子、女儿、女婿以及18个月大的外孙女的衣物,而他们的遗体目前都在太平间。

Along with his granddaughter’s clothing is a table tennis ball, which was her favorite plaything when she was alive.


Last Thursday, five family members were on one of two boats carrying a total of 127 Chinese tourists. The boats capsized in a violent storm near the southern resort island of Phuket late that afternoon.


Of the Chinese tourists, 41 were confirmed dead. Others remained missing, although 78 were rescued, according to the Chinese embassy in Thailand.


“My son-in-law didn’t like traveling, and I had been to Thailand in 2014, so we two were reluctant to go at first. But my daughter persuaded my son-in-law and I was persuaded by my wife, which led to this trip happening,” Zheng was quoted as saying by Meiri Renwu, a WeChat account operated by Boya Tianxia Media Group in Beijing.


At noon on Thursday, the family spent some time having fun on two islands and got back on the boat at around 4 pm, together with other tourists.


The sky darkened about 10 minutes after the boat left the pier, but Zheng didn’t worry too much. 船开出码头约10分钟后天就黑了下来,但郑兰庆没有太担心。

Half an hour later, the boat started shaking violently. He asked somebody where they were and found out that the boat had been in the same spot for the past half-hour.


Suddenly, the boat began listing heavily and he heard someone yell “Get out”! He quickly pulled his wife to the side of the vessel without thinking too much.


“It was rocking crazily and my wife fell down. Her knee started bleeding and I was in a panic,” Zheng said. “When we were about to jump overboard, she said ’Don’t drag me’ because of her injured knee and I said ’OK’. All of a sudden, the boat flipped over and I was in the sea.


“I could never imagine that the conversation was the last words between us. I grabbed a rope after I fell into the water, and when I raised up my head to look for my wife, the whole boat was missing.”


About 20 tourists, including Zheng, eventually climbed aboard a rubber raft. 包括郑兰庆在内的约20名游客,最终爬上了一个橡皮艇。

“There were no words between any of us in the rubber boat. All of us were stunned. We could only hear the sounds of the sea.”


Zheng said if they had known there would be a big rubber boat floating around after their boat sank, they might have first put on life vests and jumped in the vicinity to be saved.


“However, we knew nothing about it. No one gave us any warnings or guidance,” he said. “然而,我们什么都不知道。没人给我们警告或者指示,”他说道。

Zheng said it’s a tradition in his hometown that deceased children be dressed in long sleeves and trousers. He has prepared full sets of clothes for each of his family members who died in the tragic accident.


“I don’t know what to do now. I can only wait in Thailand, dealing with their final arrangements.”


Learn English Conversation – My Bad Brother

Learn English Conversation - My Bad Brother

English lesson for Chinese people, Mandarin speakers or Cantonese speakers

Todd: So, Greg you were saying you had brothers and they always picked on you like all older brothers do. Do you have any stories about your brothers used to do to you?


Greg: Ah, yes, you know I think back on some of the crazy fights we had and it is absolutely amazing that we are all still alive. (Yeah) One time, I was closing the garage door and I didn’t see my brother, my oldest brother walking behind me and I pulled the door down and it hit him in the head.


Todd: Right, ooh, ow!


Greg: A complete accident. (Yeah) but he just got so angry. He had a pair of shoes that he was holding in his hand, and I think he was going to polish them or something, and he just took the shoe and he smacked me as hard as he could right in the stomach.


Todd: Oh, that’s gotta hurt.


Greg: Oh, it hurt so much. I bent over and I got so angry and I looked in the garage and I saw a big piece of metal pipe.


Todd: Oh, no!


Greg: And I held it like a spear, and I ran after him, and he, of course, ran away. I was chasing him around the house and he ran into the front door, and I threw the spear, as hard as I could, and it went like a, I threw the pipe, and it went like a spear, through the air, and he closed the door right behind him, and it put a hole in the door.


Todd: Oh, man, it was gonna hit him. It would have hit him.


Greg: It would have hit him actually.


Todd: Wow. You don’t even want to think what could have happened if it had hit him.


Greg: Yeah, it’s amazing that we’re still alive. We used to have fights with baseball bats and branches and things.


Todd: Well, it must have been good, made you tough and strong for all the other kids at school.


Greg: Yeah, they thought I was crazy.


Is your dream car Tesla? see what Telsa is doing in China

Is your dream car Tesla see what Telsa is doing in China

Chinese people like cars! Still scrambling to sort out production problems at its electric car factory in California, Tesla is taking on another big challenge: building a vast new plant and development center in China.


The automaker said Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the Chinese authorities to build a battery and automobile factory in Shanghai — its first plant outside the United States — that would eventually be capable of producing 500,000 electric vehicles a year.


From the study, the company did not disclose how much it planned to invest in the venture, but it said it would be the sole owner. Other foreign automakers, including General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota, have been required to form joint ventures with local partners to produce cars in China. But the Chinese government recently said it would ease that requirement.

该公司没有透露它计划投资多少,但表示自己将是唯一的所有者。其他外国汽车制造商,包括通用汽车(General Motors)、大众汽车(Volkswagen)和丰田汽车(Toyota),都被要求与当地合作伙伴组建合资企业,才能在中国生产汽车。但中国政府最近表示将放宽这一要求。

Tesla said it expected to begin construction as soon as it had obtained the necessary approvals and permits. “From there, it will take roughly two years until we start producing vehicles and then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up,” the company said in a statement.


Setting up a plant in China will not be easy, and one of the toughest parts may be finding executives to manage the effort, said Ron Harbour, at auto-manufacturing expert at OliverWyman, a consulting firm. “They are trying to get going in California, so who are they going to send overseas to do the same thing?” he said. “That is the question in my mind. You usually want to get it right at home first.”

在中国建厂并非易事,其中最困难的一部分可能就是寻找高管来管理这项工作。奥纬咨询(Oliver Wyman)的汽车制造专家罗恩·哈伯(Ron Harbour)表示,“他们正努力在加利福尼亚发展,那么他们要派谁去海外做同样的事情?”他说。“这是我的疑问。你一般会想先把国内的事情弄好。”

The investment in China is the latest initiative that Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has announced with lofty ambitions, some of which he has fallen well short of achieving.

对中国的投资是特斯拉首席执行官埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)最新的一个高调推出的计划,然而他的一些宏大设想远未达到目标。

Two years ago, Mr. Musk predicted that the company’s plant in Fremont, Calif., would churn out close to 500,000 cars by this year, but the effort has been hampered by over reliance on automated machinery and by production bottlenecks. By the end of June, about 40,000 had been delivered or were in transit.


Last fall, he unveiled a battery-powered semi truck that he said Tesla would begin producing by the end of 2019. The truck is now being redesigned, and no plans have been announced for a factory to produce it.


And Mr. Musk has also promised that Tesla would produce a version of its first mass-market offering, the Model 3 sedan, costing $35,000. So far, the only versions available sell for$49,000 and up.

马斯克还承诺,特斯拉将为其首款大众市场产品Model 3轿车推出一个新版本,售价3.5万美元。到目前为止,这款轿车仅有的几个版本售价都在4.9万美元或以上。

The Model 3 is a critical vehicle for the company. Mr. Musk has said Tesla needs to be able to produce at least 5,000 Model 3 cars a week to become profitable in the second half of this year. Earlier this month, Tesla said it reached that level in the final week of June, after setting up a new assembly line in a giant tent just outside the Fremont plant.

Model 3是该公司的关键车型。马斯克表示,为在今年下半年实现盈利,特斯拉需要能够每周生产至少5千辆Model 3轿车。本月早些时候,特斯拉表示,在弗里蒙特工厂外一个巨大的帐篷里建立了一条新的生产线后,它在六月的最后一周达到了这个水平。

Tesla has reported losses every year since it was founded in 2003. In recent months, analysts have become worried about its finances and the slow pace of Model 3 production. Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Tesla’s credit rating over concerns about how much cash the company is using up.

特斯拉自2003年成立以来每年都报亏损。最近几个月,分析师们开始对其财务状况和Model 3生产的缓慢进度感到担心。穆迪投资者服务公司(Moody’s Investor Service)出于对特斯拉的现金消耗状况的担忧,降低了它的信用评级。

China is a key growth market for Tesla, and the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. The government there subsidizes and promotes the production and sale of electric cars as part of its efforts to improve air quality and cut tailpipe emissions.


Tesla began selling cars in China in 2013 and has set up 35 sales centers and some 1,200 charging stations in the country. It sold about 15,000 cars there last year, according to estimates by LMC Automotive.


Tesla said its Shanghai-based initiative would include a research-and-development center and a sales operation. The local government said it would be the largest manufacturing project backed by foreign investment in Shanghai’s history.


A Tesla spokesman said the plant would not affect the company’s American operations and was not a response to the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China. But a Tesla factory in China is most likely not something the Trump administration wants to see.


The White House began a trade fight with China partly to discourage American companies from shifting operations there. The administration has argued that China often uses unfair methods to either encourage companies to move there or force them to give up or share technology with Chinese companies in order to access its market.


Even before the recent escalation in trade tensions, China’s tariffs were an issue for Tesla. “The current rules make things very difficult,” Mr. Musk lamented on Twitter in March about the 25 percent tariff on cars imported from the United States. “It’s like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes.”


China later agreed to scale the tariffs back to 15 percent, but in the most recent tit-for-tat, they were raised to 40 percent. The price of a new Model S in China has risen by about one-fifth, to nearly $130,000.

中国后来同意将关税降低到15%,但在最近一次的报复行动中,关税被提高到了40%。特斯拉新款Model S的价格上涨了约五分之一,达到近十三万美元。

Chinese leaders, worried about skies choked with pollution and the country’s growing dependence on foreign oil, have championed electric cars as a possible solution. A Tesla manufacturing plant in China could aid Beijing’s effort to take a strong global position in producing electric cars and other technologies of the future, a vision outlined in the Made in China 2025 plan.


For Tesla, building cars in China would inoculate it against the effects of a trade fight and put the company close to China’s huge automotive supply chain. Even more important, it would provide a firmer foothold in a potentially vast market. China is the company’s second-largest market after the United States; its revenue there doubled to $2 billion last year.


China has a number of electric-car makers, but they tend to make smaller, more affordable vehicles that lack the polish of Tesla’s offerings. The American-made cars can frequently be seen in some of the more upscale areas of Beijing and Shanghai.


Why Black Cat Means Bad Luck 为什么黑猫表示厄运

why black cat means bad luck

Today‘s lesson, we will talk about the English culture, and explain why black cat means bad luck.

Everyone knows that when a black cat crosses your path bad luck is sure to follow, but have you ever wondered how black cats got their dark reputation? Is it simply due to the color of their coat, or something more sinister?


Thousands of years ago, cats of all colors enjoyed the good life in ancient Egypt, where killing a cat came with a swift death sentence. A few millennia later, Christianity spread throughout Europe by overthrowing local pagan customs and traditions. This meant vilifying pagan symbols such as the Roman goddess Diana, as well as the cat — which became a pagan symbol thanks to its link to earlier gods and goddesses


In 1233 AD, Pope Gregory IX put the final nail in the black cat coffin when he declared black cats to be an incarnation of the devil himself. Eager to prove their devotion, Christians began to round up black cats and burn them alive at village festivals to punish them for their devilish ways . It got so bad that by the 14th century, cats were nearly extinct in some parts of Europe.


Over the next few centuries, the idea that black cats were in league with the devil naturally led to a link between black cats and witches. Black cats, according to superstition, were believed to be witches in disguise. Others claimed that a black cat could eventually become a witch himself after serving as a witch’s familiar for seven years . By the time of the famous witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries, simply owning a black cat was enough to get a “witch” condemned to death


Ironically enough, the black cat superstition lingers to this day, and has proven to bring nothing but bad luck for the black cats themselves. In a 2013 study at Colorado State University, researchers found that it takes four to six days longer for black shelter cats to be adopted than cats of any other color. This spells bad news for black cats, as around 70 percent of shelter cats are eventually euthanized. While researchers can’t say for sure why black cats are less attractive to potential pet owners, the myths surrounding black cats and bad luck could potentially play a role


英語語法 – 过去将来进行时

英語語法 - 过去将来进行时




用于间接引语:They said they would be coming.(他们说了他们将要来。)  
用于定语从句:The new job he would be taking was raising racing horses.(他将要接受的新工作是养赛马。)


1. 过去将来进行时可以表示在过去某一时间之后即将进行的动作:
例如:He said he could not come because he would be having a meeting.(他说他不能来因为要开会。)

2. 过去将来进行时表示在过去将来某一时间正在发生的动作:它常和表过去将来的时间状语连用,但上下文清楚时,时间状语亦可省略。和将来进行时一样,它也常表计划中的事,不表意愿或打算。它还有一个特点,即常用在宾语从句(尤其是间接引语)中。
例如:John told us that Mary would be coming next day.(约翰告诉我们玛丽第二天来。)

3. 过去将来进行时有时也可用在其它从句中:

用在定语从句中:The new name he would be using was Jack Jones.(他将用的新名是杰克•琼斯。)
用在状语从句中:He would pay the rest as he would be leaving France.(其余款项,他将在离开法国时付清。)

4. 过去将来进行时也可用在独立句中:
例如:The car started. Ellen James would be driving off to the university.(车子发动了。埃伦•詹姆斯要开车到大学去。)

Scientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to fly

Scientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to flyScientists have long wondered how spiders can use the webbing they make to fly.

The 19th century English naturalist Charles Darwin commented on their behavior when very small spiders landed on his ship, the HMS Beagle. He noted that they were following lines of smooth silk. He thought the creatures might have been using warm air to take to the sky. However, new research shows a totally different cause may be involved.

Erica Morley and Daniel Robert are with the School of Bristol in Britain. They were interested in exploring another explanation for the spiders’ ability. They thought spiders might sense and use electrostatic fields in the air.

But some observers suggested electrostatic fields might be the reason the many draglines some spiders use to float never get tangled.

Kimberley Sheldon is a biologist with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the United States. She said that although “these spiders will have 5 or 6 draglines, those strands of silk do not get entangled. So, we’ve known for a while that electrostatics probably [are] at least interacting with the spider, with the silk lines themselves to keep them from getting tangled.”

Sheldon was not involved in the latest study.

Morley and Robert created a box with a grounded metal plate on the bottom and a plate on the top. It was designed so they could send an electrical current through the box. They placed spiders inside the box and turned on the electricity, then watched as the spiders reacted to the electric field.

When the electric field was on, the spiders lifted their abdomens into the air and started raising up on the very ends of their legs.

When the spiders did balloon and rise into the air, turning off the electric current caused them to drop.

Sheldon compares this to someone taking a balloon and rubbing it against their clothing. “If you hold the balloon [near your head], your hair stands on end. That’s kind of what’s happening with the spider silk.”

Clearly the spiders were able to sense the local electrostatic field and react by releasing silk, but Morley and Robert wanted to know how.

Morley noted that as a sensory biologist, she was interested in understanding what sensory system spiders might use to sense electric fields.

“We know that they have very sensitive hairs that are displaced by air movements or even sound. So, I thought that it’s possible that they might be using these same hairs to detect electric fields,” she said.

This was exactly what she observed. The small hairs along the spiders’ legs react not only to physical experiences like air movement, but also to the electric field. In nature, it makes sense for spiders to sense both the electrostatic field around them as well as wind conditions. Spiders probably use both when taking off and moving through the sky.

Mathematician Longhua Zhao is with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She has made computer models of how spiders balloon.

“They definitely play very important roles; however, we don’t know at this point, which is the dominant factor,” she added.

Lead researcher Morley pointed out that spiders are not the only creatures to balloon. “Caterpillars and spider mites, which are arachnids but not spiders, balloon as well,” she noted.

Arachnids have eight legs and a body made of two parts.

Invertebrates have no back bone.

Morley hopes other researchers will follow up her study to see if these other creatures react in much the same way as spiders.

I’m Pete Musto.

This story is used for Learning English

Do you know how swimming can change your life?

Do you know how swimming can change your life


Whether outdoors or indoors, swimming is a fun way to stay in shape. And one of the great things about swimming is diving. For a very short time, a diver flies through the air like a bird. Then they land in the cool water below, usually with their hands and head leading the way.

But jumping into a body of water headfirst is just one meaning of the word “dive.”

“To dive into something” can also mean to start working on a project with lots of energy but not, perhaps, a lot of planning.

Let’s say two friends are really excited to dive into a new business together. They are so excited that they open their business without a clear idea of how to market their company or even who will buy their product. So, it was not a big surprise when the company went under a few months later. Friends told them that they had a good idea, but they simply dove in too quickly.

Adding the word “headfirst” adds importance. If you dive into something headfirst, you are even more excited and even less prepared!

For example, a man I know really wanted to learn basic home repair. He was very excited to begin on a home project. So, he dove in headfirst, knocking down walls and tearing out the floors. Unfortunately, he didn’t know enough to rebuild his house. He ended up hiring a construction team for that.

“To dive into something” can also mean you are simply really excited to do it. Planning is not an issue or problem. And sometimes we add the word “right.” This makes it sound more conversational.

For example, the children must have been very hungry after learning swimming all day. They dove right into the pizza the minute it was served!

But now, let’s go back to the diving that relates to swimming. Sometimes divers dive off a mountain cliff. They are called cliff divers.

Some dive off the side of a pool. Others dive off a diving board. Diving boards are springy. They are made of a material that can bend. Diving boards are a kind of springboard. They are a board that springs you into the air!

In addition to diving, a springboard is useful in other situations. A springboard can be something that helps you start an activity or process. We can also call this a jumping off point, just as when you jump off a diving board.

For example, when preparing for this program, I often take note of the expressions my friends use. So, for me, these conversations are often springboards to new stories for this show.

The term “springboard” can also mean a point of departure.

Let’s hear two co-workers use it this way.

A: Boy, Emanuel did not stay long at his job here, did he?

B: No. But I’m not surprised. I knew he’d move quickly from this job to the next.

A: How did you know that?

B: On his first day, he told me that this job was only a springboard to a better position.

A: I see. Well, at least he was honest.

Okay. So, besides cliff diving and diving off a diving board, there is another kind of diving — scuba diving.

Scuba diving is an underwater activity. You swim underwater while wearing special equipment, including a tank, or container, filled with compressed air. Scuba is an acronym. It is short for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

With tanks of air on their backs, scuba divers are able to dive deep into the sea. On a deep sea dive, you might see some very strange sea creatures!

On land, a deep dive is when you explore an issue in great detail. Oftentimes, the media coverage of some issues is too shallow, meaning it doesn’t explain enough. But sometimes a news agency is able to do a deep dive on issues that people really care about.

You could say that on Words and Their Stories we dive deeper into the English language. Hopefully, this program will make you want to dive right into your English studies!

I’m Anna Matteo.

What would like to dive into? Let us know in the Comments Section.

Anna Matteo wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor. The song at the end is Donovan singing “Atlantis.”