Monday, 2 November 2009

NI 2: Module 8. Lesson 1: Consumerism

Listening: Shopaholics

Activity about it in class. For those who didn't come to class yesterday, you can do it here:
Fill in the gaps as you listen to it. Look up the words you don't know:


Kate: Hello and welcome to this week's 6 Minute English where and I'm joined again by Rebecca. Hi Rebecca. Well, when it comes to subject of money and shopping most of us have been 1) _______________ our belts over the last year or so. This is a phrase that means that we’ve been trying to spend less money than before.

Rebecca: Yes, but unfortunately many people have found this very difficult for various reasons and find themselves buying more than they can 2)___________ on a regular basis. In today's programme, we're going to try to understand why we spend money, our emotional response to it and the first step in how to control it.

Kate: So, how about you Rebecca – do your emotions control your finances or are you quite restrained in your spending?

Rebecca: Well, I'm quite good with money usually. But sometimes buying a new pair or shoes to make me feel better when I'm a bit 3) ______ or depressed.

Kate: Shopping can be a great way of forgetting our troubles. This is something which is sometimes called retail 4)_____________– shopping to make ourselves feel better. This is great when we have the money to spend freely but what happens when our spending gets out of control?

Rebecca: Well, we develop a debt culture. This is when people live off credit. They spend money they don’t actually have by using credit cards and 5)_______________ from the bank. Of course when people don’t have the ability to pay the money back then it can cause real problems.

Kate: Yes, sometimes people who spend a lot of money on things they don’t really need or can't afford are called shopaholics – these are people who are 6)______________ shoppers and simply can't stop themselves buying things…. which leads on to my question for this week. According to some sources, what percentage of the population are shopaholics? Is it:
a) 1%
b) 10%
c) 50%

Rebecca: answers

Kate: We'll check your answer at the end of the programme. Now we're going to here from a real shopaholic. She's called Helen Macnallan and when she lost her job, she found that her spending got out of control. Let’s listen to the type of things she bought:

Extract 1
At first I would buy expensive suits because I was 7)_____________ to get back to work. Then it went on to antique furniture for our house… that didn’t even fit in the house and that was £25,000 in a day. Then I bought diamond earrings which were £10,000. It was money we didn’t have. I feel sick thinking about it now but at the time I didn't realise why I was doing it.

Rebecca: Goodness – she said she bought expensive suits, antique furniture (that didn't fit into her house) and diamond earrings!!! And she said she didn't realise why she was doing it.

Kate: So why was she doing it? In the next extract she mentions the word selfesteem.What does this mean?

Rebecca: Self esteem is how you feel about yourself. If your self-esteem is high, then you feel good about yourself as a person and if it's low then you have a poor or a bad opinion of yourself.

Kate: And mood?

Rebecca: mood is the way you feel at a particular time.
Kate: Let's listen to the next extract. Try to listen out for the reasons why Helen
bought so many things?

Extract 2
There seemed to be a 8)_________________ between how down I was feeling and how much money I would spend. My shopping was a way of controlling my mood. My self-esteem was extremely low. We're all bombarded these days with pictures of happy successful, beautiful people with the latest handbag…the latest shoes and I thought that if I bought the same stuff as they were buying, then I would have that same happy, successful, beautiful feeling. But that feeling lasted for about as long as it took to pay for the item, to get it home and unwrap it.

Rebecca: She said shopping helped her control her mood. She felt 9)____________________ by pictures of happy successful people everywhere and thought if she bought the same things as them then she would be as happy and beautiful as them. But then unfortunately the feeling would only last until she got home! Oh dear!

Kate: I’m sure this feeling is very common. So if we’re guilty of doing this, how do we manage to stop and prevent ourselves spending more money that we should or indeed have?! Let’s listen to what a professional, Dr Graham Lawlor has to say. He uses the word leakage which means something which we lose or which disappears without us really noticing. What advice does he give?

Extract 4
You have to manage very, very carefully and you have to categorize what you're spending your money on and I recommend you literally go out with a piece of paper and a pencil and you write down everything and that way you can track the leakage. Because the majority of people are leaking 10)__________ and they don’t know where it goes and unless you record that, you're never going to know.

Rebecca: Mmm - some good advice there. He recommended that we write down everything we spend and then you can track where all your money is going.

Kate: We’re nearly at the end of our programme so now to the question I asked you earlier. What percentage of the population is a shopaholic?

Rebecca: And I said 50%.

Kate: Thankfully the answer is actually 10% which is still quite high. Moving on, let's go over some of the vocabulary we've heard in today's programme.

Rebeca: First we had the expression, tightening our belts, then retail therapy, debt culture, shopaholic and self-esteem, mood, and leakage.

Kate: Thanks Rebecca. Well, I’ll certainly be getting that pen and paper out next time I go shopping! What about you? That's all we've time for today. Thanks for joining us and until next week. Goodbye!

1) tightening
2) afford
3) down
4) therapy
5) borrowing
6) compulsive
7) desperate
8) correlation
9) bombarded
10) cash


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