Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 76 | Listening | Listening for Speculation & Degree of Uncertainty

Academic speakers often consider possible outcomes, and indicate how certain they are about the issues discussed. To understand the perspective an an academic speaker more fully, listen for language used for:

Speculation: might, may, could

Degree of certainty: must, is obviously, almost certainly, possibly

Also, listen for the amount of emphasis the speaker places on different points through the use of stress and intonation.

Certain: Anyway, there were clear divisions within the team, on a quite personal level.

Lesson certain: I would say it’s probably something every manager should try…

Listen to the extracts from the talk in the podcast and match each extract (1-5) with A or B

A. Speculating with strong certainty ___________.

B. Speculating with less certainty __________.

Answer the questions from the main part of the podcast a day ago.

  1. What is the speaker’s connection with the company he is talking about?
  2. What issue did the speaker identify regarding the physical environment?
  3. What did he do to solve the problem?
  4. What is the speaker fairly sure affects leadership values?
  5. What was the main issue with having two teams on the same project?
  6. How does the speaker describe the intervention in terms of risk?


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