Asking Questions (1)
RUTH: Hello and welcome to the first in our new series of 'Say It Again.' My name
is Ruth Lowton and I shall be encouraging you in the coming weeks to learn more
about the English language. Let me introduce my pupil here in the studio - Aries.
She will be helping you to 'Say It Again.' Aries, which country do you come from?
ARIES: I come from Singapore.
RUTH: Will you tell us a little more about yourself, Aries?
ARIES: I've come to England to continue my studies at university here. I'm living
in Leeds now. I'm studying for my degree at the university and I'm studying
accountancy. I'm not sure what I'll do when my degree course is finished.
RUTH: Aries will be helping me with the spoken English exercises in this series, so
we'll hear more from her later. I'm sure we'll find out more about her and her
experiences of life in England as we go on. Today's English lesson is all about
asking questions and getting to know people. Whenever you meet someone for the
first time, there are always lots of questions you can ask them. Just listen to this
conversation. Stephen is trying to find a place to sit in a crowded restaurant.
He asks five questions. Can you listen for them?
RUTH: Aries, can you tell me what Stephen's first question was?
ARIES: Yes Ruth, I think I can...The first question he asked was, "Is anyone sitting
here?" Is that right?
RUTH: Yes, that's right. Then Stephen asked the young man about the book he was
reading. His question was "What's that book you're reading?" They talked a
little more about the story and then the man asked Stephen a question. Can you
remember what that was?
ARIES: He asked who Stephen's favourite writer was, didn't he?
RUTH: Yes...let's hear that answer again. Listen to Stephen's reply and find out
what his friend's favourite hobby is.
RUTH: What does Stephen say interests him?
ARIES: They begin to talk about sports. Stephen says he enjoys sports of all
RUTH: That's right, but now can you remember the very last question? It means
trying to remember what you heard the first time you listened.
ARIES: Right at the very end, I think Stephen asked his friend, "Where do you go
RUTH: Yes, I hope you picked out all the five questions. Next week we'll
continue to look at asking questions. In English, questions are a polite way of
finding out about someone. I'm going to ask Aries two questions we heard today
in our drama. Why don't you try saying the questions after me as I ask Aries for her
answers? She'll leave a short pause before she answers. Aries, have you got a
ARIES: Yes I have, I enjoy reading books by Danielle Steel.
RUTH: What else interests you?
ARIES: I like to dance, sing, knit and read.
RUTH: Can you think of any questions you'd like to ask? I've got some more I'd
like to ask. Aries, you've found England a very different country to Singapore.
What kind of things surprised you when you first came to England?
ARIES: I remember arriving here in England just before Christmas, and finding it
really cold. But Ruth, what surprised me most was seeing these huge birds,
hanging in the butchers' shops. I thought they could even be ostrich! I
eventually found out they were turkeys. In England, people eat turkey at
Christmas instead of chicken as we're used to in Singapore.
RUTH: Aries, what do you miss most that you had or did at home in Singapore?
ARIES: Oh, I miss my family....and I miss celebrating Chinese New Year. It's
much more fun than English New Year. For most people in England, New Year is
just another day when you don't have to work. Most of the shops are shut while in
Singapore they would stay open. We'd also visit relatives and have lots of
different kinds of food to eat. And I miss all of the celebrations too - the
Mooncake Festival, Rice Dumpling Festival. Of course Chinese New Year is really
quite an exciting time.
RUTH: It's good, isn't it, to get to know people? There are so many things we can
ask one another. As well as all the questions we have already used, we can ask
people about their families - whether they have any brothers and sisters, whether
they're the oldest or youngest or... No, I'm not asking any more questions! You
can wait until next week. What I have for you this week is a true story. It is
about Kim Hyun Hee. Her story tells of the part she played in an airplane
bombing. It is being read by Lesley. Maybe you could think of some questions
you'd like to ask Kim Hyun Hee if you were to meet her.
"You'll take this bomb and go with this man by plane to Baghdad," said the officer as
he handed us both Japanese passports. "And if the police catch you, You'll take this
poison which will kill you." So following our instructions we flew from North
Korea to Baghdad. There we got on another plane going to South Korea and on this
aeroplane, we hid the bomb as We'd been told to do. When the plane reached Abu
Dhabi, we got off it. But when the police looked at our passports they knew they
were false, and they took us to the police station. We both took the poison We'd
been given. The other man died at once, but it didnˇt kill me. Later the police came
and said to me, "We believe you caused the death of a hundred and fifteen people.
We believe you placed a bomb on the plane going to South Korea. We're sending you
now to South Korea to be tried for killing all those people." For two years, I stood
trial in South Korea for what I'd done, and in the end I was sentenced to death.
So how is it that I'm telling you my story now, today? Well, while I was in prison in
South Korea, a man came to see me. He said, "You'll never change the world by
placing bombs on planes and killing people. The only way to change the world is to
help people escape from the control of the selfish spirit with which they were born."
He then told me how his life had been changed. As I thought about what the man said
to me, I began to cry. I realised the terrible things I had done. "God wants to forgive
you for all your wrong doings," said the man. "God is waiting to forgive you and to
give you His Spirit." I decided I wanted God to forgive me for killing all those people
and as I turned to God, my life was changed and the angry voice inside me stopped.
Later I told the South Korean government, "I want to live to help the families of those
people I killed on that plane." When the government heard this, they decided to
forgive me for what I'd done. Yes, they allowed me to live to help the people I'd
hurt, and that's what I now do."
ARIES: What a story. I think if I ever meet Kim, I'd like to ask her "Why did you
do it?" I'd also like to ask her what it felt like to be forgiven by the people she'd
RUTH: There have been so many questions in this programme. I'll just repeat some
of them. Aries will say them after me. 'Have you a favourite writer?'
ARIES: 'Have you a favourite writer?'
RUTH: 'What else interests you?'
ARIES: 'What else interests you?'
RUTH: I'll now finish today's programme with one more question. Won't you join
us again next week? We'll be back then with another episode of 'Say It Again.'
TOGETHER: Good bye!