Communication skills – making a point

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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary. There is a transcript of this podcast on the podcast support site LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk. You can find the transcript on the page for this podcast.

Introduction

Today, I’m going to focus on some advanced communication language about theories. I’m going to roleplay a dialogue between two people. After the roleplay, I’m going to talk about 10 words and phrases from the dialogue and then I will replay the dialogue. In the dialogue, one of the speakers believes in the theory of evolution and the other rejects it. I would like you to listen to how the following words and phrases are used.

A theory

To accept an argument

To claim something

To clarify a statement 

To disprove a theory

The evidence  

To interpret evidence 

To quote someone 

To settle an argument 

To support a theory 

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John: Look, I understand the argument, but I simply cannot accept what you’re saying. Evolution is just a theory.

Jack: Yes, that’s true, but it’s the best theory we have. 

John: I don’t agree. I don’t think there’s enough evidence in support of the theory.

Jack: There’s loads of evidence, but you have to know how to interpret it. 

John: You claim that we all come from monkeys. If that were true, how come different species exist and how come there aren’t half monkeys half people or other half species?

Jack: There are fossils of transitional forms – that’s the word for half species.

John: But fossils are just rocks. They don’t really tell us much.

Jack: They tell us loads. You see, fossils can be dated. Fossils tell us the order of the evolutionary changes, including the transitional forms. The fossil record should really settle the argument.

John: Sorry. I don’t get your point, Can you clarify what you’re saying?

Jack: The evidence is really strong. Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. 

John: That sounds like a good point, but I’m not sure about what you’re saying. I’m not sure about your facts. 

Jack: They aren’t my facts. They are just facts. Anyhow, it’s not me saying it. I’m quoting Richard Dawkins. 

John: I’m still not sure.

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OK – now I’m going to go through the important vocabulary.

I’m going to start with the word theory. A theory is a rule or set of rules that explain how the world works. Scientific theories are probably the most common and well known. 

The evidence  

Evidence is the things and reasons that lead you to believe that something is true. It’s what police detectives use to show that a criminal is guilty of a crime.

To interpret evidence 

To interpret evidence means to decide what evidence means. All evidence needs to be interpreted. 

To support a theory 

You can say that evidence supports a theory. The evidence helps show that the theory is true. It’s rare that evidence is completely conclusive, it has to be interpreted. When it can be interpreted in a way that shows a theory is true, the evidence supports the theory.

To disprove a theory

To disprove a theory means to provide evidence that shows a theory isn’t true. People used to believe that the earth was flat, but there’s loads of evidence that disproves this theory.

To accept an argument

This means to believe that an argument is true. If you accept what someone tells you, then you believe them. 

To claim something

The word claim is a verb and a noun. The verb means to say that something is true even though you can’t prove it. It’s often used to highlight that the person saying something can’t prove what they are saying. You claim that you were out with friends, but I don’t believe you. You can use the noun to describe the statement. A statement that can’t be proven is a claim.

To clarify a statement 

To clarify means to make clear. So it really means to explain a statement or give more information.

To quote someone

To quote someone means to say what someone else said. Generally, if you can quote an expert who agrees with you about something, it’s good for your argument.

To settle an argument 

To settle an argument means to present evidence that convinces everyone that an argument is true. If there is conclusive evidence, evidence that can’t be interpreted in any other way, then you can say that the evidence settles the argument.

There you have 10 useful C1 or advanced words and phrases that are related to advanced communication skills and making a point. Listen to the roleplay again to hear the language in context. 

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John: Look, I understand the argument, but I simply cannot accept what you’re saying. Evolution is just a theory.

Jack: Yes, that’s true, but it’s the best theory we have. 

John: I don’t agree. I don’t think there’s enough evidence in support of the theory.

Jack: There’s loads of evidence, but you have to know how to interpret it. 

John: You claim that we all come from monkeys. If that were true, how come different species exist and how come there aren’t half monkeys half people or other half species?

Jack: There are fossils of transitional forms – that’s the word for half species.

John: But fossils are just rocks. They don’t really tell us much.

Jack: They tell us loads. You see, fossils can be dated. Fossils tell us the order of the evolutionary changes, including the transitional forms. The fossil record should really settle the argument.

John: Sorry. I don’t get your point, Can you clarify what you’re saying?

Jack: The evidence is really strong. Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. 

John: That sounds like a good point, but I’m not sure about what you’re saying. I’m not sure about your facts. 

Jack: They aren’t my facts. They are just facts. Anyhow, it’s not me saying it. I’m quoting Richard Dawkins. 

John: I’m still not sure.

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Conclusion

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a review and don’t forget that you can read the transcript for this podcast and complete some language activities on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk.

Thanks for listening.

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