1. How are things?
Maureen is meeting her friend Kate for coffee in a cafe
Maureen: Hey! There you are! Good to see you.
Kate: Hi! I’m so sorry I’m late. I went to Quentin’s school to talk to his maths teacher, and it all took longer than expected.
Maureen: Oh, I remember you saying that he wasn’t very happy at school. How are things?
Kate: I’m worried sick about him, to be honest. He’s just not motivated, and his marks are getting worse. He used to be so interested in everything when he was little.
Maureen: How old is he now?
Kate: He’s 13. He’s in year nine at school.
Maureen: Did his teacher give you any helpful advice?
Kate: Well, in a way. I mean, she was very nice, but all she said was that it was normal at his age and that he’d grow out of it later.
- Here, talk means “to discuss something with someone”, often in the sense of trying to find a solution to a problem.If people are worried sick, they are extremely worried about something.
- A mark (N. Am. grade) is a number or letter that is given to show the standard of somebody’s work or performance at school, college or university.
- Advice is uncountable. You can give someone advice or “a piece of advice”.
- If you grow out of a way of behaving, you stop doing it as you get older.
2. School's the problem
Maureen and Kate are talking about Kate’s son, Quentin
Maureen: Do you think he might be depressed? A lot of kids, particularly boys, suffer from depression during puberty.
Kate: Yeah, I know, but I don’t think so. He’s got a nice bunch of friends he sees regularly, and he’s really into football at the moment. Generally, he seems quite happy and balancedausgeglichenbalanced.
Maureen: So, it’s just school that seems to be the problem. Have you thought about changing schools?
Kate: Not really. I have the feeling he’s quite to be settledsich eingelebt habensettled there. I think it has more to do with some of his subjectSchulfachsubjects. He hates Latin and maths. He can’t make himself study for them at all.
Maureen: What about getting a private tutor to help him study?
Kate: I hadn’t thought of that.
- Here, bunch (ifml.) Means "a group of people".
- If someone is into something (ifml.), He or she takes an active interest in it.
- One way people give advice is asking questions, such as Have you thought about ...?
- When one thing has it, it is related to it.
- A private tutor is a private teacher, especially one who teaches an individual student or a very small group.
Related audio and exercises
Explore the topic further by following these links:
Exercise: Asking for and giving advice
Audio: What can you do?
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