Listen to a story about an illness I had in the summer of 2013!
You’ll also learn how to hear and make the reduced form of the conjunction “or.”
Welcome to the English Teacher Melanie Podcast, a podcast for intermediate to advanced English learners who want to improve their English listening and speaking skills!
Each episode includes a story and a pronunciation tip. In the story, I use core vocabulary, the most common words in English, to tell a real world story. The pronunciation tip will help you understand natural spoken English.
You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. It sounds funny because I used editing software to change the speed of the story and make it slower. After the pronunciation tip, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed.
(This story was originally published in 2013.)
At the beginning of June, I experienced a severe episode of vertigo. One morning, out of the blue, I was startled awake. When I opened my eyes, the room was spinning. It was scary because I didn’t know what was going on. I couldn’t walk, stand, or even sit up. All I could do was lie in bed and try to keep my head straight. I didn’t go to the doctor right away because this had happened to me before. I thought the vertigo would go away on its own in a day or two. However, this episode was much worse than any before. I spent a week in bed waiting for the vertigo to go away.
I slowly got better, and I even taught a class, but then I had a relapse exactly one week after the first episode of vertigo. I couldn’t get an appointment with my family doctor, so I went to a walk-in clinic. I was diagnosed with a problem in my inner ear that affected my balance. The doctor said that there was nothing she could do. I just had to wait for it to go away.
Except that it didn’t go away. I was still very unsteady on my feet 2 weeks later. Three weeks after the first episode, I went to see my family doctor. She said it could also be an inner ear infection caused by a virus. She gave me some strong pills that helped me function better, but the pills made me very tired, and I had a hard time concentrating on things.
I still feel a little dizzy sometimes when I move my head. I can’t lie down with my head flat on a pillow. I sleep with my head propped up with pillows. I can work now and I have started driving on my own, but I still sit down in the shower and I still find it difficult to concentrate for very long. I’ve had to wait three months for an appointment with an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist. My appointment is this week. I really hope he can help me.
Listen carefully to some sentences from the story:
I couldn’t walk, stand, or even sit up.
I thought the vertigo would go away on its own in a day or two.
Did you hear the word or in those sentences?
The conjunction or is a function word. It’s a grammar word. It’s not an important word, but it needs to be in the sentence so that the sentence is grammatically correct. Within a sentence, function words are unstressed, and they are often reduced.
The conjunction or is unstressed and reduced in a sentence. In natural spoken English, it’s pronounced /ɚ/, like the er sound at the end of a word. Or reduced to /ɚ/ becomes an extra syllable at the end of the preceding word.
I didn’t say “I couldn’t walk, stand, OR even sit up.” I said “I couldn’t walk, stand, /ɚ/ even sit up.”
I didn’t say “I thought the vertigo would go away on its own in a day OR two. I said “a day /ɚ/ two.”
Can you hear the difference?
Hear are some more common expressions with or
sooner or later
right or wrong
this one or that one
today or tomorrow
thank you teacher.
Hope you get better. I had the same recently.
Awww get well soon, dear Melanie!! :) I’m sure you will! There are MANY MANY people around the world who benefit from your awesome English lessons and everything, and I have no doubts that they all send you the most positive wishes.
I, myself, will be “praying” for you! :)
It’s great you’re getting better. Actually, my mom has gotten the same symptoms like u. the disease she get name Ménière’s disease. When it come in, u can not do anything , just take rest, and wait it go away.But, when u get cold, or under stress,and it easy to come in again.
There is small signal before it come, like lightly dizzy , so, be careful the kind of signal, when u find them, just slow down your pace and get enough sleep , maybe take some necessary pill, it will be useful to keeping from serious vertigo.
probably you will have to rest properly …this is an effective way to restore your balance please go to sleep at 10 pm …above all avoid all kind of trans-fat and sodas drink abundant coconut water also grape juice or grapefruit without artificial sugars
eat more naturally (non artificial foods or fast foods)
and last but not least add to your meals curcuma longa (turmeric)
Trust in God the father Jesus and the holy spirit at all times ..sing songs to them and meditate in his love
God Bless you
I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU WALKING AT LEAST FOR 3O MIN
A DAY 3 OR 4 DAYS PER WEEK .
ALSO BUY WHOLE FLAX SEEDS AND GROUND IT YOURSELVES AT HOME (USE A BLENDER) TAKE 1 OR 2 TABLESPOON DAILY.
DO NOT USE HYDROGENATED FATS FOR COOKING, EAT AVOCADO INSTEAD.
DRINK 8 TO 10 GLASSES OF WATER …AND MY SECRET WEAPON ..RAW JUICE OF CELERY(2 STICKS)
These podcasts help us a lot to improve English. Thanks.
Marie-Danielle O'Reilly says
Your story about your health is scarry . I really hope that you fill better and No Up and Down. Yesterday, I read one of your story about a big plane … Very scarry!
Take care and come back to us !
thank you so much dear instructor.i am really gratifies to you to share this magnificent information.stay blessed and may God always keep you happy.
Thank a lot mam,,, this is called study with fun …
My pretty girl:
I don’t know a lot of English but I want to tell you that I wish your quickly recuperation.
Bye from Spain.
my sweet teacher
i am really appreciate from your teaching i love you.
Hello teacher, I wish I could say what I feel about you. first of all I’d like to thank you for the great help you freely offers us . As you know there are a very small number of people who reserve a little of their precious time just to help others. I deeply believe that you will get better soon, because you deserve it. You are a great person, a strong human soul. God Bless you!
That’s a pity that you caught such an awful virus. Hope you’ll get better in no time!
Thanks a lot for your work, i just recently found your blog and i’ve already learnt a lot from it. Especially i like the lesson about silent T, it’s awesome :)
Hi Melanie, i am praying to God that you may get over your vertigo very soon and start living a normal life again .
thanks Melanie, very good lesson and hope you well soon.
Get well soon, we can’t countinue without your help. God bless you.
Adelmo from Italy
Good day Melanie… hope you’re okay now. Thank you for another interesting and educational lesson. Another podcast to download [I download all your podcast lesson including Life in Canada lesson]..by the way I’m located here in PH. Thank’s a lot again and TAKE CARE!!!
Senchumnith Hor says
Thanks teacher Melanie for a lesson to me…!
Thanks Melanie,god bless you and Take care, we(all)need you so much….I hope you are better now.
hello!Melanie. I am sorry to hear your true story.I hope you will get better soon,this time you should take rest to recover your health,don’t try to work hard.
I hope to receive more your lessons after you feel well.
yeah I always wondering why I didn’t receive your mail lesson lately..and as I got this mail lesson from you I know now that you have a problem with your health as you had mentioned in your lesson before.
Nice lesson I downloaded all your listening lessons and revise them :-)
keep healthy we love you ^^
thank you teacher melanie
Renata Vieira says
I’m glad to know you are getting better! Hopefully you will be 100% very soon!
Your lessons are really helpful for me and I’m sure they are helpful for other people too.
c.thomas noble says
thanks a lot.
thank u teacher < Allah bless you
That’s bad teacher, I feel sorry for you. I hope you get better,
I found your website recently while listening aisensei podcast.
is it possible to get transcript of your podcast in .pdf
Thank you for the suggestion! I’m not sure how to make a .pdf available on my website, but I will look into i!
thank you Mr.about this ways to learn english but I have problem to save the vocubulary after limit time because I don’t use them in my life and at sametime I want to take IBT exame.what is your advise to me.thanks
Tareq Battah says
Thanks for your effortes in this Podcast,i hope you a good health always.
Thanks a lot
hope you get well soon that’s a very sad I feel so sorry for. I know that it is not good that’s a pity but you recover.I also want to thank you for you lesson you are indeed a GOD send
love you get well soon
Thank you, Queen! I am much better now. I get a little dizzy if I haven’t eaten in a while, but otherwise I am fine now!