Hi, welcome to, Culture Clash, the exciting class from Ingocio that explores cultrural connections. In today’s class we’ll be looking at 4 very different American childhoods, including a singer, a boxer, a rapper and a writer. First, though, let’s take a look at eight advanced words of English vocabulary from this week’s audio.

Language focus


  • Device: dispositivo


A father who was a medical device salesman. ‘Device’ is a very useful word and ‘devices’ are very useful. What are examples of a device? Well, your mobile, your iPod or your satellite navigation system. Use the word: What’s your favourite device?

Humming: canturrear


The teacher was humming a song. ‘Humming’ is like singing except it’s quiet and you don’t produce the words. Use the word: Do you hum in bed?



  • Unrivalled: incomparable 



As a boxer he had unrivalled success. ‘Unrivalled’ success is what you want out of life… it means that no one has ever had such great success as you. Sound good? Of course. Use the word: Are your IT skills unrivalled in your company?



  • Claim: decir


In fact, he claims his first fight was when a boy killed one of his pigeons.Claims’ is one of those extremely common words that unfortunately has no direct translation into Spanish and many other languages. It means for someone to say something that has not yet been independently verified. For example: “Coca Cola is claiming that Pepsi stole their secret formula.” They are saying that but we don’t know if it’s true or not. Use the word: Have you ever claimed to be extremely handsome?



  • Harsh: brutal


He experienced harsh treatment from his step father – who was a preacher. ‘Harsh’ is tough, difficult, strong or violent, and is always used to talk about conditions or treatment. This means it is used to talk about both weather but also about strong discipline or policy. Use the word: Why were conditions so harsh at Alcatraz?



  • Preacher: predicador/pastor


He experienced harsh treatment from his step father – who was a preacher.A preacher’ is a man or woman who talks for a long time about what you should do to please God, and how you should live your life. There are Methodist preachers and Muslim preachers, and their primary job is to preach. Use the word: Would you be a good preacher?



  • Upbringing: crianza/ educacion


He had a well-disciplined and secure upbringing. ‘Upbringing’ is a word that refers to your childhood and the way you were educated/raised. So, you can say ‘I had a difficult upbringing,’ but you can’t say ‘I had an upbringing in Seattle.’  Use the word: Did you have a rural or urban upbringing?



  • Appeared on the scene /disappeared from the scene: aparecer / desaparecer


His destructive father was arrested and disappeared from the scene. The word ‘scene’ has many uses – the first of which is primarily theatrical. In real life however when someone is ‘off the scene’ they disappear from view. When they’re ‘on the scene’ they are present in everyone’s lives. Use the word: What’s your favourite scene in Apocalypse Now?

Hi, it’s time for class 7 of our advanced English vocabulary course and today we’re going to talk about celebrities with balls. Not surprisingly this is not a discussion of famous people playing football or baseball, it’s about famous people who have demonstrated courage. Before we deal with this topic, however, let’s do our rapid class of advanced English vocabulary.

Five key words/expressions of advanced English


  • Conscience: moral sense


E.g. He acted according to his conscience. Your conscience concienciais what tells you what’s right and wrong. In theory. That is why pacifists in the first world war were called conscientious objectors – they claimed that fighting was against their conscience. Use the word: If you find money in the street and you keep it, does your conscience tell you you’ve done wrong?

  • Disguise: An intentional change of appearance to conceal your identity.


E.g. Spies often wear a disguise. What’s the difference between a disguise and fancy dress? Well, a disguise – disfraz – is used for the purpose of protecting your true identity whereas fancy dress disfrazis used for going to parties and having fun. Use the word: In what type of situation might someone wear a disguise?

  • Toting: to be carrying (usually a weapon).

E.g. He looked like a gun toting gangster rapper. Toting  – llevando – is similar to the word brandishing. It really means ‘to hold’ but it is usually to hold with the purpose of threatening. Therefore, you could not be toting a pen. However, it is often used metaphorically if people are being quite conspicuous or aggressive with what they’re holding. “Thousands of banner toting protesters filled the square.” Use the word:  Do you think you’d make a good gun toting gangster?

  • Hut: a small type of wooden building usually used to store wood or gardening tools.

E.g. We went to live in a small hut in Norway. There are a number of similar looking structures that all look similar and are made of wood – shed, cabin, and in this case – hut. A hut cabañais a general purpose, small living space (common to  military barracks or farm land) that can be used for living or storage purposes. Use the word: Have you ever considered living in a hut in Norway?


  • Face it: to go directly to a problem or fact without trying to avoid it.


E.g. Let’s face it. If someone humiliates you we say in English that you’ve lost face, therefore it’s not surprising that if you want to fight you decide to ‘face’ your problem. When used alone in the expression – ‘let’s face it’ it means ‘let’s not fool ourselves…let’s look at the truth? Seamos realistas. Use the word: Do you think that western economies aren’t facing up to the end of capitalism?


Now it’s time to repeat todays words of advanced English vocabulary – Face it seamos realistas,  Hut cabaña, Gun toting llevando, Disguise disfraz, and Conscience conciencia.



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