Talking to an American Marine

Download audio file (matt.mp3)

In this podcast, Mark White interviews Matt, a U.S. marine who is now stationed in Japan and who fought in the Battle of Baghdad.

Mark: Ok, Matt. I’m just sitting here talking to Matt. Matt’s a marine in the United States Marines and he was in the war in Iraq. Matt, how did you come to join the marines?
Matt : Well, Mark, I was just looking for something different, and it seemed like a good idea.
Mark: And how old were you when you joined?
Matt: I was twenty years old.
Mark: How long have you been in now?
Matt: Three years and ten months.
Mark: And you’re getting out soon and you want to go and study.
Matt: Correct.
Mark: What do you want to study?
Matt : I want to study American history.
Mark: Alright, ok. That’s interesting? You’re against the war. How many… um… how many people in the services are against the war, do you think, about what percent?
Matt: It’s tough to put a number on it, but it’s definitely higher than the public’s perception.
Mark: Would you say more than half?
Matt: Yes.
Mark: A lot more? I know it’s a hard question. I mean how can you know? You’ve got to talk to everybody.
Matt: About half, everyone has doubts about this war.
Mark: It’s a terrible thing war, isn’t it? Okay, thanks for talking to me mate. See you.
Matt: Have a good one.

20 Responses to “Talking to an American Marine”

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  7. séïdou says:

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  11. Farooq Junejo says:

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  16. Mark White says:

    Hi Angelika.
    I think if you just get them to listen and then ask them follow up questions like..

    What do you know about American history?
    When was the battle of Baghdad?

    You could write your own comprehension questions for the students but I do not like to do that kind of activity which is obviously an evaluation motivated activity rather than a natural follow-up question, because i think it makes the students feel like they are just jumping through hoops and it demotivates them.

    You could also get them to click on the hyperlinks (highlighted words in the text) and check out those other websites then give an oral report on what they learned/thought.

    Another thing you could do is ask them

    What does Matt want to do with his life?
    Is he against the war?

    ask them before they listen.
    Hope this helps

    Let us know how it goes

  17. apc33 says:

    Hi Angelika…glad you liked the dialogue. I would have the students listen to it first, without looking at the dialogue. Maybe ask some questions to gauge their level of understanding. Then have them look at the dialogue and listen again. I would then have them practice the dialog in pairs, followed by discussion on the content. For example, using conditionals to speak of hypothetical situations: “If you were a U.S. soldier, what would you do?” or Opinions: “What do you think of the war in Iraq?”.

    Maybe Mark has some other ideas. Mark?

  18. Angelika says:

    Very nice! Any suggestions on how I can use Mark and Mike’s conversation in my Intermediate Class (CEF level B1)
    Thank you,
    Angelika (Germany, living close to a US military post where most of the men are in Iraq now.)


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