VT Speaking Challenge 3: Freedom (自由)

Vocabulary Challenge 3: https://tw.voicetube.com/everyday/20190403

心智圖詞彙攻略: ericvocab.com 


Hello, everyone! Welcome to today’s pronunciation challenge or rather vocabulary challenge! My name is Eric from Eric’s English Lounge, and I am once again, your VT host!

Today’s topic is:

What Happens To North Korean Defectors After They Escape


I think we have all heard news reports about how difficult life can be in North Korea, but many of us have never really paid close attention to the issue because it seems so distant from us. I think the first time the issue really struck me was when I heard Hyeonseo Lees’ TED talk “My escape from North Korea.” You can also read her book The Girl with Seven Names and I think this was the first time I really realized what these people have to go through just to survive and it shocked me. Although my family is not rich and I have to work hard, I have always had a roof over my head, food, and even freedom. I could not imagine living without these things.

So, back to the topic, what words come to your mind when you think of life after escaping from North Korea?

Freedom? Hard life? K-pop? Discrimination? What?

So, let’s jump into our sentence of the day:

Additionally, social disparity and political tensions can lead to defectors facing discrimination from South Koreans.


So I think one word that you might want to stress in this sentence is discrimination.

Primary syllable stress: dis-crim-i-na-tion
Secondary syllable stress: dis-crim-i-na-tion

And you add stress by stretching the peak vowel
The three physical attributes (or correlates) of stress are
(a) Increased intensity (louder);
(b) Higher pitch (higher fundamental frequency, F0); and
(c) Longer duration.

This is the general situation. Sometimes one or another of these physical attributes may be absent.

General word stress guidelines: https://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/word-stress-rules.htm

OK, let’s take a break. So our topic today deals with international news, and many students often ask me, why do I have to be aware of international news?

And I think many of us believe international news has little to do with us, and we should just listen to what we like, read what we like, and that is fine. You should do what you are interested in. However, if we do not pay attention to things happening around us, even though when they are not so pleasant, how can we become aware of certain issues, and do what we can to prevent this kind of problems or make a difference. Also, If we become trapped in our little circles and do not have mutual knowledge with others, will that make communication limited?  Will this make us more likely to reject ideas and neglect perspectives that differ from ours?

Especially in the case of North Korea, I think our bonds and empathy as human beings transcends borders and politics, and we should always be aware of the plight of our fellow men to help them when we care. Maybe you will never meet a North Korean, but the principles can be applied to people you know. For example, this sentence teaches us not to discriminate someone from another region and that we should do our best to help them overcome difficulties. So I think knowing international news, just staying aware, is the critical first step in making a difference. Oh yeah, you should sign up for my vocabulary class because I will teach different perspectives and ways of thinking. 

Now, let’s go back to English learning and over some additional words:

Word Form
1. defector

person who leaves his or her own country or group to join an opposing one


2. discrimination

treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially in a worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skin colour, sex, sexuality, etc.


racial/sex/age discrimination


face discrimination 面對歧視

fight discrimination 反歧視

3. disparity a lack of equality or similarity, especially in a way that is not fair


wealth disparity 貧富懸殊

4. ordeal  

a very unpleasant and painful or difficult experience


  • I’m sorry to put you through this ordeal.

Throughout this ordeal, she stayed strong.

5. triumph

to have a very great success or victory


believe that sooner or later good must triumph over evil.


The Democrats once again triumphed in recent elections.





Today’s song is Think by Aretha Franklin:

My video on discrimination:

心智圖詞彙攻略: ericvocab.com 



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