Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.
Ana: Hi, I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say!
Do you know what to say when you want to check your understanding? Listen out for useful language for checking your understanding. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.
Bob: This isn't right. Hey! Excuse me, Paul, could you pass me the hammer?
Paul: Sorry, Bob, my ears are blocked. I can't hear you very well. Could you say that again, please?
Bob: The hammer. Please could you pass it to me?
Paul: The spanner?
Bob: No. The hammer!
Paul: Sorry, Bob, I don't understand. This is the spanner!
Bob: No, Paul, I need the hammer. It's in the toolbox, on the left, under the scissors.
Paul: Sorry, Bob. Could you repeat that more slowly, please?
Bob: The hammer … in the toolbox … on the left … under the scissors.
Paul: On the left … under the scissors … Oh! Do you mean the hammer? Is this it?
Bob: Yes, that's right!
Paul: Ah! Why didn't you say so?
Bob: I did!
Ana: Hello again! Oh dear. I think Paul needs to go home and sleep. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for checking your understanding? Listen to me and then repeat.
I can't hear you very well.
Could you say that again, please?
I don't understand.
Can you repeat that more slowly, please?
Do you mean the hammer?
Is this it?
Yes, that's right!
Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to check your understanding in English. Bye for now!
There are a variety of accents in the video. The old man has a southern English accent, probably from somewhere around London or the south-east of English (Kent, Sussex, Essex, Hampshire etc.). The younger man who has problems understanding him has a northern English accent. I would place it in the north-west (Lancashire, Cheshire etc.). The presenter has a different accent which is hard to identify. Her English is very good it is American rather than English, but I think she is not a native speaker and has learned English as a second language.
At the British Council we think it's important for learners of English to be exposed to a wide range of accents and not only those form the UK. After all, when you use English outside of the classroom you need to be able to understand all sorts of varieties of English.
With regard to your last question, both more slowly and slowly are grammatically correct, though there is a difference in meaning: more slowly asks the person to reduce their speed after they have already said it once, while slowly simply instructs them how to speak without reference to a previous statement. In a situation like that in the video, I think more slowly is the best option.
The other option (slower) is not grammatically accurate as it uses an adjective where an adverb is needed. However, many people use this form in everyday speech. It's an example of non-standard grammar.
The LearnEnglish Team