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Smooth It Over

Smooth It Over English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Mar 02 2010

Themes: Hobbies, Sports

Grammar: Comparatives and Superlatives


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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One of the great things about the Winter Olympics is that they introduce us to so many wacky sports we would otherwise know nothing about. One of the wackiest is curling. Jason thinks curling is also pretty extreme. As part of his quest to earn an Olympic gold medal in Vancouver so he can rescue his kidnapped friends, Jason learns about curling firsthand from a member of the Evergreen Curling Club.

The basic goal of curling is to slide heavy, polished stones across ice toward a target. In order to help move the stones toward the target, two team members use brooms to smooth over the ice. But Olympic curlers aren’t the only ones who have to smooth something over. Learn the double meaning of “smooth it over,” and find out if Jason has what it takes to become a curling champ.

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1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jason:  We’re here on the ice, ready for one of the most extreme Winter Olympics sports of all, curling! This is English, baby! I am Jason, here with Steve at the Evergreen Curling Club. Can you tell us just a little bit, for people who don’t know, what is the object of the game?

Curling_Steve:  Curling is kind of like a combination of shuffle board and chess on ice. The object is to get your stones closer to the center of the target than your opponent. And for every stone that’s closer than your opponent, you get one point. There’s four people on each team. One person is always throwing, two people are always sweeping the stone, and what sweeping does, it reduces the friction between the stone and the ice, makes it go farther than it would otherwise and makes it go straighter than it would otherwise.

Jason:  So it reduces the friction. Would you say that it smooths it over?

Curling_Steve:  Yeah. That’s a good description of it.

Jason:  Like, what does that mean in general? Like, if we stayed on the ice too long, and they were mad at us, you’d have to smooth it over, right?

Curling_Steve:  Yeah. I’d have to smooth over our relationship with the ice rink.

Jason:  So there’s some slang in curling that no one would know unless they played?

Curling_Steve:  Ah, there’s a lot of slang in curling. Hurry hard is what the skip yells out when they want the sweepers to sweep really hard and fast.

Jason:  OK.

Curling_Steve:  Off means off. Clean means just sweep in front of the stone lightly to clean any debris that might get in the way ‘cause that will mess up the stone.

Jason:  I like hurry hard. That’s a good one.

Curling_Steve:  Hurry hard.

Jason:  Well, thanks so much, Steve. Can I get you to give me a high five and say “English, baby!”?

Curling_Steve:  English, baby!

Jason:  Thank you. That was rough. I am exhausted. Curling is hard. Those stones are heavy. But I think now that I know all about curling, hockey, ski-jumping, half-pipe snowboarding, no problem. Everything is gravy from here on out. Hurry hard, English, baby! Hurry hard.


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Jason learns about curling from Steve of the Evergreen Curling Club. Curling is a sport in which teams push heavy stones across the ice and try to get them closer to the target than other teams. Two people have to sweep the ice to smooth it over and make the stone go faster and straighter than it otherwise would.

When you smooth ice over for curling, you reduce friction. But to “smooth something over” also means to fix a problem. Jason hopes that by winning a gold medal in Vancouver he’ll be able to smooth over whatever problem caused his friends to be kidnapped.

There are a lot of slang words and expressions that are used in curling. When someone says “hurry hard,” he means sweep the ice hard and fast. It’s kind of like saying “Go go go!” when you really want someone to hurry up. Now that Jason knows how to curl, and even how to use curling slang, he thinks the other Winter Olympic sports will be easy as can be.

What problems have you had to smooth over? Do you like to watch curling at the Olympics?



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Czech Republic

I have played curling once, it was fantastic !!! It was very funny !

11:24 PM Mar 02 2013 |




Curling is cool. I didn't know anything about this sport. I'd like to play some day.

And smooth the rink over!

02:32 PM May 04 2010 |




10:27 AM Mar 28 2010 |

sara lada


i welcomeWink everyone i love listening to music especially music ukrania and i hope to go of course after the end of my studies in moroccoCool

08:11 PM Mar 22 2010 |

sara lada



07:56 PM Mar 22 2010 |





10:22 PM Mar 20 2010 |


Hong Kong

 Curling is a unique sport that I have ever seen. It is a very tough sports but does not have fun value. So, I might only watch it for a couple time.    

01:45 PM Mar 17 2010 |

spong bob

spong bob

Saudi Arabia

i didnt like this game i think it is so boring ,this is in my opinion

and i want to know about how did these people feel when they play it

07:08 PM Mar 16 2010 |




it is a good sport,but its so expensive to us

07:14 AM Mar 16 2010 |




i dont think curling is boring,it’s a very different and difficult sport,you should calm down yourself and use you brain whether you are playing or watching the game!the people who says curling’s boring probably just cant accept this new,fleshing game. the players who play this game are more estimable as there are many people dont understand them

07:26 AM Mar 14 2010 |




i dont think curling is boring,it’s a very different and difficult sport,you should calm down yourself and use you brain whether you are playing or watching the game!the people who says curling’s boring probably just cant accept this new,fleshing game. the players who play this game are more estimable as there are many people dont understand them

07:25 AM Mar 14 2010 |



 Sorry friend Marcelolic but "bocha" is an Italian game called "Bocce" and it's also played in the USA. Moreover, here in USA it's a popular sport  for all ages. We can buy the game set at any sport store, and also at Wallmart. And besides, my dad is a pro at it!

08:48 PM Mar 09 2010 |




I have never know anything about curling,you know this is the same to the brazilian sport called "Bocha"...Bocha is a brazilian game similar to curling…You have a straight lane ground and surrounded by a fence or just a demarcation…and you must throw the solid ball closer to the "little ball",the target…It is funny 'cause in brazil only the older play this game :P check out this game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgKop8YKOng&feature=related

10:55 PM Mar 07 2010 |



I reckon this spotr might fascinate, when the smooth over..is hard to reduce fricton. I admire people which like practising this sport

08:58 PM Mar 06 2010 |




Curling is a strange sport that i never see it.

08:34 AM Mar 01 2010 |




i didnt know that this kind of game existed and also this kinda of people who spend thier time practicing it jejejje.


01:00 AM Feb 24 2010 |



South Korea

To improve my English, I should smooth over any findable errors using English.

ebbaby really helps on me.

06:53 AM Feb 22 2010 |

Gipsy Girl

Gipsy Girl


First, this game is boring but when you understand the rules it may be a good sport…and the thrower´s scream is funny…lol 

08:21 AM Feb 19 2010 |

Slavic miracle

Russian Federation

it's a slow billiards on the floor =)

11:01 AM Feb 18 2010 |


United Arab Emirates

strange sport, i am watching it on the Oly. winter games… it needs alot of team work and comunication skills…

10:13 AM Feb 18 2010 |

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