Listener Mail 143

A child watches television

Listeners tell Spotlight what they think about recent programs. Colin Lowther and Liz Waid answer listener mail!

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Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight’s Listener Mail Program. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Every week we post programs about subjects around the world. In those programs we hear the words of important scientists, global leaders, and many experts. But in today’s Spotlight we hear from you. We always invite you to tell us what you think about our programs. Do you agree with what you heard? Or do you disagree? How does the subject affect your life? In today’s program we ask if television can actually encourage health. We also hear about what makes you happy. You will also hear about some exciting new ways to hear and see Spotlight programs. Let’s get started!

Voice 2  

Our first comments come from the program “A Television Program about Health.” In that program we told about a television program called “Nutri Ventures”. Two Portuguese business people started this program. Sometimes television makes people think about being unhealthy. But the business people hope “Nutri Ventures” is a way to teach young children about healthy eating. We asked what you thought about this idea. Can television teach children to be healthier? TonyTran said he thought television could help teach about health. And he listed other places he learns about health.

Voice 3  

“I have learned about healthy food through TV programs, Google, and the news. Some TV programs will invite many famous people to appear on the program such as a comedy actor, model or nutrition expert. These people draw people’s attention, including me. Every time I want to know the nutrition of a particular food, I always use Google. It is clear, fast, and easy. News also provides advice about healthy food from experts. It shows how to process food, when to eat it and where to buy it.”

Voice 2  

Some commenters had questions about why we even have unhealthy food. Childhood obesity is a big problem - children weigh more than ever. And the problem exists all around the world. Giant wrote:

Voice 4  

“Unhealthy food is really not funny. Why is there unhealthy food in the market? Why does the WHO not act to prevent such foods? I think TV guidance is not enough to encourage healthy eating. The number of children who watch TV decreases all the time! Unhealthy food is a big problem today. I hope we can all help in this area.”

Voice 2  

That is a frustrating problem! But maybe Severino has the answer. He wrote that he thinks television can teach people. But, it also has a problem. He wrote:

Voice 5  

“Television can encourage healthy eating. Here in Brazil there are several programs on television about how to eat healthy. However, on television there are also advertisements about unhealthy junk food. Television programs have to advertise these kinds of products because they have to receive money from these companies to continue.”

Voice 2  

Like most things, television can be used for good or bad. It matters what people choose to watch. And it also means asking questions about what you are watching. Thanks for your comments!

Voice 1  

Before we move on to our next comments, we wanted to tell you about some new ways to hear and see Spotlight programs. Do you watch videos on YouTube? Did you know that Spotlight has a YouTube channel? There you can see our Word of the Day videos. We also have other videos that tell about traditions in the United States and the United Kingdom and videos that teach English. And you can now listen to a Spotlight program and follow along with the text on YouTube. Try it! Then tell us what you think!

Voice 2  

And if you want more English practice, you can visit Spotlight on Facebook. There you can see information about countries around the world. And try answering our short English quizzes on Sundays. Now let’s get back to your comments!

Voice 1  

Our next comments come from the program "Be Happy". In that program we told about things that make people happy. Then we asked you what made you happy. Many people responded to our question on our website and on Facebook. Commenter ImproveEnglish described a life that would make him happy. He wrote:

Voice 6  

“In my opinion, happy is having a girl to love, work to do, and a home to come back to. It sounds so simple, but it is not easy to achieve. You have to have work that fits you. Imagine you work in an uncomfortable environment - you cannot be happy. A girl to love is also not easy to find. You have to choose a great girl who also loves you too. It is difficult. Finally, after a busy working day, you can come back home to your father, your mother, your brother, sister and your happiness.”

Voice 1  

Johanna had a simple but important thing that made her happy. She wrote:

Voice 7  

“There is a very important thing that makes me feel happy. It is the simple fact of life. I can enjoy all things around me every day. I think that every day is a gift from God. It is a new chance to be better. One song that makes me feel happy is “Adventure of A Lifetime”. It is funny and has good lyrics.”

Voice 1  

Aloha81x told a story about her life where she was unhappy. Her husband was depressed. When he got better, she realized what made her happy. She wrote:

Voice 8  

“In my opinion, what makes us happy depends on different times of our lives. Now I am 26 and I have been married for two years. When someone asks me what is one thing that makes me happy I can answer them immediately. I am happy when my husband feels happy. It is just a simple thing, but I will have to do it all the rest of my life.”

Voice 1  

And Dela shared a wonderful thought about how people could be happy. She wrote:

Voice 9  

“I think mainly helping other people makes us really happy. But there are other things that make us happy too. For example, it makes us happy when we see our children being clever and successful at school. Or we have pleasure listening to beautiful music.”

Voice 1  

People may have different things that make them happy. But it is always important to find something that makes you happy. What about you? What makes you happy? Was it one of these things or something different? Tell us what you think about this program or any other program by leaving a comment on our website. We hope to hear from you soon!

Voice 2  

The writer of this program was Liz Waid. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at This program is called “Listener Mail 143”.

Voice 1  

And do not forget that you can also get our programs delivered directly to your Android or Apple device. Just download our free official Spotlight English app in the Google Play store or Apple’s app store. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program.


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Avatar Spotlight
said on May 02, 2016

Thank you for all the threads! But would you please, write about the suffering of the Syrian people, specially the city of Aleppo and the blood shed in this city,  the suffering of children over there. I think the tragidy deserve your rforts. Thank you in advance!

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on May 02, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight program
Subject: answer to the answer above
Date: Monday 02, May 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid and Collin Lowther:

Once more, I want to thank you to develop more one great article for us readers and learners of English.

I would like to tell Spotlight that I want to thank you for all the articles that you have developed for us readers and learners of English. All those listens, sounds, and articles that you have brought for us have helped me to emprove my English skill. Also, I have learnt different things around the world. Besides, I am very happy because you mentioned a comment on the nineth paragraph in which I wrote on the Nutri Venture article. Thank very much.

Yours regards,
Severino Ramos