Finn: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.
Neil: and I’m Neil. Hello.
Finn: Today we’re talking about one of the
latest forms of transport on two wheels.
Neil: Yes. We’re not talking about bicycles
Finn: No, we’re talking about a… self-balancing
What a complicated name!
Now a device is an object which has been created
for a particular purpose.
But yes, you need to balance on this device
which means you need to stand on it and not fall over.
Neil: Well this device has other names as
It’s called a rideable because you ride on it like you ride on a bicycle
Or you can call it a self-balancing scooter or others call it a hoverboard.
Finn: That’s perhaps because it looks like
a skateboard perhaps…
but it’s different, isn’t it?
Neil: Yes it is, it is a bit different.
And we’ll be finding out more about hoverboards in a moment,
but first it’s time for our quiz question.
I’m going to make a statement and
I want you to tell me, Finn, if it is true or false. OK?
Neil: Here in the UK, it’s illegal to ride
a hoverboard on the pavement.
Is that true or false, Finn? What do you think?
Finn: Well, I’ve actually seen someone riding
a hoverboard on the pavement so I’ll say
it’s false. I think it’s legal to ride one on the
Neil: OK, then. We’ll see if you’re right
at the end of the programme.
Finn: OK. So, Neil have you ever tried riding
on a hoverboard?
Neil: No, I haven’t, but I would like to give
it a go. It looks like a skateboard,
but it is different – it moves differently –
and it goes in a different direction
it goes… sideways.
Finn: Yes. And, you know, the other big difference
is that it is motorised.
And when you change your balance the wheels turn.
So when you lean forwards – you move forwards
and when you lean back you slow down and stop…
and if you lean even further back,
then you actually move backwards.
Neil: Yes. So it’s hard to keep your balance.
Like a skateboard, you need to practise to get good at this.
Finn: And I’m no good at skateboards.
And I think, you know, if you don’t practise you’ll fall off the hoverboard lots of times.
Neil: BBC reporter Emma Ailes has tried a
Who else has tried one of these rideables?
Listen to her report.
Emma Ailes: So you may have seen in recent
weeks celebrities like Justin Bieber
and Lily Allen riding one of these.
It’s a self-balancing transportation device or some people call them rideables.
I’ve never had a go but I am going to integrate one into my life in
the next couple of days and see how I get on.
Neil: And that was the BBC reporter Emma Ailes.
She said that she’s going to integrate riding a hoverboard into her everyday life
and so perhaps she’ll travel to the BBC on a hoverboard.
Now to integrate means to combine things to
make them more efficient.
Finn: Or maybe she’ll go shopping on a hoverboard.
Now she talked about celebrities
famous people who are using hoverboards.
Neil: Yeah. She mentioned two celebrities
– singers Lily Allen – who’s British.
And Justin Bieber – he’s from Canada. So people
are using hoverboards all over the world.
Finn: Neil, you were telling me about a guy
you saw last weekend.
Neil: Yes, I was at a shopping centre and
there were all these kids – teenagers
watching this guy using a hoverboard.
Of course they all wanted to try it.
You could hear them shouting: “Can I have a go? Can I have a go? Can I have a go?”
Now, to have a go means to try something.
Finn: Yes. Now what was our reporter’s experience
of using a hoverboard?
How did she get on?
Did she learn how to use it? Did she enjoy
Emma Ailes: So overall this is really good
fun and I definitely recommend giving it a go.
But there are some downsides.
It’s really heavy, it’s illegal to use it on the pavement
and it’s quite embarrassing being stared at.
So are two wheels better than two legs?
For me, probably not.
Finn: So that was the BBC reporter Emma once
And she tried to use the two wheels of the hoverboard to move around
but she said she prefers moving with her two legs.
Neil: But she did say this about using a hoverboard
it’s good fun and she definitely recommends that
people try it – they should give it a go!
Finn: But she said there are also some downsides
– some bad things.
First, it’s heavy.
Neil: Yes, it’s not very easy carrying a heavy
Finn: Also when she uses it
everyone looks at her and they don’t stop looking
they stare at her and she says that’s embarrassing.
Neil: And there is one more downside about
using a self-balancing scooter.
And this is also the answer to our quiz question…
I asked if it’s true or false that it’s illegal to ride a hoverboard on the pavement in the UK.
Finn: And I said that it’s false.
Neil: And you are… wrong. It’s illegal.
There is a law here about that.
Finn: Yes, I realised I guessed the wrong
answer when I heard that clip from Emma’s report there.
Neil: Yes. Their use is illegal under Section
of the Highway Act 1835 for use on the public pavements and roads in the UK.
Finn: Oh, very impressive, Neil. Now, you
can use a hoverboard, I’ve heard, on private property
if you have permission from the owner
but NOT on public pavements and roads.
Neil: OK. Well, next time you see your friend
Justin Bieber, Finn, tell him that.
Finn: I will. Now, that’s all for today. Please
do join us again soon.
Neil: Please do. And let’s hear the words
before we go.
Finn: OK. We heard:
to get on
to have a go
That is it now. And we’ll see you next time.