Views #1455 | Intermediate (B2)

Out of Country

Pernais talks about people moving in and out of Jamaica, and the reasons for it.

Doron: So Pernais, Jamaica's quite a small country, right?

Pernais: It is.

Doron: What's the population? Not exactly, just more or less.

Pernais: 2.7 million

Doron: Okay, that's pretty small. Do you have a problem with people leaving, like for university or of to get better jobs going to other countries?

Pernais: Yes, a lot of people leave, but I don't know if it's so much a problem because Jamaicans have been migrating for decades now. A lot of people don't know that half of the Jamaican population actually lives outside of Jamaica.

Doron: Half?

Pernais: Yes.

Doron: So that means there's like 5.4 million Jamaicans?

Pernais: Yes.

Doron: And only half of them live in Jamaica?

Pernais: Yes. Possibly.

Doron: Where do they usually go?

Pernais: Most Jamaicans that migrate go to America.

Doron: 'Cause it's so close.

Pernais: Yes. And because they have family members there. Maybe. And other people go to Canada and the U.K., for example.

Doron: Do you get a lot of immigration? Do you get many people moving to Jamaica to live from other places?

Pernais: Recently, there has been an increase in that. People coming from other Caribbean islands, especially with the situation, the economic situation in Haiti these days. A lot of Haitians actually come over to Jamaica to find work, and, you know, to... just to, just for a better life, really.

Doron: Is it very close?

Pernais: It is very close. It is quite close.

Doron: How do they usually get to Jamaica?

Pernais: By boat.

Doron: So...

Pernais: Which is quite dangerous, but...

Doron: Yeah, I hear a lot of it in history the last couple of decades of boat people, right? But you don't often hear about Haitian boat people. Usually people getting in boats and trying to get to the States, right?

Pernais: Yes. But I guess Jamaica's closer, so they go for Jamaica.

Doron: Yeah. What kind of jobs do people go for when they get to Jamaica?

Pernais: Well, a lot of them end up working in bars and restaurants, and... yeah, just jobs like that.

Doron: I guess there's a lot of tourists in Jamaica?

Pernais: There are quite a lot of tourists.

Doron: So there must be a lot of jobs in the tourism industry.

Pernais: Yes. Always.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

more or less


What is the population, more or less?

The phrase 'more or less' means about or approximately. Speakers use the phrase to show they are talking generally, not specifically. Notice the following examples:

  1. The trip should take three hours, more or less.
  2. I am happy with my new job, more or less.

two point seven (2.7)


2.7 million

When speaking of decimals, we say 'point'. So for example, 3.4 would be pronounced 'three point four'.

  1. He broke the record with a time of 9.9 seconds.
  2. The average family has 1.3 children.



Jamaicans have been migrating for centuries now.

When you migrate from one place to another place, you move for a season or for a long time from one place to another. The move is usually not permanent.

  1. Young people tend to migrate to the city.
  2. Birds migrate to warmer climates in the winter.



Do you get a lot of immigration?

Immigration can refer to people entering a country to live permanently. Immigration can also refer to foreigners coming into a country. Immigrate is close in meaning to the verb 'come', while migrate is close in meaning to 'go'. Notice the following:

  1. My father works for the immigration department at the airport.
  2. If you overstay your visa, immigration will come looking for you.

boat people


Are there boat people in the Caribbean?

Boat people are people that try to leave their country permanently to immigrate to another country. Because they are poor, these people try to travel by boat, so they are called boat people. Notice the following:

  1. Several boat people sadly died in the ocean.
  2. Boat people are very brave but very desperate as well.

go for


What jobs do people go for?

When you 'go for' something you actively choose it. 'Go for' is similar in meaning to the verb 'select'. Here are a few examples:

  1. I think I am going to go for the chicken.
  2. I didn't go for the job. I felt I was not ready.

end up


A lot them end up working in bars.

When you end up somewhere or doing something, you reach a place or action that was not originally planned for. Here are a few examples:

  1. After driving for hours, we ended up lost and hungry.
  2. After I quit my job, I ended up living back with my parents.

Vocabulary Quiz

migrate • point • go for
immigration • more or less
  1. My city has three five million people.
  2. We have a hundred employees .
  3. Older people like to to the countryside after retirement.
  4. At the food buffet, I usually the salad bar first.
  5. International airports all have departments.

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Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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