Asking for a favour, David Attenborough, numbers quiz, Christmas in Prague, best and worst things on TV, Carolina in the pub, time prepositions, British measurements.

Elementary Podcasts
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

I wanted to ask you something” – asking for a favour

Section 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to ask someone you know to do you a favour and what to say if someone asks you to do them a favour.

Suggestion: One way to do this section is:

  • Download the Support Pack and Transcript.
  • Read the Transcript.
  • Look at the Support Pack, where you can read Tom the Teacher's tips and also find some useful words and phrases for this section.
  • Do the exercises below to help you to learn the common phrases.
  • If possible, practise these common phrases with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Asking for a favour: read the conversation between Stella and Dave and fill in the blanks.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

There are more practice materials in the Support Pack

Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to meet...

Section 2 is based on someone talking about somebody or something they like. It helps you to practise speaking for a little bit longer – for example, when you're explaining something, or telling people something about yourself.

Suggestion: The best way to practise is with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English. However, if you can't find someone, you can send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Megan talking about David Attenborough.

Is there a TV presenter that you can write about? It could be someone that you like, or someone that you don’t like!

If you can think of someone, make some notes to answer the questions that you can find in the Support Pack. Now put your notes together to write a paragraph about that person and add it as a comment below.

Task 3

Section 3 - Quiz

Part 3 is based on the Quiz. This helps you to learn the meaning of new words and how to remember them.

Suggestion: You can write your answers in our Support Pack.
You might want to use a notebook or part of your folder to make your own word lists and maps.

You heard Amy and Brandon playing a numbers quiz. All of the questions were connected with time.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Type in the letters to complete the 'time words'.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

Type in the letters to complete the names of the months and days.


Task 4

Section 4 - Our Person in...

Section 4 is based on 'Our Person in...'. It helps you to listen to other people speaking for a little longer than they speak in a conversation, like a radio or television news report. When people prepare written reports, they are often a little more formal, and use more complex words and structures.

You listened to Bill talking about a Christmas tradition in Prague.
Can you say something about Christmas traditions in your country? Or maybe a different celebration that happens in your culture or religion? Or you could write about traditions in another country or place that you’ve visited.

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and read the notes to help you to think of things to say, and the best order to say them. Make your own notes and then join these together to make a paragraph in the comments section below.

Task 5

Section 5 - Your turn

Part 5 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

In Your Turn you heard 5 people answer this question: ‘What are the best and worst – things on TV?’
What about you?  What do you think about TV programmes?  Do you have strong opinions about programmes that you like and programmes that you hate?

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and look at the phrases that the people use. Sometimes they don't use complete sentences. Write down notes and then say what you think.
Maybe you agree with one of them, or maybe you can think of something different. Write down your opinion and try to explain why. Do this in the comments section below.

Task 6

Section 6 - Carolina

Part 6 follows Carolina – a girl who has come to the United Kingdom (UK) to live, study, and to have fun exploring a different country and culture. Listening to this can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. You will see that there is often more than one way of saying the same thing in English.

Suggestion: listen to Carolina's conversations in the pub and then do exercises 1 and 2.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Put the phrases in the correct places in the conversation.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose all the phrases that are correct.


Task 7

Section 7 - Joke

Section 7 is a joke. A joke is normally a funny story you hear and tell someone else. But you can also describe funny things that happen to you. The most important thing is to watch your friends to see if they are enjoying the story or not – then you can make it longer or shorter.

Suggestion: We suggest you do this:

  • Listen to the joke.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines in the right order.
  • Do Exercise 2, in which you tell the joke.
  • Think of a funny story that you know. Write down the most important words in English (use a dictionary?). Then try telling the joke.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Read sentences and put them in the right order to tell the joke.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Download the Support Pack. Look at the notes and tell the story without looking at the script.

Task 8

Section 8 - Tom the Teacher

Section 8 is Tom the Teacher. These are more traditional exercises. They look at being accurate in English, and often use the type of exercises you may find in English tests and exams.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Match the 'time phrases' with the correct prepositions.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the correct 'time preposition' to complete the sentences.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Match British measurements to descriptions of them.





I'd like to meet Jeremy Clarkson. He's from London as far as I know. He was a front man of Top Geat TV show. I used to watch the show when I was younger. In this show Jeremy Clarkson told about different cars, no matter, sport or casual ones, expensive or cheap ones. But what was special in that show is he traveled to many countries and told not only about cars but also about people, their customs and other things, it was like a reporting. For me it always has been interesting to know about attention of people from other countries to cars and driving. He had always led his shows with a bit of jokes that made me laugh and didn't let me feel bored.
Jeremy Clarkson is a very popular person here in Russia. People knows about him both from TV and his books. So do I. I like him for his sharp-mind, interesting ideas for shows and of course for his own special humor.

What about a special dish? Here in Russia when we have our New Year anniversary we're cooking Dressed herring. It contains five layers with mayonnaise between them.. The first is herring with onion, the second is potato, the third is carrot, the fourth is beet and the second is eggs. Before we cook we boil all ingredients. As for me I find it tasty but you can feel bad your stomach if you eat it too much.

Hello everybody! My name is Sergey and I'm from Russia. What do I like to watch on TV? Well, when I was a bit younger and live in my parent's home and also went to school I used to watch different BBC or Discovery films. I really liked them. Also there were some adventures films, musical channels and some shows like Top Gear for instance. I've never liked political or economic channels because I found them to be too boring for me. I forgot to tell that there wasn't any internet then. As a rule it made you too limited about what you want to watch. When internet was done it made me free. Nowadays I don't use TV Set at all, only an internet. For example, in YouTube there is a lot of interesting stuff to watch, just choose everything you want.
ps. I was listening name of David Attenborough many times when I was watching BBC channel. Big thanks to him for such interesting documentaries.

I used to watch TV when I was a teenager. It was a time when the internet wasn’t as widespread as it is now, at least in my country. I think that you have much more freedom and interaction when you’re looking for the information you need using the internet. Unfortunately, the amount of advertisements on the Web is increasing nowadays and this fact bothers me a little. I would use a TV-set only as a device for watching films, videos and photos. I don’t think that TV is all garbage because there are some educational and sports channels or the ones about travelling which I like to watch occasionally. I can watch the news once in a while too. I really hate to watch stupid comedy shows with fake laughter in the background.

Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated on the 7th of January. I’m not a religious person but I like the feast because it’s the day of a special family atmosphere. On Christmas Eve we have a twelve-dish supper and it is important that everyone taste everything that is served. The main course, which should be started with, is called Kutia. It is a sweetened dish made from cooked wheat. The main ingredients that should be added are honey, walnuts, raisins and poppy seeds. Although, many people make it according to their own tastes. The other eleven dishes must be lean (Lenten), but again, not many people follow the regulations. As for me, the most inappropriate thing to see during Christmas is when so-called religious persons become dead drunk to celebrate the occasion… Sadly, it is a very common thing throughout my country.

Is there a TV presenter that you can write about?
I’d like to talk about a presenter of a lottery programme. I don’t really remember his name but I hate him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate him as a person, because I’ve never actually met him, it’s all about his way of doing his job and his job, in particular. The reason isn’t even that I’ve never won a decent amount of money having bought the lottery ticket. Well, it may be partly the reason. I just can’t stand him announcing winners one after another with his fake smile while I cannot even cross out a proper amount of numbers to win the smallest prize. I still think it is more of an entertainment than means of profits but at some point it became quite unbearable for me so I ceased to do it.

Most important celebration in Iran is Norouz. Norouz is the first day of Spring season every year that is known with seven 'sin' table in the world. Before this day,people clean the houses and buy new clothes and little red fish.In Norouz day all of the family come to their parents and on time of beginning new year parents give to children some money as a gift. Mothers make a vegetable rice and fish but no little red fish for launch or dinner traditionally.After this day people go to the journey. Most happiness person are children for thirteen days holidays.

I'd like to meet Adel Ferdowsipoor,the producer football programs and reporter football matches in Iran. He is so clever man and he speaks English very well. He studied industrial engineering at Sharif university, one of the best university in Iran. He loves football and plays football as amateur. He knows a lot of information about teams,coaches and players in great leagues in Europe,America and Asia.So he began to report football matches on television at first. With reporting of football matches, he found a lot of fans in Iran. He tried to produce a program about our football league and he succeeded finally.He named his program as 'ninety' that means time of a football match. This program is presenting from 1997 to now on Mondays continuously that he presents himself.He follows bad and good events in football,particularly ethical and cultural issues.Newly, he has produced another football program as 'one hundred and twenty' that means time of a football match plus extra time that follows football matches in great league in Europe. He has written two books about football.

I like to watch at football match and I prefere programs offered by DISCOVERY. I think that it is very interesting and you can lern many news. worst thing - are programs which present reality TV show.

Hello there - I hope you're weel.

I notice that in th last poadcasts from this series we're having a lot of phrases in Present Perfect instead of Present Simple. In the introduction of Ravi's quote we can see / listen: "We've got quiz, we've got fish in the bath, we've got good and bad TV, but first of all we`ve got I'd like to meet". In another example, on Carolinas' quote, when she is asking her fancy at the Pub we have: "No, I don't think so. I'll have a fruit juice - what have they got?". Can you see it? Many phrases in Present Perfect.

I'm sorry if I'm not being clear enough about my doubt and it could seems strange to you. Perhaps I'm thinking those situations in my own language, but in Portuguese we use to say it in present simple. How can I know when I should to use phrases in present perfect or in present simple and why?

Many thanks and best.