Talking about pets, Didier Drogba, Think of a word beginning with '...', New Zealand, cats or dogs, joke, regular and irregular verb forms

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

I didn't know you had a dog!– talking about pets

Section 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to talk about your pets or ask questions about other people’s.

Suggestion: One way to do this section is:

  • Download the Support Pack and Transcript (above).
  • 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

Talking about pets - a gap filling activity.


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 Olu talking about Didier Drogba.

Is there a famous sportsperson that you can write about?

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

Section 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.

The quiz in this podcast is called ‘Beginning with…’ – for example, ‘think of an animal beginning with "P"’ – the answer could be ‘polar bear’ or ‘pig’ for example – there are lots of possibilities. Playing this game is a good way to revise and learn new vocabulary.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

To do an activity in which you fill in the names of things beginning with different letters on a diagram you will need to download the Support Pack.

You can play ‘Beginning with…’ by yourself, or with a friend.  To see some ideas, please see the Support Pack.

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 Graham talking about New Zealand and the places that were used in the film ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Is there a beautiful place (or places) in your country that you’d like to tell people about? It could be an area of mountains, or a natural park, or a forest – or even a beautiful village or town. Or you could tell us about a beautiful place that you’ve visited in another country.

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

Section 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: ‘Which do you prefer – cats or dogs?’
What do you think?

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.

Which ones do you agree with? Which do you prefer – cats or dogs? You can send us your opinions if you want. Do this in the comments section below.

Task 6

Section 6 - Carolina

Section 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 conversation with her new flatmates and then do the exercises.

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.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Please download the Support Pack for more practice materials.

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

Decide if the verbs are 'regular' or 'irregular'.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Fill in the gaps with different tenses of verbs.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Complete sentences with the correct forms of verbs.





I'd like to tell you about Roger Federer, one of the most talented and awarded Swiss tennis players of all time. He started playing tennis when he was 8. In this year he became the oldest world No. 1 at age 36 which is simply amazing. He has many, many world records including 20 Grand Slam titles and 30th final at Australian Open. He's well-known for his charity work too. In 2003 he formed The Roger Federer Foundation which focuses on improving level of education in Southern Africa and Switzerland. He's a really intelligent and educated person. He speaks English, German and French. I admire him for his great, sport heart and also as a father of 4 twins. Personally I think this is the best tennis player in the world who's made many changes in tennis overall. I wish I met him face to face and told him how much I love him. I hope he'll still be playing as long as he's able to.

Thank you for your attention and please respond to my e-mail. I want to know if I made any mistakes.

Hello Strzelu,

Thank you for the comment. We don't correct posts on LearnEnglish as we are a small team and have many users posting every day, but we do read every post before it appears on the site.

Federer is a remarkable athlete. I'm not sure there is anyone like him in any other sport at the moment.



The LearnEnglish Team

I want to tell about Russian Olimpic champion in high jump with a pole Yelena Isinbaeva.
She was born in 1982 years in Volgograg. she is half a russian , her father is tabasarans.
When she was five her father gave her to sportschool.
16 years old she the first time won the World youth game in Moscow. She jumped 4 meteres in high with a pole. That was begin the career of Olympic champion.
She has became two times the Olympic champion. Maximum of the height that she took was 5 meters 11 santimeters.
Now she has two children.
I pride she because she made the sport career and remained feminine.

My English teacher told me to make a simple sentence about what I did yesterday. I wrote: "I played loads of games with my friend at my house." She said that "loads" doesn't have any meaning but it was used many times in this recording. Therefore, does she mean that I cannot use "loads" in this situation or she didn't know about this word? Last but not least, do you meet any trouble when reading my comment?

Hello wangyao,

I can't comment on what your teacher means - for this you will have to ask her. The phrase 'loads of' means the same as 'lots of' or 'a lot of' but it is a very informal phrase which is used really only in informal speech or in very informal writing.



The LearnEnglish Team

So can I use it while I am writing a letter to a friend that not very close with me?

Hello wangyao,

I'd need to know more about you and your friend and your relationship to give you good advice on this, but if, for example, you are both relatively young and have a good friend in common, 'loads of' is probably OK. But if you're in doubt, I'd recommend using 'lots of', which is slightly more informal than 'a lot of' and is appropriate in a wider range of context than 'loads of'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you very much.

Hi LearnEnglish Team,
Some 'conversation in English' exercises are long, but you put them on a line or a paragraph that makes me (also other users) difficult to read and complete the exercise. For example task 1 of all series 1 of the podcast. I think it will be better if you break them down a new line after every person's session done like this:

Glen: Good morning, Stella. Sorry, I'm a bit late. I had to take my dog to the vet.

Stella: Hi. That's OK. The meeting hasn't started yet. I didn't know you had a dog.


Hi Kenny,

Thanks for your comment and I agree completely. Each person's words used to be on separate lines, but when we changed our exercises to make them easier to use on mobile devices, this problem came up and we haven't yet been able to fix it. I'm going to take it up with our technical team and see if we can get it fixed.

In the meantime, I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team