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 love cats. I had a brown tabby for 16 years but I had to put him to sleep. And like Tess I took a completely little kitten brown tabby again! It's really gorgeous pet! I think pets help people not to be alone and to be more friendly, good-hearted, something like that.
In russian we have equivalent "It's raining dogs and cats" - it's poured like from a bucket, but I don't know can I speak so in English.

Hello astapik,

There's also the expression 'it's pouring with rain' (as if from a bucket) in English -- what a coincidence!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone! I love cats and dogs, but I prefer cats, only because they are less difficult for me that I work all day out of the house!

I'm not really interested in animals. I have no way to look after them, unfortunately. But, if I would have a pet, probably I'd prefered dogs than cats, because I think dogs are more interactive with the being humans.

HI everyone!

I love animals! I've two dogs, Ginger and Lulù, and a guinea pig, Noce (Walnut in english).
Ginger is 9 years old and we take him in a shelter when he was 2 and He is a mix of breed. He is very sweet. Lulù is a maltese, she is 12 and we also adopt her. Then we've adopted Noce because someone left her in a countryside near my house.

I love every kind of animals but I think they are a big responsability. They aren't a toy!

–“Our person in”
I’d like to talk about the Seven Rila Lakes in Bulgarian, near Sofia City.
It’s a beautiful natural reserve on Rila’s Mountains.
My sister and I discovered this place by chance, because we went to Sofia on September 2016 and we didn’t know anything about it. We searched information on web and on guidebook. She found out the Seven Lakes surfing the Instagram App. As soon as we saw the picture we decided to go there.
It was fantastic, we rented a car and leaved.
We arrived at skiing station, but there isn’t snow, to take chair lift and after an half hour we arrived on the top.
The weather wasn’t so good, but didn’t rain fortunately.
We walked all day, infact here you can take different ways to reach the top and see all the landscape. It’s fantastic because you discover lake by lake rising up.
The origin of this place is misterious, in fact someone talks that thousand years ago here lived a giant’s family, they taked care of their house and the sorrounding environment: they curated the plants and animals that inhabited here. But the evil forces, jealous of their happiness, started to destroy everithing. During the fight the male giant died, but his wife survived. She suffered a lot and the legend says that she cryed a great deal and from her tears was formed the seven lakes. If you arrive on the top and look the mountain you can find a woman’s shape laid and from her eyes water flows.
When I was here there were a lot of tourists because it was a national holiday. I met a person that lived in Italy some years ago and told me that it’s a place very famous among the inhabitants, but not very much by foreigners
I think to be very lucky to have discovered this place!

I like both kinds of animals. But I think that having a pet is a great responsibility. Dogs and cats usually live many years, so the person who wants to take a pet should think about his future plans. People often take a pet for their children. But when children grow up or start to be interested in something else, pet becomes need to nobody. And the problem isn't even that they need to feed and clean up after pets, but they need to play with them to don't let them feel lonely, to walk with a dog or to let a parrot fly, to train them, to take care of pet's health. And people also often move not only to other houses, but to other cities. That is a huge stress for a pet. That's why before taking a pet you should remember Antoine de Saint-Exupery's words: "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"!

Hi The LearnEnglish Team,

I want to interact with your team to improve my speaking ability .I heard lots of series of the Podcasts and it is very helpful.But for better speaking quality can you please suggest me some possible ways.

Hello Piyali,

You're welcome to write us comments, but I'm afraid we aren't available to speak to. There's some advice on how to use LearnEnglish to improve your speaking on our Frequently asked questions page, which could prove useful for you, but what I'd most recommend is to take a look at our Facebook page. There you can find all kinds of useful ideas on improving your speaking and other skills as well.

I hope that helps you!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team