Talking about travel problems, Frida Kahlo, Think of a word beginning with '...', Kazakhstan, 'How green are you?', the word 'like', neutral and informal words

Elementary Podcasts
Audio icon Download audio 15.12MB (right click & save)

Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

I've had a nightmare journey– arriving late

Section 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to talk about arriving late because of problems when travelling.

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

Talking about a nightmare journey: gapfilling activity.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

Please download the Support Pack for more practice materials.

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 Vanessa talking about Frida Kahlo.

Can you think of an artist that you’d like to meet?

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 Rebecca talking about Kazakhstan.  She talks about the geography of the country and its capital city.  She also talks about a traditional occupation – the berkutchy.
Can you say something about the geography of your country?  And its capital city?  Is there a traditional occupation that you can talk about?

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: ‘How green are you?’
What about you?  What do you do to help the environment?  Do you do a lot? Or do you think that you should do more?  Or maybe you think that being green is a waste of time.

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.

Write a list of all the things that you do (or don’t do) to help the environment - and why. Then make your list into a paragraph and send it to us. 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 conversations at the 'Societies Bazaar' 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

Read the questions and decide if the word 'like' is a verb or a preposition.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the best sentences to complete short dialogues.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Match neutral words to informal words.





I would like to meet Kateryna Saevska - an Ukrainian artist. She is not a professional artist althought she like to draw all her life. And maybe her paintings are not so amazing, but that is not the question. She sell her paintings and gives half of the amount to charity many years. After the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 there are many people with cancer. Treatment is very expensive but our country not very rich and people often have not money for it. It's especially terrible when kids get sick (((( And it give hope when such people as Kateryna - not politicians, not celebrities - try to help someone.
I think Kateryna is very bright and inspiring person so I would be very pleased to talk with her.

Hi. Comment about "Our person in"
My country is Argentina in South America, limited with Chile on the west, with Atlantic Ocean on the east and in the north bordered with Paraguay, Brasil and Uruguay. Have more of 3.700.000 Km2 with more of 40.000.000 inhabitant.
The capital city is Bs. As. with about 307.000 Km 2 with more 40% of all population.
Into Bs. As. is Buenos Aires Autonomous city, very modern, with high purchasing power. The rest of province is agricultural and industrial.
The capital city have several important cultural center and the famous University of Bs. As.
But the rest of the country is Little developed and poor.
My country is really a monster with a huge head: Buenos Aires.

Hi. comment about "I'd like to meet"
I'd hav e liked to meet with Rene Favaloro. He was a famous surgeons Argentino. He worked as surgeon in an small village colled Jacinto Araos, La Pampa Bs. As. about ten years.
In sports he played tennis wen he was a Young; but he was distinguished in their profession.
He passed several years in the Cleveland Clinic of U.S. and created the by pass Aorto coronarie, a surgery that changed the survive of coronarie diseases on over the world.
Then he became to Argentina and created a greate foundation with your name, and exist today.
Finally he decided commit suicide with a shot to the heart.

please reply
tell me if i'm in wrong way
I have printed the Transcript and download the podcast and now exercise on listning and reading and also answer exercises with the book Is this useful or follow the method of more effective

Hello ahmed el sayed,

Yes, that sounds like a good method. There is some general advice on how to get the most out of our site on our Frequently asked questions page. I would recommend that you seek a balance in your work on each episode. In other words, study it more than just listening to it once and doing the exercises, but don't spend so much time on it that you get bored. To spend more time on an episode, you could, for example, choose a number (8 - 12) of sentences or phrases from the transcript that you think it would be useful for you to learn. Listen to them carefully, practise pronouncing them until they are easy for you to say, and write them down in a vocabulary notebook.

If you do this with each episode, you will quickly have a new set of vocabulary that could really help you in your reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Good luck!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Tom,

Would you please explain me, the difference between word *Being* and *Been* with the example, this would be very helpful for me

Hi Learn English team,
I'm wondering about a matter of pronunciation that I have distinguished several times throughout these podcasts. That is about a short "r". For example when Tess says "... it’s time to join Carolina again in Newcastle ..." in fact she says "... Carolinar again...." Is that a matter of accent or something else?
I look forward to hearing from you.


Hello RezAref,

This is an example of an intrusive sound, which is a sound that comes between words to make them easier to say. It is a feature of connected speech and such sounds occur in all dialects of English. There are three such sounds in English:

/r/ as in red. For example: Carolina [r]always works hard.


/j/ as in yes. For example: Three [j]apples are on the table. [note this is the sound /j/, not the letter J]


/w/ as in wind. For example: I'll do [w]it for you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team