Talking about birthdays, knitting, family quiz, favourite food, Carolina goes shoe shopping, pronouns, uses of 'poor' and 'old'.

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

“Happy Birthday!” – speaking about birthdays

Part 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to ask someone about their birthday and what to say if someone asks you about your birthday.

Suggestion: One way to use this is to read the Transcript, and then look at Tom's tip in this section. You can then do some exercises to help you to learn the common phrases. A good idea is to practise these with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Tom’s tip
Speaking about birthdays:

In social terms, when a child becomes an adult, they stop wanting to have presents on their birthdays.
This, of course, is not true. But it does mean that we have to pretend that we don't want presents, and when we give them, we have to make them look not very important.

Practice materials: exercise 1

Put the sentences in a conversation in the correct order.


Practice materials: exercise 2

Can you match the lines of dialogue with their functions?


Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to talk about

Section 2 is based on someone talking about something that they’re interested in – it could be anything – a hobby, a person, a place, a thing – something that they know a bit about and would like to share. 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 use the comments section at the bottom of the page to talk to us by writing a paragraph there as you would say it. It's also very useful to speak to yourself in English. This can really help you to become more confident and more fluent.

You listened to Esther who lives in London and is studying a Masters degree in chemistry. Esther told us all about knitting, and promised to send us some links. Well, she sent us three links to information as well a link to some photos.

The Cambridge Learner's Dictionary ( says:

The verb "to knit" means "to make clothes using wool and two long needles to join the wool into rows". The noun "knitting" is defined as "when something is being knitted or the thing that is being knitted".

Esther recommends these two articles about knitting from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:

She sent in a link to some great knitting photos, with a comment:

People have amazing ideas. Look at some of these tiny hats!

Have you got a hobby that you can write about? If so, 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 your hobby and add it as a comment at the bottom of this page.


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.

You heard Mark playing 'Hot Seat'. All of the questions were connected with people in your life.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Look at a family tree and complete sentences about it.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

For further practice activities please download and print the Support Pack. 

Task 4

Section 4 - Your turn

Section 4 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

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.

In Your Turn you heard 6 people answer this question: ‘Which country’s food is your favourite and why?’

What about you? Do you agree with what any of the people said in the podcast? Is your favourite food Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, French, Indian, Chinese, Mexican? Or maybe even British! Or is it the food from your own country?

So, write down what you think, explain why, and leave this as a comment at the bottom of the page.

Task 5

Section 5 - Carolina

Section 5 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 shoe shops and then do exercises 1 and 2.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the correct phrases.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the phrases that can correctly complete each sentence.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

For further practice activities please download and print the Support Pack.

Task 6

Section 6 - Tom the Teacher

Section 6 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

Complete the sentences with the correct pronouns.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Complete the mini-dialogues with phrases from the podcast.





Good night!

This moment, my hobby is study English. I need understang better the language. I made a doctorate in Economics and believe that a good communication is very important.

These types of podcast are very useful for learning English, so, please keep your podcast, and continue with carolina and their friends.

Thank you

I’d say that my favorite cuisine is a Chinese one. I live in the city where there are lots of Chinese restaurants. This food is unusual for us Europeans. It contains a lot of variety of spice and herbs. Chinese people like to experiment with their food and that why their food is very variety. They eat everything, I mean meat, fish, seafood, vegetables and even some insects or snakes. I know it may sound weird for some people but their food is really tasty. Some of their dishes I like the most are fried black mushrooms with meat and a mix of seafood with sauce. When you are in Chinese restaurant you are offered to choose sauce or some spice from a huge variety to make your dish more pungent, sweet or sour. They really know their dressings because they have been having a huge experience for hundreds of ages.
Also I like Chinese tea. It’s something special. I like the most the tea that is made our leafs of milk tree. It’s green kind of tea. After a cup you feel yourself freshen up. Also it’s very healthy.

Hello everybody! My name is Sergey. I’m going to talk about my hobby. It’s making of electronic music. Nowadays this kind of music is very popular all around the world, especially among the youth. I know that quite a lot of people listens different radio shows of popular producers and djs where they can listen something new and be up to date. Also on TV there are lots of that music as well as in night clubs or on so called open air concerts. Some of the famous musicians making that music are Armin van Buuren from Nederland, Gareth Emery and Mat Zo from Britain, ATB from Germany, Arty from Russia.
Of course I’ve always been a fan of that style of music from my childhood and as a result I’ve interested of how they were making their music, what they were using for that and etc. When I was fifteen I got an interesting program for music making. It was called Fruity Loops Studio that was quite a simple program for amateurs. To know more about it, just go this link:
So I started my experience. I’ve understood how any electronic music is being made by producers in their studios.
I’ll try to describe the process. The program I described before is a sequencer that has time line where you can put your sound tracks to collect them together. There are also different sound instruments called Plugins that are producing unique sound. All you need to do is to fit them and play some notes by midi keyboard (also piano). Then you can put some effects on your track that allows him sound more natural and interesting. After you have all of your sound tracks finished, you need to put them together and set in right sequence to get a composition. Of course, firstly you need to have to make good music is a good idea in your head.
I always was very excited when I was making my music. This is a very interesting and fun experience. I’m pleased to share you with one of my music example. I made it a very long ago. Just go to this link and listen:
Thank you!

Hi everybody
What is the meaning of getting on, when Ravy talks about Carolina and he says " We follow her in every podcast to hear how she's getting on?

Hi mohsen2,

The meaning here is something like 'to see if things are going well for her'.

You can always check the meanings of phrases like this in an online dictionary. For example, the entry for 'get on' is here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Peter for your answer. I always use Cambridge dictionary but sometimes there are several meanings for a single word or phrase.

Hello learn English team,
Thanks for the podcast, helpful with easy language i have understood without the transcript.

I want to tell about arab food. In arab kitchen we can find one dish which is called ...
I don't know, actually how it would be in english. I will try to describe it. It includes a pitta bread, some vegetables like tomato and cucumber, also there is pieces of meat (pork, beef, chicken), sauce (I don't know how they make it). May be it's not a full list but it's a main ingredients. Vegetables and piece of meat are placed all over the pitta bread, then it all is poured by sauce and wrapped up into itself. In general, we start to eat it without fork and knife, but if you want you can use ones. In Russia it's a very popular fast-food, it's a cheap and delicious. When I was on holiday in Germany I couldn't find this dish. I tried to find it in Turkey cafe but all what I found was a dishes called "Yfka" and "Doner". Those ones were a bit same, but not as delicious as that one I describe above.

Why in "preparation", in section about Carolina there is next sentence: "Carolina is a British size five for shoes..."
I have a question, why we use «is a British...» instead «has a British...»