Persuading people to do things, Zaha Hadid, comparing things, complaining about bad service, Carolina goes to the hairdresser's, a joke, comparatives, telling the time.

Elementary Podcasts
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

“But you really must ...” – Persuading people to do things

Part 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to persuade people to do things.

Suggestion: One way to use this is to read the Transcript, and 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.

Practice materials: exercises 1 - 4

Match sentences to functions.


Choose the best way to continue the conversation (1)


Choose the best way to continue the conversation (2)


Choose the best way to continue the conversation (3)


Practice materials: further practice

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

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 send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Steve talking about Zaha Hadid and here is some more information about Zaha Hadid

Is there an architect or designer that you really admire? If so, use the information in the Support Pack to help you make some notes.

Now put your notes together to write a paragraph 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.

The quiz in this episode was about comparing things.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Decide which adjectives are not possible.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

Match adjectives to their opposites.


Practice materials: further practice

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 5 people answer this question: ‘Do you complain when you get bad service?’

What about you? Do you complain when you get bad service? Do you agree with what any of the people said in the podcast?

Write down what you think, explain why, and send 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 with the hairdresser and with Emily 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 - Joke

Section 6 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 on your computer/mp3 player.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines of the joke in 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

Put the lines of the joke in the correct order.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

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

Task 7

Section 7 - Tom the Teacher

Section 7 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

Type in adjectives and comparatives.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Make true sentences using comparatives.


Practice materials - Exercise 3 & 4

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




I would like to talk about my favorite footballer: vanPersie.
He was born in Rotterdam City, Holland. When he was a kid, he had a huge love with football. He played it everytime and wanted to become a professional footballer.Of course, he also left his relatives to come to England, in which he studied in Arsenal Academic and tried hard. He won a prize for best striker of season in 2013 when Persie was a main factor of Manchester United Champions. What I like most about him is that he always makes an effort to train his skill, strength, pace. He scored numerous goals, I love his stunning goal with Aston Villa. It's cool. You can see his goals on many channels over the world

Hi Everbody!
I don't never complain for bad services because I buy anything and the shop or office has be taking a good service.

Hello all,
I dont' hesitate to complain when I get bad service, if the service is really rude or unfriendly. I agreed with Voice 3 when she said that people should be told if they're not doing their job properly, so that they can improve their behaviour towards customers in the future. But if I can avoid to complain I don't do it because afterwards I'll feel a bit nervous but I sometimes try to resolve the matter such as ( or for example - It's better?) I'll clear my throat or say "Excuse me" to lure out the waiter. I I don't want to spoil my evening at the restaurants.

I’d like to talk about Renzo Piano.
He’s one of the best-known, prolific and active architects of (or 'at' ?) the international level, the Prize Pritzker winner, which was handed over by US President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1998.
In 2006 became the first Italian to be included in the Time 100, the list of the 100 personalities in the world, edited by Time.
He was born in Genova, in a family of builders, who (or which? I’m not sure) has influenced his career, in fact it’s thank his father he has had the possibility to know the life of a yard and to practice the profession.
With big surprise, given the young age, Piano along with (is it correct? I looked up on the Google Translator, or is “with” enough?) Rogers and Franchini won in 1971 the international competition for the realization of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, beating the other 681 competitors. It is considered the manifesto of the high-tech architecture, even though Piano disagreed about that statement.
What I like most about him is that he is a simple person who likes as music as sea, his overwhelming intelligence that knows how to look beyond the appearance of things.
My father was a bricklayer, he definetely would want work for this incredible artist.

Hello dolphin,

Thanks for your contribution! I didn't know about Piano, but am glad to learn about him. To answer your questions, 'on an international level' is probably the most common way to say that. Both 'who' and 'which' could be used -- 'who' would refer directly to the builders in his family, whereas 'which' would refer to the situation of him having builders in his family.

Finally, either 'with' or 'along with' works here, I'd say.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team!
I was wonder why in the Quiz Ravi said "It's a daft because it's quite close to Manchester, really". I looked up in the dictionary and it is said "daft" means silly. I was a bit confused.

Hello blueroses,

Ravi is from Manchester and is saying that it's silly that he's never been to Buxton since it is so near to where he lives.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks. Honestly, after I sent the question, I got it. I was so tupid

Hello blueroses,

No worries! I'm glad you figured it out.

Keep up the good work!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello team,
I wanna ask about one of the voices who eas talking about bad services, he said ' i will clean my throat' , could you explain to me the expression, please?
My regards