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Chinese, Simplified

力量举重是残奥会的项目,相当于奥运会上的举重,但只有一种分项赛——卧推(bench press),即运动员躺在地面上推举重物。这是残奥会中一种不同身体残疾的运动员共同参与比赛的竞技项目之一。你是否尝试过卧推?你能推举起多重?2008年残奥会上,一名运动员举起了265公斤的重量!

Task 2
Task 3

If you looked up ‘spotting’ in the dictionary, you would usually see explanations connected with ‘seeing’ and ‘raining’. However, ‘spotting’ in weightlifting is different and it means supporting another person during a weightlifting exercise. It is particularly common, and recommended, when doing the bench press, which is the type of weightlifting done in Powerlifting. This is because of the risks of lifting a heavy weight while lying on your back.

Spotting takes place during both training and competition. In training, the emphasis is on helping the athlete lift more than he could normally do. Correct spotting involves knowing when to help with a lift, and encouraging your training partner.

In competition, the role of the spotter is very important. The athlete may request the help of the spotters when removing the bar from the racks. Of course there is the obvious role of catching the bar in the event of an accident to prevent injury.

But the spotter cannot help the athlete in any way to lift the weight. From the moment the referee gives the signal ‘start’, to the moment he gives the signal ‘rack’, the competitor will be disqualified if the spotter touches the bar.

In both training and competition, good spotting involves knowing exactly when you should or should not intervene.





It's autumn in England, and for Ashlie and Stephen that means Hallowe'en! They're holding a fancy dress party for their friends, so first they have to choose their costumes. But will Stephen's magic tricks really be treats?

Meanwhile, Joe finds out about another autumn celebration in the UK - and sees some amazing fireworks!

Language level: 

Series 03 Episode 19

Podcast data: 
00:00|While you listen|Listen to the whole podcast.

Tess and Ravi talk about a scary monster. But there's something worse than monsters; Adam and Rob say goodbye!

Language level: 
Task 2

Put the words in the correct order to make sentences from the podcast.


Task 3

Put the words in the correct gaps, but don't look back at activity 2!


Task 4

Put the verbs in the right gaps.


Task 5

Type the past simple forms of these verbs. Don't look back at Activity 4!


Task 6

Match the start and the end of the sentences.


Task 7

Put the verbs in the correct gaps.


Task 8

Match the names of countries to the descriptions.


Leave a comment below!

  • Do you believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists?
  • Have you ever visited Loch Ness? Would you like to go?
  • Tell us about any stories of strange monsters that you know about from your country, in the water or on the land.

Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: Welcome to episode 19 of the Learn English Elementary podcast. I'm Adam and what's... what's your name?

Rob: Yes, I hope you remember. I'm Rob, and it's great to be back with you again. I've been quite busy recently, and sadly, this is my last podcast, but I hope you're going to enjoy it today.

Adam: OK. And today we're going to hear from Tess and Ravi again. As usual, they're talking about something that you think is typically British. An animal this time. A famous animal. Any ideas what it could be?

Rob: But first let's hear some of your comments on the last podcast. Last time we heard about Carolina. If you remember, she was very depressed and didn't want to get out of bed.

Adam: But her friend, Emily, took control of the situation. And a lot of you commented on what a good friend Emily is to Carolina. Thiosko from Mali said that it's important to have a friend who helps you, and Emily is one of the best friends that anyone could have.

Rob: And Manasset from Cameroon said "Poor Carolina, but great Emily! You helped Carolina to get up and to restore her hope". And he says that from now, when he needs to cheer up, he'll call Emily and ask her advice!

Adam: Last time we asked you to write and tell us about places where you go when you want to cheer up. And some of you like to spend time with nature when you're feeling a bit down. For example, Anacla from France goes to a little park near her house.

Rob: Pure Girl talks about Hammah park in Algiers and Yulia from Japan says "When I feel sad I go to the nearest park by the sea in my city. There I lie on the grass listening to birds chirping and watching airplanes cross the sky leaving their white tracks. And I begin to think how beautiful the world is".

Adam: Yulia also does exercise when she feels depressed. She goes to the gym and she rides her bicycle. Maviduman from Turkey goes running, and a lot of you go for a walk.

Rob: Pure Girl also says that she reads the Koran when she feels down. Ahmed Jalilou from Algeria and promise93 from Libya do the same. It always helps them to feel happy. And xiaxiap1202 - I like that name - also finds her religion helps her. She's a Chinese girl living in Singapore and she was depressed when she first arrived - but then she found a church and met some friendly people there. She says "The service also helped me to have positive thoughts, so I like to go to church".

Adam: Our podcast regular Tkazerooni from Iran sent us a long message with a lot of good advice. Liya from China has the most unusual solution when she feels depressed; she goes to a karaoke bar. She says she can let her feelings out when she sings songs - loudly!

Rob: Wow! But now, let's listen to Tess and Ravi and find out about that famous animal.


Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hi everybody, I’m Tess!

Ravi: And I’m Ravi.

Tess: And as usual we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain. Ravi, if I say to you ‘Loch Ness’, what do you think about?

Ravi: The monster: the Loch Ness monster. Hey, Tess, do you think it really exists? I’m sure…

Tess: Right, the Loch Ness monster is another thing that listeners around the world said was a very British thing. Well, a very Scottish thing. First of all, for people who don’t know about it, let’s tell the story. Loch Ness is a big lake in the north of Scotland and some people – lots of people – believe that some strange animal – the Loch Ness monster – lives in the lake. What do you think, Ravi?

Ravi: I think it would be fantastic if there really was a monster in Loch Ness but, well, I don’t really think there is. Sorry.

Tess: I know what you mean. It’s a great story. There have been stories for hundreds of years about a big animal living in the lake – it’s a really big lake – but things got really interesting in 1933 when someone ‘saw’ the monster. The newspapers wrote about it and everyone went crazy about ‘Nessie’. That’s another name for the Loch Ness monster: Nessie.

Ravi: There are lots of different photographs and videos of the monster, but are any of them real, do you think, Tess?

Tess: None of the photographs or videos really prove that there’s a monster. And there have been lots of different explanations: a dinosaur, a dolphin, different types of sea creatures, but no one can really prove it.

Ravi: You know, I’m sure that if there really was a monster then someone would have found it by now. I can’t believe there really is a monster and no one can find anything to prove it.

Tess: Well, it’s a big lake you know and it’s difficult to watch all of it all of the time.

Ravi: But still, Tess, come on!

Tess: I know, it is a bit unbelievable, isn’t it? You know, some people think that there was a monster but it died. That’s why no one’s seen it for a while.

Ravi: Do you know what I think? I think that the Loch Ness monster is a very good way to get tourists to go to the north of Scotland.

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Tess: Well, it’s still a really beautiful place, Ravi. I would go there. But, yeah, you’re right, the Loch Ness monster is very good for tourism. Everyone who goes there hopes they see the monster and there are films and books and everything. I think it will be really sad if they ever say there definitely isn’t a monster.

Ravi: You’re right. It’s better not to know for sure.


Adam and Rob

Rob: So what do you think? Do you believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists? Have you ever visited Loch Ness? Would you like to go? Write and tell us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or leave us a message on Facebook.

Adam: And tell us about any stories of strange monsters that you know about from your country, in the water or on the land. We love reading your messages and finding out more about your countries.

Rob: Now let's look at some of the language from the podcast. Listen. What's Ravi talking about?

Tess: You’re right that Loch Ness is one of the most important tourist attractions in Scotland. It gets hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Adam: Lots of visitors go to Loch Ness every year because of the monster. Ravi is imagining Loch Ness without the monster. And the result? No tourists either. It isn't a real situation; he's imagining it. Listen again to the verb forms that Ravi uses.

Ravi: And imagine if they didn’t have the Loch Ness monster. No one would go there.

Rob: He says "Imagine if they didn't have the Loch Ness monster, no one would go there." If they 'didn't have' the Loch Ness monster no-one 'would go' there. The first verb, after 'if', is in the past simple - didn't have, and the second verb is a conditional form - would go.

Adam: This is the structure that we use to talk about imaginary situations in the present or in the future with 'if'. For example, "If I worked harder, I would get better marks." Or, "If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a fast car."

Rob: A fast car? You can't drive! If I had a lot of money, I'd buy a speedboat!

Adam: Actually, I agree. I wouldn't buy a fast car; I'd buy a boat, too.

Rob: A lot of grammar books call it the 'second conditional' or the 'hypothetical' conditional. There are some exercises on the website to practise this type of conditional and to practise other language from the podcast, too. And don't forget to send us your comments. We're looking forward to hearing what you think about Nessie and your stories about strange monsters and animals around the world!

Adam: And, talking of animals, next week we'll see how Carolina gets on at the city farm, and hear from some of her new four-legged friends.

But now, it's time to say goodbye, Rob. It's been great working with you, and I hope that we can hear from you again one day.

Rob: I hope so, yes. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. And thank you all, too, for your comments. So, it's goodbye from me.

Adam: And it's goodbye from him.

Both: Bye!

While you listen

Elementary Podcasts are suitable for learners with different levels of English. Here are some ways to make them easier (if you have a lower level of English) or more difficult (if you have a higher level of English). You can choose one or two of these suggestions - you don't have to do all of them!

Making it easier

  • Read all the exercises before you listen to the podcast.
  • Look up the words in the exercises that you don't know in a dictionary.
  • Play the podcast as many times as you need.
  • Play each part of the podcast separately.
  • Read the transcript after you have listened to the podcast.

Making it harder

  • Listen to the podcast before you read the exercises.
  • Only play the podcast once before answering the questions.
  • Play the whole podcast without a break.
  • Don't read the transcript.

Now, listen to the podcast and do the exercises on the following tabs.

Choose all the sentences that are true according to what you heard in the podcast.


Creativity is GREAT - Part 1


From Wallace and Gromit to Ewan McGregor, Britain's cinema is great. Richard visits the London Film Museum and finds out about the facilities for making film in the UK.

Language level: 
Task 2

Watch the video again, and select the best answer.


Task 3

Can you make sentences from the video using these words?


Task 4

Can you complete these sentences with the right words? Use of with which, whose or whom.


Britain is a creative nation ... Art, music, gaming and film-making – you’ll find it all here.

But why is it that Great Britain has more creative people, per head of population, than anywhere else in the world?

Let’s find out …

This is the London Film Museum. Here you’ll find original costumes and props from some of the world’s greatest films.

This museum has it all. Iconic monsters, robots, fantasy and so much more...

Ahhh - one of my boyhood heroes, Batman.

Jonathan Sands founded and created the museum, and over half of the collection is from his own private archive.


Richard: Jonathan, I'm a huge fan of movies so I'm very excited to be here. What's the idea behind the London Film Museum?

Jonathan: The Film Museum primarily promotes the British film industry through a number of mediums, including original artefacts and costumes and sets. A lot of our friends, who we've accumulated over the years, have donated material to the museum and it is the only film museum like it in the UK.

Richard: And how did it come about?

Jonathan: Well, it came about because originally we ourselves are from the film industry. We owned a prop company, a prop being an artefact or an item that is used on the film, many of which you'll see here.

Richard: Why do you think it is that Britain leads the world when it comes to film-making?

Jonathan: I think primarily for two reasons. One, we have fantastic facilities, like the Pinewoods, Sheppertons and soon to be the Leavesdens, and we also have the best and the most creative talent, whether it's in front of camera or behind the camera, really.


From creativity on the small screen to creativity on the big stage … the UK has a thriving theatrical tradition. London’s West End is the largest theatrical district in the world.

And it’s not only happening in London. Great Britain hosts one of the world’s largest cultural events – this is the Edinburgh Festival. The Festival takes place each year in August and attracts acts and visitors from around the world.

Which of these things do you see in the London Film Museum?


Creativity is GREAT - Part 2


Richard looks back at past masters of British creativity at Tate Britain and then comes right up to date with an introduction to Britain's great computer gaming scene.

Language level: 
Task 2

Choose the true sentences for each question.


Task 3

Complete the phrases from the video.


Task 4

Find another way to say the first sentence. You have to use the word in brackets at the end of the second sentence and you also have to use a phrase with an -ing word, like 'taking' or 'having'.


Another side of British culture that attracts tourists is the range of visual arts on show.

There are over 300 world-class museums and art galleries just in London. This is Tate Britain - right here, in Millbank. It’s the home of British art from the 1500s right up to the present day - let’s go take a look.

Tate Britain is the world centre for British art. Some of the greatest artists of all time are British and this gallery has them all under one roof.

Tate Britain is one of four Tate galleries across the country, and the oldest. Over the years, it’s been threatened by bombing in the war and flooding from the Thames. There are hundreds of works of art here.

These are some of the earliest paintings in the gallery, including this portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First.

Penelope Curtis is the director of Tate Britain. It’s her job to decide which art pieces are exhibited.

Richard: Penelope, tell me about Tate Britain.

Penelope: Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art. It was founded by Henry Tate about a hundred years ago.

Richard: And what does your role involve?

Penelope: I'm the director, and that means looking after everything, but particularly the collections and the displays that you can see in the gallery.

Richard: And you have some fabulous pictures here, including this very popular one.

Penelope: They say this is our most popular painting. It's hard to know, but it certainly sells the most postcards, but that's rather an old-fashioned measure.

Richard: What is it about British art that's so exciting?

Penelope: Well, what's particular about British art is that we're an island nation, so things become very concentrated here. People travel from all over the world to be here; other people never leave at all, so things that you might see in the rest of the world become more concentrated in Britain.

Richard: What's the future of British art and creativity?

Penelope: I think the fact that we don't know is what's exciting about it. Here, we can make history speak to the present and inform what people are doing now, and that's one of our important roles.

And the future of British art is bold and exciting.


Artistic creativity in Great Britain isn’t always found at museums or galleries; sometimes it’s worth taking a closer look at the walls around the city.

Street art used to be a form of protest and was often painted over by the authorities. These days it’s a celebrated art form. Some pieces are worth a fortune. 


Another art form that is booming in Britain is building computer games.

The UK produces more than a quarter of the world’s computer games and independent developer Blitz Games Studios here in Leamington Spa has created some top sellers. Popular games like Puss in Boots, Karaoke Revolution and The Biggest Loser are developed here. Blitz Games Studios have a passion for games, technology and creativity.

Philip Oliver is a game developer and set up Blitz Games Studios with his brother.

Richard: Philip, how did this all start?

Philip: My twin brother and I, Andrew, started playing video games in the early eighties. We got ourselves a 8-bit computer and started writing games just as a hobby but, by the mid-eighties, we were actually able to sell games. We set up Blitz Games Studios and started employing people with the idea we would make games for a global audience, and today we have over 220 talented, creative people making video games for all the biggest publishers in the world.

Richard: What makes games development so creative?

Philip: Games are just a fantastic medium. I'm sorry, but I'm absolutely hooked, and I hope so many other people are. We are the entertainment of the twenty-first century. There are no limits.

Do you know, when it comes to computer games, I don’t think I'm very good at building them. I'm much better at playing them. Yes! Come on! Go up, up, up, up! Get the star! Go on! Go - Oh, no, no, ah.

Put Richard's actions in the order he does them.


Northern Ireland Scene 1


Stephen and Ashlie see some of Northern Ireland's sights, and then head to the Atlantic Ocean for surfing lessons.

Language level: 
Task 2
Task 3
Task 4


Stephen: Come on, Ash. You said you wanted to see the scenery and you keep looking at the guidebook.

Ashlie: Yes, it’s just really interesting finding out a bit more about all the places along this coast.

Stephen: We’re here in Northern Ireland. We both want to try surfing. And the sea you can see over there is the Atlantic Ocean.

Ashlie: This scenery is beautiful, but lots of places here also have interesting stories. There are lots of fascinating folk tales and legends.

Stephen: We’re here to visit the Giant’s Causeway, one of the most famous attractions in Northern Ireland. How far is it, Ash?

Ashlie: Not far to go now. We should be there soon. Come on.


Ashlie: Don’t you think this coastline is just beautiful, Stephen? Look, it says here that the Giant’s Causeway is supposed to be a bridge that was built by a giant.

Stephen: You can see why people might say that. Anyway we’re here for the Atlantic waves – for surfing – and I want to get down to the beach as soon as possible.


Stephen: Hi. We’ve got a surfing lesson booked. We don’t have any equipment so we’ll have to hire everything, if that’s alright.

Surf Shop Assistant: Don’t worry about it. We’ve got everything you need. Can you swim?

Ashlie: Yes, we’re both good swimmers. But I’m not keen on going in very cold water.

Surf Shop Assistant: Don’t worry about the cold. We’ll give you wetsuits that can keep you warm. And we’ll get you just the right size board.

Ashlie: Great, thank you!


Ashlie: That looks pretty hard, Stephen. I wonder if we’ll be able to stand after just one lesson?

Stephen: I might be able to, but you won’t! Here comes the instructor. We can ask him.

Ashlie: Hi there. We’re here for our first lesson. And I was just wondering – do you think that we’ll be able to stand by the end of today?

Instructor: Absolutely – no problem. We're going to start off with the basics of surfing and you guys are going to have a great time.

Stephen: That’s excellent! Shall we get straight in the water, then?

Instructor: We’re going to start off on the beach first of all, guys. 

Instructor: First of all, you need to decide which foot you naturally put to the front. That’s the foot that goes to the front of the board.

Stephen: Like this?

Instructor: Yes, that’s it. Now we need to work out how you lie on the board so that you can balance properly whenever you’re paddling. Once you learn how to lie down then you start learning how to stand up. OK?

Instructor: First of all, you guys need to put your surfboards onto the sand.


Stephen: I think I’ve swallowed half of the ocean. And I’m freezing cold too. I need a hot drink to warm me up.

Ashlie: Come on then, I think there’s a café at the top of this beach.

Stephen: Where did I put my money? Oh no!

Ashlie: What’s the matter, Stephen?

Stephen: I put my wallet in my wetsuit to keep it safe... And now my money’s soaking wet!

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Have you ever been to Northern Ireland?
  • Do you know anything it is famous for?
  • Have you ever been surfing?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they travel round Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Scene 1 Language Focus


First, Rob talks about ordering instructions in English, and then he talks about keen on.

Language level: 
Task 2
Task 3


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