Series 03 Episode 15

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

Tess and Ravi discuss the most famous city in the UK - I think you know what it is! Rob and Adam read your comments about social networking.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

Reorder the words to make sentences from the podcast.

Exercise

Task 3

Choose the best way to say these dates.

Exercise

Task 4

Put the words in the right sentences.

Exercise

Task 5

Match the answers with the questions.

Exercise

Task 6

Put the words in the right spaces. Don’t look back at Exercise 5!

Exercise

Task 7

Put the verbs in the right places.

Exercise

Task 8

What does ‘really’ mean? Choose the right answer.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

Have you been to London? Did you like it? What do you know - or think - about London?

Adam

Hello and welcome to Episode 15 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts.  My name is Adam and, as usual, I'll be talking about some of the language from the podcast later, with my colleague Jo.

Last time we heard Carolina and Emily chatting in the library when they should have been studying for their exams. We asked how you like to study, and we got lots of answers – you obviously all do a lot of studying, and all have different ways of doing it.

First of all, some of you are early birds – you like to get up and study early in the morning. Others are night owls – you stay awake and study at night. Wuri Koes from Indonesia is a night owl. Wuri says, 'I like to study in complete silence, so late at night is my favourite time for studying'. Safwan10000 from Saudi Arabia agrees and so do Arum Adriani from Indonesia, Abdou_sky from Algeria and bittzzaa from Romania. They all study late at night, at home and in silence. I study at night as well, but usually because I don’t do it in the day!

Alibeneshaq is an early bird – 'I prefer to study alone in my room in the morning after eating breakfast. I believe that the mind is clear in the morning.' Yellowhead16 from Canada agrees that morning is the best time to learn new things. Well, I find making breakfast difficult in the morning – studying would be impossible …

But what about where you study? Olive_ashok from Nepal always went to the university library because it was quiet and nobody disturbed her. Bassel Hinawi from Syria also feels that he can achieve more in the library. And Marziyeh from Iran says, 'I feel sleepy when I study at home, but in the library – I have to sit in one place and study'. And you're right, Marziyeh – there's no TV or fridge or bed in a library to tempt you.

But Nada Ghannoum from Syria says, 'The library is the worst place for studying in the whole world. There are students chatting, laughing, taking selfies and even eating there'. So Nada studies at home – and when she gets bored, she sings to cheer herself up.

Most of you agree that home is the best place to study. Sine_nomine from Ukraine studies at home even though she shares a room with other girls. Farhanda Bashir says 'there's no place like home'. Reza Saadati hates the buzzing sound you get in a library from the lights or the air conditioning so he prefers to study at home. Yes, some noises are really annoying.

And to be a little bit different, farook.ma from the UK, and british learner from Guinea both enjoy studying outside in the open air, somewhere quiet and calm under the trees. That sounds wonderful, but I think I’d fall asleep!

And what about music? Chickenteriyaki listens to Mozart or Chopin. Davidfromhell from Mexico listens to music and sings when he's studying.

Sine_nomine thinks music is 'a great distraction' and OCY21 from Italy says 'I can't focus on my work without total silence!'

So there we are – a lot of different opinions about where and when and how to study. Keep on sending your comments in – and remember the Elementary Podcast app which you can get from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or just follow the link from the LearnEnglish website.

And now it's time to hear from Tess and Ravi again, talking about a typically British subject, well a person ... I'm not going to tell you any more, though – Ravi's got some clues for you ...

 

Tess and Ravi

Tess: Hello. Here we are again, Tess, (that's me) …

Ravi: And Ravi. That's me.

Tess: And we're here to talk about Britain – the things that you know about it … and the things you think you know. Now, let's see if you can guess what we're talking about today. I'll give you some clues, we're talking about a man – a detective, he plays the violin, he has a friend who's a doctor, he smokes a pipe, he lives in Baker Street in London …

Ravi: Elementary, my dear Watson. I mean Tess.

Tess: Yes, it's Sherlock Holmes. A lot of you said that you think of Sherlock Holmes when you think of Britain.

Ravi: Yeah, it's that idea of old London, isn't it? Horses and carriages, old dark streets, cold and foggy, empty, criminals, thieves, horrible murders … aaaargh!

Tess: Stop it.

Ravi: Well, give us some information, then. When was he born?

Tess: He wasn't born. He wasn't a real person, Ravi. He was a character in a book, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Ravi: I knew that.

Tess: And Father Christmas doesn't exist.

Ravi: Aww, no!

Tess: But seriously, a lot of people think he really existed. In the books, Sherlock Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street in London. The company that was at that address received hundreds of letter addressed to Sherlock Holmes. They had a special person – it was his (or her) job to answer all the letters.

Ravi: Really? What a job. I wonder why so many people wrote to him.

Tess: Well, in the Sherlock Holmes books the stories often start with an interesting letter or a visitor to his flat in Baker Street. I think that what people love about Sherlock Holmes in the stories is that he seems to know everything just by looking at people.

Ravi: Like in the films when he says ‘The killer is a man aged forty-two who is left-handed and spent several years in India’ and then he explains how he knows that.

Tess: Yeah, I love all that stuff too. Sherlock Holmes was the first detective to use that kind of logical way of solving a crime. Lots of the things he did in the books were very new things for the police at the time. The police in the stories often seem a bit … well, stupid, compared to Holmes.

Ravi: Forensic methods.

Tess: Exactly – forensic police work means using science to solve the crime – and Holmes – or rather the writer, Conan Doyle – helped develop lots of the ideas. You know TV programmes like CSI – have you seen that?

Ravi: CSI? The crime programme – yeah, I love it.

Tess: Well that’s the same idea as Sherlock Holmes, isn’t it? Using tiny clues to find the answer to the crime. It’s the same with that programme about the doctor – House.

Ravi: Yeah, he’s a bit like Sherlock Holmes – House always knows the answer when no one else does.

Tess: And Doctor House, the doctor in the programme, he lives in apartment two two one B – just like Sherlock Holmes.

Ravi: Well, there you go. You learn something new every day.

 

Jo and Adam

Adam: And here's Jo back with us again.

Jo: Hello everyone. That was quite interesting. I didn't know that Doctor House has the same address as Sherlock Holmes.

Adam: Neither did I. Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan, Jo?

Jo: I’m not really, but I do want to watch the new TV series when I can.

Adam: Oh, I love Sherlock Holmes. My favourite is the BBC radio version. But I don’t listen to or watch a lot of detective shows. How about you?

Jo: No, I don’t either. Detective shows aren’t really my thing. Why don't you write and tell us if you like Sherlock Holmes?

Adam: Or other crime writers or TV programmes. Which ones are your favourites? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Jo: We really enjoy reading all of your comments.

Adam: Now it's time to look at some of the language from the podcast.

Jo: Yes. My students make a lot of mistakes with this. Listen to Ravi's question about Sherlock Holmes.

Ravi: Give us some information, then. When was he born?

Jo: The question was 'When was he born?' We always use 'born' with the verb 'to be' – 'to be born'. 'Born' isn't the infinitive of a verb. You can't change it and we don't use it with auxiliary verbs like 'do' or 'did'.

Adam: You can't say 'When did he born?' or 'I borned in 1987'.

Jo: 'When was he born?' or 'I was born in 1987'.

Adam: Jo, when were your daughters born?

Jo: One was born in 2008, and the other one in 2011. You can use 'born' in the future or the present too. But remember that it's the verb 'to be' that changes – not 'born'.

Adam: 'The baby's going to be born in April.’

Jo: Or 'Most babies in Britain are born in hospital.’

Adam: And I think that's all for today. There are exercises on the website to help you with 'born' and other language that you heard in the podcast. You can do them online or download them and print them.

Jo: Don't forget to write and let us know your comments on the podcast too.

Adam: I'll read some of them out next time. So goodbye for now.

Jo: See you next time. 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 answers that are true according to what you heard in the podcast.

Exercise

Series 03 Episode 14

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

Rob and Adam see what you have to say about politeness, and Emily and Carolina discuss a certain boy...

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

Can you remember who said what in the podcast?

Exercise

Task 3

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

Exercise

Task 4

Match the words to the definitions.

Exercise

Task 5

Choose the right word to fill the gap.

Exercise

Task 6

Are these pairs of words homophones? Say them to yourself. Do they sound the same or different? (Note that this exercise is designed to work with most English accents - some words may sound different in other accents.)

Exercise

Task 7

When do we make these noises in English? Match the noises with their meanings.

Exercise

Task 8

Put the verbs in the spaces.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

Do you have lots of online friends? And do you know all of those friends in real life? Is online friendship different from real life?

Adam

Adam: Hello again! This is Episode 14 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as usual, my colleague Jo will be here later. She'll be talking about some of the language from today's podcast.

Last time we heard Tess and Ravi talking about the BBC or 'The Beeb' as British people sometimes call it. As usual, we asked you to write in and tell us what you think. Can you watch BBC TV or listen to BBC radio where you live? If you can, then what are your favourite programmes? Or maybe you use the BBC website for news or information – or to help you to learn English.

Some of you have problems accessing the BBC in your country, but a lot of you know the programmes well. Wuri Koes from Indonesia used to think the BBC was only for news and documentaries, until he saw a show called Sherlock. I've watched that – it's a very popular modern version of the stories about Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective. It's great fun to watch. Wuri loved the programme and now watches and listens to a lot of BBC drama. Wuri, make sure you listen to the next podcast, Episode 15!

Eminemlik from Turkey used to show his little daughter a BBC children's programme called Balamory so that she could learn English. I've seen that, too. And alibeneshaq from Saudi Arabia watches another children's programme – Nina and the Neurons – every morning with his little sisters. Children's TV can be a very good way to find easy examples of English … and some of it is better made than the adult programmes!

Alibeneshaq and Rui Jesus from Portugal both say how much they like Top Gear, the popular BBC programme about cars. Samssira from Algeria listens to BBC radio every day, especially a programme called Outlook, and thinks that it's 'an excellent way to learn English without being bored'. I love the radio too, although I almost always listen to it as podcasts on the train – or waiting at the station when the train's late!

Nada Ghannoum from Syria used to use the BBC website to learn English, but after listening to the podcast is going to start watching more TV programmes. And bittzza from Romania says 'I haven't listened to BBC radio before, but I think it's a good idea to improve my English'. Krig from Ukraine says 'Of course I've heard of the BBC but due to you I've found out that the website is a great source for English learners'.

The last comment is from Lolachannel from Saudi Arabia who says 'Sorry to say I like you more than the BBC, I think. I like Tess and Ravi and Adam and Jo. I like the BBC a little but I don't listen to news very much – I'm like Ravi'. Thanks for such a kind comment, Lolachannel.

We know that a lot of you enjoy using our podcasts – and the LearnEnglish website in general – to help you learn English, and we get lots of questions after every podcast about how to use the site and get the most out of it. The best place to start is the Help page – there's lots of useful advice, including how to improve your speaking. And Kirk and Peter from the LearnEnglish Team try to answer as many of your questions as they can, so try asking in the comments.

And don't forget the Elementary Podcasts app which will make it easier for you to listen to the podcast wherever you are and has lots of useful features. It's available from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or you can just follow the link from the LearnEnglish website. Happy listening!

And now it's time to find out what's going on with Carolina and her friends Jamie and Emily. It's nearly time for the university's end of year exams and Carolina and Emily are hard at work studying in the library. Or are they?

 

Carolina – In the library

Emily: Oh, I'm so bored with this.

Carolina: Me too.

Emily: Shall we go and have a coffee?

Carolina: No. We only got here half an hour ago … Another hour and a half. Then we can go for a coffee … Come on, Emily. You know I'm right. Our exams start in two weeks.

Emily: Oh, OK … How's Jamie?

Carolina: He's great. He's really excited about his band. He can't stop talking about the gig last week – how well they played, how everyone loved the band, how cool it was to play with The Electrons.

Emily: I know. I've heard a lot of people say how good they were. My friend Helen said they were nearly as good as The Electrons.

Carolina: Well, I'm not sure about that, but yes, they were good.

Student: Ssssh! People are trying to work here.

Carolina and Emily: Sorry.

Emily: Is it eleven o'clock yet?

Carolina: No.

Emily: So what happens next?

Carolina: Coffee at eleven. Keep studying.

Emily: No, I mean with Jamie's band. Are they gonna do another gig with The Electrons?

Carolina: Well, that's the really exciting thing. The Electrons have asked them to go on tour with them after the summer. In October, I think.

Emily: That's fantastic!

Student: Sssshh!

Emily: Sorry. That's fantastic.

Carolina: I know. And the really fantastic thing is, if his band goes on tour with The Electrons, then Jamie will stay here in England. The band will be a full-time job.

Emily: No Antarctica? No orang-utans? No Borneo?

Carolina: Exactly.

Emily: Poor Jamie.

Carolina: What do you mean poor Jamie?

Student: Look, if you can't be quiet then go outside. This is a library.

Carolina: Sorry.

Emily: Poor Jamie because it will be a really difficult decision for him to make. The environment and conservation is so important for him. I don't think it'll be good for him to give up all his plans and stay in Newcastle.

Carolina: But very good for me. You know I don't want him to go to Antarctica or Borneo while I stay here. I know it seems selfish of me, but you're going away next year, Emily …

Emily: Yeah, but only to do a year in France. That's not the same as Borneo.

Carolina: I know. But I'm going to miss you so much. And if Jamie goes away too …

Emily: You can come and visit me in France.

Carolina: I know. Thanks. Now stop talking, Emily. Revision! Revision! One more hour before coffee.

Student: For heaven’s sake!

 

Jo and Adam

Adam: And now Jo's here with us again. Hi Jo.

Jo: Hello. Well, that's good news about Jamie's band – maybe a tour with The Electrons.

Adam: Yes, but what a difficult decision for him to make – his band or his conservation projects.

Jo: Hmmm. Carolina and Emily aren't studying very much, are they? Maybe the library isn't the best place!

Adam: I get distracted very easily when I’m studying at home, so a library is quite a good place for me. What works for you?

Jo: Well, when I was at university I shared a house with six other girls, so I had to study in the library. But these days, with laptops and tablets, I think you can study anywhere if you can find a quiet place.

Adam: I suppose everyone studies in different ways. What about you, listeners? How do you like to study? At home? In a café?

Jo: With music? At night or in the morning?

Adam: Why don't you write and tell us? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. Now it's time to look at some of the language from the podcast.

Jo: And this time we're talking about the future. Emily and Carolina are talking about Jamie. Listen to what Carolina says.

Carolina: And the really fantastic thing is, if his band goes on tour with The Electrons, then Jamie will stay here in England.

Jo: 'If Jamie's band goes on tour with The Electrons, Jamie will stay in England.'

Adam: He won't go to Antarctica or Borneo.

Jo: This is a sentence about the future, using 'if'. It's a conditional sentence. Some people call it the 'future conditional'.

Adam: And some people call it the 'first conditional'.

Jo: Notice the forms of the verb. We use a present tense after 'if' – 'If Jamie's band goes on tour' – and 'will' or 'won't' ...

Adam: or 'might' ...

Jo: ... in the other part of the sentence – 'Jamie will stay in England'. 'If' can be at the beginning of the sentence – 'If the weather's good, I'll go to the beach'.

Adam: Or in the middle – 'I'll go to the beach if the weather's good.

Jo: And don't forget 'might', when you aren't sure – 'I might go to the beach tomorrow if the weather's good'.

Adam: There are exercises on the website to help you with this, and other language from the podcast. And that's all we've got time for today. See you next time.

Adam/Jo: 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.

Select all the sentences that are true, according to the podcast.

Exercise

Series 03 Episode 13

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

Tess and Ravi talk about politeness and Adam reads your comments about going to the cinema.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

Choose the best answer.

Exercise

Task 3

Match the halves of the sentences.

Exercise

Task 4

Put the words in the right order. Don’t look back at Activity 3!

Exercise

Task 5

Which prefix do we use to make these adjectives negative?

Exercise

Task 6

Write the negative prefix – im, un or in.

Exercise

Task 7

Match the opposites with the words below. There are two opposites for each word.

Exercise

Task 8

Put the words in the right places.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

Do you think British people are polite or not? Tell us about your experiences – good or bad! And how about in your country? Do you think people in your country are polite or not?

Adam

Adam: Hello and Happy New Year! I’m Adam. Rob is away this episode, but should be back next time. Welcome to Episode 13 of the Learn English Elementary podcast – the first episode of 2012. And, to start the new year, Tess and Ravi will be here in a moment to talk about something else that’s very British.

But, before we get to that, let’s take a look at some of your comments from the last podcast.

We heard Carolina and her friends go to the cinema and we asked you to tell us about what kind of cinema you like and we got some great responses. We found that, all over the world, people like the same kind of films: action movies, thrillers, documentaries, animation, horror films – well, I don’t like horror films – comedies… Perhaps TKazerooni, our friend in Iran, describes it best when he says “I’ll be flown in my dreams” when he goes to the cinema. Sirjoe, in Italy, likes to sit at the front of the cinema, right in front of the screen, “so that my sight is totally occupied by the images”. I do that too.

And we now have enough film recommendations to start a Podcast film festival! We don’t have time to mention them all but ibtissemdz and gladiator, both from Algeria, mentioned The Battle of Algiers. TKazeroooni recommends an Iranian film called Marmoolak – it means ‘The Lizard’. Both sheileng and michelle in Brazil recommend Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad) and I’ll be looking out for a Russian film called ‘Vysotsky (Thank god I’m alive) recommended by Tanya Klimova. Oh, and Umi from Indonesia says we should see a film called Laskar Pelangi, which means ‘The Rainbow Troops’, and she also offers some good advice on learning English – thanks Umi!

We must give a special mention to Langtucoiam in Vietnam who remembers a very special cinema visit. He says: ‘I will never forget the film "King Kong" because it was really fantastic and after this film one of my classmates became my girl-friend and now she is my wife.’ How romantic!

Finally though, we mustn’t forget that not everybody likes the cinema. Christopher in Brazil says ‘it isn’t good to be inside a dark warm room with very loud noises’, but maybe the best advice is from j d trzsnyai in Romania:

I don't really like going to the cinema. I much prefer reading a good book or studying English with your podcasts.

That’s my favourite advice!

As usual, thank you all for all your great comments and sorry we can’t mention them all. As usual, please let us know what you think by writing to us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or look for us on Facebook.

Now it’s time to catch up with Tess and Ravi. In these podcasts they’ve been looking at things that people think are typically British – things you think about when you think about Britain. I wonder what they’ll tell us today…
 

Tess and Ravi

Ravi: Excuse me. Could I possibly have a cup of tea, please?

Tess: Certainly, sir, here you are.

Ravi: Ah, thank you. How much is that, please?

Tess: Thank you. Two pounds, please.

Ravi: Thank you. Here you are, five pounds.

Tess: Ah! Thank you. And here’s three pounds change, thank you.

Ravi: Ah, thank you!

Tess: Hi, it’s us, Tess and Ravi, and that little conversation might give you an idea of what we’re talking about today.

Ravi: As usual, we’re going to look at something you, our listeners, think you know about Britain – some typically British things – and today, we’re going to talk about British politeness.

Tess: Lots of people think that the British are very polite. What do you think, Ravi?

Ravi: Hmm, I don’t know. I think it’s quite old-fashioned, don’t you? London certainly doesn’t feel very polite in rush hour in the morning.

Tess: I think one thing that makes people think we’re polite is that we say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot – like you and I did just then. I don’t think people say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ so much in other places.

Ravi: Really?

Tess: Yeah. My Spanish friend said that when she first came to visit Britain, when she went to a café, she’d say ‘A coffee’ – not ‘A coffee, please’ because in Spain people don’t say ‘please’ so often. For me, it feels quite rude, quite impolite, if you don’t say ‘please’ when you ask for something in a shop.

Ravi: Yeah, but it can get silly sometimes, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ all the time. Anyway, just saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ a lot doesn’t mean you’re polite. I think London feels quite impolite; I think people in Manchester are more polite than they are here in London.

Tess: Well, you would say that, you’re from Manchester, but you might be right – capital cities are often very different from the rest of the country. The other thing my friend thought was funny about English is our polite language, like, ‘Excuse me, I’m very sorry, but I wonder if I could ask you a question’ – that kind of thing.

Ravi: Yeah, we seem to use a lot of words to say things when we want to be polite. ‘Could I possibly use your telephone if you don’t mind’. But that’s polite language – does that mean that we’re really more polite than people in other countries? I have to say, I don’t really think we are, actually.

Tess: To be honest, I don’t either. I don’t really think the British are especially polite. It’s probably the same everywhere – some people are very polite – and some people are not so polite.

Ravi: I’m very polite aren’t I?

Tess: Yes, Ravi.

Ravi: Thank you.

 

Outro

So, Adam, if you don’t mind my asking, would you perhaps believe that it’s true? Are the British very polite?

Thank you very much for asking, Adam. I think there are different kinds of politeness. There’s following rules, for example when you eat in a particular way, and then there’s politeness by thinking about other people, for example when you give your seat to someone else on the bus. I think you can be kind to other people even if you don’t follow lots of rules about how to speak and act.

But what do you think? Do you think British people are polite or not – tell us about your experiences – good or bad! And how about in your country? Do you think people in your country are polite or not? We’d love to hear from you. As usual you can contact us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

You know, it’s true what Ravi said - we seem to use a lot of words to say things when we want to be polite. And we also use fixed expressions when we’re being polite. It’s useful to learn these fixed expressions. For example, what do you say when you want to get past someone – if you want to get off the train for example?

“Excuse me.”

How about when someone says ‘thank you’ to you?

‘You’re welcome’ or ‘that’s all right’.

We’ve put some activities to help you with this on the website.

You’ll also see some activities about negative prefixes: impolite, unimportant, incorrect. They’ll help you remember which prefix goes with which adjective.

OK, that’s all we’ve got time for today. I’ll be back next time with Rob and with more from Carolina. Thank you very much for listening – 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.

Select all the sentences that are true, according to the podcast.

Exercise

Series 03 Episode 12

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

Your comments about British food - and Carolina has a suggestion about a boy for Emily!

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

Choose who said the sentence.

Exercise

Task 3

Put the words in the right group.

Exercise

Task 4

Complete the sentences with words from exercise 3.

Exercise

Task 5

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

Exercise

Task 6

Put the words in the gaps.

Exercise

Choose the best answer.

Exercise

Task 7

Put the words in the right spaces.

Exercise

Task 8

Match the film genres to the films.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

Do you enjoy going to the cinema? What sort of films do you like watching? How about films from your country? Are there any you’d recommend to other podcast listeners?

Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Rob: I’m Rob.

Adam: And I’m Adam.

Rob: Welcome to episode 12 of Learn English Elementary Podcasts.

Adam: Carolina’s back today. She’s at the cinema and love is in the air!

Rob: But first, as usual, let’s have a look at some of your comments. In the last podcast, Tess and Ravi talked about British food. And we asked you to tell us what you think – is British food really terrible? How about food in your country?

Adam: Elena V in Russia is a big fan of British food. She says:

I've never been to Britain, but when I say "British food" or "British meals", I think of porridge, puddings, fried eggs with bacon, toast with jam, beans and, of course, saddle of lamb. And a nice cup of black tea with milk. I don't know where all of these associations come from, but they are in my head! Almost every morning I cook porridge, I sometimes fry eggs with bacon and I prepare toast with jam. So it seems to me I'm in Britain!

Rob: I think Elena is more British than me!

Adam: Yeah. It certainly seemed to be true that people think British food is bad. JSSierra in Mexico said ‘I've never tried British food, I have been told it is very bad though,’ and Wywy in Egypt said that friends had told her the food in London was terrible.

Rob: Oh dear! Braulio in Italy said ‘a simple way to evaluate whether a cuisine is good or not is to look for it abroad. You can easily find French restaurants outside France or Chinese outside China or Thai outside Thailand but I’ve never found or even heard about an English restaurant... not even in the UK!’

Adam: That’s a good point, I suppose.

Rob: Several people mentioned that they like food from Braulio’s country, Italy, and we also heard about cuisine from Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Azerbaijan.

Adam: Yes, reading all your comments left us feeling very hungry. Finally, FRG in Spain said:

I would like to say I completely disagree about the general opinion of British food. Two years ago, I had a meeting with another colleague in Lincoln in the east of England. One day we went to a restaurant and ate lamb and the food was delicious. British food isn't only fish and chips or roast beef.

Rob: So, some people really do like it.

Adam: Thanks for all your great comments – remember to send them to us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish or look for us on Facebook.

Rob: OK, let’s move on to Carolina. Carolina is a Venezuelan student studying at university in Newcastle in the north of England.

Adam: Last time we heard from her she had started her part-time job in a convenience store and her boyfriend Jamie had just started a band. Carolina and her friend Emily are going to the cinema with Jamie and his band-mate Cameron, who has a very… interesting laugh!

 

Carolina

Carolina: So which film are we going to see, Jamie?

Jamie: The Crazy Future.

Emily: The Crazy Future? Ha! Good name for your band.

Cashier: Next, please.

Jamie: Four tickets for The Crazy Future, please.

Cashier: Four for The Crazy Future. That's twenty-four pounds, please.

Jamie: Thanks.

Cashier: And six pounds change. Screen six. Next, please.

Jamie: Thanks. Here you are – Cameron, Emily, Carolina. Anybody want popcorn? No? OK, let's go in then. Follow me.

Carolina: Emily, you sit next to Cameron.

Emily: What? Why?

Carolina: You like him – I can see. Sit next to him.

Emily: Carolina!

Carolina: I hope the film isn't a comedy.

Emily: Why?

Carolina: You heard his laugh.

Jamie: What a great film. I'm really glad we came to see it. What did you all think?

Emily: Well, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

Jamie: In what way?

Emily: Well, I wasn't expecting a documentary. A documentary about the environment. I mean it was good. I liked it. But you said it was about the future and I thought it was science fiction – you know, not about global warming…

Cameron: Do you like science fiction?

Emily: I love it. Do you?

Cameron: I'm a total fan. I'm reading this great book at the moment, it's…

Jamie: Did you like the film, Cameron?

Cameron: Hmm, it was OK. A bit depressing. Not really my thing, Jamie.

Carolina: I really liked it. It made me cry. Those poor orangutans!

Jamie: Yeah. That was terrible, wasn't it?  But you know, we can change things. The future doesn't have to be so bad.  We can all help.

All: Yes.

Emily: Well, time to go home, I guess.

Carolina: Yes, I've got to do some reading before my seminar tomorrow.

Cameron: We're going to have a drink on the way home. Sure you don't both want to join us?

Jamie: Yeah, just for half an hour. We're going to The Green Man.

Emily: The Green Man. That's you, Jamie. Good name for your band. Or maybe The Green Men.

Carolina: No, I really have to go home.

Emily: Me too.

Cameron: Well, that's a pity. Anyway, it was nice to meet you both.

Carolina: Yes, well, I'm sure we'll meet you again now that you're in the band with Jamie.

Emily: Yes.

Jamie: OK. I'll call you tomorrow, Carolina. See you, Emily.

Emily: See you.

Jamie: Come on, Cameron.

Cameron: Bye.

Emily and Carolina: Bye. Bye, nice to meet you. See you again. Bye Jamie.

Adam and Rob

Rob: So… Emily and Cameron seem to get along well together.

Adam: Do you think that….?

Rob: Hmm, maybe. Let’s see what happens next time.

Adam: Anyway, they seemed to have a good time. Are you a fan of documentaries, Rob? What sort of films do you like going to see?

Rob: I like documentaries, yes, but I also like science fiction films. Star Wars is one of my favourite films. I first saw it when I was a young boy and I still love it today. I also like animations and comedies. How about you?

Adam: I don’t seem to go to the cinema as much as I used to. Maybe I’m just too busy. But I do like foreign films. I used to watch action films a lot, but I think I’ve seen all the explosions I need to!

Rob: How about you, listeners? Do you enjoy going to the cinema? What sort of films do you like watching? How about films from your country? Are there any you’d recommend to other podcast listeners? Write and tell us at www.britishcouncil.org.learnenglish

Adam: Now, listen to this again.

Jamie: Yeah, just for half an hour. We're going to The Green Man.

Emily: The Green Man. That's you, Jamie. Good name for your band. Or maybe The Green Men.

Rob: The name of the pub was The Green Man – then Emily suggested that they call their band The Green Men. Man – men. It’s an irregular plural – one man, two men. Can you think of any other irregular plurals like that?

Adam: Well, women, of course – one woman, two women. And child – one child, but two children. And teeth! One tooth, but the plural is teeth.

Rob: Yeah, there are quite a few irregular plurals that you have to learn.

Adam: Mouse – mice!

Rob: OK, so we’ve put a couple of exercises on the website for you. There are also exercises about saying hello and goodbye to people and about the cinema and different types of film. Why not give them a go?

Adam: That’s all we’ve got time for today. Thanks again for all your lovely comments and stories.

Rob: I won’t be here next time. I’m going to London to make the next series of Word on the Street. If you don’t know Word on the Street, have a look in the Listen & Watch section on the LearnEnglish website. It’s a video series to help you improve your English.

Adam: So, I’ll be back next time with Tess and Ravi again to talk about something else you think is very British. And I’ll talk to you then.

Adam and Rob: 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!

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

Select all the sentences that are true, according to the podcast.

Exercise

Series 03 Episode 11

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

Tess and Ravi discuss something British that people think isn't much good. Adam and Rob read your comments about your jobs.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Language level: 
Task 2

Put the words in the right group.

Exercise

Task 3

Put the words in the spaces.

Exercise

Task 4

Choose the right answer.

Exercise

Task 5

Match the nationality of the restaurant with the food and drink.

Exercise

Task 6

Put the words in the right group.

Exercise

Task 7

Write the country or nationality.

Exercise

Task 8

Match the places to eat with the definitions.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

Have you ever tried British food? What did you think of it? If you haven’t tried it; what do you think British food is?

What about eating out in your country? What sort of restaurants do you have? What’s your favourite cuisine? Why?

Adam and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: Welcome to episode 11 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts.

Rob: You’re going to hear from Tess and Ravi again today. They’re talking about something British that lots of people around the world think is ‘bad’.

Adam: Any idea what it might be? You’ll find out in a moment.

Rob: But first, let’s take a look at your comments. We heard Carolina complaining about her job and we asked you about your jobs.

Adam: And we got some really interesting responses. Umi from Indonesia sent us this message:

It's hard to say whether I like my job or not. I'm working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. My duty is to look after two children, helping with their school work if necessary and to do all the household chores. Sometimes I like my job because it has no real pressure. I don't like my job because it's not a professional job, most of the time others look down on us and I've no freedom at all because I have to live with my employer and I work 6 days a week. I also enjoy it because my employer lets me study, that's why I keep studying from one course to another. I aim to take an online degree. Never lose hope, it’s only a stepping stone for a better future.

Rob: Well, we definitely wish you luck. That’s a really well-written post, so we can see that your English practice is working.

Adam: Yeah. Rony works in an import/export company in Egypt and loves it although it’s sometimes boring. Rony’s advice is that ‘at the end we have to love what we do until we do what we love’.

Rob: Alexman is also in Egypt and he does two jobs!

I work in two jobs in one, it's somehow like the shampoo – 2in1! I am a customer service agent and also a cashier at the same time. I work a full time shift, my day starts at 9AM and ends at 9PM. I will never forget one day after finishing my work I looked at my report to find out that I'd served 360 customers in a day.

Adam: 360 customers!

Rob: In one day!

Adam: Thanks to all of you who commented. I’m happy to hear that you so many of you seem to like your jobs. I wonder how many of you use English in your work.

Rob: Maybe that’s why you’re learning English. Why not let us know? Remember that the address for your comments is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish and you can find us on Facebook too – look for ‘Elementary Podcasts’.

Adam: Now, let’s hear from Tess and Ravi. We’ve already told you that they’re going to talk about something British that lots of people think isn’t very good. Any idea what it is? Let’s find out.

 

Tess and Ravi

Ravi: Hello again, everyone. I’m Ravi.

Tess: And I’m Tess and once again we’re going to talk about something you think you know about Britain.

Ravi: We asked lots of our listeners what they think about when they think about Britain. They said things like ‘drinking tea’, ‘queuing’, ‘Big Ben’, ‘bad weather’ and lots of people mentioned another thing they think is bad – any ideas, Tess?

Tess: Something else that’s bad in Britain? Erm… what?

Ravi: British food. Lots of people think that the food in Britain is terrible. And, do you know what, Tess? I can understand why people think that.

Tess: Really? I think it’s a bit unfair. I mean, what is British food anyway? What do you mean by British food?

Ravi: Well, I don’t know... erm… fish and chips, roast beef, sausage and mash…

Tess: It’s difficult isn’t it, to think of what British food is exactly, but I’m sure you can think of lots of examples of French dishes or Italian or Chinese or Indian dishes, of course.

Ravi: Yeah, lots of ‘em.

Tess: And it’s definitely true that we don’t have the same tradition of food and cooking here in Britain that lots of other countries – France, Italy, China – have.

Ravi: Right.

Tess: But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well in Britain. I think one of the best things about living in London is how many fantastic different types of food you can eat. You can eat food from anywhere in the world in London, can’t you? Greek, Lebanese, Japanese, Polish …

Ravi: Hey, I had a fantastic Thai meal on Saturday, Tess, I’ll have to take you to this restaurant.

Tess: Thai food, mmm. I’d forgotten that one. There are just so many different great types of food to eat in London.

Ravi: It’s not just London, Tess. Other places have loads of different restaurants too. There are some brilliant Brazilian restaurants in Manchester.

Tess: That’s true. Even really small places will probably have a Chinese restaurant and an Indian or Pakistani restaurant. I don’t know about you but I hardly ever eat ‘British’ food.

Ravi: Me neither.

Tess: That’s restaurants, though. My Spanish friend told me that she came here when she was a teenager and stayed with a British family and the food was terrible. She said they ate frozen meals from the freezer every night and it was just horrible.

Ravi: It’s awful when you go to someone’s house and the food is really, really bad and you have to eat it. But I don’t think everybody eats really badly at home, do they?

Tess: I think cooking has never been more popular. Just look at all the cookery programmes on TV.

Ravi: There are hundreds of cookery programmes on TV. Terrible. I never watch them.

Tess: You should. You might learn something. It’s true, though, there are lots and lots of cooking programmes on TV and lots of famous chefs. People are really interested in cooking, don’t you think?

Ravi: I suppose so. They’re not really cooking British food, though, are they?

Tess: They are sometimes. They’re cooking all kinds of food. Anyway, I think that’s what we have to say about British food. We don’t have the same kind of food traditions as other places, but you can eat really well here. Agreed?

Ravi: Agreed.

 

Adam and Rob

Adam: So what do you think, Rob? Is British food really bad? 

Rob: Well, I’m not sure about British food, but I think eating in Britain is fantastic. There’s so much variety. You can find Italian restaurants, Thai restaurants, Chinese restaurants, restaurants from lots of different countries.

Adam: Yeah, even in quite small towns.

Rob: But if I go to Italy, for example, I only really find Italian restaurants. I’m not sure about British food, though.

Adam: Well, I think that one area that Britain does really well is puddings and desserts. There are so many great crumbles and puddings and afters and pies, they’re all delicious.

Rob: Yeah, sticky toffee pudding!

Adam: Yummy!

Rob: As usual, we’d like to hear what you think. Have you ever tried British food? What did you think of it? Or even if you haven’t tried it; what do you think British food is?

Adam: And what about eating out in your country? What sort of restaurants do you have? What’s your favourite cuisine? Why? You can leave your comments at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Rob: So, Tess and Ravi said that although British food might not be the best in the world, it’s possible to eat very well in Britain. And that’s what I want to take a look at next. Listen again to something Tess and Ravi said:

Tess: But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat well in Britain.

Ravi: It’s awful when you go to someone’s house and the food is really, really bad and you have to eat it. But I don’t think everybody eats really badly at home, do they?

Tess said that it doesn’t mean you can’t eat well in Britain and Ravi said he doesn’t think everyone eats badly. ‘Well’ and ‘badly’ are…

Adam: …adverbs! ‘Well’ is the adverb, ‘good’ is the adjective. And remember that an adjective describes a noun and an adverb describes a verb. So, we’d say ‘you speak very good English’, but ‘you speak English very well’.

Rob: The adjective ‘good’, describes the noun, ‘English’, and the adverb ‘well’ describes the verb ‘speak’. You see?

Adam: We’ve put some exercises on the website to help you with adverbs and adjectives.

Rob: And there are also some exercises about another thing you heard. Listen to this bit again:

Tess: It’s difficult, isn’t it, to think of what British food is, exactly, but I’m sure you can think of lots of examples of French dishes or Italian or Chinese or Indian dishes, of course.

Ravi: Yeah, lots of ‘em.

Tess: And it’s definitely true that we don’t have the same tradition of food and cooking here in Britain that lots of other countries – France, Italy, China – have.

Ravi: Right.

Adam: We heard countries – France, Italy, China – and the adjectives to describe things or people from those countries – French, Italian, Chinese. The exercises on the website will help you practise countries and adjectives – have a look.

Rob: Well, that’s all we’ve got time for today. We’ll be back soon when we’ll hear how Carolina and Emily are getting on with Jamie’s new friend. Bye!

Adam: 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.

Select all the sentences that are true, according to the podcast.

Exercise

Pages

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