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.

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
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 and Rob

Rob and Adam: Hello!

Adam: Welcome to Episode 15 of the LearnEnglish Elementary Podcast. I’m Adam.

Rob: And I’m Rob and it’s nice to be back here with you.

Adam: We’re going to hear from Tess & Ravi today; they’ll be talking about a city – the biggest and most famous city in Britain – I’m sure you know where we’re talking about.

Rob: First though, as usual, we’ll look at some of your comments on the last podcast. In that podcast we talked about social networking and online friends. We asked you to tell us about your online friends and how you feel about social networking and, as usual, you gave us some very interesting answers.

Adam: The first thing that interested me was how many of you live in different countries – not the country that you’re from. So, for example, Ladna is from Somalia, but she lives in Alaska in America. And Mariami is from Georgia but she lives in Germany. Or Tonya – she’s Russian but she lives in Germany too. I’m interested in what takes you to other countries. Are you working? Studying? Something else? If you’re living in a different country, why not write and tell us what you’re doing there.

Rob: Anyway, someone else who lives in a country that isn’t where she’s from is Umi, who’s from Indonesia but lives in Hong Kong, and she had a lot to say this time about social networking. She’s not a fan. She says: Firstly, since we can make new friends very easily on networking sites, it makes us lazy about making an effort to socialise in real life. Secondly, we spend extra time on the computer and it eventually leads to a lack of movement, which also leads to obesity.

Adam: Umi also mentions risks to our relationships and our privacy. Some of you disagreed with Umi and some of you agreed. It was a really interesting discussion and we enjoyed reading it.

Rob: Now, we’ve already mentioned Tonya from Russia who lives in Germany. She says: There are not so many Russian people in Germany I can communicate with. I talk online with my internet friends, some of them I’ve know for many years and these friends know me better than some of my real friends in Germany. With some of my internet friends I have an intense relationship and we write almost every week.

Adam: So, online friends can help you when you’re away from home. And they can help you get in touch with people all over the world – Amanda Clemente from Brazil has friends “from Argentina to Kazakhstan. It's awesome how knowledge of other languages, especially English, can connect you to different people.”

Rob: That’s true. Some of you did mention that you have online friends that you don’t know in real life. Laia in Spain (whose username is ‘ahappylearner’ - nice user name, Laia!) says “I have lots of "friends" on Facebook, but I don't even know half of them. I know most of them only by sight, I see them around high school but at the most we say hello, how’s it going and bye! And then with some of them on Facebook we talk for hours, but face to face we only greet each other!

Adam: That’s strange, isn’t it? In real life you just say ‘hello, how are you?’, but online you chat like old friends. Maybe it’s a difference between younger people and older people.

Rob: Anyway, thanks for all your great comments. Sorry we don’t have time to read out more of them. It’s always good to hear what you think so remember you can write to us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Adam: I also noticed this week that we have a listener called… Ravi!

Rob: Welcome Ravi, and now let’s listen to the original Ravi, along with Tess, talking about a special British city. 

London

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

Ravi: And I’m Ravi.

Tess: And we’re here again to talk about the things you think you know about Britain and the things that you think are very British.

Ravi: We’ve talked about British food, British weather, drinking tea – and lots of other things, but today is a little bit different. We noticed that lots of you, when you talked about British things, talked about places in London – places you’ve visited or would like to visit or just places that you think are very British – and we’re going to take a look at some of them. What do you think people chose, Tess?

Tess: Big Ben?

Ravi: Good guess. Yep, the first one was Big Ben. If you don’t know it, Big Ben is the name given to the really big clock tower right in the centre of London – next to the Houses of Parliament. It was finished in 18...

Tess: How do you know that? Have you been studying?

Ravi: Research, Tess, research. It was finished in 1859 and it’s over ninety-six metres high. Actually, Big Ben is really the name of the bell that rings every hour to tell you what time it is, but everyone says Big Ben for the clock and the tower as well.

Tess: Why do you think it’s so famous?

Ravi: Well, it’s sort of the symbol of London, isn’t it? New York has the Statue of Liberty, Paris has the Eiffel Tower… and London has Big Ben.

Tess: It’s nice, isn’t it, when you hear the bells ringing for the hour, because you hear them on TV or the radio, on the BBC? What other places did people talk about in London? 

Ravi: Well, Buckingham Palace is another place lots of people mentioned.

Tess: Ah, the Queen’s home. Yeah, that’s a really popular place for tourists to visit and see the changing of the guard and things. What have you learned about Buckingham Palace? How old is it?

Ravi: The oldest part was built in 1705, but new bits were added after that. It’s got two hundred and forty bedrooms, I think, and seventy eight bathrooms and ..

Tess: Do you know what it means when you see the flag flying above Buckingham Palace? It means that the Queen is there, in the palace. She’s got lots of different homes, hasn’t she?

Ravi: Hmm. Are you sure, Tess? I don’t think it does. I think the flag is flying all the time these days. Anyway, when was the last time you went to Buckingham Palace?

Tess: Inside the palace? Never. Actually, it’s a real tourist attraction, isn’t it? Lots of tourists go there, but if you live in Britain you don’t go there very often.

Ravi: No, not really. There’s always a big crowd there though for big royal events, like a wedding in the royal family or Princess Diana’s funeral, isn’t there?

Tess: Yeah. It’s sort of a symbol, isn’t it? A symbol of the royal family.

Ravi: Yeah. Actually, the royal family is another thing on our list – another thing that people said is typical of Britain. Let’s talk about that next time.

Tess: OK. What other things in London did people say were typically British?

Ravi: Let’s have a look. The London Eye, shopping in Oxford Street, the Houses of Parliament, the London underground… I think we might have to come back to this one another time, OK?

Tess: OK, then, let’s do that.

Adam and Rob

Adam: It’s true that Big Ben is sort of a symbol of London, isn’t it? Ravi said that ‘Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the statue of liberty and London has Big Ben.’ How about you Rob - do you have a favourite sight in London? Or somewhere you take visitors when you’re there?

Rob: I do like Big Ben, I think it’s a great symbol for London. But when I go there with friends, I usually take them to a place called ‘Borough Market’. It’s just in the centre, south of the river.

Adam: Why do you like it?

Rob: Well, it’s a really authentic place with lots of great, great food from all over the world. And you can have something to eat, you can have something to drink; it’s just got a really good atmosphere.

Adam: Sounds great. I’ll have to go there next time I’m in London. How about you, listeners? Have you been to London? Did you like it? Write and tell us what you know or think about London. We love hearing from you and you can contact us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Rob: Right, that’s almost all we’ve got time for. But first, we’ll remind you about the exercises you’ll find on our website. As usual, there are some useful tips to help you with your English. Listen to this: Ravi: It was finished in 18… Tess: How do you know that? Have you been studying? Ravi: Research, Tess, research. It was finished in 1859 and it’s over 96 metres high.

Adam: Ravi gave two years: 1850 and 1859. If you ever have problems saying the year in English, then the exercises on the LearnEnglish site will help. 

Rob: You’ll also find exercises on the different kinds of sights you can see in cities, on passive sentences, heights, weights and measures and lots, lots more.

Adam: Do go to the website and try the exercises and write and tell us what you think. We’re going to meet our LearnEnglish colleagues in London next week, so we’ll be back in three weeks with more from Carolina. Until then…

Rob and 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.

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

Exercise

Premier Skills

Tab: 
Premier Skills English
Spanish

Entérate de la nueva página web Premier Skills. Premier que te ayuda a aprender dos de los idiomas internacionales más hablados del mundo, el inglés y el fútbol.
 

Entérate de la nueva sección Premier Skills. Te ayudará a aprender dos de los idiomas internacionales más hablados del mundo, el inglés y el fútbol.

 

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...

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
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 and Rob

Both: Hello!

Adam: I’m Adam.

Rob: And I’m Rob.

Adam: And welcome to episode 14 of the Learn English Elementary Podcast.

Rob: In a few minutes we’ll be hearing the latest news from Carolina and her friends – Carolina and Emily are at the seaside today.

Adam: But first, as usual, let’s take a look at some of your comments from the last podcast. We asked you to tell us what you think about British politeness. Are British people really very polite? And how about people in your country? Are they polite or not?

Rob: You know, one of the things we love about reading your comments is seeing answers from so many different countries and this time we had answers from all over the world: Madagascar, Colombia, Georgia, Djibouti, Nepal, Vietnam… It’s always really interesting to hear so many different opinions.

Adam: And we were surprised to hear how many of you do think that British people are very polite. Negrota in Colombia, Angelo in Italy, Sakine in Turkey and Zineb Zineb in Algeria – to name but a few – all said that it’s true that British people are really polite. Were you surprised by that, Rob?

Rob: You know I was, yes, and another interesting thing I noticed was that several of you said that young people in your country are not as polite as they were in the past. Osmide in Spain said “Nowadays young people are impolite, and they almost never say ‘thanks’ or ‘sorry’.” And Awatefromdhani in Tunisia says “Personally, I think people are no longer as polite as in the old days” and it’s the same story in Vietnam.

Adam: Wywy in Egypt makes an interesting point. She says “I think Egyptians in the past were more polite than now but I’ve noticed that some of us have become more polite after the 25th of January revolution”. That’s an interesting idea, don’t you think?

Rob: It is. We did hear too about polite people in different countries. “Malagasy people are very polite and respectful” says Tianakely and tankamani tells us that the culture of politeness in Nepal is similar to that in Britain – namaste!

Adam: But I think we need to give the last word to two comments. Sirinel in Algeria says “I think it’s not fair to judge any country for being rude or polite. It depends on the people themselves”.

Rob: And Felix in Spain says: I don't believe in stereotypes. There are polite people from everywhere. We must not believe in stereotypes because normally they aren't totally true.

Adam: You know, Sirinel and Felix, I agree with you. I’ve met very polite people in every country I’ve ever visited – and some not so polite people!

Rob: Thanks for all your great comments, please do keep sending them. I’ll remind you of the address. You can write to us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.

Adam: Now, time again to listen to Carolina. If you’re new to the podcast, I’ll tell you that Carolina is from Venezuela, but she’s studying at Newcastle University in the north-east of England. Last time we listened, Carolina went to the cinema with her boyfriend, Jamie, her friend Emily and Jamie’s friend Cameron. And Emily is quite… interested in Cameron. Let’s see what happens this time.

Carolina

Carolina: Brrr. It's cold.

Emily: That's the sea air Carolina. It's good! It clears your head. You work too hard. You need to relax sometimes.

Carolina: I know. But… brrrrrr. But it is beautiful here. It's nice to see the sea. Ha! 'see the sea'. I like that.

Emily: My grandfather used to sing a song. I can't remember it all, but it was "And what did we see? We saw the sea."

Carolina: "And what did we see? We saw the sea". What a silly song. I'm going to find it on the internet when we get home.

Emily: Yeah. Perhaps Jamie and Cameron's band could play it. A cover version.

Carolina: Talking of Cameron…

Emily: Yes?

Carolina: You know. Do you like him?

Emily: Well, I don't not like him, if you know what I mean. He's very attractive, and he's a singer – that's cool – and he works in a bookshop, he likes books, he likes science fiction…

Carolina: But?

Emily: Well, that laugh! He's got the most awful laugh I've ever heard.

Carolina: Oh dear. I know. But he seems like a nice guy, and he is attractive and he likes you. Just don't tell him any jokes.

Emily: Actually, he sent me a friend request on Facebook yesterday.

Carolina: Did he? No!

Emily: Calm down. It was just a friend request. Like 'friend'.

Carolina: Oh no, he likes you. 'Friend' doesn't mean 'friend'. That's it. So did you accept?

Emily: 'Friend' means 'friend'. And I accepted.

Carolina: Yippee!

Emily: Stop it. I think he's a nice guy – it's no big deal. Look at that ship. Isn't it beautiful? I wonder where it's going.

Carolina: Why don't you phone him?

Emily: I'm not going to phone him. Stop it. Now.

Carolina: Hello Jamie. We're at the coast, having a walk. Really! That's great! She's here. With me. Wait a minute. Emily, Cameron has asked Jamie for your phone number. Emily! Can Jamie give Cameron your phone number? I'll call you back Jamie.

Emily: Eeeek!

Carolina: Ha ha! Told you so. "Friend means friend". I don't think so. Not now.

Emily: Stop it. You're making me nervous.

Carolina: There's nothing to be nervous about. Just give the guy your phone number! Emily! You're always saying that your love life is a disaster. This guy likes you, you like him. Give him your phone number!

Emily: OK.

Carolina: I’ll tell Jamie to give it to him.

Emily: OK.

Carolina: Phew. That was hard work. Listen!

Emily: What?

Carolina: I can hear Cameron.

Emily: What are you talking about?

Carolina: See?

Emily: You're terrible! 

Adam and Rob

Rob: That’s a bit unfair to say that Cameron’s laugh sounds like a foghorn. He does have a slightly strange laugh but it’s not that bad.

Adam: No… Anyway, so now Cameron has Emily’s phone number. And they’re friends on Facebook. Are you on Facebook Rob?

Rob: I am actually.

Adam: Got many Facebook friends?

Rob: No, unfortunately.

Adam: And what do you think about what Carolina said about social networking – ‘friend doesn’t mean ‘friend’’? Are your friends on Facebook people you know in real life?

Rob: No, not all of them. Actually, some of them I’ve only met once. That’s something I’m not sure I like about Facebook.

Adam: I’m not on Facebook, so I sort of have the opposite problem. I don’t have anyone following me that I don’t know, but sometimes it’s a bit hard to keep in touch with everyone I want to keep in touch with.

Rob: I see. What about you, listeners? 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: We’d love to hear what you think. Why not write and tell us at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish and if you’re on Facebook, remember to look for Tess and Ravi there. They sometimes answer your questions there, so watch out for that.

Rob: Now, did you hear Emily sing a little song today? Listen again. Emily: My grandfather used to sing a song – I can't remember it all, but it was "And what did we see? We saw the sea." Carolina: "And what did we see? We saw the sea".

Adam: ‘What did we see? We saw the sea’ ‘See’ the verb and ‘sea’ – the big area of water, sound exactly the same: they are homophones. Two words that have different spellings and different meanings but sound exactly the same are homophones and there are lots of them in English.

Rob: ‘Sun’ – in the sky – and ‘son’ – a boy – they’re homophones for example – piece and peace, week and weak – but of course they sound exactly the same so you need to see them in writing to understand better or understand the context. So you’ll find some activities on the website to tell you more about homophones.

Adam: You’ll also find an exercise on some of the strange noises we make in English. Listen to this:

Carolina: Brrr. It’s cold.

Adam: Carolina said ‘Brrr – it’s cold’. ‘Brrr’ is a noise we make when we’re cold. And there are other noises – do you know what these noises mean?

Rob: Hmmm.

Adam: Ow!

Rob: Oops… Any ideas? Check the website to find out the answers. And that’s all we’ve got time for today.

Adam: We’re looking forward to hearing from you and we’ll be back next time with more from Tess and Ravi talking about a famous British city. Any ideas? See you next time.

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.

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.

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
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!

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
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!

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 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.

Language level: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
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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