Episode 10

This is the final episode of the first series, and to celebrate we’ve put together the best bits from Series 1. How much do you remember from the previous episodes?


Listen to the podcast and then do the language practice exercises.


Ravi: Hello. I’m Ravi - and I want to say welcome to a special Learn English elementary podcast number ten. This is the last podcast in the first series {pause} so today we’re going to do something a bit different. We’ve had lots of emails from you, the listeners, and lots of great comments on the site, saying how much you’ve enjoyed all of the podcasts in this series. So Gordon, our producer, has put together some of your favourite parts from the first nine podcasts for you to hear again – or maybe for you to hear for the first time. Any way, listen again, or for the first time, and we hope you enjoy it! Especially for any new listeners out there, our first section is from podcast one – and it’s the part when you get to meet me, Tess and Gordon.

Section 1 – Conversations in English: “Susan, this is Paul” – introducing your friends

Ravi: Hello, and welcome to LearnEnglish elementary podcast number one. My name’s Ravi …

Tess: … and I’m Tess. We’re your presenters and we’ve got lots of things for you to listen to today, but before we start, I think we should introduce ourselves. Ravi?

Ravi: OK … erm … I’m Ravi

Tess: (interrupting) or, I tell you what, I’ll introduce you and you can introduce me. How about that?

Ravi: Well, OK then. Erm, this is Tess. She’s from London. She’s (pause) how old are you?

Tess: (joking) None of your business, Ravi!

Rav: i(laughs) and she loves dancing and riding her mountain bike. OK?

Tess: OK. And this is Ravi. He comes from Manchester. He’s 23. Oh, aren’t you? (checking)

Ravi: Oh yes.

Tess: He likes football – and (pause) he’s a great cook.

Ravi: Thanks! And there’s one more person for you to meet. I’d like to introduce our producer, Gordon. (raised voice) Say hello to everyone Gordon!

Gordon: (distant voice) Hello! Pleased to meet you!

Ravi & Tess (together): Hi Gordon

Tess: And how are you today?

Gordon: (distant) Very well thank you Tess.

Tess: Good! We’ll speak to Gordon again later in the show but now it’s time to get on with our programme.

Section 2 – I’d like to meet

Ravi: Right, so that’s us. The next section is ‘I’d like to meet’, when we talk to people about a famous person that they’d like to meet. A lot of you thought that this one was very interesting. It’s from podcast number seven – and it’s Muhammed from Manchester, talking about a very important man.

Tess: So let’s say hello to this week’s guest, Muhammed from Manchester. Hi Muhammed. Welcome to ‘I’d like to meet’.

Muhammed: Hi Tess and Ravi

Ravi: Hi Muhammed. So you’re a Manchester boy like me. Good football team eh.

Muhammed: Which one? 

Ravi: Which one!? No – don’t tell me you’re a Manchester City supporter! Noooo!

Muhammed: I’m afraid so. Sorry Ravi.

Tess: Ravi can’t speak – so I’ll continue. What do you do Muhammed?

Muhammed: I’m at college at the moment - but when I finish I want to join the police.

Tess: You want to be a policeman. What made you decide to do that?

Muhammed: My uncle’s a policeman. I don’t know really – it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.

Tess: OK. Now, who are you going to talk about today Muhammed – who’s the person that you’d like to meet – if you had the chance?

Muhammed: I want to talk about Muhammed Yunus.

Tess: OK. Off you go.

Muhammed: Well, he’s from Bangladesh – from Chittagong actually – that’s where my dad’s family came from – we’ve still got relations living there. And I think everyone knows his name now – since he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 – well he won it with his bank.

Ravi: A bank won the Nobel peace prize?

Muhammed: Yes. The Grameen Bank? Microcredit?

Ravi: Well, yeah, it sounds familiar.

Muhammed: It’s a bank for poor people.

Tess: Perhaps you’d better explain how it works Muhammed.

Muhammed: Well, it all started when he - Dr Yunus – he’s a professor of economics - he visited a village outside Chittagong, and he talked to a very poor woman – and he realised that she only needed a small amount of money – just a couple of dollars – and then she could buy materials to make things and sell them and earn money. She couldn’t borrow money from the bank because they didn’t believe that she would pay it back. He found more people in the same situation - think it was forty-two people in the village – and all of them together only needed twenty-seven dollars -- that’s all they needed to be able to start making money for themselves. So he lent them the money - and they all paid it back to him later. Then he went to other villages and did the same thing. So he started his own bank – the Grameen Bank – to lend small amounts of money to poor people, mostly women actually. That’s what microcredit means.

Tess: What kinds of things do they use the money for?

Muhammed: Well, a woman can buy a cow, and then she can sell the milk and pay to send her children to school. Or she could buy a mobile phone – the villages don’t have telephones – and then people can pay to use her phone. They aren’t expensive things – it just means that poor people can start to earn money. And now the Grameen Bank lends millions and millions of dollars to people.

Ravi: And they all pay it back?

Muhammed: Most of them yes – something like 99 per cent. And now countries like the United States and Britain are using the idea too, it’s all over the world - so – well, I think he’s brilliant – a real hero. That’s what I’d like to say to him.

Tess: Well thank you Muhammed. That was really interesting.

Muhammed: Thanks.

Ravi: There’s an old joke isn’t there – something about ‘a bank will only lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it’.

Tess: Well yes – it’s true isn’t it! I’d never really thought about it before.

Ravi: No, nor me.

Section 3 – Quiz

Ravi: So that was Muhammed talking about Muhammed Yunus. I learnt some interesting things that day. {pause} And now the quiz. We’ve played lots of different games in the quiz section – words beginning with letters of the alphabet, things that are different colours, - but this game is one of your favourites. Hot Seat. And this one’s from podcast number four.

Ravi: Every week we have a little quiz to make you think. This week we’re going to play Hot Seat again. Here to play are Hannah and Max. Hi Hannah.

Hannah: Hello

Ravi: Hi Max

Max: Hello.

Ravi: You’re both from Sheffield, is that right?

Max: Yeah

Ravi: And how old are you?

Max: I’m seventeen

Hannah: And I’m sixteen. We go to the same school. St Joseph’s.

Ravi: Are you in the same class?

Hannah: We are, yeah.

Ravi: OK. And who’s doing what? Who’s going to explain the words and who’s going to be in the Hot Seat?

Hannah: I’ll explain and Max’ll guess.

Ravi: OK. OK, Max?

Max: OK.

Ravi: Right. Remember how to play? These cards have all got words on. Hannah has to explain the words and Max has to guess them. But remember Hannah, you can’t use the words on the card. Max, you have to guess as many words as you can in one minute. OK?

Hannah and Max: OK

Ravi: Then let’s go. You’ve got one minute starting now!

Hannah: Erm .. big thing. On the sea. You sail in it.

Max: Boat? Ship.

Hannah: Ship! An animal. Small. Big ears.

Max: Elephant.

Hannah: No. It’s small. Carrots! It eats carrots.

Max: Rabbit.

Hannah: Yes, yes! Erm .. you do it at the disco.

Max: Dance.

Hannah: Yes! It’s a fruit I think. It’s very hard. It’s got milk inside. You can eat part of it but not the outside.


Hannah: Yes! Erm, you go there when you’re sick.

Max: Hospital. Doctor’s.

Hannah: Hospital. It’s white. Comes from a cow. You drink it.

Max: Milk.

Hannah: It goes across the river. You cross it.

Max: A bridge

Hannah: You stand under it in the morning and you wash yourself.

Max: Shower!

Hannah: It’s a day. Erm …you’ll be eighteen

Max: Birthday.

Ravi: We’ll give you ‘birthday’. Fantastic. How many was that? I make it nine. Is that right? Yes, nine. Brilliant. Well done Hannah and Max!

Section 4 – Our person in

Ravi: Yes, well done Hannah and Max. {pause} And now the next thing we’ve got for you is ‘Our person in..’. when people around the world tell us something interesting about where they live. And this time it’s something that I do know about - the Indian film industry. Bridget Keenan lives in India and she’s talking about Bollywood – and it comes from podcast number nine.

Bridget: India is a nation of cinema-lovers – almost 40 million people go to the cinema each month and India produces almost twice as many films each year as the USA. The Indian film industry is known as Bollywood and you never feel like you are far from its influence. In cities, giant hand-painted images of Bollywood stars look down at the passing traffic and in parts of India film stars have used their popularity to start careers as politicians. Bollywood films are quite different to Hollywood films. Although the plots can be similar, the Indian films feature a lot more singing and dancing – there are usually six songs and at least two huge dance scenes. In fact, the stories are often very predictable and always have a happy ending – but that doesn’t stop people going to see them. And going to see films is a special experience too - much noisier and livelier than British cinemas. The crowd will cheer on the hero through all the action scenes, whistle through the songs and offer advice and support throughout the film. The audience can be as much fun as the film. That audience seems to be almost everyone in India – from the very old to the very young. In the countryside there are touring cinemas – a lorry travelling with all the equipment to make a temporary cinema in a village for one night before moving on to the next place. It’s a love of cinema shared by the whole, huge country unlike anywhere else in the world.

Ravi: Hehe. That brings back some memories. We used to watch loads of Bollywood films when I was a kid. They’re great fun.

Tess: Did you? Do you still watch them now?

Ravi: Not really. If I’m at my mum and dad’s I might. My mum still watches them quite a lot.

Tess: I’ve never seen a Bollywood film. They sound very … different.

Ravi: I’ll lend you a DVD.

Section 5 – Your turn

Ravi: And that’s reminded me - I never did lend Tess that Bollywood DVD. Something to remember next time I see her. Now, a lot of you enjoy the next section – ‘Your turn’. And a lot of you wrote to us to tell us what you think about all the questions that we talked about in this series. But now, let’s listen to ‘Your turn’ from podcast number six.

Tess: Now it’s time for Your Turn. Your Turn is when we go out in the street to find out what people think. This time the question was ….. "How green are you?"

Ravi: Nice one. “How green are you?” – what do you do to help save the planet? Like use public transport.

Tess: OK. Let’s hear what people said.

Voice 1: What do I do to help save the planet? Not enough. I hate to say it, but it’s true, I mean, I always try to remember not to use plastic bags or recycle or whatever but I always forget. I really have to try to do more.

Voice 2: Well, we recycle pretty much everything we can, you know, bottles, cans, newspapers and all that but to be honest we don’t do much else.

Voice 3: I do as much as I can. You have to, you know? We all have to. I don’t take short-haul flights anymore – I used to fly down to London quite a lot – and of course I recycle and everything else I can.

Voice 4: I know I’m not going to make myself popular saying this but I don’t really do very much. Look – there are factories all over the world putting out loads and loads of pollution every single day and I don’t see how saving your old newspapers is going to help apart from making people feel good about themselves.

Voice 5: I’ll tell you the greenest thing I do – I grow almost all my own vegetables. I’ve really started thinking about where my food comes from and the food miles and that – you know, like I won’t buy food that’s been flown here from Australia or something.

Tess: They make me feel a bit guilty. Some people do so much. I feel like the first woman who said she didn’t do enough. I don’t think I do enough. I do recycle things though.

Ravi: Me too. It’s difficult though, isn’t it? Anyway, remember, listeners, that we’d love to know what you think. How green are you? What do you do to help save the planet? You can write and tell us at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org.

Section 6 – Carolina

Ravi: An interesting question. And don’t forget, it isn’t too late for you to send us your opinion about this, or any of the other ‘Your turn’ questions in series one. We always enjoy hearing from you. {pause} Now for my favourite part of the podcast – the adventures of Carolina. A lot of you said that you liked this one the best. Carolina makes a mistake with her English – and it’s from podcast number seven.

Tess: OK. Time now to find out how Carolina’s getting on in Newcastle. Carolina, you might remember, is a student from Venezuela who’s come to Britain to live, study and have fun. Last time we listened, Carolina joined some societies at the university but this time she’s not feeling too well.

In the shared residence kitchen

Carolina: Hi Emily.

Emily: Hi. What are you doing here? I thought you had a seminar at 10 o’clock.

Carolina: I did, but I’m not feeling very well. (she sneezes)

Emily: Bless you! You sound terrible. You’d better go to bed. Did you tell your tutor that you were ill?

Carolina: No, I was early, he wasn’t there, but I left a note on the door. I said I was sorry, but I was very constipated.

Emily: Constipated? Why did you tell him you were constipated?

Carolina: Well, because I am. (she sneezes) See, I can’t stop sneezing.

Emily: You don’t sneeze when you’re constipated. Constipated means that you can’t go to the toilet, you know, you’re blocked ….. , you know, you try and try but you can’t …. well you know.

Carolina: Oh no! I was thinking in Spanish! In Spanish we say I’m constipada! (she sneezes)

Emily: Well in English it’s a cold. You say I’ve got a cold – a bad cold.

Carolina: I knew that! I’ve got a cold! What a stupid mistake! It’s because I’m ill – my head feels like it’s full of, I don’t know, ….. cake.

Emily: Cake?!

Carolina: And I left a note on the door. Everyone’s going to laugh at me.

Emily: No they won’t. Don’t be silly. Everyone knows English isn’t your first language – you made a mistake that’s all.

Carolina: But they won’t know it’s a mistake. (she sneezes) They’ll think I wanted to tell everyone that I was constipated, that I couldn’t go to the toilet. Oh, I want to go home to Venezuela.

Emily: Look, it’s not ten o’clock yet. I’ll go the room and take the note off the door and explain to…. who?

Carolina: Professor Grogan. Room 102. It’ll be too late.

Emily: And you can go to the chemist’s and get yourself something to take. Then come back here and go to bed. You look awful. Have some hot lemon and honey – that’s what my mother always gives me.

Carolina: (she sneezes) OK, thanks a lot Emily.

At the chemist’s

Chemist: Good morning. Can I help you?

Carolina: (she sneezes) Yes please. I can’t stop sneezing. (she sneezes) Have you got anything I can take?

Chemist: Is it a cold or an allergy?

Carolina: It’s a cold. I don’t have any allergies, at least I don’t think so.

Chemist: Have you got any other symptoms? (Carolina sneezes) A sore throat? A headache? A cough?

Carolina: Yes, my throat hurts – it hurts when I eat or drink, and my head hurts too.

Chemist: Have you got a temperature?

Carolina: A temperature? (she sneezes) What’s that? I’m sorry, my English is terrible today.

Chemist: You know, have you got a high temperature, do you feel hot? Is your face hot?

Carolina: You mean a fever? Yes, yes, I think so, my face is hot but my body feels cold.

Chemist: OK. It sounds like a bad cold. Let’s see … ... this should help. Are you allergic to any medicines?

Carolina: No, no I’m not. How often do I have to take it?

Chemist: Two spoonfuls, four times a day. The instructions are on the bottle. Don’t take it if you’re driving, it might make you sleepy.

Carolina: That’s OK. I just want to go to bed. Should I take anything else?

Chemist: Vitamin C will help. Here you are. Take one of these three times a day. And drink plenty of water. Where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking?

Carolina: Venezuela. I’ve only been here a few weeks.

Chemist: Ah. Venezuela. I expect our English weather is a bit too cold for you then. Spend the rest of the day in bed and keep warm. You’ll feel a lot better tomorrow.

Carolina: I hope so.

Chemist: If you still feel terrible in two or three days then you should go and see a doctor.

Carolina: Thank you very much. And how much is that for the medicines?

Tess: Poor Carolina. It’s terrible when you feel ill in a foreign country.

Ravi: "I am constipated."

Tess: Oh, stop it Ravi.

Ravi: Yeah, you’re right. It is quite funny though. And she got some medicine so I’m sure she’s OK.

Section 7 – The Joke (1)

Ravi: Ah, ‘I’m constipated’. I thought that was really funny when I first heard it. And it still makes me laugh now. Poor Carolina – her English is usually so good. And talking about funny – at the end of every podcast, Gordon, our producer, tells a joke. Sometimes good, sometimes – well, terrible. But a lot of you wrote to tell us that you really liked Gordon’s jokes. And there were two favourites. So let’s listen to them both. This one comes from podcast number one.

Tess: Come on Gordon! Are you ready?

Gordon: I’m ready.

Ravi: I hope this is good Gordon.

Gordon: How long have I got?

Ravi: One minute – at the most.

Gordon: OK then. Right. A chicken walks into a library (is interrupted)

Ravi: (laughing) A chicken?

Gordon: Yeah. A chicken walks into a library, walks up to the counter and says to the librarian “Book, book” (like a chicken). The librarian gives the chicken 2 books – she puts the books on the chicken’s head – and the chicken walks out of the library. One hour later, the chicken walks back into the library. It walks up to the counter and says to the librarian “Book, book” (like a chicken). The librarian gives the chicken 2 books and the chicken walks out of the library. An hour later, this happens again. “Book, book”, and the chicken walks out of the library with 2 books on its head. But this time the librarian thinks, “Hmm, this is strange” so she decides to follow the chicken. She goes out of the library and follows the chicken. The chicken crosses the road, walks along the street, turns the corner, until it comes to the lake. Sitting by the lake is a big, fat frog. The chicken gives the books to the frog and the frog looks at them and says “Read it, Read it”. (like a frog - past tense of ‘read’)

Tess: (laughing) Oh Gordon, that’s terrible.

Section 7 – The Joke (2)

Ravi: Don’t worry about Tess – she always says Gordon’s jokes are terrible. And here’s your other favourite. It’s from podcast number two.

Ravi: OK then Gordon, let’s hear your joke for today.

Gordon: OK. It’s a camping joke. Tess, you’ll love it.

Ravi: (sceptical) Come on then.

Gordon: Well, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are on a camping trip in the countryside. Late at night, Holmes and Watson are lying on their backs looking up at all the stars in the sky. Sherlock Holmes says, “Doctor Watson, look at the stars and tell me what important question we have to ask.” Doctor Watson says, “Well, OK. There are millions and millions of stars in the sky. No-one knows exactly how many. There are planets out there that no-one has seen with a telescope. Maybe there is a planet somewhere that is just like earth. I think the question we have to ask is, “Is there life in another part of our universe?” And Sherlock Holmes says, “Watson, you idiot! The question we have to ask is “WHERE IS OUR TENT?”

Ravi: (laughing) That’s quite good, actually Gordon. Not bad.

Ravi: I think that’s my favourite actually. And I hope you liked it too. {pause} Well, that’s all for today. Usually, Tom the teacher comes along to talk about the language that you’ve heard in the podcasts, but this podcast is a little bit different. I hope you’ve enjoyed our Learn English elementary podcast ‘greatest hits’ and I hope you’ll go back and listen to more of them again. You can go to the ‘previous podcasts’ section on the website and listen to any of them – and you can hear Tom the teacher’s comments and advice there. So that’s all from me! See you next time, in series two. Bye!

Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:20].

Task 1



Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [14:48].

Task 1


Task 2



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Hello Manasik mohammed,

I can give you a few tips about the exam. First, before you take the IELTS exam make sure you learn about the exam. You need to be very clear on what it involves and how you should answer each question, especially the productive skills parts (speaking and writing). Sometimes people who have good language skills do not get a good score because they have misunderstood the task. Here are two useful websites where you can learn about the exam and all its parts:



You can also find on those pages practice questions and whole exam papers with all the parts (including the mp3 audio files) and the answers. This is very useful as it will let you try the exam to see if you are ready for it. Also, you can see sample answers for the writing tasks so you can see what kinds of texts you need to write.


I hope those links are helpful for you.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Marina12345678 on Sun, 01/05/2022 - 10:18


Hello. This is Podcast 7 not 10.

Hello Marina,

I'm sorry about that! I'm afraid I'm not able to fix this today, but will do so as soon as I can.

I'm very sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Aljumhy2020 on Mon, 29/11/2021 - 16:42


Recyling any thing that's possible to recyclable to keep the environment clean.

Submitted by ASMAA HAMZAH A… on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 14:21


I don't think I am green enough. After listening to people I think I don't do as much as I can and I need to do more effort to help our planet and to clean the environment from our garbage . The only thing I do is reusing plastic bags as much as I can , also reusing plastic bottles.I hope I will do more in the future.

Submitted by amola on Wed, 26/05/2021 - 14:18

To help save planet I always try to replace dangerous thing with save ones like; using basket instead of plastic bags , using things made of glass than plastic,don't throw garbage in the parks after picnic. Also I always recommand planet our own vegetables.

Submitted by Waleed jan223 on Sat, 22/05/2021 - 09:35

Great job from learnenglish Britishcounsil podcast team, I literally enjoined every second I’ve spent listening to Tess, Ravi and of course Gorden.

Hello Waleed Jan223,

Thanks for letting us know! As you can see, you've got three more series to listen to, and then after that you could also try Writing home. It's not exactly a continuation of the Podcasts, but does have some connection, as you'll see once you get to it.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by bahram on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 18:50

I think that nature is mother of us and we should try to save it from hurt. but we try to abuse it and destroy our mothers. we must create a universe plan to reduce greenhouse gases production and cheer scientific programs for saving our environment.
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Tue, 30/06/2020 - 23:25

I'm really participative in this regard. I engage in regular environmental sanitation. Yes. I does. I think my participation is optimal. Generally, i sanitize my environment and tidy it up ensuring proper disposal of waste in order to maintain personal hygiene and healthy life.