Talking about birthdays, knitting, family quiz, favourite food, Carolina goes shoe shopping, pronouns, uses of 'poor' and 'old'.

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

“Happy Birthday!” – speaking about birthdays

Part 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to ask someone about their birthday and what to say if someone asks you about your birthday.

Suggestion: One way to use this is to read the Transcript, and then look at Tom's tip in this section. You can then do some exercises to help you to learn the common phrases. A good idea is to practise these with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Tom’s tip
Speaking about birthdays:

In social terms, when a child becomes an adult, they stop wanting to have presents on their birthdays.
This, of course, is not true. But it does mean that we have to pretend that we don't want presents, and when we give them, we have to make them look not very important.

Practice materials: exercise 1

Put the sentences in a conversation in the correct order.


Practice materials: exercise 2

Can you match the lines of dialogue with their functions?


Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to talk about

Section 2 is based on someone talking about something that they’re interested in – it could be anything – a hobby, a person, a place, a thing – something that they know a bit about and would like to share. It helps you to practise speaking for a little bit longer – for example, when you're explaining something, or telling people something about yourself.

Suggestion: The best way to practise is with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English. However, if you can't find someone you can use the comments section at the bottom of the page to talk to us by writing a paragraph there as you would say it. It's also very useful to speak to yourself in English. This can really help you to become more confident and more fluent.

You listened to Esther who lives in London and is studying a Masters degree in chemistry. Esther told us all about knitting, and promised to send us some links. Well, she sent us three links to information as well a link to some photos.

The Cambridge Learner's Dictionary ( says:

The verb "to knit" means "to make clothes using wool and two long needles to join the wool into rows". The noun "knitting" is defined as "when something is being knitted or the thing that is being knitted".

Esther recommends these two articles about knitting from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:

She sent in a link to some great knitting photos, with a comment:

People have amazing ideas. Look at some of these tiny hats!

Have you got a hobby that you can write about? If so, make some notes to answer the questions that you can find in the Support Pack.

Now put your notes together to write a paragraph about your hobby and add it as a comment at the bottom of this page.


Task 3

Section 3 - Quiz

Section 3 is based on the Quiz. This helps you to learn the meaning of new words and how to remember them.

Suggestion: You can write your answers in our Support Pack.
You might want to use a notebook or part of your folder to make your own word lists and maps.

You heard Mark playing 'Hot Seat'. All of the questions were connected with people in your life.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Look at a family tree and complete sentences about it.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

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

Task 4

Section 4 - Your turn

Section 4 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and look at the phrases that the people use. Sometimes they don't use complete sentences. Write down notes and then say what you think.

In Your Turn you heard 6 people answer this question: ‘Which country’s food is your favourite and why?’

What about you? Do you agree with what any of the people said in the podcast? Is your favourite food Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, French, Indian, Chinese, Mexican? Or maybe even British! Or is it the food from your own country?

So, write down what you think, explain why, and leave this as a comment at the bottom of the page.

Task 5

Section 5 - Carolina

Section 5 follows Carolina – a girl who has come to the United Kingdom (UK) to live, study, and to have fun exploring a different country and culture. Listening to this can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. You will see that there is often more than one way of saying the same thing in English.

Suggestion: listen to Carolina's conversations in the shoe shops and then do exercises 1 and 2.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the correct phrases.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the phrases that can correctly complete each sentence.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

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

Task 6

Section 6 - Tom the Teacher

Section 6 is Tom the Teacher. These are more traditional exercises. They look at being accurate in English, and often use the type of exercises you may find in English tests and exams.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Complete the sentences with the correct pronouns.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Complete the mini-dialogues with phrases from the podcast.





I like Tom! He speaks so clearly and I understand all the text without transcription. Ravi and Tess speak a little bit worse (for my understading of course). But people in 'Your turn' are my headache - I understand nothing ((( Just a separate words ((( Sound like they speak not in English. Sorry its cry from the heart )))

Hello, I am glad to have platform like this. I have a question that what is the difference between "Whole" and "Complete"? Please guide me. Thank you.

Hello again Muhammad,

Have you looked up 'whole' and 'complete' in the dictionary? It's difficult to explain this without a specific sentence to look at. Could you please read the definitions and example sentences in the dictionary (follow the links)? Then if you have a specific question about a specific sentence after that, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

My favorite food comes from the place where I live: Mexico. Mexican food is awesome, it tastes so good, I suppose that it's because of the fat... I know that the mexican people knows what I am talking about... But lately I´ve been eating japanese food, and I like it a lot too! Even though this is not a greasy food, it's flavore is quite good, delicious; the problem is that here in Mexico, this food is a liiiiittle more expensive than "memelas" or "tlayudas" from Oaxaca (I love tlayudas by the way).

My favorite cuisine is mexican, I'm mexican, i love food but none is as rich as Mexican food.
My favorite dish of Mexican cuisine are chiles en nogada, I aslo like the chalupas, the pambazos, tacos...I think all the typical mexican dishes are so great.
But, also i love asian food, italian food. Anyways I also think that all the cuisins are great, they have at least one awsome dish that I love, but there is nothing like mexican cuisine :D

Hello world.
My name is Melisa, I´m from Mexico and i´d like to talk you about my hobby. I practice judo from a young age (11 years), and I love to do it. It´s my passion and I would like to become a great judoka and compete in Olympics.
Thank you for read!

I would like to talk about music, because music is somthing that I like a lot. I think that that is one of the most amazing things in life, one of the greatest human creations. The reasons for me to say that are plenty, I´ll tell a few. In the first place, music is beautiful to hear and I guess that to play to; it can make you fell a lot of emotions (maybe all of them) from happiness to sadnes, or perhas joy or desperation, it makes you feel funny some times, or anything you can tell (of coures, if you find te right music). Music is also good for the mind (that´s somthing that I hear a lot); scientifics say that it does a lot of crazy (but cool) things on your mind, and that this makes you smarter and it also helps you with some problems from time to time; it helps you to be more imaginative to. In short, I think that everybody likes (or loves) music, and if they not, they should.

Hello everbody!n
My name is Alberto. I am from Brazil. North of country. I'm happy for the first comment in english. Does anybody comment my wrong in my post? Thanks for help me and happy new year for all the world.

Hello Alberto,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! I hope we can help you to improve your English and have some fun as well.

Please take a little time to visit our Getting Started section, which has a lot of useful information about the site, and also our Frequently Asked Questions page, which will give you a lot of advice on effective learning.

We don't correct posts made on LearnEnglish - there are so many that it would just not be possible - but we do read every post and reply to as many questions as we can.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Good night!

This moment, my hobby is study English. I need understang better the language. I made a doctorate in Economics and believe that a good communication is very important.