Talking about family, Dr. Muhammed Yunus, quiz, taxis in Cairo, "What's the best way to travel?", in the chemist, 'look' vs 'sound', false friends

Elementary Podcasts: Tess & Ravi
Audio icon elementary-podcasts-s01-e07.mp3

Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

"Your mum and dad live in Brighton now, don’t they?" – Talking about family

Section 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to talk about both your and other people's families.

Suggestion: One way to do this section is:

  • Download the Support Pack and Transcript.
  • Read the Transcript.
  • Look at the Support Pack, where you can read Tom the Teacher's tips and also find some useful words and phrases for this section.
  • Do the exercises below to help you to learn the common phrases.
  • If possible, practise these common phrases with a friend who speaks English or is also learning English.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Use this information to complete the Conversations in English activity below.

            Dad ------------------------- Mum 
(died two years ago)   |   (lives in Swindon)
                   Harry (28, builder)
                   Julia (26, works in an office)
                   Dave (24, works in a bank)
                   Dan (22, graphic designer)
                   Paula (20, student)


Practice materials: Exercise 2

There are more practice materials in the Support Pack.

Task 2

Section 2 - I'd like to meet...

Section 2 is based on someone talking about somebody or something they like. 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 send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Muhammed talking about Dr. Muhammed Yunus, the Nobel Prize winner.

Can you think of a Nobel Prize winner that you’d like to meet? Or you could tell us about a famous person from your home town or city.

If you can think of someone, 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 that person and add it as a comment below.


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.

The quiz in this podcast is called ‘Beginning with…’ – for example, ‘think of a sport beginning with ‘B’ – the answer could be ‘baseball’ or ‘basketball’ for example – there are lots of possibilities. Playing this game is a good way to revise and learn new vocabulary.  

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Put the words into the correct categories.


Practice materials: Exercise 2

You can play ‘Beginning with…’ by yourself, or with a friend.  To see some ideas, please download the Support Pack.


Task 4

Section 4 - Our Person in...

Section 4 is based on 'Our Person in...'. It helps you to listen to other people speaking for a little longer than they speak in a conversation, like a radio or television news report. When people prepare written reports, they are often a little more formal, and use more complex words and structures.

You listened to Susan Harold talking about the taxis in Cairo.
Can you tell people about the transport in your city or town? Maybe your city has trams, or ferry boats across a river, or a more unusual form of transport.

Suggestion: Download the Support Pack and read the notes to help you to think of things to say, and the best order to say them. Make your own notes and then join these together to make a paragraph in the comments section below.

Task 5

Section 5 - Your turn

Section 5 is based on 'Your Turn'. It helps you to listen and understand people giving their opinions.

In Your Turn you heard 5 people answer this question: ‘What’s the best way to travel?
What do you think?  What’s your favourite way of travelling?

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.

Maybe you agree with one of them, or maybe you can think of something different. Write down your opinion and try to explain why it’s the best way to travel. Do this in the comments section below.

Task 6

Section 6 - Carolina

Section 6 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 conversation at the chemist and then do the exercises.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Put the phrases in the correct places in the conversation.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose all the phrases that are correct.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Please download the Support Pack for more practice materials.

Task 7

Section 7 - Joke

Section 7 is a joke. A joke is normally a funny story you hear and tell someone else. But you can also describe funny things that happen to you. The most important thing is to watch your friends to see if they are enjoying the story or not – then you can make it longer or shorter.

Suggestion: We suggest you do this:

  • Listen to the joke.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines in the right order.
  • Do Exercise 2, in which you tell the joke.
  • Think of a funny story that you know. Write down the most important words in English (use a dictionary?). Then try telling the joke.

Practice materials - Exercise 1

Read sentences and put them in the right order to tell the joke.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Download the Support Pack. Look at the notes and tell the story without looking at the script.


Task 8

Section 8 - Tom the Teacher

Section 8 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

Match the first and last parts of sentences to practise the words 'look' and 'sound'.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with different forms of 'look' and 'sound'.


Practice materials - Exercise 3

Practise 'false friends' by choosing the correct word.





Hello, could you please tell me the meaning of "mind you"? It used in your turn section and i don't understand the definition
Thank you

Hello Dorsa,
This makes the question more polite. assume if you see a woman in the street and you ask her "how old are you ?" the question could a bit annoyed her because it's a very personal question. so it's better we ask such questions in this way.

Best regards,

Hello Dorsa.keshavarz,

Speakers of British English can use 'mind you' to explain more about something that they've just said. In this case, the speaker uses it to show the problem with what they were just saying. In other words, they really like flying but recognise that there's a problem (pollution) with flying.

I hope that helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hahaha! I felt sorry for Carolina I'm venezuelan too and we speak spanish here as a mother language, we say "cosntipate" to the "cold".

Your Turn
I see that the best way of travel depends on the distance & the country you're in & the country or the place you're going to.
If the distance is too much long compared to the country area and different location aspects it is better to use the plane but it is costly, so you should review your financial situation with the purpose of the journey & how much is your time cost.
After this compromising you will be determine exactly what you will travel on plane, train or car.
If I will travel through town inside my country itself I will do it on the train or on car because i is not long distance between our towns, In other countries you cann't choose the car to travel internally & you will choose to pay to avoid being exhausted from travelling & wasting long time.
I mean it depends on the distance you will travel, the purpose of the travel tourism, work or family visit & finally the money you can spend in travelling process itself.
That is it.

In my view, there isn't a best way to travel. It's a question of distance you have to cover. For instance, if you have to go to another country far away from your home, the best way is by plane. If you want to visit different cities in the same country and enjoy the landscape, maybe the train is the right choise. Are you an enthusiastic driver? Perhaps you want to drive your car or ride your motorcycle and feel the wind in your face. In your city, you could use pubblic transport, to reduce the air pollution. Another solution could be just walking or riding a bicycle, so that you can stay healthy too.

In my city public transport is a mess. There are buses and trams, but none of them work well. The buses are old dirty and never in time. Trams were introduced recently, but they don't cover the whole city. The tickets are quite cheap, but people still prefer get to work by car, so the traffic is terrible and the pollution is a big problem. There are also taxis, normal white cars, but they are expensive and only tourists use them. Most of the taxies only accept cash as payment. Tourists who want to visit the city, travel by coach, but there are two more traditional means of transport: one called "motoape" which has a small cabin for the driver and some seats for the passengers on its back. The second one is called "carretto siciliano", which is a buggy pulled by one horse. To avoid the traffic, I prefer to travel on foot or on bicycle.

Hi Podcast Team, I'd want to know what means this phrase:

"The world’s your oyster." (section 5, your turn, voice 2)

Hello Gustavo,

You can find a definition of this phrase in the Cambridge Dictionary. You might also be interested in this Shakespeare video, in which this and other phrases are discussed.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Here in Brazil, taxis are too expensive. After 6 p.m. all the taxis require a fix tax called "bandeira 2". For example, if you take a taxi at 7 p.m., even without starting the ride, you must pay around 5 reais (1,50 dollars, roughly). But for tourists is worse. The taxi drivers usually charge a fix price (very expensive) for all ride, when they are carrying tourists.