Talking about restaurants, Einstein, verb collocations, shopping, Carolina speaks to her tutor, a joke, 'say' and 'tell'.

Elementary Podcasts
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Task 1

Section 1 - Conversations in English

“That restaurant you went to – was it any good?” – speaking about restaurants

Part 1 is based on the Introduction. This section looks at how to tell other people about restaurants, and ask other people about them too.

Suggestion: One way to use this is to read the Transcript, and 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.

Practice materials: exercise 1

Match phrases to make mini-dialogues about restaurants.


Practice materials: exercises 2 and 3

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

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 send us a paragraph in English.

You listened to Liam talking about Albert Einstein and here is some more information about Albert Einstein and relativity.

Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was a theoretical physicist who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. His many contributions to physics include the special and general theories of relativity, the photon theory and wave-particle duality, and the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids.

Einstein is best known for his theories of special relativity and general relativity. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

Einstein published more than 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics.

To find out more about Einstein, see

Einstein’s theory of relativity
In physics, special relativity is a fundamental theory about space and time, developed by Einstein in 1905. It was able to explain some theoretical and experimental issues in the physics of the late 19th century involving light and electrodynamics.

To find out more about the theory of relativity, see

Do you have a favourite scientist that you would like to tell us about? If so, use the information in the Support Pack to help you make some notes.

Now put your notes together to write a paragraph about him or her 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.

The quiz in this episode was about the verb ‘tell’ – and the words that go with the verb.

Practice materials: Exercise 1

Match 'speaking' verbs with phrases.


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: ‘Shopping: Love it? Hate it?’ or ‘It depends’?

What about you? What do you think about shopping? Do you agree with what any of the people said in the podcast? Do you always enjoy shopping, or does it depend on what kind of shopping it is?

So, write down what you think, explain why, and send 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 with her tutor 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 - Joke

Section 6 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 on your computer/mp3 player.
  • Do Exercise 1, in which you put the lines of the joke in 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

Put the lines of the joke in the correct order.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

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

Task 7

Section 7 - Tom the Teacher

Section 7 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

Put the words in the right order to make sentences.


Practice materials - Exercise 2

Choose the right word to complete each sentence.


Practice materials – Exercise 3

Complete the text by typing forms of 'say' and 'tell' into the gaps.





Hello everyone
My joke
Around the year 2000 a man called at the hotline for his computer and said: „My holder for my cup broke.“ The employees at the service center didn't understand what the man meant and tried to figure out what the customer wanted.
The man used his open CD ROM device for his cups to hold them. So the device broke. The man hasn't ever used a CD before and thought the device is for his cups.
After they knew what the man meant they laughed about him.

Hello everyone
I hate shopping.
I live in a small village where I usually can't find what I want. I haven't got a car so I must use public transport which is inconvenient and for heavy objects impossible.
I usually shop by mail order. I don't like shopping by mail order either.
I must check that the order is complete, not damaged and suitable, which is hard work for me. I usually check my order on weekends because I've got more time then. If I need to send something back this is even more work.

Hello everybody,
I haven't got a favorite scientist.
An important ability which scientists have nowadays is mathematical skill and the ability to think abstract.
In the past you didn't needed this skills. But today it's always impossible to achieve anything without math and a lot of thinking.
If Einstein had been weak in math he wouldn't have been able to prove anything or write his physical laws in the language of science, which is math.
Usually an interesting idea isn't enough to be successful. You need math, a lot of thinking and hard work.
The same is true for other subjects. If you are a computer programmer there is usually no easy and fast way to get rich.

I really like shopping it is even better if you were a lot of money to spend for , all kinds of shopping , supermarket , shopping centre , stuff and I prefer to go shopping rather than buy on internet , I like to see and touch what I am looking for before buy it , and the same time see people , look around , walk around for me it is a kind of leisure too .

I don't understand next part of dialogue:
Ravi: Well, if any of our listeners want to write to us, they ….
Tess: Gah, terrible link Ravi:
Ravi: {laughs} You think so? I thought that was pretty good.
What wrong said Ravi?
Thank you a lot for your patience!

Hello chunya,

It's not that Ravi said something wrong here, it's that he is trying to make a connection to move from one part of the conversation (writing essays) to the next (contacting them via email). Ravi tries to move smoothly from I hated writing essays to if anyone wants to write to us and Tess thinks it the connection (link) of these two ideas doesn't really work naturally.



The LearnEnglish Team

I don't love shopping. i fell my self tired when i am in shopping center. But i love very much big supermarket when there are not crowd. I think it's amazing and fairy place where different stuffs living!

Hello every one
My question is how we get the best way to reach fluency by listening to the podcasts , l mean
how much time shall we repeate it ,as some sites tell that the repetition is the key of the fluency , is that true ?

Thanks alot.

Hello eng.Ayman,

There is no precise answer that we can give to the question of how long it takes to become fluent because it is different for every person and depends on so many variables, such as how much time you have to practise, what level you are, what other languages you speak and so on. I can say that practice is key and I can tell you that you will make progress so long as you practise, even if the progress is incremental and can be hard to see.


Another user actually asked me a similar question a couple of days ago so I will repeat to you what I said to her:

FIrst of all, try not to become too stressed about speaking as this will only increase the difficulty you have. It is quite natural to forget things and to get mixed up. Speaking, even in our own language, is chaotic and usually unplanned. Don't expect perfection and don't get frustrated when you have problems. Concentrate on making yourself understood, even if the language is imperfect.

Second, remember that fluidity is not the same as fluency. Fluidity is the ability to speak quickly and smoothly, making the sounds without dificulty. Fluency also includes the ability to express particular ideas. You can develop fluidity with recorded texts. Try using the transcript that we provide with our recordings and reading aloud with the recording. This will get you used to producing sounds at speed and also get you used to the rhythm of natural speech. When I learn a language I speak to my pet dog all the time. He is very patient and understanding and he never corrects me, and I can develop confidence and speed so that when I speak to other people I can do so much more fluently.


I hope those suggestions are helpful. For more advice, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, which has tips on various aspects of English, including speaking.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Yesss ı lovee shoping when an important thing is neccesery . Not when ı came across a good things that ı want to shop.
purcahesing a lot of things makes sad me.