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 follow 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.
Leave a comment below!
- What about you – how do you like to study? At home? In a café?
- Do you prefer to study with or without music? At night or in the morning?
Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.
Adam: Hello again! This is Episode 14 of Series 4 of LearnEnglish Elementary Podcasts. My name is Adam and, as usual, my colleague Jo will be here later. She'll be talking about some of the language from today's podcast.
Last time we heard Tess and Ravi talking about the BBC or 'The Beeb' as British people sometimes call it. As usual, we asked you to write in and tell us what you think. Can you watch BBC TV or listen to BBC radio where you live? If you can, then what are your favourite programmes? Or maybe you use the BBC website for news or information – or to help you to learn English.
Some of you have problems accessing the BBC in your country, but a lot of you know the programmes well. Wuri Koes from Indonesia used to think the BBC was only for news and documentaries, until he saw a show called Sherlock. I've watched that – it's a very popular modern version of the stories about Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective. It's great fun to watch. Wuri loved the programme and now watches and listens to a lot of BBC drama. Wuri, make sure you listen to the next podcast, Episode 15!
Eminemlik from Turkey used to show his little daughter a BBC children's programme called Balamory so that she could learn English. I've seen that, too. And alibeneshaq from Saudi Arabia watches another children's programme – Nina and the Neurons – every morning with his little sisters. Children's TV can be a very good way to find easy examples of English … and some of it is better made than the adult programmes!
Alibeneshaq and Rui Jesus from Portugal both say how much they like Top Gear, the popular BBC programme about cars. Samssira from Algeria listens to BBC radio every day, especially a programme called Outlook, and thinks that it's 'an excellent way to learn English without being bored'. I love the radio too, although I almost always listen to it as podcasts on the train – or waiting at the station when the train's late!
Nada Ghannoum from Syria used to use the BBC website to learn English, but after listening to the podcast is going to start watching more TV programmes. And bittzza from Romania says 'I haven't listened to BBC radio before, but I think it's a good idea to improve my English'. Krig from Ukraine says 'Of course I've heard of the BBC but due to you I've found out that the website is a great source for English learners'.
The last comment is from Lolachannel from Saudi Arabia who says 'Sorry to say I like you more than the BBC, I think. I like Tess and Ravi and Adam and Jo. I like the BBC a little but I don't listen to news very much – I'm like Ravi'. Thanks for such a kind comment, Lolachannel.
We know that a lot of you enjoy using our podcasts – and the LearnEnglish website in general – to help you learn English, and we get lots of questions after every podcast about how to use the site and get the most out of it. The best place to start is the Help page – there's lots of useful advice, including how to improve your speaking. And Kirk and Peter from the LearnEnglish Team try to answer as many of your questions as they can, so try asking in the comments.
And don't forget the Elementary Podcasts app which will make it easier for you to listen to the podcast wherever you are and has lots of useful features. It's available from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or you can just follow the link from the LearnEnglish website. Happy listening!
And now it's time to find out what's going on with Carolina and her friends Jamie and Emily. It's nearly time for the university's end of year exams and Carolina and Emily are hard at work studying in the library. Or are they?
Carolina – In the library
Emily: Oh, I'm so bored with this.
Carolina: Me too.
Emily: Shall we go and have a coffee?
Carolina: No. We only got here half an hour ago … Another hour and a half. Then we can go for a coffee … Come on, Emily. You know I'm right. Our exams start in two weeks.
Emily: Oh, OK … How's Jamie?
Carolina: He's great. He's really excited about his band. He can't stop talking about the gig last week – how well they played, how everyone loved the band, how cool it was to play with The Electrons.
Emily: I know. I've heard a lot of people say how good they were. My friend Helen said they were nearly as good as The Electrons.
Carolina: Well, I'm not sure about that, but yes, they were good.
Student: Ssssh! People are trying to work here.
Carolina and Emily: Sorry.
Emily: Is it eleven o'clock yet?
Emily: So what happens next?
Carolina: Coffee at eleven. Keep studying.
Emily: No, I mean with Jamie's band. Are they gonna do another gig with The Electrons?
Carolina: Well, that's the really exciting thing. The Electrons have asked them to go on tour with them after the summer. In October, I think.
Emily: That's fantastic!
Emily: Sorry. That's fantastic.
Carolina: I know. And the really fantastic thing is, if his band goes on tour with The Electrons, then Jamie will stay here in England. The band will be a full-time job.
Emily: No Antarctica? No orang-utans? No Borneo?
Emily: Poor Jamie.
Carolina: What do you mean poor Jamie?
Student: Look, if you can't be quiet then go outside. This is a library.
Emily: Poor Jamie because it will be a really difficult decision for him to make. The environment and conservation is so important for him. I don't think it'll be good for him to give up all his plans and stay in Newcastle.
Carolina: But very good for me. You know I don't want him to go to Antarctica or Borneo while I stay here. I know it seems selfish of me, but you're going away next year, Emily …
Emily: Yeah, but only to do a year in France. That's not the same as Borneo.
Carolina: I know. But I'm going to miss you so much. And if Jamie goes away too …
Emily: You can come and visit me in France.
Carolina: I know. Thanks. Now stop talking, Emily. Revision! Revision! One more hour before coffee.
Student: For heaven’s sake!
Jo and Adam
Adam: And now Jo's here with us again. Hi Jo.
Jo: Hello. Well, that's good news about Jamie's band – maybe a tour with The Electrons.
Adam: Yes, but what a difficult decision for him to make – his band or his conservation projects.
Jo: Hmmm. Carolina and Emily aren't studying very much, are they? Maybe the library isn't the best place!
Adam: I get distracted very easily when I’m studying at home, so a library is quite a good place for me. What works for you?
Jo: Well, when I was at university I shared a house with six other girls, so I had to study in the library. But these days, with laptops and tablets, I think you can study anywhere if you can find a quiet place.
Adam: I suppose everyone studies in different ways. What about you, listeners? How do you like to study? At home? In a café?
Jo: With music? At night or in the morning?
Adam: Why don't you write and tell us? The address is www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish. Now it's time to look at some of the language from the podcast.
Jo: And this time we're talking about the future. Emily and Carolina are talking about Jamie. Listen to what Carolina says.
Carolina: And the really fantastic thing is, if his band goes on tour with The Electrons, then Jamie will stay here in England.
Jo: 'If Jamie's band goes on tour with The Electrons, Jamie will stay in England.'
Adam: He won't go to Antarctica or Borneo.
Jo: This is a sentence about the future, using 'if'. It's a conditional sentence. Some people call it the 'future conditional'.
Adam: And some people call it the 'first conditional'.
Jo: Notice the forms of the verb. We use a present tense after 'if' – 'If Jamie's band goes on tour' – and 'will' or 'won't' ...
Adam: or 'might' ...
Jo: ... in the other part of the sentence – 'Jamie will stay in England'. 'If' can be at the beginning of the sentence – 'If the weather's good, I'll go to the beach'.
Adam: Or in the middle – 'I'll go to the beach if the weather's good.
Jo: And don't forget 'might', when you aren't sure – 'I might go to the beach tomorrow if the weather's good'.
Adam: There are exercises on the website to help you with this, and other language from the podcast. And that's all we've got time for today. See you next time.