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Big Meal Scene 1

Stephen and Ashlie visit Chinatown to look for some cooking tips.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.



Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello vanvtc,

To improve your listening, the most important thing is to practise with materials at an appropriate level.  Obviously, we can't tell you what your level is but you should be able to find plenty of material in the Listen & Watch section which is challenging without being frustrating.  Remember that you can use the transcript to help you: using the transcript before you listen can help with difficult listenings, while using it after listening can be a great way to improve your vocabulary.  Try to listen to a range of different texts as it is important to get used to different styles and different content.

We are often asked about developing speaking, but it's hard to give specific advice without knowing how you speak at the moment.  However, there are some general suggestions that I can make which will help you to improve over time.  The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible.  To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you.  It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English.  However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because tt is possible to practise alone.  Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading) as mentioned above. Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks - words which are often used together in set phrases - which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.

I hope those ideas are helpful.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,

Have a nice day!

Thanks for your sharing. I think it'll help me so much while learning and using English.

You know, I really want to improve my English skills but I can't. Why? Because I don't know where to start and how to continue my conversations.

Last week, I attended a BDR class at the office. My teacher, Matt, he is a development manager of Asia. He comes from America. During class, I couldn't understand what he said because of his accent and fast speed. Another reason, my English level is so poor.
So I became wishy washy and my boss din't pay any attention to me. That's too bad :(

So that, I make a decision that I must be good at English. Using English like my national language, Vietnamese in 6 months, includes: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and using it. English is so valuable at my work.

I'll try my best and I can do it.

Do you have any account on Skype? Can we make friend and chat together every day. I think it's one of best way can help me while learning English.

I'm looking forward to hear from you.

Thanks & Regards,


Hi vanvtc,

That's great that you can use English at work - this is a great opportunity for you, though I can understand that it must be stressful sometimes when you don't understand English as well as you'd like to.

What you describe sounds quite normal to me, and as Peter suggested, it sounds like what you really need is practice. His suggestions have helped many users progress very rapidly, and I'm sure you can learn an awful lot in six months if you are disciplined about your work. And I bet that if you were able to listen to Matt more often, you would soon understand him much better.

In order to protect minors, our House Rules prohibit the sharing of personal information such as Skype accounts, and in any case, we are a very small team and there are millions of LearnEnglish users - we just don't have the time to chat, as much as we'd like to. I expect there are language exchange websites on the internet - if you do an internet search for "language exchange" or "practise English Skype", I bet you'll find something.

Good luck, and please let us know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there!

I would like to know the differences between these sentences,

I wonder if u could......
I was wondering if you could.....
I wondered if you could......

And also is it compulsory to use would or could after main clause? Can't we say 'I was wondering if you gave me some.......' Please explain are there any different between those sentences.

Thank you.

Hello bimsara,

There is no difference in meaning between the sentences.  All are polite requests; the two using past forms might be considered slightly more polite, however.

You can use a past form here, but the meaning is different:

'I was wondering if you could give me some...' - this is a polite request.

I was wondering if you gave me some...' - this is what you might say if you cannot remember what happened and are asking for the other person to confirm it.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Very interesting. 

Happy birthday ...Ashlie...

Hello!! How can I get certificate of English language course here?

Hello Danyai,
We don't offer English courses on this website at the moment. Instead you use the materials that are most useful and interesting to you.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for this video. I got new vocabulary after I watched this video