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Episode 08

Marcia writes to the unsuccessful candidate to give them the bad news.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. You can also read the transcript.



Nivel de idioma

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


All these courses are so constructive. The way to adress a problem even it's one bad. I learn the positive way to do with less stress.
As a french speaker, there is a lot of difficult words to understand.
It'll be appreciate if at end of the course we may find a smal lexical for the technical words.
Thank you

Hello Rebecca,

Thank you for your suggestion. One thing I would suggest is to read through the transcript first. When you find words or phrases you don't understand, look them up in the Cambridge Dictionary. This should help you with most, but if there are any you still don't understand, please feel free to ask us here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,
Thanks you a lot for your precisions; It's more clear for me now.


Godd morning.
I'm a new member; I have just registered to make a comment about this episode.
Fisrstly, I'd like to thank the team of britishcouncil to offer us those free exercices.
Secondly; about my comment, I am sure to make a mistake; nevertheless; I wish to have a feedback concerning the comprehension task :
On point 5; I replied "Yes" whereas to "No" like in the feedback correction;
When Marcia Boardman proposed to write " “In future, you may wish to moderate your personal style, and carefully fact check your CV...” I understand that it's song like a blame of what he did during the interview.
About the third point; I replied "No" because she not really refused; she made a comment as she does not like to write negative's letters.
Thanks in abvance for your feedback

Hello Fabrice,

In the fifth question the answer is false because it is Philip who suggests including some feedback (constructive criticism); Marcia responds to his suggestion with an example, but the suggestion to do this comes from Philip.

The third question does not ask if she refused to write, but whether or not she wanted to write. Often we do something even though we do not want to - we do it because we must, and I think that is the case here. The question really asks if she is happy to do it, and so the answer is 'true'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

only two answers are wrong

Hi friend,
this is Jonas Amazonas and I am newcomer at British council page. I only 3 answers wrong. How improve? Very nice wibsite.

Hi Jonas,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! How to improve depends on what you want to improve, but I can give you some general advice.




Improving your vocabulary

The more you read - magazines and newspapers, journals, short stories, novels, poems... in fact, whatever genre or kind of writing interests you - the better, and you can find an inexhaustible supply on the internet, of course.

We also recommend very strongly that you start (if you haven't already) a personal vocabulary book. Organise it by topic (sports, work, appearance, finance etc) and add new words and phrases to it as you listen, watch and read in English.

Once you have built up a small collection of items in your vocabulary book, you can use it to test yourself so you can see how well you memorise the items. Cover the meanings and/or examples and try to recall them, or to translate the words and phrases into your own language.


Improving your speaking and listening

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 it 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). 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.


Improving your writing

How to write depends upon what kind of writing you want to do, for what purpose you are writing and who the recipient is. Different kinds of writing require different language and different ways of organising the text, so the first thing to do is to take a look at as many different texts as you can. In general, to improve your writing it's important to read and write as much as possible, so keep an eye out for good examples of letters, articles and so on. Using the internet to read magazines, newspapers and other text-types from online media is a good idea.

Whatever you do, try to spend at least 15 minutes several days per week reading and/or writing. Remember also that written texts are usually well organised - unlike a lot of speech, which can often be haphazard and disorganised.  Therefore it's important to write in an organised way: start by collecting your thoughts, then plan how you are going to organise them, then write a first draft. After that, check (or get someone else to check) your draft before writing your final version. Research shows that good writers constantly review their work and amend it, so this is a good model.



The LearnEnglish Team

This is the first time i come here...Hope have everymembers help me. Because my English very bad.Thanks You so much.

Hello vuongnguyen,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! I would recommend that you read the advice on our Help page, which will help you get the most out of our site. I'd also recommend you try Elementary Podcasts Series 4, where you can interact with other users and Adam, Carolina and everyone on the team producing them.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team