Episode 06

Episode 06

In this episode Ravi has hurt his leg and Tess persuades him to go to the doctor. Their guests talk about architect Zaha Hadid and complaining about bad service. You can also follow Carolina as she goes to the hairdresser. Will she get a new look?

Listen to the podcast then do the first exercise to check your understanding. If you have more time choose some of the language practice exercises.



Section 1: "But you really must…"

Tess: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Learn English Elementary podcast. It's series two, this is podcast number 6 and I'm Tess.
Ravi: Good morning. Or good afternoon, or good evening. I'm Ravi. And we're you're present-AAH…
Tess: Ravi? What's up? Are you OK? Ravi: Ah. Yeah, sorry. Yeah. I'm OK. Tess: What's up?
Ravi: It's alright. … I've really hurt my leg. Just there. When I do that it really hurts. AAGGH.
Tess: Well don't do it again, silly. What have you done.

Ravi: I think it was playing football on Saturday. It was OK after the match – well, it hurt a bit but it's getting worse I think.
Tess: Have you been to the doctor's?
Ravi: What? Er … no. … No. It'll be OK in a couple of days, I'm sure.
Tess: Ravi! If it's really hurting you, you have to go to the doctor. Can you walk OK?
Ravi: Yes, Tess, it's fine. I can walk OK, as long as I don't do this … AAGGHH.
Tess: Don't be so silly Ravi. It might be something serious. Go to the doctor's after we've finished the podcast, OK?
Ravi: I'm sure it's nothing serious but OK. Tess: I'll give you a lift, if you want.
Ravi: Thanks, Tess. It's OK though.
Tess: It's no problem. I'll give you a lift. It won't take long.
Ravi: Thanks Tess. … Tess?
Tess: Yes?
Ravi: Could you get me a glass of water? My leg, you know …
Tess: Don't push your luck, Ravi. … Shall we get on with the podcast and then I'll take you to the doctor's – if I still feel like it.
Ravi: He he. OK then. If you heard us before, listeners, you'll know what we have for you. As usual, we've got our quiz – Natalie's going to play this week. There's 'Your Turn' when we hear what some of you think about a big question. Erm … what else … Carolina – it should be a good Carolina today – she's at the hairdresser's apparently.
Tess: That's really difficult – going to the hairdresser in a foreign language. I had my haircut once in France. It was a disaster.
Ravi: I didn't know you spoke French. Tess: Exactly.
Ravi: Right. Oh – I've got a great joke for you today.
Tess: Hmm.

Section 2: I'd like to talk about…

Ravi: But first of all, as usual, we'll start with 'I'd Like to Talk About'.
Tess: OK. This is the part of our show when someone tells us about something important to them - a hobby, a person, a place, a thing – anything that they're interested in.
Ravi: Yes, anything that you know a bit about and would like to share with all of us. And today we've got Stephen here in the studio – hi Stephen.
Steve: Steve
Ravi: OK. Steve. So, where are you from Steve?
Steve: I'm from Essex, from a small village - on the coast, but I've lived in London for a few years now.
Tess: And what do you do here in London? Study?
Steve: No, I've finished my course – it was in Mathematics, but actually I'm a DJ now.
Ravi: A DJ? Wow. A professional DJ? You don't have another job?
Steve: Well no. I make enough money DJing to live. Not always in the clubs of course, but I do some parties – you know, weddings, birthdays, that sort of thing. Yeah, I don't need to do anything else.
Tess: And what do you want to talk about Steve? Music?
Steve: No. I'm going to talk about Zaha Hadid. Tess: Ah, interesting.
Ravi: She's an architect isn't she?
Steve: Yeah, that's right. A really cool architect. Her buildings are fantastic. Do you know much about her?
Ravi: No not really. But I know the name. Is she British?

Steve: She was born in Iraq, in Baghdad, but she's lived in London for a long time. I'm not sure if she's got British nationality. She was the first woman ever to win the Pritzer Prize – in 2004. That's the biggest prize in architecture, like the Nobel Prize. And it's pretty amazing for a woman to win it. Architecture is still a man's world really.
Tess: Yeah, I bet.
Steve: She says that she wanted to be an architect when her father took her to Sumer, in the south of Iraq, when she was a kid. And of course, Sumer was where the first cities were ever built, thousands of years ago – the oldest architecture in the world.
Ravi: You studied Maths and now you're a DJ. What's the interest in architecture?
Steve: Well I'm not really into all architecture. But there's something about Zaha Hadid that I love. She's a very, well, intellectual architect. She studied Maths too – she's got a Maths degree, and her buildings are so – complicated. I'm really interested in technology, and nowadays well, you can draw something crazy on a piece of paper and now we've got the technology to actually build it. Anything's possible. You should look at her design for the Dancing Towers.
Tess: Dancing Towers? Great name.
Steve: Yeah, it's gonna be built in Dubai – or anyway, I hope it's gonna be built in Dubai. It's a really crazy building. It's really organic – you know, it looks like a plant or something. And I think my favourite is the one she's doing in Abu Dhabi – the Performing Arts Centre. It's gonna be beautiful. It's all round shapes – just like nature. Really beautiful.
Tess: She must be a busy woman!
Steve: Well, a few years ago people said that her buildings were just not practical – they were too complicated and expensive to build. But now as I said, anything's possible. She's got buildings and projects all over the world, North America, Asia, Europe, you name it. Yeah, her designs are expensive to build, but she does other things too.
Tess: Like what?
Steve: She designs all sorts of things – furniture, things for the home, handbags, shoes.

Tess: I'd like to see a pair of Zaha Hadid shoes.
Steve: They're fantastic. They're made of plastic, so they're soft – they kind of move to the shape of your foot, and of course they can be recycled. And her stuff isn't too expensive either.
Ravi: How old is she?
Steve: You shouldn't ask a woman's age Ravi. But seriously, I'm not sure. In her fifties?
Tess: Well thanks for that Steve. We really must get some pictures of her buildings up on the website – especially the ones that you talked about. I want to see the Dancing Towers.
Ravi: And the shoes. I want to see the shoes.
Steve: Sure. I'll give you some links. There's loads of stuff.
Tess: That'd be great. Thanks again, and bye. Steve: Bye.
Ravi: Bye. ... Do you think she does men's shoes?
Tess: I don't know Ravi. Interested?
Ravi: You bet. Imagine telling people your shoes were designed by a famous architect. Cool or what?
Tess: You're such a fashion victim, Ravi.
Ravi: I know, I know. But, really, remember to put those sites up on our blog. I really want to see the shoes.
Tess: OK. I will, I will. ... And if you're listening, why don't you tell us what you think about architecture or what you'd like to tell us about. You can write something or record something – in audio or video - and send it to us at learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org, that's learnenglishpodcast - all one word – at - britishcouncil – all one word DOT org, that's o-r- g. Send it to us and we'll put the most interesting ones on the site. Right, that's that.

Section 3 – Quiz

Tess: Now it's quiz time so let me introduce Natalie. Natalie?

Natalie: Hi Tess.
Tess: Hi Natalie. Where are you calling from?

Natalie: I'm in Buxton.
Ravi: Oh, in the Peak district? You know, I've never been to Buxton. It's daft because it's quite close to Manchester, really. Oh, I'm Ravi, by the way.
Natalie: Hi Ravi
Ravi: So, is it nice, Buxton?
Natalie: Well, it's a bit quiet for me but, yeah, the countryside's nice.
Ravi: Yeah, I've heard that. It's a spa town isn't it? People go there to drink the water and get better when they're ill, right?
Natalie: Well, it was, a long time ago. Not really any more.
Tess: Maybe you can go there for your leg, Ravi.
Ravi: That's not how it works, Tess. Anyway, Natalie, what do you do?
Natalie: Not much, really, I'm having a year out before I go to university.
Tess: A gap year?

Natalie: Yeah.
Tess: I thought people usually went abroad or travelled round the world in their gap year.
Natalie: Well, I want to go travelling – but I need to get some money together first.
Tess: OK – well, good luck with that. And good luck with our quiz. Are you ready to play?
Natalie: Yep.
Tess: OK then. We're going to try a new one this time. How's your general knowledge, Natalie?
Natalie: Erm .. it's OK, I suppose.
Tess: Because the quiz this time is a comparatives quiz. I'm going to ask you five questions. All you have to do is choose the right answer.
Natalie: OK
Tess: I'll give you an example. What's bigger – a cow or a sheep?

Natalie: A cow!
Tess: Right. That was an easy one – the real questions are a bit tougher than that. Shall we start?
Natalie: OK then.
Tess: First question then. What's longer – the River Nile or the Yangtze River?
Natalie: Oh god. I don't know. The Yangtse?

Tess: The Nile. Number two. Which has more people – Russia or Canada? Natalie: It must be Russia. Russia.

Tess: Yes, Russia. Number three. Which is taller – the Empire State Building in New York or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur?
Natalie: Erm. I think that must be the second one. The Petro…
Tess: Petronas. Yes. Two out of three. Number four. Which is further north – London or Moscow?
Natalie: Erm .. Moscow, I think.
Tess: That's right. Three out of four. Last one now. Which can run faster – a horse or an elephant?
Natalie: Oh. ... Is it a trick question? I'm going to say 'elephant'.
Tess: No, it was horse. Elephants are faster than you think – but they're not that fast. ... Three out of five, Natalie. Not bad.
Natalie: Yeah.
Tess: Thanks for playing though. We'll send you some bits and pieces very soon.
Ravi: Yep, bye Natalie.

Natalie: Bye.

Tess: OK. We'll have a little break but don't go away – we've got 'your turn' and we've got Carolina, straight after this.

Section 4: Your turn

Ravi: Right. Time for Your Turn. This is when we ask some of our listeners to tell us what they think. Now, in the last podcast, we heard Carolina take a jacket back to a shop because the zip was broken, so, for this time's Your Turn we asked you "Do you complain when you get bad service?" For example, in a restaurant, or in a shop, when something is wrong. Do you complain? Or just keep quiet? Let's hear what people said.
Voice 1: If I get bad service in a restaurant or a shop I often get angry but I rarely complain because I don't like getting into situations where I might have an argument with somebody. Usually, if I have a bad service experience I just don't go back to the same restaurant or the same shop in the future.
Voice 2: I complain if I get bad service when the service is rude or unfriendly …but when the service is just bad or slow in general, I usually find it quite funny and I don't really complain. I might never go back to the restaurant again, but unless the person is actually rude to me I don't really bother about it.
Voice 3: Always! Because I hate having bad service and people should be told when they're not doing their job properly ...
Voice 4: Um, I don't complain, I don't shout or get angry but I probably ... I'll make a noise to show that I'm waiting … I'll clear my throat or I'll say "Excuse me!", but I won't get really angry, I won't complain as such.

Voice 5: Ah, yeah, this is a new thing for me … especially being British we're not very good at complaining, but since I've lived in Italy I've become braver and yes, I don't hesitate now to complain.
Ravi: What about you Tess? I bet you complain if you get bad service.
Tess: You know me, Ravi.
Ravi: Hmm. Right. ... What about you, listeners? Do you complain when you get bad service? Write in and let us know – and we'll put the best ones on the website.

Section 5: Carolina

Tess: OK. Let's go straight to Carolina. Remember that Carolina is a student from Venezuela who's come to England to study at university in Newcastle. We've been following her on the podcast. And today she's with her best friend, Emily – and they're going to ... the hairdresser's!
Ravi: Let's see how they get on.

{at the hairdresser's}

Hairdresser 1: Good morning.
Emily: Good morning. I've got an appointment for eleven thirty. My name's Emily Granger.
Carolina: And I'm Carolina del Barco. Eleven thirty too.
Hairdresser 1: Emily Granger – cut and colour – is that right?
Emily: Yes. I'm having lowlights
Hairdresser 1: Have you been here before?

Emily: No, it's the first time.
Hairdresser 1: And Carolina del Barco…. cut, no colour.
Carolina: That's right, just a cut.
Hairdresser 1: Just take a seat for a few minutes please.
Carolina and Emily: OK.
Carolina: What did you ask for Emily? Lowlights? What's that?
Emily: Lowlights are like highlights but a different colour.
Carolina: What?
Emily: Highlights are blonde, you know little blonde bits in your hair, and lowlights are any other colour - like red or brown. Just little bits of colour.
Carolina: OK. Oh dear, I'm a bit nervous. I hope I understand what they say to me. I don't know the vocabulary for hair and hairdressers.
Emily: Well what do you want? A new style?
Carolina: Oh no. I want to keep it the same – just a bit shorter.
Emily: So you say you just want a trim.

Carolina: A trim? A trim. I want a trim. I just want a trim please.
Emily: Very good. ... How's Jamie?

Carolina: He's OK. Why?
Emily: Well, he used to come round all the time to see you, but recently, well, I haven't seen him. You used to be together all the time. Is everything OK?
Carolina: Yes, it's fine. ... Oh I don't know Emily. I mean – I really like Jamie – and I think, well that he really likes me – or I thought. But, recently, well, he's always busy. I know he's got other friends – of course. But I didn't see him at all last week.
Emily: Perhaps he's studying.

Carolina: Mmm.
Hairdresser 2: Emily Granger? Hi. Are you ready? I'll start your colour first, then I'll come back to cut your hair, Miss del Barco.
Emily: Here we go. Wish me luck.
Hairdresser 1: And if you'd like to come with me now, I'll wash your hair.

Carolina: Oh, yes, OK.

Hairdresser 2: Right. Comfortable? Now what can I do for you today?
Carolina: I just want a trim please.
Hairdresser 2: OK. How much d'you want off?

Carolina: Want off?
Hairdresser 2: How much hair shall I cut off? Half an inch? An inch? Two inches?
Carolina: Oh, um, about an inch I think.

Hairdresser 2: Hmm. Your hair's very thick.

Carolina: Oh. Is that bad?
Hairdresser 2: No, you've just got a lot of hair. Isn't it a bit difficult to control?
Carolina: Well yes, sometimes.

Hairdresser 2: What about a few layers?
Carolina: Layers? I'm sorry – my English isn't very good….
Hairdresser 2: I can cut some bits of it shorter – so it isn't all the same. We call them layers. Maybe just a few … here….. and here…
Carolina: Well OK then.
Hairdresser 2: And what about the fringe?

Carolina: The fringe? I'm sorry…
Hairdresser 2: This bit here, the part above your eyes. Do you want it long or short?
Carolina: Um, quite long please. Just cut a little bit off – not too much
Hairdresser 2: Right. So where are you from then?
Carolina: Venezuela.
Hairdresser 2: Venezuela. I've got a friend who went to Venezuela once. He said it was lovely. Can't remember where he went. On the coast somewhere I think.
Carolina: Oh yes, the coast is lovely.
Hairdresser 2: And how are you enjoying Newcastle?
Carolina: I like it.
Hairdresser 2: Not too cold for you?

Carolina: Well yes, it's a bit cold, colder than Venezuela anyway. But I'm getting used to it.

Hairdresser 2: Made a lot of friends?
Carolina: Oh yes, some. I share a flat with some people.
Hairdresser 2: Whereabouts?

Carolina: At the university.

Hairdresser 2: Ah, you're a student.

Carolina: Yes that's right.
Hairdresser 2: Just bend your head forward a bit please.
Carolina: Sorry?
Hairdresser 2: Just put your head forward … down… like this. I want to cut the back. So what are your plans for the holiday? Going back to Venezuela? Or staying here?
Carolina: Oh, I'm going …

Hairdresser 2: Right. There you are. I'll just get a mirror and show you the back. ... OK?
Carolina: Yes, it's lovely. Thank you very much.
Hairdresser 2: Good. Are you going to wait for your friend?
Carolina: I think so. How long is she going to be?
Hairdresser 2: About half an hour. Carolina: Oh OK. Yes I'll wait.

Emily: Thank you very much. {whispers to Carolina} Come on, let's get out of here. Quick.

Carolina: OK.

Carolina: What's the matter?

Emily: Look at me!
Carolina: It looks nice. It's a bit short but…
Emily: A bit short!! I look like a … I don't know .. a baby bird.
Carolina: No, you don't. It looks nice. And anyway, it'll soon grow.
Emily: It'll soon grow! That's OK then. I'll wear a paper bag on my head for a month.
Carolina: Well you could wear a hat … or a scarf.
Emily: Do you know what Carolina? You're not helping!! ... Oh, come on. Let's go home…

Tess: Poor Emily - a disaster at the hairdresser's. Like that time in France for me. Has that ever happened to you Ravi?
Ravi: No thank goodness. But there was once when I was a kid and my mum cut my hair at home. It looked awful! I didn't want to leave the house, but she made me go to school and all the other kids laughed at me. It was horrible.
Tess: Poor thing.
Ravi: I know AAAGGH.
Tess: Your leg again? Come on then, let's finish off here and I'll take you to the doctor's.

Ravi: OK.

Section 6: The Joke

Ravi: Hang on though. I've got a joke for you.

Tess: Typical! Come on then.
Ravi: So there's a man and he's lost in the desert.
Tess: Lost in the desert?
Ravi: Yeah. His plane crashed or something – in the desert. And he hasn't got any water. So he's walking and walking, and he's really thirsty. After a while he meets a man who's selling ties.
Tess: Ties?
Ravi: Yes Tess. Ties. The things that men wear round their necks. ... So this man has got hundreds of ties – black ones, pink ones,striped ones. "Do you want to buy a tie sir? Lovely ties, very cheap." So the man who's lost says "No, I don't want a tie – I want water." "Sorry sir, no water, only ties." So the man walks on in the desert. And he's getting more and more thirsty. Then he meets another man. "Want to buy a tie sir? Lovely ties. Special price for you sir." And he says "No!! I don't want a tie. I want water." "Sorry sir – no water, but very beautiful ties". So he walks on again. It's very hot and he's really desperate for water now. And he sees another man "Give me water!" "No water sir. But beautiful ties. Pink ones, red ones, striped ones. Very good price". So the poor mans walks on. And then, right in front of him he sees a beautiful luxury hotel in the middle of the desert. He thinks he must be imagining things, but no, it really is a hotel. He goes up to the door, crying with happiness and the man at the door of the hotel says ... " Sorry sir. You can't come in here if you aren't wearing a tie."
Tess: {groans}
Ravi: What? It's funny!
Tess: Let's just say it isn't one of your best Ravi.

Ravi: Well I thought it was …. AAAGHGHH.

Tess: Come on then, let's get you to the doctor. OK, everyone, thanks for listening. Remember that if you want to send us anything you can send it to learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. Tom the Teacher will be here in a moment so don't go away – but it's goodbye from me and Ravi. See you next time!
Ravi: Bye!

Tom the teacher

Tom: Hi, I'm Tom. I'm here at the end of every podcast to talk about some of the language you heard in the programme, and to talk about ways to help you learn English. Today I want to talk about how we compare things in English. I'm sure that you know that we often use 'more' to compare things. We can say 'A car is more expensive than a bicycle', or 'A book is more interesting than a film'. But we don't always use 'more'. Do you remember the quiz? It was all about comparing things. Listen to Tess explaining the quiz to Natalie. What question does she ask?

Tess: I'm going to ask you five questions. All you have to do is choose the right answer.

Natalie: OK

Tess: I'll give you an example. What's bigger – a cow or a sheep? Natalie: A cow!

Tom: Yes. The question was "What's bigger – a cow or a sheep?" But Tess doesn't use 'more'. We don't use 'more' with short adjectives – words like 'hot', 'cold', 'big' or 'small' – adjectives that only have one syllable. We add "-er" to the end of the adjective to make the comparative form. So Tess says "What's bigger – a cow or a sheep?" Listen to another question.

Tess: What's longer – the River Nile or the Yangtze River?

Natalie: Oh god. I don't know. The Yangtze?

Tom: Did you hear? "What's longer – The River Nile or the Yangtze River?". The adjective 'long' only has one syllable. 'Long'. So the comparative form of 'long' is 'longer'. Listen to one more example.

Tess: Number three. Which is taller – the Empire State Building in New York or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur?

Natalie: Erm. I think that must be the second one. The Petro…

Tess: Petronas. Yes.

Tom: Yes. "Which is taller – the Empire State Building or the Petronas Towers?" The comparative form of 'tall' is 'taller'. 'Big – bigger', 'long' – 'longer', 'tall – taller'. Easy isn't it? ... But some short adjectives are irregular – they don't follow the normal rules. Listen to another question from the quiz. What's the comparative form of 'far'?

Tess: Petronas. Yes. Two out of three. Number four. Which is further north – London or Moscow?

Natalie: Erm .. Moscow, I think.

Tom: That's right. "Which is further north – London or Moscow?". This one is a bit different. The comparative form of 'far' is 'further'. Some people say 'farther'. You'll hear both. 'Further' and 'farther' are both comparative forms of 'far'. Now listen to Tess and Ravi talking about his bad leg. What's the comparative form of 'bad'?

Tess: What have you done?

Ravi: I think it was playing football on Saturday. It was OK after the match – well, it hurt a bit but it's getting worse I think.

Tom: That's right. Ravi says his leg is getting worse. The comparative form of 'bad' is 'worse'. We don't add "-er" at all. We change the word completely. 'Worse'. And 'good' is irregular too. The comparative form of 'good' is 'better'. Now let's look at how we use a comparative form in a sentence. Listen to Carolina talking to the hairdresser. She compares Newcastle with Venezuela. What does she say?

Hairdresser 2: And how are you enjoying Newcastle?

Carolina: I like it.

Hairdresser 2: Not too cold for you?

Carolina: Well yes, it's a bit cold, colder than Venezuela anyway.

Tom: She says that Newcastle is colder than Venezuela. 'Colder than'. We use 'than' to compare things. So we can say 'a cow is bigger than a sheep or 'The River Nile is longer than the Yangtze'. 'Ravi's leg is worse now than it was this morning'. Try to notice comparative forms in the English that you hear and read this week. Now let's talk about telling the time in English. You probably learnt to say "It's four o'clock" or 'It's half past six". Yes, that's how we tell the time in English. But British people don't always say that. Listen to Emily at the hairdresser's. What time is her appointment?

Hairdresser 1: Good morning.

Emily: Good morning. I've got an appointment for eleven thirty. My name's Emily Granger.

Tom: She says "eleven thirty". 'Eleven thirty' is exactly the same as 'half past eleven'. You can say 'My train leaves at half past two" or "my train leaves at two thirty". It's the same. It's the same for all the other times too. You can say "quarter past three' or 'three fifteen'. You can say twenty-five past six' or 'six twenty-five'. And 'quarter to four' or 'three forty-five'. Sometimes 'three forty-five' is easier for learners than 'quarter to four' so don't be afraid to say it – British people do! ... Now, last time I talked about practising what you're going to say in English before you say it. Do you remember? It's a good idea. Carolina practised what she was going to say when she took her jacket back to the shop. She does the same thing this time at the hairdresser's. Listen.

Emily: Well what do you want? A new style?

Carolina: Oh no. I want to keep it the same – just a bit shorter.

Emily: So you say you just want a trim.

Carolina: A trim? A trim. I want a trim. I just want a trim please. 

Tom: She practises "I just want a trim please". And she says it to the hairdresser. But listen to what happens next.

Hairdresser 2: Now what can I do for you today?

Carolina: I just want a trim please.

Hairdresser 2: OK. How much d'you want off? Carolina: Want off?

Hairdresser 2: How much hair shall I cut off? Half an inch? An inch? Two inches?

Tom: Hmm. She says "I just want a trim please" beautifully, but then she doesn't understand what the hairdresser says next. This can happen when you're speaking English. Listen again. What does Carolina do to show that she doesn't understand?

Hairdresser 2: OK. How much d'you want off?

Carolina: Want off?

Hairdresser 2: How much hair shall I cut off? Half an inch? An inch? Two inches?

Tom: That's right. She just repeats the words that she doesn't understand as a question. "Want off?" And the hairdresser explains. She does the same thing several times at the hairdressers. Listen.

Hairdresser 2: What about a few layers?

Carolina: Layers? I'm sorry – my English isn't very good….

Tom: And again.
Hairdresser 2: And what about the fringe? Carolina: The fringe? I'm sorry…

Tom: So that's what you can do when you don't understand a word or a phrase - repeat it as a question. Now let's look at a word that you can use this week. The hairdresser asks Carolina where she lives, but he doesn't use the word 'where?". Listen. What does he use?

Carolina: I share a flat with some people.

Hairdresser 2: Whereabouts?

Carolina: At the university.

Tom: He says "whereabouts?". He doesn't want to know exactly where she lives – he doesn't want to know her address. We use 'whereabouts' when we want to ask more or less where – in what area of the city for example. So if someone says "I live in London" you can say "Oh really! Whereabouts?" Try to use 'whereabouts' this week. OK. I'm going to stop there. I'll talk to you all again next time. Remember you can write to me about any language that you noticed in this podcast. The address is learnenglishpodcast@britishcouncil.org. In a moment you'll hear the address for the website where you can read everything you've heard in this podcast. You can also find some practice exercises to do online and a support pack that you can print. Right. That's all for this time. Bye for now! See you next time.

Check your understanding


Tess and Ravi

Practise the language you heard in Tess and Ravi’s introduction [00:22].

Task 1


Task 2


Task 3


Task 4



Practise the language you heard in the soap opera about Carolina [13:54].

Task 1


Task 2


Tom the teacher

Practise the language you heard in Tom the teacher’s summary [23:46].

Task 1


Task 2




Language level

Average: 4.4 (5 votes)
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Profile picture for user Ethel

Submitted by Ethel on Wed, 20/02/2019 - 14:15

Steve's talk about architecture was very interesting. My daughter is also a Zaha Hadid fanatic, that's why I knew something about her. My daughter is an architect too, and she regretted the death of Zaha Hadid so deeply. I never complain when I receive bad service. I just do not go back there in the future, as much as possible. Although sometimes you can not avoid it, because it's a public office, or something like that. In that case, the bureaucracy worsens the whole situation.
Profile picture for user Sergey Sh

Submitted by Sergey Sh on Sun, 06/01/2019 - 05:14

About me, whether I complain getting bad service? After listening to other people’s mentions I’d say that a voice 2 is the closest to me cause if I run into rude service I’ll definitely feel uncomfortable cause I’ve never tried to treat rude to others and I hate when others do opposite, therefore I’ll complain in that situation. In case a service is a bit slow and I see that there is some problem appeared as a reason of it, I understand that something could go wrong cause everybody can make a mistake or not always something can go in accordance with a plan, you know. If service stuff says I’m sorry, we’ll made this problem off as soon as possible, please wait and so on, I see they try to do their best for clients to leave comfortable in spite of something is wrong. Honestly I feel a bit angry but I always try to be in their shoes and I just stay calm and wait until the problem is done. I think that’s really important how others treat to you. PS: I really enjoyed this episode cause that was interesting to know about Zaha Hadid and her architecture projects. When I typed her name in Google to see what was told about today, I was surprised. I’ve never seen this before. There are buildings having so unusual design I’ve got impressed. Just look at The Dancing Towers and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There is one more thing made me astonished. Zaha Hadid, a brilliant architect is a designer of other things like shoes of similar stuff. Look at her shoes, they are completely made of plastic and mention something goes from future. In my opinion, most of her shoes projects can only be shown at some modern exhibits cause they have too unusual design. That’s was new for me to hear about Carolina visiting a hairdresser. I mean there is lot of new words related with hairdressing. I also find an advise from Tom the teacher about preliminary training of what you’re going to speak about. As for me I do the same all the time. That’s really useful to take a look on dictionary on the issue you have to come across with. And of course I’m sorry hearing Ravi is ill. Bad luck. One more. There’s a thing I heard about many times, a gap year. I think that’s a really good idea. It’s a term when you can travel if your budget is ok and it’s a term to find out what you want to study at the university and who you are going to become in the future. Travelling is important cause it makes you mind, you know, wider. You get new feelings and know something new or break stereotypes and that’s all together help you to understand what you really need. Here in Russia where I’m from everybody’s sure that’s extremely important not to spend your time after school doing anything apart from going to the university at once. As a result there are people who were disappointed from the way they chose after. Looks like people hurry to live. That’s my own opinion.
Profile picture for user Last biker

Submitted by Last biker on Sun, 11/11/2018 - 13:21

Hi , in Support Pack - While you listen- Section 2 "There may be more THAN one right answer'' - instead THEN and in the same section at c) the Dancing Towers will be BUILD - instead the past form ''built'' . If I get something wrong I apologise. I think it is better to point you out those little mistakes . Best wishes
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 12/11/2018 - 07:59

In reply to by Last biker


Hi Last biker,

You are right about the second one -- 'build' is an error and it should be 'built'. I'm afraid that 'than' is correct in the instructions for section 2. 'than' is used in comparisons and 'then' is used to talk about time or sequences.

Thank you very much for taking the time to point out this error to us! I'll make a note of it and we'll fix it as soon as we can.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Kostya B

Submitted by Kostya B on Fri, 15/06/2018 - 20:09

I have never been complain on the bad service if only to my relatives )

Submitted by Andrés S. on Tue, 29/05/2018 - 22:54

I usually complain when I get bad service because I pay to get a good service. Previously, I was complaining to Claro’s company because I get the internet service of them, and after a couple of days the internet was failing, isn’t working well. I agree people sometimes complain of what people say in the podcast because sometimes many news which they say are not real, are fake.

Submitted by Andrés S. on Tue, 29/05/2018 - 22:25

I would like to talk about my favorite architect: Frank Owen He was born in Toronto, Canada on 1929. He is considered one of the most important architects all over the world because he consider that the architecture is an art. He has been working on his projects without leave the main aspects of the architecture. He won many awards for his peculiar buildings. He studied architecture at Harvard University, also he has a master degree. He has two daughters, and actually he lives in Paris, France.
Profile picture for user tiendat

Submitted by tiendat on Sat, 10/03/2018 - 06:06

I would like to talk about my favorite footballer: vanPersie. He was born in Rotterdam City, Holland. When he was a kid, he had a huge love with football. He played it everytime and wanted to become a professional footballer.Of course, he also left his relatives to come to England, in which he studied in Arsenal Academic and tried hard. He won a prize for best striker of season in 2013 when Persie was a main factor of Manchester United Champions. What I like most about him is that he always makes an effort to train his skill, strength, pace. He scored numerous goals, I love his stunning goal with Aston Villa. It's cool. You can see his goals on many channels over the world
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Submitted by alberto bastos on Wed, 17/01/2018 - 17:39

Hi Everbody! I don't never complain for bad services because I buy anything and the shop or office has be taking a good service.