Episode 16

Episode 16

Adam is impressed by how much you know about London. In Newcastle, Carolina meets a horrible customer in the shop and that's just the start of a very bad day.



Hello. Welcome to episode 16 of the Learn English Elementary Podcast. I’m Adam.

Rob is on a business trip at the moment, but it’s nice to be back. First of all, I’d like to say sorry that there hasn’t been a podcast for a while. Rob and I both had to travel for work this month and we haven’t been around. But one of us is back now with another great podcast for you.

Later on, we’ll be catching up with Carolina and I’m afraid she isn’t very happy this week.

But first, let’s have a look at some of your comments on the last podcast, when we asked you for your thoughts on London.

Tess and Ravi talked about Big Ben and Buckingham Palace but you, listeners, mentioned loads of other things in London: Tower Bridge, Madame Tussauds, the British Museum, Hyde Park, Camden Market, the changing of the guards, Trafalgar Square… even those of you who haven’t been to London seem to know a lot about it.

And it wasn’t just London. You also mentioned Oxford University and Stonehenge and the city of Bath - other places you’d like to visit in England. A few of you are fans of English football – like Mohammed in Jordan who really wants to visit Wembley Stadium.

Sora from Korea is lucky; she’s going to study in London in September. Write and tell us how you find it, Sora.

And there’s good news too for Tanya in Russia and Angelo in Italy. Tanya mentioned Sherlock Holmes and Angelo talked about seeing the famous double-decker buses in London. Well, both of those things will be in a future podcast – so keep listening out!

So many great comments, as usual – too many to read out all the good ones – but I do want to look at just one more. It’s from Raviha in Pakistan and it says ‘Rob, I love your Word on the Street series’.

Now, if you don’t know, Word on the Street is a TV programme made by the BBC and the British Council and you can find it on the LearnEnglish website. Go to: www.britishcouncil.org/wordonthestreet

And that’s almost the same address to send your comments to. We love hearing from you, so keep the comments coming to www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Right, time now to catch up with Carolina again. Carolina is from Venezuela and is studying at Newcastle University. We’ve been following her life. Last time there was good news for Carolina’s friend Emily, but this time things aren’t going too well for Carolina… 


At the shop

Carolina: That's four pounds please. Thank you. Would you like a bag? OK. Who's next?

Man: I am.

Carolina: Oh, yes. OK, that's two pounds nineteen please.

Man: How much?

Carolina: Two pounds nineteen.

Man: Ninety or nineteen? I can't understand you.

Carolina: Nineteen. Two pounds nineteen pence.

Man: "Two pounds nineteen pence". Why don't you learn to speak English?

Carolina: I… I do… I… I'm sorry…

At University

Mrs Greenwood: So that's it for today. I'll see you next week. If anyone wants to talk about their essay, I'll be in my office from two to five tomorrow afternoon. And don't forget, the deadline for the essay is Monday morning. And that's the absolute final deadline. I will not accept any essays after that time. Is that understood?

Students: Yes, Mrs Greenwood.

Mrs Greenwood: I'm looking forward to reading them. Right, OK. Have a good week.

Students: Thank you, Mrs Greenwood / Bye Mrs Greenwood

Carolina: Oh no!

Student: What's up?

Carolina: The deadline. Monday morning. Is she really serious? She really won't accept any essays after Monday?

Student: Oh yes, she's serious. I did a course with her last year. Two people failed because they didn't do their essays on time.

Carolina: Oh, God!

At the Post Office

Voice through microphone: Cashier number five, please.

Carolina: Good morning.

Clerk: Good morning.

Carolina: I want to collect a parcel. It's from Venezuela, for Carolina del Barco. Here's the card.

Clerk: Can I see some identification?

Carolina: I'm sorry?

Clerk: You need to show me some identification.

Carolina: I need to...?

Clerk: I'm sorry, but I can't give you the parcel if you don't show me some identification.

Carolina: I'm very sorry but I don't understand. Can you speak more slowly?

Clerk: I-den-ti-fi-ca-tion. Pass-port.

Carolina: Oh… yes… identification, passport... yes, of course. I'm sorry. Here you are.

At home

Carolina: It's me, Emily. I'm tired. I'm going to go straight to bed.

Emily: OK. Night. See you tomorrow.

Carolina: Goodnight. Hola mamí. I… oh… 


Oh dear! Carolina sounds really miserable, really homesick.

It happens sometimes when you’re a long way from home. It just takes a few small things to go wrong, and it can make you feel really unhappy. I remember the first time I went to church camp. My parents weren't there, and I was 10, but I was OK until I put ten pence in the payphone and heard my parents' voices. Then I ran away to cry where the other boys couldn't see me.

How about you, listeners? A lot of you don’t live at home or you lived away from home in the past. Do you ever feel homesick? If you do, what do you do to make yourself feel better? Even if you’ve never felt homesick, what advice would you give to Carolina to make herself feel better? Write and tell us what you think at: www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish

Now, one thing that went wrong for poor Carolina was making a mistake with her English – listen to this bit again: Carolina: Oh, yes. OK, that's two pounds nineteen please. Man: How much? Carolina: Two pounds nineteen. Man: Ninety or nineteen? I can't understand you. Carolina: Nineteen. Two pounds nineteen pence. Man: "Two pounds nineteen pence". Why don't you learn to speak English? Carolina: I... I do… I… I'm sorry…

Carolina got confused about the stress of nineteen and ninety – it’s an easy mistake to make. In ‘nineteen’ we stress the second syllable – ‘teen’ and in ‘ninety’ we stress the first syllable – ‘nine’. It makes a big difference.

However, if we are giving a date, like nineteen eighty-nine, we stress the first syllable of nineteen. English can be really difficult sometimes!

If you want help with syllables and stress we’ve put some exercises on the website for you. They’ll help you recognise how many syllables you hear and which syllables are stressed.

You’ll find lots of other exercises there too so do go and look at the website, and send us your comments – it’s always great to hear from you.

We’ll be back next time with more from Tess and Ravi, talking about a famous British family… who could that be?

That’s all for now. See you next time – bye!


Language level

Average: 5 (6 votes)
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Submitted by Aljumhy2020 on Sat, 11/12/2021 - 16:09


If you go away from your country, you feel homesick sometimes, especially when you have difficulties

Submitted by Nadina on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 14:34

Hi everybody ! When i was young i went camping without my parents for about 2-3 months. It was really cool: you can do whatever you want, no one prohibits you, you are free. I never feel homesick that days. But now when i go away from home i feel loneliness and want to phone my mum or talk with her in Skype. Maybe i become more sensitive , who knows that:)

Submitted by Veena Kumari on Sat, 06/02/2021 - 09:07

Hello, everyone. I have been away from my home twice during my training. And I really felt homesick just within few days. No matter how polite and helpful people are there, but they can not replace your family. The best thing to avoid this feeling of homesickness is to keep yourself busy either in work or in some sort of hobby. I used to spend my leisure time by going out for a walk with colleague, cooking any new dish, or talking to some friend on phone.

Submitted by jmajo on Sat, 16/01/2021 - 17:31

I've never been living in another country but I had to live away from my original home several times in my life because of work and when I felt some homesick I used to call some friend or looked for them in social networks. But luckily for me everywhere I went I met people whom I could share things and experiences that allow me to avoid homesick. I'd recommend Carolina to contact her friends in Venezuela in the social networks to chat a bit or maybe she can look for another Venezuelan people living in Newcastle to know knew persons and share experiences living there. Thanks for the episode. Great site!

Submitted by Sajja on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 07:28

I am Egypt but I live in Saudi Arabia actually I was born in SA and I have been living here for 16 years old with my small family dad ,mom and two sisters so when I feel homesick my family help me very much .You know, when there are people who they like you we can support each other to feel better and pass all problems. But that was before my mom and my old sister travelled to Egypt to complete my sister's studying in university . We were very related family , we never have moved away from each other but now everything is changed. Now, when I feel very lonely I call them video call for 1 or 2 hours and speak with them about everything I feel it . That's make me better and give me a strong boost to complete.

Submitted by Zamira on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 19:49

When I moved to another city I felt homesick. But I did nothing to feel better. Later these feelings disappeared.

Submitted by Marey Saad on Sun, 27/09/2020 - 22:19

I work for a petroleum company in desert, so I spend lots of time away from family, sometimes I feel homesick because of some bad things even if they are small. In such cases I try to sleep a lot and think positive thoughts to overcome this situation. Sorry for the mistakes. I hope someone correct them. Thanks

Submitted by Leonardo Lisboa on Tue, 30/06/2020 - 14:00

I came to the capital of my state (province) to study, when I was eighteen, at beginning it was very dificult, stay way of my family, especially my mother. But that make me more stronger and I grown up. Now I come to visit them most that I can.

Submitted by msoriano on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 22:20

i have never been lived away from my home so, i can not give an advice for this situation, nevertheless, if i lived away from my family, i would video chat with them every week through zoom, skype o whats up.

Submitted by Patricia Zapata on Tue, 11/02/2020 - 17:57

I live away from home three years ago and I live in this moment in Italy, a beautiful country but I feel very homesick very often because I miss my family, my friends and my culture. When I'm down, I look for places where there is food and latin american music and I do not feel thar far from my country. Another thing that makes me feel better is call my parents and talk with them for a long time.