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Episode 16

Elementary Podcasts

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:

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

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:

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

Intermediate: B1


It been while, but it good one, can you please add the date that you will add the episode 17 .

Hello everybody,
I'm Tiziana and I have known this website today...I think it is useful to improve my English listening. I hope that you suggest me something to learn English in a easy way.
Thank you

The exercise is so confusing. I didn't understand what do those Ooo, oOo and ooO mean. Please help me to go through it.

Yes, about a year before when I was in secondary school, I lived in hostel and I used to fill homesick sometimes. I used to think about my mum, food in home and missed my home a lot. I used to chat with friends or phone my parents and play with kids in kintergarden to make myself better.

I think feeling home sick in common between the foreigners that live  in other countries. No matter that they have came for studying or living. I as a student in Germany feel home sick very much, specially when the weather is cloudy and rainy, because I came from a sunny and warm country, Iran. But it´s the way it is! I have to accept the situation and find a way to overcome the home sick.                     I can have a better feeling by listening to the Persian music, watching the Persian film or even eating at the Persian restaurant . Chatting with the other foreign friends and listening their experiences and problems is another way. I find out sometimes that my home sick is much less important in compare to their problems!

When I was a student I left home for participation in a student program and spent  four months in the USA. I was far away from my parents, friends.The first month was very difficult for me. I felt homesick and cried a lot. I think that only time cures. Also you can meet rude people everywhere, so you should be stronger. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Hi Nargiz87,
What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. That's really nice quote!
The very best of luck,
Kind regards,
Umi Zahrok

I think she should think more in her boyfriend and friends in the UK. And the things that she has already won there.

four years ago i left my house and i moved in Milan.
In the first time it was difficult because i knew only my sister but then i met a lot of people above all in the university.
I think that is important to go away from the parent's house because only so you can grow 

When I feel homesick I trying travel and so I feel better. Or also I try to look a funny movie or read a good book that make me forget a little.
Bye, bye