Monthly Archives: April 2009

7. Susan Boyle


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Transcript available below.

Hello everyone around the world, and thank you very much for downloading the podcast. I’ve had lots of downloads in lots of countries recently.

This podcast is about Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who recently became very famous all over the world on YouTube. The feature section is about her and her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables. Why was it so special? Why have so many people in the world seen it? Why has she become so famous? Why do the Americans love her?

Below this text you can read a transcript of her conversation with the judges on Britain’s Got Talent (TV show), and the lyrics of I Dreamed A Dream. I explain some of the words and expressions from the conversation.

The Language Section is about some common idioms which you can use to describe people’s personality and appearance. You can read the idioms and definitions below.

What do you think of Susan Boyle? Is she famous in your country? What do you think of Luke’s English Podcast? Is it too long? Would you like me to change anything? Email me: luketeacher@hotmail.com

Here’s the transcript of the conversation from the video of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. (The tapescript starts from 0.40 seconds into the video:

SC = Simon Cowell AH = Amanda Holden PM = Piers Morgan SB  = Susan Boyle

SC: What’s your name darling? SB: My name is Susan Boyle SC: Ok, err, Susan, err, where are you from? SB: I’m from ??? near Bathgate in West Lothian SC: That’s a big town…? SB: It’s a sort of, a sort of collection of … (she thinks) … villages. I had to think there! SC: And how old are you Susan? SB: I’m 47… and that’s just one side of me!! SC: Ok, and what’s the dream? SB: I’m trying to be a professional singer SC: And why hasn’t it worked out so far Susan? SB: Well, I haven’t been given a chance before, but here’s hoping it’ll change… SC: OK, and who would you like to be as successful as? SB: Elaine Paige… SC: Elaine Paige SB: …something like that PM: What are you gonna sing tonight? SB: I’m going to sing “I Dream The Dream” from Les Miserables

She sings: (A presenter says: You didn’t expect that! Did you?? Did you?? No!)

I dreamed a dream in time gone by When hope was high, And life worth living I dreamed that love would never die I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid When dreams were made and used, And wasted There was no ransom to be paid No song unsung, No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night With their voices soft as thunder As they tear your hopes apart As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he’ll come to me And we will live our lives together But there are dreams that cannot be And there are storms We cannot weather…

I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I’m living So different now from what it seems Now life has killed The dream I dreamed

She starts walking off the stage when she is finished…

PM: Come back here!! SC: All right, and thank you very much, err, Susan. Piers? PM: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in 3 years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said “I want to be like Elaine Page”, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now! That was stunning! An incredible performance. Amazing! I’m reeling from the shock. I dunno about you two, but… AH: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to way that it was a complete privilege, listening to that. SC: I knew the minute you walked out… SB: Oh Simon! SC: …on that stage that we were gonna hear something extraordinary and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger, aren’t you. SB: Oh, I don’t know about that. SC: You are. OK, the moment of truth. Piers – yes or no? PM: The biggest yes I have ever given anybody. SC: Amanda? AH: Yes. Definitely. Brilliant. SB: Amanda?! You too?!! SC: Susan Boyle. You can go back to the village with your head held high, because it’s three yesses! Presenter: Well! I think you enjoyed that just a little bit! PM: What a voice. AH: Incredible. Presenter: Congratulations! SB: Oh my God! Oh my God! Presenter: How do you feel? SB: …bloody fantastic! Presenter: Piers says that’s the biggest yes he’s ever given on the show… in 3 series. SB: Oh my God! PM: The most extraordinary shock we’ve ever had. SB: So emotional… Unbelievable and emotional and fantastic…

Here are some of the words and definitions: SB: “That’s just one side of me” = That’s just one part of who I am SC: “Why hasn’t it ‘worked out’ for you?” = why hasn’t it been a success for you? PM: “…with that cheeky grin on your face” = cheeky means a little bit rude, but joking too. A grin is a big smile. A cheeky grin is like a fun, rude smile! PM: “I’m reeling from the shock” – ‘reeling’ means that you’re struggling to recover from the shock AH: “Everyone was against you” = No one was supporting you AH: “We were being very cynical” – Cynical means when you expect bad things to happen because you believe the world is not a good place, you don’t believe people are good, honest, truthful, etc. AH: “It was a complete privelage” = a privilege is like a special opportunity that only a few people have. SC: “Go back to the village with your head held high” – Go back feeling very proud.

Language Section: Idioms to describe character & appearance

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” – You shouldn’t judge people by appearances only. You need to get to know them first before you judge them. “There’s more than meets the eye” – There is more to a person/situation than just how it looks. “A class act” – if someone is a class act, they are excellent at what they do. “A laughing stock” – Someone is a laughing stock if they’ve done something stupid in public, and then everyone is laughing at them and thinks they are stupid. “Moral fibre” – Moral fibre is the inner strength to do what you believe to be right in difficult situations Example: He lacked the moral fibre to be leader . “To have the courage of your convictions” – If you have the courage of your convictions, you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, despite any pressure for you to do something different. “To be bold as brass” – Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond. “His bark is worse than his bite” – Someone who’s bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn’t take action. “A barrel of laughs” – if someone’s a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.

Transcript for this Episode

Episode 7 – Susan Boyle

 

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.podamatic.com.

Hello, welcome to Luke’s English podcast. You are listening to episode six. This is Luke of course. Hello, how are you? I hope you are well. I am fine thanks; I am just sitting here in my living room again. It’s a Thursday evening. I always seem to do these podcasts on a Thursday, for some reason. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I usually do nothing on a Thursday. But anyway, it’s Thursday evening. I am relaxing, having a nice evening and I have had a few emails recently and I had one email from Miho in Japan again – a regular e-mailer.

Hello, hello Miho, how are you and she emailed me saying: Have you heard about Susan Boyle, right? She is asking me about someone called Susan Boyle and have I heard about her because she is very famous at the moment in Japan and well, it’s funny she’s asked that because I have heard about Susan Boyle, of course, because everybody now knows about Susan Boyle. It seems that she is famous all over the world now, which is incredible. It’s a sort of big incredible story that everybody is talking about. It’s quite interesting for lots of reasons. One of the main ones being that she’s become famous overnight. She is suddenly very, very famous.

Now, if you don’t know who she is, I am going to tell you about her in the feature section of the podcast. So I am going to talk about Susan Boyle. Who is she? Why is she famous? Also I am going to interview a few people – some of my friends – just to see what their opinion of Susan Boyle is. I am going to be teaching you some bits of language that you are going to hear people using in those interviews, and then the language section at the end of the podcast is going to be some idioms – some useful common idioms that people use to describe personality, character and appearance, okay?

It’s section 2 coming up now. The feature section Susan Boyle– here we go….

Right then, Susan Boyle – who is she? Well, I am going to explain it for you now.

Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who recently appeared on the TV show ‘Britain’s got talent’.

Now ‘Britain’s got talent’ is a very popular show here. It’s broadcast on Saturday night on ITV – that’s one of the TV channels here. It’s very popular and in Britain’s got talent what happens is – you get singers – musicians from all over the country. They may want to become famous. So they are just normal ordinary people – members of the public who want to become famous. And they can go on Britain’s got talent as a chance of becoming famous, okay? So they go on the show and they have to sing a song in front of three judges, okay. So the judges are a man called Simon Cowell who is a kind of music industry executive who has started the careers of lots of British pop stars. So he is a kind of British pop star manager. That’s Simon Cowell.

ITV:Independent Television

The second one is a woman called Amanda Holden. And she is an actress – a very famous actress in Britain and the third judge is called Piers Morgan. And Piers Morgan is a journalist who used to be the editor of the Daily Mirror. That’s one of the biggest newspapers in the UK.

Okay? So those are the three judges and the members of the public come on the show – they sing a song in front of the judges and the judges have to decide if that person is going to go through to the next round, okay? So the judges say yes or no. If they get the right number of yes-votes, these people go through to the next round until eventually you get one person at the end who wins and I think they get a record contract. But the person who wins usually becomes very rich and famous. Now Susan Boyle recently appeared on Britain’s got talent and she sang a song from the musical ‘Les Miserables’ and it was actually a very special moment in the show because…basically when she came onto the stage all of the audience and the judges immediately made judgements about her appearance because she – she’s actually 47 years old. She is very ordinary looking. I mean …It’s not rude, really to say …it might be a bit rude to say it, but she is not pretty. She is not really good-looking.

I mean, she, you know, she is not exactly beautiful, right? So, she is very ordinary looking. She doesn’t look glamorous. She looks a bit like your next door neighbour or something, you know. Very ordinary looking. And she does look a bit strange, as well, actually, to be honest.

So, when she came on stage nobody expected her to be talented at all. In fact, because on the show normally, they get lots of people who are very strange – they get always weird, strange people who think that they are very talented and they sing and they are absolutely terrible and everyone loves at them and the judges criticize them and they don’t win, right.

So, that’s what happens a lot. So, when Susan Boyle came onto the stage, everyone expected her to be awful and have a terrible voice. But, she didn’t. She had…she actually has a fantastic voice and it was a very touching and a very moving performance. The way she sings and you could see it in the audience and you could see it in the judges faces – everyone was very emotionally touched by her performance and something about the fact that she looks normal, she looks ordinary, but she has got a beautiful singing voice has made Susan Boyle into a massive, international star. She is very, very, very famous in America now. She is famous all over the UK, and she is famous all over the world. Even Miho in Japan knows all about her. You’ve probably heard about her yourself.

The clip of her performance is available to watch on you tube. So if you go to you tube and type in Susan Boyle, you can see it. And more than 100 million people have seen her performance on you tube. More than 100 million people. And I think that is the most watched clip on you tube, ever.

So, it’s amazing. It’s absolutely amazing how famous she is. And this has happened in really just a couple of weeks. So it’s really, really incredible.

Just a bit more information about Susan Boyle.

She is….let’s see …She left school when she was 16 years old and she doesn’t really have many qualifications. She has been unemployed for most of her life. She isn’t married. In fact, she says that she is never been kissed, even.

So she hasn’t really had much of an exciting life, actually. She is very normal, very ordinary. She has never really sung or performed on stage before. She sings karaoke in her village sometimes. But for some reason she has got an incredible voice.

Now, I am actually going to play you a clip from the performance. A clip from Britain’s got talent.

So, what you are going to hear is Susan Boyle coming onto the stage. You are going to hear some people talking. You hear the audience sort of laughing at her. Susan Boyle answers a few questions and then she starts to sing and you can hear the audience’s reaction. They are really amazed and you can hear how beautiful her voice is. I don’t usually like this kind of music. I don’t usually listen to music like this, but even I think that it is a beautiful voice and there is something special about her performance.

So, I am going to play it for you now. There may be some things that you don’t understand in this clip. Don’t worry, because I will teach you or I will explain some of the things that they said after the clip.

Now, if you listen to the song and you can’t understand the words, don’t worry you can read the lyrics, you can read the words to the song on the web page at teacherluke.podomatic.com. You can actually read the words there and I hope you enjoy it. It should give you an idea of why this is so special.

I will also post a link to the video on you tube. So you can actually watch the video on you tube as well.

Okay, here is the clip. I hope you like it.

SC = Simon Cowell AH = Amanda Holden PM = Piers Morgan SB  = Susan Boyle

SC: What’s your name darling? SB: My name is Susan Boyle SC: Ok, err, Susan, err, where are you from? SB: I’m from Blackburn, near Bathgate in West Lothian SC: That’s a big town…? SB: It’s a sort of, a sort of collection of … (she thinks) … villages. I had to think there! SC: And how old are you Susan? SB: I’m 47… and that’s just one side of me!! SC: Ok, and what’s the dream? SB: I’m trying to be a professional singer SC: And why hasn’t it worked out so far Susan? SB: Well, I haven’t been given a chance before, but here’s hoping it’ll change… SC: OK, and who would you like to be as successful as? SB: Elaine Paige… SC: Elaine Paige SB: …something like that PM: What are you gonna sing tonight? SB: I’m going to sing “I Dream The Dream” from Les Miserables

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

And still I dreamed he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

PM: Come back here!!

SC: All right, and thank you very much, err, Susan. Piers?

PM: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in 3 years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said “I want to be like Elaine Page”, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now! That was stunning! An incredible performance. Amazing! I’m reeling from shock. I dunno about you two, but…

AH: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to say that it was a complete privilege, listening to that.

SC: I knew the minute you walked out…

SB: Oh Simon!

SC: …on that stage that we were gonna hear something extraordinary and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger, aren’t you.

SB: Oh, I don’t know about that.

SC: You are. OK, the moment of truth. Piers – yes or no?

PM: The biggest yes I have ever given anybody.

SC: Amanda?

AH: Yes. Definitely. Brilliant.

SB: Amanda?! You too?!!

SC: Susan Boyle. You can go back to the village with your head held high, because it’s three yesses!

Presenter: Well! I think you enjoyed that just a little bit!

PM: What a voice.

AH: Incredible. Presenter: Congratulations!

SB: Oh my God! Oh my God!

Presenter: How do you feel?

SB: …bloody fantastic!

Presenter: Piers says that’s the biggest yes he’s ever given on the show… in 3 series.

SB: Oh my God!

PM: The most extraordinary shock we’ve ever had.

SB: So emotional… Unbelievable and emotional and fantastic…

Oh my god, oh that’s just so emotional. Och, I am not really crying. But, well quite emotional. Everyone sort of amazed about it. Extraordinary! The most amazing experience in my whole life, right. So, you can see how passionate she was and see how impressed the judges were. Let’s see then. Maybe some language that you heard there, that you didn’t understand. It might have been a bit difficult to understand everything they said. So, go to the web page. You’ll see a script of the conversations and a script of the song, the lyrics so you can read them and understand everything. But I am also going to teach you a few things or explain a few things that they said as well.

So, let’s do that now. First of all Susan Boyle is from Scotland, so she has got a Scottish accent. Sometimes for learners of English that’s a little bit difficult to understand. So she has got a bit of a Scottish accent which makes it hard to understand.

She said….let’s see….Simon Cowell said: .How old are you Susan, and she said I am 47. And that’s just one side of me. When she is saying that’s just one side of me, it means that is just one part of my personality.

So what she is saying is: I am 47. I am a normal, ordinary middle-aged woman but there is another side of me which is exciting and passionate and talented.

So, Simon Cowell said: What’s the dream? She says: I am trying to be a professional singer and Simon Cowell says: Why hasn’t it worked out so far, Susan?

So it is a phrasal verb there. To work out. If something works out it means, it is a success. It is successful. So he said, why hasn’t it worked out so far and he means why haven’t you had any success, yet being a singer.

Okay, so after Susan sang her song, Piers Morgan said: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in three years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said I want to be like like Elaine Page everyone was laughing at you No one is laughing now.

A cheeky grin, a cheeky grin. Well, a grin is like a smile on your face, yeah? And a cheeky grin is one that …let’s see, it’s difficult to explain. Cheeky means that you are a little bit rude, but you are joking, as well. Like for example, if you have a child in a school. A child who maybe asks a slightly rude question to the teacher, that’s a cheeky child and it’s a collocation. We say cheeky grin. So, it is like a sort of slightly rude little grin on your face, a rude little smile. A cheeky grin. Okay?

Let’s see! Piers Morgan also said: That was stunning, an incredible performance. Well, you know stunning means like shocking, amazing. So amazing that I didn’t know what to do. So amazing that I couldn’t move. It was stunning.

And he said: I am reeling from shock. I am reeling from shock. So, if you are reeling it means you are struggling to recover, okay? You can’t quite recover. So, perhaps you can’t think straight or you can’t control yourself. So, I am reeling from shock.

Amanda Holden said: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. So, to be against something means to disagree with it or to not support it. So, everyone was against Susan Boyle because of her appearance. So she says: I am so thrilled because everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical. Now, cynical means, when you expect only bad things. So, for example you expect people to be selfish. We expect people to …not be talented. So, for example when everyone saw Susan Boyle and her appearance, everyone just expected her to be crazy or expected her to be….to have a very bad voice. So, cynical. So being cynical means that you expect only the bad things. So, that’s cynical.

Amanda Holden also said, she said: I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that. So a privilege is like….when you have a very special opportunity to do something. So, a special opportunity that most people don’t have. So for example, Amanda and the audience were very privileged to see Susan Boyle singing because most people didn’t have the opportunity to do it. So she was, you know….. She had a very special opportunity. She was privileged. Okay?

We often say that rich people in society are privileged, because they have more opportunities than everyone else, because they are rich.

Okay, so when Simon says yes, he said: Susan Boyle, you can go back to the village with your head held high because it’s three yesses.

So, to do something with your head held high means that you can do something with a feeling of pride. So you can feel very proud that you’ve done something very well. So, hold your head up high. It’s the opposite of letting your head go down. So, if your head is down, it means you are ashamed or very disappointed, but if you hold your head high, it means you are very proud, very pleased that you have done something.

Right! So those are basically the things that they said in that clip. What I would like to just talk about now is why…why is Susan Boyle such a famous person. What is it that has made her so special? And I’ve done a bit of research. I’ve been kind of reading some different articles about her and so on and it seems that basically this is about appearances and the fact that we judge people by appearances.

So actually, Susan Boyle did an interview with the Washington Post, an American newspaper, and she said it very clearly. She said: Modern society is quick to judge people on their appearances. There is not much you can do about it. It’s the way they think and it’s the way they are. But maybe, this could teach them a lesson or set an example.

So, what she is saying is that these days in society people just judge you by the way you look. But, hopefully this situation could help people to realize that it is not just the appearances that it’s what inside that counts, okay?

Other newspaper articles on the internet said that this situation, this story is really about ….it’s really a victory for talent and artistry. So it is a victory for talent and artists.

In a culture which is obsessed with physical attractiveness and physical presentation, yeah…so

Amanda Holden again said that everyone was cynical when she came out. But listening to her sing was a wake-up call. A wake up call. A wake up call is something that wakes you up. Something that sort of makes you realize something. A wake-up call.

Maybe you get a wake-up-call in a hotel in the morning. That means that the front desk, the …what are they called? The receptionist, the customer services will call your room. So wake you up in the morning. That’s a wake-up-call. But it is also used to mean something that makes you realize something. Something that opens your eyes. So it is the greatest wake-up-call ever.

Other newspapers are saying that this story is interesting because it’s about the contrast between Susan Boyle’s appearance and her singing. So, the fact that, you know, she looks so ordinary, a little bit ugly, but actually her singing was so good. It was a big surprise and it makes it very interesting. It just makes it a kind of exciting experience to watch.

Other people are saying that this is an under-dog story.

Now, an underdog is the person or the team …if it is a football game…the person who you expect to lose, okay. So, that’s the underdog. The person that you expect…or the team that you expect to lose. So for example in a football game ….let’s see…..if it is Manchester United against maybe like a small local Japanese team. So it could be like Manchester United against Shonan Bellmare., who are a kind of low quality Japanese football team. From Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture . So it is Manchester United versus Shonan Bellmare, then obviously Shonan Bellmare is the underdog. Nobody expects them to win. But, people like to support the underdog. And if the underdog wins, it’s fantastic and everyone is very excited and pleased about it. So, really Susan Boyle’s story is an underdog story. It has a very powerful effect on the audience.

Other people are saying that this is really a victory for middle class …sorry…middle-aged women. Not middle class women. Middle aged women. Because usually in our culture, you know, pop-stars and …on TV the media is obsessed with younger women, you know. Like sexy younger women. And that’s all you see in music videos on MTV. But this is really a victory for older women, middle-aged women.

Susan Boyle is an every-woman. She is an every woman. That means that everyone can relate to her. Everyone feels the same as her. Everyone feels like they are similar to her. Everybody knows somebody like Susan Boyle. She could be your next-door-neighbour.

She could be, you know, your math teacher at school or something. So, she is just like everybody else. She is an every-woman. And that means that people can relate to her story.

Also, the Americans love Susan Boyle. And there is something very American about her story. But she is not American. She is Scottish. But the Americans love an underdog and they obviously believe in the American Dream which means that anybody can get to the top. So, even the most normal ordinary person can go straight to the top. And this is a good example of the American dream. Susan Boyle came from nowhere went on this show, sang beautifully and now she is famous all over the world.

So, that’s the story.

Recently she has been in papers here in the UK. There are pictures of her that have been taken. She has had a make-over. So now, you can see her in the newspapers, wearing a leather jacket and a burberri scarf. You know, she looks cool and everything now, but really I think the people will remember her as being the ordinary middle class – sorry – middle-aged Scottish woman who made everyone feel very emotional, and surprised everyone with her fantastic voice.

Now, I expect that Susan Boyle won’t stay famous for very long. She will probably be famous for, you know, a few months or so but after that, I think, people will just forget about her.

The artist, the modern artist Andy Warhol said a famous quote, once. I think in the ninety sixties. He said: In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. And I think this could be proof that Andy Warhol is right and I think that Susan Boyle probably won’t be famous for very long. She will be famous for 15 minutes. Well, not literally 15 minutes, but it means she will have a short period of fame.

I think she is going to release a CD which Simon Carol is going to publish. So you might be able to listen to her singing on CD. She’ll probably become very, very rich, but I expect that she won’t be famous for very, very long. That’s my prediction.

I might be wrong. I might be wrong. She might become, you know, the next big, big thing who is famous for a long, long time. But I think it’s really just that one moment when she appeared on Britain’s got talent that will be remembered.

Okay, so that’s that.

Don’t forget, if you have got questions about that or if you have comments, please let me know. I would like to hear what you think of Susan Boyle. Is she famous in your country? What do you think of her? And do you think that she will be famous forever? Or will she just be famous for a few months.

Okay, now what I am going to do tomorrow is record some of my friends. I am going to interview a few people and ask them what they think of Susan Boyle.

So, I will post those interviews in another podcast. So, I am going to post this podcast on the internet tonight and I will do some interviews tomorrow and I will post those interviews in another extra podcast that you will be able to download. Probably over the weekend, okay?

So, next you are going to hear the language section where I am going to teach you some idioms.

Okay, so, idioms! I thought it would be interesting to teach you some idioms about appearance and about people’s character and personality. I feel like it’s relates to the Susan Boyle situation quite well. Just a little bit of information about idioms.

What is an idiom? Well, an idiom is a fixed expression that people often say as part of their normal conversation. It’s a fixed expression which is very difficult for learners of English to understand. And that’s because you can’t understand it just by looking at the individual words. So if I give you an idiom and you just look up the words in the dictionary, you might not be able to understand what it means.

So, the words together have another meaning. Everyone has idioms. You have…you will have idioms in your languages that would be difficult to explain to someone who is learning the language and we certainly have a lot of idioms in English. And they are rather difficult for learners to learn but they are also difficult to understand when you hear them being used in conversation. Native speakers use idioms all the time when they are talking, when they are writing to each other and so on.

So, I am going to teach you some useful idioms that you can use to describe personality and character.

Okay, so the first idiom is: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Now, you could say that that’s not an idiom. You can probably understand what it means, actually. But don’t judge a book by its cover means, you shouldn’t judge somebody just by the way they look. You need to get to know them first before you can make judgements about them.

So just like you wouldn’t judge a book by looking at the cover, by looking at the picture on the cover. You have to judge a book by opening it and reading it.

It is the same about a person. So for example if you look at Susan Boyle you’ll think she is just a boring, middle-aged woman, right? But don’t judge a book by its cover. Actually she is very interesting. She’s got beautiful voice, she is very talented, yeah.

Now, the next one is very similar in meaning and it’s: There is more than meets the eye’. There is more than meets the eye, okay. So there is more than meets the eye means the same thing as don’t judge a book by its cover., really. It means the way someone looks or the way something looks doesn’t show you what is inside. Or doesn’t show you what it really is.

So, again, again, Susan Boyle you look at her and think: Oh, she is just sort of ordinary person. But no, there is more than that. There is more than meets the eye. Actually she is very talented and interesting. Okay, there is more than meets the eye.

The next one is: She is a class act. She is a class act. So a class act is somebody who is excellent of what they do. Somebody who is very, very good what they do. So, Susan Boyle is a class act because she has got a great voice.

 

Okay, the next one is: He is a laughing stock. He is a laughing stock.

So, a laughing stock is someone who has done something very stupid in public and now everybody is laughing at them. Nobody takes them seriously anymore. And everybody thinks that they are stupid.

So, for example, if Susan Boyle hadn’t sung very well, she had had a very bad voice or she had done something very stupid, then she would be a laughing stock.

She isn’t a laughing stock at all. She is actually great. I think she is fantastic. But a laughing stock is somebody who has done something really stupid and everyone is now laughing at them.

Let’s see, you could say perhaps that George Bush is a bit of a laughing stock because of his bad English, right? He often made bad English mistakes when he spoke and so he is a laughing stock. Particularly in America. I mean, the Americans love to laugh at George Bush now. Some of them don’t, but a lot of them do. Yeah, he is a laughing stock, I think.

 

The next one is: to have moral fibre. To have moral fibre. So, moral fibre is the inner strength. So, the strength that you have in your personality which helps you to do what you believe is right in a difficult situation. So, for example you could say: He didn’t have the moral fibre to be a leader, right? He didn’t have the moral fibre to be a leader. So, in order to be a leader, you need to have like strength of personality and we describe that as moral fibre.

So, for example you need to have a lot of moral fibre to be a good president.

So, probably Barack Obama seems to have a lot of moral fibre, alright?

 

Okay, a similar expression is to have the courage of your convictions. To have the courage of your convictions. Now if you have the courage of your convictions, it means you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, even if other people disagree with you.

So, for example, okay let’s take the example of Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was the man who came up with a theory of evolution. Now he came up with the idea that nobody else believed in evolution.

He was the only one and everyone else disagreed with him, but he had the courage of his convictions. He wrote books about it and now we now, that he was right. That evolution is true.

You know, I believe in evolution. So Darwin had the courage of his convictions and now we know that he was right, actually.

 

Another expression is: To be bold as brass. To be bold as brass.

Now, if you are bold as brass, it means that you are very confident. You are sort of….you are so confident that you are not worried about how other people will think about you.

So, for example, Susan Boyle walked onto the stage and she was bold as brass. She wasn’t worried about what people thought of her. Bold as brass. Okay.

 

Another nice expression is: His bark is worse than his bite. His bark is worse than his bite.

This means, if someone’s bark is worse than their bite, it means that they might get angry, they might shout. They might seem to be very frightening and scary but actually, they are not really scary. They won’t do anything dangerous.

A bark and a bite we associate with a dog. So we can use it to talk about a dog who makes a lot of noise bark bark bark bark bark, like that, barking, but the bark is worse than the dog’s bite.

So it barks a lot but it doesn’t bite. It’s bark is worse than his bite.

But we can also use that expression to talk about people. So, if there is someone you know, who is perhaps very angry. They shout, they get angry very easily, but actually they are not very dangerous as a person. Actually, they are quite friendly, you can say: His bark is worse than his bite.

So, maybe someone like Simon Cowell one of the judges on the show, he seems to be a very angry guy and he is critical. But actually when you get to know him, he is probably quite a nice person, I think. He has got a big heart. So his bark is worse than his bite.

 

And the last idiom I am going to teach you is: She is a barrel of laughs. She is a barrel of laughs.

A barrel of laughs means someone who is really, really good fun. Someone who is very, very funny. Someone who laughs a lot and someone who makes you laugh a lot.

So, for example, if you know someone who is really funny, when you spend time with him, you laugh a lot and you have a really good time, you can say: She is just a barrel of laughs.

Now a barrel is a kind of container, like a wooden container that you can use to keep beer in. You might put beer in it, yeah? So, if you have a barrel full of laughs, right. I think you can imagine what that is: a barrel of laughs. A barrel full of laughs. So we use it to describe someone. He is an absolute barrel of laughs. You have a great time with him.

 

Okay, so that is the end of the language section.

Don’t forget, look at the web page, teacherLuke.podomatic.com.

You can see all the idioms that I have just introduced to you there on the page with definitions. You can also see a picture of Susan Boyle and you will see a link to the you tube video and you can also read the scripts of the conversation between Susan and the judges and you can read the lyrics of her song.

 

 

That’s it! Don’t forget to email me. Luketeacher@hotmail.com.

Let me know what you think of Susan Boyle. Let me know what you think of the podcast. This is the longest podcast I have done, yet. Each podcast is getting longer and longer every time. I hope you don’t mind. This is about 45 minutes long.

So please let me know what you think of the podcast. Give me some feedback, give me some comments. If it’s too long, let me know. I will make them shorter.

That’s the end of the podcast.

 

Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye

Thanks for downloading Luke’s English podcast.

6. Vampires!


Right-click here to download.

Transcript Available below.

Hello everyone. This podcast feature today is about vampires! The language section is about really useful vocabulary and expressions to describe feelings and emotions.

See below for the transcript for this episode. Just scroll down the page. After the language notes you can read the transcript. 

I hope you’re well. I know I said that I would talk about men & women in this podcast. Well, that podcast isn’t ready yet. Instead, I’ve done this one about vampires.  I can hear you asking the question “Why vampires??”. It’s because there are some movies out at the moment which are about vampires. Actually, there’s always a movie out which is about vampires! If you think about it, we love vampires, don’t we? People seem to think they are interesting. There are hundreds of movies and books about them. They’ve been in literature for hundreds of years… but why? That’s what this podcast is about.

The first part of the feature section is about Twilight. Twilight is a very popular American movie. It was recently released on DVD. It’s particularly popular with teenagers (especially teenage girls) and it’s about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. Hmm, interesting. It’s also a very successful book by Stephanie Meyer. I think it’s the most popular book on Amazon.com at the moment.

The second part of the feature section is about the history of the vampire in literature and movies. The information comes from a lecture by the British academic Sir Christopher Frayling (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Frayling) who is a brilliant and intelligent expert on popular culture. He gave a lecture a few years ago about vampires. I listened to it, and have summarised it for you here. It’s all about why we find vampires interesting, and why there are so many movies about vampires in the cinema every year.

The language section is about useful words and expressions to describe your emotions. Here is the language summary of those words and expressions. Remember, if you don’t use them – you lose them!!

Fear / Being Frightened

“I was absolutely petrified / terrified” – This just means, I was really really scared! “I was scared stiff” – This means I was really frightened, and I couldn’t move. “It frightened the life out of me” – This means, it really frightened me. “I jumped / It made me jump” – This is when something scares or surprises you and you jump into the air.

Shocked – I was really shocked

“I was speechless” – This means that I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to say. I was lost for words. “I was shocked and stunned” – I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do. If you are stunned, it means you can’t move. “I couldn’t believe my eyes” – This is when you see something shocking and you can’t believe it! “I couldn’t believe my ears” – This is when you hear something, like some shocking news, and you don’t believe it!

Angry

“I was absolutely furious!” – I was really really angry. “I was so pissed off” – Pissed off means angry. It’s informal, and a bit rude. In American English they say “I was pissed”, but in British English ‘pissed’ means ‘drunk’. “I lost my temper” – I became angry. We never use the word ‘temper’ on its own. We only use it in expressions like this. “Don’t lose your temper” “You’re so bad tempered” “I hit the roof” – This is an idiom which means ‘I became really really angry’ The roof is the top part of your house, so if you hit the roof, it means you fly through the top of the house with anger!

Happy

“I was absolutely delighted” – This means I was really really happy. “I was chuffed (to bits)” – Chuffed means really happy or pleased. It is informal English. It isn’t rude. “I was over the moon” – This is an idiom which means I was really really happy.

Disappointed

“I was absolutely devastated” – This means I was really really disappointed. I was so disappointed, that I was nearly destroyed. Very serious. “I was gutted” – Again, this means I was really disappointed. ‘Gutted’ is an informal expression. It isn’t rude.

Sad

“I was absolutely heart-broken” – I was really really sad, like when your girlfriend has left you… So sad… :( “I was really down in the dumps” – This means I was depressed & sad. E.g. after my girlfriend left me, I was down in the dumps for weeks & weeks.

OK, so that’s it for the language section. Remember: you can email me and ask me more questions if you want to: luketeacher@hotmail.com

Transcript:

Episode 6 – Vampires!

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.wordpress.com.

Hello to everyone out there in podcast land. Thanks very much for downloading the podcast. It’s a Saturday lunch time right now and it’s a beautiful day outside, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and I am sitting here indoors in front of a computer. So obviously I have got my priority to write, haven’t I? I think that as soon as I finish this I am gonna go outside and enjoy the good weather because to be honest, here in London, the weather isn’t always good. You’ve got to try and make the most of it when it is good, so I shouldn’t be sitting here in front of the computer, should I? I should be out there enjoying the sunshine. So I will be doing that soon.

So first of all I would like to say thank you again for downloading the podcast. On my podcast page I can see all of the downloads that I have had all over the world and it’s fantastic actually because I get like a map  of the world with little flags that show where I’ve been downloaded and people are listening to me in Canada, somewhere way up in the north of Canada, I’ve being listened to in the middle of America , in Toronto, Ireland, all over the UK, in Spain, in Algiers in North Africa – as well as there I am being downloaded in Holland. Some people are listening to me in Luxembourg. Let’s see where else: Milan in Italy, Greece, Istanbul in Turkey. I am being listened to in Kazakhstan and a couple of places in China. Some people are downloading me in South Korea. I am being listened to in Japan in Tokyo and in Sapporo as well so it’s really great to be able to communicate with people all over the world, like this and I am enjoying it very much. Don’t forget to send me a message as well. I really like to hear from you.

Let’s see, in today’s podcast in the feature section I am going to be talking about vampires. Now I know that before I said I was going to be talking about men and women. Well, actually I have changed my mind. I am not going to talk about men and women in this podcast. It’s going to be about vampires instead. That’s because I was planning to talk about men and women but that’s not ready. That podcast isn’t ready yet. I’ve interviewed some people about that but I’d like to interview some more people as well. So it’s not ready yet. You have to wait until probably next time to hear about men and women. So instead this one is about vampires. Now that’s because there are a couple of movies which have come out recently. the first one being ‘Twilight’ which is an American film which recently has been released on DVD and another film is a Swedish movie called: ‘Let the right one in’ and they are both vampire movies, both very popular and so I am going to first of all talk about Twilight which is this very very popular vampire movie –  particularly popular with  teenagers – and then I am going to be talking about vampires in popular culture, the history of vampires in literature and movies and talking about why are vampires so popular. What do they really mean? What is it about vampires that makes them interesting for us, okay?

So that’s the feature section.

Then in the language section I am going to teach you some useful vocabulary you can use to describe emotions and feelings. That’s like different ways of describing being scared or being frightened – being sad, being shocked, being very happy, being very angry, being disappointed. Lots of really good useful language that you can use just when you are describing things,  when you are describing things that happened to you. I will write the vocabulary and the definitions on the web page and then you can start using them and making them part of your normal vocabulary. So you can look forward to that in the language section.

I know what you are – you are impossibly fast and strong. Your skin is pale and white and ice cold.

Are you afraid?

Only afraid of losing you

That’s a clip from the movie Twilight and if you didn’t catch that -she said: I know what you are – you are impossibly fast and strong. Your skin is pale white and ice cold.

And he says: are you afraid? and she said: I am only afraid of losing you.

Mmmm, well she should be afraid, really because it turns out that this guy is a vampire, believe it or not. Now, Twilight is a massively popular film. It’s huge. It’s particularly popular with teenage girls. It is based on a series of books by Stephenie Meyer. The books are currently the number one bestsellers on amazon.com. It’s a whole series of books and they are all very very popular all over the world. Basically, this is the new Harry Potter and the first movie which was released last year is massive. Okay, especially with teenagers and especially with teenage girls. Now Twilight is about a girl called Bella, whose parents split up. So she has to move to a small town with her dad and she has to go to a new school. Now, normally in these Hollywood films where a teenager has to go to a new school, you get the usual problems.- for example they find it difficult to make  friends – perhaps they get bullied by nasty members of the school. But this doesn’t really happen in this film . Bella goes to the new school and  actually the other kids are very friendly. She gets on very well with them. But what happens is that, she thinks that the other kids at the school are actually a bit simple. They seem to be quite sort of a  basic, a bit stupid really. She notices another group of people at the school who seem a bit strange and a bit mysterious and they don’t hang around with all the other kids at the school and they look very – kind of romantic looking. They look a bit gothic and very mysterious and interesting and one of them in particular. His name is Edward. She becomes very fascinated with and  – let’s see – she quickly becomes very attracted to Edward and she thinks he is very fascinating but she doesn’t know why he keeps avoiding her. Now, like I said before it turns out that well, he is a vampire. I don’t think I am giving away any secrets about the film there. It is a vampire movie. So it turns out he is a vampire. But he is not a bad vampire. A lot like someone like Dracula for example because him and his little vampire family – they are not bad vampires, they are good vampires because they don’t kill people, they don’t drink people’s blood – what they do is, they catch animals and they drink animal blood and they avoid people if they can. Okay, so, they are basically good vampires. Now basically what happens is that Bella and Edward – they are obviously very attracted to each other – they fall in love. But they are very afraid that they will lose control over each other because basically if Edward  loses control – if he gets to passionate, then he won’t be able to stop himself and he bites her. Okay?

So what we’ve got is a kind of teenage romance high school movie with a vampire scene and romantic elements with the fact that these two people love each other but they can’t really be together because he is a vampire.

Now actually I saw this film in Norway. I was in Oslo a couple of months ago and it was a Saturday night and I had nothing to do because I was there on my own and I decided to go and see this film. It was showing at the local cinema and I went to the cinema and before the film started, I was almost alone in the cinema – so I thought – okay fine, I’m just gonna be able to sit here quietly and watch the movie.

But slowly but surely more and more people arrived  and the cinema basically filled up with lots of teenage Norwegian girls and me. Right? So I am sitting there on my own, surrounded by   teenage Norwegian girls, right? Which I mean I am not complaining or anything –   it wasn’t bad, but it was a bit strange. And the movie starts and the first time you see Edward these girls just went crazy. I mean they were all giggling and laughing and talking to each other. Now obviously Edward is a very popular character with the girls out there and the actor actually is called –  I can’t remember his name,   I think he’s called Robert Pattinson and he’s been in a couple of other movies. Most famously he played Cedric Diggory in a  Harry Potter series and in this film he is made to look very handsome indeed and is very popular with teenage girls. And like I said before Twilight is a very very popular vampire film.

Now, what I’d like to do now is just talk about vampires in movies and in literature and what I’m going to say here is based on a lecture that I heard by the great academic whose name is Christopher Frayling, actually Sir Christopher Frayling. He is also the head of the society of arts here in the UK and he is a great academic and an  expert on popular culture. So that’s things like literature and movies and he gave a lecture about vampires in popular culture. So I am going to give you a kind of summary of what he’d said.

So the vampire myth really started in the 18th century and in that time there were stories that people told each other that involves vampires and blood suckers and so on and at that time the vampire was a kind of – let see – a countryside figure, a rural folklore figure from agricultural society, okay? So actually at that time vampires were working class labourers who worked in the countryside and the vampire story when it first started involved lots of superstition and some very primitive societies, Okay? So it’s a kind of…it was part of stories that people told each other by word of mouth and the vampire was related to a kind of folklore myth. These stories were based in Eastern Europe basically. Then in 1816 on Lake Geneva there was a very famous meeting of a number of famous horror writers. They included Byron, Shelley and Mary Godwin. They had their summer holiday there at Lake Geneva and the weather was terrible, so what they did for entertainment was they told each other very scary horror stories. And these horror stories became some of the most famous horror stories that we know now. Things like Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde I think and as well as that the first vampire story which was told by Byron. Now his story was about a Lord who went around corrupting young men. So that means he went around, making these young men immoral, interested in sex and alcohol but not interested in the church. The story was set in Greece where this Lord finally died a romantic death, a bit like Dracula and then is brought back to life in the  moonlight. So it’s really the first vampire story that showed vampires as we know them now and it was different to the old folklore stories because in the Byron story the vampire is not a rural character not in the country side biting sheep and things. Now the vampire is a high class character and is sexualised, a kind of sexual person. Also this new vampire story kind of looks at the bad reputation that upper class aristocrates had in the 19th century. So then later in the 19th century the story gets repeated and rewritten by lots of people. Some of the things change for example you get female vampires as well and some things like that. Some of the things stay the same, for example the location. Pretty much all of these stories are based on the edge of western catholic Europe,  so somewhere out  on the edge were…we  don’t quite know what happens on the edge of western Europe. Now the most famous telling of the vampire story is Dragula by Bram Stoker. This is the version that everybody knows and which has been repeated many many times. Now in the Bram Stoker story Dragula all the basic elements of a vampire story are introduced, okay? So the vampire is a powerful man, a sort of Lord or aristocrat, someone in upper class society related to the aristocracy, okay? He has to bite people and then they become a vampire. He bites someone on the neck, he has sharp teeth, sharp canine teeth. Vampires hate crosses. Sunlight kills them, You can kill a vampire with a wooden stake which is kind of like a sharp stick and you stab the vampire in the heart and that can kill them. You can also kill a vampire by chopping his head off. Vampires in this story can change shape, they can become a bat or perhaps a dog or a wolf. Now, all of these classic vampire elements get repeated in lots of movies after that and lots of other stories. And this is really what we now know a vampires to be. One of the most famous images of Dracula comes from the British Hammer horror movie called Dracula which star the actor Christopher Lee as Dracula and often when people think of Dracula they see the Christopher Lee performance. And Christopher Lee in the movie is a very tall handsome charming Dracula with the sharp teeth. Now, later on, after this image of Dracula is produced by movies and by Bram Stoker, later on the vampire becomes domesticated which means he becomes closer to  home and more similar to us. So this is done for example in books like Steven King’s book ‘Salem’s Lot’ and also  other Hollywood movies. So the whole vampire thing gets updated and is put into contemporary modern America – as sort of normal every day set in. So this is a new way of making vampires frightening and scary. So for example a vampire can live on your street or even in your house. They don’t just live in a big castle in another country somewhere or in the countryside. They can live in your town, okay? Also the vampire becomes americanised, so that’s put into normal American society. Now this is a very common pattern in horror stories. Many horror myths start as a European folk myth so not written down by but shared by word of mouth, then the stories get written by 19th century British writers and then later they are made into American Hollywood movies and they are updated. So it’s a very common pattern in all. And one that we can see has happened with vampires. So, now the vampire is an ordinary person like a teenager in a high school for example. So he gets things like the TV programme ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or movies like Twilight, for example.  And first of all this is more scary because it makes it a bit more realistic but also teenagers, for example, who are the target market for these vampire movies usually – teenagers can relate to vampires and vampire movies and then these movies are about issues that effect normal American people, okay?

So the vampire has really changed and it has survived through from old old eastern European folks stories through the 19th century British horror writers into modern day American Hollywood films. So the vampire is very flexible, very adaptable and the vampire can survive. You can’t kill it, you just can’t kill the vampire. It will always survive in popular culture because for some reason it’s very meaningful for us and we can see lots of important issues, meaningful issues to us in the vampire myth. So the vampire movie is like a metaphor. So on the surface it’s a scary movie but underneath that the vampire movie allows us to think about lots of other issues and a vampire movie can be about more than just being scared,  but it’s also about a number of different issues that relate to us in society, okay?

Right, so I am going to at …just quickly look at some of the themes that you can find in many vampire stories. So one of the first themes that you see in a vampire film is the theme of disease. Now this is a very old thing which you can see in the first vampire film which is called ‘Nosferatu’. That’s a German film from 1921. In that film the vampire is presented  as like a plague of rats. So the vampire’s bite is like the bite of a disease which infects your blood. The disease spreads as well  from person to person through the blood. Although there is a sexual connection with seduction and the exchange of body fluids.  So in that sense Dracula or vampires can be seen as a metaphor for even something like the aids virus which is a big issue in society at the moment. For example if you look at Francis Ford Coppola’s  movie which is called Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There are scenes in that movie which show a doctor looking at someone’s blood under the microscope and seeing that it’s infected by vampire’s kind of micro organisms. So certainly in a lot of vampire books and movies they are a metaphor for disease in society.

Also sexuality is a big theme in vampire stories and movies. Vampires are in a way a safe way for us to look at eroticism. So, the vampire really is a very sexual creature. Often he seduces his victim, he bites women and then turns them into whores, he appears in women’s bedrooms, he bites on the neck, he sucks out body fluids. These are all very sexual images. Also the desire to bite and it’s an __________ like sexual desires which is part of a sinful act.

Now as well as those themes you have a theme of the fear of death or growing old. So vampires can represent both the fear of death and the fantasy of immortality. That’s never dying. So if you like, beating death. So by becoming a vampire you can escape death but you have to hide from society and kill people. So there is the tragedy of becoming a vampire which combines the fantasy of never dying with the tragedy of having to escape from society. Also  the tragedy of seeing your loved ones grow old and die and you can see that theme in the famous movie with Tom Cruise and Brett Pit called interview with a vampire which deals with the whole theme of immortality and the tragedy of having to kill in order to survive and stay immortal.

You can also see the theme of drugs in some of these vampire films. Being a vampire means that you have to live at night. You become very pale skinned. You need to drink blood in order to stay alive and if you don’t, you get sick. So in that sense it’s similar to kind of heroin addiction perhaps.

Now, movies like the Lost boys with Kiefer Sutherland which is an 1980th Hollywood movie. A great movie. I used to watch it when I was a kid with my brother. We loved it. Movies like the Lost Boys are about loss of innocence and the pressure to copy people of your age. So do the same as people of your age. There are about temptation and the night time drug culture of young Californians.

In the Lost Boys it’s about two brothers who moved to a small seaside town in California and how one of them becomes seduced by a group of vampires who live in the area. And for me it’s like – the subtext of the film is like he becomes a drug addict. If you watch the film and imagine-  he is not a vampire but a drug addict it becomes very meaningful, I think.

Okay, so you can see how vampires are kind of very important in a way in our culture and how meaningful they are. It’s interesting how the vampire film consists to survive. It never dies. Instead it gets revised, it changes and it also becomes a way for us to look at various issues in society.

So if you haven’t seen Twilight then I ….I can recommend it. I thought it was very sweet story about first love and how it can be very hard to lose control of your feelings when you first fall in love as a teenager. It’s also about the danger of passion and your emotions and the power of attraction and how it can be very confusing and frightening when you first fall in love because the feelings can be very strong and that can be quite frightening. Now, I thought the film was quite corny, it was a bit embarrassing sometimes.

Some of the sequences were a little bit funny but basically I think it is a sweet film and I think it is a good film and so if you haven’t seen it I recommend it. There is also another Swedish film which is in the cinemas at the moment called: ‘Let the right one in’ and I haven’t seen that but apparently it’s excellent. All the critics are saying this, that it is very very good vampire film, indeed. So I hope to see that very soon. If you have seen that and if you have seen Twilight then send me a message. Let me know what you thought of both of those films. Remember the email address is Luketeacher@hotmail.com and I look forward to hearing from you.

Okay, so this is the language section and like I said at the beginning of the podcast this is going to be about expressing your emotions, describing your feelings. Now all of the language in this section you could use for example when you are telling a story about something or when you are describing an experience that you had. So all the examples  I am going to give will be in the past tense. So you might use this language for example if you are describing an experience like for example how you felt about your exam results or how you felt when you first heard about some news. So  the areas I am going to talk about are being frightened or being scared, being shocked, feeling angry, feeling happy, feeling disappointed and feeling sad.

So obviously very very common emotions and very very common in our daily experience and when you’re describing your experiences it is very very good to use these colourful descriptive language to express how you felt at the time. So all the language I am going to teach you I will write on my web page so you can see all of the expressions on the web page with some definitions. Don’t forget the web page is teacherLuke.podamatic.com  and you can see all of it explained for you there.

So we’ll start with fear or being scared.Being frithtened. So one thing you could say if you were very scared, you could say: I was really scared or I was really frightened, of course. You can also say: I was absolutely petrified. I was absolutely petrified. So petrified is an extreme adjective means very very scared. I was absolutely petrified. You could say: I was absolutely terrified, as well. Another thing you could say is: I was scared stiff. I was scared stiff. That means you was so scared, so frightened that you couldn’t move, right? I was scared stiff.

Another one would be: It frightened the life out of me. It frightened the life out of me. That means: I was really really scared. Basically :It frightened the life out of me.

Another one is sometimes when you are very scared, when something scares you – you jump – you kind of go huuu, so you could say: I jumped or it made me jump.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

For example: I woke up last night because I could hear noises from downstairs. I thought it was robbers in my house. I was absolutely petrified. I couldn’t move. I was scared stiff. I managed to pluck up the courage to go downstairs. I picked up a cricket bat and I went into the kitchen. I could hear some really strange noises so I went through the kitchen and suddenly my cat jumped down from the window. Huu it made me jump. Right? It frightened the life out of me. I thought it was a robber but it was just my cat. Now in that story I said I plucked up the courage to do something. So if you pluck up the courage it means even if you are scared you kind of become brave enough to do something. I plucked up the courage to do something.

The next one is being shocked

 

So for example when you hear some really shocking news like for example if you hear on the radio that someone has died or a famous person has died like if you  heard on the radio that John Lennon had died, for example you could say: I was really shocked or you could say: I was absolutely speechless, I was absolutely speechless. That means: I couldn’t say anything. I was so shocked, right? You can say. I was shocked and stunned, I was shocked and stunned and they always go together.

Stunned means that you couldn’t move. You were so shocked, you didn’t know what to do. I was shocked and stunned. And the other expression is: I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. So that is if you see something shocking and it’l like: Is that real? I couldn’t believe my eyes. Like when I saw the UFO I just couldn’t believe my eyes. You also could say: I couldn’t believe my ears. That’s if you heard some very shocking news. So for example when I heard on the radio that John Lennon had died, I was absolutely speechless. I didn’t know what to say. When I won the lottery I was shocked and stunned. I didn’t know what to do. And, let’s see, when I saw my exam results, when I saw that I failed my exams, I couldn’t believe my eyes. All right?

The next one is about being angry.

Being angry. Of course you can say: I was really angry. But you could also say as an extreme emotion, you could say: I was absolutely furious. I was absolutely furious, which means very very angry. A slightly rude expression would be: I was really pissed off. I was really pissed off. And that’s a British English informal expression which is a little bit rude to mean, I was angry. Now in America they would say I was  pissed, just pissed, not pissed off. Now in British English I was pissed means I was drunk. So there is a difference between the British and American English.  In British English we say: I was really pissed off. Pissed off. A little bit rude and a bit informal. If you become angry you could say: I lost my temper. I lost my temper and that means I became angry, okay? And another kind of idiom expression you can use is: I hit the roof. That means I became really angry. I hit the roof. So for example, when my dad heard that I had failed my exams he was absolutely furious. He was so pissed off. He really lost his temper and he hit the roof and was very angry with me.

Now, the next one is about being happy.

Now, of course you can say: I was really really happy, but a more extreme adjective you can use is delighted. I was absolutely delighted. I was absolutely delighted. Probably a good idea to repeat that, right? Practising it by repeating. I was absolutely delighted. An informal British English expression is the word chuffed. Chuffed to bits. I was chuffed to bits. You can read that on the web page if you don’t know how to spell it. I was chuffed to bits. And an idiom you can use when you are really happy would be: I was over the moon. I was over the moon. So for example: When I passed the exam I was absolutely delighted, or if you are a girl you can say: When he asked me to marry him, I was over the moon. And when I got the job I was chuffed to bits.

The next one is about being disappointed.

Being disappointed, okay? So, obviously you can say: I was really disappointed. But you can also use an extreme adjective which is devastated. Devastated. That’s when you are really really disappointed like really badly disappointed. I was absolutely devastated. So for example: When my dog died – I really loved my dog – right, I really loved it. When my dog died I was absolutely devastated. An informal British expression is: Gutted, gutted. I was absolutely gutted which means really really disappointed. So for example, when England lost the football game, I was gutted. I was absolutely devastated. Because obviously football is very important here in the UK, especially in England.

The next one is about being sad

 

So obviously you can say: I was really really sad, but an extreme adjective would ‘heartbroken’, heartbroken. I was absolutely heartbroken. And an expression you can use to describe someone who is sad is down in the dumps. Down in the dumps. Down in the dumps. He was really down in the dumps. That means really sad, so when my girlfriend left me, I was absolutely heartbroken and then for weeks I was really down in the dumps.

So there it is, some useful language for you to express your emotions and opinions when you’re describing your experiences. Of course you should try to use some of those expressions when you are chatting, when you are speaking in English. It will make you sound  like a more advanced speaker. So, you might not be able to remember all of them, but I’ve given you lots of useful expressions there. Try to use some of them. You don’t have to use them all. Just try to use some of them. Look at my web page you will see all of the expressions written, so you can see what the words look like and how to spell them and you can check them in the dictionary as well if you like.

But that’s the end of the language section and it’s also the end of the podcast. And so I am going to end with a final question: I’d like you to tell me – let’s see – okay

Two questions. One question is: Have you seen the movie ‘Twilight’ or have you seen the other movie ‘Let the right one in’ ? And if you have seen them what did you think of them. Also have you read the book Twilight. For it’s a very very popular book. It’s I think, one of the most popular books in the world on  amazon.com at the moment. So if you’ve read that what do you think of the book? Is it better than the movie or worse and the second question is: Tell me about something, tell me about an experience that was very frightening or maybe disappointing or something that made you very happy. Tell me about it. I’ll read it out on the podcast and you can tell the rest of the world about your experience that way. Okay? So I hope you enjoyed that podcast. I hope you found it interesting. Don’t forget to download and listen to more podcasts in  the future and to download and listen to the old ones again. I recommend that you listen to them several times. Listen to them more than once cause it’s a really good way of practising your listening.

If you have any suggestions for me, if you want me to speak about something or if you want me to do something differently just let me know and I will try to do those things.

Okay, so that’s the end of the podcast. See you later.

Bye,bye,bye,bye

Thanks for downloading Luke’s English podcast. Don’t forget to email me at Luketeacher@hotmail.com.

VIDEO
Still want more vampire action? Here’s a really interesting documentary on vampires by Sir Christopher Frayling.

5. Joaquin Phoenix


Right click here to download.

There is now a transcript for this episode, thanks to a listener called Krissy. Thanks Krissy! See below for the transcript. You can use it to read every word which you can hear in this podcast episode. There may be some errors in the script. If you find any, please give corrections by adding a comment under this episode. ;)

Joaquin Phoenix is a famous Hollywood A List actor. He appeared in Gladiator and Walk The Line (the Johnny Cash story). Recently he announced that he wants to quit acting to become a rapper. Also, his appearance has become very strange! He looks more like a homeless person than a Hollywood star. His decision has become a Hollywood mystery. Is it real, or is it a joke? No one really knows.

In this episode of the podcast, Luke talks about Joaquin Phoenix with his friend and colleague Howard. You can listen to the conversation – some of the vocabulary is defined below. The language section of the podcast is about making speculations with modal verbs. See below for more information. Also, below you will see some pictures of Joaquin Phoenix, and some YouTube videos – one of him announcing his retirement from acting, and one of him rapping (badly) and then falling off the stage! For more strange Joaquin Phoenix videos, have a look on YouTube. We can’t wait to find out if it is real, or if it is all a big joke. We really hope that it is a joke, because if it isn’t, he could be in real trouble…

Some vocabulary that Luke & Howard used in their conversation + definitions:

Howard: “He’s from a famous acting dynasty” – a dynasty means a large and powerful family
Howard: “He looks like a homeless, or a tramp or something” – ‘homeless’ and ‘tramp’ both mean someone who doesn’t have a home and has to live on the street. ‘homeless’ is also an adjective
Luke: “He’s making a fly-on-the-wall documentary” – a fly-on-the-wall documentary is a documentary film or programme which is filmed to look like the people in the film are not really aware of the cameras, so they act naturally and it is like the viewer is a ‘fly on the wall’ just watching what is happening. This is not a reality show like Big Brother. It’s a type of documentary.
Luke: “A comedy movie a bit like Borat” – Borat is a satirical comedy about a man called Borat, played by Sacha Baron Cohen
Luke: “The thing about rapping is that you have to have a flow” – a rapper’s ‘flow’ is his rhythmical style of rapping. E.g. Eminem has a fast flow. Joaquin Phoenix’s flow is slow, and elementary.
Howard: “He looks like a twat” – a twat is a slightly rude word which means ‘an idiot’
Luke: “He’s let himself go” – to ‘let yourself go’ means you stop looking after yourself and your appearance goes bad, e.g. you gain wait, your hair grows too long, etc.
Luke: “It sounds like he’s slurring his words” – to ‘slur’ your words means that you don’t pronounce your words properly, like when you are drunk.
Luke: “He’s famous for a method approach to acting” – a method approach is an acting style which involves the actor totally becoming the character he is performing. The actor lives as that character all the time, even at home. Famous method actors are Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. DeNiro famously put on a lot of weight to become Jake LaMotta in the film Raging Bull (an excellent film!)
Howard: “His family are very eccentric” – ‘eccentric’ means slightly crazy, odd, weird, bizarre, strange
Howard: “A lot of craziness” – craziness is the noun from ‘crazy’
Howard: “A lot of weird and wacky things happening” -wacky is another word for crazy, bizarre, weird, odd, etc
Luke: “I’m a bit sceptical” – ‘I’m sceptical’ means ‘I don’t really believe it is true’
Luke: “Someone in the crowd was heckling him” – to heckle someone means to shout criticisms from the crowd. Comedians are often heckled, by hecklers during stand-up comedy routines – e.g. “That’s not funny!!”
Luke: “It’s a piss take” – a ‘piss take’ is a joke. designed to fool everyone, to make fun of everyone.
Howard: “It sounds like he’s on the edge” – on the edge means ‘close to being crazy’ or ‘close to a nervous breakdown’
Luke: “I’m leaning towards ‘it’s all a joke'” – to be leaning towards something means that you are starting to take that opinion. You are favouring that opinion.
Howard: “I think it might be for real” – ‘for real’ means genuine, not fake.
Luke: “Finally, he’s cracked” – he’s ‘cracked’ means he’s ‘lost his mind’

Summary of Language Section – Modal Verbs:

Use might, must, could or can’t to speculate about things.

1. For present or future use modal + infinitive (without to)
e.g. He may have an emotional problem

or modal + be + -ing for the continuous form
e.g. He may be having emotional problems

2. For speculations about the past, use modal + have + past participle
e.g. He may have got tired of Hollywood

3. Use ‘must’ when you’re sure that something is true
e.g. It must be a joke! (or It has to be a joke!)

4. Use ‘may’ ‘might’ or ‘could’ when you’re less sure that something is true.
e.g. He might be serious, but I’m not sure to be honest.

5. Use ‘can’t’ when you’re sure that something isn’t true or didn’t happen.
e.g. He can’t be for real
e.g. He can’t have given up acting.

Transcript Here:

Episode 4 – Joaquin Phoenix

 

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.wordpress.com.

Hello there and welcome to podcast number 4. This is Luke, of course. It’s Luke’s English podcast, right? So obviously it’s Luke.

What a surprise! I am just sitting here in my living room. It’s a Thursday evening. I’ve  been just chilling out this evening, relaxing, watching DVDs and drinking tea. I have had about 4 cups of tea tonight. I love tea. I’m completely addicted to it. Love it. I don’t drink very much coffee, actually because I find if I drink too much coffee I can’t sleep at night. Sometimes I drink coffee in the morning but if I drink coffee in the afternoon, I can’t sleep at night. But tea is fine. I can drink as much tea as I like and I am totally okay. So I am a complete tea lover, addicted to the stuff.

Anyway, on this podcast first, in the first section I am going to talk about some of the comments that I have had from people who have contacted me recently in the feature.

In part 2 I am going to be talking to my friend and colleague Howard and we are going to be talking about a Hollywood actor whose name is Joaquin Phoenix. Now Joaquin Phoenix is a very popular, very famous Hollywood actor who recently has had quite a big career change which is quite mysterious and interesting and I am very interested in it at the moment, so I thought it might be interesting for you to hear us talking about it as well and I am also interested in your comments on the situation.

In part 3 we are going to be looking at modal verbs of speculation.

You know modal verbs, they are words like might and can and can’t and could and they are very useful verbs. Native speakers use them all the time. I don’t hear students of English using them enough and they are very useful for giving your opinion on something or for getting a situation or speculating about a situation and you can definitely use them to talk about the whole wagging Phoenix thing that I am going to be talking about  with Howard  in part 2.

So you have to wait until the language section in part 3 to hear about that.

Now, I’ve had a few comments about the podcasts. I have had some comments saying that the podcasts look very professional and sound very professional. So thanks very much for those positive comments. The picture that I use, the logo for the podcast was designed by my brother. He is a graphic designer and he used my computer to design that logo and the logo itself is based on a London street sign. So if you come to London and you look at the street signs, they look like that. They’ve got the same design and my particular logo is based on the street sign for – I think it’s Baker Street, yeah, it’s Baker Street. You can see in the top right hand corner of my logo there is a silhouette. A silhouette is a kind of black outline of somebody’s face, okay? So you can see that my silhouette  in the top right hand corner and that’s there because on the Baker Street sign there is a silhouette of Shirlock Holmes. That’s because Sherlock Holmes in the Sherlock Holmes’ stories lived at 221B Baker Street. So Baker Street is famous for Sherlock Holmes. So if you see the Baker Street sign in London you can see that there is a Sherlock Holmes silhouette on it.

So okay, thanks for the episodes – no not episodes – thanks for the comments about my podcast episodes. Thanks for saying that they are very professional looking. That’s very nice.

Now then, I have also had a couple of comments from people saying that they would like me to provide a tapescript for the episodes. So a tapescript means that you can actually read what I am saying while I am saying it. Now, I have to say that this will be quite hard for me to do because I will have to type everything. So that’s everything that I am saying, I will have to type. And because most of the speaking that I do on the podcasts is unscripted. I don’t write it first. I don’t plan it first. I just speak –  so make it sound natural. So because it’s unscripted, it’s very difficult for me to write it all down and type it. So remember that I do this podcast in my free time and I also have a full-time job. I put all my energy into my full-time job, so I am very busy doing that. But I will try to write tapescripts for the episodes. I will do some work on that. So hopefully before long, you will be able to read a tapescript while you listen to the podcast. So remember to check my website page which is teacherLuke.podamatic.com. and in the future you should be able to read tapescripts for the older episodes, okay?

Last time I asked you a question about skateboarding. And that’s because I am planning to interview my brother about it in the near future. Now, I haven’t spoken to my brother about skateboarding yet, I haven’t  seen him recently. So I will deal with the scateboarding thing later on. In this episode I am going to talk to my friend and colleague Howard about an interesting celebrity story.

That’s coming up next. Just one more comment: I like to say hello to Rosa and all her students at her school. Rosa is a teacher, an English teacher in Spain and she has been downloading my podcast and playing it to her students. So I like to say a big hello and a warm welcome to Rosa and all her students. Feel free to send me a message and get back to me and I will say hello to you again in the future. So thanks very much for downloading the podcast.

Now, let’s move on to part 2.

Okay, so Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin Phoenix is a very famous, a very successful Hollywood actor. He has starred in movies like Gladiator and Walk The Line. Walk the line is the Johnny Cash movie. A movie about the country music star Johnny Cash and recently he was in a film with Gwyneth Paltrow called ‘Two Lovers.’ He’s been nominated for an Acadamy Award, that’s an Oscar twice. He has never won an Oscar but he has been nominated twice. He is a really great actor. He comes from a family of actors including his older brother who was called River Phoenix. River Phoenix is quite famous because he died in the ninety nineties from a drugs overdose, which was a very sad story. But Joaquin Phoenix has had a very successful acting career so far until recently, because recently he made an announcement to the media. Now if you look at the video clip that I have added to my website – remember that teacherLuke.podamatic.com, you can actually see the announcement that he has made. Okay, so you can watch it there. But basically what he has said is –  that he is going to quit acting. So he is going to give up acting because he wants to follow his musical career. So he is going to stop acting and he is going to become a rapper –  which is quite a surprise and quite a shock. Now, a lot of people seem to think that this might be a joke. People aren’t really taking him seriously. So for example if you look at the video of the website, you’ll see  the interviewer  who speaks to him  thinks he is joking, but Joaquin says he is not joking. He is serious. He is going to give up acting and he is gonna to become a rapper. Now obviously everyone is very surprised about this and also disappointed because everyone thinks that he is a great actor and they don’t want him to quit. They want him to keep acting.

Now, I’ve spoken to my friend Howard about this. So let’s hear what we talked about. Now there maybe some language that you don’t understand in this section, remember that in the language section in part 3, I am going to teach you some useful expressions that we – that you can use to talk about a subject like this,  and I will introduce some of the expressions that you hear in my conversation with Howard.

Anyway, here is the conversation.

Luke: Okay, so I got Howard with me  now and we are gonna talk about the whole Joaquin Phoenix thing. So what do you know about him, so basically what do you think?

Howard: Well, Joaquin Phoenix   I know, what do I know about him? I know he was a love gladiator, isn’t one of my favourite films, a great actor. He is from a very  famous  acting  dynasty and I read – I saw something about him in the newspaper the other day

Luke: That’s right. We just listened to his announcement and he said he is retiring from acting and I mean, did you see a picture of him in the paper?

Howard: Yeah he’s got like a big beard and like some sunlight- he looks like a homeless, or like a tramp or something.

Luke: Yeah, that’s right. He does. Well, I mean  some people think that it is real and that he’s really   given up acting. A lot of people think it’s some sort of joke like –  it might be maybe him preparing for some movie role or it could be that he is just making  some kind of – like a joke movie, which he is gonna get released in a year or so. No one really knows what’s going on, so it’s a sort of a mystery at the moment. I’ve got some information about various things that he has done and various things that will happen. So let’s look at the information and then you can start of tell me whether you think it’s real or not, okay?

So first of all his brother-in-law Casey Affleck, it’s Ben Affleck’s brother –  Casey Affleck is doing a fly-on-the-wall documentary movie about him and he is following Joaquin Phoenix everywhere he goes with a film crew and he is filming everything he does and apparently he is making a documentary about – they say the  documentaries about his change from being an actor into being a rapper. But what do you think? Do you think that makes the thing real?

Howard: Yeah, I mean – I think they will make a really good documentary,  watching someone going from being an actor –  someone so famous – to saying they make a music but at the same time it makes me think, you know – if you are someone’s brother-in-law watching him go crazy is that a good thing to film? I don’t know.

Luke: I mean, you would have thought  if it was his brother-in-law he’d care more about him.

Howard : Yeah

Luke: And if he was just like making a video about how he is kind of  going crazy, going mad, that he would try to stop him going mad or look after him. So I don’t know,  sometimes I think that that means –  it’s a joke. Like it’s not really a documentary about him becoming a rap star but more like a documentary –  well, not a documentary-  just a joke  like a kind of comedy movie. A bit like  Borat.

Howard: Yeah,  I think so. I am not sure. I am not sure.

Luke: Okay, well let’s look. The next bit of information I’ve got is that recently he was doing a rap performance. Now, you know he is becoming a rapper, right? Recently he was doing a rap performance and he seemed to be like a bit drunk or something and he was really  over-excited and as well as that he actually fell off the stage. There is a youtube video that…. Have you seen?

Howard: Yeah, I saw. I saw a quick part of it the other day and it was crazy. He was standing there, where he was rapping –  for about a minute and then yeah,   he just fell in the crowd and everyone went wild, I couldn’t believe it.

Luke: I mean, what did you think of his rapping? Did you hear anything?

Howard: No, it’s awful. I mean it was really, it was ..You couldn’t really hear him over the crowd, but it was awful. Really it was terrible.

Luke: It’s kind of like a real basic style of rapping. I will post a clip of him falling off the stage on the website, so you can find that if you go to my website. So his rapping  is gonna like really bad.

Howard: Yeah we all like rap and I think….you know I like some…some rappers, but you know he was awfull, really. It was terrible.

Luke: The thing about rapping is that you need to have a flow, right. So the good rappers  like …

Howard: who is your favour?

Luke: Well, I don’t know. Someone like Eminem.

Howard: Ah, okay

Luke: You know like the way he raps –  the rhythm of his voice is kind of ..

Howard: You love Fifty-seven?

Luke: Yeah, he is alright, yeah. I am not that keen on the gangster rap thing, but anyway.

Howard: So what John does that he  failed then?.

Luke: Well, that I don’t really know. It’s kind of like underground.

Howard: Is not gangster, is he?

Luke: No, it’s more like  underground hip hop sort of thing. But anyway, his rapping is like nenenenenenenee, nenenenenenee, right?

Howard: Really, basically he looks like a twat, doesn’t he?

Luke: Yeah, and he looks really stupid when he is dancing. So, it’s almost like a comedy performance, I think. Anyway, the next thing is that he’s totally let himself go.

Howard: Oh, yeah

Luke: I mean the way he looks.

Howard: He looks like a beggar that  you see on the street.

Luke: Yeah, he does

Howard: And he has got really greasy hair, you know. Massive long beard. I mean he looks like he has not a bath for a year.

Luke: Yeah

Howard: He looks like he smells.

Luke: Yeah, and it’s kind of like …It has to be a joke, I mean if you look at pictures of him. He just looks so ridiculous ….

Howard: yeah

Luke: . When I see him I just laugh. Like everyone…you know

Howard: Maybe he really has, you know, maybe does  his new image.

Luke: maybe it’s just…

Howard: He is trying to give that kind of unshaven cool image

Luke: underground

Howard: underground kind of image, trying to change himself.

Luke: Is trying to escape from his old image. In interviews it sounds like he is slurring his words.

Howard: I saw him on …what was that show called?

Luke: Letterman

Howard: Letterman and he couldn’t string two words together.

He sounded, you know, like he ____________ but maybe that’s a part of the act again.

Luke: you can hear him in the announcements that he made. It’s like ….

Howard: It was a bit embarrassing. It was a bit embarrassing.

Luke: Either it’s embarrassing or it’s really funny.  I am not sure which one. Now, he is very well known for having a method approach to acting which means that he totally gets into every part that he plays and becomes that character. Right?  So what do you think? Do you think he could be just getting into character?

Howard: I think he could well be, yeah I mean because he is famous for – you know people like Robert de Niro. They put on a lot of weight, haven’t they? For   roles and  they researched these roles and  they become like that person and I think he is quite famous for that. So maybe he is trying to become like a homeless rapper.

Luke: Maybe he is becoming a homeless rapper for this new Casey Affleck comedy movie.

Howard: Exactly, yeah, could be, it could be.

Luke: What about his family? I mean, you know, what his family are like? They are very eccentric. Do you think that ….

Howard: Well, his famous younger brother killed himself. Is he older or younger?

Luke: His older brother River Phoenix. He didn’t kill himself. He died from a drugs overdose.

Howard: Yes, he died from a drugs overdose. I heard it’s a quite tragic family, isn’t it?

So, yeah in their history, a lot of, you know, craziness, a lot of, you know, really weird wacky things happening.

Luke: Yes, so, you know, if you look at his family, it kind of suggests that he really is crazy,  because the rest of his family is a bit crazy.

Howard: Yeah, I think so. Just a little bit eccentric.

Luke: yeah

Howard: or crazy

Luke: Now, he made a film called Walk The Line which was about Johnny Cash and in the film he really got into playing the guitar and he actually sang all the songs.

Howard: Really, I didn’t know that.

Luke: Yeah, he sang all the music himself and he played the guitar. So maybe that has influenced him to write the music.

Howard: yeah, to really, yeah okay —

Luke: but he

Howard:  walk the line yeah  and it might have the songs he sung on that –  his rap career not even close are they?

Luke: What is the connection, because like Walk The Line Johnny Cash’s country music but rapping  is totally  different to country music. So again I am a bit sceptical about it. Apparently recently he had a fight with someone in a crowd.

Howard: Really?

Luke: Yeah, someone was like heckling him

Howard: Ohh I heard about that actually, okay. .

Luke: Someone was shouting out:’ You are stupid, or it is a piss take or something and he got angry with them and then he jumped into the crowd.

Howard: No way. What did he do?

Luke: I actually think they had a fight and someone was – I think the guy was removed by security guards.

Howard: He’s gone crazy. Did the police come?

Luke: I don’t know. I don’t know about the police but maybe …

Howard: It sounds like he is on the edge.

Luke: Yeah probably he is on the edge. And also finally he keeps insisting that this is real and that’s  not a joke. So, I mean whether you believe that or not is your decision. But for me I am leaning towards – It’s all a joke. What about you? What’s  your final …

Howard: I think it might be for real. I think, you know, he is ..years and years he has been a famous actor –  a lot of pressure, you know surrounded by drugs, by alcohol by beautiful women. I  think finally he’s cracked and he’s gone crazy. And this is how it is showing. I think he needs help.

Luke: Yeah, well,  I actually hope it’s a joke because if it’s not….

Howard: I hope it’s a joke because I like him genuinely.

Luke: Yeah, I think he is great and I think he is a good actor and if it’s not a joke then he’s got problems.

Howard: Yeah!

Luke: I mean I listened to some of his rap music. He had a myspace page  for about seven days and it’s been taken down now. But he had some of his music on the myspace page and what else, to be honest, it  was pretty bad. Like the lyrics were awful. It was like he would ..it’s like he has taken a sheet from the business section of the newspaper  and he was just reading random words about like companies. So it’s like company, you know –  company  – merchants .stakeholder . stop prize share -share value –  credit crunch – recession, you know. that was both ..

Howard: Maybe he is doing something different. Why not? Who wants to be against the rapping why he is doing something you know like a business rap.

Luke: Yeah, well you can do something different, that’s fine but it still has to be good. Yeah, anyway I hope it’s a joke and because I think he is great and we have to ….

Howard: I do – get well

Luke get well soon,

Howard: get well soon Joaquin.

Okay, so –  this is the language section of this episode of the podcast. Now if you just listened to that section about Joaquin Phoenix then maybe some vocabulary you don’t know in that conversation I had with Howard. So what I am going to do because this is a long podcast, I am going to define some of the possibly difficult vocabulary on the webpage, okay? .. So if you go to teacherluke.podamatic.com, podamatic is spelled  p o d a m a t i c, okay, teacherluke.podamatic. com you’ll find some definitions of some of the terms that we used in that conversation.

So, okay now folks we are going to look at some useful language, okay? And today’s useful language is modal verbs. Now you’ve probably studied modal verbs before, so you probably know about them. Obiviously modal verbs are words like must and might and could and will and should and so on. We use them to express all sorts of different ideas in our sentences. They are very very useful words. They are essential in some situations, of course. We express certain essential ideas with them and they have  many different uses. So they can be used to talk about permission, talk about rules. They can be used to talk about regrets or kind of advice and so on. What we are going to look  at today is using modal verbs to speculate about things. And by speculate I mean to guess something. So, if there is something you don’t know, you need to guess what it might be – what it might not be. I see I am using might there for example. You have to speculate about it.

For example – let’s say – for example you hear a noise outside. Somebody knocks  on the door, you know and you don’t know who it is. So, then you’ll start to speculate, right? You say: Oh, it might be the postman, right? For example. that’s an example of speculating. And we use modal verbs to speculate. Now, I listened to students, listened to learners of English all the time and they don’t use modal verbs to speculate enough,  instead what I hear is students using words like maybe or perhaps. That’s much more common. I’ll give you examples of that later on but, okay, so the modal verbs that we use to speculate will be must, might, could and can’t. Okay? We use them to speculate about the present, we also use them to speculate about the past. The difficulty there is the form, the grammatical form that you have to use. And particularily speculating about the past is a little bit difficult. So, to speculate about the present or the future use a modal plus an infinitiv, okay? For example if you are talking about Joaquin Phoenix:

He may have an emotional problem, okay? So you got modal may and infinitiv without to have, alright? He may have an emotional problem, okay?

You can also use it in continuous form. So that would be at a modal verb plus be plus an ing, okay? For example he may be having emotional problems, right?

For speculations about the past you would use a modal verb plus have plus a past participal, okay?

For example: He may have got tired of Hollywood, right?

He may have got tired of Hollywood.

You can use: You might have got tired of Hollywould –

He could have got tired of Hollywood or he may have got tired of Hollywood.

That’s basically the same. May, might and could in that example are basically the same, okay? We use must when you are very sure that something is true.

For example: This must be a joke.

You can use it in the past as well: It must have been a joke.

We use may or might or could – very very similar when you are less sure about something, so when you are not very sure.

For example: He might be serious, but I am not too sure to be honest.

And we use can’t when you are sure that something is not true or didn’t happen.

For example: He can’t be for real or he can’t have given up acting. I just don’t believe it.

So I am just gonna give you some examples now of the things that a student might say and the things that a native speaker would say using modal verbs.

So for example  a student might say: Maybe someone broke his heart.

So you can see that they used – they might use  maybe, right? Maybe someone broke his heart. But it should be really with a modal verb: Someone might have broken his heart. It sounds a lot better. It sounds more articulate and it sounds more like a native speaker.

More examples: Perhaps he is on drugs. Should be: He could be on drugs, right? Or probably he is making a spoof documentary –  he could be making a spoof documentary.

Ah let’s see: He is trying to get publicity for his film. He must be trying to get publicity for his film, right?

Maybe something like: He is in trouble. Maybe he is in trouble. He might be in trouble.

And finally: He definitely isn’t serious should sound like: He can’t be serious.

Now, the examples I gave there of  things that the students might say actually are grammatically correct, and are fine. I mean if you say, for example: maybe someone broke his heart. I mean that’s perfectly good and you will hear native speakers saying that, but the problem is the students or learners of English in my experience don’t use modal verbs  enough. So the range  is not very broad.    I mean, for example learners of English won’t use a wide range of vocabulary. They will just use maybe or perhaps because it’s easier, which is perfectly understandable, but it’s really better for your English try to use a wide range and to start including these modal verbs into your vocabulary.

So that’s the little language section there: Modal Verbs. Try to use  them –  try to put them into your common vocabulary. They are a little bit more difficult to use especially when you are making speculations about the past or when you are using a continuous form – little bit difficult to use sometimes but if you try to use them more and more, you’ll get used to it and you’ll start using them more comfortably and then before you know it, you’ll be using them very well and very often in your every day English.

Okay, that is the end of the podcast and I will upload another one soon. There is a little gap there between episode three and four but there are more podcasts coming soon. So I am going to end with another question. My question on this podcast is of course about Joaquin Phoenix. I’d like to know what you think. What do you think about him? Do you think he is real or is he joking. Is he sick? Or is he acting? What do you think? So let me know. Of course the email is Luketeacher@hotmail.com. I am looking forward to hearing from you. That’s the end of the podcast

bye bye bye

Thanks for downloading Luke’s English podcast. Don’t forget to email at Luketeacher@hotmail.com

4. Extra Podcast – Quick Hello

Transcript available below.

Right click here to download this episode.
Hi, this is just a quick extra podcast to say hello and to let you know there are more podcasts coming soon. Also in this episode you can listen to a comedy sketch about speaking English. More information and a transcript for the comedy sketch below…

I’m preparing episodes 4, 5 & 6 at the moment and I’ll upload them soon. Episode 4 is about Joaquin Phoenix, with a language section about beliefs and opinions. Episode 5 is about men and women, and episode 6 is about vampires! with a language section on describing feelings and emotions.

Also, as a bonus extra in this podcast you can listen to the audio from a comedy sketch from the BBC comedy show Big Train. You can see a transcript, and watch the YouTube video below. Do you think it’s funny? What is it about? Let me know: luketeacher@hotmail.com Enjoy!

TRANSCRIPT: Extra Podcast – Quick Hello

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.podamatic.com.

Hello to everyone out there in podcast land. This is Luke and I’m just sending you a quick message. This isn’t a full podcast. Just a quick message to say hello to you and to say thanks for downloading and to let you know that more episodes of the podcast are coming. I am producing them at the moment. So more episodes will be coming very soon you’ll be able to download episodes four and  five and episode six.

Episode four is about the Hollywood actor Joaquin Phoenix and there will be some language some useful language you can use to describe your beliefs and opinions. Episode five is going to be about men and women, the differences and similarities between men and women and the way in which we communicate with each other.

Let’s see, episode six is going to be about vampires and about the movie ‘Twilight’ which is a big hit which has recently being released on DVD and there will be some useful language about emotions and describing feelings.

So more episodes will be uploaded on the internet soon and you will be able to listen to them and download them.

So thanks again for listening and downloading. Don’t forget to send me an email. Luketeacher@hotmail.com and I will speak to you again soon.

bye for now

bye

bye

bye

Okay, just this is a little bonus extra I am going to leave you with a little audio clip which comes from a BBC TV show, comedy show called ‘Big Train’ and in this clip you’ll hear a woman asking for help in English.

So, I am interested to see if you think it’s funny and if you understand it. I will also post the video on my web page and I will also include a transcript of the conversation so that you can understand it more.

Do you find it funny? And what do you think is funny about it. What’s the joke, okay? So, I am interested to hear what you think.

And here is the audio clip:

. .

Comedy Sketch transcript:

Woman: Excuse me… excuse me. Sorry, erm… do you speak English?

Man: No I don’t, sorry.

Woman: Erm. My car’s broken down and I wondered if you could tell me where to find a garage.

Man: Well, y’know, that’s wasted on me. I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Woman: You don’t speak any English at all?

Man: Not a word. No. It’s one of those things really… I wish I’d paid more attention in school… but, um, [to another man] excuse me, excuse me… sorry. Do you speak any English?

Man 2: English? No. What’s the problem?

Man: I don’t know I can’t understand her.

Woman: Hi, err, my car’s broken down and I need to find a garage.

Man 2: No, I’m sorry. I didn’t understand that at all…

Woman: All right, well… thanks.

Man: I tell you what, if you go down that way, about half a mile, there’s a village. There might be somebody there that speaks English.

Woman: Ich speaking bisschen Deutsch. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?  [She says in German: I speak a little German. Do you speak German?]

Man: Deutsch, nein. Spreckenzie Deutch?

Man 2: Deutch, nein. Aber ich bin nicht fließend [He speaks fluent German…]

Man: I’m sorry we couldn’t be more help.

Man 2: Yeah, sorry about that. Hey, you never know… next time you’re over, maybe we’ll have learned a bit of English.

Man: oder Deutsch vielleicht. [in German} or German!

Ja, das wäre toll

Woman: Thanks anyway…

[She walks away}

Man: I can speak English

Man 2: So can I!

[They laugh…]

Episode 3 – Music & The Beatles / Interview with Mum / Language Focus: Used to

A conversation with my Mum about The Beatles, and a language point about ‘used to’. Full transcript available below.

Right click here to download this episode.

Transcript of Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast episode: Music / The Beatles

You’re listening to Luke’s English Podcast. For more information visit teacherluke.wordpress.com

Hello and welcome to episode 3 of the podcast. Thanks very much for listening and downloading, and possibly subscribing to the show using iTunes, that’s fantastic. In today’s show we’re going to be talking about music and I’m going to talk to my Mum about The Beatles because she was a big Beatles fan in the 1960s. I’m also going to respond to a couple of emails that I’ve had and then in the last part of the podcast, the language part, I’m gonna talk about habits, habits and behavior in the past. So things like ‘use to’ and ‘would’ and some other useful language. So stay tuned for that.

Now, I’ve had an email from Alessandro in Italy in response to the question that I asked at the end of the last podcast. That question was: What kind of music is popular in your country at the moment? Is it kind of English language music or do you have music that is just exclusive to your country? And Alessandro from Italy says that, he still thinks that ‘Opera’ is the most famous Italian music, of course. Everyone knows Opera, erm, people like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli of course that’s the most famous Italian music, but also in Italy, Rock music is very popular and they have all English language bands, the ones we have, obviously have here as well. Things like, you know, U2, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay. All these really big bands are popular in Italy as well. But also there are lots of Italian Rock bands. They’re really popular there but (they) aren’t very well known outside of Italy and I think this is probably true in most countries, erm, I know it’s true in Japan, that there are big very successful bands, they’re just famous in that country and because the lyrics are not in English, they’re not famous in America or in the UK. So it’s probably, hmm, a bit lazy, in terms, sort of British people. We don’t listen to very much music that isn’t in English. We’re probably missing out on quite a lot of good music. So thanks very much for your emails. I appreciate that very much and remember, if you want to email me, you can. It’s luketeacher@hotmail.com and I love hearing from you. So send me your emails and all your comments and stuff and I’ll get back to you through the podcast.

Ask the girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can’t you see
I wanna be famous, a star of the screen
But you can do something in between
Baby you can drive my car
Yes, I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

A little bit of Beatles there. That was ‘Drive my car’ from the ‘Rubber Soul album’ and I’m playing that because the Beatles and Apple Corps which is their company and EMI music have finally decided to re-release all of the Beatles studio albums in remastered form. So they’re all going be digitally remastered and so that means you’ll be able to listen to them and hear them sounding better than they’ve ever sounded before. Some of the albums that they released, particularly the early ones were recorded in mono, and there are CD versions of those albums in mono but now they’re going to be digitally remastered, so that they’ll sound really crystal clear and perfect and they’ll be all in stereo which obviously makes the listening experience a lot better. Now, right, so with me here now, is my Mum.

LUKE: Hello Mum

Mum: Hello Luke

LUKE: How are you?

Mum: I’m very well.Thank you.

LUKE: Now, umm, I thought that I’d talk to my Mum today because she used to be, back in the sixties, a massive Beatles fan. Is that right?

Mum: That’s right, yes.

LUKE: Okay, so, umm, right, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask you some questions.

Mum: No, that’s okay.

LUKE: Umm, so how did you first hear about the Beatles then when you were younger

Mum: Umm, oh, it’s very hard to remember but I can, I have, do have one memory of being on the school bus and hearing two other girls talking about this group

LUKE: yeah

Mum: called the Beatles and looking at pictures of them and saying ‘ which is your favorite?’ and I think maybe that was the first time I heard of them but I, I really can’t remember the first, the actual first time.

LUKE: Yeah, now they, they were a really massively popular band, weren’t they?

Mum: They were

LUKE: I mean, everyone was crazy about them. Umm, so, you obviously heard about them from some friends and then started

Mum: And then started to talk about them and look at pictures of them, listen to the music and I didn’t actually buy any records of theirs until the 2nd LP which was called ‘With the Beatles’ which my parents bought me because I didn’t really have much money of my own in those days.

LUKE: That’s nice of them. How old were you in those days, tell me?

Mum: Umm, I would have been about twelve or thirteen, I suppose.

LUKE: Twelve or thirteen, so you would have been the target audience really

Mum: Hum, I suppose so, yes.

LUKE: So why did you like them? Well, they were so popular but why, why did you like them?

Mum: Oh, it’s very hard to explain why. Umm, they were, they were just so unusual, just so different, all the Pop music we’ve had up ’til then seemed to be mainly from America. I mean there were one or two the English people like Cliff Richard and Adam Faith. Umm, but they were just so different. I mean the first time I ever saw a group, you know with three guitars and drums. Before it was just a singer.

LUKE: They had something else about them, didn’t they?

Mum: Oh yes!

LUKE: They had a kind of personality

Mum: Yep !

LUKE: They had a good sense of humor, they were sort of charismatic

Mum: They were from Liverpool, which, and so they had these wonderful Liverpool accents which, um, of course I didn’t really know about in those days. I had never heard about another Liverpudlian I think.

LUKE: Yep

Mum: And they were very witty and very funny and very quick and just wonderful really.

LUKE: Right, so, did you actually ever see them?

Mum: I did, I saw them twice. I think the first time I saw them was in 1963 I think in Wolverhampton and then I saw them again in Birmingham the following year.

LUKE: So they were probably playing in a theatre or something like that, right? Umm, I can’t remember were they were in Wolverhampton. It was probably a Cinema or a Theater or somewhere like that and in Birmingham there were the Odeon in New Street which again was a Cinema but it had a stage and so it could be used for concerts as well.

LUKE: So, what was the experience like? I mean, what was it like actually seeing them, what was the audience like, first of all?

Mum: The audience was completely hysterical. We were all screaming and shouting and it was, I remember, the compere the shows sort of, that’s the man who did, who introduced the acts. When it got to the Beatles because they were the last on the bill and he sort of start the audience up even more by saying ‘Do you want to see them, do you want to see them?’

LUKE: And everyone was like ‘Yeah,

Mum: Everybody was shouting and screaming and the curtain came up and we could see their feet, and then we could see their legs and then you could see them and then the music started and that was all extremely exciting.

LUKE: There’s lots of video footage of The Beatles concerts where they’re playing and you can’t really hear the band. You can just hear all this ridiculous screaming .

Mum: Yes, that’s what is was like. I don’t really think we could hear them properly at all.

LUKE: So, it was just total madness, really.

Mum: Yeah, absolutely.

LUKE: Yah, Yah, I expect probably at the time because it was the early 1960s, young people didn’t really have anything, you know, interesting like The Beatles. They just, I mean, I think, I might be wrong but I think that life was kind of boring, right?

Mum: Umm, no, I never thought it was boring. It’s just the way it was in those days but it was very different from the way it is today. There wasn’t

LUKE: Now, now teenagers have just got so much, so many, you know so much music, so many, hmm, movies and all kind of things there to entertaining them.

Mum: And it’s so much more accessible than it was in my day. You had to actually go to the cinema or buy a record.

LUKE: Yeeah, Yeah

Mum: There was no downloading stuff from the internet or watching DVDs or anything like that.

LUKE: Right, so erm, which Beatle was your favorite because everyone had a favorite Beatle, didn’t they?

Mum: My favorite Beatle was, it was a toss-up between John and Ringo.

LUKE: Yeah, okay

Mum: I think, mainly my favourite was John, because he was so outrageous.

LUKE: Yeah, he was controversial, wasn’t he?

Mum: He was

LUKE: Yah, okay, so just the fact that he was controversial and outrageous, that, that

Mum: That was mainly it, yes he was very witty and very funny.

LUKE: Yah, he was, wasn’t he? Yeah, and what about now? Is John still your favorite now?

Mum: Ha ha,umm, oh it’s hard. I can’t really think of it in those terms anymore really, because I, I just, I’m very fond of George now.

LUKE: Yah

Mum: I appreciate him more now than I did then, I think.

LUKE: Yah, okay. So do you still listen to The Beatles these days?

Mum: Not very much, no,hmm

LUKE: Why not?

Mum: I find it quite strange listening to them now.

LUKE: Hmm

Mum: It just, it’s, hum, I don’t know, it’s very hard to explain. It just reminds me of those days and I don’t really want to go back and think about those days anymore. I’d rather live here and now.

LUKE: Yeah, alright, okay, thanks very much for talking to me.

Mum: It’s a pleasure.

LUKE: Yeah, hmm, alright, well, that’s, that’s it then. Oh, I think I might buy a couple of these new CDs when they come out.

Mum: Okay, right

LUKE: Because you knoz I’m a big fan.

Mum: Yes, well, I might listen to them if you buy them.

LUKE: Yeah, you’ll probably enjoy them.

Mum: Hmm

LUKE: Okay, well

Mum: Okay

LUKE: Thanks very much

Mum: Okay

Okay, so now it’s time to do the language part of the podcast. This is where I teach you something and in the last episode you heard my Dad talking about his Easter experiences when he was a child. And so he was talking about things that he usually did, things that he did regularly or every year when he was a kid. So we’re going to look at some language that he used and that you can use to talk about regular habits in the past. Now there are some really common ways of doing this. The most common way is to use ‘used to’.You’ve probably studied that, you, you probably know about ‘used to’. Erm, so it’s erm, u-s-e-d t-o, used to. So for example, hum, something my Dad said was ‘ we used to paint our easter eggs different colors, okay? Hmm, another example for me would be ‘I used to live in Japan’, right? Or I used to smoke. I don’t smoke anymore, because it’s very bad for your health, right? I used to smoke but then I gave up.
So this is something really useful. Now, you may know about ‘used to’ and you may have studied it but do you actually use it? Now the most, this is very important, you might know about different kinds of grammar. You might have studied different bits of vocabulary but the difference between a learner of English and a native speaker is that a native speaker uses all of this stuff. They actually use it regularly when they speak. They use a variety of different grammar and a variety of vocabulary, okay? And ‘used to’ is something that people use all the time when they are talking about the past, when they’re talking about things they did regularly in the past, okay? So you should use ‘used to’ a lot. You might think that this isn’t a new language for you but the most important thing is that you’re actually using it okay? Umm, something I always tell people is, it’s not important what you know, it’s important what you do in English. So the important thing here is that you actually use something like ‘used to’, okay. Hum, just some other important points about ‘used to’ , pronunciation. So obviously it should be ‘I ‘used to’, so that’s ‘used to’ not used to, and not ‘used to’ or ‘used to’ (listen to the audio to hear the pronunciation Luke is de,onstrating here). Hmm, I sometimes hear people saying ‘used to’ or ‘used to’ but it’s not that , it’s ‘used to’, ‘used to’. Also in negative or in question forms it doesn’t have a ‘d’, so that’s when you write, ‘used to’ in a negative it doesn’t have a ‘d’ . So I didn’t use to smoke. Right? So it’s without a ‘d’. So it’s didn’t u-s-e t-o, right? And it’s the same in questions,right? Did you use to, for example.

Umm, now ‘used to’ is commonly confused with, erm, another, erm, very similar structure and that is ‘to be used to doing something’. For example, I am used to living in London. Okay? So you’ve got ‘used to’, which is ‘I used’ to live in London and ‘be used to doing something’. I am used to doing something. I am used to living in London. So those forms are completely different.

Right? So, hum, I’ve told you about ‘used to’ to talk about past habits, now let me tell you about ‘to be used to doing something’ or ‘I am used to doing something’. Right? Which is totally different from just ‘used to’ okay. So, hum, okay let’s see, so if you say ‘I am used to doing something’ or ‘I got used to doing something’ it means that before something was difficult or strange for you but now it’s okay. Now you’re okay with it. You got accustomed to it. Okay? So for example something that you might say, you might say ‘when I first moved to London I thought it was very difficult to live here but now I’m used to living here. Okay, now I’m used to living here. So, it could be ‘now, I understand the culture a bit more, I can speak better English, I remember that people drive on the left, so I’m used to living here now. So that is totally different from ‘I used to’ live in London, which means that I lived in London in the past but I don’t live in London now. Okay? Right.

So another way of talking about a past habit which is similar to ‘used to’, is the modal verb ‘would’. Now ‘would’ is usually, when it is used to talk about a past habit we use ‘would’ but in the contracted form. Okay? So for example you may have heard my Dad in the last episode say something like this:’ We’d roll our easter eggs down a hill and then we’d eat them at the bottom’ Okay? So, um, this use of ‘would’ in the contracted form, for example ‘we’d eat them at the bottom or ‘ we’d buy each other chocolate eggs every christmas, not christmas, what am I talking about? Not Chrismas! Sorry! We ‘d buy each other chocolate eggs every easter. Right? Um, this use of ‘would’ is very similar to ‘used to’. We use it to talk about things we did regularly in the past. Okay? For example for me, when I lived in Japan, I’d see businessmen asleep on the underground everyday, okay? I’d see businessmen asleep on the underground everyday. Or I’d sometimes get woken up by noisy motor bike gangs in the middle of the night. Right? I’d sometimes get woken up by noisy motorbike gangs in the middle of the night. That’s true actually. I used to get woken up all the time by motorbike gangs because I lived in, I lived near Yokohama and sometimes in the summer there was these big motorcycle gangs, they would ride around, hum, in the city in the middle of the night and that was so loud, so for example, you know, I used to wake up to the noise of these motorbikes and I’d get up and I’d go out onto my balcony and I’d look down on the street and I’d see all these motorbikes riding past. It’s quite frightening because they were quite scary because some of them had samurai swords on their backs which is quite scary.

Anyway, anyway, I was talking about ‘would’ so for example’ I’d sometimes get woken up by noisy motor bike gangs’. Okay? So try to use ‘would’ like that in the contracted form to talk about regular things that happened in the past. Now, it’s very similar to ‘used to’ but it is different. The only difference with ‘used to’ is that we don’t use, we don’t use ‘would’ like this with state verbs, okay? Now, you’ve got state verbs and you got action verbs. Action verbs are the most common ones. Action verbs all describe an action. Right? For example, something that you do rather than a kind of state or condition that you’re in. So an action verb might be to go, to play, to eat, something like that, okay.

Right so we don’t use, okay that’s action verbs. play, go eat an so on. Now, state verbs are not used to describe an action but they describe a situation or a state or a condition. Right? These include verbs like live, know, like, understand, hate, okay? Now, we can’t, we don’t use would in the contracted form to talk about past habits with state verbs. Okay?
So for example, you can say ‘I used to live in London. Right? ‘Live’ is a state verb. You can say I used to live in London but you can’t say ‘I’d live in London’ if you’re talking about the past. Okay? That’s because ‘live’ is a state verb. So you can say ‘when I lived in London, I’d take the underground to school everyday and I’d often go to the pub after school on a friday. So you can say that because ‘take’ is an action verb and ‘go’ is an action verb. Alright?

So, remember that, you can only use, ‘would’ contracted for past habits with action verbs and not state verbs. If you’re interested in, action verbs and state verbs and what the difference is, it’s really simple. Just go to Google. Right? Go to the Google search engine and type ‘state verbs’. Have a look at the results and you’ll see lots of grammar pages from, you know, Oxford, um, University or something like that and they’ll show you lists of state verbs and action verbs and the differences between the two. Okay? Umm, that’s it. That’s, that’s the end of the language section.

Um, so, erm, yeah, I hope you found that useful. Don’t forget you can email me questions. If there is something you don’t understand or there is another question you have about language, email me. The email address is : luketeacher@hotmail.com and I will answer questions that you, that you sent me in the podcast. Now, I might not be able to answer every question that is sent to me because I, I get quite a few questions. So if, if I don’t answer the question, you’ve sent me, I’m sorry. I’ll try to answer all the questions that I get sent but sometimes I can’t answer them all. Umm, okay, so that’s, that’s the end of the podcast.
Now, I’m gonna end with a final question and the question this time, umm, is about skateboarding. Now, it’s about skateboarding because erm, I was talking to my brother recently and he loves skateboarding, right. He’s, he’s a, he’s a skater, he skates a lot. Now, I was talking to him about it recently and I was thinking that I might interview him for the podcast in the future. So I might have an interview with, with my brother James about skateboarding but I’d like to ask you a question about skateboarding. What do you think, is skateboarding popular in your country? Right? And do you think skateboarding is vandalism or is it okay? Now what does vandalism mean? Vandalism is when people damage public property. Okay? So what skateboarders do, is, is, they use public property, umm, for their skateboarding. So they do things like, eh, they will ride on, hmm, on like a bench or they will ride on a handrail for their skating and it damages the bench and it damages the handrail and a lot of people in this country think that skateboarding is vandalism, that it damages public property but a lot of people think it’s kind of like an art form or a sport or something. So what do you think? Do you think skateboarding is vandalism or do you think it’s okay? So that’s the question.

Umm, that’s the end of the podcast. I hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget to email me luketeacher@hotmail.com and I’m looking forward to hearing from you. So, that’s it! Cheers, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye……..
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(Thanks to Bettina for providing this transcript – Thanks Bettina, I appreciate it very much and I’m sure the listeners do too)

2. Easter / Interview with my Dad / Language Focus: Adverbials

A conversation with my Dad about Easter, and a language point about adverbials. Full transcript available below.

Right click here to download this episode.

Small Donate Button This is the transcript to “EPISODE 2 – EASTER”
Hello, and welcome to Luke’s English podcast, the real British English podcast. This is episode two of the podcast and I’m very pleased because I’ve already had a couple of emails from a couple of people who’ve listened to the podcast, and one of those emails comes from Jose Manuel in Alicante in Spain and he asks me about Easter because it’s Easter at the moment. He asks me what we do normally in the UK at Easter and, well it’s funny you should ask that Jose (Jose, I’m sure that’s how you say it) because right now I’m at my parents’ place. I’ve travelled up on the train from London and I’m at my parents house which is in the countryside in Warwickshire and this is a typical thing that people of my age do, they normally travel back to their parents’ houses and they spend time with their families together and actually in this episode I’m going to be joined by my dad so I’m going to interview my dad about Easter, so he’ll tell you some typical things about Easter time in the UK and so that’s going to be our feature in part two and then at the end of the podcast I’m going to talk about some adverbs, some useful adverbs in response to another email that we got and so that’s what’s going to happen in today’s podcast.

Luke: OK, so I’m now joined by my dad, Rick, but obviously I call him Dad, I don’t call him Rick. Hi Dad,
Rick: Hello Luke
Luke: How are you?
Rick: I’m fine, thank you very much
Luke: Good, so, obviously I’m here at my parents’ house because it’s Easter, at your house. This is what I normally do, isn’t it?
Rick: Yes, it is, it’s a time to get together with the family
Luke: Right, ok so, so Easter then. Now Easter is a season when we remember the death and rebirth of Jesus Christ by telling our children that a large rabbit comes in the night and leaves chocolate eggs in the garden, now I don’t know about you but that seems a bit strange to me I don’t know what the connection is between the Jesus thing and a big rabbit and chocolate and eggs and things, what do you think about that?
Rick: Well this idea of the Easter rabbit coming and bringing eggs is a bit of an American idea really and I think that it’s a very interesting mixture between Christianity and old pagan beliefs, I mean, obviously the Christian celebration of Easter is, as you say, about the crucifixion and, after three days, the resurrection of Christ, so it’s a crucial celebration and stands alongside Christmas, the birth of Christ and then the death of Christ, the two big Christian festivals.
Luke: That’s the Christian thing, you said something about Pagan, what does that mean?
Rick: Well of course you know experts will tell you that 2,000 years ago when Christianity started to spread across Europe it did, if you like, take over the Pagan festivals that already existed
Luke: So Pagan is the kind of religion that people had …
Rick: it’s pre-Christian …
Luke: … before christianity,
Rick: Yes and it’s got a lot to do with various gods and superstition and of course pagan times there was a big winter festival and there was a big spring festival and the spring festival was of course the festival of fertility and growth and new growth …
Luke: …and new life
Rick: … of new life and of course if you lived in a society where it was very important that the crops didn’t fail this was a time when you wanted to have all the good luck you could get, to have the gods on your side to make sure that the crops had a very successful season …
Luke: OK, so before Christianity then, Easter was a festival, a pagan festival when people celebrated the start of new life and spring time and good luck for your, you know, farming for that year, right?
Rick: yes
Luke: now I understand the egg connection because an egg is the symbol of new life right? But why … now actually one of my students asked me this last week, why do we have chocolate eggs, why chocolate?
Rick: Well I must admit I’m not entirely sure, but my guess is that people have given each other eggs at Easter time, or if you like, at spring time as a gift because it is, as you say, the time when all the birds are laying their eggs
Luke: right, chickens and stuff
Rick: well chickens but all the wild birds are nesting and making nests and laying eggs and remember that in the old days people used to use the natural resources very very much, the berries and the eggs were a resource …
Luke: so they …
Rick … and they would go out into the countryside and gather the eggs and eat them …
Luke: right, so they used …
Rick … so the egg season came in and people would no doubt give each other eggs and presents and then when we discovered the joys of chocolate I suppose it was a natural thing to give people chocolate eggs instead
Luke: just a sort of gift …
Rick: … a gift which symbolises new life
Luke: so its nicer really to give someone a chocolate egg than just an egg because just an egg, I mean, it’s alright, you can boil it or fry it or something but it’s nicer as a gift to give someone a chocolate egg I suppose
Rick: yes I suppose
Luke: right so let’s see, what do English families usually do then at Easter in the UK? oh um yea, what do English families normally do at Easter?
Rick: well it is a traditional time for the family to get together and it’s a long weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and those four days is when most families, you know, get together and these days they get in the car and they drive to the parents or the grandparents and it is very much a family get together and they give each other chocolate eggs in most households.
Luke: When I was a kid I remember what you and mum used to do is at Easter you used to hide eggs, you used to hide chocolate eggs around the house or around the garden and me and James, (James and I) would go and try and find the eggs, so that was always fun.
What did you do when you were a child?
Rick: Well I remember I used to go to my grandparents’ house. They lived up in the north of England in the countryside, and they had real boiled eggs, hard boiled eggs which were boiled in water that had been coloured with something so you were given a pink egg or a blue egg or a green egg and we would roll them, this was really quite a well established tradition that you roll the eggs down some kind of bank, down a hill, you roll the eggs down a hill, why I’m not sure but that’s what people did, they used to roll the eggs down the hill and run after them as a kind of game
Luke: so you’d walk up a little hill with your blue or pink eggs and then you would sort of roll them down the hill and then run after them and have a lot of fun running after some blue and pink …
Rick: … that’s right and if your egg broke it didn’t matter because it was hard boiled it was cooked and then you would eat the egg at the bottom of the hill, that’s what you did, you rolled the egg down the hill and you chased after it and you caught it and you ate it.
Luke: Right, well that sounds like lots of fun I suppose these days if … I think probably children are so lazy now that if you hid some chocolate eggs in the house they would probably, you know, be too lazy to get up and try and find them, you’d probably have to leave ipods or something around the garden, because if you left an ipod in the garden then a child would probably get up from in front of the TV and try and find it. I think kids these days are too lazy to do anything really unless there’s an ipod involved.
Rick: I don’t really agree with you Luke and I know you’re really just teasing, but the point is of course is that it’s fun and kids do like to search for things, to hunt for things whether it be a little chocolate egg or indeed a little chocolate rabbit and sometimes you hide little chocolate rabbits around the house and ask the children to find them and they love it.
Luke: I hit a rabbit the other day in the car when I was driving.
Rick: Really?
Luke: There’s lots of rabbits around here, you know I was I – um my parents live in the countryside, listeners – and there’s lots and lots of rabbits especially at this time of year and I was driving the car to the station to pick up my brother James, and a rabbit ran out in front of the car and I didn’t hit the rabbit with the wheels so I didn’t squash it but the rabbit went under the car and I heard a kind of noise …
Rick: … clonk …
Luke: … a kind of dum noise as the rabbit, probably the rabbit hit his head on something under the car. I looked in the mirror and there was just a dead rabbit
Rick: what a horrible thought! Mind you you do see an awful lot of dead rabbits on the roads these days there are thousands of them and they do have a terrible habit, a rabbit habit of running out in front of your car …
Luke: they’re stupid aren’t they?
Rick: … they wait until you’re coming and then they run out
Luke: They’re just stupid really aren’t they. Anyway there are so many of them that it doesn’t matter
Rick: Well it’s a pity for that particular rabbit but there’s nothing much you can do about it when it hurls itself in front of your car
Luke: Well there’s plenty of food for the birds
Rick: That’s quite right lots of birds eat the dead rabbits – the crows, the magpies and the buzzards, they live on the rabbits which are killed on the roads.
Luke: Well, thanks very much Dad for, you know, for agreeing to talk to me, yea, it was very nice, thank you
Rick: ok and I hope you have a very happy Easter Luke
Luke: Yes, happy Easter to you too
Rick: Thank you.

Ok so that was my dad, um a very nice man, very well educated, he knows a lot of things about history and all sorts of things so I’m very lucky to be able to interview him.
Now like I said at the beginning of the show, I had another email about an English question, now I got an email from Miho in Yokohama in Japan and she asked me what ‘basically’ means, because she heard me in the first podcast using the word ‘basically’ a lot and she’s right I do say ‘basically’ quite a lot, it’s a very common word, particularly for me. Lots of people use the word ‘basically’. Now the word ‘basically’ is an adverb and adverbs are great words, very useful words that you can use at the beginning of a sentence. Now a word like ‘basically’ doesn’t really mean very much but people use it almost like a habit. Really, ‘basically’ is used to say … before you say something you use the word ‘basically’ to show that you are going to say something in a simple or basic way, OK? So for example if I use the word ‘basically’ you put it at the beginning of the sentence and you’d say something like this: “basically, this is a podcast to give learners of English some listening practice” OK?
Now there are lots of other adverbs that you can use in a similar way at the beginning of a sentence and you’ll probably know adverbs because most of them end in ly, now we get lots of different kinds of adverbs in different positions in the sentence but the adverbs I’m going to teach you now are ones you can use at the start of a sentence. So we’ve got adverbs like basically, actually, obviously, strangely enough, frankly speaking, recently, unfortunately, amazingly and hopefully. Ok so I’m just going to give you some examples of that now, so we’ll start with ‘actually’:
“Actually this is only the second podcast I have ever done” ok? So there’s an example. Now if you speak Spanish and some other European languages, ‘actually’ in your language means ‘currently’, meaning ‘now’ so actually doesn’t mean ‘now’i t just means ‘as a matter of fact’, right? So, “actually this is only the second podcast I have ever done”.
The third one is ‘obviously’. Now we use “obviously” to say something that is obvious, so say something that everybody knows. Now, football players use ‘obviously’ a lot when they are doing interviews now, just as an example you might say “obviously we were the best team in the competition” right? Now you would say ‘obviously’ because your team won so of course your team was the best one. “Obviously my team was the best team in the competition” for example.
The next one is ‘strangely enough’, now that’s used to say something that is strange. OK, so for example, “strangely enough I don’t really like fish and chips, even though I’m English” right? So that’s strange because most English people like fish and chips, so “strangely enough I don’t really like fish and chips even though I’m English”.
The next one is ‘frankly speaking’, now this is something you would say that’s rather honest, OK, so for example, “frankly speaking it was the worst film I’ve seen in a long long time” so if you are being very honest about something you can say ‘frankly speaking’, “Frankly speaking it was the worst film I’ve ever seen”.
The next one is ‘recently’. Now you probably know ‘recently’, we use it to say something that happened in near or close time. Right? So for example “recently I’ve been listening to lots of Rolling Stones records”. Ok? “Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Rolling Stones records”.
The next one is ‘unfortunately’, and we use that one to talk about something bad that’s happened, OK? something that you regret, OK? So for example, “unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of the lesson” OK ? “unfortunately I had to leave before the end of the lesson”. So that would be a bad thing because, obviously you want to be in the classroom for the whole lesson, but “unfortunately I had to leave before the end of the lesson and I missed the most important part”, for example.
And finally, the next one I’d like to teach you is ‘amazingly enough’. We use that one to describe something amazing for example “Amazingly enough, I’ve never been to Edinburgh” “Amazingly enough I’ve never seen a musical” and “amazingly enough I’ve never been to Harrods”. Now that’s amazing because I live in London and I’ve never been to Harrods, right? So “amazingly enough I’ve never been to Harrods”, OK?
Oh there’s one more, and that’s ‘hopefully’. Now if you hope for something then you can use ‘hopefully’, for example “hopefully this podcast isn’t boring” right? Ok?
Right, so that’s the end of part three and that’s the end of this podcast. Don’t forget to email me. I’d like to end with a question again now, and the question this time is: what kind of music is popular in your country at the moment? so what are people interested in at the moment in terms of music in your country? So, for example is it mainly English language music so music from American or Britain, or is music from your country more popular than English Language music? So, don’t forget to email me, that’s: luketeacher@hotmail.com and I look forward to hearing from you very soon. That’s the end of the podcast, bye bye bye bye bye…..

Episode 1 – Introduction

The first episode of Luke’s English Podcast. Full transcript available below.

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TRANSCRIPT
Hello, and welcome to Luke’s English podcast – the podcast for learners of English. This is the very first podcast that I’ve done and it will be the first of many more podcasts that you will be able to download and listen to in the future, so because this is the first podcast, it’s a bit short, it’s shorter than the other ones will be and in this podcast basically I’m going to introduce myself to you so that you can get to know me a little bit and then I’m going to tell you about what is going to happen in other podcasts in the future.

Let’s see, first of all my name’s Luke – Luke Thompson. Now the name Luke can be a little bit difficult for learners of English to pronounce sometimes and I meet lots of people who can’t pronounce my name and they call me Look or maybe Luck, but it’s not Look or Luck, it’s Luke of course, and let’s see, I live in London. I work as an English teacher in an English language school in West London and I’ve been teaching English for about 8 years now. I first started teaching in Japan and I lived in Japan for two years in an area near Tokyo called Kanagawa Prefecture and I taught English there for two years and it was really great, I had a really good time. It was a very interesting experience for me and I’ve got lots of interesting stories to tell about my time in Japan. So, I taught there for two years and then I came back to London and I have been teaching English in London for about six years now. I’ve worked in a few different schools. I used to work in a school near Oxford Street and I worked in another school in Waterloo and now I work in a school which has two buildings, one in Holland park and the other one in Chiswick in West London and I enjoy my job very much because I get to meet lots of very interesting people, possibly people like you, people who need to learn English and they come to London. They come to my school, for example and it’s very interesting for me to meet these people from around the word and to introduce them to the English language and the English culture as well.

Let’s see, as well as being a teacher, an English teacher, I’m also interested in lots of other things. I love music, I’m a big music fan, for example I love the Beatles, of course, because I’m English and we all love the Beatles don’t we? So, I love the Beatles and I love lots of different kinds of music as well. I play music sometimes, I play the drums and I play the guitar. I’m not very good at the guitar to be honest I’m just trying to learn how to do that, but I’ve been playing drums for a long time now. I play in a band at the school and we play concerts sometimes and that’s really great fun. I’m also into lots of other things. I love movies and I like sport, like football of course, again because I’m English and we all love football, right? and I also like rock climbing too.

So, that’s just a little bit of information about me and, OK, now I’m also interested in you, and your opinions and your stories and your questions as well, so if you have any questions for me, if there are stories that you’d like to tell me, you can email me. Now at the end of each podcast I will actually ask you a question and I really want this to be an interactive podcast, which means that you can email me your answers to the question that I will ask you at the end of the podcast and it will be a chance for you to tell me what you think about some of the things that we’ll be talking about. So if you want to email me you can write to this address, its: Luketeacher@hotmail.com and I’ll be very glad to hear from you.

You’re still listening to Luke’s English Podcast. If you’d like some more information visit teacherluke.podomatic.com.

Now, let me tell you about the podcast. Now obviously this is the fist podcast so it’s slightly different from podcasts in the future, but really what is so fantastic about this podcast is that the whole thing will be real, natural British English so that means that if you are interested in having a good listening experience, practising your listening but also finding something that will be interesting and entertaining and fun then this is the podcast for you. Like I said, it will all be totally natural British English, so the sort of English that I speak with my friends for example, the kind of real English that people in Britain speak all the time. I record the podcast here in my apartment in London. At the moment I’m sitting on my sofa and it’s a Saturday morning. So I record the podcast at home in my free time and a typical podcast will have three parts: the first part will be a little bit of conversation with me. So I might talk about something that’s happening at the moment. So possibly a news story or what’s been going on recently and I will also answer your questions and I will read out your comments that you send to me via the email address that I read out earlier on.

That’s the first part, the second part of the podcast will be a feature. So that means that it will be probably an interview with someone, so I might interview one of my friends or interview a member of my family and so you’ll be able to listen to a natural conversation between native speakers for example. It will be like you are spending time with some native English speakers. I know it’s difficult to find native English speakers to meet and talk to but if you listen to this podcast you’ll be able to listen to me talking to some of my friends or family, so again, a really good chance for you to listen to natural British English being spoken. So, like I said, the second part will be a feature, maybe an interview with someone. I might for example go into London and interview people on the street or I’ll interview people I meet in the pub, for example and we’ll talk about lots of interesting topics.
Then the third part of the podcast I will look at some of the language that I’ve used in part one and part two and I’ll actually teach you some really useful vocabulary and really useful expressions, the kind of natural language that normal British people speak when they talk to each other.

So this podcast is a really good chance for you to try and push your level of English up and if you start using some of the vocabulary that you hear on this podcast you can really start to push your level up to an advanced level of English. Another good thing about the podcast is that you can download it from the internet. You can put it on to your ipod or your mp3 player and then you can listen to it anywhere you like, I mean, you can listen to this on the bus on the way to work, or on your way to school. You can listen to it maybe when you are in the gym doing your exercise. I mean you can listen to it anywhere you like, I mean, you can listen to it on the toilet for example or maybe when you’re having a bath! I suppose that might be a bit weird or a bit strange if you’re listening to me while you are having a bath or when you are on the toilet! but I mean I don’t really care, I don’t really care where you are or what you’re doing as long as you actually listening to the podcast, that’s the most important thing for me. Also you can listen to this anywhere in the world, so if you’ve come to London to study English – you might have been at my school, you might have been one of my students and if you come to London and then you go back to your country you can keep downloading and listening to this podcast from your country and it’s a really good chance to extend your British English learning experience. Now, there are lots of other podcasts that you can download from the internet, lots of learning English podcasts. If you go to iTunes, if you’ve got iTunes on your computer for example, if you go to the iTunes store and do a search for learning English podcasts you’ll find lots of different English language podcasts available, but in my opinion most of them are rubbish actually and I think that this will be probably better than all the others! Now I’m not being very modest there, but I think I’m just being confident, which is a good thing, but I’ve listened to a lot of other podcasts that you can find on the internet and first of all most of them seem to be American and they have American English – which is fine because American English is great and all that – but you might want to listen to British English, right? Or sort of London English which is what I can offer in this podcast. So also a lot of the podcasts that I’ve listened to seem to be very patronising, and by patronising I mean that they talk to you like you’re a bit stupid, or maybe like you’re a bit of a child so they might be something like:
“Welcome to the American English podcast from podcasts.com. Today’s podcast is about dogs. Dogs are a kind of pet that you keep in your home or in your house…”,
for example, right? Sort of, a bit slow, a bit boring and a bit patronising so I think that this podcast will be hopefully more interesting than that, not as patronising, not very boring hopefully, sort of natural and fun and you will actually want to listen to it for entertainment so it’s not like studying but more like just something that you listen to just because it’s interesting I hope so anyway.
So, I think that’s it really, that’s the end of this first podcast. Don’t forget to listen to the second one and the third one because they will be more interesting than this because they’ll be things like interviews with people and other stuff like that.

So, I’d like to end this podcast with a question which I would like you to answer through the email address and the question is: What would you like me to talk about? so what would you like to hear me talk about on this podcast? so send me a question. It could be a question about perhaps Britain or British culture or about London or it could be a question about English – if you’ve got a question about English vocabulary or grammar I’m happy to answer your questions on the podcast. So, that’s the first question: what would you like me to talk about? And that’s it, that’s the end of the podcast. Don’t forget you can email me at: Luketeacher@hotmail.com. I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you in the future, so that’s it.. bye bye bye bye….

Introduction Part 2

Transcript for my video “1 Introduction part 2” on Youtube:
Click here to visit Luke’s English Podcast page.
You’re still listening to Luke’s English Podcast. If you’d like some more information visit teacherluke.podomatic.com.
Now, let me tell you about the podcast. Now obviously this is the fist podcast so it’s slightly different from podcasts in the future, but really what is so fantastic about this podcast is that the whole thing will be real, natural British English so that means that if you are interested in having a good listening experience, practising your listening but also finding something that will be interesting and entertaining and fun then this is the podcast for you. Like I said, it will all be totally natural British English, so the sort of English that I speak with my friends for example, the kind of real English that people in Britain speak all the time. I record the podcast here in my apartment in London. At the moment I’m sitting on my sofa and it’s a Saturday morning. So I record the podcast at home in my free time and a typical podcast will have three parts: the first part will be a little bit of conversation with me. So I might talk about something that’s happening at the moment. So possibly a news story or what’s been going on recently and I will also answer your questions and I will read out your comments that you send to me via the email address that I read out earlier on.
That’s the first part, the second part of the podcast will be a feature. So that means that it will be probably an interview with someone, so I might interview one of my friends or interview a member of my family and so you’ll be able to listen to a natural conversation between native speakers for example. It will be like you are spending time with some native English speakers. I know it’s difficult to find native English speakers to meet and talk to but if you listen to this podcast you’ll be able to listen to me talking to some of my friends or family, so again, a really good chance for you to listen to natural British English being spoken. So, like I said, the second part will be a feature, maybe an interview with someone. I might for example go into London and interview people on the street or I’ll interview people I meet in the pub, for example and we’ll talk about lots of interesting topics.
Then the third part of the podcast I will look at some of the language that I’ve used in part one and part two and I’ll actually teach you some really useful vocabulary and really useful expressions, the kind of natural language that normal British people speak when they talk to each other.
So this podcast is a really good chance for you to try and push your level of English up and if you start using some of the vocabulary that you hear on this podcast you can really start to push your level up to an advanced level of English. Another good thing about the podcast is that you can download it from the internet. You can put it on to your ipod or your mp3 player and then you can listen to it anywhere you like, I mean, you can listen to this on the bus on the way to work, or on your way to school. You can listen to it maybe when you are in the gym doing your exercise. I mean you can listen to it anywhere you like, I mean, you can listen to it on the toilet for example or maybe when you’re having a bath! I suppose that might be a bit weird or a bit strange if you’re listening to me while you are having a bath or when you are on the toilet! but I mean I don’t really care, I don’t really care where you are or what you’re doing as long as you actually listening to the podcast, that’s the most important thing for me. Also you can listen to this anywhere in the world, so if you’ve come to London to study English – you might have been at my school, you might have been one of my students and if you come to London and then you go back to your country you can keep downloading and listening to this podcast from your country and it’s a really good chance to extend your British English learning experience. Now, there are lots of other podcasts that you can download from the internet, lots of learning English podcasts. If you go to iTunes, if you’ve got iTunes on your computer for example, if you go to the iTunes store and do a search for learning English podcasts you’ll find lots of different English language podcasts available, but in my opinion most of them are rubbish actually and I think that this will be probably better than all the others! Now I’m not being very modest there, but I think I’m just being confident, which is a good thing, but I’ve listened to a lot of other podcasts that you can find on the internet and first of all most of them seem to be American and they have American English – which is fine because American English is great and all that – but you might want to listen to British English, right? Or sort of London English which is what I can offer in this podcast. So also a lot of the podcasts that I’ve listened to seem to be very patronising, and by patronising I mean that they talk to you like you’re a bit stupid, or maybe like you’re a bit of a child so they might be something like:
“Welcome to the American English podcast from podcasts.com. Today’s podcast is about dogs. Dogs are a kind of pet that you keep in your home or in your house…”,
for example, right? Sort of, a bit slow, a bit boring and a bit patronising so I think that this podcast will be hopefully more interesting than that, not as patronising, not very boring hopefully, sort of natural and fun and you will actually want to listen to it for entertainment so it’s not like studying but more like just something that you listen to just because it’s interesting I hope so anyway.
So, I think that’s it really, that’s the end of this first podcast. Don’t forget to listen to the second one and the third one because they will be more interesting than this because they’ll be things like interviews with people and other stuff like that.
So, I’d like to end this podcast with a question which I would like you to answer through the email address and the question is: What would you like me to talk about? so what would you like to hear me talk about on this podcast? so send me a question. It could be a question about perhaps Britain or British culture or about London or it could be a question about English – if you’ve got a question about English vocabulary or grammar I’m happy to answer your questions on the podcast. So, that’s the first question: what would you like me to talk about? And that’s it, that’s the end of the podcast. Don’t forget you can email me at: Luketeacher@hotmail.com. I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you in the future, so that’s it.. bye bye bye bye….

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=V81bB3aW3Eo&w=480&h=360%5D

Introduction Part 1

Here is the transcript to my YouTube video: 1 Introduction Part 1

Hello, and welcome to Luke’s English podcast – the podcast for learners of English. This is the very first podcast that I’ve done and it will be the first of many more podcasts that you will be able to download and listen to in the future, so because this is the first podcast, it’s a bit short, it’s shorter than the other ones will be and in this podcast basically I’m going to introduce myself to you so that you can get to know me a little bit and then I’m going to tell you about what is going to happen in other podcasts in the future.

Let’s see, first of all my name’s Luke – Luke Thompson. Now the name Luke can be a little bit difficult for learners of English to pronounce sometimes and I meet lots of people who can’t pronounce my name and they call me Look or maybe Luck, but it’s not Look or Luck, it’s Luke of course, and let’s see, I live in London. I work as an English teacher in an English language school in West London and I’ve been teaching English for about 8 years now. I first started teaching in Japan and I lived in Japan for two years in an area near Tokyo called Kanagawa Prefecture and I taught English there for two years and it was really great, I had a really good time. It was a very interesting experience for me and I’ve got lots of interesting stories to tell about my time in Japan. So, I taught there for two years and then I came back to London and I have been teaching English in London for about six years now. I’ve worked in a few different schools. I used to work in a school near Oxford Street and I worked in another school in Waterloo and now I work in a school which has two buildings, one in Holland park and the other one in Chiswick in West London and I enjoy my job very much because I get to meet lots of very interesting people, possibly people like you, people who need to learn English and they come to London. They come to my school, for example and it’s very interesting for me to meet these people from around the word and to introduce them to the English language and the English culture as well.

Let’s see, as well as being a teacher, an English teacher, I’m also interested in lots of other things. I love music, I’m a big music fan, for example I love the Beatles, of course, because I’m English and we all love the Beatles don’t we? So, I love the Beatles and I love lots of different kinds of music as well. I play music sometimes, I play the drums and I play the guitar. I’m not very good at the guitar to be honest I’m just trying to learn how to do that, but I’ve been playing drums for a long time now. I play in a band at the school and we play concerts sometimes and that’s really great fun. I’m also into lots of other things. I love movies and I like sport, like football of course, again because I’m English and we all love football, right? and I also like rock climbing too.

So, that’s just a little bit of information about me and, OK, now I’m also interested in you, and your opinions and your stories and your questions as well, so if you have any questions for me, if there are stories that you’d like to tell me, you can email me. Now at the end of each podcast I will actually ask you a question and I really want this to be an interactive podcast, which means that you can email me your answers to the question that I will ask you at the end of the podcast and it will be a chance for you to tell me what you think about some of the things that we’ll be talking about. So if you want to email me you can write to this address, its: Luketeacher@hotmail.com and I’ll be very glad to hear from you.

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_OLxN9pxeg&w=480&h=360%5D

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