Daily Archives: October 19, 2009

20. Beware of Bad Pronunciation


Right-click here to download this episode.

This is a podcast for learners of English as a second language. Use it to improve your vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, idioms and cultural awareness. This podcast is about how you should be a bit careful of the reliability of some videos on the internet.

Tracy Goodwin’s infamous guide to “How to speak with a British Accent” from ‘Expert’ Village

Transcript to Tracy Goodwin’s video

“Now let’s practise the short ‘o’, and again I’ll give you words and sentences. I’ll say them standard American first, followed up with the British dialect.

Hot Hot

Coffee Coffeh!

Fought FOTT!

Not NOT

Bobby Bobbeh

Fond Fawned

Now some sentences:

Ron opted to ignore Dot

Lost coffee is not to be fought over

The dog was lost in the fog

The loft smelled like strong coffee”

OK, that’s Tracy Goodwin’s advice. Unfortunately, most of it is plain wrong. Sorry Tracy.

Here are some of the comments made on her YouTube page

Somewhere in England there’s a bunch of poor Americans walking around talking like complete dicks because of this lady. Never in my life have I heard anyone say coffee like that. Ever. And I’ve live in England all my life.
 
Never in all my days in Britain have I heared anyone say coffie like that.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

She doesn’t have a clue. English people can understand Americans. We’re not retards that need to be spoken to in our ‘dialect’.

LOL lol lol lol!!!! The way she says coffEH is sooooooooooooooooooooo funny!!! i have a west coast accent but live in the UK, and let me tell you, that is sooooooooooo not how these people talk. Like, not one bit!!! Especially the way she says coffee, it is so not friggin’ “coffEH”! LOL. and that barbie thing she was on about is not bobby!!!! Certainly not!! LOL, what a freak! She ain’t no expert! ;]]]

hahahahahaha

UPDATE (April 2014)
I was thinking about this podcast episode recently, and I was a bit worried that I’d been unfair to Tracy, or that it was a bit cruel to publicly shame her. I was considering removing this episode, because I think it’s not very nice to make fun of other people online. I decided I’d have another look at Expert Village, and Tracy’s videos. I watched some more videos from Expert Village – and it made me realise again – these videos are terrible! I’m sorry, but it’s just not fair to label Tracy as an expert in speaking with a British accent, and in fact many of the other videos on ‘Expert Village’ are absolutely laughable. They’re not experts, much of the advice is wrong and in some cases dangerous. It makes me wonder how this channel operates. Who are the people in the videos? Who is in charge of Expert Village? How do you get a video on this network? In some cases, the so-called ‘experts’ seem to be embarrassed by their videos. Have a look at this video below. It’s a compilation of some of Expert Village’s biggest failures. I started with sympathetic intentions, but now I think Expert Village probably deserves all the criticism it gets.

 

19. Passive Verb Forms


Right-click here to download this episode.

Luke’s English Podcast is for people learning English as a foreign language. This episode is about passive verb forms, their use and pronunciation. You can read a transcript below:

Hello, welcome to Luke’s English Podcast. It’s been ages and ages since I last did one. I’ve been really busy with lots of things, but mainly: my music (I’m in two bands at the moment – The school band is playing a concert at Brook Green Hotel in Shepherds Bush on Friday 14th August, and my cousin’s band Neech are playing the Big Chill Festival this Saturday. I’m playing drums in both bands. ) So, I’ve been busy practising with those bands.

Also, I’ve been teaching general English summer courses at my school. They’re usually very busy because we have lots of students in the school, and the teachers have to write their own material- we don’t use books. So, I’ve been using all my energy on music and work. Anyway, now I have some time to do a Podcast.

Hello to everyone who has sent me a message – I don’t have time to name you all. The Podcast is becoming more and more popular. I’m getting messages via email, Twitter, and my comments box on the webpage. If you’re listening on iTunes, go to my site to read a transcript of everything in this podcast. I’m being very generous today and I’m providing a whole transcript! Don’t forget, if you’re a rich Russian business man, or a Saudi oil sheik, you can send me money as a donation – about 2million would be nice. That should be enough to help me make a few more podcasts before I retire to the carribean. Actually, I have made absolutely NO money from this podcast, and at the moment I’m doing it just for the love.

 

Now, there is useful stuff in this podcast. You’re going to learn about:

Exactly how and why we use passive forms.

Some pronunciation of passive forms.

There will be real examples. The grammar will be carefully explained.

I will provide pronunciation drills – sentences in British English for you to copy and help your accurate speaking.

That’s it – enjoyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!

 

STOP – grammar time.

That’s right, it’s grammar time ladies and gentlemen, and this grammar point is about Passive Forms

At higher levels, the study of grammar becomes more in depth and as a result of this, it becomes a lot more theoretical and complicated. So, it becomes difficult to understandand sometimes boring. I’m sure you’ve all had those boring grammar classes in which you don’t really understand anything, and just make you fall asleep. However, in order to get a full understanding of how the language works and why mistakes are made etc, grammar has to be studied. Using a range of grammatical forms is also a feature of good, fluent, advanced speaking.

This brings us to passive forms. They are used a lot in English. Honestly, they are. In my opinion, there are 3 difficult things for students to deal with when studying the passive:

1) The complicated form – it is hard to manipulate sentences using the passive in different tenses, and after modal verbs etc ( this is because of all the different auxiliary verbs, past participles etc).

2) Understanding how and why the passive is used. Many students say they know how to construct passive sentences, but don’t know when they should use them.

3) The pronunciation of passive forms – it can be difficult to hear all the little words used when native speakers use passive forms. Also, it’s difficult to pronounce them correctly if you’re not a native speaker.

In this podcast I’m going to talk about the passive form, why it is used and the pronunciation of sentences with a variety of passive forms. Later in this podcast you will hear some pronunciation drills which you can (and should) use to develop your pron.

What are passive forms? (point 1)

I am not going to go into great depth about this area. You can look at the back of your textbook or in a good grammar book to look at how the passive form changes in different tenses and after certain verbs. Nevertheless, here is a basic overview of what passive forms are:

Active sentences are in this structure:

SUBJECT/AGENT – VERB – OBJECT

E.g. Michael Jackson – wrote – this song

The subject is the agent (the thing that ‘does’ the verb)

The agent is included because it is important, or is the topic of the sentence (e.g. if the question is “who wrote this song?” it is important to say “Michael Jackson wrote it”)

But, sometimes it is better to order the sentence in a different way. Like this passive sentence:

SUBJECT VERB (PREPOSITION + OBJECT/AGENT)

E.g. The song – was written – (by Michael Jackson)

In passive sentences:

The form is different – You always have an auxiliary verb ‘be’ – this can come in many forms, eg. Being, been, was, were, am, are, is

The agent is often not included

If the agent is included, you have to use a preposition (by)

You need to use a past participle verb, and these are sometimes difficult to remember

Why is the passive used? (point 2)

It is sometimes thought that passives are not necessary. “Why bother using them?”. Some students say that they don’t think native speakers use them – and that teachers teach them just because they have to. Some students just don’t use passive forms in their sentences, which is one of the reasons why they don’t go beyond an intermediate level. One thing I can say for sure is that when teachers teach grammar forms – they do it because they are essential for the imporovement of your English. Don’t forget – advanced speakers use a variety of grammatical forms and vocabulary…

 

They are used a lot, and they are useful. But, why? and how?

Here’s a list of reasons why the passive is used:

  • The agent is unknown (“What happened to the pizza?” “It was eaten” “by who? “we don’t know”)
  • The agent is not important (“I don’t care who did it, I’m just angry that my pizza was eaten! I was going to eat it later!”)
  • The agent is obvious (The thief was arrested -obviously it was the police because they usually do that)
  • The process (the action of the verb) is more important than the agent (the one who did it) “I’m just annoyed that my pizza has been eaten already – I didn’t even get a chance to have any”
  • The patient (the pizza – it receives the action of the verb) is the topic of the sentence or story, so it is put at the beginning.

 

Real Examples: BBC News Report

OK, listen to the following news story about Michael Jackson’s death. It contains 10 passive forms, but in complex tenses. Can you find them. Before you listen, let me explain these words:

Paramedics – Doctors who drive ambulances!

Beverly Hills – An area in California where lots of famous people live

Suffer a cardiac arrest – to have a heart attack

To be due to do something – to be arranged to happen. It is going to happen because it is planned

To resuscitate someone – to bring someone to life – using electricity, or breathing or pumping the chest

A post-mortem – a medical examination of a body after it has died

 

So, there are 10 passive forms. Can you find them?

 

Pop star Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles, aged 50.

Paramedics were called to the singer’s Beverly Hills home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing.

He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre.

Jackson, who had a history of health problems, had been due to perform a series of comeback concerts in the UK, beginning on 13 July. He is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Speaking on behalf of the Jackson family, Michael’s broter Jermaine said doctors had tried to resuscitate the star for more than an hour without success.

Jackson’s body was flown from UCLA to the LA County Coroner’s office, where a post-mortem was carried out. The results have not yet been published.

Concerns over Michael’s health were raised last month when four of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts were postponed, but organisers insisted the dates had been moved due to the difficulty of organising the show.

 

Find examples of the passive in the text. There should be 10.

Think about these things:

1. Which tenses are used? (present simple, past simple, passive infinitive)

2. Why has the passive been used in each case? Use the list of reasons from the second page to help you.

 

Here are the passive sentences:

# Example Tense Why is the passive used?
 

1

 

Paramedics were called to the singer’s Beverly Hills home

 

Past simple It is not important/we don’t know who called the paramedics
 

2

 

He was pronounced dead

 

Past simple It’s obvious that doctors at the hospital pronounced him dead

 

 

3

 

Jackson had been due to perform a series of comeback concerts

 

 

Past perfect

Actually, it is impossible to put this sentence in an active form. To be due to do something is just a fixed passive expression

 

 

4

 

He is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest

 

Present simple Obviously, doctors/experts/journalists believe this

 

5

 

 

Jackson’s body was flown

 

Past simple We don’t know/it’s unimportant/obvious who flew the plane – and the story is all about Jackson’s body.

 

6

 

 

a post-mortem was carried out

 

Past simple Obviously, doctors carried out the post mortem

 

 

7

 

The results have not yet been published.

 

Present perfect We don’t know/it’s not important/it’s obvious who publish the reports. Doctors or lawyers or something…

 

 

8

 

Concerns over Michael’s health were raised last month Past simple We don’t know – just that people were concerned. Putting the concern at the beginning (as a noun) is better than saying ‘people were concerned’ – the important thing is the concern, not the people.

 

 

9

 

four of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts were postponed Past simple Obviously, they were postponed by Jackson’s managers & promotors

 

 

 

10

 

 

the dates had been moved

 

Past perfect Again, we know who moved them – it was his managers

 

 

 

 

How are passives pronounced in sentences?

In a moment I am going to read some sentences with passives in them. I’m focussing on the way these passives are pronounced. There are two main issues:

Auxiliary verbs pronounced with weak forms so they are difficult to hear.

Past participles (especially –ed) ones are just difficult words to pronounce correctly.

So, listen to me read the sentences. I’ll read each sentence once with all the words individually pronounced. Then I’ll read them with the words linked up. Repeat the linked up sentences. Try to copy exactly how I say it – think about the rhythm and word stress I’m using. You could record yourself – this will really help you.

In these sentences there are passive forms, but also lots of other words. Try to pronounce them correctly too. Try to say the sentence as one long sound with all the words linked together. We don’t always link every word, but it is good pronunciation practice.

 

Present simple passive:

We’re given a test at the end of the course to check our progress in English

 

Present continuous passive:

We’re always being encouraged by our teacher to read books in English

 

Present perfect passive:

My podcast has been downloaded 120 times today already

 

Past simple passive:

All the the students were given a grammar test as soon as they arrived at school

 

Past continuous passive:

The students were being interviewed when I arrived at quarter past 10

 

Past perfect passive:

Everyone had already been put in their classes, except me.

 

Will + passive:

The podcast will be uploaded onto the iTunes store in the next few days

 

Going to + passive:

The new Harry Potter film is going to be released on Friday

 

So, you can go back to those sentences and listen and repeat them again and again.

That’s it, bye bye bye bye bye byebye!

18. 10 More Phrasal Verbs

Full transcript available below


Right-click here to download this episode.
Small Donate ButtonLearn 10 more phrasal verbs in this episode. These ones are all particularly useful in business English when you have meetings.

Listen to the meeting I had with my staff members (Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Sean Connery) about ideas for the next podcast on passive verb forms. Can you find the 10 phrasal verbs?

Transcript of the meeting (A full transcript of the whole episode is also available below)

“Good morning everybody, hello. Yep, hi, hi Rob. Yep, hello Al. Good morning Sean. So yep, excuse me! Hello, sorry could you just listen… thank you. Err, Sean? Thank you. Ok so good morning to everyone, I’d just like to kick off by saying I hope you had a good weekend, and that you’re rested and ready to get down to some good work on the podcast this week. So, there are a few matters I would like to bring up in this meeting, but before we get on to that I’ve got a couple of messages here to read out.

I’ve got one here from Barack Obama. He says ‘Thanks Luke for the interesting podcast on Michael Jackson. It was educational, entertaining and informative. Well done.’ Well, I think we knew that already, didn’t we? Another one here from Yoda. Yeah, you know, Yoda? The Jedi Master? From Star Wars. Yeah, that’s right… and Yoda said, ‘Your Susan Boyle podcast I enjoyed. Listened to it 3 times I have. Very useful for my English the podcast is.’ Well, thanks Yoda. Erm, Bob – is he still going to grammar lessons? His sentence structure hasn’t improved much. Look, ‘do’ or ‘do not’ okay Bob? There is no ‘try’. Okay? Right, thank you. Thank you very much.

Now, Al asked me recently, yep that’s right Al, if we could upload a new video onto YouTube soon in order to compete with other YouTube teachers like MrDuncan and that guy with the stupid hat, yeah. Well, I’d like to put that aside for today and come back to it later. I’m not too worried about those guys really, and I’d like to focus on the audio podcast rather than the YouTube videos at the moment. I’m sure I don’t need to spell out how important it is for us to just concentrate on audio podcasts. You know, people can listen to them anywhere, or while they’re having a bath or driving or on the toilet or whatever. I really don’t need to spell it out for you, do I? The main thing for us to deal with is, at the moment now, is the grammar rules for our next podcast on passive verb forms. Bob, can I ask you to deal with that? Ok, check it in the grammar book, read the main rules, and then just sum them up on paper for me. Ok, great.

So, now I’d like to just run through the diary for this week. Now, Al, on Thursday you’re going to interview somebody about the weather, okay? For our British weather podcast. Okay Al? Great. Now Bob, you’re doing the grammar research. I’m going to interview Keira Knightley on Thursday as well. Sean, let’s see… Sean could you perhaps just erm, go down to Tescos and get some biscuits and some coffee for us? That’s great, thank you very much. Okay, so, any questions? No? No? Great. Okay, let’s get started then…”

Here are the 10 phrasal verbs from the meeting:

1. to kick off / to kick something off
2. to get down to something
3. to bring something up
4. to get on to something
5. to put something aside
6. to come back to something
7. to spell something out
8. to deal with something
9. to sum something up
10. to run through something

Here are some definitions (check the meeting for examples):
1. to kick off = to start something
2. to get down to something = to start doing something seriously and with a lot of attention and effort
3. to bring something up = to say something, mention something, to start to talk about something (especially in a situation like a meeting)
4. to get on to something = to start talking about it after you have discussed something else
5. to put something aside = to not discuss something now so that we can discuss something else, to leave it until later
6. to come back to something = to return to something later
7. to spell something out = to clearly describe or explain something
8. to deal with something = to discuss something, give attention to it, fix it, do it, solve a problem
9. to sum something up = to summarise something, to put it in a short and basic way
10. to run through something = to repeat something to make sure it is correct, to check each point one by one

That’s it!

Here are some pictures of my production team:

Full Transcript
18. 10 More Phrasal Verbs

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacher Luke.podomatic.com

Hello, welcome to Luke’s English podcast. Today I am going to teach you some more useful phrasal verbs and it’s going to be done like this:
First I am going to play you a recording of a meeting. Okay? In that meeting recording there are 10 phrasal verbs. I’d I like you to try and find the phrasal verbs. So, listen to the recording and try to find ten phrasal verbs. I’d like you to imagine that I am having a meeting with my production team for Luke’s English podcast.
Now, actually I just produce the podcast on my own. But I’d like you to imagine that maybe I have got a production team of people who work together to produce episodes of Luke’s English podcast. Okay?
So, imagine I am talking to my production team on Monday morning. We are having a little meeting to talk about ideas for my next podcast. Okay?
So, in the production team I have got some actually, some people you might know.
There is me of course. I am the project manager and then you’ve got …then I have got Robert De Niro. He is one of my members of staff and I’ve got Al Pacino, as well. And also I’ve got Sean Connery working for me, too.
So, it’s a small team. It’s just me, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Sean Connery together working on the podcast. Okay?
So, I’d like you to listen to the meeting that we have on Monday morning and try and find 10 phrasal verbs. I will explain all of them, after you have listened to the recording, okay?

“Good morning everybody, hello. Yep, hi, hi Rob. Yep, hello Al. Good morning Sean. So yep, excuse me! Hello, hello, just sorry, could you just listen… thank you. Err, Sean? Thank you. Ok so good morning to everyone, I’d just like to kick off by saying I hope you had a good weekend, and that you’re rested and ready to get down to some good work on the podcast this week. So, there are a few matters I would like to bring up in this meeting, but before we get on to that I’ve got a couple of messages here to read out.

Let’s see! Well, I’ve got one here from Barack Obama. He says ‘Thanks Luke for the interesting podcast on Michael Jackson. It was educational, entertaining and informative. Well done.’ Well, I think we knew that already, didn’t we? Another one here from Yoda. Yeah, you know, Yoda? The Jedi Master? From Star Wars. Yeah, that’s right… and Yoda said, ‘Your Susan Boyle podcast I enjoyed. Listened to it 3 times I have. Very useful for my English the podcast is.’ Well, thanks Yoda. Erm, Bob – is he still going to grammar lessons? His sentence structure hasn’t improved much. Look, ‘do’ or ‘do not’ okay Bob? There is no ‘try’. Okay? Right, thank you. Thank you very much.

Okay, now, Al asked me recently, yep that’s right Al, if we could upload a new video onto YouTube soon in order to compete with other YouTube teachers like MrDuncan and that guy with the stupid hat, yeah. Well, I’d like to put that aside for today and come back to it later. I’m not too worried about those guys really, and I’d like to focus on the audio podcast rather than the YouTube videos at the moment. Okay? I’m sure I don’t need to spell out how important it is for us to just concentrate on audio podcasts. You know, people can listen to them anywhere, or while they’re having a bath or driving or on the toilet or whatever. I really don’t need to spell it out for you, do I? The main thing for us to deal with is, at the moment now, is the grammar rules for our next podcast on passive verb forms, okay? Bob, can I ask you to deal with that? Ok, check it in the grammar book, read the main rules, and then just sum them up on paper for me. Ok, great.

So, now I’d like to just run through the diary for this week. Now, Al, on Thursday you’re going to interview somebody about the weather, okay? For our British weather podcast. Okay Al? Great. Now Bob, you’re doing the grammar research. I’m going to interview Keira Knightley on Thursday as well. Sean, let’s see… Sean could you perhaps just erm, go down to Tescos and get some biscuits and some coffee for us? That’s great, thank you very much. Okay, so, any questions? No? No? Great. Okay, let’s get started then…”

Okay, what a very successful meeting that was. But did you manage to hear the 10 phrasal verbs? Well, here is a list of the phrasal verbs that I used there. I am just going to read the list to you now:
Here we go.

to kick off, to kick off by doing something
to get down or to get down to something
to bring something up, to bring something up
to get on to something, to get on to something
to put something aside, to put something aside
to come back to something, to come back to something
to spell something out, to spell something out
to deal with something, to deal with something
to sum something up, to sum something up and
to run through something, to run through something.

Okay? So now I’d like to …just go through or run through those 10 phrasal verbs one by one. I’ll explain what they mean, I’ll explain how they are used and I’ll give you some examples, okay?
So, let’s start with the first one: So, the first one I used was to kick off, to kick something off. In this case to kick off a meeting and it means to start something.
It’s just a phrasal verb which comes from football, actually. At the beginning of a football game, one team kicks off. They kick off the game.
So, we can use that expression in other things like, for example, in a meeting.
And I said: I’d just like to kick off by saying good morning to everyone. Okay? So it’s very common in a meeting. We say: I’d like to kick off by running through the agenda, okay?
So, to kick of by doing something!
I’d like to kick of by saying hello.
I’d like to kick of the meeting by saying hello to everyone, okay?
To kick off!
You could say to kick the meeting off. I’d like to kick the meeting off by asking you a question, for example. So, to kick off!

The next phrasal verb was to get down to something. Now I’ve talked to you about this before. To get down to something, it means to start doing something seriously and with a lot of your attention and effort, okay? To get down to something!
In the meeting I said: I hope that you are rested and ready to get down to some good work on the podcast, okay? That means I hope you are rested and ready to seriously start with concentration and effort some good work on the podcast.
An example for you as a learner of English might be something like: I had a free evening, so I managed to get down to my homework. I managed to get down to doing my homework. Okay?
Unless you are students in my class, because for some reason many of them can’t be bothered to do their homework at the moment and keep giving me these funny excuses like: Oh sorry, Luke, I did my homework, but my dog ate it, right, okay, yeah!. Yeah, sure, your dog ate it, right.
Actually, I can’t really blame them for using that excuse because I taught it to them. So, I suppose they are learning something even if it’s just the ability to come up with ridiculous excuses.
Anyway! The phrasal verb there is to get down to something. I need to get down to some work or let’s get down to some work on the podcast, okay? Okay!

The next phrasal verb was to get on to something, to get on to something. And that means to do something after you have done something else. Okay? Now in the meeting example there I said, there are a few matters I’d like to bring up in this meeting but before we get on to that, I’ve got a couple of messages to read out, okay? So, that’s to get on to something, meaning to do something next.

After that we had to put something aside. To put something aside!
Well, that means to not talk about something, so that you can discuss something else, okay? It’s a bit like saying I’d like to leave it until later or I’d like to wait until later before we discuss it. So, I’d like to put that aside for today and come back to it later, okay?
So, in the meeting that’s exactly what I said. I said: Well, I’d like to put that aside for today and come back to it later, okay?

Come back is the next phrasal verb, okay? Come back. And it’s quite clear I think that ….I expect most of you know that expression. It means to return to discuss it later, okay? To come back to it later, return to discuss it later.
Those are very, very common expressions that people use in meetings for example. It might be, well, I’d like to put that aside for today and come back to it later. It means I don’t want to discuss it now, I’d like to discuss it later, okay?

Okay, so after that, next phrasal verb was to spell something out. To spell something out! And that means to explain something in detail, to explain it in detail. Now, in the meeting I said: I am sure I don’t need to spell out how important it is for us to just concentrate on audio podcasts, okay?
I don’t need to spell it out for you, right?
So, what I meant was: I am sure I don’t need to explain in detail how important it is, okay? I don’t need to explain it in detail. I don’t need to spell it out for you. We used the word spell, as well, when we are talking about how to write a word. How do you spell it? Yeah? How do you spell that? We also use the expression to spell something out to mean to explain it in detail, as well. So it’s quite common in a question. If you don’t understand what someone is saying, like if you don’t understand a suggestion that they have made, you can say: Sorry, I don’t quite understand that. Could you spell that out for me, alright?
Maybe could you explain that to me in detail. Right!

The next phrasal verb was to deal with something. To deal with something! And to deal with something means to discuss it, to give all of our attention to it and to fix it or solve it, okay?
So, in the case of the meeting, I said, the main thing for us to deal with is the grammar rules for our next podcast on passive verb forms. Okay?
So, that means the next thing for us to talk about, discuss and solve or fix is the grammar rules for our next podcast. Okay?

And then I said: Bob, can I ask you to deal with that? So that means I want Bob to do it, to fix it, to solve that problem, to work on that task, to do that job. I want him to deal with that. Okay?
Again, very, very common expression, that one!

Okay, the next phrasal word was to sum something up. To sum something up! Obviously that means to give a summary of something, okay? To sum something up, to give a summary of it, to summarise something, okay?
In the meeting, I said …I said to Robert de Niro: Read the main rules and then sum them up for me on paper. So, I am asking Robert, or Bob, as I call him – most of his friends call him Bob – actually, I said to him: Read about the grammar rules for passive verb forms and sum them up, so summarise them, write them in a simple way, in a simple form, right? Just the basic points, to sum something up.

Next phrasal verb was to run through something. To run through something! And that, that means to repeat something in order to make sure it is correct, to repeat it in order to make sure, it’s correct. Or to talk about it step by step in order to make sure it’s correct. So, I said: Okay, now I’d like to run through the diary for this week. So, you can imagine that means I am going to talk about each day, step by step in order to make sure that everybody understands it. To run through it! You can run through a lot of things. Run through dates in a diary, run through the points on an agenda for a meeting, run through comments for your customers, for example. So, run through something.

And that is it!
That’s the end of this little podcast about phrasal verbs. 10 useful phrasal verbs for you!
Don’t forget you can visit the web page: teacher Luke.podomatic.com and there you can read the phrasal verbs. You can also read a transcript of the meeting that I had with Bob and Al and Sean.
You can read a transcript and you can also read definitions and examples of the 10 phrasal verbs.

That’s it!
I hope you enjoyed that. I hope find it useful. If you want me to leave a message for Robert De Niro or Al Pacino or Sean Connery, just send me an email. The address is Luketeacher@hotmail.com. I’ll be glad to leave them a message for you. They are very nice people and I am sure they will be very happy to hear from you.

That’s the end of this short podcast. Thanks very much!
Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye

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

17. Hello To My Listeners Around The World


Right-click here to download this episode.

Here are some messages from me to you. This podcast is produced to help people to learn English as a foreign language. It is good listening practice and contains lessons on vocabulary and grammar for general English.

This episode is a chance for me to say hello to all my listeners around the world.

Every day, people from all over the world listen to and download my podcast. Some of them have been my students at The London School of English, but most of them, I have never met. In this podcast I’d like to say hello to you, and to answer some of the comments and questions you have emailed me. This is my chance to try and communicate to you, and ask you some questions.

Coming soon, podcasts about:

More Phrasal Verbs
Passive Verb Forms
British Weather
Narrative Tenses
Dr Who
…and many more!

Here’s a picture of my map which shows me my website visitors come from. Here’s some information for yesterday. We can see that Spain is the winner with 473 page views! (date: 12 June 2014)
Page views 11.06.2014

16. Michael Jackson


Right-click here to download this episode.

This podcast is about the life and death of Michael Jackson, and is produced to help people learn English by practising their listening skills and developing their vocabulary. Luke’s English Podcast is a free audio programme for learners of English. Luke is a well qualified English teacher of 8 years experience. He lives and works in London.

Two weeks ago the death of Michael Jackson was announced. Since then, people all over the world have been mourning his loss. In this podcast, you can listen to short interviews with English people from London and their opinions on Michael Jackson’s music, dancing, children, plastic surgery, fans and his death.

Before that though, here’s some news!

The school that I work for (The London School of English) has recently started a blog. It’s called The London School of English World Blog. On this blog you can read about news and stories about the teachers, the school and London. It is written by some of the teachers at the school, including me (and Ben from the podcast about India). We also teach some vocabulary on this blog.

Visit the blog by clicking here:
The London School of English World Blog

Visit The London School of English here:
The London School of English

Also, I am now on Twitter. You can follow all my ‘tweets’ (news updates on Twitter) by clicking here: Luke’s English Podcast on Twitter

I will use Twitter to write very short updates to tell everyone what I’m doing and to give you little bits of news (e.g. on what my next podcast will be, or what I’m doing at the weekend). I will also teach you cool little words using Twitter, so keep visiting the page. Twitter is a really good way to keep up with what is happening in the world, and it is really easy to use.

The Life & Death of Michael Jackson

I thought it would be interesting for you to listen to the opinions of some ordinary Londoners, so I decided to interview some of my friends about Michael Jackson. Below, you can read their comments. Listen to the podcast to hear me explain some of the words and expressions they use.

1. Kevin (actually from Norwich, not London) on MJ’s music:
“I do find that I quite like Michael Jackson’s music. It’s quite catchy and errr melodic. The only thing for me is, the ‘kid thing’ kind of stained it a bit so every time I listen to it, I have to sort of put that bit out of my head… but… erm… I’ve got to admit, when I do hear a Michael Jackson tune I do feel like getting up and doing a bit of the moonwalk and everything. So, err, my favourite Michael Jackson song is Man In The Mirror. I proposed to my girlfriend with that one, so, it’s got a special place in my heart. Obviously, if we have kids, probably, won’t like it as much, but… it’s good stuff!”

2. Florence on MJ’s face:
“OK, so, Michael Jackson’s face. Well, it’s quite a weird face, it’s probably one of the most famous faces in the world. Erm, I think the weirdest thing is when you just look at pictures of him as a child and he’s completely unrecognizable. You wouldn’t even know that it’s the same person. But I do slightly get the feeling that it’s just gonna fall off any minute, because it just looks really… I don’t know! The skin just doesn’t look normal. It looks very frail, very pale. And, yeah, the fact that he denied having any plastic surgery or anything to change the colour, I just find very odd. I mean… maybe there’s some truth in it, but he’s obviously had a lot of work done on it. So, yeah, I find the whole thing… it’s quite depressing really, just knowing he must hate his face so much, or the face that he used to have so much that he’s changed it to the point where he just doesn’t, I mean he just doesn’t look like a normal human being, he looks like some sort of weird, y’know, parts of a face put together.” Luke: “It’s just a little bit weird.” Florence: “Very weird” Luke: “Slightly strange”

3. Raphael (actually from Liverpool, not from London) on MJ’s fans:
“Yeah, so, Michael Jackson’s fans. I dunno, I mean, I feel a bit sorry for his fans, I think, actually, because I think he’s one of these people with truly obsessive fans, you know? And actually, it’s actually quite tragic because some people have actually been killing themselves because they want to be with Michael, which I think is just, ummm, y’know, completely mental to be honest with you. Umm, I wouldn’t really say that I am a fan. I like him, or liked him, but I wouldn’t say I’m like a… I mean I didn’t have posters or anything like that. I had, like, one or two albums when I was a kid, but, yeah he’s got a lot of them and I think it was estimated that he was going to bring about a billion pounds to London or something through these 50 concerts, so I guess that just shows you how many people were out there and how many people are going to be, like, pretty err, pretty devastated now that he’s no longer with us.”

4. Shirley on MJ’s death and funeral:
“Well, when I first heard that he’d died, when I woke up in the morning and heard the it on the news it was a shock but I think I was over it in about 5 minutes. I think it’s all a bit hyped up. It’s very sad that he’s dead, it’s very sad when anybody dies, but I don’t really get it. I don’t really understand why people are, you know, gone into full mourning over the whole thing. I watched the funeral actually, because I was in a situation where I didn’t get to switch over… and well, it was like watching a concert really, and there was lots of people jumping on the band-wagon and everyone loves Michael and everyone was his best mate and err, yeah, Uri Geller, everyone was his best mate and then the thing that I didn’t like at the end is, his daughter was on the stage and she was really upset and one thing that he had done was try and keep them out of the spotlight their whole lives and the first thing that happened when he died is that they’re in the middle of it. I didn’t really like that very much but, anyway I suppose it’s a… well it’s sad but like I said I don’t think I’m going to lose any sleep over it.”

5. Claudia on MJ’s children:
“I suppose the first thing I think about when I’m trying to remember Michael Jackson’s kids, are, is, Bubbles his monkey because that’s the first thing I really associated with him when I was a kid, and then I guess I didn’t really think about his children much until he dangled Banket over the balcony and everyone thought he was nuts, erm, and I know he’s got three, I think three children. Paris, Prince Michael the 1st or 2nd and the 3rd or something, err, the little one’s called Blanket, I know that, erm… and… I know there’s a lot of scandal over whether or not they’re his. He always covered up their faces so no-one really knew. Some people thought it was to protect them. Some people thought it’s because he’s a freak. So, no-one really saw them but then when I did see them, they didn’t look anything like him. Actually, the oldest, the boy, the older boy weirdly looked a bit like he does or he did recently after his plastic surgery and whitening of his skin, so I don’t know quite how it works. But, erm, I think one of them has a different mother or something. I know there’s a lot of discussion about what’s going to happen to them now he’s dead. I read somewhere that he wants Diana Ross to have them, but she’s not that up for it. Erm, maybe his parents might have them. Errrr, and, yeah I suppose the latest thing is that they’ve been revealed on TV and Paris has moved the world with her emotional tribute to her daddy, so, erm, yeah that’s about all I know.”

6. Michelle (actually from Norfolk, not from London – but she lives in London now) on MJ’s dancing:
“Well Michael Jackson was a completely amazing dancer ok? I can remember trying to moonwalk in the kitchen and it all ended in tears. I think I ended up smashing my face on the tumble dryer. Our Mum actually banned us from moonwalking in the kitchen, so, err…”
Luke: “Seriously?”
Michelle: “Yeah, this truly did happen. Yes, we did, we did yeah. Because trainers didn’t work, you need slippery shoes and err, it all got a bit dangerous but he was amazing. Thriller was a great video wasn’t it?”
Luke (rudely interrupting): “It was dangerous because you didn’t have slippery shoes? So would it have been safer with slippery shoes?”
Michelle: “If we’d had slippery shoes it would have been so much safer…”
Luke (not making any sense): “I think what this is, is, errr, a joke, right?”
Claudia: “Justin Timberlake… everyone says he’s an amazing dancer”
Michelle: “Justing Timberlake doesn’t compare”
Luke: “Justin Timberlake… this has just broken down into nonsense… OK, so final point?”
Michelle: “Michael Jackson rules”
Luke: “And on that bombshell, I’m going to press ‘stop'”

7. Dong-Jin (from Korea) on MJ & Korea:
“He was the person who was interested in Korea, because, you know, in Korea there are some problems between North and South and he was trying to help us, you know? And also, yeah yeah yeah, that’s why most Korean people love him. Because, they, he had a concert and also, I don’t know exactly. We knows that, we know that… I don’t know how can I explain… My favourite song is, We Are The World… sorry sorry. Honestly, for me ‘Dangerous’ because his performance is really nice. Michael Jackson, we love Michael Jackson, especially for his personality, because, you know, even though he’s got a lot of rumours, we don’t believe. Honestly, I don’t want to believe, you know. I want to just focus on his achievements, something like that. And, err, even… errr. I really like him. That’s all…”

8. Andy P(from Birmingham):
Luke: I’m going to ask some of my friends about the whole Michael Jackson thing now. Err, Andy.
Andy P: Hello
Luke: Err, where were you when you heard that Michael Jackson had died?
Andy P: I was at home.
Luke: Right… and how did you find out?
Andy P: Err, on a website, on the Guardian website.
Luke: What time did you discover the bad news?
Andy P: In the morning. 9 o’clock-ish
Luke: Right… So what did you do when you realised the truth of the situation?
Andy P: Well, I realised the truth quite quickly that he had died, so that was not much of an issue. Umm, and then I just looked at some other news.
Luke: What, did you cry at all?
Andy P: No.
Luke: RIght, ok, thanks Andy!

9. Neil (from Birmingham):
Luke: Neil! Neil, so just err, what thoughts ran through your head in the hours after you realised Michael Jackson had passed away?
Neil: I’m going on holiday.
Luke: Ok, but didn’t you, sort of, feel any emotions at the time?
Neil: Err, I was in quite a big hurry. Errr…
Luke: ‘Hurry’ isn’t technically an emotion, Neil, so… talk about your feelings. Ok? Don’t worry, don’t be shy. What happened, on that fateful morning?
Neil: I went on holiday.
Luke: Ok. You can see I’m getting a lot of information here.

Dave (from Birmingham):
Luke: Dave, Dave! Dave’ll tell me lots of things. Tell me about Michael Jackson.
Dave: Well, he was a large part of my life for many years. Certainly towards the latter part of the 20th century, his music, in my opinion, became less and less of the kind of thing I’d like to listen to…
Luke: So you like his early stuff rather than his late stuff
Dave: I think that’s not that outrageous. Most people, felt similarly about him. The day he died, I was awake in bed, it was around 4.30AM when I found out and the BBC news started to do blanket coverage… that means they were doing it all the time…
Luke: So they weren’t reporting any other news, it was just Michael Jackson
Dave: Absolutely, yes.
Luke: Blanket coverage. Like a blanket over your bed. So bizarrely, you were in bed…
Dave: …with the blanket over me…
Luke: …when the BBC started doing blanket coverage…
Dave: …of Michael Jackson’s death. I texted a friend of mine who takes particular interest in this, but he’d already found out off three other people that Michael Jackson… that The Jackson 5 were now the Jackson 4…
Lizzie: Soundbite!
Dave: I certainly wasn’t upset! I think, you know, “MAN DIES” isn’t necessarily news…
Luke: Right, well, if it’s Michael Jackson it’s news, isn’t it?
Dave: That’s arguable. That’s contentious.
Luke: I’ll explain what contentious means later…
Dave: But, erm, yeah it’s upsetting for family members, but from a personal perspective it’s not something I necessarily consider to be newsworthy.
Luke: Right. Can you sum up the whole thing in a word, perhaps?
Dave: Overblown.
Luke: How about a sound?
Dave: Heeeeeehehhhh heh eh heheh eheh
Luke: Right, thank you. Thank you very much. I don’t think I’ll use that. But that was very… David’s comments were a lot more interesting than everyone elses. Liz, do you have anything to say on the subject? … No? Ok, she want’s to go back to sleep I think. Erm, right, everyone wants to go home. That’s it. That was, erm, slightly underwhelming…

Jim (Dave’s brother, from Birmingham):
Luke: How did you feel when Michael Jackson died Jim?
Jim: Nothing.
Luke: No change of emotions at all.
Jim: Nah. It happens to everyone eventually.
Luke: It does, yeah. Very philosophical. Erm, generally what did you think of Michael Jackson?
Jim: Errr, he had a hard life.
Luke; yeah? What about all that money? That was quite nice for him…
Jim: Yeah, but he was pushed into, err, celebrity-ism.
Luke: Ok, I’ll explain what celebrity-ism means later… It’s good. It’s a good word, but I expect that all the listeners won’t understand what that means, but that’s fine. What did you think of his music?
Jim: Yeah it was wicked. [wicked is a slang word which means ‘really good’]
Luke: Ok, erm, what about his face?
Jim: That was a shame… err… could have had a bit of work… err… do to…
Luke: Yeah, ok, he had a bit too much work done, didn’t he? Well thanks for… Any other comments about him?
Jim: No.
Luke: OK! Thanks! Liz! Liz!

Liz (Dave & Jim’s younger sister, also from Birmingham):
Luke: Go on… what did you think of Michael Jackson?
Liz: Erm, I found him quite a bizarre character. I did like his 90s music and I always will. Dirty Diana, and Man In The Mirror being my two particular favourites.
Luke: What about the, sort of, news reports about him? You know, the negative reports… Where do you stand on that?
Liz: I think that child molestation is a very serious accusation
Luke: Yes it is. It is very serious. I don’t know why we’re all laughing,
Liz: Erm, the very fact that that does have so much evidence around it does make me question in some depth Michael Jackson and his character.
Luke: Right, so you think he might have actually done it?
LizL Potentially, there is always that case if you take something to trial, is it not?
Luke: Yeah, there’s the possibility that it’ll be proven that he did do it, yeah. Ok, thanks for your comments.
Liz: No problem.
Luke: Jolly good.

michael-jackson-facelift-before-after

Very interesting Michael Jackson interview with Martin Bashir – MJ does a British English accent at the start :)

Let me know if any of these YouTube videos is out of date. (BTW if you think this sentence is grammatically wrong – “shouldn’t it be ‘any of these videos are…?” then click here to find out more)

Some pictures of my friends from Birmingham

15. Extra Podcast – 12 Phrasal Verbs


Right-click here to download this episode.

Just a quick podcast today. 12 useful phrasal verbs.
Listen to me read this text which contains 12 phrasal verbs. Can you find them all by listening and reading? I will explain them after you listen.

Here’s the text:
“I haven’t got round to doing another podcast recently. I haven’t been putting it off. It’s just that I’ve been caught up in a lot of other things recently. I haven’t given up on it, and I haven’t run out of ideas. It’s just that all my time is being taken up by other things at the moment. I hope you haven’t gone off my podcast. I also hope you’re holding out for the next episode. You’ll just need to hold on a bit longer for the next one to be uploaded. Don’t forget to let me know how you’re feeling about the podcast. If you’re a bit pissed off that I haven’t uploaded a new one recently, just send me an email to let me know how you feel. Don’t bottle up your feelings – that’s very bad for you. Just tell me any comments you have and I’ll be very happy. I like getting your comments. They always cheer me up.”

So, did you find the 12 phrasal verbs?
Here they all are:

1. To get round to doing something = to do something you haven’t been able to do for some time because you’ve been busy. “I finally got round to doing another podcast yesterday”

2. To put something off = to delay doing something, or to avoid doing something because you don’t want to do it. “I’ve been putting off doing my washing all week, but now I have to do it because I’ve got no clean socks left”

3. To be caught up in something = to be doing something which has stopped you doing something else. “I haven’t been able to do a podcast recently because I’ve been caught up in a lot of other things”

4. To give up on something = to quit doing something because you feel it isn’t going to be a success. “I gave up on being a rock star, because I couldn’t get a recording contract”

5. To run out of something = to use all you have and have nothing left “I ran out of milk last night so I didn’t have enough for a cup of tea this morning” (in England we have milk in our tea – we’re strange aren’t we?)

6. It takes up my time / My time is taken up by it = it uses all my time. “Work is taking up all my time at the moment – I don’t have time to do anything else”

7. To go off something = To stop liking something that you used to like. “I’ve really gone off Brad Pitt – he’s not so handsome anymore” (ladies – is this true? or is he still Mr Wonderful?)

8. To hold out for something = To wait for something that you really want or really need. “Great Britain is holding out for a tennis victory in the Wimbledon tournament this year.”

9. To hold on = wait. “Hold on a minute, I need to put on my shoes”

10. To be pissed off = (quite rude) Angry, annoyed, irritated. “I’m really pissed off with my neighbours – they keep making so much noise at night”

11. To bottle up your feelings = to keep your feelings inside and not say how you feel. “Don’t bottle up your feelings darling – if you have something to say to me, just say it! Do you still love me? Do you? DO YOU?”

12. To cheer someone up = To make someone happy. “John is a bit sick at the moment, so send him a card. It’ll really cheer him up.”

That’s it. Bye for now…

14. British and American Pronunciation


Right-click here to download this episode.

This full length podcast is about international English and pronunciation differences between American and British English. luketeacher@hotmail.com

Hello everyone and thanks for visiting my podcast page. I’ve now got a YouTube video page with a few videos on it. You can visit it here: Luke’s English Podcast on YouTube.

I recently uploaded a video on “16 Ways to Say I LIKE IT” and it’s been very popular. It’s already had nearly 500 views. I will upload more videos soon.

The feature section in this podcast is about English as an international language, or English Mania! Here is the video of Jay Walker talking about English Mania at a recent TED conference:

Here is the transcript to Jay’s presentation:

Let’s talk about manias. Let’s start with Beatle mania. Hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium. Sports mania. Deafening crowds. All for one idea. Get the ball in the net. Okay, religious mania. There’s rapture. There’s weeping. There’s visions. Manias can be good. Manias can be alarming. Or manias can be deadly.

The world has a new mania. A mania for learning English. Listen as Chinese students practice their English by screaming it.

Teacher: … change my life!

Students: I will change my life.

T: I don’t want to let my parents down.

S: I don’t want to let my parents down.

T: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

S: I don’t ever want to let my country down.

T: Most importantly … S: Most importantly …

T: I don’t want to let myself down.

S: I don’t want to let myself down.

Jay Walker: How many people are trying to learn English worldwide? Two billion of them.

Students: A t-shirt. A dress.

JW: In Latin America, in India, in Southeast Asia, and most of all in China. If you are a Chinese student you start learning English in the third grade, by law. That’s why this year China will become the world’s largest English speaking country. (Laughter) Why English? In a single word: Opportunity. Opportunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school, or put better food on the table. Imagine a student taking a giant test for three full days. Her score on this one test literally determines her future. She studies 12 hours a day for three years to prepare. 25 percent of her grade is based on English. It’s called the Gaokao. And 80 million high school Chinese students have already taken this grueling test. The intensity to learn English is almost unimaginable. Unless you witness it.

Teacher: Perfect! Students: Perfect!

T: Perfect! S: Perfect!

T: I want to speak perfect English.

S: I want to speak perfect English.

T: I want to speak — S: I want to speak —

T: perfect English. S: perfect English.

T: I want to change my life!

S: I want to change my life!

JW: So is English mania good or bad? Is English a tsunami, washing away other languages? Not likely. English is the world’s second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation. A global conversation about global problems. Like climate change or poverty. Or hunger or disease. The world has other universal languages. Mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. And now English is becoming the language of problem solving. Not because America is pushing it. But because the world is pulling it. So English mania is a turning point. Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future. A future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.

Thank you very much. (Applause)

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page about differences between American and British pronunciation. It includes the information I gave, plus more information too: British and American Pronunciation Differences.

That’s it!

p.s. if any of you are American, or speak American English and you think my American pronunciation is bad – please let me know. Give me some feedback! You could send me an audio file, or a YouTube video or something.

Nicholas Cage’s bad English accent (he starts doing it at about 0:40)

 

13. Video Podcast – I LIKE IT!

AUDIO VERSION


Right-click here to download the audio for this episode.

FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW

New video on YouTube – Luke’s English Podcast – I Like It!

VIDEO VERSION

 

The podcast today is an audio version of this video.

KEEP SCROLLING FOR THE FULL TRANSCRIPT (GO DOWN!)

Here’s a description of the vocabulary.

16 Ways to say “I Like It”:
1. I’m into it – this means you’re interested in an activity or a subject. E.g. I’m really into playing football, I’m really into The Beatles, I’m really into Kung-Fu movies…
2. I’m keen on it – this just means that you’re interested in it, you like it, you want to learn more about it. e.g. I’m really keen on playing the guitar, I’m keen on her, I’m keen on movies by Quentin Tarantino
3. I’m fond of it – this means you like it because you’ve liked it for a long time, and you have an emotional attachment to it. E.g. I’m fond of my pet dog, I’m fond of my car, I’m fond of my family photos
4. It appeals to me – this means that it sounds/looks good or it’s a good idea. E.g. living in Hawaii appeals to me.
5. It goes down well (with people) – this means that other people like something that you do. E.g. This joke always goes down well, the presentation went down really well with the class.
6. It’s to my liking – this is just a formal way to say I Like It
7. I’m partial to it – this means I like to eat or drink something, maybe too much. E.g. I’m partial to a glass of wine. I’m partial to a nice cake.
8. I’m crazy about it – I just love it! I love doing it! E.g. I’m crazy about playing the drums. I’m crazy about her.
9. I’m mad about it – this is the same as “I’m crazy about it”
10. I’m attached to it – this means I like it and I don’t want to live without it. I’d feel sad if I lost it. E.g. I’m really attached to my mobile phone – I always have it with me.
11. I’m passionate about it – this means I’m really interested and excited about it. E.g. I’m passionate about the music of Miles Davis. I’m passionate about doing charity work.
12. I’m addicted to it – this means I like it so much that I can’t stop doing it. E.g. I’m addicted to playing PlayStation 3. I’m addicted to this TV programme. (we also use ‘addicted’ in a negative way – e.g. addicted to drugs, addicted to cigarettes)
13. I’ve grown to like it – this means you didn’t like it before, but slowly you have learned to like it. E.g. I’ve grown to like the music of Radiohead.
14. I’ve got a soft spot for her – this means that you like someone a little more than you like other people. E.g. My grandmother always had a soft spot for my sister. She was always her favourite grandchild.
15. I fancy her/him – this means you think someone is attractive, sexy, good-looking. E.g. I really fancy Rachel McAdams (see picture below) – I think she’s gorgeous…
16. I can’t get enough of it – this means I love doing it and I don’t want to stop – e.g. I can’t get enough of this TV programme, I can’t get enough of Luke’s English Podcast!!

Rachel McAdams

rachel-mcadams-22263-22820-hd-wallpapers

FULL TRANSCRIPT

13. Video Podcast – I like it!

Right, now I just uploaded a new video on the Luke’s English podcast YouTube page.
Now, if you haven’t seen that, go and see it. You can find it on YouTube or actually it is probably easier if you just follow the link that I will post on the webpage. I am always asking you to visit the webpage. That’s because there is lots of useful things on there, you know, like for example if I teach you something on the podcast, I will type out the language explanation on the web page. You might be able to read scripts for content of this podcast on the web page. I often post videos and photos on the web page as well. So if you do listen to this podcast but you don’t ever look at the webpage, I suggest that you do look at it because it will help you to understand it and enjoy it a bit more. Okay? I always repeat the webpage and that is: you can just simply type to your web browser www.teacherluke.podomatic.com. Right? So check it out.

I have got a YouTube page for Luke’s English podcast and every now and then sometimes I make a video podcast. Usually I do an audio podcast but sometimes I do a video podcast, so you can actually look at the video and I will teach you something and you can see me moving, you can see me talking and you can see me showing you things and doing things.
Now, the video I just made is me, teaching you some vocabulary. And what I am teaching is lots of different ways to say: I like it. Okay?

Now, there are many many different ways of saying I like it or expressing, let’s see, expressing preferences or talking about liking things. Right?

Now, if you are a low-level-speaker of English, you probably just use like.
You know, I like this, I like that. I like him, I like her. I don’t like that, I don’t like this. You might say things like: I quite like that, for example or I really like that. But if you are a more advanced speaker of English you will know, that there are many many more ways to say: I like it.

And in the video that is on the webpage, is on YouTube now, I teach you 16 different ways to say: I like it. So that’s 16 really good bits of vocabulary. Now you can go to YouTube and you can type in: 16 ways to say I like it. Yeah? Or you can just find my YouTube page by clicking on the link on this podcast webpage.
Okay, that’s probably the best way to do it.

But, I am also going to now on this podcast play you the audio to the video. Now, of course it’s better if you watch the video because you can see me moving and see me showing you things. Also on the video I added text on the screen, so you can read the text and it will help you understand it.
But, I have got the audio from that video and I am going to play it to you now on the podcast.
If you can’t see the video, just let me explain it to you now. Basically on the video you get a bit of text on the screen, which says the piece of vocabulary that I am going to teach and then there is a bit of video of me, doing something that I like and then using that piece of vocabulary. Okay?

So, because this is just the audio, I am going to say the piece of vocabulary and then you can listen to me doing something and talking about it and then I will teach you the definition of it as well. Okay?
So, this audio is slightly different to the audio on the original video. Okay?

I hope that’s clear because I have been talking about audio and video and things – a little bit confusing. I hope it is clear. Anyway! You can now listen to the audio of the video which I have just posted on YouTube. I hope you are not too confused. If you are confused, don’t forget, you can always email me and ask me something if you don’t understand it. Yeah! You know the email address? It is Luketeacher@hotmail.com.
I am always happy to answer your emails.
Okay, here it comes. The video-audio-track.

Okay, here we go!

Okay, it’s simple. I am just going to teach you different ways to say: I like it. So here we go.

Number 1: I am really into it. I am really into it.
I am really into football.
If you say I am really into it just means you really like it, you are really interested in an activity or you are really interested in a subject. Yeah! Just really into it. Like this!
I am really into football.

Number 2: I am keen on it. I am keen on it.

I am really keen on playing the guitar. This means I am really interested in doing it and learning about it.
Not very good, though.

Number 3: I am fond of it. I am fond of it.

I am very fond of this picture of the queen. This means that you like something a lot, because you have liked it for a long time. Now, I am not like a big royal-family-supporter. I don’t love the royal family or anything, but I do like this picture, I am very fond of it. My parents used to own it and it used to be in the house where I grew up and I am just very fond of it. You know, I have owned it for a long long time and it is kind of nice. She looks quite pretty in the picture. I am not particularly fond of the queen. It’s just that I am fond of this picture. I like the frame, I like the photo. It is kind of like pop art. If you know what that means, like Andy Warhol, the print quality is quite interesting. Well, if you can see it. Anyway! It’s nice. I am really; I am just really fond of this picture.
So here we go, very fond of it.

Number 4: It appeals to me. It appeals to me.
Living in Hawaii really appeals to me. I think it would just be great. This means it sounds or looks like a really good idea to you. Imagine, kind of living near the beach, drinking cocktails in the sunshine, you know ….. beautiful music, beautiful, girls everywhere and that really appeals to me.
Oh, yeah!

Next one is: it goes down well. It goes down well with people. It goes down well.
This usually goes down well with kids. Now, you can’t see the video, but I am doing something with my fingers like a magic trick with my fingers. It usually goes down really well with kids. They love this. I don’t know why, but they love it. It goes down well means that people really enjoy something you do like for example a joke or a magic trick.

Mmmmh, this wine is to my liking. Mmmmh, very nice.
This wine is to my liking, right? So, it’s to my liking. Yeah? Mmmh, very nice, definitely to my liking, this wine. This wine is to my liking. That’s right.
It’s a slightly formal expression. It just means that you like it. This is to my liking. Just a bit formal.

I am partial to a glass of wine sometimes. I am partial to it means: It is something I really like to eat or drink and I do it possibly a little bit too much.
Mmmh, very good, lovely., cheers.

Number 8 is: I am crazy about it. I am crazy about it. Okay!

I am just crazy about doing this. This just means that you really love doing something and you do it a lot, like playing the drums.

And you could also say: I am mad about it or I am mad about doing it. I am mad about doing this. Means the same thing. You just love doing it and you want to do it all the time. That’s it. Maybe my neighbours are crazy, though.

Okay, number 10 is: I am attached to it. I am attached to it.
I am very attached to my mobile phone. This means you like it because you need it. Or if you lost it, you would be very sad. Couldn’t live without it. Very attached to it.

Number 11 is: I am passionate about it or I have a passion for it.
I am very passionate about the music of Miles Davis. If you are passionate about something or you have a passion for something, it means you really really love something and it makes you very excited. You are very interested in it. Love it.

Number 12 is: I am addicted to it. I am addicted to it.
That’s a computer game. I am completely addicted to Street Fighter 4. I can’t stop playing it. It’s brilliant. So if you really love something and you can’t stop doing it. In this case it is a computer game. I call it Street Fighter 4 on the PlayStation.

Number 13 is: I’ve grown to like it. I have grown to like it.
I didn’t use to like Radiohead., but I have really grown to like them.
This means, you didn’t like it before, but then slowly you started to like it. So, you didn’t use to like it, but now you do like it.
When I first bought the album I didn’t really like it very much, but it really grew on me. And I really like it now. An acquired taste but once you get to like them, they are fantastic. …I really love them now. Brilliant.

Number 14: I have got a soft spot for her.
I have a soft spot for the waitress in the café down the road from my house. She is just nice. I like her smile.
This means that you like someone more than you like other people. And it might mean that you have maybe romantic feelings for someone, possibly.
She is cute. I’ve got a soft spot for her. I don’t know if she knows me but every time I go in there
I always hope that she is going to serve me because well I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for her. What can I say?

Number 15 is: I fancy her. I fancy her.
I really fancy Rachel McAdams. She is an actress, American (Canadian) actress. This means you think someone is very attractive, good looking, like for example, I think she is gorgeous. I fancy her. She’s been in a few movies and I think she is gorgeous. I really fancy her, she is nice.

And finally number 16 is: I can’t get enough of it. I can’t get enough of it.
I just can’t get enough of this. It’s brilliant. And this also means that I love doing it so much that I just can’t stop doing it.

So that’s it, that’s the end of the video. But, yeah, if you liked it keep listening to my audio podcast. Don’t forget. You can go to my website which is teacherLuke.podomatic.com. and you can listen to Luke’s English podcast and you can learn lots more useful language and have a lot of fun when you are doing it, I hope.
So, that’s it from me.

Bye bye bye bye

Okay, now that’s the end of the video. The video is finished. You really have to watch the video because then you will understand it a lot more. It is not really supposed to be an audio podcast, that one. It is supposed to be a video.
So, I have really done this podcast in order to tell you about that video and to encourage you to watch it. I will upload more videos in the future, so that you can watch them and enjoy them and learn more English in another way, through video.
So, that’s the end of this short podcast. I will upload a proper full-length audio podcast very very soon. You can look forward to that, can’t you?
So, that’s it from me.

Bye bye bye bye bye

Thanks for listening to Luke’s English podcast. Don’t forget you can download and listen to all the old episodes by going to teacherLuke.podomatic.com.

[END]

12. Extra Podcast – Quick Hello 3


Right-click here to download this episode.

For a full transcript of this episode, click here.
Another quick podcast to say “hello” and “I am still alive”. I will upload a longer podcast soon – about my trip to Spain, or my band. I haven’t decided the topic yet, but you’ll be able to listen to it soon – I promise!

Thanks for the emails from Mariano and Inna, and to other people around the world who have said hi to me on the webpage (Taewook, Seaisal, Tomo, Kaori, Marsha, Kev).

The comedy sketch for you to listen to, study and enjoy today is from the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail (look here for the Amazon link to the film – you can buy it in your country and watch the whole thing – it’s a classic British comedy and very very funny: Buy Monty Python & The Holy Grail on Amazon.

In the scene, a king talks to his son about all the land he is going to inherit, but the son is not interested – he’d rather sing, and write poetry. He’s not even interested in the beautiful Princess Lucky, whose Father owns the biggest tracts of open land in the islands! Also, the prince is guarded by two very stupid guards… Here’s the script for you to study, and the YouTube video as well. Enjoy!

 

FATHER: One day, lad, all this will be yours!
PRINCE HERBERT: What, the curtains?
FATHER: No. Not the curtains, lad. All that you can see, stretched out over
the hills and valleys of this land! This’ll be your kingdom, lad.
HERBERT: But Mother–
FATHER: Father, lad. Father.
HERBERT: B– b– but Father, I don’t want any of that.
FATHER: Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started
here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a
castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show ’em. It sank
into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So
I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the
swamp. But the fourth one… stayed up! And that’s what you’re gonna get,
lad: the strongest castle in these islands.
HERBERT: But I don’t want any of that. I’d rather–
FATHER: Rather what?!
HERBERT: I’d rather…
[music]
…just… sing!
FATHER: Stop that! Stop that! You’re not going into a song while I’m here.
Now listen, lad. In twenty minutes you’re getting married to a girl whose
father owns the biggest tracts of open land in Britain.
HERBERT: B– but I don’t want land.
FATHER: Listen, Alice,–
HERBERT: Herbert.
FATHER: ‘Erbert. We live in a bloody swamp. We need all the land we can get.
HERBERT: But– but I don’t like her.
FATHER: Don’t like her?! What’s wrong with her?! She’s beautiful. She’s
rich. She’s got huge… tracts of land.
HERBERT: I know, but I want the– the girl that I marry to have…
[music]
…a certain… special… something!
FATHER: Cut that out! Cut that out! Look, you’re marrying Princess Lucky, so
you’d better get used to the idea!
[smack]
Guards! Make sure the Prince doesn’t leave this room until I come and get
him.
GUARD #1: Not to leave the room even if you come and get him.
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: No, no. Until I come and get him.
GUARD #1: Until you come and get him, we’re not to enter the room.
FATHER: No, no. No. You stay in the room and make sure he doesn’t leave.
GUARD #1: And you’ll come and get him.
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: Right.
GUARD #1: We don’t need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the
room.
FATHER: No, no. Leaving the room.
GUARD #1: Leaving the room. Yes.
[sniff]
FATHER: All right?
GUARD #1: Right.
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: Right.
GUARD #1: Oh, if– if– if– uhh– if– if– w– ehh– i– if– if we–
FATHER: Yes? What is it?
GUARD #1: Oh, i– if– i– oh–
FATHER: Look, it’s quite simple.
GUARD #1: Uh…
FATHER: You just stay here, and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave the room. All
right?
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: Right.
GUARD #1: Oh, I remember. Uhh, can he leave the room with us?
FATHER: N– no no. No. You just keep him in here, and make sure he–
GUARD #1: Oh, yes. We’ll keep him in here, obviously. But if he had to
leave and we were with him–
FATHER: No, no, no, no. Just keep him in here–
GUARD #1: Until you, or anyone else–
FATHER: No, not anyone else. Just me.
GUARD #1: Just you.
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: Get back.
GUARD #1: Get back.
FATHER: All right?
GUARD #1: Right. We’ll stay here until you get back.
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: And, uh, make sure he doesn’t leave.
GUARD #1: What?
FATHER: Make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.
GUARD #1: The Prince?
FATHER: Yes. Make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.
GUARD #1: Oh, yes, of course.
GUARD #2: Hic!
GUARD #1: Ah. I thought you meant him. You know, it seemed a bit daft me
havin’ to guard him when he’s a guard.
FATHER: Is that clear?
GUARD #2: Hic!
GUARD #1: Oh, quite clear. No problems.
FATHER: Right. Where are you going?
GUARD #1: We’re coming with you.
FATHER: No, no. I want you to stay here and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.
GUARD #1: Oh, I see. Right.
HERBERT: But Father!
FATHER: Shut your noise, you! And get that suit on!
[music]
And no singing!
GUARD #2: Hic!
FATHER: Oh, go and get a glass of water.

[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3YiPC91QUk&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00%5D

11. Men vs Women


Right-Click here to download this episode.

This podcast is all about Men & Women. Are they different? Do they communicate differently? It is inspired by a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, which is a very popular and successful guide to help men and women understand each other. In the podcast today I talk to 2 male friends, and then 2 female friends. There is lots of useful natural English for you to study, remember and copy – and become a more advanced speaker of English! I hope you enjoy the podcast…

Here’s the extract from Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus which is about Martians (Men):

“Martians value power, competency, efficiency and achievement. They fantasize about powerful cars, faster computers, gadgets and new, more powerful technology. They are concerned with outdoor activities like hunting, fishing and racing cars, and are more interested in objects and things than in people and feelings. Martians pride themselves on doing things all by themselves since asking for help when you can do things yourself is perceived as a sign of weakness. So, they will keep their problems to themselves unless they require help from another person to find a solution. When they get upset they prefer not to burden their friends with what is bothering them, and instead retreat into their caves to mull over their problems. If they can’t find a solution, they do something to relax and disengage their mind; or they engage in something more challenging like racing a car, competing in a contest or climbing a mountain.”

And here is the extract about Venusians (Women):

“Venusians value love, beauty and relationships. They find happiness through supporting and helping each other and their sense of identity is defined through sharing and the quality of their relationships. Rather than building highways and tall buildings, they are more interested in living together in harmony, community, and loving co-operation. Communication is very very important and sharing their feelings is much more important than achieving goals and being successful. They pride themselves on being intuitive, and considerate of the feelings of others. When Venusians feel upset, or stressed, or confused or hopeless they find relief by sharing their problems with friends and talking about their problems in detail.”

Language from the conversation with Howard & Nick:

“blokes” – a bloke is a man. It’s an informal word that British people use to say ‘man’. It’s not rude, but it is quite informal. People use this word a lot
“I had a difficult girlfriend and it helped me to deal with her” – to deal with something (e.g. a problem or a difficult person) means to ‘cope with’ it, ‘fix’ it, ‘manage’ it or learn to live with it.
“I found myself turning off and not tuning in” – to ‘turn off’ means to lose concentration and stop being interested in it, e.g. if you’re reading a boring book you might turn off… We also say ‘turn off’ for TVs, lights, radios etc. To ‘tune in’ means that you concentrate or focus on something. We also tune into a radio station on an FM radio.
“it’s a chick’s book” – a chick is a woman. It’s kind of a slang word, and some women think it is a bit rude. A chick also means a baby chicken.
“winging, going on about stuff, moaning” – all of these words mean ‘complaining’
“just back her up…” – to back someone up means to support & agree with someone
“the bestselling book of two thousand and whatever” – ‘whatever’ is a useful word which can mean ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t care’ or ‘I don’t mind’. Here, Howard used it to mean “I’m not sure which year it was, but it doesn’t matter”.

Transcript of the conversation between Luke, Shirley & Michelle:

Luke: Hello hello, 1 2 3 speak…
Shirley: Hello hello, 1 2 3
Michelle: Hello this is Michelle…
Luke: OK, I thought I needed a female perspective on this, so I’m speaking to Shirley and Michelle about the whole thing, erm, so… First of all, what do you think of the, erm, comments that Nick and Howard just made about this book?
Shirley: Well I think that’s probably the reason the book had to be written in the first place, because of comments like that, I’d say.
Luke: Right, so…
Michelle: Interesting that it was actually written by a bloke though, that’s the thing.
Luke: So it was written by a man
Michelle: It was written by a bloke, yeah. John Grey I think his name is.
Luke: Right, ok, do we know when it was released?
Shirley: Erm…
Michelle: Late 90s?
Shirley: I’m not sure actually
Luke: OK, so late nineties, alright, so, errrm, first of all then, have you read the book?
Shirley: Well, err, a friend of mine gave it to me to read, and I was reading it when I was on holiday but I got a bit bored of it quite quickly actually. Some of it’s funny, I have to say, some of it’s funny and you can really recognise
Michelle: Definitely
Shirley: err, you recognise yourself and whatever in it, but… it’s just it’s a bit repetitive at the end of the day, and I got a bit bored with it
Michelle: Yeah, I’ve only read about half of it as well and, yeah, I also got bored with it and that… well, some of it, I started to find myself quite annoyed with women to be honest. I found myself identifying more with men. I’m not sure what that says about me…
Luke: I’m not sure either!
Michelle: Does it mean I’m from Mars?
Luke: Maybe. I think that… err… One thing that I can say for sure, definitely, is that women aren’t from Venus, men aren’t from Mars. Men and women are both from Earth, right?
Michelle: I think you’re probably right…
Luke: I think they are, aren’t they?
Shirley: I think that’s a fair enough statement Luke, yeah
Luke: Basically what I’m saying is, it’s a bit silly in that sense, but, umm, do you think it’s … well you said it was kind of a bit boring in some places…
Shirley: No, I think it’s valid because, at the end of the day, men and women are different
Luke: yeah
Shirley: It’s as simple as that, and sometimes, y’know, you have miscommunications with someone
Luke: Hmmm
Shirley: Just because of the different ways that you use language, for example
Luke: Yeah, yeah
Shirley: and, err, and so I think something like this is quite valid. I mean, the guy who wrote it, as far as I’m aware, I might be wrong, is a linguist
Luke: Right…
Shirley: and he deals with gender miscommunication
Luke: Right
Shirley: So, erm, so he’s kind of like, erm, it’s got a valid base to it I think
Luke: OK. ERM, One of the things that Howard and Nick identified as being, kind of, true or useful about this book, is the idea that, err, when men are listening to women, they often don’t realise how to listen to women, and that what they do is they offer solutions when they should just be listening. Do you agree with that? Is that true?
Michelle: I think that’s a fair point in the book actually. I did identify with that. Very often if I’ve sort of, got something to complain about or just something I want to get off my chest, that’s all I literally want to do. I’m not looking for solutions, I’m just looking for somebody to listen, or at least pretend to listen
Luke: Yeah
Shirley: Howard!
Michelle: Yeah
Luke: Ha ha, so Howard, you’ve got to learn from that…
Michelle: but, definitely, from, sort of, past relationships I’ve learned that when a bloke is talking to me about problems, especially work related things, y’know, he would always want me to offer a solution, he would always say “what would you do?”, and erm, I’m not aware that I usually ask people that kind of thing in that situation
Shirley: Well I think that is, I mean, just from listening to Nick and Howard having that little discussion, Nick seems to think women can’t make decisions, and Howard just seems to think that they just whine all the time. I think we’re perfectly capable of making decisions, and just by sounding off, and telling somebody how, that something’s going on, doesn’t mean we need you to fix it. We can fix it ourselves.
Michelle: Very often it helps you to come to your own solution to…
Shirley: Yeah, exactly…
Luke: So…
Shirley: Saying that you’re weak because you can’t make a decision…
Luke: Alright, but essentially what you’re saying is that you agree, that when men listen they don’t have to offer solutions, they just need to listen
Shirley: yeah
Michelle: yeah
Luke: OK, umm, so, uhhh, one of the other things that they said, err, I think Nick said this, I might be wrong… I might have agreed with them as well actually… umm, anyway… one of the things that they said is that it seems that the book was written for women, which means that women don’t understand men, and that they said that, well, men are ok because we understand women I think, so do you agree? Who understands who?
Shirley: From the first bit I’d say yes the book is written for women, and I don’t think that a lot of men would be terribly interested in reading it, but I think that that’s not just because women need to understand men, I think women have more of a want to understand
Michelle: Yeah, I’d say that’s a fair comment
Shirley: I think that they’re more interested in working out what it is that’s the miscommunication and trying to fix it .
Luke: Men are more interested in, just…
Shirley: Football
Luke: football, yeah. Michelle?
Michelle: But I also don’t like people talking to me when the football’s on, so, I don’t think that’s necessarily gender
Shirley: You see I don’t like people talking to me when I’m watching a particular programme. Does it matter if it’s football, or…?
Luke/Michelle: It doesn’t matter
Shirley: So, there you go
Luke: The fact is, football tends to last longer than most programmes
Shirley: And it’s, y’know, and, y’know, it might be a controversial topic but it’s incredibly dull
Luke: No it’s not. Football isn’t dull, is it?
Michelle: It’s definitely not dull
Shirley: Well, is it?
Luke: No. Football isn’t dull. Fact. Erm, right, so that’s it. That’s all I wanted to ask you. Thanks very much for…
Michelle: It’s a pleasure
Luke: … agreeing to answer my questions
Shirley: That’s no problem Luke at all
Luke: OK, thanks very much
Shirley: OK, bye…

All the words are written there! Listen to the podcast to hear me explain some of the things that Shirley & Michelle said!

There’s lots of useful language there. Here’s some USEFUL ADVICE:

HOW TO USE LUKE’S ENGLISH PODCAST TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH:
1. Expose yourself to the language – This means Listen and Read a lot.
2. Notice the language – This means, look at the language, think about it, see how it is used, try to see patterns, study the ‘rules’.
3. Think about your language – This means, think about how you use English, and what you would say about the topic.
4. See the difference – What is the difference between your language, and a native’s language?
5. Repeat Repeat Repeat – This means that you should do everything more than once!! Listen to the podcast more than once. Read the transcript more than once. Say the words to yourself more than once.
6. Copy – You can try to copy the native speakers. You can repeat the conversation with a friend and try to use the same language as in the recording. You can try to use the language when you have your conversations in real life or in your English class.

That’s REALLY GOOD ADVICE from a QUALIFIED AND VERY EXPERIENCED ENGLISH TEACHER, and also it is COMPLETELY FREE!!!!

Amazing, isn’t it?

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – get the book as a .pdf here

Kiyoshi KayT Tanaka’s Music

Here’s a picture of the Baker Street sign featuring Sherlock Holmes
bakerstreetsign