424. With Andy & Ben from The London School of English (Part 2)

Talking to Andy Johnson and Ben Butler about teaching English to millennials, cross-cultural experiences we’ve had as English teachers and some funny stories about Andy.

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London School Online offer – 10% discount with offer code LUKE10

Before we get started here I would just like to remind you that The London School of English, where I used to work, is running a promotion for my listeners, and for a limited time you can get 10% off all their online courses, and those are proper, extensive, professionally developed courses for general English, business English, IELTS and TOEIC exam preparation, legal English and English for other specific purposes. So, if you or perhaps someone else you know is looking for a decent online course that will arm you with practical skills and language you need to be competitive in English – check out London School of English Online at www.londonschoolonline.com and use the offer code LUKE10 at checkout to get your discount.

Intro

OK here is part 2 of this conversation which I recorded with Andy & Ben in a hotel lounge recently. If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, you might want to check that one out first. At the end of part 1 we paused the podcast in order to buy another overpriced and undersized beer from the hotel bar, and in this part we’ve bought our tiny, expensive beers and we then continue the podcast by discussing Andy’s presentation on the subject of millennials. Millennials – that generation who came into adulthood in the 21st century. This generation that so many people have written about and done management training seminars about. This generation of young people who have been labelled by some as lazy, entitled, self-centred, distracted by technology and hard to manage. This group of people that probably makes up the majority of my audience. This generation of people that probably includes you! What do you think? Is that a fair assessment? Are millennials lazy, entitled, self-centred, distracted by technology and hard to manage? Or is this just small-minded prejudice against a younger generation that’s facing just as many challenges as previous generations, but just in ways that are harder to notice?

And, how should we be teaching this generation in our English language classes? So, there’s some discussion on that – because that’s how we like to spend our Friday evenings, clearly! As you’ll hear the conversation does turn into a kind of anecdote sharing session about some cultural misunderstandings we’ve experienced as English teachers and then there are plenty of other tangents, including some detailed descriptions of what we all look like and how we’re dressed and one particularly funny story from Andy near the end of the episode … you know what? I don’t need to tell you everything you’re going to hear in this episode, do I? I don’t need to go into all the details. All you need to know is that it’s going to be brilliant and even more amazing and awesome than the last one, so strap in, let’s fly back the hotel lounge in Paris on a Friday evening, in the not too distant past, with some mini bottles of beer with giant prices and here we go.

***

Moby and Richard Ashcroft

Moby and Richard Ashcroft

I have to say it was a lot of fun to have Andy & Ben on the podcast. I hope you enjoyed it too.

London School Online

Don’t forget that you can get 10% off all the online courses run by The London School of English by going to www.londonschoolonline.com and using the offer code LUKE10 at checkout.

Previous episodes of the podcast with Andy & Ben

45. Luke & Andy’s Crime Stories

9. Travelling in India

Andy & Luke’s Presentation at The BESIG Symposium 2012

Andy’s Presentation about Millennials

Here are the slides which Andy used in his presentation about millennials. This might not make sense without Andy talking, but you can see some of the statistics, quotes and facts that relate to this subject. Click the –> arrow to move between the slides.

  • Andy Johnson

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you to those of you who have used the discount code to buy a course from London School Online. I really hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

    I just wanted to let you know that we’re also running a free webinar next Friday 24 February. It’s basically a free English lesson using London School Online, teaching you how to express likes and dislikes. If you’re interested, click on the link below.

    hubs.ly/H06jpT90

    I’d love to see you there.

    Thanks,

    Andy

    Ps. I made this comment on the previous episode, so apologies if you’re reading it again!

    • Catherine

      Thanks, Andy! Sounds interesting — especially because it’s free. I think it’s going to be popular with the Millennials who allegedly are driven by “likes / dislikes” (“instant gratification”, Simon Sinek :)).

      I wish, Luke could give some free webinars wich chat options (like a virtual classroom). Amber and Paul could help him with moderation. :))

    • Jack

      Thanks for sharing the link teacher Andy and I hope wrestling match is scheduled to stream after free English lesson

      • Andy Johnson

        I’m training hard Jack!

  • Roberto Zafra Duarte

    Hi Luke,
    I’ve been looking for videos on YouTube about London School of English because I’m considering doing an online course and look what I’ve found.
    Doesn’t time flies?
    Thank you very much for these two great episodes!
    Regards,
    Roberto.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVZumawgMWg

    • Catherine

      Luke all young and shiny (like Carrick Cameron said — is this he in red shirt?)!
      Lovely students, lovely athmosphere. Small groups — wonderful!
      Host families is a great option to be truely immersed in the language and the culture.
      Is Pete Thompson your uncle? :)
      You lived in a beautiful place. I imagined you running over the street with a cup of cereals. :)

      • Andy Johnson

        I thought Pete was Luke’s Dad…until I met Rick.

      • Catherine

        Did you suspected Luke being there as the result of Pete’s nepotism? :))

  • Catherine

    Personalization is a big issue also when it comes to prevention and health. An example read here: magazine.jhsph.edu/2016/fall/briefings/personalized-prevention/

    In the near future we will be able to know our own complete genomes and know exactly where our health risks lie. But even if we would discover some dangerous genes — don’t be afraid! We can always adjust our lifestyles, diet and behaviour and trick out the bad guys. :)

    There is a term “epigenetics” which means that genes can be shut off, and that the environment really matters. So, stay healthy everybody, quit smoking (if you do) and get used to do some more walking and jogging. ;)

    Remember the New Years resolutions! :))

    • Nick

      In the future we may see a perfect world of perfect people with perfect genome ;)

      • Catherine

        but only in some sci-fi movies… :)

  • Tom Maso

    Hello Luke! Could you make an episode about reptilians and Conspiracy theories? I think it would be funny!

    • Catherine

      on some crocodiles who are conspiring on how to overtake the world? :))

      • Agnes

        ha ha ha

      • Catherine

        I think Tom Maso got eaten by some crocondiles… :)

      • Nick

        2nd great joke, Cat! :)) In a day ;)

      • Catherine

        Thanks! :)

      • Nick

        But it’s not really kind from you to say that ;)

      • Catherine

        ups… sorry! :)

      • Nick

        If he’s a fan of crocodiles he definitely can be eaten by some of them…

      • Catherine

        I think it’s she. Look at the picture… :)

      • Nick

        Hm, but Tom isn’t a female name…as I know.

      • Catherine

        Yes, I’m also a bit confused… :)

      • Tom Maso

        Yes!!!

      • Catherine

        What a strange idea!..
        Tom Maso, are you fan of crocodiles? :)

  • Catherine

    Johnson & Thompson
    :-)
    a cool brand name!

    • Andy Johnson

      I think we sound more like a pair of detectives…

      • Funny you should say that. The next episode of the podcast is going to feature a detective story.

      • Catherine

        Mister J appears to be Force-sensitive too ;))

      • Nick

        Who is Mister J?

      • Catherine

        Or you could say Mister AJ too :))

      • Nick

        Why he’s Force-sensitive too?

      • Catherine

        It’s just a SW-related joke, meaning that two persons (or even more) were thinking of the same thing, independently. The Force – as you know – is an invisible mysterious power field with free information flow. Only Force-sensitive persons are able to decode those information bits. :))

      • Catherine

        So, when Luke was saying to Mister J — what a joke, I was thinking about the posting a detective story — and as Mister J was referring to them as a couple of detectives: so here is the moment to put in this Force-sensitive joke (which might be not funny at all, sorry! :))

      • Nick

        Maybe then all good teachers are Force-sensitive persons… what do you think, Cat?

      • Catherine

        Definitely!
        Just look at Yoda, even Darth Sidious! They are great teachers.

      • Nick

        Yes! I’m always forgetting about Yoda, the teacher of teachers.

      • Catherine

        Yes, literally! :)

      • Nick
      • Catherine

        like Holmes and Watson
        or Poirot and Hastings
        then who is the leading one?
        Usually the one is the head, the other one is like an assistant…

    • Nick

      I remember that Luke’s friends in one of the episodes called him as Luke Johnson :)

      • Catherine

        Oh yes, I remembered that too… Who was that? Alexander van Walsum? Robert Hoehn? James Simpson? …?
        A new mystery to be solved… :)

      • Catherine

        or this guy who speaks in adverts. Forgot his name… Tom Morton?

      • Nick

        I don’t remember who he was but I think they all were a bit drunk that time :))

      • Catherine

        :)))

      • Catherine

        Maybe you’ve been listening at a half-speed? :)

      • Nick

        No, I’m always listening at normal speed, I prefer to listen to natural voices.

      • That all started in the first Brighton Fringe Festival podcast when Paul Langton accidentally called me Luke Johnson, and then it stuck and kept coming up in subsequent episodes.
        In fact, Luke Johnson haunted me for quite a long time. In the brochure for the BESIG conference in 2012 my name was printed as Luke Johnson, then Luke Johnson appeared in Google search results when you checked my name, and I remember once when I joined a company in Paris the HR managed said to me “Your name is Luke Johnson, right?” and gave me a badge with ‘JOHNSON, Luke’ written on it.
        teacherluke.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/brighton-fringe-festival-1/
        teacherluke.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/brighton-fringe-festival-2/
        teacherluke.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/brighton-fringe-festival-3/
        teacherluke.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/friday-night-banter-aka-the-slightly-drunk-episode/
        teacherluke.co.uk/2014/10/21/226-on-a-boat/

      • Nick

        Cat, it seems to me that you have a lot of unsolved mysteries in you pockets by now ;)

      • Catherine

        :))
        Yes!
        Luke should be called Luke Rickson. Or Luke Rickovich. :))

      • Nick

        Luke Rickovich Thompson ;))
        I hope Luke doesn’t angry with us for such experiments…

      • Catherine

        :)))
        Short: LRT

      • Nick

        The LRT Show…

      • Catherine

        Lower Respiratory Tract Show? :))

      • Nick

        Thank you, Cat for ruining my incredible idea! :))

      • Catherine

        You’re welcome! :))

      • Catherine

        But it makes sense, don’t you think, Nick?
        Because, if you laugh a lot, you are training your Lower Respiratory Tract muscles (if there are such) ;))

      • Nick

        Well, as a name for a stand up show that title maybe appropriate, so you’re right, Cat, it makes sense :)

    • Jack

      Johnson vs Thompson, Teacher vs Teacher

      Andy “The Rock” Johnson vs Luke “The King” Thompson go 1 on 1 for the world`s best teacher title, Ben “The Baritone” Butler would be the special referee

      Venue for the boxing match is London school of English, however time and date would be decided in LEP meeting.

      Lepsters what do you think, who would win ?

      • Catherine

        Luke, of course! :)
        Look how athletic he looks! I think he is several kilogramms heavier than the Mister J.
        I don’t know how big BB is… Maybe he can be in the same weight category with Bob Hoehn… :)

      • Jack

        No Catherine, I think it is 50 50, this is Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman all over again.

        so its official and the match will be streamed on LEP website.

      • Nick

        I think Rick Thompson can make another evil game show “Who Wants to Be Good at English? 2” not only for his son but for his friends teachers too…the competitive game with the only one winner.

      • Andy Johnson

        Wow. This escalated quickly…

      • How shall we settle this Andy?

      • Nick

        Peacefully. We can’t loose any of you.

      • Andy Johnson

        I’m with Nick. I don’t want any trouble Mister…

      • How about a game of Mario Kart?

      • Andy Johnson

        Oh it’s on! Just bring it.

      • Jack
      • Andy Johnson

        Again, very similar in appearance to me. The crater eyes especially ;-)

      • Catherine

        … and the busy street ;-)

      • Catherine

        I wish there to be a cool English grammar learning game… But there is none… :(

      • Catherine

        … or Business English Course… but there is none… :(

        :-)

      • Jack
      • Andy Johnson

        The physical similarities between me and Goldberg are uncanny.

      • Catherine

        This is my first time to hear the word “uncanny”. Thanks, Andy, for a great new vocab! :)

      • Nick

        Imagine how many students want to see their teachers fighting like that…

      • Jack

        :P

      • Catherine

        Oh my God — what is this sport called?!
        No, no, no — not for our teachers, we want them alive and in one piece. :))

      • Catherine

        Sure, we’re rushin’! ;-)

      • Nick

        It’s a dangerous place here, in the comment section…

      • Catherine

        Nick, what happened to your face? You somehow grew older, all of a sudden… Did you turn into O-WK? :)

      • Nick

        I’m a B1, that means that I’m OB1 ))

      • Catherine

        Oh, be one, cannot be? ;))

      • Nick

        What? I don’t understand you people from the planet Earth:))

      • Catherine

        Just say it out aloud and broaden your mind! :))

        You could also say:

        Oh, be one, canno- be

      • Catherine

        I thought it sounds like “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, if you pronounce it in an American accent. But it maybe doesn’t. :)

      • Nick

        But now I’m feeling myself more like Noah :))

      • Catherine

        Noah with the ship? Why? :))

      • Nick
      • Catherine

        What? I didn’t understand you neither. :)))

      • Nick

        So many different birds around my window these days… do you remember that I have a bird feeder? ;)

      • Catherine

        Yes, you love tits, don’t you? :))

      • Nick

        Oh, that’s a great joke, Cat! You now can have your own stand-up show ;))

      • Catherine

        Nick — inspired by your altruistic action — I also bought a seed ball recently and hanged it on my apple tree in the garden. And — on the very same day a few tits came and picked on it! :))
        Thanks for a great idea! :)

        uploads.disquscdn.com/images/881f36e77e2e82bb31060f2bc383a91f0d77a9dfd1a88d53ddd2a1eae335523c.jpg

      • Nick

        You’re welcome, Cat! Yes, that’s a kind thing to do, I remember in my childhood I often saw bird feeders on trees, but now I very rarely see that, and that’s a shame. What kinds of birds do you have there?

      • Catherine

        I think, you have a generous heart, which is great! :)

        Well, what kinds of birds come into my garden — it’s tits, blackbirds, sometimes magpies (btw, I’m not superstitious about them)… But the problem is (for the birds) — there is a predator here, waiting for them, lurking on them. That’s why there are not many, unfortunately. I also have to remove some feathers from my terrace, regularly…

        Did you build your bird tree by yourself, Nick?

      • Nick

        Poor birdies! Yes, I also see magpies around my window now… My feeder you mean? Yes, it’s a plastic container for water, I just made the hole in it.

      • Catherine

        Great! Let’s see a picture! :)

      • Nick
      • Catherine

        Wonderful!!! :)) So lovely!!!
        the flowers on the curtain look like birds trails :)

      • Nick

        Yes, it looks similar :) snow under my window is covered with their trails, looks like a big crowd of little people was protesting there :))

      • Catherine

        They were gathered there to vote who is going to be first to fly to your bottle. Maybe some protested… :))

      • Nick

        uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0350fe7f1702724700e9a7495c78e96e049b7e0b1e0b9b73337a4ca932c9dae6.jpg

        Just made it.
        Ha ha, yes, maybe even family fights happen there :)) because I have two pares, tits and bullfinches.

      • Catherine

        Oh, I love bullfinches! They look so bright and colourful.
        Yes, Nick, you’ve made a major change in the life of these small creatures. Now they have to fight each other. Maybe you should make another feeder too — one for the tits, one for the bullfinches. And then observe what happens… :)

      • Nick

        Actually I haven’t seen any fights between them, one patiently wait while another in the feeder.

      • Nick
      • Catherine

        Most beautiful!!! :)
        Thank you for the vid :)
        Do they eat snow flakes? :))
        And just look how well fed up they are! I think it’s to your credit. :))

      • Nick

        Bullfinches definitely like rowan berries… no other birds ate them all winter but bullfinches arrived and ate everything maybe that’s why they so fat now :)) But one couple of tits who my often guests definitely became more fat because of me… because the were skinny at the beginning but day after day they were eating and growing fat all the time… I even thought that one day they can explode like here :))
        www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGtIe56TKKo

      • Catherine

        :))

      • Nick

        Flying tits that is hilarious! :))

      • Catherine

        We live on the countryside — so there are naturally many tits and other birds flying around. :))

        uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5cbf0ba7b5f3b47fa6e1e792dd2398231ee439390fc7b0f98be3b64902870ae9.jpg

      • Nick

        You don’t have snow there so it’s easier for them to find natural feed, but more predators I guess. Cats here can’t survive our winter.

      • Catherine

        Yes, that’s why some cats moved to warmer places. :))

      • Nick

        I see ;))

      • Catherine

        what temperatures do you have now, Nick? Right now, we have +6°C. It’s going to be +10 in a few hours. I’m waiting till it gets a bit warmer, so that I can go to my beloved woods (you can see it in the background of the pic above). :)

      • Nick

        It’s funny but we have -6°C now :)

      • Catherine

        Well, it’s quite warm, I think. I could bear -6°C. We sometimes have such temperatures here as well. But not colder. :)

      • Nick

        Yes, and it’s sunny today, good weather. Мороз и солнце…

      • Catherine

        Lovely! The spring is approaching, slowly but steadily. :)

        This is one of my favourites. I wonder if there is a good translation into English out there…

      • Nick

        No! :))

      • Catherine
      • Nick

        According to that material he’s more popular in Germany and in France…it’s interesting why.

      • Catherine

        It’s simply the long standing cultural common history between Germany, France and Russia — we share a lot in terms of cultural heritage. Just look at Catherine the Great! ;)
        Also look at Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, Dresden, Darmstadt and other places — you can find lots of Russian connections there.

      • Nick

        Yes, you’re right. I also know that the USA and the UK always feared and fear now that some day there can be a potential union between Russland und Deutschland :))

      • Catherine

        Russland + Deutschland = Freundschaft
        :-)

      • Nick

        Let’s learn Deutsch on Luke’s English Podcast!
        Luke: Nooooo! :))

      • Nick

        Let’s learn French on Luke’s English Podcast!
        Luke: Well, maybe. :))

      • Catherine

        I think, Luke is just pleased that people keep coming and having a great time on his website. What do you think? :)

      • Nick

        Do you think that Luke is really pleased with all the people who keep coming and having a great time on his website?

      • Catherine

        Thanks, but it’s not my original joke. I’ve heard it from Luke, of course, as he was talking about his father’s “hobbies” and their special “father & son” hours in their garden. :)

      • Nick

        Do you remember what his father answered to Luke then?

      • Catherine

        Son: I’m so worried, I’m gonna fail my exams…
        Father: Don’t be afraid, my son. Step by step. Spoon by spoon. You’ll master it in the end.

        :)

      • Catherine

        My favourite TV show (by Mr Blackbird), as I grew up in my Siberian village:

        www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQHqFBvFt6M

      • Nick

        Great music and animation, especially for those years.

      • Catherine

        I think this guy looks a little bit like Antonio aka Ptholome. :)

      • Nick

        Yes, maybe 15-25% of Antonio in him :))

      • Catherine

        Did you see Antonio’s Ice Bucket Challenge? There he looks like this guy with birds. :))

        By the way, in Germany they say “Do you have a bird?” to someone instead of saying “Are you not quite right in your head?” :))

      • Nick

        No I haven’t seen that :( we say similar “Ты что ку-ку что ли?” :))

      • Catherine

        I wonder why we say such things :))
        Maybe because we don’t understand birds. Or maybe because they look funny… What do you think?

      • Nick

        Well, maybe it means that a person have a bird in his head and that bird ate all the brain and the person’s gone crazy :))

  • Catherine

    Teachers, I also was wondering whether these statements about Millennials are culturally biased towards Westerners. You say, they grew up in the culture of instant feedback. What about Millennials in Asia or South America, or other places? Where instant feedback may be not of such high value in the society. Thanks.

    • Catherine

      Also with the dates and years range:

      Technology & Internet was introduced in different countries in different times and at a different speed.

      So the age groups for the Millennials can be slightly different in different parts of our world.

      • Agnes

        yes indeed, and people born in the eighties don’t have to be the Millennials at all.

  • Jack
  • Hiroshi

    Thank you for this brilliant episode. This reminds me two another brilliant episodes Luke produced with Andy and Ben long time a go. Now the number of podcast is 424! Wow! I have no word to express my gratitude to Luke’s dedication. Thank you. ‘Ariga toe gozaimasu ‘