Tag Archives: game

426. Thompson, Taylor & Minogue: Victorian Detectives (Part 2) with Amber & Paul

Listen to the conclusion of this mystery story in which Amber, Paul and I attempt to solve a series of kidnappings in Victorian London.

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Welcome back to the this double episode in which Amber, Paul and I are working our way through an online text adventure game. The game is set in London in the Victorian era. We are playing the part of a brilliant detective with a particular set of skills who, with his partner Mardler, is trying to track down and rescue 4 kidnapped girls while also bringing the kidnapper to justice.

This is part 2. We’re halfway through the story. If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, I suggest you do so. It’s episode number 425.

Thanks to Peter Carlson, who wrote the story. Peter gave me the go-ahead to record us reading it out on the podcast. Nice on Peter, thank you.

Click here to play Victorian Detective 2 by Peter Carlson

You can find the link to the game on the page for this episode (link above) where you read all of the text that we are reading. So you can either just enjoy listening to us going through the story now, or you can listen now and read the story yourself later, or you can listen to us and read the story at the same time. It’s worth checking the text in the story because you’ll be able to read all the words and check certain things that you might miss, like spellings, definitions of certain language etc.

Whatever you choose to do, try to watch out for descriptive vocabulary (particularly verbs for different types of movement), the language we use while working together as a group and also the language we use when making deductions and speculating about the case (things like “might have” “could have” “must have” and so on).

As I said before, the story does contain some descriptions of violence so if you’re very sensitive to the gory details, then be warned, although it’s not that graphic in my opinion and you expect a bit of blood in a detective story, don’t you?

What’s the story so far?

Let’s recap again quickly.

Girls keep getting kidnapped in London. At the scene of each kidnapping there’s a calling card left by the kidnapper in the form of a creepy smiley face scratched into the floor.

We were called to the house of the Worthington family, where the daughter Chloe had disappeared. Using our deductive reasoning skills, we worked out that she must have run away with her lover – a poor Italian paper seller called Joseph. They had planned to run away together but their romantic escape was interrupted violently and unexpectedly when they were attacked at Joseph’s home in a poor part of London. Joseph was hit on the head with a hammer and Chloe was taken away, her body hidden inside a coffin on the back of a carriage. We deduced that the carriage, with Chloe’s body on board must have been taken to a local mortuary by one of the men who works there. There at the mortuary we discovered that his name is Cade Brewer, and he’s a strange, creepy yet huge and strong man with an appetite for opiate pain killing drugs, woodwork and kidnapping, but we don’t know where he is. Now we have gone back to the police station to consider the situation more carefully.

4 young girls from different social backgrounds have been kidnapped and they all have similar coloured hair – they all have light hair. Then we start receiving notes from the kidnapper, who calls himself Mr Burlap, written in broken English. It seems that he wants us to find him. He’s playing some kind of sick cat & mouse game. We suspect that Mr Burlap the kidnapper is in fact Cade Brewer, the huge creepy man with the opiate addiction who works at the mortuary. We decide to try and track him down. We first search cemeteries in the area, assuming that Cade Brewer has hidden her in a coffin – but we’re on the wrong track! Our deductive reasoning has failed us (I blame Amber). It turns out she’s not at the cemetery at all. In fact, closer inspection of the evidence shows us that he must be keeping her hostage at an abandoned hospital. So, we decide to go and investigate the hospital. But we’ve just lost precious time by investigating the wrong place – the cemetery. Have we lost too much time? Will we find the mysterious kidnapper Mr Burlap who wrote us the note in broken English? Will we find Cade Brewer – and is he in fact Mr Burlap as we expect? Will we manage to find Chloe Worthington and the other 3 girls? Will we manage to save them? Or did we waste too much time? What will we discover at the abandoned hospital? And why is Mr Burlap playing such a sick and twisted game?!

Let’s find out.

*** The story continues ***

Click here to play Victorian Detective 2 by Peter Carlson

*** The story ends ***

Here’s a recap of the story, just to make sure you got it.

Part 2 of Victorian Detective – Explained

So, after making a mistake and searching the cemetery for Chloe Worthington, we went to the hospital to track down Mr Burlap the kidnapper, who we suspected was Cade Brewer the weird, big guy from the mortuary. There we find the body of one of the other girls, Amy Anderson, but unfortunately it was too late! We’d wasted too much time at the cemetery and the girl had already died from ingesting poisonous mushrooms. Next to Amy’s body we found a smiley face (the kidnapper’s calling card) and a scratched note from Mr Burlap indicating that another one of the girls was being held somewhere else and that we had a limited amount of time to find her. We then deduced that she was being kept near the Thames river. We went there and discovered another one of the missing girls tied up next to the water. Mr Burlap’s plan was that because the Thames is tidal, the tide would eventually come in and the water level would rise, drowning the girl. Thankfully we managed to rescue her in time. We suspected the Italian uncle of the paperboy from part 1 of the story to be the killer, because Mr Burlap wrote “Good luck” in Italian at the end of the note. Closer inspection of Chloe Worthington’s house revealed that it wasn’t the Italian uncle, and that in fact Cade Brewer had been spying on Chloe and Joseph (the Italian paperboy) and that’s how he knew about the Italian phrase, which he wrote in the note as a distraction. We then worked out that Cade Brewer, who must be Mr Burlap was probably hiding in a forest just outside London – Epping Forest. We went there to investigate, and eventually found a small wooden house where we came face to face with Cade Brewer. There was a bit of a fight at the entrance to the wooden house, Mardler got hit in the face with a shovel, we dropped our gun and Cade Brewer escaped. We then picked up Mardler’s gun and investigated the house, which was full of bear pelts, bear traps and loads of carved smiley faces all over the walls – clearly Cade Brewer was Mr Burlap the kidnapper, and he’d been practising his smiley faces by scratching them everywhere in his house, like the way you practise your signature when you’re young, until you’re happy with it! We decided to chase after Brewer by going down a trapdoor which was hidden by a bear pelt on the floor. In the basement we discovered the 3rd girl, tied up, standing on a chair with a noose around her neck. For some reason we didn’t immediately rescue her from this perilous situation, and instead we chose to try and follow Brewer by shooting the lock on the back door of the basement  and opening it to discover a tunnel. We then didn’t look properly and got our leg caught in a bear trap, badly injuring ourselves. It didn’t make much of a difference to the outcome of the story but it must have stung a bit! Then, with the help of Mardler and some police officers we cut down the other girl, rescuing her (2/3 at this point).

Then the point of view changed and we followed the story from Cade Brewer’s perspective. Playing as Brewer was a disturbing experience because he was obviously suffering from extreme side effects because of the Opiax painkillers he’d been taking. In fact the painkillers had driven him mad and he’d turned into a psycho, completely obsessed with a nurse who had cared for him at the hospital where he’d been a patient with an injured leg. With his mind twisted by the effects of the opiax, he’d killed the nurse. Brewer’s mental illness, caused by the side effects of the painkiller, came in the form of the voice of Mr Burlap, who convinced him to kidnap the other girls and kill them as part of some kind of natural cycle, which he had to complete. Poor Cade Brewer was completely overcome by the influence of Mr Burlap, all because of the effects of this untested drug that he’d been given at the hospital. His next step was to kill not only Chloe Worthington, but also the detectives on his trail – that’s us!

Then we returned to the point of view of the detectives who had somehow worked out that Chloe Worthington was being kept back at the mortuary, and there we discovered her, only to be locked inside by Cade Brewer/Mr Burlap who proceeded to try and burn down the building as the conclusion of his natural cycle – having killed the other girls with earth, water, air and now fire. Thankfully we managed to use our articulate communication skills to trick Brewer into opening the door of the mortuary, where we chose to mercilessly shoot him dead without asking further questions (notice that Amber was the one who chose to do that straight away, immediately saying “shoot the fucker!”)

We escaped from the burning building with Chloe Worthington. But tragically we didn’t get 100% success because we let Amy Anderson die in the hospital due to our poor deductive reasoning at the cemetery.

That’s the end.

Let us know your thoughts

As ever, I’m curious to know what you think.

  • Would you have made the same choices we did?
  • Did you manage to work out what was going on?
  • Do you have any language-related questions or comments?

Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section.

Other episodes like this

You could try these episodes if you haven’t already heard them.

Thanks for listening!

Luke
Foggy forest house

373. Who Wants to Be Good at English?

This episode is a game show hosted by my Dad, with me as the contestant. The aim of the game is to see how many words I know. My Dad designed this quiz for his students of journalism at the university where he works sometimes. The quiz is specifically designed to highlight what he considers to be common misuses and misunderstandings of words. His opinion is that journalists writing and presenting on television should use words in exactly the right way, even if many people use those words to mean different things in general everyday use.

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Frankly this is an evil game show, created by my evil father (a.k.a Darth Vader) and it is designed to make normal people fail, allowing him to then prove a point about using words correctly on TV. Listen to the episode to see how many questions in his evil quiz I got wrong and right! While you listen you can try to guess the correct answers too. Let’s see how many you get right. Can you beat me?

Check out my Dad’s questions (and answers) below.

Screenshot from screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-11-47-13this page from OxfordDictionaries.com about the word ‘inflammable’.

 

2014-07-07_00022

By the way, I know that 1 in 3 is not 25% – it’s 33.33333333333%

318. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 2) with Amber & Paul

Welcome back to The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 2). In this episode you can hear Amber, Paul and me continue our competitive game. Who’s going to win this time? Will it be Paul, finally? Listen to find out what happens, and for details of the next version of the lying game which will be interactive.

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Spoiler alert! The scores and results of the games in this episode are displayed below!

Current scores
Luke – 1 / 0 /
Paul – 0 / 2 /
Amber – 1 / 0 /

Amber: I have recurring dreams about fish in distress

Score
Luke – 1 / 0 / 1
Paul – 0 / 2 / 0
Amber – 1 / 0 / 1

Tie break round:
Luke: I have a large scar on my knee.
Paul: I once nearly stabbed myself in the eye with a kitchen knife.
Amber: I went for a job interview as a lapdancer.

Final scores
Luke – 1 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 Total = 3
Paul – 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 Total = 3
Amber – 1 / 0 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 2 Total = 6

Amber wins again!

Next Lying Game – The Interactive Version

Listen to Luke, Paul and Amber say statements.
You have to ask the questions.
So, read the statements below and think of some questions.
Write your questions in the comments section of this episode.
When we record again we’ll ask your questions.
Then, eventually, you can vote on whether you think the statements are true or lies.

Luke: I accidentally knocked down a wall in a friend’s house in Japan.
Paul: I used to get bullied by Guy Berryman, the bass player from Coldplay.
Amber: I helped in the making of the film “Something’s Got To Give”.

Write your questions in the comments section for the next episode of The Lying Game!

317. The Lying Game 2: The Rematch (Part 1) with Amber & Paul

Welcome to LEP. I hope you’re well, I hope you’re fine. This episode of the podcast is a rematch of the lying game with Amber, Paul and me. Check below for show notes and other links.

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A couple of announcements before we go further.
Thanks for your photos for the LEP photo competition. This is a chance for you to send in your photos for a chance to win some LEP merchandise including mugs, t-shirts and bags. You can still send your photos to podcastcomp@gmail.com, until 15 January 2016. Your photo should show the environment in which you listen to LEP. Feel free to get creative. The only rule is that there has to be some evidence that you’re listening. E.g. a headphone in the photo somewhere. The idea is for us all to see the different situations that people are in while they listen. Once all the photos have been sent in I’ll display them in a mural on the website and you can pick the one you like the most.

Please do take my business English survey.
Just go to the menu and you’ll find it under the contacts button.

A note on subscribing by email.
On the right under the logo you’ll see a field that says SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL. Put your email address in and click subscribe. Then check your inbox to confirm the subscription. Then you’ll receive an email every time I publish a new episode, and you’ll get direct access to the page for the episode, with all the show notes, videos, transcripts and other stuff.

Thanks also for different comments I’ve had recently. It’s awesome to hear from you all. You now have the option to send me voice messages. There’s a button on the side. Click it, get your mic ready and send me a message. It could be a comment or a question. I’ll receive it in my inbox and I might play it in an episode of the podcast, especially if you ask a good question.

OK, so now let’s get down to business.

This episode is called “The Rematch”.

It’s one of those episodes that involves a competitive game between Amber, Paul and me. In the last one of these, called The Lying Game, this happened:
The scores were level between Luke and Paul.
Even stevens.
They then played a tie-breaker.
Luke told a story about the tooth fairy.
Paul talked about burning down his house.
Luke identified it.

Since then, it has come to light that I may have cheated. I swear that I didn’t, but some clever listeners noted that a story Paul told in The Lying Game was one he’d already told on the podcast before. So, I admit that a rematch is necessary, and here it is. This is The Lying Game 2: The Rematch.

Do you remember the rules of The Lying Game? They go like this:
One person says a statement, it can be true or a lie. Then the others ask lots of questions to investigate the story. Then they decide if they think it’s a lie or the truth, justifying their responses. Then the truth is revealed. If a competitor gets it right, they get a point. If a competitor gets it wrong a point is awarded to the storyteller.

So, this is the rematch. We’re going to play another round of The Lying Game. Listen carefully to the stories and the questions and try to predict if they are lies or the truth.

Also, listen all the way to the end of the second episode to hear about a new interactive version of the lying game that we plan to play next time, and that will involve your input. We’ll tell you about that at the end of part 2.

At the beginning of this episode you’ll hear us chatting a bit about our recent news including a couple of stories about doing comedy shows, Amber shares something about an interesting podcast she listened to, and Paul tells a story about how a girl lost one of her teeth on stage during a comedy performance recently. After our little ramble chat we then get properly into the lying game, which will continue in part 2 of this episode.

So, yes I am glad to say that Amber and Paul are on another episode of the podcast, so let’s get started, here we go.

*Jingle*

Round 1: Statements
Luke: I once hit a teacher when I was at school.
Paul: I nearly died in a car accident.
Amber: (story in part 2)

Scores at the end of part 1:

Luke – 1 / 0 /
Paul – 0 / 2 /
Amber – 1 / 0 /

Paul is winning as we end the episode.

Listen to part 2 to find out what happens next.

309. The Lying Game (Part 2)

Welcome back to the second part of this double episode. In part 1 you heard me playing a speaking game with Paul & Amber. Go back to part 1 for the details of the game, including the rules. Part 1 ended on a cliffhanger, with the scores even at 2-2-2. Even stevens! Listen to this episode to find out more. TEACHERS: At the end there’s a 15 minute section in which I explain exactly how to use this game in your English classes. You can download a simple .pdf worksheet (below) which you can use in your classes (just tell your students about LEP, or send me a little donation). Listen until the end of the episode to get my full instructions on how to use this awesome game to teach your students grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and speaking skills in a really awesome way.

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The Lying Game Part 2

Amber: I used to be a performer at The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Prince Charles Cinema in Soho.

Tie-break round:
Luke: I used to be afraid of the tooth fairy.
Paul: I almost set fire to my parents’ house as a kid.

Final scores:
Luke – 2 / 0 / 1 / 2 / 1 Total = 6 points

Amber – 1 / 1 / 0 / x / x Total = 2 points

Paul – 0 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 Total = 3 points

Here’s an example of a Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast (below)

For Teachers – How to use The Lying Game in class

Small Donate ButtonClick here to download a .pdf worksheet to use in Class – The Lying Game Worksheet for Teachers by Luke Thompson teacherluke.co.uk

Listen to the last 15 minutes of this episode of LEP (The Lying Game Part 2) to hear me give detailed instructions on how to use the game in class, including details of the level, procedure, specific language and skills work you can do with students. I can get about 2 hours of class time out of this game, and it’s useful for teaching grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary.

In fact, here are the last 15 minutes of the episode  if you’d like to listen to them again or download for later. :) [DOWNLOAD]

308. The Lying Game (Part 1)

Hello, welcome back to LEP. This episode is called the lying game, and it’s one of those ones in which I play a speaking game with my friends Amber and Paul. A transcript for the first 15-20 minutes is available here on the page for this episode. In the introduction you’ll hear me welcome new listeners, talk a bit about my speaking speed on the podcast, mention the importance of listening to native speakers of English (even if it’s a bit difficult to understand every word) and explain some of the content of the conversation you’ll hear between Amber, Paul and me. Then, the speaking game begins properly. I really hope you have as much fun listening to this as we did recording it, because we really enjoyed ourselves! In part 2 (coming soon) you’ll hear the conclusion of the game and I’ll explain how I use this activity with my students in my English classes.

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Introduction Transcript Starts Here (+ more information below)
Hello, welcome to LEP. This episode is called the lying game, and it’s one of those ones in which I play a speaking game with my friends Amber and Paul.

Before you listen to that, I’d like to just say a few things here at the beginning of the episode. Firstly, hello to all my regular listeners, the LEPsters as they are sometimes known. How are you all? I hope you’re fine and having a lovely day or night or evening or morning or whatever time of day it is. Thanks for recent comments on my website. It’s always nice to read your messages. Recently I did episodes about The Battle or Britain and Back To The Future, and I’m feeling a lot of love in the comments section – particularly from my Polish listeners because of things I said in episode 303, which is really great. It’s very motivating to read the positive things you have to say in response to my episodes. I do think about my podcast a lot, and I always hope that you’re enjoying it and finding it useful. So, your comments are valuable bits of encouragement. Thanks also to those of you who have never left a comment on my website in your life – you’re my ninja listeners, and I think there are a lot of you out there, choosing to remain silent in the shadows, but listening to everything.

Secondly, just in case you’re new to LEP, let me just quickly introduce myself. My name is Luke Thompson and I’m an English language teacher from England, which is in Britain, which is in the UK, which is in Europe, sort of. I’m originally from London (in the south-east) but I went to university in Liverpool (in the north-west) and I also spent many years growing up in Warwickshire which is near Birmingham, which is in the midlands, which is in England, which is in Britain, which is in Europe, which is on Earth… etc. OK, I’ve been teaching English for nearly 15 years, wow has it been that long? Time flies when you’re having fun, and I do enjoy my job. I’m DELTA qualified, and in my career I have taught English to adults and children from many different countries, at many different levels, at many different times of the day – morning, afternoon, evening and at night sometimes, in any season, in all weather conditions – rain, snow, hail, wind, lightning, and even during a couple of earthquakes. I’ve taught courses in general English, business English, academic English, English for exams, English for doctors, English for pharmacists, English for engineers, English for lawyers, English for HR, English for secretaries of state, English for journalists, English for unemployed people, English for retired people and English for people who haven’t chosen what to do with their lives yet. Basically, if you need English, I’m your man. If I was a superhero for English teaching, you could call me Englishman! Which is appropriate, because I am an English man. Haha, I’m just joking, I’m not a superhero, I’m just an ordinary humble man, well as you can hear from this introduction I may not be that humble, but I am a man – definitely, I checked this morning. I am proud to be an English teacher – a profession which includes many bright and brilliant people all around the world, who have either chosen this vocation, or just ended up doing it because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives. As well as being an English teacher, I’m also a stand-up comedian, and I’m a podcaster. I do a podcast for learners of English called Luke’s English Podcast. You should listen to it. It’s quite popular and I have lots of downloads these days. I’m happy to say that I have a lovely community of people around the world who regularly listen to my podcast episodes in order to improve their English, but also (hopefully) because they just enjoy listening to each episode I produce. Did I mention that the podcast has won a few awards? No. Ok, well, the podcast has won a few awards. Am I sounding a bit arrogant? I hope not. I don’t mean to sound full of myself, I really don’t – it’s just that sometimes I think I should try and sell myself on the podcast, just a little bit, to remind you who I am. I don’t mean to just go on about myself a lot because it’s a bit self-indulgent isn’t it? But I do think it’s important to convince you that listening to this is very good for your English, and that you should keep doing it. It’s not just me who says that, I also have lots of testimonies from listeners of my podcast who have commented on my website, saying some very positive and nice things indeed, like this one which arrived just a couple of days ago, from someone called “Teddy WS” who simply wrote Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 18.02.11“Thank God I find this page.” He sounds a bit desperate maybe, like he’s been walking through some kind of English teaching desert, and my website is like an oasis for him, where he can drink from this refreshing wellspring of natural English. It’s certainly a positive endorsement.

Thanks Teddy, that’s nice. Now, admittedly, Teddy did make a mistake in his comment – he wrote  “Thank God I find this page” and it should be “Thank God I found this page” but to be fair, he has only just found the page, and he has been walking through a desert for days and days, and he probably hasn’t listened to many of the episodes yet. I expect if Teddy writes on the page again in a few months, after he’s listened to more episodes and refreshed himself, he won’t make a mistake like that. I certainly hope so. Teddy, if you’re listening – don’t feel bad about making that mistake – mistakes are an essential part of the learning experience. Just brush it off, carry on and try not to do it again. By the way Teddy, I’m looking forward to reading another comment from you on my site in the future.

The main philosophy of my podcast is to give learners of English the chance to listen to authentic British English as it is really spoken. Sometimes it’s just me talking, sometimes I have interviews and conversations with friends, family or other interesting people. I try to keep it real – meaning I try not to adapt my language level too much. I don’t want to talk to you in a very simple way because that’s not how people usually speak in the real world. I think I speak clearly on the podcast, but at a fairly normal speed. I believe, ultimately, that’s better for your English.

So, it’s better for your English in the long run, but in the short-term, you might find it difficult to understand every single word I say, or every single word my friends say. So, I often remind you, that if you don’t understand what I’m saying or if you get lost during conversations on the podcast – keep listening! Keep going! Don’t be put off when you lose the thread of the conversation. Persevere, don’t give up. In the long run, it will be better for your English. So don’t stop.

If you want to pay close attention to every single word, and study those words, you can. Many of my episodes have transcripts, or at least some notes which you can read. You can then study the words and phrases I’m using and improve your English that way. Or, you can simply relax and listen to the episodes wherever you are in the world – just find a comfortable place, or even an uncomfortable place – it doesn’t matter that much, but comfortable is better, just put your headphones in, or turn your speakers on, and just listen for fun. It should be enjoyable to listen to English. It doesn’t have to be a boring study exercise. So, I invite you to just relax, kick off your shoes, make a cup of tea, listen to my episodes, and enjoy doing it. :)

This episode is entitled The Lying Game. The title of the episode has absolutely no connection to the things I’ve just said to you in the opening minutes of this introduction.

No, the reason this episode is called The Lying Game, is because in a few moments you’re going to listen to my friends and me playing a speaking game which involves either lying or telling the truth. It’s just a fun guessing game that involves some lying. So that’s why this episode has that title.

So let me tell you what you can expect from this 2-part episode of LEP.

What’s The Lying Game? This is a speaking activity I play with my students in my English language classes. In this episode you’ll hear me playing this game with my friends Amber and Paul, who are native speakers of English.

In a few minutes the episode is going to start (we haven’t started yet, this is still the introduction). I just wanted to say right now, that this was a very fun conversation for Amber, Paul and me. We really enjoyed talking and playing the game. I hope you enjoy it too. The thing is, we got pretty excited during the game and so we speak pretty quickly and sometimes we speak over each other. That might make it difficult for you to understand everything that’s being said. Still, like I said a few moments ago – keep listening anyway, even if you don’t understand everything. OK, I think I’ve made my point about that now!

The recording begins mid conversation. Let me just tell you a few things to help you understand what we’re saying, right from the beginning.

You’ll hear me say to Paul, “Do you really think I change the way I speak?” This is because Paul thought I sometimes change my voice when I’m recording the podcast. Like, I have a podcast voice that comes on when I start recording. We agree that it’s quite normal as a way of catching the attention of the audience from the beginning, or “pulling people in” as Paul says.

Just a couple of other things that will help you understand the beginning of the conversation:

Paul starts whispering subliminal messages into his microphone. This is because just the other day he was on a “film shoot” and he did that to the sound man – he whispered into the microphone and only the sound man could hear him. Just for fun.

I make a (lame) joke about something Amber says about it being a grey day. I thought she said ‘grade A’, referring to the sofa she was sitting on. A grade A sofa would be a top quality sofa. My sofa on the other hand is not that good, so it’s more likely to be a grade B or grade C sofa.

Then we make a few references to things you won’t know about, like my stand up routine, and a joke I made earlier about Philips lightbulbs, you know the technology company called “Philips”. Watch out for that. We found is hilarious. You might be confused by it. Let me know.

Then I realise that we’re having too much fun, and that could be annoying, like my favourite film critic Mark Kermode says that comedy is hard work. If people say they had fun making a comedy you’ll know it’s not funny.

It looks like they had a lot of fun making it which is always a recipe for disaster, when it comes to comedy. Because most really funny comedies are not fun to make – On reviewing Mortdecai 23 Jan 2015 show

So I hope that is not the case for this episode.

So, after that Mark Kermode reference, we settle down a bit, the conversation continues, we talk a bit about lying, and we start playing the game.

OK, I’m now going to stop explaining everything before it’s happened, and just let you listen to the episode. So, here we go!

Intro 2 (This is the second introduction which I say at the beginning of the conversation with Amber & Paul!)
Sometimes I play a fluency speaking game with my students, which involves telling lies. I call it The Lying Game. It’s an imaginative title. It’s just a fun game to practice giving information, and forming questions. I’ve been using it in class for years and it’s always a pretty popular exercise. This time on the podcast I thought I’d play the game with some native speakers. When you listen you can focus on noticing these things: question forms, how people describe events in the past (tenses and pronunciation of ed endings), how people describe present habits (verb forms and adverbs – not just present simple tense) and also the intonation that we use when asking questions in a suspicious, open or challenging way.

With me I have Paul Taylor & Amber Minogue.

How are you?
Do you think you’re good liars? Are you gullible?
Do you ever lie in your life?
Is it wrong to lie? Is it ever ok?
Are you ready to play the game?

Rules

  1. Tell us something – it could be something that happened in the past, a habit, someone you’ve met – anything about you that we don’t already know. Try to make it interesting – partly ridiculous, partly believable.
  2. We will then interrogate you about it, asking you all sorts of questions to investigate your statement. You can expand on it. This is the hilarious bit where we’re not sure if you’re lying or not. Ha ha ha.
  3. Then, when we’ve run out of questions we will say if we think you’re lying or telling the truth, justifying why we think so.
  4. Then, reveal if you were lying or not. It’ll be dramatic and entertaining.
  5. Points: For everyone who guesses wrong, you get two points. Every person who guesses correctly gets 1 point.
  6. Everyone has a go, and at the end we count the scores to see not only who is the best liar, but also who is the most gullible or untrusting person. If you’re gullible, you won’t score much. If you’re too trusting, you won’t score much either. If you’re a bad liar you won’t score much, if you don’t appear trustworthy you won’t score well either. So, the winner of this game will be some kind of psychopath, basically. Or, the winner will be a good liar and good at detecting lies too.

Luke, Paul and Amber’s Statements from the Game

Luke: I once met Dave Grohl (drummer from Nirvana, singer in Foo Fighters) at a buddhist temple in Japan.

Paul: I once spent Valentine’s Day with Elijah Wood and John Hurt.

End of part 1! You can hear Amber’s turn in the next episode, where you will find out what happens and who wins the game in the end! (exciting)

Scores at the end of part 1
At this stage, the scores are like this:

Luke – 2 / 0   Total = 2 points

Amber – 1 / 1   Total = 2 points

Paul – 0 / 2   Total = 2 points

So it’s even stevens!

Listen to part 2 (coming soon) in order to hear Amber’s story, and to see who wins.

The photo of Dave Grohl that I took on my J-Phone:
Dave Grohl

:) Thanks for listening!

The Invention of Lying – Film by Ricky Gervais

Woman with crossed fingers

299. The Bank Robbery (Part 2)

Welcome back to this special double episode in which we are planning a bank robbery as part of a communication game. I strongly recommend that you listen to the previous episode because it will help to make this one much easier to understand. In part 1 I explained the rules of this communication game, which involves a team coming up with a plan to rob a bank. I gave you all the key information which the team has to share, I clarified some useful language that you’ll hear and then we listened to the first part of the bank robbery meeting, with our team of Amber, Paul and Sebastian. In this episode you’re going to hear the rest of the meeting, and then we’ll find out exactly what happens to them, and the full solution to the whole puzzle.

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To read all the key information for this bank robbery, go back to episode 298. You can read all the important details there.

Below you can read about the different outcomes of each possible plan, including which plans will get you the most money, and which plans will result in you being caught or killed.

The purpose of these bank robbery episodes is to highlight certain key language for problem solving in meetings, and to enjoy simulating a big bank heist, like in the movies!

Outcomes
When the group have finished planning, and presenting their plans, use this information to find out what will happen as a result of the plan.

Which day?
Monday – The gold will not have been delivered yet! You will get no gold and no diamonds on Monday. Just the cash (£20,000)
Tuesday – If you rob the bank after 11.10AM then you’ll be able to get the gold and cash but not the diamonds.
Wednesday – The diamonds will not be delivered until the evening so robbing the bank on Wednesday means you’ll only get gold and cash, and no diamonds.
Thursday – This is the best day to steal the gold, cash and diamonds.
Friday – This is a bad day because the extra security guards will delay your exit and you’ll be caught in a fire-fight. You’ll either be arrested or killed if you rob the bank on Friday. If you have The Shooter, you won’t be killed (because he’ll kill the cops), but you will be arrested.
Saturday & Sunday – The bank is closed so you can’t go in the front door.

If you choose to enter by tunnel you must rent the shop on Monday and start digging with The Tunnel Expert on Tuesday. Then you can take the gold from the vault on Sunday 8th and escape before anyone notices anything. However, you will only be able to keep the gold. The cash and diamonds won’t be there any more. So, just £100,000,000 – half the money.

What time?
In the morning – Robbing the bank in the morning will delay the cops by an extra five minutes (because of traffic and donuts) so you’ll be able to leave before they arrive. However, you will find it too hard to escape by car because of bad traffic and eventually you’ll be caught.

In the afternoon – The police will arrive in 15 minutes, and your robbery will take 15 minutes so you will meet the police as you leave the bank. If you have guns you’ll be able to provide covering fire to help you escape. If you have The Shooter he will shoot some police and allow you to escape. If you have The Driver you will be able to escape. However, in the afternoon witnesses will see the car chase and will report your number plate to the police. You will be caught eventually.

In the dark (between 6PM and 8PM) – This is the best time to do the robbery. It will take the police 15 minutes to respond. Your robbery will last 15 minutes and you’ll meet the police as you leave the bank. If you have guns you’ll be able to provide covering fire to help you escape. If you have The Shooter he will kill some police officers and help you escape. If you have the inside man he will delay the alarm and the cops by an extra 5 minutes and you don’t need to have a gun fight at all. If you have The Driver he will help you escape the police and get to the safehouse, and it’ll be too dark for witnesses to see your number plate.

 Who to take:
The Shooter – If you have chosen to enter the bank by the front door he can help you to escape the bank if the cops arrive as you are leaving. However he will probably kill police officers and possibly some hostages too, and you want to avoid unnecessary killings. If you are caught eventually, your prison sentence will be far more severe.

The Inside Man – You need him to find the correct entry point in the vault for the tunnel. Without the Inside Man your tunnel will not find the vault and you won’t get any of the money. Also, if you enter by the front door he will delay the alarm and the police by an extra 5 minutes. This means you don’t need to have a gun fight and no killing will be necessary.

The Driver – If you choose to enter the bank by the front door you will definitely need the driver to escape from the cops by car. If you raid the bank by front door without The Driver you will be caught or shot. If you have The Shooter and The Driver – you’ll definitely be shot. It’ll be a bloodbath.

The Safe Cracker – He is unnecessary as you can either dig into the vault or persuade a member of staff to let you in. You don’t need The Safe Cracker and you will fail if you pick him (because the other people are more useful)

Jimmy The Informant – Don’t trust Jimmy The Informant. He’s made a deal with the police to keep him out of prison. He will tell you nothing useful about the police. In fact, he will just tell the police everything about your plans. The police will already be there, undercover, and you’ll be either arrested or killed.

The Tunnel Expert – You need his skills and expertise if you plan to enter the bank by tunnel. If you tunnel into the bank without him it will take 7 days and that is too late.

How to enter the bank
By the front door – You will need to employ The Driver and either The Inside Man or The Shooter to help you deal with the police when you leave. If you enter by the front door without The Driver and one of the other guys then you will fail.

By tunnel – You’ll need to rent the shop on Monday so you can start digging on Tuesday. You must bribe the shop owner so he doesn’t tell the police your real name (so, deduct £5m). You need The Inside Man to tell you how to find the vault. You need The Tunnel Expert to dig the tunnel in 5 days. If you start digging on Tuesday then you can enter the vault on Sunday and take the gold without anyone noticing. However, if you do this you’ll only take the gold and no diamonds or cash. Total amount: £95m in gold.

Masks or no masks?
With masks – The staff will immediately realise it is a robbery. Then they will raise the alarm. You’ll have 15 minutes before the police arrive. That is enough time, especially if you use The Inside Man to delay the alarm.

Without masks – Your face will be captured by the CCTV cameras and you will eventually be caught by the police, even years later.

You don’t need masks if you choose to enter by tunnel.

Guns or no guns?
Guns – You can use them to persuade a staff member to open the vault, so you don’t need The Safe Cracker. Using guns will make the punishment more serious, but who cares!

No guns – This will reduce your prison sentence if you get caught. You will need The Safe Cracker to get into the vault because you won’t be able to persuade someone to do it for you in time. You won’t be able to fight the police and escape. You will need guns for this robbery. You should definitely take some guns. Without guns you will fail the robbery.

How will you enter the vault?
If you have chosen guns then you can persuade someone to let you into the vault. If you are tunnelling, then you need The Inside Man to help you find the location of the vault.

What will you steal?
This depends when and how you plan to enter the bank. The best option is to steal all the gold, cash and diamonds but you can only do this on Thursday after 6PM by entering through the front door (see Thursday above). If you tunnel in and arrive on Sunday you can only steal the gold.

The BEST plan
Rob the bank on Thursday between 6-8pm when it is dark. Wear masks and carry guns. The Inside Man will delay the alarm, delaying the cops by 5 key minutes. You can use a gun to persuade someone to open the vault. You can get the gold, cash and diamonds into the van in 15 minutes and drive away without being spotted at all. The police will arrive 5 minutes late because of the delayed alarm. The police will have no idea who robbed the bank, you will not have to kill anyone and you can get maximum money this way.
People: The Driver and The Inside Man

Another good plan: Rent the shop on Monday. Bribe the shop owner and give a fake name for the rental records. Start digging on Tuesday. The Inside Man will tell you where to dig the tunnel. The Tunnel Expert will help you to dig it properly. Finish digging on Sunday. Move the gold out of the vault before Monday morning. Take the gold to the shop through the tunnel. Drive the van to the safehouse. No one will ever know who did it. …however, there is a weak link here – the shop owner. He has to pretend that he had no idea about the plan, and he has to be very discreet about the money. If the police threaten him, he might give in under pressure and describe your appearances.
People: The Inside man and The Tunnel Expert.

The Plan Chosen by Amber, Paul and Sebastian
Go in with masks but no guns, on Thursday evening at 6.30. The alarm goes off. The police are on their way. Use the safe cracker to open the vault in 2 minutes. Fill your bags with gold, cash and diamonds, in 10 minutes. You’re out and in the car about 3 minutes before the police arrive. You manage to escape with all the money! It’s a bit risky because it’s a bit tight because you’re leaving just 3 minutes of escape time, but with the getaway driver you can do it because there isn’t too much traffic on the streets, due to the big international football game between England and France, which is on the TV.


mccall1

298. The Bank Robbery (Part 1)

Hello listeners, welcome to Luke’s English Podcast. In this episode we’re going to plan a bank robbery. Not a real one – if any police are listening to this I should say it’s just a simulation, I’m not actually going to rob a bank, so relax… eat another donut. This is the bank robbery episode and I hope that it involve the usual magic ingredients of a good episode of LEP – authentic spoken English, native speakers communicating naturally, presentation of some specific language in context, the voices of some of my friends, a sense of fun and imagination. That’s the idea anyway. I hope that you will stay engaged throughout the episode. I suggest that you imagine what you would say and do if you were there in the room with us. As ever, you can leave your comments on the page for this episode at teacherluke.co.uk

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Introduction
Basically, in this episode you’re going to hear a group of my friends do a communication game in which they have to plan a bank robbery. We’ll listen to the whole meeting, hear their plan come together and then find out what happens in their version of the robbery. We’ll also consider some of the language used in the planning process. If it makes it more exciting, let me tell you that the stakes are very high in this episode – the team could get away with about £200 million in gold, cash and diamonds, or die trying.

What’s going to happen? How will the team organise the perfect bank heist? What language will emerge during the process? Will the team survive and escape with the money, or will they get caught red handed by the police in a dramatic shootout situation.? Listen, and you’ll find out… because this, is the bank robbery episode…

What is “The Bank Robbery”?
Sometimes in my classes at school, I give my students big communication tasks. These are like team building exercises which test the communicative competence of the group.

This episode is based on one of the games that I created, called “The Bank Robbery”.
The game is all about sharing information and working together as a group to come up with the right plan. It’s all about successful communication. If the team members share the information well, they’re more likely to plan a successful robbery. If they don’t communicate properly, they’ll probably miss some vital details, and they’ll get arrested or even worse, killed by the police.

Of course no one actually gets killed, it’s just a simulation. But if it helps to bring more drama to this episode – then yes you can imagine that there is real money involved, and real cops and real guns and bullets and all that kind of stuff.
The bank robbery game gives students the chance to practise speaking in a scenario that’s like a typical business meeting but with a fun twist. They can also get some feedback on their communication skills.
I find it fascinating to see how students deal with this game, especially from a language point of view, but also from a behavioural point of view, and I’ve always wondered how a group of native speakers would handle it.
And that’s what you’re going to get in this episode.

Here’s what’s going to happen
You’ll hear me explain the scenario of the game, I’ll go through some specific language that you might hear them use, then you’ll listen to them plan the robbery, and then they’ll present their plan. After that, based on their plan I will tell them exactly what happens in their robbery – we’ll see if they manage to get away with any money, or if the whole thing goes horribly wrong and they end up in jail or worse – in a body bag!
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s meet the team…

The Team
Who is this team that I have assembled?
We have none other than: Paul Taylor (Daniel Radcliffe, or Tom Hardy), Amber Minogue (played by Audrey Tatou, or Anne Hathaway perhaps) , and Sebastian Marx (Woody Allen, or maybe Ryan Gosling).
Thank you for coming to this meeting. I have brought you together today because you have a very specific set of skills… skills that allow you to communicate effectively in English… skills that could be utilised in order to plan something as a group, like a buffet dinner bank robbery for example…. skills that I take a keen interest in, as a teacher of English as a foreign language… and skills that my listeners (the lepsters) enjoy observing through their ears via the medium of Luke’s English Podcast, which has won a number of awards for being the best blog for learners of English even though it’s not a blog it’s a podcast. OK?
Basically, what I’m getting at is that I’ve brought you all together this afternoon in order to record you doing a communication exercise because I think it will be really interesting for my listeners to hear. OK? I might be wrong, it could be dull as hell, and that kind of depends on you, but let’s see…
You are going to do an exercise in which you have to work together as a team in order to achieve a shared objective. Your success in the task depends on your management of information and effective communication between each other.
The stakes are particularly high in this simulation because you are going to organise a bank robbery. If you succeed you could escape with millions of pounds in gold, cash and diamonds. Sounds nice doesn’t it?
If you fail you could spend the rest of your life in jail, or be killed or badly wounded by police. It all depends on how well you and your team plan the robbery.

The situation
You are a gang of specialist bank robbers – think Oceans 11, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, that kind of thing. You have identified a small bank in West London (not as glamourous as Las Vegas, but anyway…) a bank which you know is about to receive a delivery of £100m in gold bullion. The bank also has cash reserves of £20m in its vault. There may also be some diamonds in the bank which you could take as well. Why not, if there are diamonds too, take the diamonds.
So you could make upwards of £120 million – £40m each – not to be sniffed at.
Anyway, the bank is situated on a street corner. It has one main entrance (that’s a glass double door) and a smaller secutiry entrance on the side (that’s a solid, protected security door). It’s quite a small bank with a main room for doing business with customers, and a small back office on the ground floor, and a medium sized vault in the basement. The money (gold, cash, diamonds) is kept in the vault, which is protected by a solid locked door. Imagine a solid metal door with a huge lock on it.
You 3 are the core members of the team, but you can’t do this alone. You’ll need some assistance – especially from people with very special skills, specific to organised theft like this. Luckily you have a few connections in the criminal underworld. You can choose a maximum of 2 other specialists to help you.

Here’s a list of the other gang members you could employ. You’ll get more information about them during the game.
The Driver
The Shooter
The Inside Man
The Safe Cracker
The Tunnel Expert
Jimmy The Informant

You (the team) are going to plan to steal that money.

Have a meeting to decide these points
• VALUABLES – What exactly is available and what will you steal?
• DAY – The day on which you will do the robbery
• TIME – The time of the robbery
• GANG MEMBERS – Which two extra gang members you will employ for the job (you can employ two other people)
• ENTRANCE – How you will enter the bank
• MASKS – Will you wear masks or not?
• GUNS – Will you use guns or not?
• VAULT – How will you get into the vault?

Today is Saturday 1 October
You’re planning to rob the bank next week – that’s the week starting on Monday, because that’s when the gold and other money will be in the bank. You’ve left it a bit late to be honest.

But you’ve all spent quite a lot of time watching the bank, and collecting information to help you plan the perfect crime.
(I’ve written this information on small pieces of paper and I’ll deal it out to you all randomly, in a minute)
You will need to share the information in order to pool your knowledge. Please don’t let each other read the info you have. You’ll have to do it all by spoken communication.

When you are ready, present your plan to Luke (that’s me) and the listeners (Lepsters). Then I will tell you the final result of your bank robbery. We’ll find out what happens in the robbery, based on your plan.

There are a few different ways to complete the task and steal the money, but only one of those approaches will allow you to get away with the most money possible. Some options will get you arrested, some options will get you killed. Some options will allow you to escape with only some of the money. Only one option (I think) will allow you all to escape with the maximum amount of money, with no loss of life or jail time. (Which is at least £120,000,000 – 30m each)

I am the gamesmaster – I’m just going to sit back and let you get on with it. I might give you bits of guidance and advice at times. I’m like Obiwan Kenobi or something. “Paul… use the crow-bar Paul…” that kind of thing.

You can ask me questions if you want – I might help, or I might be a bit mysterious and say something like “That is a question which only the sands of time may reveal” or “Sorry, I can’t answer that”.

OK, is everything clear? Do you have any questions at this point?

Key Information
While the team are reading the information I’ve just handed out to them, I’d like to talk to you about a few things, to help you follow the meeting more easily.

So, the team is looking at various key information which is on small pieces of paper. The information relates to these things:
• Info about the money – What exactly is available, and when it’s available. There is only one particular period next week when the gold, cash and diamonds are in the bank at the same time.
• Info about the DAY & TIME – when the bank is open, when the money is in the bank, and other information about the best time and day to do the robbery, including things like traffic, extra security in the bank and hours of daylight.
• GANG MEMBERS – Info about the 5 other team members they could employ for the robbery. They can pick two. Certain gang members are crucial for the robbery. Other gang members will cause your robbery to go horribly wrong.
• ENTRANCE – Different ways to enter the bank and get into the vault. Basically, it’s either through the front door, through a side door when the gold is delivered, or through an underground tunnel directly into the vault.
• MASKS – Will you wear masks or not? With masks on, the team’s identities will be protected from CCTV, but everyone will instantly know it’s a robbery.
• GUNS – Will you use guns or not? Guns will allow the team to persuade the bank staff to do things, but could be dangerous.

I’m now going to read to you all the information they have in their hands. Then you’ll know everything they know, and it should help you to follow their meeting more easily.

Also, it might allow you to work out your own plan. BTW, all this information is on the page for this episode at teacherluke.co.uk

So now, listen to all the relevant information. I’ll try to make it clear for you. Listen carefully and try to make your own plan. Think about the best day and time.

THE INFORMATION WHICH THE TEAM HAS TO SHARE
Here is all the info which the team members have on small pieces of paper.
You can also download this information as a Word document, which you can then print and then cut up. Click the link below to download the Word doc. (Thanks to Zdenek Lukas for preparing the doc)
THE-BANK-ROBBERY-speaking-activity-by-Luke-Thompson.

  • The bank will receive the gold bullion at 11AM on Tuesday 4 October.
  • The gold will be removed from the vault on Monday 10 October at 8AM.
  • When gold is delivered at the bank, two security guards always take it through a back door and down the stairs into the vault. This takes 5 minutes.
  • The gold is easiest to steal when the security guards are taking it from the van to the vault.
  • The gold and cash are fitted with anti-theft devices such as paint and a tracking device.
  • These are removed when the money has been safely delivered into the vault.
  • The £20m in cash will be removed from the vault on Friday evening.
  • You have just discovered that the vault will also contain £80m of diamonds next week! They arrive on Wednesday evening but they will be removed on the evening of Friday 7 October.
  • It takes approximately 10 minutes to fill your bags with gold, cash and any other valuables.
  • The bank is open from 8AM to 8PM, Monday to Friday. The bank is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
  • When the bank is closed the doors are very securely sealed and protected. It is impossible to break in when the bank is closed.
  • The side door of the bank is reinforced and cannot be opened from the outside.
  • The bank is unstaffed at night. Nobody is in the bank after 8pm.
  • The sun goes down at 6PM. The sun comes up at 6AM.
  • A robbery in the morning will be more of a surprise, and the police tend to be slower in the morning as they are usually eating donuts and drinking coffee.
  • You are much more likely to be identified by witnesses during daylight hours.
  • A robbery in the dark is more likely to be a success because the roads are quieter. It will be easier to escape by car in the dark.
  • There is less traffic on the street at night.
  • No-one goes into the bank at the weekend. After leaving the bank on Friday evening, the next member of staff to come back is the security guard. He arrives on Monday morning at 7AM.
  • Friday is the busiest day in the bank. The bank employs two extra security guards armed with Remington shotguns on this day. They stay in the bank from 8AM to 8PM.
    You will find it very difficult to get away from the bank quickly in the morning because of bad traffic.
  • You can enter the bank by the front door but you will appear on the CCTV cameras in the front entrance.
  • When the bank alarm is set off, the police are automatically called. They will take approximately 15 minutes to arrive at the bank.
  • The police will take an extra 5 minutes to arrive at the bank in the morning, because of busy traffic and because they’ll be eating donuts and drinking coffee in a local diner.
  • It will take approximately 5 minutes to persuade a staff member to open the vault for you.
  • If you have guns you will quickly be able to persuade the staff to open the vault for you.
  • Robbery with guns is more serious than robbery without guns, and therefore carries a much stricter prison sentence. Also, the police are more likely to open fire on you if you are armed.
  • You can use masks to hide your identity. They will prevent you from being identified during the robbery, but if you enter the bank wearing masks, the staff and customers will immediately know it is a robbery and the alarm will be set off.
  • There is a disused shop opposite the bank. The shop has a basement with an earthen floor, and vacant space for soil in the yard. The shop is available for rental.
  • It will take 5 full days and 5 full nights to dig a tunnel from the shop to the bank vault.
  • It will take 24 hours to arrange rental of the shop opposite the bank. The rental office is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • To rent the shop opposite the bank you need to provide your name, ID number and address. The shop owner might accept a fake name if you bribe him with at least £5m.
  • The Driver is an excellent getaway driver. He is a professional stunt driver and he can escape from anyone, traffic permitting.
  • The Shooter is an expert with a shotgun. His speciality is crowd control and hostage situations. He has just spent 10 years in prison after his last bank job went wrong. He absolutely hates the police, because they killed his brother.
  • The Safe-Cracker can open any lock in just 2 minutes.
    The Inside Man works in the bank as a clerk. He knows about everything that goes on inside the bank. He can delay the alarm by 5 minutes. Also, he can give you blueprints of the vault.
  • His knowledge of the vault is essential if you plan to tunnel in. You need him to tell you where to enter the vault by tunnel.
  • Jimmy the Informant has a close relationship with the police and for the right price he will tell you everything that the police know about your bank job. He wants £10m for this information. He is not particularly loyal to anyone – either you, or the cops.
  • The Tunnel Expert is brilliant at digging tunnels. Without him it will take you 7 days and 7 nights to dig the tunnel, and even then it might not reach the bank vault correctly.

Now you know all the information they have, so in fact, you know more than the team as a whole now.

Perhaps you have some ideas about a plan of your own. If you were paying attention and you’re clever, you could work out the best plan already.

In a moment, you’ll listen to them sharing the information and they’ll start building their plan.

USEFUL LANGUAGE
Before we listen to that I’d like to bring your attention to some language you’re going to hear.

Here are some things you will hear. Watch out for these things.

Essentially, you’ll hear them
– sharing information – giving info and asking for info
– evaluating that information and making conclusions,
– rejecting irrelevant information,
– making suggestions,
– interrupting each other,
– agreeing

Summarising and Rephrasing
This shows that you’re listening, that you’ve understood, clarifies and establishes the information which has been presented.
You summarise your point (intro), give details, then summarise it again (conclusion).
E.g. “I think tunnelling in is not such a good idea, because if we tunnel in we can only get half the money. So tunnelling is not an option.”
Summarise what the other person said. Rephrase to show you understand.

Giving information – Signpost the point you’re making
Can I just say one thing about time? It fits in.
Timing-wise, the 20m in cash will be removed …
So, speaking of Remingtons…
More things regarding time here…

Ask for information
What have you got?
What else have you got in terms of timing?
Is that all you’ve got for timing?
Do we know when the bank is open?
Who are the other people that could help us?
When’s the gold going to be delivered?

Making Conclusions
So, we can’t do it on Monday. (“So” is a word that signposts that you’re making a conclusion)
So, this means, we have to do it on Thursday.
Tunnelling isn’t really an option.
Thursday seems like a good spot right now.
It seems like it’s closed at the weekend.
Wednesday doesn’t seem to be a good day.

Clarifying, or when you don’t hear something
Sorry, 8AM to…?
Sorry, I missed what you just said.
Let me say that again.

Magic Words
Sorry – interrupt or repeat
Hold on – make someone wait
So – make a conclusion
Seems – for facts that look true but you’re not sure

Rejecting Information
We can disregard this because it doesn’t matter.

Make suggestions
I wonder if we should do this…
Let’s…
Shall we say no guns?
Let’s think about how we can get in the back door.
I would say after 6pm is best.

Conditionals – 0, 1st & 2nd
0 conditionals – the speakers think they’re absolute facts – definitely will happen.
“So if we do it on Monday the gold is gone.”
“If we want to get everything, we can’t tunnel in.”
“If we tunnel, we can get some stuff, but we’re aiming for all of it.”
“If we go in with masks, everyone knows right away.”
“If we have the safe cracker we don’t need to persuade anyone.”
1 conditionals – the speakers think they’re realistic – will probably happen.
“If you go in with masks, they’ll know.”
2 conditionals – the speakers think they’re unlikely – just hypothetical things.
“The inside man would save us more time…”

I hope you can keep up with all of that.

Let’s now listen to the rest of the meeting. How do native speakers manage information in a meeting? Also, will they come up with the right plan?

Here we go…

MAP
bank map
TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR “THE BANK ROBBERY PART 2”!

What do you think is the best plan?
Please leave your comments below. :)


Gold-robberies
Image: therealasset.co.uk/gold-robberies/

287. VOCAB BATTLE!!! WITH AMBER & PAUL (exciting title)

aka “Vocabulary Game with Amber & Paul” or “Fifteen Fixed Expressions” (less exciting titles)

Learn more English expressions in this episode by listening to another vocabulary game with Amber Minogue and Paul Taylor.

The series of episodes featuring ‘fixed expressions’ and vocabulary games continues in this episode. The previous ones, entitled “Ten Fixed Expressions” (283) and “Ten More Fixed Expressions” (285) featured me testing Paul’s knowledge of multi-word expressions in English. He did better in the second episode than the first, although maybe that’s because of the way I explained the expressions rather than because of Paul’s lack of vocabulary. Nevertheless, the wider aim of these episodes is to teach you, my listeners, some vocabulary in the form of multi-word expressions.

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What is a ‘fixed expression’?
Essentially, a fixed expression (according to me) is a vocabulary item comprising of a few words that always go together. That includes idioms, sayings, phrasal verbs, well-known quotes and collocations. All these things are lexical items which are included in the catch-all title of ‘fixed expressions’. The words are fixed together. They’re not just individual words combined, but they are discrete items of vocabulary in their own right.

So, fixed expressions are essentially ‘lexical chunks’. They’re not types of shelf unit or ikea furniture or anything like that. They’re just phrases in English. That should be clear.

I realise that the more I explain, the more confusing it is, so I’ll stop explaining now and we can start playing the game.

Let’s Play the Game
This time Amber is involved.
All three of us have short lists of five expressions.
We’re going to do three rounds of this game.
Round 1: Amber vs Paul (Luke is the Question Master)
Round 2: Paul vs Luke (Amber is the Question Master)
Round 3: Luke vs Amber (Paul is the Question Master)

Rules of the Game
The Question Master defines an expression without using the words in the expression.
The QM can also give little hints if necessary.
The two competitors race to guess the expression.
A point is awarded to the one who guesses the question right. If both competitors guess the expression at the same time, they both get a point.
Listeners can try to guess the expressions too. Did you guess them? Did you beat us?
If you don’t know the expression, listen carefully because we will explain, repeat and give examples.

So, it’s a fun game and a learning opportunity too, in one Great British package.

The Expressions in the Game
Here you’ll find lists of the fixed expressions in this episode. Listen to the episode to get the full definitions and examples, or search for the definitions online.

Luke’s Expressions
1. to be hard up
2. to be in the loop / to stay in the loop / to keep someone in the loop
3. “been there, done that, got the t-shirt”
4. to bend over backwards (for someone) (to do something)
5. to give someone the benefit of the doubt

Amber’s Expressions
1. to get your foot in the door
2. to show your true colours
3. over my dead body
4. in mint condition
5. to bite the bullet

Paul’s Expressions – Theme: Body Parts
1. to have two left feet
2. to be/fall head over heels in love with someone
3. (to do something) by the skin of your teeth
4. (give it some) elbow grease / (put some) elbow grease (into it)
5. to put your foot in your mouth

There are plenty of other expressions in this episode, so if you notice any other good ones please add them in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

p.s. I’m going on my honeymoon in a couple of days so there will be no new episodes for a couple of weeks, but LEP will be back :)
VOCABBATTLE