My story about how I ended up in a Japanese hospital bed, scared out of my brain. Recorded live in front of an audience at the British Council in Paris.
My story about how I ended up in a Japanese hospital bed, scared out of my brain. Recorded live in front of an audience at the British Council in Paris.
An episode with my friend Moz from the Murder Mile True Crime Podcast. Moz returns to tell us some true stories of crimes in the London area. Expect some smalltalk about living on a boat, some murder stories and an interactive detective game in which we have to solve a murder.
Martin joins Luke to talk about moving back to the UK, his fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees and some funny stories about travelling experiences.
In this episode I am talking to Martin Johnston from the Rock n Roll English Podcast. Do you know the Rock N Roll English Podcast? This is where Martin and his Rock N Roll friends and family do podcasts for learners of English that are unfiltered and frequently involve discussions of taboo subjects, but also plenty of other stuff as well. It’s very funny and bound to be good for your English and general cultural knowledge. Martin featured me in episode 250 of RnR English and we talked about what it’s really like being an English teacher with a podcast. That was a funny chat with lots of memories and funny moments. Episode 250.
In this episode though, we’re going to have a rambling chat about moving to different countries, Martin’s fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees and then some stories of travelling and getting stuck in tricky situations while abroad.
Martin has recently moved back to England after living in Italy for a number of years, so I thought I would ask him about his experiences of feeling like a foreigner in his own country, and some of his culture shock experiences both abroad and at home. Because this is a thing – reverse culture shock. When you feel like a foreigner in your own country after living abroad for a long time.
Martin has also recently launched a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees. Basically it is a learning pack with 25 stories, and transcripts and exercises. All the proceeds go to help Ukrainian refugees. You can find out more at www.rocknrollenglish.com/stories
So this is a very good cause. We know that several millions of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of this war, invasion, operation – whatever you want to call it. This violence and aggression has separated families and made civilians homeless as well as killing thousands. This is a horrendous thing to be happening on our doorstep and so the least we can do is try to provide support in some way, so I call upon all of you to go ahead and get that PDF with those 25 stories and all the money will go towards helping these refugees. Martin talks about it during the episode if you want more details. But let’s help out some fellow citizens of LEPland here. Plus, of course, you get tons of stories with audio versions and everything. It sounds like a win win to me.
So we chat about the project a bit, which is all about learning English with stories and this then leads us to have a story-off. This is a sort of battle of stories where Martin and I trade different anecdotes and we see who comes out on top. So there are 4 or 5 funny stories of travelling experiences we’ve had, in the second half of this episode. I hope you enjoy them.
That’s it for the introduction. There is a video version on YouTube. Don’t forget to smash that like button.
I should say there is some fairly explicit content in this episode, which means fairly graphic descriptions of things like nudity, sex and bodily functions, which is completely normal for an episode of Rock n Roll English to be honest.
I’ll speak to you again briefly at the end, but now, let’s get started.
So there you are, that was Martin Johnston. I hope you enjoyed our stories.
Don’t forget, if you want to get that pack of 25 stories by the RNR English family, go to www.rocknrollenglish.com/stories It costs just 10dollars or pounds, and all the proceeds go to help Ukrainian refugees.
This is obviously a very good cause as so many people have been displaced, made homeless and so on and these people need our help.
If you enjoyed our stories in this episode, you could check out some of the episodes with those stories told in full.
Check out 118 Sick in Japan (although I should be doing a live version of that next month) and also Holiday in Thailand
or A Rambling Chat with Moz for more of the spa story
This is a chance for me to just let loose and have a ramble while inviting you to this kind of housewarming party (or perhaps just the first part of the party) in my new pod-room. In this one I am going to welcome you into the new room and do a ramble challenge in which I am restricted to only talking about things inside the room, plus reading from some random books on my shelves. Grammar rules, adverbial collocations and a game show story.
Private Lessons with British Council English Score Tutors www.teacherluke.co.uk/english Episode page
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Talking to my dad about the situation in Ukraine on 28 February 2022.
I’m recording this on 28 February 2022.
In this episode I’m going to talk about what’s going on in Ukraine.
I have LEPsters in both Ukraine and in Russia.
The main thing I want to say is that I just hope that my listeners are able to stay safe – although that sounds hollow because of course some of them won’t be able to stay safe, and many people are being forced to choose not to stay safe.
I know it’s not simple, and there are various factions with different motivations. It’s not completely black and white but most people just want to be able to live their lives and live the best they can, but this war is making that impossible, and for what exactly?
In any case, I’m thinking of my listeners in Ukraine right now, and it seems that a lot of the rest of the world is also thinking of Ukraine at the moment, and sending their messages of support – and I’m talking about ordinary people here, right? Not the leaders or the regimes.
But I also want to say that I am also thinking of my Russian listeners too because it’s not just as simple as the Ukranians being the good guys and the Russians being the bad guys.
Russian people are facing their own difficulties at this moment too, because plenty of Russian people are not in favour of a war in Ukraine – a war which could only make things worse for everyone. There are no winners in war.
So, I’ve decided that I am going to talk about the situation in Ukraine.
So, just to be clear I am talking about it because:
a) I want to show some support for my listeners who are directly involved in this and to echo the message of millions of others around the world right now that this is not what we want.
b) I want to just talk about the situation from our perspective here in the UK.
Some will say “You’re not getting the full story. Putin is just responding to NATO aggression.” Or “Putin is defending the rights of groups within Ukraine who want independence and who are being repressed”. That’s certainly the way he’s trying to justify this.
Some might say “Why don’t you speak about other acts of violence in the world, or times when other nations violate the sovereignty of other nation states?”
Some people might say “What about the UK’s aggression against other countries, including invasions which were dressed up as peacekeeping missions?” Don’t assume that because I’m British I support the actions of my government.
We should also not assume that Russian people automatically support the actions of their government.
The people of a country and the governments or regimes in control of that country are not one and the same thing.
In this episode I’m going to wish you a Happy New Year, ramble a little bit about what’s going on in LEPland, restate some of my aims and objectives for this podcast, and give a few comments on how you can use the podcast to improve your English, with reference to some recommended episodes from the archive.
Happy New Year everyone! (new listeners, long-term listeners, mid-term listeners and anyone else who happens to be listening)
All the best for 2022. Try to keep up your motivation for learning English throughout the year. I hope I can help. That is my aim.
How was your Christmas/New Year? Did you have a holiday? What did you do?
What’s the situation Luke, as you record this? (summarise the last couple of weeks, and what’s going on around you)
I might not be able to upload episodes regularly for the next few weeks. If LEP goes quiet – I am still here and still working, but not able to record or upload because of all the different disruptions. My life is like a puzzle at the moment and I am putting all the pieces back together.
All of them! Especially ones which are unscripted.
174. How to learn English with Luke’s English Podcast
Premium episodes www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo (articles, sentence structure, present perfect tense, narrative tenses, modal verbs about the past, quantifiers and more) but also a lot of episodes in the archive deal with grammar. Here’s a selection.
176. Grammar: Verb Tense Review (should be premium really!)
263. Past, Present & Future A chance to really understand the tenses in English, with lots of context.
372. The Importance of Anecdotes in English / Narrative Tenses / Four Anecdotes This episode has a bit of everything: useful tips for telling anecdotes, a review of narrative verb tenses, some authentic spoken anecdotes by members of my family and some vocabulary explanations.
406. Grammar (Past Continuous Tense) / UK Media Bias / Brazil Football Tragedy A review of the differences between past continuous tense and past simple tense
518. Grammar Questions (Part 1) Present Perfect Continuous / Future Continuous / Language of Newspaper Headlines – Answering grammar questions from listeners, with details about verb tenses (including present continuous vs present perfect continuous & future continuous vs going to) and the language of newspaper headlines.
518b is in the LEP app – [App-only Episode] 518b Grammar Questions (Part 2) Hope vs Wish / Relative Clauses (an overview) / Prepositions
Check the archive here teacherluke.co.uk/archive-of-episodes-1-149/ and try doing a command+F search for vocabulary, or search for the word vocabulary in the app.
Search the archive for the words British and comedy. The Rick Thompson Report, Film Club, British Comedy, Luke’s D-Day Diary, and more…
All premium episode series have dedicated pronunciation episodes. Also, these ones:
224. Pronunciation: Verb Tenses & Connected Speech Learn how native speakers really pronounce sentences in different tenses.
485 & 486. Difficult Words to Pronounce in English (with Paul Taylor) (Parts 1 & 2) + video This is a double episode with two audio episodes on one page, and it’s all about difficult pronunciation in English.
682. Key Features of English Accents, Explained – Exploring the main differences between standard English pronunciation (RP) and non-standard regional or colloquial accents.
And various episodes about accents…
Those episodes can be found in the LEP app or via the episode archive. Most good podcasting apps will have the entire archive, but I think iTunes or Apple Podcasts doesn’t show all episodes. YouTube doesn’t show all episodes either. Only some of my episodes are on YT. I’d like them all to be there (just the audio) eventually.
Andy Johnson returns to talk about more “M” words – this time it’s The Metaverse and The Mandalorian. The Metaverse is an immersive and interactive 3D online environment. How can it be used for learning and teaching English? Andy’s new job is with a company that offers English learning in the metaverse, so let’s chat about it. Also, we finally talk about The Mandalorian on LEP after waiting nearly a year! This is probably the last episode of LEP in 2021 – so Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you have a Happy New Year!
Hello listeners, how are you? How’s December going for you so far? (I’m recording this in December of course, which is why I just said that – it’s the middle of December) How’s December for you?
It can be a weird month December – it’s pretty much the middle of winter and if you celebrate Christmas then December becomes a bit stressful because the Christmas holiday is coming and you have to make sure you’ve got presents for everyone, and you have to sort out your travel plans and work out how much time you are willing or able to spend with your different family members and it all gets a bit stressful, and of course everyone else is going through the same thing so generally people seem a bit stressed out at this time. If you’re late with your Christmas shopping then that becomes a mad rush and the shops are full of desperate people like in that film with Arnold Shwarzenegger…
plus work commitments seem a bit heavy because everyone’s trying to get things done before the Christmas break and so things get a bit much.
It’s certainly true here for me, because as you know (because I’ve been banging on about it since the summer) we are moving house and having work done on the new place and that’s making things so much more complicated.
Actually, I think this might be the last episode of the year, but I am not sure. I have a couple of other ones in the pipeline but time is running out very quickly, so this might be the final episode of Luke’s English Podcast for 2021.
Merry Christmas everyone – if you celebrate Christmas of course and if you don’t celebrate Christmas I will just say seasons greetings. If you don’t get more podcasts after this until January some time, then you can imagine that I’ve had to pack up all my podcast gear, switched off the internet and moved all our stuff to a new flat, which will probably be full of boxes, and maybe no internet connection, meanwhile I’ll be at my parents place in England (COVID permitting) just doing the usual Christmas things, and the podcast will return in January, probably, but we will see. I might be able to upload more before the new year, but there’s no guaranteeing that. So I will say Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year to you now.
Anyway, let me talk about this episode then. It’s an interview episode and this time Andy Johnson is back on the podcast after a long absence. If you don’t know him because you haven’t heard his episodes, or if you have heard those episodes and your memory is not working to its full capacity – Andy is a friend and former colleague of mine. I won’t say more because we talk about all of that at the start of the conversation. All will become clear as you listen.
The title of this one is something like this: Learning & Teaching English in the Metaverse / The Mandalorian (with Andy Johnson)
So there are two topics here. The Metaverse and The Mandalorian. This is one single audio episode with this introduction but the video version is in two parts – one which is just our chat about the metaverse, and another one which is just our chat about The Mandalorian.
In this audio version, let’s start with The Metaverse.
Again, Andy is going to explain this himself, but to be clear The Metaverse (or maybe a metaverse – because there is more than one) is essentially a 3D open world online. A metaphysical space which exists on the internet where people can go and interact and do all sorts of things. It’s a bit like a primitive version of The Matrix from the film The Matrix, but the graphics aren’t as good, yet, and it’s not quite as scary and evil, yet.
As these sorts of open online worlds become more and more sophisticated and as we learn how to use them, we will probably all find ourselves operating within them more and more, for various things – especially for creating virtual workspaces for people working from home or working from different locations but part of a team. Currently we use things like Zoom calls with breakout rooms and screensharing, Microsoft Teams and other platforms. But eventually these shared online spaces will probably become more immersive, opening up so many possibilities for team work which perhaps are more natural and intuitive because they simulate the real world more directly, but with so much more control – we’re talking about 3D environments in which you can move anywhere, manipulate the environment and so on.
These metaverses can seem a little bit scary when you consider the frightening visions of this kind of thing we’ve had from films like The Matrix, but on the other hand they should allow us to work, collaborate and also play together in more productive and enjoyable ways than the current methods we have. Of course, many people are already using them especially for gaming.
There’s a lot to discuss regarding these sorts of new online spaces, and I say “new” but they’re not really that new – remember Second Life – the immersive 3D online world? And of course there are all the online multiplayer games that people play – including things like GTA online.
The metaverse has been around for years in various forms. So, there’s a lot to discuss here in terms of what the metaverse is, how it could be used and the philosophical ramifications of it all but what Andy and I are going to focus on in this conversation is how the metaverse could be used as an environment in which to learn and teach English, and what the advantages of that could be.
So that’s the main focus of our chat really. Then after that, we have a chat about the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian. This is quite long overdue on this podcast as I wanted to talk about it in an episode or two at the start of 2021 when The Mandalorian season 2 was first streamed on Disney+ and it was all fresh in people’s minds. Quite a few listeners got in touch to ask me to share my thoughts on it on the podcast – so, finally here we go. There’s about 25 minutes of chat about The Mandalorian, including spoilers for the end of season 2.
Now, I know that not everyone is a Star Wars fan, which is totally fine of course, so it might not be for all of you, but it’s at the end of this conversation so hopefully the Star Wars fans will be happy to hear us discuss it (quite briefly I must say) and the non-Star Wars fans can feel free just to take it or leave it. In any case, keep listening if you want to hear me talking about The Mandalorian, finally.
We’re nearly ready to start but I think I should also add something about the lexicology of the word “Meta”, since we are talking about The Metaverse here.
I would say that metaverse is something of a portmanteau word because it’s a bit like a new word which has been made by sticking together two other words: meta and universe.
The verse part is from universe of course, and also have multiverse is a trending word at the moment because of the new Spiderman film and the upcoming Doctor Strange film “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” Multiverse means a system of many interconnected universes or parallel worlds and I think now in phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe we have many different alternate realities all converging, which should be entertaining and quite confusing as well, potentially. But multiverse is not the word we’re dealing with here – that’s another episode for another time.
So let me just refocus on metaverse. So we know what the -verse part of that means – universe.
But what about meta?
This word (or prefix) is currently being used more than ever.
You probably saw the recent news that Facebook changed its name to Meta. Actually the social network will still be called Facebook as far as I know. The company behind it though, will be called Meta.
So what is the word meta? Is it even a word, or just a prefix? Let’s see.
The word or prefix “meta” comes from Ancient Greek and essentially means “beyond” or “about”.
There are many uses of the word. In some cases the it’s an adjective – “That’s very meta” and some cases it’s a prefix to a noun, like in metaphysical or metaverse.
Essentially, meta refers to going beyond something or going outside something, and becoming self aware.
In the case of the metaverse, which is a metaphysical online universe, this means going beyond the normal physical limitations of the real world, and entering a world which is somehow outside that reality – a world, like The Matrix, which is free from the limitations of the real world. So that’s an example of when meta means “beyond”.
Sometimes meta means “about”, and for me this is like going outside of something and then looking back at the thing you have transcended and commenting on it, talking about it and so on.
For example, a film might be described as meta when the the film becomes self-aware and starts commenting the medium of film itself. This is hard to explain.
Let’s say this – the TV series Friends was not very meta, I think. The characters lived in their world and lived their lives and there was never a sense that they knew they were living in a fictional made up place. But, if at any point the characters in the film started commenting on their world but from an outside view, then that would be meta. For example, if Chandler and Joey started commenting on how their apartment building wasn’t real or that they lived inside a TV show, or if Rachel said something like “I’m a waitress, so how can I afford to live in this nice big apartment in Manhattan??” maybe even looking at the camera while doing it, then that would be quite meta – if the show started to realise it was just a show, and in fact was commenting on that. Then the show would be outside of itself and commenting on itself – self aware.
So that’s meta the adjective, meaning self-referential, or self-aware – the “about” part of that old Greek meaning.
Another example of meta.
In learning English we talk about metacognitive strategies. These are ways of thinking about how you learn, and the way you think about learning. You go outside of your normal learning behaviour, observe it, consider it and think about it, perhaps creating new ways to think about and approach your learning habits. For example, many of the things that Bahar from Iran talked about in her episode of the WISBOLEP competition this year – these were metacognitive strategies. Her first approach to learning English didn’t work, so she actually stepped out of her position, reconsidered her whole approach, and created other ways of thinking and learning, and the results worked well. She applied some metacognitive strategies to her learning of English.
Meta can also be a noun, in gaming especially. People talk about a meta while gaming. I’m not completely sure about this because I’m not really a gamer, but as far as I can tell, a “meta” is the best strategy to use in order to win a game. I’ve even read that it’s an acronym – the “Most Effective Tactics Available”. That’s a bit specific and only for the L33T gamers out there.
There are also other uses of the word meta, but they’re very specific and relate to things like different mathematical and scientific systems. But I think that’s probably enough about the word or prefix meta at this stage.
Let’s now go back to the metaverse again, and consider how immersive 3D online worlds can help us learn and teach English. That’s the main aim for this conversation.
You’re probably fully primed for some metaverse and Mandalorian chat now, but of course there is about 10 minutes of general chat and catching up with Andy before we get into the topic properly. That’s just the way things are done on LEP. This is the way.
OK, so now that you’re prepared for the episode, let’s get started!
Learn English in the metaverse with Fluent Worlds Academy here academy.fluentworlds.com/
How many M words came up in this episode?
It’s like Andy and I only exist in a parallel universe where everything begins with an M.
Bonus points for any listeners who can find any other significant M words in this conversation.
(I found one: metacognitive strategies)
Author and illustrator Penny Dale talks about the process of creating successful books for children, including some of her most popular books such as Ten In The Bed and the Dinosaur series. Video version available. Audio version has 30mins extra rambling.
Hi listeners, welcome back to the podcast.
Just before I introduce the episode properly, I have some Amber & Paul news for you. First of all, Amber and Paul will be back on the podcast very soon. It’s been a while since they made an appearance, but probably the next episode will be with them, which is nice. But also, Amber and I will be on Paul’s YouTube live show on Monday 6 December at 8pm Paris time.
Every Monday Paul does a live show called Paul Taylor’s Happy Hour Live – you can find that by searching for it on YouTube. In the show he features guests and they respond to comments from the audience and generally talk and have fun. His next guests will be Amber and me (finally – we’re both going to be on it together) and that’s on Monday 6 December at 8pm Paris time. If you’re listening to this after that date and you’ve already missed it or if you can’t watch it live, you will be able to see the replay on Paul’s YouTube channel.
OK? So, if you’re keen for more Amber, Paul and Luke action – check out Paul Taylor’s Happy Hour Live on Monday 6 December at 8pm, either live or on replay.
Another thing – my merch stores are currently offering discounts, so if you’d like to get an LEP t-shirt or mug or hoodie or something – for yourself or as a Christmas present for another LEPster, now might be a good time because of discounts. Just go to www.teacherluke.co.uk/merch to find the merch stores.
Also, I hope you enjoyed the previous episode of this podcast – also with Penny Dale. I just wanted to let Premium LEPsters know that there is a premium episode in the pipeline, which will be called “What did Penny say?” and that’s going to cover vocabulary from our conversation about the Bath Arts Workshop. So, that’s coming. For all the info about LEP Premium, go to www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo
~ Jingle ~
Hello, so, let me tell you about his episode, briefly. In this one I am talking again to Penny Dale. This time we focus on her work as an author and illustrator of children’s books – and she’s had a very successful career doing that, which is quite rare.
I think this conversation is absolutely lovely – and I hope you agree. It’s just nice listening to Penny talking about her work, especially as the work itself is so thoughtful and done with a lot of care and attention, and it’s all for children.
Just to give you an overview, you are going to hear Penny talking about these things:
This conversation includes references to some of her most popular titles, including Ten In The Bed, Dinosaur Dig, Dinosaur Farm and Dinosaur Rocket.
The video version includes some pictures – that’s mostly Penny showing pages from her books, but she describes the images in some detail so even without the video version you should still get you a good idea of what her work actually looks like. But you can see the work in the video version. The audio version of this, which you listening to now, has more content in it – this introduction and there will an ending ramble from me of some kind too, so – take your pick. Video version on YouTube, audio podcast version, or both!
OK then, without any further ado, let’s find out about how Penny has created successful books for children.
Luke rambles about some upcoming content, the new Beatles documentary, and a few other things.
Amber & Paul on location in a famous museum – talking about some amazing works of art from various periods, including the Mona Lisa – that famous portrait by Leonardo da Vinci.
Don’t forget Paul Tayor’s Happy Hour Live (watch the replay if you missed the live stream) Monday 6 December at 8PM CET.
Andy Johnson will be back on the podcast soon (long term listeners might remember Andy)
I’m desperate to talk about the new Beatles documentary, and I think I will – when I get the chance!
Talks in English at the British Council in Paris – “Why we love The Beatles” <– my talk, which is scheduled for Thursday 27 January 2022 – 19.00
Link to reserve your seat www.britishcouncil.fr/en/events/talks-english-beatles or just go to britishcouncil.fr and then What’s On.
If you’re in Paris – come along to that. I’m going to record a podcast while doing it, I hope.
I’ve still got a lot on my plate! I will upload as regularly as possible, but we will see if the podcast gets disrupted by the move which is still yet to happen. New pod-room.
LEP Merch – Christmas present ideas? All the designs, including competition winners – they’re all there. Watch out for discounts in the merch stores.