Category Archives: Competition

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.

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.


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 :)

258. Award Win / Thank you! / Poem

This is a very short podcast episode because I don’t have much time, but I just wanted to say a very sincere THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me in the 2014 Macmillan Love English Awards. I’m proud to say that I won my category: Best Blog 2014 for the 4th year in a row! I am absolutely delighted, and as a way of expressing my delight I’ve decided to write a poem (extremely quickly – it’s no masterpiece!) I hope you enjoy it, and thank you again! [Download]

Small Donate ButtonPlease write your own poems in the comments section. Just have fun and try to make the words rhyme. You can write a poem about anything, and it can be as short or as long as you like. Thank you! (If you can’t think of a topic – try writing something about LEP or learning English).

My Epic Masterpiece of a Poem – POEM OF THANKS!
I won the award
It’s thanks to y’all
I hope you’re not bored
by me talking about the award
All in all
It’s great to have you on board
You’re all from abroad
And you felt inclined
To take the time
To go online
And vote in kind
for the podcast that’s mine
It makes me feel fine
Like the sun that shines
Thank you to you
For doing what you did
And I hope you consid(er)
You’re the real winner
Because by voting for me you bring more attention to the site, raising the profile of the podcast, broadening the audience, and ultimately helping me to keep doing this with confidence, which then feeds into the way in which I record episodes, and encourages me to continue doing this project which I started 5 and a half years ago and which continues to amaze me in terms of how popular it is, how useful it is to many listeners, and how I could possibly turn this whole venture into a career.

The rhyming broke down, but I did say that I hadn’t prepared it, right?
It’s hardly a masterpiece, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just for fun.

Here’s the rejected part of my poem
And voting for who
You felt was more true
“I listen to you
when sitting on the loo”
Is a sentence that you
might use to describe
a side of your life
that involves listening to me
while you do a pee
because, you see
your time is quality
I mean you can see
That you have to multi task

Here’s the video of Eminem talking about rhyming

Why don’t you try to write a poem in the comments section?
You could try to continue my one (can you think of something that rhymes with ‘multi task’?) or you could create your own poem.
Remember: Just try to have fun and make the words rhyme. No pressure to be the next Eminem!

251. Welcome to LEP / 16 Things You Should Know about LEP

The podcast has been nominated in the Macmillan Dictionary Award and the voting is now open here

[Download]Small Donate Button
When I get nominated for this competition, I usually have quite a lot of new visitors to the site by people who are checking out the podcast for the first time. So, let me take this opportunity to say hello to any new visitors and to give you an idea of what LEP is all about.

In this episode I’m going to tell you 16 things you need to know about LEP. After listening to this, you should have a better idea of what this podcast is all about!

16 Things You Should Know about Luke’s English Podcast
1. I’m a teacher from London, living in Paris, with about 14 years of experience and both a CELTA and DELTA qualification. I’ve lived in Japan too, and I have experience of teaching adults and children at all levels of English, for general, business or more specific purposes. Students I’ve had in the past include Brazilian world cup winners, Scandinavian heads of state, top business executives and even a porn star. I now teach at The British Council and at a top university in Paris.

2. I started LEP in 2009 after taking a course in podcasting with The Consultants E. At the time I just felt like I wanted to have my own radio show, and I discovered ways of creating podcasts on my new Apple Mac laptop, and realised I could publish them myself on iTunes, and then get the word out using social networking. I started to get really busy producing episodes of the podcast. The aim was always to mix up teaching with general entertainment. I wanted to produce episodes that were instructive but also fun to listen to for their own sake.

3. I’m also a stand-up comedian, and I do try to use those skills in my episodes too, from time to time! I do stand-up comedy regularly in Paris, in English. This may not be obvious from this episode, as I’m not adding any jokes to it! From time to time I share some videos of my comedy on this website, and some of my listeners have come to see me perform my comedy live, which is great!

4. The podcast now has over 250 episodes, and I have a really loyal following. In fact, my listeners have lots of names – the LEPpers (yes, LEP stands for Luke’s English Podcast), LEPsters, LEPaholics, LEP Ninjas, PLEPS (people of Luke’s English Podcast) and so on.

5. Some of my listeners have created podcasts of their own, after being inspired to do so by listening to LEP.

6. There are various types of episode that you can expect on the podcast. Some are about specific aspects of English, for example – episodes about idioms, grammar points, pronunciation, vocabulary, and slang. In some episodes I try to keep my listeners locked-in and entertained by making up improvised stories off the top of my head. In some episodes I feature interviews and conversations with friends, family and special guests. Some episodes involve me just talking directly to my audience about whatever comes into my head. Some episodes are about films, music or popular culture, and some episodes deal with specific aspects of British culture and lifestyle. So the podcast covers a broad range of topics. Ultimately, I love the freedom of being able to talk about anything I like! The main thing is that it creates engaging content that encourages learners of English to do more and more listening!

Here’s a quick list of some of the more popular episodes of this podcast:
1. Introduction – this is the first episode I did back in April 2009 and it outlines my basic approach to LEP.
28. Interview with a Native Speaker: The Weather – this one follows on from a vocabulary episode about British weather and features an authentic interview with a teenager called Chris, and his odd views about foreigners in the UK
29. Mystery Story / Narrative Tenses – this is one of the most visited of my episodes. It teaches you narrative tenses (past simple, past continuous, past perfect) via a short mystery story that features several of the UK’s most beloved popular culture icons. The story is continued in the next episode.
71. The Ice-Cream Episode – an unplanned rant on topics such as: Amazon Kindles, robots & technology in Hollywood films and why we should put down the weapons and pick up an ice-cream instead, man.
83. How to Swear in British English – an indispensable guide to all the rudest words in British English. It’s extremely offensive, but extremely useful.
100. Going to the Pub – the guide to everything you need to know before you step into a pub in the UK.
118. Sick In Japan – the true story of how I ended up sick in a Japanese hospital. It contains loads of medical and health related vocabulary, culture shock and a story which is engaging from start to finish!
125. The Pink Gorilla Story – one of the most popular ever, this is just an improvised story that regularly makes people laugh out loud, and which I really should convert into a one-man-show stage play!
140. Ghost Stories – just some scary true stories to keep you awake at night
167. Memory, Mnemonics and Learning English – revolutionise your learning techniques with these powerful memory devices.
174. How to Learn English with Luke’s English Podcast – this is your guide to improving your English using my podcast.
176. Grammar: Verb Tense Review – this is a very complete guide to all the main tenses in English
192. Culture Shock: Life in London – this episode deals with many of those strange aspects of the English lifestyle that foreigners find so hard to understand.
208. Travelling in Indonesia – one of many episodes about travelling experiences, this one has quite a dramatic beginning.

There are plenty more episodes which are popular with listeners, in fact everyone seems to have a different favourite. But that’s just a selection of some of the most visited pages on my website.

7. Yes, my episodes are quite long, but I always explain it like this: Firstly, all my favourite podcasts are long, and I think that it’s quite normal for podcasts to be about an hour long. Radio shows also tend to be at least an hour long too, so why not my podcast? It’s better for my listeners if they listen for an extended period. Why should listening only last 15 minutes? I can’t achieve very much in just 10-15 minutes, and I want my episodes to have some depth and rigour to them. Also, listeners can just pause the episode when they’ve had enough, and come back to it later!

8. I have a transcript collaboration project on my website, which allows listeners to transcribe sections of episodes and build a whole library of transcripts for other LEPsters to use. This is good for the transcribers because it is a big challenge and a good way to improve their English, and it’s good for the other listeners because we have an ever-growing library of transcripts which they can use to help them understand episodes. The collaboration is hosted on my website and is done using google documents.

9. I have won this award three times before and that is completely thanks to my devoted audience, who every year come out in force to vote for me. I hope to repeat the success this year, but I am up against stiff competition! Whatever the result, I’m just happy to have been nominated again.

10. The podcast has had 3 million listens in just over a year, since moving to a new audio host ( which is amazing!

11. I also have some videos on YouTube and they are pretty hot as well! My channel has had about 2.5 million views in total, but I haven’t uploaded anything for a while. The popular videos are ones I did in 2009 and feature me interviewing members of the public in the centre of London. There’s also a video called “16 Ways to Say I Like It”, which you may have seen too.

12. I launch competitions of my own from time to time, for listeners to take part in. The last one was called “Your English Podcast” and I invited listeners to send me short recordings of them doing their own versions of LEP. I received lots of entries and votes and the winner was interviewed on the podcast as a prize.

13. These days I record episodes of my podcast in a room at the top of my apartment, where I have great views of the rooftops of Paris from the windows. I call it the “SpacePod” or “SkyPod” and it’s the podcast HQ!

14. I have another podcast, called A Phrasal Verb a Day. It’s on iTunes and on my website. That is made up of short episodes devoted to individual phrasal verbs. I give definitions, examples and explanations. It’s a great way to pick up more of those tricky items of vocabulary – phrasal verbs. My goal was to record one a day in 2014. I didn’t reach my goal, but I haven’t given up and I still add episodes to the series when I can.

15. I love playing the drums, guitar, bass and ukulele (but not at the same time) and occasionally at the end of podcast episodes I play a song on the ukulele – but you have to listen all the way to the end of the episode to hear it.

16. I put my heart, soul, time, energy, humour, money and love into making episodes of LEP. It’s become quite a big thing in my life after having done it now for nearly 6 years. I enjoy a close and warm relationship with my listeners, I always welcome new additions to the LEP family, and in the future I plan to build my service more and more until I can perhaps do this for a living somehow. The future’s bright and I hope that many more people will join me on this journey to create authentic, entertaining and interesting content that helps you not only to improve your English but to enjoy yourself while doing it. So, I invite you to start listening today and like thousands of others get addicted to LEP – it’s good for your English!

If you haven’t already done it, I invite you to vote for LEP by clicking here. Thank you for your continuing support!
vote for us_love english2

245. Merry Christmas! (+ Other News) + Video!

This is just a chance to wish you all a Merry Christmas and to give you a bit of news. There is a video for this episode, featuring 15 minutes of extra footage which I filmed before recording the audio episode. You can watch it below. [Download audio]

Small Donate ButtonVideo – I started recording this 15 minutes before starting the podcast, so you’ll see me preparing myself to start recording, and I show you what it’s like to record a podcast in the slightly cramped (and badly lit) conditions of the ‘spacepod’ or ‘sky pod’! Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera ran out after about 30 minutes! Never mind – the audio podcast is my main focus anyway. :)

Contents of this episode
1. MEEEERY CHRISTMAS (if you celebrate it)
Click these links for previous episodes about Christmas:
160. The A to Z of Christmas
78. Christmas – It’s all about Family

2. Macmillan Competition

3. Nicknames – LEPPERS, LEPSTERS, LEPPISH, PLEPs, LEP Ninjas, LEP FC, The Cult of LEP, LEP United, LEPPARDS, LEPPANS, LEPIANS, LEPANESE, LEPLANDERS, LEPaholics… what do you think? Which nickname do you prefer? Do you need just one nickname or can we use lots of different aliases? I might do a proper survey on this to let you choose your nickname by committee.

4. Emails – I don’t get many opportunities to properly reply to your emails, and I get loads of them. I’ve tried lots of things – putting them in other folders, forwarding to other inboxes etc. The problem is, I just can’t get around to it. The reason is because I can’t really reply to you all individually. I have to just talk to you as one large group. Sorry if you have sent me an email and I haven’t replied. Really – I am very sorry and it hurts a little bit because you’ve gone out of your way. I love to receive emails but I can’t always reply. I haven’t published my email address on the website and I don’t mention it in the podcast (I used to) because I’d rather the correspondence came via and was public. That way I’m more likely to reply. Correspondence between me and you privately is very rare. So, if you have comments, do leave them on the website. I genuinely love reading your comments and I’m frequently impressed by what a lovely community of people I have listening to this podcast. It’s quite amazing really, so keep doing that – I’m sure I have a large silent majority out there. Most people don’t correspond with me directly. That’s fine. I never send emails to my favourite podcasters (except a text I sent to the Adam & Joe show once, which they read out!) So I understand that most of you have never commented or anything. I would like to hear from you so do get in touch. You could be a long term listener but first time commenter, or whatever. Anyway, I can’t always reply to specific requests which I get sent by email, and I do get a lot. For example, I often get emails with specific requests like giving you help for the IELTS test, asking for advice on visiting France or The UK or whatever. I would honestly love to reply fully to those mails but I can’t justify sitting down to write a full email when that time must be spent on other things.

What I would like to do is publicly read out some emails. I think this is a great way to give you a voice. If you would like to send me emails that I can reply to live on the podcast, please send your emails to, that’s I will assume that if you send any email there that you’re happy for me to read it out on the podcast and reply to it orally. I can’t guarantee that all your emails there will be broadcast, but let’s try it. Send emails you’d like me to read out and respond to on LEP to

I realise there’s a forum section for questions you’ve asked me, and in fact several times I’ve attempted to record episodes in response to those forum questions and for one reason or another I had to abandon recording due to technical errors, and time issues. I’m trying to find a system for giving you a voice on the podcast at the moment. Let’s try a few ways until we get the right one. Perhaps the email inbox idea will give me just a little more discretion regarding which emails I reply to.

I am a little wary of giving you the impression that you can make requests for the podcast. One of the ways I can make this podcast work with my time schedule is to have total control over what I put out. It allows me to be flexible, determine my own schedule, motivate me by allowing me to have creative freedom and also it probably gives the podcast a distinctive and original quality. I do get requests that I’m sure would please a lot of people, but they would require a heck of a lot of preparation. Sometimes I do put a lot of time into episodes, but those are the ones I just seem to be particularly driven to produce, out of some urgent sense of creativity. Essentially, the urge to do episodes has to come from me, or they won’t really get done. So, at the end of the day I decide all of the output of the podcast, but it would be nice to feature your input too. Perhaps is a good way of doing that. Send your correspondence there and I will aim to stick it into episodes of the podcast, and comment on your questions that way.

5. Lost podcasts. I’ve recorded a few episodes over the years that were not published or got lost due to a hard drive accident. You will probably never hear them and will never know what they were about…

Thank you for listening and Merry Christmas everyone!


233. YEP! Winner

Here’s my conversation with the overall YEP competition winner, Edgar Hernandez from Mexico (aka Bono Chimp). [Download]

Again, apologies for the slight technical issue in this recording – there’a a bit of a delay which makes it sound like I’m interrupting Edgar. I assure you, it’s a technical fault due to recording via Skype – I’m not really that rude or impatient!

I hope you enjoy the conversation. Now it’s back to business as usual for LEP.

232. YEP! Runners Up (Part 2)

Hi everyone. In this episode you can listen to conversations I had with YEP competition runners up Yannick, Aritz, Phil and Javier. They won their groups in the competition. In the next episode you’ll be able to listen to my conversation with the overall winner, Edgar from Mexico. [Download]

p.s. I’m a little bit frustrated by a technical issue in some of these interviews. There’s a slight delay on some of the Skype recordings – my interviewees responses are a bit late, and my responses come too quickly. It sounds like I’m rudely interrupting my interviewees sometimes. I hope it doesn’t bother you too much, or make me sound too rude!

Listen to Phil’s favourite episode “Hip Hop Lyric Analysis” by clicking here.

223. YEP! Competition Winners

YEP Competition Results, news and some rambling about mosquitoes and TV documentaries about ghosts. Right-click here to download.

Small Donate ButtonWelcome back to Luke’s English Podcast. Over the course of this episode you are going to find out the results of the YEP Competition which I launched this summer.

In case you’ve forgotten the details, or you’ve been living under a rock for the last two months, here is a re-cap of has happened so far in the competition. I launched it in August as a way to celebrate the 5th birthday and 200 episodes of LEP. I thought – it’s time for another competition! So I did a bit of planning and scheming, and came up with the idea of “Your English Podcast”, which I launched in episode 200. I invited listeners to send me up to 5 minutes of audio, as if they were recording a portion of their own English podcast. I had no idea how many people would enter but in the end I got about 80 recordings. Then I realised, “oh my goodness, that’s about 8 hours of podcast time! What am I going to do?” In the end I just broadcast them all, in a mini-series entitled Your English Podcast. If you’ve managed to listen to them all you’ll have heard people from around the world telling us about themselves. There was a range of different voices from different parts of the globe and personally I found it quite inspiring and even touching to listen to. Admittedly it was quite a long series and you may have struggled to keep up with it all. In fact, you might have just skipped them entirely – that’s your choice, it’s a free country (depending on which country you’re in) but when it comes to LEP you’re free to do whatever you want and that includes skipping over the YEP episodes if you choose to, although I hope that you didn’t do that because I think there’s plenty of value in hearing non-native speakers speaking English from time to time, and anyway, it was an international celebration! After uploading all the competition entries my website exploded with comments & votes, which suggests that the competition was a bit of a hit with most people. Voting ended at the end of last month, leaving me with a bit of counting to do. I’ve done that, and now it’s time to publish the results, and that’s what you’re going to get in this episode.
– Winners of each group
– The numbers of votes cast
– The overall winner of the whole competition
– What’s going to happen next?
– Some general news

The first thing I’d like to say is that everyone’s a winner.
I know this is a competition, and therefore there have to be winners and losers, but for me it’s like cricket – it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part, and I think everyone took part magnificently.
Well done for plucking up the courage to enter in the first place.
I’m really impressed by everyone and it’s actually really touching to hear from you all. It brings home to me the fact there are loads of actual human beings listening to my words, and engaging with my episodes.
I’m also really impressed by the number of votes cast. 666 votes in total! (This means absolutely nothing) That’s an average of about 85 votes per episode.

Here are the results for each group (in ascending order):
Episode 1
9th place: Arturo from Mexico & Ashish from India – 0 votes – Chin up guys ;)
7th place: Artur from Kazakstan & Alexis from Canary Islands – 1 vote
6th place: Adam from Poland – 4 votes
5th place: Bella from Russia – 5 votes
4th place: Bruno from Brazil – 10 votes
3rd place: Alexander from Russia – 21 votes
2nd place: Anna from Ukraine – 24 votes
1ST PLACE: ARITZ FROM SPAIN – 26 VOTES – Congratulations Aritz!

Episode 2
9th place: Dega from Mexico & Eliza from Finland – 0 votes – No worries Dega, and Eliza wasn’t taking part anyway so no hard feelings ;)
7th place: Dmitry from Russia & Charley from Sri Lanka – 1 vote
6th place: Daniel from Poland – 2 votes
5th place: Chriss from Mexico – 3 votes
3rd place: Daniele from Italy & Dharmendra from India – 5 votes
2nd place: Edgar from Brazil – 6 votes
1ST PLACE: EDGAR FROM MEXICO – 100 votes – It’s a landslide victory!

Episode 3
8th place: Enrique from Spain, Gerald from France/Belgium & Gudu from Ethiopia – 0 votes – commiserations guys!
6th place: Evgeny from Russia & Gabriella from Italy – 1 vote each
5th place: Gabriela from Brazil – 5 votes
4th place: Eugenia from Romania – 7 votes
3rd place: Gabor from Hungary – 9 votes
2nd place: Guillaume from Switzerland – 10 votes
1ST PLACE: GIOVANNI FROM ITALY – 33 votes – congratulations!

Episode 4
10th place: Irul from Indonesia – 0 votes – You’re still awesome Irul!
8th place: Harvey from Colombia & Hydy from India – 1 vote each
6th place: Hien from Vietnam & Irina from Russia – 3 votes each
4th place: Hiroshi from Japan & Ivan from Russia – 4 votes each
3rd place: Ivan from Indonesia – 20 votes
2nd place: Hamid from Pakistan – 26 votes
1ST PLACE: JAVIER FROM SPAIN – 35 votes – Well done!

Episode 5
10th place: Jiang from China – 0 votes – sorry mate!
9th place: June from Korea – 2 votes
7th place: Jose from Chile & Krissy from Germany – 3 votes
6th place: Luciana from Brazil – 4 votes
5th place: Klenisson from Brazil – 5 votes
4th place: Konstantin from Russia – 7 votes
3rd place: Lulu from Taiwan – 8 votes
2nd place: Ksenia from Russia – 11 votes
1ST PLACE: KEVSER FROM TURKEY – 32 votes – well done, you smashed it!

Episode 6
9th place: Olga from Russia & Pavel from Russia – 0 votes – don’t let it bring you down!
8th place: Morela from Italy – 1 vote
6th place: Mario from Italy & Nacho from Spain – 3 votes
5th place: Magda from Poland – 4 votes
4th place: Pedro from Peru – 8 votes
3rd place: Nikolai from Russia – 13 votes
2nd place: Oleksander from Ukraine/Denmark – 21 votes
1ST PLACE: MAX FROM ITALY – 38 – give yourself a pat on the back!

Episode 7
9th place: Poom from Thailand & Shaimaa from Egypt – 0 votes – better luck next time guys!
8th place: Terry from Hong Kong – 1 vote
6th place: Tomas from Germany & Renata from Russia – 2 votes each [Renata from Russia – I’m so sorry for not mentioning your name in this episode! Please forgive me!]
5th place: Renato from Brazil – 4 votes
4th place: Ventakesh from India – 5 votes
3rd place: Sergey from Russia – 7 votes
2nd place: Sasha from Russia – 26 votes
1ST PLACE: PHIL FROM ITALY – 42 votes – it’s a runaway victory!

Episode 8
5th place: Yuri from Brazil – 3 votes
4th place: Wilkson from Brazil – 4 votes
3rd place: Yaron from Israel – 6 votes
2nd place: Yayang from Indonesia – 12 votes
1ST PLACE: YANNICK FROM SWITZERLAND – 13 votes – Congrat-YOU-lations!

Let’s not forget: Zdenek from Czech Rep. (not competing) and Alex from Russia – 2 votes (but he was too late I’m afraid)

8th place: Yannick from Switzerland – 13 votes
7th place: Aritz from Spain – 26 votes
6th place: Kevser from Turkey – 32 votes
5th place: Giovanni from Italy – 33 votes
4th place: Javier from Spain – 35 votes
3rd place: Max from Italy – 38 votes
2nd place: Phil from Italy – 42 votes

What’s the Next Step?
I’ll speak to each runner-up for up to 10 minutes.
The winner gets up to 30 minutes.
Winners – I’ll contact you by email to arrange a time for a conversation.
Eventually, when I’ve recorded all the conversations I’ll publish them in a couple of episodes.
So – winners, check your inboxes and start thinking about things you might like to say to the people of the world.
Listeners – feel free to write questions in comments. I’ll be glad to ask your questions to our winners.

Remember – it’s not really about winning or losing. Everyone’s a winner in my book!

My Dad listened to the competition episodes and he was quite moved by it! I’m quite proud because he sent me this email.

A Message from my Dad:

Dear Luke,

I have just spent the past hour listening to your latest episode of YEP, featuring contributions from listeners from Brazil, Switzerland, Russia, Indonesia etc. It is truly INCREDIBLE that you have created this international community. Yes it’s a fan club, but it is much more than that. The listeners clearly use it as an English learning resource, and the idea of entertaining while educating works well. But it is also an international society, where peace and understanding is a theme.

I think your podcasts – 5 years on – are really terrific, and I hope that your two jobs and everything else will not prevent you from keeping the service going. Well done you!!


That’s nice, isn’t it. It’s always quite satisfying to get some validation from your old man. (By the way – in case you were wondering, it’s quite normal for a son to call his father his “old man” and it’s not an insult – in fact, it’s quite a familiar and informal way to refer to your Dad)

Possible Controversy
There might be a little bit of controversy following the release of these results. There normally is a bit of disagreement related to this kind of thing, and it’s to be expected. Here are some of the things I expect might arise:
– Someone might demand a recount. If you believe I’ve miscounted the votes, then feel free to count all the votes again if you’ve got the time! Then you can leave a message with an appeal for a recount. It may be possible that I’ve miscounted by one vote here or there, so I don’t think it will make a huge difference to the final results.

If you would like to appeal and demand a re-count, go ahead!
I will take any controversy with a pinch of salt.

In Other News
The academic year has started again and I have rather a busy schedule. In fact, I should be planning my classes now, not doing this. I’ve got kids classes and everything. I’m a bit stressed about this. I shouldn’t be, but I just keep remembering my stressful experiences teaching children in Japan, but that was over 10 years ago at the beginning of my career. Anyway, one thing’s for sure, I’m going to be even busier this year.
This may affect the frequency with which I can upload episodes, which is a bit frustrating. Of course, I have loads of ideas up my sleeve and I do not plan to stop. If I go a bit quiet – you’ll know why. I’m just dealing with a workload. Oh yes, and I’ve got a wedding to prepare in July as well!

I got bitten by a mosquito two nights running. That was annoying. What happens to mosquitoes in the winter? Click here for the answer to that question: Mosquitoes in the Cold. (Thank you to LEPPER Fafi Gutierrez)

Audioboo has become Audioboom. As far as I can see it’s just an image makeover, with a new logo, but the actual service is pretty much the same with a few small improvements. They have a new app on the App Store. At the moment it’s just for iPhone. It’s a much better app than before, but I haven’t used it much. Anyway, I’ll now be calling it Audioboom not Audioboo.

There’s an issue with my RSS feed. They have a limit of 200 items. I have more than that. So, on iTunes some of the early episodes do not show up, which is annoying. If you’re new to the podcast – go to to find a full archive of all the older episodes.

The podcast has been listened to over 2,000,000 times since I moved to Audioboom about 10 months ago.
That seems incredible – but let’s consider that number at bit more carefully.
I have over 200 episodes on Audioboom, so on average that’s about 10,000 listens per episode. It’s not that many listens compared to some teachers on YouTube. Perhaps I should be on YouTube, because there’s a much bigger audience there. But, this is an audio podcast, not a video one. I’ve said before that I prefer audio, at the moment. Audio is more flexible – you can listen to it anywhere, even while you’re doing something else. It’s quite intimate and I feel like it’s good for the brain because it allows you to picture in your mind’s eye what I’m explaining, without being captivated by visual stimulus. Also, I love radio and I feel there’s a certain romance and intimacy in radio. Also, it is much easier and less time-consuming for me to make audio podcasts. So, with a busy schedule – audio is the best way. For now, those YouTube teachers will get more views than me, but here I am, rocking the airwaves, doing my thing on the podcast, with my awesome clan of listeners. And, 2m listens in a year is really rather a big deal. As I’ve said before though, I feel like this is just the beginning of what I can achieve. I intend to do more with this thing I’ve got going on here.

Going back to that 2m listens statistic – the other thing that I don’t know is how many of those are people who are fully engaged from the start to the end of each episode. I expect there are a lot of people who are subscribed to me on iTunes, and their computer downloads the episodes automatically, but they’re not actually listening. Those will still count as ‘listens’ in my stats. Also, some of those numbers will be people who listen a little bit before deciding that they don’t want to listen any more. So, I don’t know how many are complete listens and incomplete listens.

Well, those of you who listen to every episode from start to finish – you know who you are. You’re the LEPPERS, and you’re an awesome gang of ninjas, who abide by the code of LEP. I don’t know what that code is to be honest, because I’ve never written it down. I think it’s an unspoken code of secret principles based on a love of ice-cream, English, stand-up comedy and dub reggae. Something like that.

You can’t please all the people all the time, so sometimes the only person I can please is myself. As long as I’m happy doing this then I’ll have a sense that my audience can be happy with it too.

Small Donate ButtonThank you for taking part in this competition. It’s been amazing. Thank you for your entries, for all your votes, and for your support. Thank you in particular if you have recently donated to the podcast. You are personally keeping this podcast going. Without donations I can’t justify doing it. 5 years of my life have gone into this. It would be awful if I realise one day that the whole thing has been a waste of my time and I’ve neglected my career or other aspects of my life because I’ve thrown so much energy into LEP. Do help to prevent that from happening by offering a donation to pay me back for my hard work. As a business model, that’s the best I can do right now. If you don’t want to do that, or can’t – no worries! There’s no obligation, but do consider where all this stuff is coming from – a lot of the time that’s the bottom of my heart.

Ok, that’s enough of that!


218. YEP! Competition Entries #8

This is the eighth and final episode of this mini-series entitled “Your English Podcast” or “YEP” for short, and in this episode I am going to showcase more recordings sent to me by listeners as part of a big competition. I’ve launched to celebrate the 5th birthday and 200 episodes of LEP. All the details of this competition are in episode 200 so you might like to listen to that one first if you haven’t already. Also, before I play you this set of competition entries I’m going to give you some information, rules and guidelines about the voting process. Click here to read those rules and guidelines.
Right-click here to download this episode.
Small Donate ButtonIn episode 7 you’re going to hear recordings from these LEPSTERS:
Phil from Italy
Poom from Thailand
Renata from Russia
Renato from Brazil
Sasha from Russia
Sergey from *secret*
Shaimaa from Egypt
Terry from Hong Kong, China
Tomas from Germany
Ventakesh from India

Voting in the competition is now closed.

216. YEP! Competition Entries #6

This is the sixth episode of this mini-series entitled “Your English Podcast” or “YEP” for short, and in this episode I am going to showcase more recordings sent to me by listeners as part of a big competition. I’ve launched to celebrate the 5th birthday and 200 episodes of LEP. All the details of this competition are in episode 200 so you might like to listen to that one first if you haven’t already. Also, before I play you this set of competition entries I’m going to give you some information, rules and guidelines about the voting process. Click here to read those rules and guidelines.

Right-click here to download this episode.
Small Donate ButtonIn episode 6 you’ll hear recordings from these LEPSTERS:
Magda from Poland
Mario from Italy
Max from Italy
Morela from Italy
Nacho from Spain
Nikolai from Russia
Oleksander from Ukraine, living in Denmark
Olga from Russia
Pavel from Russia
Pedro from Peru

Voting in the competition is now closed.