Category Archives: Conversation

848. The Superpower of Starting English Early with Kids (with Bree Aesie)

Bree Aesie is an English teacher with a background in psychology, especially child development, and in this episode she comes onto LEP with advice and encouragement for parents who want to help their children to learn English from an early age.

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☝️ The audio version has extra content – an introduction and an ending ramble from Luke☝️


Listen to Luke’s funny & dramatic story on Bree’s podcast 👇 “Into The Story: Learn English with True Stories”

Visit the episode page on Bree’s website with full transcript & vocabulary notes


Intro Script for Episode 848 The Superpower of Starting English Early with Kids

Hello folks, 

As you can see, this episode is called The Superpower of Starting English early with kids and as you can probably work out from the title, we’re going back the subject of helping your children to learn English.

This is a topic I’ve touched upon in the past, notably with Alexander and his daughter Alice in episode 685 and also conversations I’ve had with my wife about this over the last few years. Also there was the fairly recent episode with Anna Tyrie about the language of children and parenting where we looked at lots of vocabulary surrounding the world of kids. That was episode 814. 

This time, the focus is on how you as a non-native speaker of English, can give your kids a head start with their learning of English by talking to them in English at home. Obviously for many of you, this might not be relevant because you don’t have children, you’re not planning to have children or because you already have children and they’re all grown up now and so it’s just too late! Or perhaps your kids are all grown up and they speak better English than you! (Some of my students do say this is a reason for their learning English)

But for a lot of you out there who are parents of young children or who are going to have children, and you want them to speak English, this episode is for you. Everyone else – stick around, there are bound to be things you can gain from this. 

I know that it might seem a bit strange to speak English to your children, or you might feel reluctant to do it because you think your level isn’t quite right. Well, this conversation is here to speak to you about that, to encourage you to do speak English with your kids, to show you that you can do it and to show you some ways in which you can do it.

My guest is Bree Aesie. She is a podcaster too and has a podcast for learners of English that focuses on storytelling. It’s called Into The Story. She invites guests onto her show to tell their personal stories. As you’ll hear, Bree invited me onto her show to tell a story of my own, and I told one which I haven’t shared on LEP before. It’s a funny and quite dramatic story of fatherhood, challenges with operating in a second language, with a bit of culture shock mixed in too. It should give you a laugh or two. You can listen to it on her podcast now – it’s being published by Bree on the same day I’m publishing this. “Into the Story” – it’s available where you get your podcasts. Link in the description.

Bree is an English teacher. She works with adults and children. She has a background in psychology and child development, and she’s very interested in the whole subject of language learning in children. Let’s listen to what she has to say about it, and here we go!

839. Kate Billington Cycled to Berlin 🚴‍♀️

Kate Billington returns for her 4th appearance on LEP to create some fun English conversation for you to listen to. We talk about lots of things, as usual, including her cycling trip to Berlin and a nasty accident she had on her bicycle in Paris earlier this year. Expect tangents, vocab, idioms, jokes, stories, cups of tea and some very “professional” podcast eating.

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The audio version has some extra content ☝️

https://youtu.be/reKNRVU6l-M

British Council Mini-English Lessons on YouTube 👇

836. Life & Life Only with Antony Rotunno [Part 2] David Blaine, Food & Diet, The Shining, Conspiracies, Comedy, Happiness

Since recording part 1 of this conversation, Antony caught COVID-19 and lost a bit of weight, but he managed to talk for about 100 minutes here about more topics he has previously covered in episodes of his podcast “Life & Life Only”. Here we discuss diverse things, including the extraordinary feats of endurance by David Blaine 🕴🏻, food and dieting 🍔, Stanley Kubrik’s film “The Shining” 🪓, the term “conspiracy theory” 🤫, the ways that comedy shows can reveal the truth 🎭, and the complex art of happiness 🙂.

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☝️The audio version includes some extra content at the end, including a song on the guitar

Topics covered in this episode

David Blaine

  • Who is David Blaine? 
  • What can we learn from his tricks?

Food

  • Do you watch what you eat or have a particular diet?

Films

  • What are your favourite films? 
  • What’s so interesting about The Shining?

Conspiracy Theories

  • What’s wrong with the phrase “conspiracy theory”?

Comedy

  • What’s your favourite comedy show?
  • Is British and American comedy different?

Happiness

  • What is the art of happiness?

Song Lyrics – “Coffee & TV” by Blur

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/blur/coffee-and-tv-chords-800996

Luke & Antony talk about the film “Sorcerer” (1977) on the Film Gold podcast

835. Life & Life Only with Antony Rotunno [Part 1] Cats, Titanic, Travelling, Teaching & Life Coaching

Antony is an English teacher, podcaster, life-coach and writer and he returns to LEP today for a conversation about topics which he has discussed in episodes of his podcast called “Life & Life Only”. Listen to us chat about why cats are good for your health 🐱, what the Titanic disaster tells us about social class 🚢, how losing his backpack while travelling taught Antony a valuable life lesson 🎒, how psychology is involved in English teaching 🧠 and more.

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Antony’s Podcast 👉 Subscribe to Life & Life Only wherever you get your podcasts https://plinkhq.com/i/1549021296?to=page

Topics for discussion in this episode

Life & Life Only (the podcast)

  • What is Life & Life Only, and what’s it all about?

Cats

  • What do you like about cats?

The Titanic

  • Why are you interested in the Titanic?
  • Can you give us a quick version of the story?

Travelling

  • Tell me about your travelling experiences.
  • Where have you been?
  • Did the experience change you at all?
  • What about losing your luggage? What happened?

Teaching English

  • How have you found the group dynamics and interpersonal dynamics of teaching?
    • Groups
    • Individuals
  • Have you had good and bad groups? What’s the difference?
  • What have you done in order to try to get the right atmosphere in a classroom?
  • Have you ever had bad or difficult experiences with students?
  • What are some of the weirdest situations in which you have taught English?

Life Coaching

  • What is life coaching and how do you do it?

Antony & Luke talk about the film “Sorcerer” (1977) on Antony’s Film Gold podcast

828. PARIS STORIES with Amber Minogue

Amber returns to the podcast to tell us some grisly stories about the history of Paris. Amber is a bit of an expert about Paris. She has read pretty much every book about the city and is also a registered tour guide here. A few years ago she set up a podcast called Paname Podcast (Paname is a nickname for Paris). Each episode contains a true story from history, with tales of battle, execution, romance, tragedy and adventure. You can get it where you get your podcasts. In this episode Amber comes onto LEP to share a few stories from her podcast series. Includes a 30-minute ramble at the end of the episodes.

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☝️Listen to the audio version of the episode to to hear an extra 30 minutes of rambling after the conversation with Amber.

Listen to Luke’s English Podcast on your phone – audio episodes are usually longer than video ones

Scan this QR code on your phone 👇 and choose a podcast app of your choice. I recommend PocketCasts.

👉 Listen to Amber’s podcast https://plinkhq.com/i/1241927554?to=page

825. Time-Travel Story, English Immersions in Malta & Playing the Bagpipes (with Alastair Budge)

Is that a confusing title? Hopefully not. As you might expect, it’s a little summary of what’s included in the episode. To give you some more details, Alastair Budge is the host of a podcast called “English Learning for Curious Minds” and he has created a new audio drama for English learners called “Pioneers of the Continuum”. It’s a time-travel adventure for English learners, and Alastair asked me to be the narrator for episode 1. In this episode of LEP, we talk about Alastair’s story, living in Malta, learning English by immersion, cliches and complaints from English speakers visiting Paris and Alastair’s story about playing the bagpipes on the streets of Paris. The audio version includes 30+mins of rambling from me at the end. Enjoy!

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Alastair’s website (podcasts + more) https://www.leonardoenglish.com/

Listen to Pioneers of the Continuum wherever you get your podcasts, from 23 May 2023 👇

Wonderwall on the bagpipes (yes, of course someone did it!)

824. The Coronation of King Charles III (with Mum & Dad) The Rick & Gill Thompson Report

Talking to my parents about the coronation ceremony of King Charles III which happened in Westminster, London on Saturday 6 May. Includes descriptions of the ceremony and discussion of some of the issues related to it, plus a few dodgy jokes along the way 👑.

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Listen to the audio version for 15+ minutes extra rambling from Luke at the end! ☝️

816. Kate Billington in the Podcastle

Kate Billington returns to LEP for the third time, to drink tea, talk about my pod-room, learning the bassoon, exam results, learning Chinese, responding to listener comments and talking about her videos on TikTok.

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Links and things

The British Council on TikTok

https://www.tiktok.com/@britishcouncilenglish?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc

Kate’s video about “It’s raining cats and dogs”

@britishcouncilenglish Replying to @sentimentalbxtch Way ahead of you! #learnontiktok #learnenglish #idioms #edutok #vocabulary #english ♬ original sound – British Council English

@britishcouncilenglish ♬ original sound – British Council English
@britishcouncilenglish Kate’s back with another ‘very funny joke’ (she made me write that…)! Tell us what you think! #britishhumour #britishcomedy #englishteacher #learnenglish #learnontiktok #vocabulary ♬ original sound – British Council English

British Council Mini-English Lesson on For & Since

Previous appearances on LEP

Introduction Transcript

Hello listeners,

Welcome back to Luke’s English Podcast. I hope you are doing fine out there in podcast land.

Kate Billington is back on the podcast today. Of course, you remember her from episodes 689 and 705. 

If you heard those episodes I’m sure you will remember Kate and I know that a lot of you out there will be very happy that she is back again and yes, Kate’s return to this podcast is long overdue. She was a very popular guest when she was on the show before. So it’s great to have her back.

Some of you don’t know Kate because you haven’t heard those episodes but there’s no need for me to introduce her fully now in the intro because I kind of do that again during the conversation, except that Kate is an English teacher from England and we work together at the British Council.

People sometimes ask if Kate has her own podcast or YouTube channel or something, because they want to hear more from her.

Well, recently she started making videos for TikTok. We do talk about this during the episode, but that’s not until the end of the conversation, so I just wanted to give you a heads up about that right now at the start.

Kate is part of a team of teachers making content for the British Council’s channel on TikTok. You’ll see that they are making shorter videos (certainly shorter than mine) about things like British English idioms, culture and other entertaining bits and pieces. So, check it out – @BritishCouncilEnglish on TikTok. The link is on the page for this episode on my website.

So, what you are about to hear is another long and rambling conversation with a guest on my podcast. Hopefully you will stay engaged and entertained throughout while practising your English listening in the process.  

All you have to do as you listen to this is keep up with the changes and tangents, and enjoy this conversational journey into things like how Kate helped me with the shelves in my pod-room, how Kate doesn’t agree with the way I arrange my books on those shelves, how it feels to be filmed while talking (and yes there is a video version of this on YouTube), we talk about Kate’s academic successes and failures (or maybe I should say “failure” because it seems there’s only been one, and I’m still not sure it counts as a failure), the Chinese classes that Kate has been taking recently, quite a lot of stuff about Korea (hello Korean listeners), our blood types and what they mean, how we both feel about getting older, and how we feel about certain other English teaching video content that you might find on TikTok, Instagram or YouTube. All that, and much more, starting… now.

815. A River Avon Year: The Wildlife & History of Shakespeare’s Avon, by Rick Thompson (Dad’s New Book!)

My dad has written a new book and he’s come on the podcast to tell us about it. The book follows the path of the river Avon as it flows through the middle of England, telling stories of key moments in British history, nature and the current condition of Britain’s rivers.

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A River Avon Year: The Wildlife and History of Shakespeare’s Avon by Rick Thompson is available now! 👇

📖 Amazon

📖 Book Depository

📖 Goodreads

814. The Language of Children & Parenting (with Anna Tyrie / English Like a Native)

A conversation with Anna Tyrie from English Like a Native (YouTube, Podcast) about children, the way we talk to children, and vocabulary relating to children and childcare, and some special news from the Thompson family…!

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👉 Anna interviews Luke on her podcast https://www.buzzsprout.com/2038858/12353084


Introduction Transcript

Hello, welcome back to LEP.

Here is another episode with more English listening practice for you to get stuck into, and I have another guest on the show today.

This time it is Anna Tyrie from English Like a Native, the channel on YouTube. You might also know her from Instagram and TikTok.

Anna has recently set up a podcast too, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts. It’s called the English Like a Native Podcast.

In fact, on the same day we recorded the conversation for this episode of my show, Anna also interviewed me for her podcast and we had a good long conversation about all sorts of things. It was very nice to be interviewed by her. You should be able to find that episode on her show now. So if you enjoy this one, go ahead and listen to the one on Anna’s podcast too. You will find a link in the description 👆.

In this conversation: Get to know Anna a bit and talk a bit about her podcast and youtube channel and what the name really means.

The main subject – talking about children. We decided that we could talk about a particular topic for this episode and that topic ended up being children. I’ve had requests from listeners in the past for more on the subject of children and the English language, including the way we talk to children, the way we talk about children and the specific words for lots of things related to children.

We talk about our own kids, and specifically about how we communicate with them, typical things we say to them (in English of course), how we should be careful about the things we say to our kids, the ways adults adapt their English when talking to little children, including examples of so-called “baby talk” or “parentese” and then there is a sort of quiz at the end with questions about specific English words for lots of the different objects, toys and bits of useful equipment that we use with babies and little kids.

As you know I have a daughter and she is 5 so a lot of that baby stuff almost seems like a distant memory now, but, well, it’s high time I remembered all of that vocab again now because – drum roll… yes, my wife is pregnant again and we going to have another baby! 

Yes we are delighted.

Thank you – because at this moment of course you are now saying… 

“Wow, that’s fantastic! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!” and then all the typical questions will come to mind, including:

  • Can I ask when the baby is due?
  • Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl? Would you like to know?
  • Are you ready?
  • Do you have any ideas for names?
  • How’s your wife doing, is she ok?
  • How does your little daughter feel about it? Is she excited?

Etc.

I’m sure I’ll talk about it again in another podcast, but I thought I would let you know now.

Of course the child hasn’t even been born yet, so there’s a long way to go.

But all being well, in July there will be a new Thompson arriving 😊

I don’t know how that will affect the podcast.

Of course it’s probably going to disrupt things to some extent as I will be busy at home, with my wife, looking after the baby, helping my wife with anything if she needs it, taking care of our daughter, trying to keep things ship shape and under control and generally just being at home focusing on the family. 

So I won’t be able to do much podcasting around the time of the birth and in the weeks after. Who knows, maybe I’ll disappear completely for July and August, or maybe I’ll find a way to keep podcasting.

Maybe, if I’m organised and industrious enough, by the time the baby arrives I will have recorded lots of episodes beforehand, which I will be able to publish over the summer, or maybe I’ll dig into my archives for some unpublished or lesser-known material, which a lot of people haven’t heard – like app-only episodes from the LEP App (which is now defunct by the way).

In any case, there might be some kind of disruption to the show. Thank you for your understanding and your patience and your lovely messages of congratulations and support, which you are welcome to write to me. 

Obviously, I’ve just said thank you for a thing you haven’t even done yet, which is kind of against the rules, but anyway. There it is. We’re very happy. We’re hoping everything goes well. I’ll probably talk about it a bit more in another episode later on.

So, now let’s get back down to earth here because this is a conversation with Anna from English Like a Native, getting to know Anna a bit and then talking about the English which we use with kids, about kids and for all the bits and pieces involved in looking after kids. 

By the way, this conversation was recorded in January, which is why I say “It’s January” at the start. I probably didn’t need to say this, did I? You probably have the deductive skills to work out that when I say to Anna “it’s January” it’s because we recorded that in January. But just in case you were worried that I don’t know what month it is, don’t worry, I do know what month it is, what year it is and generally where I am and what’s going on. OK, fine.

I will speak to you a bit again at the end, but now let’s get started with the interview right now.

Ending Transcript / Notes

Thanks again to Anna.

You can find a vocabulary list and notes on the page for this episode on my website if you want to check specific words.

A reminder – after recording this, Anna interviewed me on her podcast and as I said earlier we had a good long conversation about lots of things, with little stories and jokes and stuff. A long conversation. I think it was even longer than the one you just listened to. I’m wondering how Anna is going to deal with that, but you can find out for yourself by listening to that episode on Anna’s podcast- English Like a Native, which is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening everyone.

Have a lovely day, morning, evening or night etc. Goodbye!


Vocabulary Lists

Baby-talk in English

Examples of baby talk in English

  • Cutie-pie
  • Sweetie-pie
  • Munchkin
  • Cheeky-monkey
  • Wee / Wee-wee / pee / pee-pee
  • Poo / poo-poo
  • Potty
  • Dog / doggy
  • Cat / kitty
  • Jim-jams
  • Beddy-byes
  • Nighty-night
  • Sleepy-time
  • Nap-time (do-do)
  • Blankie 
  • Din-dins
  • Ickle (little)
  • Icky – disgusting
  • Bedtime stories / Story time
  • Tummy / Belly
  • Oopsy-daisy
  • Mama
  • Mummy / Daddy
  • Uncle Jamie
  • Grannie / Grandad
  • Yuk / yukky

Common words and phrases relating to babies/children/childcare

This list includes words and phrases which came up in the quiz.

  • Activity arch / baby arch / arch toy
  • Baby bouncer (like a small deck chair)
  • Baby carrier / sling
  • Baby jumper
  • Baby fence / play-pen / baby-gate
  • Baby monitor
  • Baby-grow (a one-piece outfit that babies wear)
  • Bib (to catch or protect against food that falls while they eat)
  • Blanket (a lot of children have a special blanket that they use as a comforter)
  • Bottle (for milk)
  • Breast pump (a device which allows the mother to pump her milk into a bottle)
  • Changing mat (where you change the baby’s nappy)
  • Cot (where the baby sleeps – a bed with high sides so the baby doesn’t crawl out of bed)
  • Drool bib (to absorb drool which comes out of the baby’s mouth when teething)
  • Dummy / pacifier (what the baby sucks while sleeping)
  • Flannel (an absorbant cloth)
  • High-chair (what the baby sits in while eating)
  • Mobile (the thing that hangs above the bed and gives the baby something to look at)
  • Nappy (US English: diaper)
  • Powdered milk
  • Pram / pushchair (UK) buggy / stroller (US)
  • Pyjamas
  • Rattle (a toy that the baby can shake to make a rattling noise)
  • Talcum powder / talc (powder which can be put on the baby’s bum to keep it dry)
  • Teddy bear / stuffed toy
  • Teether / Teething toy(for teething babies) (something the baby can chew while the teeth come through)
  • Thermometer (to check the baby’s temperature)
  • Wipes (to wipe up the… mess)