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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)

800. [PART 1] EPISODE 800 RAMBLE / LEPSTER Q&A

Celebrating episode 800 and responding to lots of questions sent in on social media. Expect questions about my ill-fated music career, grammar, favourite authors, my daughter, life as an English teaching podcaster and plenty more. Video version available.

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Intro Script & Questions for Part 1

Hello listeners, welcome to episode 800.

Fireworks! BOOM! 🎆🎆🎆

Welcome to episode 800.

Here we are. It’s episode 800. It’s a big occasion but the emphasis is on chill in this episode. We’re just going to chill together and celebrate episode 800. So let’s sit back, relax and enjoy podcasting together. 

This episode might take absolutely ages – I don’t know how long this is going to be, but we’re not going to worry about that, or anything else in this episode. No concerns, no worries. 

For this one I thought I would answer some questions from listeners on social media, YouTube and my website. I recently asked for questions and I got loads. Billions. I got billions of questions. 

I’m going to try and answer them almost all of them in this episode. 

That might be seriously over ambitious and this could end up being the longest episode ever, we’ll see. If I have to divide it into parts, so be it. We’ve had episode 300 part 1 and 2, as well as several episode 666s, we can have episode 800 in a few parts. But in fact that does prove that I’ve already done more than 800 episodes. In fact I reckon it’s over 1000 if you include premium ones, bonus ones, app-only ones, phrasal verb ones. 

In any case, I’m going to go through the questions and try to answer as many as possible. This is bound to take bloody ages. I mean, hours. 

I’ve chosen nearly all the questions which came to me, except for world cup ones because I’ll talk about that in another episode. 

They’re presented here in no particular order, from various social media platforms. 

And I’m going to correct errors if and when I find them. 

So this will be a sort of error correction episode too, I expect.

We will start in a minute, but first I just want to take this moment to celebrate getting to 800 episodes!

What does this really mean to me?

A long term professional project which has been a success and continues to be. No mean feat!

It’s a nice big number

800 is a large amount of anything – name a thing and imagine 800 of it. It’s always a lot!

Satisfying to reach a milestone, but I have my sights on 1000 now.

No need to dwell on it too long…

Thank you for continuing to listen to this podcast, allowing me to keep doing this all these years. 

Recently the podcast hit 100,000,000 downloads since it started.

I love doing this podcast and I hope you love listening to it too.

I love the fact that I can do this – spend most of my working time on making content for learners of English, doing it my own way, being my own boss. It’s all thanks to the podcast, which means it’s all thanks to you, and the way it works is that those people who can afford it can become premium subscribers, which keeps the show completely free for those people who can’t afford it, and I get to keep making the episodes. 

Let’s get on with the listener questions.

By the way, I’ve removed all World Cup questions because I think I’m going to talk about that in a separate episode.

QUESTIONS

FROM LEPSTERS

YouTube

Cyril Alexander

1 day ago (edited)

Hello! Thank you for this lux podcast!

I saw you like playing guitar and maybe you have your own compositions and maybe you have some thoughts about your own rock band. 

Luke, did you ever dream of being a rock star? 

Would you be able to carry the rock star burden?

Played drums in lots of bands

Made music on computer (real instruments)

Made music on synths (Korg)

Play guitar (other people’s songs) and piano (not any more)

Play bass on other people’s songs

Bands

The bold ones were the serious ones


Engshan (English with Zeeshan)

1 day ago

Hey Luke  my name is M Zeeshan i am from Pakistan i’m your big fan so could you explain the difference between these sentences ?

“We had to stay until we had finished our podcast.”, 

“We had to stay until we finished our podcast.” 

Which one is correct?

Sera Bende  • 2 hours ago (edited)

Hi Luke, thanks for this mini episode :) Congratulations on the 800 episodes. My question is if you are considering doing more rambling episodes because they are fun and I think it is an excellent way to learn how to speak naturally and talk about daily life. Looking forward to seeing more rambling episodes.


Mariagrazia Fornarotto

17 hours ago

Hi Luke! It’s Mary from Italy writing..I was just wondering…who is your favourite contemporary English novelist and why? Thanks in advance  for your reply…

Maria

1 day ago

Hello, Luke! Thank you for your podcast Tell us, please, what stories do you tell your daughter? What are they about? Which ones are her favourite? 

Oishi

1 day ago

800 is a long way, congratulations Tr Luke. I would like to suggest that it would be great if you could upload one story telling episode per week (is it too much?) because as a lazy learner, your story telling can carry me to the end of the episode.

Janya Markevich

8 hours ago

Hey Luuuke! I really like what you do and I’m a fan of your sense humor. I was wondering as a kid at school were you this type of guy who bravely says a joke loudly so that the whole class hears and giggles afterwards? 

And do you feel that via humor you make the atmosphere (any place: job, school, family pre Christmas hassle, etc.) more amicable and lighthearted? 

Thank you in advance!))

Maria C

1 day ago (edited)

Hey Luke! Congratulations on the 800 episodes 

My question is if Jerry Seinfeld is one of your favorite comedians and if it was him or another one who inspired you. 

Steve Martin

Jerry Seinfeld

Bill Hicks

Eddie Izzard

Bill Bailey


Serg Boorow

2 days ago

Hey Luke, what’s cracking!?Thanks for your fantastic podcast, IMHO for the time being it’s one of the most fascinating podcasts in terms of immersing in British English/humor (or at least I would like to think like that) that I’ve come across. My question is, do you consider moving to somewhere from Paris in particular and from France in general? Cheers.

Living Italian style with Nina

57 minutes ago

Hi Luke,  thank you for your amazing job on your podcast.  My question is: when will you release another episode of the Rick Thompsom Report?

Antin Kuntin

1 day ago

Hi Luke.

First of all: you are doing a really great job! 

My question is: are you talking normally like in your daily life or slower and clearer than usual so that we can understand?  

Thanks in advance for your answer

Vafa Guliyeva

1 day ago

Hi, Luke! I got 3 questions for you .

In your opinion, approximately how many words do you need to have in your vocabulary to be able to speak like you do in your ramble episodes? and is there an efficient method for determining the amount of vocabulary for a non-native speaker?

https://manylex.com/

How does it work? Read the text on the website.

Native speakers know 20,000 – 30,000 words.

I got about 25,000.

Learners of English who get 10,000 can be near-native.

Aster L.H.

1 day ago

Bravo Luke! Looking forward to your next podcast talking about The FIFA World Cup. 

A question to Luke. How many Asian countries have you been to?

Jakub

1 day ago (edited)

Hello Luke. I really enjoyed your podcasts about comedy TV series, like Alan Partridge. However, I asked you (very politely) quite a long time ago about the possibility of doing an episode (likely more then one) about Peep show. I believe that we could all learn from Peep show loads of useful British expressions/phrases which never occur in textbooks for students. Is there any chance that some comedy episodes are in the pipeline?  Respect and best wishes from Poland 🇵🇱️

Teacher Zdenek

1 day ago

My questions for you: “What’s the hardest thing about doing the podcast?”

Shaping an idea into the finished product. 

Дмитрий Обухов Dmitry Obukhov

19 hours ago (edited)

Hi, Luke! I’m really into your podcasts and watch every single episode no matter what length it is. My favorite videos are about detective and horror quizzes/stories. Are you planning to make a podcast on this topic? If so, I’m looking forward to seeing new episodes soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo

1 day ago (edited)

Hi Luke, how is it going? First of all, thank you for teaching us. My question is : is it possible to speak like you, if I only listen to your podcast, I mean your intonation and your pronunciation. You speak very clearly. I like your speech that is why I usually listen to your podcast

My name is Berdiyev Azamat from Khiva in Uzbekistan

德高望重respected

1 day ago

Hi Luke, I wonder what makes you an English teacher? I am a new listener since maybe 3 months ago, and I enjoy your style a lot. Thanks anyway.

Cecília de Melo

1 day ago

Hi, Luke! Thank you for teaching us. My question is: I don’t have problems to understand you but why is so difficult for me to understand an American talking?

  1. Familiarity
  2. Are you watching TV/Films?
  3. Maybe British English is just better

vvaskey

2 days ago

Hi Luke:) 

My first question is what is the best moment in your childhood?) 

My second question is a bit personal, but anyway how old is your daughter? How is she doing?)

796. Language & Local British Identity with MARK STEEL

Special Guest Mark Steel joins me to discuss cultural and linguistic differences between the UK and France, plus accents in the UK and a little tour of some places in the UK that you don’t know about. Also includes a discussion of swearing and rude language in Britain. What is the R word which you should never say in a specific part of the UK? Listen on to find out. Video version available.

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Video Version (shorter, with automatic subtitles)

791. ADJECTIVE + PREPOSITION with Amber & Paul (A+P with A&P on LEP)

Amber and Paul join me in my pod room again for a rambling discussion about everything! Includes a language point about adjective + preposition collocations. Notice the phrases and try to find examples of them in context. Video version available.

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Video Version (Automatic subtitles available)


Check out the premium series which accompanies this episode (P39 parts 1-3) 👇

Sign up to LEP Premium to get the 3-part series of episodes (audio, video, PDFs) about the language point in this episode.

  • P39 Part 1 – All about the grammar of prepositions and how they fit into sentences, including plenty of vocabulary and a quick pronunciation exercise at the end
  • P39 Part 2 – Let’s go through my list of adjective + preposition phrases from the conversation with Amber & Paul. I’ll test your memory and help you notice the target language, while clarifying some of the adjectives. Also includes discussion questions for free practise.
  • P39 Part 3 – Pronunciation, pronunciation, pronunciation, pronunciation, pronunciation. The 5 Ps. There’s a focus on weak forms of prepositions, -ed endings of adjectives and 40 sentences to repeat after me.

Sign up for LEP Premium here and then add LEP Premium episodes to an app on your phone.


Some vocabulary in the episode

Here are a few words and phrases that you will hear us saying at the start of the episode.

  • Let’s do a wager. How long do you think it’s going to be?
  • I think he’s probably written a short introduction. The problem is he gets waylaid.
  • To go down a rabbit hole.
  • There is room for random rambling and tangents. I have factored that into the exercise. That’s all been factored in
  • If I’d been left to my own devices I think I would have cracked that in about 2 minutes, but because I kept getting interrupted by you two, it took longer!
  • Zero rigour. I’m not rigorous enough.

790. Chatting in the Garden with Mum (Listener Q&A)

My mum returns to the podcast to answer some questions from listeners about books, cooking, her relationship with Luke and her granddaughter, the war in Ukraine, the song Imagine by John Lennon, family games, the time she fell off a horse & more…

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Introduction Transcript & Notes

Hello listeners!

Welcome back to the podcast.

Today I am joined by my mum and we’re going to spend the episode chatting about this and that, and responding to some questions from LEPsters on Twitter. 

I hope you enjoy the episode everyone, Stick with us, and as usual you’ll find that the more you listen, the better it is for your English.

Hi Mum, how are you today?

Where are we?

It’s been ages since you’ve been on the podcast, with your own episode (April 2021 – 717. Gill’s Book Club). 

We were doing Gill’s Book Club (we did 3 or 4 of those) and every now and then we talk about doing another one, but we have found it a bit tricky to choose books that 

  1. Most other people probably have read
  2. That I have read too
  3. That would appeal to enough people
  4. That we remember clearly 

Plus you somehow got out of the habit of reading every day.

Anyway, it’s nice to be able to have you on the podcast again.

My aim for this is mainly to let people just listen to your voice, listen to your words and it sort of doesn’t matter too much what we talk about, as long as we just let the conversation flow and let the English happen naturally. We decided not to limit ourselves to any one specific topic here, preferring instead to cast our net quite wide in terms of things to talk about.

Yesterday evening, I Tweeted this:

It got about 26 replies.

I have a selection of questions from listeners on Twitter which we can explore. That’s probably a good starting point.


Book Recommendations

Kristýna Waicová @Elvea_Puff – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Not a very original one but a classic: what book(s) did she enjoyed recently? I’m looking forward to listening to you two, it’s always such a treat. Please give your mum my best and as always, thanks for the podcast!

Aritz @aritz_js – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Yes! Any books recommendations? I read The Five and A Month in the Country. Thanks.

Kam @ErkamUK – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Could you please recommend us some books? and what do you think about Harry Potter?

Beniamino Bianco @Mire12374275 – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Yes! What book dedicated to Winston Churchill can you recommend? Thanks from Ilario.

👇A list of books about Churchill → Skip to number 10 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/apr/11/top10s.churchill 

En-quête de culture @EmmaB2944 – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

So happy so hear for your mother ! I would like to know what is she currently reading of course. And if she thought you would become a journalist like your father ? When I listen to the Rick reports, I realise that journalism is not so far from your podcast… Many thanks !

Relationship with Luke

James Harris @JamesHarrisNow – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

No questions, but please compliment your mum on raising a fine boy.

Kam @ErkamUK

How does it feel to give birth to a famous podcaster?

Romário Alexandre @Lawter_ – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

How does it feel to know that people from many parts of the world know a little bit about your relationship with your son?

Kam @ErkamUK – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Why did you name your son Luke?why not Dave?

Jinti Neog @JintiNeog

Why Thompson why not Rickson?

eslam @eslamaoao – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Did you see signs of luke when he was a child that points to his currently career field?

Relationship with Granddaughter

teresa peltz @teresa_peltz – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Yes.I’ve one maybe too personal. So you couldn’t take in account. How she feels as a Brit nanny ? Any special food for her niece as a British grandmother?

Gupse Uzun @uzun_gupse – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

So that she can see her grandchild more often, does she ever prefer that you with your family live in england?

Edier Rosa @RosaEdier Replying to @EnglishPodcast

I use both English and Portuguese when talking to my niece. I speak Portuguese, she answers in English and vice-versa. I wonder if she fears not being able to have a fluent comprehensible conversation with her granddaughter in future. That was my main motivation to study English.

Cooking

Jay Jia @JayJia1982 Replying to @EnglishPodcast

How is her cooking? What is her signature dish? Any secret family recipes?

Is it true that English people in general are not good cook? Gordon Ramsay is a great chef but he usually cook Asian food, his restaurant in London is Asian restaurant.

Luke: Ramsay has 53 restaurants (according to the list on his website, and they serve a variety of things – French fine dining, rustic English food, burgers, pizza, asian food and more…)

Other Topics

Денис Леонтьєв @xxxpdenis Replying to @EnglishPodcast

What does She think about war in Ukraine? By the way,if You like the question,like it in order to see if you have chosen it.

albee @archdeaconsnz – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Could her tell us about some good memories about her childhood or teenage years?

Znad@znad9821 Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Why is your son obsessed with Betels?

Alex Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Yes, why after half a century the world still doesn’t understand the meaning of the song Imagine. Tnx

Paragraph about Imagine from https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/john-lennon-imagine-real-meaning-communism/

In an interview with David Sheff for Playboy Magazine, shortly before his death in December 1980, Lennon shared that Dick Gregory had given him and Ono a Christian Prayer-book which had inspired him to write the track. “The concept of positive prayer…If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion – not without religion but without this my God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing – then it can be true.”

The Beatle continued, “The World Church called me once and asked, “Can we use the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ and just change it to ‘Imagine one religion’?” That showed [me] they didn’t understand it at all. It would defeat the whole purpose of the song, the whole idea.”

Kristýna Waicová@Elvea_Puff Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Does she play any word games? Or some other games? :)

Rei da Salsicha de Chicago @jam0rreu Replying to @EnglishPodcast

Ask her to talk about the horse story (You and James told us she fell off a horse when you were a kid).

The One Who Knocks @JaderLelis27 Replying to @EnglishPodcast

How does she feel about Margaret Thatcher

Sorry, we didn’t get time to answer this question! 👇

Alper @tdurdendi – Replying to @EnglishPodcast

I wonder who is her favourite British and/or non-British film director. 

Since I haven’t listened to all episodes, I apologize if she had already spoken of it.


Books & things discussed in the conversation

Pre-ending

Well then listeners, that was my mum in her own episode again, but hold on, we’re not done yet, there’s more.

As you just heard at the end, my wife and daughter just came back from the market so we thought we should stop recording and get ready to have lunch with everyone.

But then my daughter did come into the garden and she picked up the microphone, so here is a little interview with her. So you get 3 generations of the family in one episode. A cross generational podcast for you. 

So, I asked my daughter to describe what she had done at the market and before I managed to press record on my recorder, she started talking about how they had gone into the local museum in the town square, where they have various items including a large stuffed bear (a real one, stuffed – it’s quite odd and quite interesting), as well as other things, and I asked if she found the bear frightening or if she’d been traumatised by the bear, and then I asked her about the word traumatised, and she ended up describing how she’d been traumatised by a loud automatic hand dryer in a public toilet once (you know those hand dryers which you get on the wall in public toilets?), and that is where this 10 minute clip begins. 

So here we go with a bonus bit of chat with youngest member of the Thompson family.

Ending

There you go listeners.

A bit of wisdom there from the voice of the future.

  • Don’t fight.
  • You have to love each other.
  • You have to love le world.
  • Be excellent to each other.
  • Party on.
  • And sign up to LEP Premium on Acast+ for ad-free content and of course many many extra episodes in which I help you with your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation 😅

Well, I hope you agree listeners, that that was a real treat, especially if you listened all the way until the end.

I really enjoyed that – being able to ask my mum those questions and get her responses, while sitting in the very nice surroundings of her garden, and I hope you enjoyed it too.

I must say I love making these recordings – in order to publish them for your listening pleasure and for your English listening practice (hopefully both) but also just as a record of family life – the voices of my family and my friends, stories, thoughts, memories, opinions and so on. How nice. 

I’m very grateful to my mum for this episode and generally for all my guests who contribute so much.

Send us your comments. It’s nice to read them and to get some human responses to our words.

Sorry if you weren’t able to send in a question. I put up the request on Twitter without much notice. I do that sometimes, in order to get opinions or podcast questions from my audience.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, please go ahead. @EnglishPodcast 

I’m also on Instagram but I hardly ever use it. In fact, at the moment I only use it to help me book and promote stand up comedy shows (because some of the comedy nights use Instagram to communicate with comedians), but I am there @lukesenglish

Thank you again for listening and for supporting the podcast. 

Do me a favour:

  • Like and subscribe
  • Leave a positive review on Apple Podcasts
  • Tell you friends
  • Support the show by becoming a premium lepster (and oh you’ll get all the premium content too and no ads) www.teacherluke.co.uk/premium 

I will speak to you again soon. I have loads of episode ideas and so many things I want to record, but I mustn’t overwhelm you.

Time to focus on some premium content now.

Until next time, good bye bye bye!

763. Rambling in the new Pod-Room / Choose The Adverb / Deal or No Deal

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.

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Episode Notes

Private Lessons with British Council English Score Tutors https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/english Episode page

LEP Premium https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo

LEP T-Shirts & Merch https://www.teacherluke.co.uk/merch

Rules of the Ramble

  • Welcome everyone to the pod-room.
  • Give a tour.
  • I’m restricted to only talking about things inside the room.
  • Maybe describe some of the items on the walls and pictures.
  • Include some descriptive language.
  • Pick up a book and do a random exercise from it.
  • Keep talking without pausing or saying “errr”.

Contents

  • 00:00:00 Hello
  • 00:00:52 Promo
  • 00:02:30 Introduction
  • 00:03:44 Ramble Rules
  • 00:05:26 Welcome to the new pod-room
  • 00:05:42 The Electricity & Internet Situation
  • 00:10:37 Sound Recording Setup
  • 00:17:01 Let me show you around the room
  • 00:22:32 The desk
  • 00:24:30 A Book from the `Bookshelf
  • 00:25:17 English Grammar in Use by Ramond Murphy
  • 00:25:38 Present Perfect Simple vs Continuous
  • 00:27:04 Build Your Vocabulary 3
  • 00:27:31 Choose The Adverb
  • 00:47:23 Lighting
  • 00:49:25 Random Book: Jon Ronson – Lost At Sea
  • 00:51:01 Deal or No Deal story
  • 01:00:48 Ending

759. Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans

Join me as I walk around my local streets in Paris, go to the laundrette and ramble about what’s going on in LEPland at the moment.

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Other podcast recommendations

Some other things you could listen to while waiting for new episodes of LEP.

Film Gold: Monty Python & The Holy Grail

I was invited by Antony Rotunno onto one of his podcasts last week to discuss this British comedy classic.

My appearances on ZEP and RNR English at the end of last year

Episode 759 – Notes

I thought I would quickly record an episode to let you know that I’m still alive, LEP still exists, and I just want to give you a bit of an update on what’s going on and have a bit of a ramble.

I have other episodes in the pipeline and I was hoping to upload one of them this week, but for one reason or another, that’s not going to be possible so I’ve decided to record this one quickly and upload it quickly.

Again, I’m just recording this on my handheld recorder but I’m not at home because I can’t record at home, so I’m just in the street, reading some notes from my phone. 

Why aren’t you recording this at home Luke?

There are guys working on the flat above ours now.

We are now experiencing what our downstairs neighbours experienced when we did work on our place.

Our flat and the flat upstairs were sold at the same time. 

etc…

You can just imaging you are hanging out with me (in the streets of Paris) while I’m recording this. I’m just going walk around the neighbourhood while recording, trying to avoid noise, and trying to avoid the weird stares I might get from people in the street. 

It’s been more than 3 weeks since I uploaded an episode and this is only the 4th episode in about 2 months I think. 

I told you that the podcast would be delayed and disrupted, right? So it shouldn’t be a surprise. 

Why haven’t there been any episodes for almost a month?

Time flies!

Time races by.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon)

I always wondered what John Lennon meant by that.

I guess he is expressing a kind of paradox that many of us live with.

While making plans for the future, real life just happens in the meantime, day by day, moment by moment. 

We aim for the future, we set our sights on things we would like to achieve, and make plans for those things.

But the fact is, life is really lived in the present, and while we are making plans, life just continues to happen to us in the present moment. 

I guess he is saying that we mustn’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy the moment.

I suppose for me at the moment, I mean that while making plans for this podcast, mainly the space in which I’m going to record it, real life has just been happening day by day. 

In fact, real life and the day to day tasks and challenges of it have been dominating my time recently, preventing me from being able to actually get to do the things I have been planning.

I’ve had a goal in mind for ages – sitting in my new podcast room which is more or less ready, with all my stuff arranged in a fairly tidy way (things on shelves, in drawers, guitars on walls, pictures or posters on the walls, a working internet connection, a decent desk, a comfy chair (which I might spend most of my life sitting on) the right kind of lights, a kettle, a backdrop for videos that looks pleasing to the eye, a computer which actually works and which allows me to record and edit audio and video properly, and so on and so forth, a kettle and cups of tea, another chair or two for guests… you know) but that goal or vision just keeps getting put back and put back.

Why? I can’t really even explain it – just general stuff has been getting in the way. I think a lot of people manage to move house and get back to their normal lives quite quickly, but this just seems to be taking ages and it’s because of lots of little things.

Here are some reasons why things are taking so long.

My daughter got sick with covid and I had to stay at home to look after her. My wife was also sick at the same time (not covid, mysteriously) and so I was off work looking after them. That was a week.

Teaching at the BC three mornings a week.

Wednesday afternoons with my daughter.

Not a massive amount of time. Normally it’s enough – in normal conditions, but these aren’t normal conditions.

I got sick – a couple of times actually. The first was a virus (not covid-19 – maybe covid-18 or one of the other covids). The second was a really bad back which caused loads of discomfort and a migraine. I couldn’t move, basically! Probably because of general stress but also the fact that I hadn’t sat on a comfortable chair for weeks. No sofa.

Washing machine delivered, but then broken – laundrette

Meeting with guy to fit radiators

Meeting with guy to get quotes for lots of other stuff at home, like making fitted shelves (beyond my skills) and other bits of carpentry

Meeting a guy for a quote for electricity at my office

Meeting guy who came to connect internet

Many other deliveries and things

The list goes on!

Now it’s the school holidays and we’re travelling tomorrow to the UK.

I might be able to record an RT Report or a Gill’s Book Club or something with my brother, but equally, I might not. Maybe we’ll just want to relax and have a holiday. I don’t know. I will see. 

Oh, and there are guys working on the flat upstairs, and guys working on the building opposite us. It’s like the entire city is under construction at the moment.

This is just what is going on in my small corner of the universe.

I am not complaining at all. I have a nice life and I’m very happy. But I’m feeling quite impatient and a bit frustrated at not being able to do the things I would like to do, and the fact that my goal keeps slipping further away from me. I will get there eventually! It’s like being in a car and using GPS, and the arrival time keeps changing and getting later and later as the GPS recalculates your route with delays and traffic and so on.

So, basically:

Bear with me

Hold on

If you’re impatient – hang in there

It’s a bit interminable – all this waiting around

But good things come to those who wait.

https://twitter.com/EnglishPodcast/status/1496159882013290499

The podcast will be back again, properly, and I will be recording, producing and publishing audio & video episodes and premium episodes at the usual rhythm soon.

Maybe this is a good chance to catch up on episodes, or listen to episodes from the archive…

Speak to you on the podcast soon!

757. Setting up my new Pod-Room / DIY (Do It Yourself) Vocabulary & Expressions

Describing how I am setting up my new pod-room with a couple of stories and plenty of vocabulary for talking about DIY and doing improvements to your home. Vocabulary list available.

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Episode Notes & Transcript

Hello listeners, welcome to LEP#757. In this one I am going to talk to you about how I am setting up my new podcasting room (is it an office, is it a studio?) and I’m going to teach you some vocabulary related to doing practical work with your hands at home.

Just before we start I just want to say hello properly to everyone in LEPland and deal with a little bit of podcast admin. 

Hello

I hope you’re doing well. It’s been over 2 weeks since I published the last episode because of the house move (I moved house a few weeks ago). If you’re wondering how that’s going – I’ll talk about it a bit in this episode, but let’s just say that the phrase my wife and I have been using over and over is “it’s coming along” which means we are making progress, bit by bit, slowly but surely – unpacking our stuff from boxes, setting up the new place, getting things sorted out such as an internet connection at home and the important appliances like a cooker, a washing machine etc. Things are getting slightly less chaotic every day. Also I was ill for week (not COVID thankfully) which didn’t help. Anyway, if you’ve been waiting patiently for a new episode – thanks for waiting. If you’ve been waiting impatiently, I’ll still say thanks for waiting. Things are still up in the air so I can’t get back into the usual podcasting routine yet, which means there might be another delay after I publish this episode, but when I have my new podcast room set up and have done lots of other things that need doing, normal podcasting will resume. Hopefully this slowdown has allowed a lot of you to catch up with me.

3 of announcements and bits of admin before we start properly:

  1. Premium subscribers – I am currently working (when I can) on P33 parts 3 & 4 which are turning into quite substantial episodes. Part 3 is all about word families, parts of speech and word stress patterns. That means how word stress patterns can change from the noun form of a word to the adjective, verb and adverb forms etc. (Politics – politician – political – politically, Economics – economist – economic – economically, architecture – architect – architectural – architecturally, etc) Part 4 will be pronunciation drills with full sentences, not just words on their own. So that’s coming soon to LEP Premium. If you want to sign up to LEP Premium to get all those episodes – go to teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo to get all the info. If you ever have problems with the registration process – try using other browsers, and not on a mobile phone.
  2. Spotify listeners – hello! Recently loads of my episodes disappeared on Spotify. I don’t know if you noticed but episodes 1-664 just disappeared. Well, they should be back now or soon. It was just an automatic update which changed some settings, but those settings have now been reset. So everything should be normal, the episodes should be available again and you should be able to listen on Spotify as usual. In any case you can always get all the episodes in the LEP App which you can download free from the app store on your phone (just search for Luke’s English Podcast App). That’s the whole episode archive, plus about 10 bonus episodes which are only available in the app, all the mini phrasal verb episodes, some music and videos and access to the premium content too if you have a subscription.
  3. OPP – If you’re looking for other things to listen to while waiting for new episodes of LEP at the moment, you could check out my appearances on several other podcasts. Recently several of my podcast friends reached milestone episodes and they both chose to invite me as a guest as a way of marking the occasion. Apparently I am the pod-father. First of all, Rock n’ Roll English hosted by Martin Johnston – he reached episode 250 recently and invited me on to have a chat about the ins and outs of making podcasts for learners of English and it’s a typically funny and unfiltered conversation. That’s episode 250 of Rock n’ Roll English. Also Zdenek’s English Podcast reached episode 400 recently and Zdenek invited me as a guest. I love the way Zdenek and Martin decided to pay their dues to the podfather in this way! I had an epic chat with Zdenek about loads of things including how his podcast has been inspired by mine in some ways and about the development of him as a teacher and podcaster. I think it’s a good conversation with insights about various things including what it’s like making podcast content and how confidence develops, the creative process and generally another inside look into podcasting for learners of English. Check them out – you will find links on the page for this episode. 2 other episodes of other people’s podcasts you could check out.


This is an episode about DIY – or Do It Yourself

This is not an episode about how you can teach yourself English, although I could talk about that a bit, later in the episode.

DIY is a common expression in English, meaning Do It Yourself and it relates to doing practical work at home. 

People talk about doing DIY. We say things like “I’m going to do some DIY this weekend” “I’ve been doing some DIY”, “I did a bit of DIY at the weekend”,  “I’m no good at doing DIY” “My husband does all the DIY in our house” “My wife tends to handle all the DIY because I’m rubbish at it, etc etc”. 

DIY (Do It Yourself) means all the practical work that you might do at home from time to time – the things we do in order to make improvements to our home. I’m talking about things like putting up shelves, painting & decorating, fixing things and other similar work that you do to improve your own home without having to call someone in to do it for you, like a plumber, carpenter, decorator or electrician. You don’t call someone in to do it, you do it yourself. DIY.

It’s the sort of thing you might do at the weekend. Putting up shelves seems to be the most common example of DIY as far as I can tell. Putting up shelves – that thing that seems so simple on paper, but in reality is the sort of thing that can bring a person to their knees – and I don’t mean kneeling down in order to do some work, but to kneel down in a desperate plea to the gods of (what – wood? Screwdrivers?) in order to beg for mercy because your attempt to put up the shelves is proving to be too difficult a task. What do you mean, Luke? I mean, doing DIY, for example, putting up shelves can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

As I said, on paper it doesn’t seem that bad, but to do it right you have to do it properly. You have to read up on how to put up shelves, maybe watch some tutorials online, then plan a specific time to do it, go to the hardware shop or DIY shop to get all the right materials and tools. You put on some old clothes, maybe prepare an area of the home where you’re going to do your work and make sure no pets or children go anywhere near it, you get the stepladder out, and then you try and actually put some shelves on the wall, or build something or whatever, and if you’re not very good at it, if you’re not a practical person, it can be stressful and you end up making a total mess of it, and you hit your thumb with a hammer and then you start swearing and maybe break something and fall off the ladder, and have an argument with your spouse or something and then just give up and go to the pub or something. It depends how handy you are, how practical you are or not. For many of you, this isn’t a problem and the idea of putting up shelves being diffiult is laughable to you. I don’t know your life. 

But I do know, that DIY is a very common thing in life and surely this is something that unites all of us to some degree. Either because we all have to do DIY sometimes, or at least we know someone who has to do DIY and it’s just a thing that happens in our lives. Do you know all the English that you need to talk about DIY? The tools, the verbs, the specific phrases for all of it? That’s what I’m dealing with here. 

The reason I’m doing this episode right now might be obvious for those of you who are regular listeners. I have just moved into a new flat and also I’m setting up a new office/studio for myself and this is involving a lot of this kind of work. 

In fact, this is what is taking up most of my time at the moment, which is why the podcast has been a bit delayed recently. When I’m not teaching English classes at the British Council or spending time with my wife and daughter doing family things, I’m working on the flat and working the office. 

What I’m going to do in this episode, then, is:

  1. Describe exactly what I’ve been doing in the office and talk about how I’m trying to set it up as a good base for my podcast work. I’m going to describe the DIY I’ve been doing.
  2. Go through a vocabulary list of various words and phrases for talking about the fascinating subject of DIY.

Setting Up The Pod-Room

  • What is it?
  • Where is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • What does it need to be?
  • What are you doing with it?

Tell us about the shelves you put up, in as much detail as possible.

Vocabulary – DIY

Putting up shelves

  • Tape measure – to measure things (length, depth, width, height, distance from x to y etc)
  • Spirit level – to check that things are level (horizontally or vertically)
  • Pencil – to mark lines or crosses/spots 
  • A drill – to drill holes (into thing)
  • A cordless drill
  • Battery / battery pack – charge it regularly
  • Drill bits (different bits for different materials) – to drill holes of the right size / to drill (into)
  • Types of material – masonry (stone and brick), wood panels (MDF, chipboard, wood (pine, oak etc)
  • Wall plugs / Rawlplugs – to hold screws in place and prevent damage to the walls (you push them into the holes and then when you screw in the screw, the plug expands inside the hole and grips the inside of the hole, preventing the screw from falling out) they ensure a tight and secure fit for screws in material which is brittle or porous.
  • Screws – screw them into the wall or into wood to attach things
  • Nails – hammer them into the wall or wood to attach things
  • Screwdriver – to screw in screws, or unscrew screws
  • Electric screwdriver / power screwdriver – a convenient way to screw screws
  • Hammer – to hammer nails or pull nails out of walls
  • Mallet / rubber mallet – to hammer other things, without causing damage. You can use a mallet to hammer rawl plugs into the holes, for example.
  • Pliers – to hold things firmly, to grip things
  • A saw – to saw wood (handsaw, hacksaw, etc)
  • Sandpaper – to sand things and make them smooth or take off rough edges – like wood, dried filler or rough patches of paint
  • A plane – to remove layers of wood
  • File – to rub against wood (usually) and change the shape, remove layers (e.g. if a door sticks and doesn’t close properly)
  • Rags – to wipe things, clean things, dust things (remove dust)
  • Dustpan and brush – to clean up dust and other bits and pieces
  • A multi-tool – a convenient thing to help you do lots of things, including cut your arm off if it gets trapped under a rock in the desert 

Painting

  • Paint – to cover surfaces, to coat surfaces, to add colour, to make things look nice
  • Layers of paint or coat:
  • Primer – to prepare the wood by covering dark colours or patches, prevents things from leaking through (like some oil or sap which comes from knots in the wood) and makes the surface smooth (MDF is absorbent so the primer helps to stop the MDF from absorbing all your paint – it also causes wood fibres to stand up, so you can then sand them down) etc 
  • Sealer – seals the wood and creates a watertight layer
  • Undercoat 
  • Topcoat
  • Types of paint, with different appearances:
  • Matt (flat surface, low “sheen”, not reflective, harder to wash, prone to marks and scuffs, easy to add other coats without showing up brush strokes) 
  • Eggshell / satin (higher level of “sheen” than matt, easier to wipe than matt, more durable than matt)
  • Gloss (highly reflective, has a very high “sheen” level, sometimes used in kitchens because it can be wiped clean and is therefore a bit more hygienic)
  • Oil-based paint
  • Water-based paint
  • A brush – to apply paint to things 
  • A roller – to apply paint evenly and conveniently to large surfaces
  • A tin/tub of paint – the containers the paint comes in
  • Masking tape – to cover parts which you don’t want to paint, like skirting boards, windows, handles etc
  • Plastic sheets – to cover and protect the floor from drops of paint

That’s it!

When the pod-room is set up and I have a proper internet connection (and maybe a new computer) I will be doing podcasts with videos like in 2021 and you will be able to see the amazing and inspiring work I did on the shelves 😂

Speak to you soon! Bye bye bye…

756. Learn English with LEP in 2022 / A New Year Ramble

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.

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Episode Notes & Links

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.

LUKE’S ENGLISH PODCAST – AIMS

  • To provide a resource of authentic speech for learners of English.

Episode suggestions
All of them! Especially ones which are unscripted. 

  • To inform my audience about methods and strategies for improving their English.

Episode suggestions
174. How to learn English with Luke’s English Podcast

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

669. How to Learn English

  • To educate my listeners about the English language by explaining or providing examples of grammar.

Episode suggestions
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.

19. Passive Verb Forms

29. Mystery Story / Narrative Tenses

44. Telling Anecdotes

53. Discussing Grammar with My Brother

69. Common Errors / Typical Mistakes

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

  • To enrich the vocabulary of my listeners by presenting and teaching natural English usage in context.

Suggested episodes
Check the archive here
https://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.

  • To entertain my audience by producing fun and interesting content specifically targeted at learners of English as a second language.

  • To highlight particular aspects of English (language) culture including themes about Britishness, accounts of key moments in history, politics and the arts, with a particular focus on comedy and film.

Suggested episodes
Search the archive for the words British and comedy
The Rick Thompson Report, Film Club, British Comedy, Luke’s D-Day Diary, and more…

  • To raise awareness of many features of British English pronunciation and provide practice of repeating certain phrases or constructions.

Suggested episodes
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…

  • To keep my audience engaged in the listening process long term, by providing a resource to help them laugh while they learn.

  • To make people laugh out loud on public transport while listening to the podcast!

  • To dominate the world with an army of LEP ninjas equipped with biscuits and good English. …Ok, one of my listeners asked me to add this as an aim for my podcast, ha ha! (Thanks Chriss Benitez)

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.

HOW TO USE LUKE’S ENGLISH PODCAST TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH

People from all over the world use my podcasts to improve their English, and lots of people email me to tell me how much they love the podcast and find it useful. Some of you might be wondering how you can improve your English by using the podcast. I’ll tell you more about this in a moment, but let me first recommend a couple of podcast episodes you could listen to.

Click here to listen to an episode with lots of advice and suggestions for improving your English with L.E.P. It has a transcript too. (Episode 174)

Click here for an episode called “16 things you should know about LEP”. (Episode 251)

Many people tell me they are completely addicted to the show. Usually they say that they found the podcast via one episode in particular and then start listening to all the others before becoming completely hooked. I have quite a hard-core following. The podcast won the Macmillan Dictionary Award four times and was nominated for a British Council ELTon award, so I must be doing something right!

L.E.P combines English teaching with plenty of entertaining conversation, humour and genuine insight into the culture of the English language. My methodology and approach are based on the idea that language is acquired by engaging with it in authentic form, over longer periods of time. Although this is not the only way to improve your English, listening to natural authentic speech over quite long periods of time can greatly improve your listening skills, pronunciation and vocabulary. This goes on to improve your spoken English, and your general instinct for grammar. I try to balance this approach by regularly recording episodes in which I directly teach you vocabulary, pronunciation or grammar.

Good grammatical awareness is based on instinct as much as on active knowledge of the rules of English. When you take an English exam you have to answer questions that test your knowledge and use of grammar or vocabulary. For example, consider this question:
FILL THE GAP IN THE SENTENCE WITH THE APPROPRIATE WORD
“I just can’t rely __ this car any more. It keeps breaking down. I need a new one.”

1. with          2. from        3. on          4. to

The answer is ‘3. on’, of course.
How did you know the answer? Really think about it. How did you know that ‘on’ was right? Do you remember learning ‘rely on’ in a book, or in a class? Maybe you did. But, for many of you, the answer just felt correct. Your instinct just said ‘on’. Well, this instinct is what you develop when you read or listen to the language a lot. Your brain builds up a kind of memory bank of all the words you have seen and heard. So, when you see ‘rely ___’ you automatically feel that ‘on’ is the right answer. Why? Because you’ve seen/heard ‘rely on’ lots of times!

The point is, that listening to English a lot can really help you to get a ‘feel’ for the language. You learn grammar rules by the frequency in which you hear patterns. You learn about good pronunciation by hearing the language a lot. You develop an ‘ear’ for English.

It’s just like when you live in a foreign country to learn English. It’s the best way to learn a language. Just live in that country and get completely surrounded by the language every day. Eventually you pick it up and learn it well. That’s because you’re hearing it so much and you’re getting used the rhythm and intonation. Every language has a beat. You can learn the beat of English by hearing it a lot.

So, you can use Luke’s English Podcast to do this. It’s like living in another country. You can listen a lot, pick up bits of vocabulary, get a ‘feel’ for the language, understand pronunciation and all kinds of cultural stuff. Not only that, but many listeners tell me the best thing about the podcast is simply that it makes them laugh out loud.

So, enjoy the podcasts and good luck with your English.

CLICK HERE FOR ThE ARCHIVE OF ALL THE EPISODES OF LUKE’S ENGLISH PODCAST.