My story about how I ended up in a Japanese hospital bed, scared out of my brain. Recorded live in front of an audience at the British Council in Paris.
My story about how I ended up in a Japanese hospital bed, scared out of my brain. Recorded live in front of an audience at the British Council in Paris.
Martin joins Luke to talk about moving back to the UK, his fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees and some funny stories about travelling experiences.
In this episode I am talking to Martin Johnston from the Rock n Roll English Podcast. Do you know the Rock N Roll English Podcast? This is where Martin and his Rock N Roll friends and family do podcasts for learners of English that are unfiltered and frequently involve discussions of taboo subjects, but also plenty of other stuff as well. It’s very funny and bound to be good for your English and general cultural knowledge. Martin featured me in episode 250 of RnR English and we talked about what it’s really like being an English teacher with a podcast. That was a funny chat with lots of memories and funny moments. Episode 250.
In this episode though, we’re going to have a rambling chat about moving to different countries, Martin’s fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees and then some stories of travelling and getting stuck in tricky situations while abroad.
Martin has recently moved back to England after living in Italy for a number of years, so I thought I would ask him about his experiences of feeling like a foreigner in his own country, and some of his culture shock experiences both abroad and at home. Because this is a thing – reverse culture shock. When you feel like a foreigner in your own country after living abroad for a long time.
Martin has also recently launched a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees. Basically it is a learning pack with 25 stories, and transcripts and exercises. All the proceeds go to help Ukrainian refugees. You can find out more at www.rocknrollenglish.com/stories
So this is a very good cause. We know that several millions of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of this war, invasion, operation – whatever you want to call it. This violence and aggression has separated families and made civilians homeless as well as killing thousands. This is a horrendous thing to be happening on our doorstep and so the least we can do is try to provide support in some way, so I call upon all of you to go ahead and get that PDF with those 25 stories and all the money will go towards helping these refugees. Martin talks about it during the episode if you want more details. But let’s help out some fellow citizens of LEPland here. Plus, of course, you get tons of stories with audio versions and everything. It sounds like a win win to me.
So we chat about the project a bit, which is all about learning English with stories and this then leads us to have a story-off. This is a sort of battle of stories where Martin and I trade different anecdotes and we see who comes out on top. So there are 4 or 5 funny stories of travelling experiences we’ve had, in the second half of this episode. I hope you enjoy them.
That’s it for the introduction. There is a video version on YouTube. Don’t forget to smash that like button.
I should say there is some fairly explicit content in this episode, which means fairly graphic descriptions of things like nudity, sex and bodily functions, which is completely normal for an episode of Rock n Roll English to be honest.
I’ll speak to you again briefly at the end, but now, let’s get started.
So there you are, that was Martin Johnston. I hope you enjoyed our stories.
Don’t forget, if you want to get that pack of 25 stories by the RNR English family, go to www.rocknrollenglish.com/stories It costs just 10dollars or pounds, and all the proceeds go to help Ukrainian refugees.
This is obviously a very good cause as so many people have been displaced, made homeless and so on and these people need our help.
If you enjoyed our stories in this episode, you could check out some of the episodes with those stories told in full.
Check out 118 Sick in Japan (although I should be doing a live version of that next month) and also Holiday in Thailand
or A Rambling Chat with Moz for more of the spa story
This is a chance for me to just let loose and have a ramble while inviting you to this kind of housewarming party (or perhaps just the first part of the party) in my new pod-room. In this one I am going to welcome you into the new room and do a ramble challenge in which I am restricted to only talking about things inside the room, plus reading from some random books on my shelves. Grammar rules, adverbial collocations and a game show story.
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Discussing meditation, meditation techniques, how it can help in our lives and improve us as language learners. Antony Rotunno is my guest and listen out for stories, advice, tangents and maybe one or two revelations.
Hello listeners and welcome back to the podcast.
This episode is called Meditation & Learning English, and as the title suggests, this is about the topic of meditation and how it can help us in our lives in various ways, including with our learning of languages.
My guest this time is podcaster and English teacher Antony Rotunno. Antony is back on the podcast after being on the podcast a few times last year when we did a series of episodes about John Lennon.
Antony has a few podcasts of his own and you might remember that recently I said that I’d listened to a couple of Antony’s episodes which were all about meditation.
They were called “The Joys and Wonders of Meditation”
I listened to them late last year, during quite a stressful period when we were having work done on our new flat, and I really felt like they helped me to find ways to keep my stress under control and get a bit of mental clarity during all of that chaos.
I definitely recommend those episodes to everyone.
That’s Episodes 4 & 5 of “Life & Life Only”. You will find links on the page for this episode.
While listening to those two episodes I immediately thought I should invite Antony back onto my podcast for an interview, this time about meditation.
I think there’s a lot of stuff to learn from them, a lot of benefits to gain from it all and some interesting ideas to consider about learning English.
As I said just a moment ago, Antony was on my podcast a few times last year talking about John Lennon and he’s always an insightful, articulate and thoughtful guest so it’s nice to have him back.
Just a reminder – Antony is an English teacher like me, he’s from England, he is a musician and also a podcaster. He has three podcasts in fact. You might want to check them out if you’re looking for more stuff to listen to.
“Life & Life Only” in which he explores themes of self-development, philosophy and the search for inner and outer truth. This is the one with the episodes about meditation.
“Glass Onion: On John Lennon” in which Antony goes into fascinating depth about many aspects of John Lennon’s life and related topics.
“Film Gold”, which is basically a chance for Antony to discuss some of his favourite films with different guests. I was a guest in a recent episode of Film Gold in fact. We talked about one of our favourite British comedy films of all time – Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you want to listen to Antony and me chatting about that film, then check out Film Gold episode 15.
Those are Antony’s podcasts and they are available wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll also find links in the description and on the page for this episode on my website.
There you go, lots of other things for you to listen to there! But you might be thinking “Hold on Luke, I’m already listening to this episode about mediation!”
Ok, well, when you’ve finished this, if you’re still hungry for more, you could listen to Antony and me talking about Monty Python in episode 15 of Film Gold or Antony’s original meditation episodes from Life & Life Only, or anything else that takes your fancy.
But now let’s get back to this episode that you are listening to right now and the topic of meditation.
Those are the talking points. There are some tangents of course as we end up talking about some other bits and pieces along the way and there are also a few quick meditation exercises, or spot meditations, which you can do while you listen, if you like.
In fact, to give you an idea of what that means – what a spot meditation is – let’s do a very quick spot meditation exercise right now just before the interview starts, to help you focus.
I’m making this one up myself of course and I’m not a meditation instructor but I’m willing to give it a shot.
Just follow my instructions for a moment and it might put you in the right frame of mind to really concentrate on our conversation.
First – consider your body position while you are listening to this.
Just take a moment to be aware of your body and any feelings of tension that you might have.
Are your shoulders tense? Are you sitting upright or are you perhaps slumped in some way? Are you tied up in a knot? Are you standing unevenly on one leg or leaning to one side? Is your jaw clenched?
Take a moment to find those tensions in your body and release them. Just let them relax.
Take a few deep breaths from your diaphragm and feel the sensation of the air going in and coming out, and your stomach going up and down.
Now focus on my voice.
Focus on the shape of the words, the different kinds of sounds that are included in each syllable of each word.
Notice the rhythm of the sentences I’m saying – where the stresses are, where the pauses are, and any times my voice goes up or down.
Just try to follow it very carefully without letting your mind get distracted by other things.
If you feel your mind wandering off, if you get distracted or if you feel like saying “Come on Luke stop rambling, we don’t want another 15 minute introduction, just get on with it please” or something – if you feel your mind wandering at all, then just guide it back and as you listen to this conversation between Antony and me, keep going with that approach.
So that was just a very brief spot meditation to help you focus your attention a bit.
OK, so now let’s start the episode properly and here we go.
Luke & Antony Discuss Monty Python & The Holy Grail
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tell us about the shelves you put up, in as much detail as possible.
In this episode I’m going to wish you a Happy New Year, ramble a little bit about what’s going on in LEPland, restate some of my aims and objectives for this podcast, and give a few comments on how you can use the podcast to improve your English, with reference to some recommended episodes from the archive.
Happy New Year everyone! (new listeners, long-term listeners, mid-term listeners and anyone else who happens to be listening)
All the best for 2022. Try to keep up your motivation for learning English throughout the year. I hope I can help. That is my aim.
How was your Christmas/New Year? Did you have a holiday? What did you do?
What’s the situation Luke, as you record this? (summarise the last couple of weeks, and what’s going on around you)
I might not be able to upload episodes regularly for the next few weeks. If LEP goes quiet – I am still here and still working, but not able to record or upload because of all the different disruptions. My life is like a puzzle at the moment and I am putting all the pieces back together.
All of them! Especially ones which are unscripted.
174. How to learn English with Luke’s English Podcast
Premium episodes www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo (articles, sentence structure, present perfect tense, narrative tenses, modal verbs about the past, quantifiers and more) but also a lot of episodes in the archive deal with grammar. Here’s a selection.
176. Grammar: Verb Tense Review (should be premium really!)
263. Past, Present & Future A chance to really understand the tenses in English, with lots of context.
372. The Importance of Anecdotes in English / Narrative Tenses / Four Anecdotes This episode has a bit of everything: useful tips for telling anecdotes, a review of narrative verb tenses, some authentic spoken anecdotes by members of my family and some vocabulary explanations.
406. Grammar (Past Continuous Tense) / UK Media Bias / Brazil Football Tragedy A review of the differences between past continuous tense and past simple tense
518. Grammar Questions (Part 1) Present Perfect Continuous / Future Continuous / Language of Newspaper Headlines – Answering grammar questions from listeners, with details about verb tenses (including present continuous vs present perfect continuous & future continuous vs going to) and the language of newspaper headlines.
518b is in the LEP app – [App-only Episode] 518b Grammar Questions (Part 2) Hope vs Wish / Relative Clauses (an overview) / Prepositions
Check the archive here teacherluke.co.uk/archive-of-episodes-1-149/ and try doing a command+F search for vocabulary, or search for the word vocabulary in the app.
Search the archive for the words British and comedy. The Rick Thompson Report, Film Club, British Comedy, Luke’s D-Day Diary, and more…
All premium episode series have dedicated pronunciation episodes. Also, these ones:
224. Pronunciation: Verb Tenses & Connected Speech Learn how native speakers really pronounce sentences in different tenses.
485 & 486. Difficult Words to Pronounce in English (with Paul Taylor) (Parts 1 & 2) + video This is a double episode with two audio episodes on one page, and it’s all about difficult pronunciation in English.
682. Key Features of English Accents, Explained – Exploring the main differences between standard English pronunciation (RP) and non-standard regional or colloquial accents.
And various episodes about accents…
Those episodes can be found in the LEP app or via the episode archive. Most good podcasting apps will have the entire archive, but I think iTunes or Apple Podcasts doesn’t show all episodes. YouTube doesn’t show all episodes either. Only some of my episodes are on YT. I’d like them all to be there (just the audio) eventually.
Author and illustrator Penny Dale talks about the process of creating successful books for children, including some of her most popular books such as Ten In The Bed and the Dinosaur series. Video version available. Audio version has 30mins extra rambling.
Hi listeners, welcome back to the podcast.
Just before I introduce the episode properly, I have some Amber & Paul news for you. First of all, Amber and Paul will be back on the podcast very soon. It’s been a while since they made an appearance, but probably the next episode will be with them, which is nice. But also, Amber and I will be on Paul’s YouTube live show on Monday 6 December at 8pm Paris time.
Every Monday Paul does a live show called Paul Taylor’s Happy Hour Live – you can find that by searching for it on YouTube. In the show he features guests and they respond to comments from the audience and generally talk and have fun. His next guests will be Amber and me (finally – we’re both going to be on it together) and that’s on Monday 6 December at 8pm Paris time. If you’re listening to this after that date and you’ve already missed it or if you can’t watch it live, you will be able to see the replay on Paul’s YouTube channel.
OK? So, if you’re keen for more Amber, Paul and Luke action – check out Paul Taylor’s Happy Hour Live on Monday 6 December at 8pm, either live or on replay.
Another thing – my merch stores are currently offering discounts, so if you’d like to get an LEP t-shirt or mug or hoodie or something – for yourself or as a Christmas present for another LEPster, now might be a good time because of discounts. Just go to www.teacherluke.co.uk/merch to find the merch stores.
Also, I hope you enjoyed the previous episode of this podcast – also with Penny Dale. I just wanted to let Premium LEPsters know that there is a premium episode in the pipeline, which will be called “What did Penny say?” and that’s going to cover vocabulary from our conversation about the Bath Arts Workshop. So, that’s coming. For all the info about LEP Premium, go to www.teacherluke.co.uk/premiuminfo
~ Jingle ~
Hello, so, let me tell you about his episode, briefly. In this one I am talking again to Penny Dale. This time we focus on her work as an author and illustrator of children’s books – and she’s had a very successful career doing that, which is quite rare.
I think this conversation is absolutely lovely – and I hope you agree. It’s just nice listening to Penny talking about her work, especially as the work itself is so thoughtful and done with a lot of care and attention, and it’s all for children.
Just to give you an overview, you are going to hear Penny talking about these things:
This conversation includes references to some of her most popular titles, including Ten In The Bed, Dinosaur Dig, Dinosaur Farm and Dinosaur Rocket.
The video version includes some pictures – that’s mostly Penny showing pages from her books, but she describes the images in some detail so even without the video version you should still get you a good idea of what her work actually looks like. But you can see the work in the video version. The audio version of this, which you listening to now, has more content in it – this introduction and there will an ending ramble from me of some kind too, so – take your pick. Video version on YouTube, audio podcast version, or both!
OK then, without any further ado, let’s find out about how Penny has created successful books for children.
Luke rambles about some upcoming content, the new Beatles documentary, and a few other things.
Amber & Paul on location in a famous museum – talking about some amazing works of art from various periods, including the Mona Lisa – that famous portrait by Leonardo da Vinci.
Don’t forget Paul Tayor’s Happy Hour Live (watch the replay if you missed the live stream) Monday 6 December at 8PM CET.
Andy Johnson will be back on the podcast soon (long term listeners might remember Andy)
I’m desperate to talk about the new Beatles documentary, and I think I will – when I get the chance!
Talks in English at the British Council in Paris – “Why we love The Beatles” <– my talk, which is scheduled for Thursday 27 January 2022 – 19.00
Link to reserve your seat www.britishcouncil.fr/en/events/talks-english-beatles or just go to britishcouncil.fr and then What’s On.
If you’re in Paris – come along to that. I’m going to record a podcast while doing it, I hope.
I’ve still got a lot on my plate! I will upload as regularly as possible, but we will see if the podcast gets disrupted by the move which is still yet to happen. New pod-room.
LEP Merch – Christmas present ideas? All the designs, including competition winners – they’re all there. Watch out for discounts in the merch stores.
In this unedited episode I share some of the thoughts that have been running through my head, talk about being busy and look at some vocabulary to describe busy times in your life. Video version available.
/bɪzi/ “Bizzy” – like “business”
A busy time