A return to Luke’s Film Club with the classic comedy This Is Spinal Tap, a “mockumentary” about a fictitious rock band from the 1980s. This time I am joined by my brother James and we discuss what was once voted “Funniest comedy film of all time”. Learn some famous quotes from the film, listen to some scenes and understand the comedy with help from James and me.
I’ve got a full two hours of Amber & Paul lined up for you here. Actually, it’s about an hour and twenty mins of Amber & Paul and maybe 45 minutes of just Paul as Amber had to leave to pick up her kids.
There’s a bit of everything in this one. It’s just the usual rambling from the podpals but we answer some listener questions, do a few accents, tell some stories and dodgy jokes and Paul and I play an idioms game at the end. It’s a pretty goofy episode which shouldn’t be taken too seriously. There is a video version on YouTube as well.
Just an announcement for any LEPsters in the Paris area. I am doing a live podcast recording and storytelling show at the British Council on 19 May at 7pm. It’s free, everyone’s welcome and all you need to do is sign up to reserve a seat. All the details are available at www.britishcouncil.fr and then click on EVENTS or événements. I’ll be telling the story of how I ended up in a Japanese hospital scared out of my wits. It’s a story of culture shock, comedy and misadventure. If you can’t come, you should be able to listen to it on the podcast, if the recording comes out ok and the show isn’t a complete flop!
Right, so let’s get back to this podpals episode. I want to point out a stupid slip that I make right at the very start. I wanted to say “Hi, I’m Luke and I need a haircut” but for some reason it came out “Hi, I’m Luke and I’m need a haircut”. I suppose it just shows that native speakers make language errors from time to time, although this was more of a slip than an error. A slip is when you make a mistake even though you know the rule. It just comes out wrong accidentally. An error is when you make a mistake because you don’t know something about the language.
Anyway, I will let you enjoy my language mistake and then settle into over 2 hours of Amber and Paul in the podcastle.
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.
James and Luke discuss designs sent in by listeners, and choose the winner(s). The prize: to have your design featured in the LEP Merch Store, plus an £80 reward! Listen for plenty of descriptive language, diplomatic language and ways of giving positive and feedback in English. Video version also available (with all the designs on screen) below.
Hello everyone. Welcome back to LEP. This is part 2 of a double Karl Pilkington themed episode. I would recommend that you listen to part 1 of this first – it contains important context about who Karl is plus more details about Karl’s pronunciation and accent.
Listening to that first will help a great deal in understanding this one.
I got plenty of good responses to part 1 of this, so let’s carry on.
In this part we are going to continue as we did before – listening to Karl Pilkington talking about various subjects, understanding exactly what he says, looking at features of his Manchester accent and picking up vocabulary along the way.
Karl is basically just a normal bloke from Manchester and his accent is fairly typical for people from that area so this episode aims to help you understand his accent and pick up vocabulary too.
Some responses to part 1
I disagree with Karl on most things.
Is he arrogant?
I just enjoy the way he puts things. He speaks like a comedian in the way that he expresses a point of view and has a certain way with words, but he’s not a comedian.
This is the enigma of Karl Pilkington – is he really just being himself, or is he playing a comedy character, and in real life he’s a lot more erudite.
I actually think it’s the former not the latter and that he’s just being himself. He just happens to have a funny way of putting his opinions across.
Sometimes the best comedy comes from someone sharing a specific opinion. I think this is what I enjoy about this, rather than the opinions he is expressing, and as I said I disagree with Karl about most things, and some things he says are quite laughable – especially stuff he’s said on the Ricky Gervais podcast, like his Monkey News stories.
One other thing – apparently it is possible to be choked by a live octopus as you eat it. What I meant was that it would be impossible for an octopus to strangle you from the inside, as strangling means choking from the outside of the throat, with your hands for example, but of course a live octopus could choke you from within, by sticking its arms up into your throat or your windpipe. So, fair enough, it is possible for an octopus to choke you.
Also, in the UK we do eat oysters – which are raw seafood, so I think raw fish are generally ok in the UK but most other raw things would be considered a bit strange for us.
Quick Pronunciation Recap
In part 1 we listened to Karl talk about life, health and food and in terms of his accent I talked about H-drops
I’m 32, I think I’ve got the hang of it.
Look, how many do you need?
I’ll have a look at the meteorites.
If you’re going to eat a live animal, don’t eat one that’s got eight arms that can get hold of your neck.
The ‘bath/trap’ split
/ʊ/ not /ʌ/
Do you go to the gym much?
Topics: Holidays & Karl’s Fridge
This time he’s going to talk about holidays and his fridge and we will look at more features of his accent.
There’s a video version of this on youtube with text on the screen, plus you will find all the text presented on the page for this episode on my website.
Just one more thing before we start – I have premium episodes in the pipeline for these two episodes of LEP. The Premium episodes will be a chance to review and remember the vocabulary that comes up in these episodes, and then pronunciation drills too. So, I’ll do a sort of memory quiz with you to see how much vocab you remember and then the usual pronunciation drills – but in my accent, not Karl’s.
Karl is on a camping holiday, sitting in a tent and moaning.
Why does Karl think holidays are stressful?
What does Karl think of Lanzarote’s nickname?
What did Karl do on his holiday there?
What’s the problem with holidays in the UK?
What did he think of the seal sanctuary he went to?
What’s the best place Karl has been? Why?
What does Karl think of holidays to the moon?
You’ve got free time on your hands which you’re not used to.
We ended up walking around this seal sanctuary. 14 quid. £
They were just floating about, hardlymoving.
I’m not having a go, but don’t charge me to come in, or at least let me see them again when they’re better.
The coliseum, they don’t do it up.
There’s no overheads.
That’s a mess. Get it knocked down.
At the end of the day the moon is just a big rock. You may/might as well go to Lanzarote.
Alright so I went on holiday and it was great and all that.
I’ll have a look at the meteorites.
If you’re going to eat a live animal, don’t eat one that’s got eight arms that can get hold of your neck.
When’s the last time you heard about a tortoise having a heart attack?
Works well with glottal stops.
Nasal sound in /aʊ/ and /ai/ sounds
/aʊ/ in words like about and now sounds more nasal.
What’s he going on about now?
If there were dinosaurs about now and that.
If we’ve run out we need to go outside and get some more.
Nasal sound in /ai/ sound
The /ai/ sound in words like alive, inside, survive, fighting, riot and dying sounds more nasal.
You’re not supposed to eat them alive.
We’ve got to stay inside if we want to survive.
If they were running about fighting and dying and that.
Running riot (sounds like “roonin raiyut”)
#5 Karl on his fridge
Karl’s fridge is broken and he called out a guy to fix it.
Naturally he’s moaning about workmen who come to your house to do different jobs.
Why does the guy charge £80?
What is Karl’s main problem with engineers, plumbers, workers who have to come to his house?
What advice does the fridge guy give to Karl?
What’s the problem with Karl’s new fridge?
The fellaturnedup, right.
Yeah, it’s broke. (broken)
That’s why I called you out.
That’s 80 quid.
I said, “you what?”
An 80 quid callout charge.
I tell you. They windmeup.
I had a fella come round to do the tiling.
Turned up late with a carrier bag.
A pot noodle
A copy of the Daily Mirror
A crossword book
He was asking what the pub was like across the road. “What is …. like?”
Having a laugh
When did you last vac it out?
You’re meant to vac them out, because dustand that gets in.
Can’t afford any food to put in it.
It needswiringin. It’s got one of those fancy plug things.
A lot of other vowel sounds are nasal too.
Turn the corner /ɔː/
They becomes thee
It depends what they do with it.
Why have they only just found that?
How did they miss that?
Also, he adds little fillers like:
(Do you) know what I mean?
Right? (just sounds like a nazal grunt, almost)
… and that
And stuff like that
Do you know what I mean?
I tell ya…
Watch out for those things if you like.
Ladies and gentlemen, this brings us to the end of this episode, as we now prepare to exit the world of Karl Pilkington and re-emerge blinking into the light of the normal world.
Welcome back to yourself, your own attitudes and your own personality again.
I urge you to (just wanted to use that phrase) check the page for this episode on my website where you will find a downloadable full transcript, the audio file for download in mp3 format, a text video version of this episode where you can read the entire thing as you listen and it’s all presented in a rather majestic looking font before your very eyes and of course there’s the comment section where you can share your thoughts not to mention the episode archive with all the previous episodes plus lots of bonus extra stuff.
LEP Premium LEP App LEP Merch
Have a good one and I will speak to you again soon, bye!
Understand English as it is spoken by native speakers. Let’s listen to Karl Pilkington rambling about life, the universe & everything, and see what we can understand and learn. Karl is from Manchester, so we’ll be looking at some features of his accent, picking up plenty of vocabulary and having a bit of a laugh along the way.
Welcome back to the podcast. How are you doing today?
In this episode we’re going to do some intensive listening and use it as a chance to learn some vocabulary and pronunciation.
This episode should be a bit of a laugh as we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of Karl Pilkington and listen to his thoughts on some big issues like health, food, animals, holidays and just existence itself.
We’ll be looking at the different features of his Manchester accent, and there will be lots of vocabulary to pick up too as we are covering a range of different topics. You can also consider this as a little intensive listening test, as I will be setting questions that you have to find answers to, then going through each clip in detail and breaking it all down for language.
We last heard about Karl Pilkington on my podcast in episode 656 in which we listened to a couple of his Monkey News stories about a chimp that works on a building site and another chimp that pilots a space rocket.
Do you remember that? If you don’t, then get the LEP app and listen to episode 656. It was a very popular episode and it should make you laugh out loud on a bus maybe.
That was pretty funny stuff, and Karl is very funny even though he’s not actually a comedian.
Who is Karl Pilkington?
To be honest, Karl Pilkington was most well-known about 10 years ago and these days he’s not in the public eye as much as he used to be, but he’s still a fairly well-known person in the UK, especially for Ricky Gervais fans.
Karl is just an ordinary bloke from Manchester who met comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant when he worked for them as a radio producer in London.
Later, Ricky invited Karl to be on his podcast in order to broadcast his weird ideas and inane ramblings to the whole world, and the rest is history.
The Ricky Gervais Podcast became a world record-breaker with over 300,000,000 downloads.
In episodes, Ricky, Steve & Karl would talk about big topics like religion, evolution, philosophy, nature, birth and death and Karl would often say some bizarre and hilarious things, apparently without intending to be funny.
Ricky was always slightly obsessed with Karl, and he always described him as “an idiot with a perfectly round head like an orange”.
After being on Ricky’s podcast, Karl went on to become a fairly well-known figure in the UK, doing more podcasts with Ricky, then TV shows, books and documentaries like “An Idiot Abroad”.
Karl is known for his funny and slightly odd musings and observations about life.
He comes from a working class background in the Manchester area, and his accent has many of the features that you would expect from that.
Accent / Pronunciation
We will be going into the specific features of his accent in more detail as we go and this kind of follows on from episode 682 which was all about common features of pronunciation in England which are different to RP.
Which accent should you have?
So this episode is about one of the UK’s regional accents.
You might be thinking – Luke, by doing this episode are you saying that we should all learn to speak like Karl?
I’m not saying that. You can choose your accent, and many learners choose a neutral accent to learn, but it’s not all about learning an accent, it’s also about learning to understand different accents, and learning about the varieties of English that are out there.
So, you might not want to speak like Karl, but I certainly want you to understand Karl and the many millions of other people who speak English in a non-standard way.
So this episode is all about understanding an accent, rather than copying it. But of course you can copy Karl’s Mancunian accent if you like.
There will also be plenty of vocabulary coming up too as we pick apart the things that Karl says and the way he says them.
You’ll find it listed on the screen on the video version and also presented in text form on the page for this episode on my website.
We’re going to be using a series available on youtube in which Karl ponders certain big questions in just 3 minutes of video, originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK as part of their “3 Minute Wonders” series.
These are short videos in which Karl talks about his fridge, health, food, animals and holidays, covering each topic with his usual ramblings, all delivered in that Manchester accent, know what I mean?
I have about 6 recordings, which are about 3 minutes each (this could become two episodes).
Before I play the recording I’ll give you a little bit of context and I’ll set some questions.
Then you listen and try to get the answers.
Then I’ll break it down – listening to each bit again, with some explanations if necessary.
We’ll also pay attention to pronunciation – specifically his Mancunian accent. I’m going to break that down too, exploring the main features of that particular accent.
And I’ll sum up some of the vocab from each clip before moving on to the next one.
#1 Karl on Life
Karl goes around a museum looking at meteorites, dinosaur skeletons and endangered animals (stuffed ones or models) and muses about life in general medical science.
What does Karl wonder about the big bang?
What makes the meteorite room a bit disappointing?
What’s Karl’s main criticism of humanity today?
What does Karl think would happen if a dinosaur got loose and started to “run riot”?
What’s Karl’s main point?
The big bang
Did it only seem big because there was no other noise to drown it out at the time?
Meteorites (on earth)
Meteors (flying in earth’s atmosphere)
Asteroids (flying in space)
The edge is taken off it because that isn’t the only one.
I’m not surprised they went extinct, they’re all in here.
Enough’s enough. If your body is that done in, call it a day.
The more we know, the more we interfere.
Don’t interfere with nature and that.
Even if it was going round running riot they’d go “We don’t want it to go extinct”
The panda is dying out.
Notes on Karl’s accent
Here’s a summary of the main points regarding Karl’s Manchester accent.
Many of these features are common in people from the Manchester area, although not all people from Manchester will speak like this, and there are different degrees of it.
This is certainly Karl’s Manchester accent in any case.
A lot of what I’m about to say will include things brought up in the episode I did about Key Features of English accents, episode 682.
Look, how many do you need?
I’m not surprised they went extinct, they’re all in here.
She’d had a new lung, a new heart
He puts his hand in and goes “Yep, it’s broke”
They weren’t doing anything. They weren’t jumping through hoops. (talking about animals in a zoo)
I don’t know if it’s cruel or not, to have them in there.
I’m 32, I think I’ve got the hang of it.
Glottal stops (/t/ sounds get replaced by /ʔ/ )
I’ll have a look at the meteorites.
If you’re going to eat a live animal, don’t eat one that’s got eight arms that can get hold of your neck.
Let me see them again when they’re better.
Go back to my episode called 682. Features of English Accents, Explained to find out more about glottal stops.
#2 Karl on Health
Karl recounts a conversation he had with a woman about going to the gym.
Does Karl go to the gym?
What does he think of the idea of breathing classes?
What does he think of drinking 7 pints of water a day?
What’s Karl’s argument for not going to the gym? Heart beats, tortoise
I know what’s probably putting you off – the fact that it’s hard work.
Breathing classes – I’m 32 I think I’ve got the hang of it.
My Dad’s like 60-odd. I’ve never seen him drink a pint of water, yet they’re telling us we should have, like, 7 pints a day or something, and then they wonder why there’s a water drought on.
They keep coming up withdaft ways of keeping fit.
Chucking paint at each other.
/æ/ not /ɑː/ (the “bath/trap split”, again)
Short A sound /æ/ in bath, podcast
(gas and glass have the same vowel sound in Karl’s Manchester accent).
This is normal across all northern accents, and many accents in the midlands. I would use /ɑː/ because although I lived in the midlands for many years (half my childhood), my accent is mostly from the south because I’ve lived there more and my parents don’t have strong regional accents.
Come to my class. We do breathing classes.
/ʊ/ not /ʌ/
The U sound in but, enough and much.
I pronounce it /ʌ/ but Karl pronounces it more like /ʊ/
Do you go to the gym much?
#3 Karl on Food
Karl talks about a new trend – eating things which shouldn’t be eaten.
Coming from England, Karl thinks it’s weird to eat certain things that might be eaten in other cultures, like live octopus, insects, frogs, snails, probably raw meat, raw fish and sushi.
What is the danger of eating a live octopus?
What’s Karl’s issue with kids and food today?
What does Karl think about eating dog?
They choke you. Why would you want to eat that?
If we’re eating octopuses, why are dogs getting away with it?
Reading a short story presented on Commaful.com. The Escaped Man is a mystery full of tension and intrigue. Listen closely as I break it all down and explain the vocabulary fully. YouTube video version also available.
This is episode 735 and it is a rambling episode, which means it’s just me talking to you about various things – including: whatever comes into my head while I’m recording, but specifically this time I’m aiming to talk about
Being back from holiday and getting back into the podcast zone
Comments about my audio listeners and my video viewers on YouTube
News about moving flat and moving to my new pod room (You can see that the move hasn’t started yet and so the podcast has not been disrupted yet)
Some common questions from the YouTube comment section (new listeners)
Charlie Watts – the drummer from the Rolling Stones who passed away yesterday
A couple of comments from the comment section including one very motivational email I got from a long-term listener
Whatever else occurs to me as we record this!
As well as being available as a normal episode of the audio podcast, this is also available on YouTube with some text on the screen – the notes and scripts that I’m reading from, so you can read along with me and spot certain phrases and spelling and so on.
By the way – you can always pause this and check the screen if you feel you didn’t understand something or you found a new word or phrase.
I’m reading from a script / notes
In this episode I’m reading from a script which I wrote last night. I don’t normally read from a pre-written script when I do these rambles, but this time is different.
I wrote most of this script last night, when it wasn’t really the right time to do a podcast recording, but I still consider this to be a rambling episode because I just rambled with my fingers last night and now I’m just reading out the text-ramble that I created, so it still counts as rambling as far as I’m concerned, and I of course I can deviate from the script/notes whenever I want.
So stick with me and I hope you enjoy listening to my words as they flow out like endless rain into a paper cup – a cup which you can take and drink from, metaphorically of course.
Drink my English – that’s what I’m saying. I hope you know what I mean!
In the podcast zone (this is what I wrote last night)
I’m sitting here in front of the computer. My wife is lying across the sofa watching a French TV show on her phone and she’s under a nice sheepskin blanket that we have so she is feeling very cosy. I’ve just made her a cup of mint tea and I’ve tucked her feet into a blanket because I’m such a great guy and a really wonderful husband.
The child is in bed asleep, and despite the madness that is going in on the world outside, this is a little moment of peace and quiet.
Now I’m sitting with my computer on my lap, but I’m pretty much in the podcast zone right now – meaning, that I’m thinking of ideas for the podcast, considering what I’ve been doing and what I should do next. I know I should be able to record tomorrow as the little one is going to her French grandparents for a few days and my wife has work to do, so tomorrow is podcast day.
But I’m in the podcast zone now because I’m thinking about podcast ideas and things to record tomorrow. I’m just writing down my thoughts on my computer as they come into my head. I’m trying to write down every thing I’m thinking in order to make sure this is actually a rambling episode. I’m rambling everything down in text form here and I’m trying to make it sound like I am actually speaking normally and not reading from a text.
What I’ll have to do tomorrow is record this but make it sound like I’m just saying it all off the top of my head.
Also I might just go off on a tangent at any point and deviate from the script, if something occurs to me.
In fact, what I’m going to do is, the word-for-word script for this is going to stop soon and I’m going to just write down some basic notes and then expand on them as I talk into the microphone tomorrow (which is actually today – so, tomorrow is now, so, are we in the past, the present or the future? I think I might have just invented time travel. These words are from yesterday, but I’m reading them now and you’re going to listen to them in the future – let’s just say that in podcastland, time is a sort of flexible thing a bit like a jelly or something.
Yep, in LEPland, time is jelly – which might explain why my episodes are quite long sometimes.
In any case, I would like to record this episode tomorrow as a kind of welcome back before embarking on things like premium content and other episodes I’ve been planning.
I do have other episodes I’d like to do and tbh while I was away on holiday over the last 3 weeks or so I was itching to get back to podcasting.
I had lots of ideas popping into my head which I couldn’t quite hold onto and as I didn’t get the chance to write them down, they’ve all disappeared into the ether – little ideas, comments, stories that occurred to me at various moments, like when I’m in the shower but which I almost instantly forgot – so I was quite keen to do some recording again after being away just to satisfy the compulsive podcasting side of me.
The holiday was fantastic and one of the best ones we have had for ages. I’ll tell you about it a bit later in this episode.
Those other episodes I could be doing right now:
P31 parts 4,5,6
Learn English from my mum as we look at phrases which came up in our conversation in episode 717 – learn them properly with loads of examples and the chance to do plenty of listen and repeat pronunciation work with me so you don’t just learn new language, but learn how to produce it too.
War of the Worlds part 4 (conclusion?)
88 English expressions that will confuse everyone! (remember that? I never finished it)
More stories like The Mountain
Reading from more texts or books
An episode with The Thompsons which I recorded when I was in England
Some invitations to other podcasters/English teachers who have interviewed me recently
Top 10 Jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe 2021
And I have a big list of other ideas which I am slowly working my way through.
But I think before I do those ones and perhaps some others, I’d like to just do this rambling episode with you.
These rambling episodes are where I just talk to you directly and move from topic to topic almost making it all up as I go along.
So just keep up with me, follow along and let the words flow through you like the force in Star Wars.
Feel the English, let it flow through you.
Be the English.
Imagine blue lazers and Star Wars / The Matrix type stuff.
Be one with the living English and listen with me as I chat to you about various things.
Audio listeners / Video Viewers (LEP is an audio podcast, with some videos on YouTube)
Most people listening to this – the vast majority listening to my words right now are listening to my podcast on their phone probably with headphones on, using a podcasting app of some sort, probably the native Apple Podcasts app on the iPhone or something like Spotify or another podcasting app, or perhaps you are listening on the LEP App.
Most people listen to the audio version of this – and I’m saying this now because I’m also recording a video version of this on YouTube and I feel like YouTube is a pretty different audience.
All the other platforms (ways to listen to the audio podcast) are united in one sort of group – the audio LEPsters and they’re more ninja-ish but they’re perhaps a bit more solid, reliable, dependable and loyal.
I don’t mean to have a pop at (criticise) the video LEPsters on YouTube, but they seem to be a slightly different type of LEPster. I feel like YouTube LEPsters are less ninja-ish because there are many more comments.
Also, YouTube LEPsters (hello) seem to be less aware of the back catalogue of episodes, and I get a lot of people who have never heard the podcast ever before. (shocking, I know)
But YouTube has enormous potential to go viral. In fact, in a way it’s like swimming in the deep ocean and you could catch a current and get into the very deep water.
I mean, most episodes on YouTube get less attention than the audio versions, but then some videos go viral as they get picked up by the algorithm which is responding to the way people interact with your video and I guess that the algorithm sort of picks up on videos which are popular and promote them, as a way to always present the best content on the platform.
So a couple of my recent videos went a bit viral (not a lot but a bit), which was nice.
So – YouTube LEPsters – here, let me just have a word for a moment.
Really, this is an audio podcast that also has a youtube channel and recently I’ve been uploading more to it, but really this is still, mainly, an audio show and I have a big archive of audio episodes on my website and in my app.
Not all the episode are available on YouTube and they’re not all on Apple Podcasts, but they’re all there on my website, with episode pages for each and every single one of them and audio download links.
Go to my website teacherluke.co.uk (I know it looks like it was made in 2012) and then click EPISODES in the menu, and also in the LEP App you can get every single episode.
Most people listen to my podcast using an app on their phone and they listen when they are probably doing something else, like walking around, driving (please be careful), doing housework, doing exercise or simply breathing.
So listening to the audio version on your phone seems to be the normal way to do it.
If you listen using a podcast app on your phone, and you need to stop listening for whatever reason, the app will remember where you stopped listening and you can then carry on from that point later. So, you don’t have to listen to an episode in one single go.
The majority of my audience listen to the audio version of this and I’ve been doing the audio podcast for over 12 years now, and I have a big back catalogue of episodes and I have talked about lots of different things over the years including some things that I’m sure you’d like to hear, so check out the episode archive for the older episodes.
My app disappeared from the Apple App store for a couple of days (I had a payment issue with Apple) and when it came back all the ratings and reviews had gone (3 years’ worth), which was annoying. Can you do me a favour (no obligation of course) and give the app a rating and a review (if you use it)?
How was your holiday?
It was great. No need to go into full detail like I have in the past, but basically we got lucky with the weather and had a really lovely time.
What about moving to your new flat and moving to a new pod-room?
Building work is being done in the new flat. I think the downstairs neighbours will want to murder us.
I probably won’t get the keys to the new pod-room until mid September, and then I’ll move in there. I’ll need to get electricity and internet connected there, and to fit a desk and some shelves, and then it’ll be the official new pod-room.
Common Questions since going viral on YT
I am going to try to answer these questions as quickly and succinctly as possible without rambling at all in fact. So in this rambling episode, here is a section with no rambling.
I hope that’s clear.
So, this is a rambling episode, with a bit where there’s no rambling.
Anyway – no rambling here, let’s just get straight to the point and keep it simple.
Common Questions from YouTube
Where are you from?
Can you do an episode about ______?
Check the episode archive on my website. There’s a chance I’ve already talked about that.
Go to the archive and do a ctrl+F search for the keywords you’re interested in.
How can I learn English by listening to your podcast?
This can really help you a lot, but it’s not the only thing you should do.
It’s also important to read a lot (find texts which are not too tricky, use fairly modern English and which you actually want to read) study a bit (use grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation teaching materials of any kind and work with them – it’s not the only thing, but it helps) do lots of speaking if you can (ideally find someone to have meaningful conversations with, perhaps a teacher or language partner who can give you some little corrections and encouragement) and write on a regular basis too (practise writing different types of text or just write a diary every day in which you express your thoughts in English – you’ve got to express yourself in English regularly in order to find your voice).
Learning English is about learning how to do something, not just learning how to understand something, and we generally get better at things by trying to do them again and again.
So listen and read a lot and try to speak and write a lot too. That’s quite general advice but there it is.
For more specific advice on how to use the podcast to improve your English, you could listen to these episodes
Should I listen to the episodes on order?
It’s up to you really. You can just listen to all the new ones as they come out, but if you really want to learn from me properly then I would suggest listening from episode 1.
Certainly if you are a lower level learner, the first 50-ish episodes are probably a bit easier to understand and have more specific language-teaching objectives, so it would be good to start with them.
But equally, if you just find my episodes fun and interesting you can listen to them in any order you like. Be aware though: multi-part episodes should be heard in order, and there might be little private jokes and references from earlier episodes which you might not understand (like the dreaded Russian Joke).
Can you do more story episodes?
Yes, I’m planning to do more stories.
Can you do episodes about grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation?
Consider signing up to LEP Premium for loads of episodes like that.
Can you feature ___(insert name here)___ again? (Check previous episodes)
Check the archive – a lot of my guests have been on the podcast before, especially favourites like Amber & Paul and my family. Check the archive.
Can you do video episodes every time?
Not every time, but I’ll try to do them as often as possible.
Is there a transcript for this episode?
Episodes with transcripts
Episode archive and check
YouTube channel – automatic subtitles
Live without subtitles – Learn to hear the spoken version of English without the aid of the written version (Although subtitles and scripts can also be a great resource, and so you should do a bit of both).
The Rolling Stones seem to be missing a drummer and a bass player. I hear Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are available. Imagine if they formed a Beatles/Stones supergroup at the very end of their careers?
But of course nobody could replace the people who are gone like Charlie Watts and Lennon and Harrison, but still it would be fun for the five remaining guys to get together and perform.
Actually I think they’d be an amazing band but there would be ego struggles between Jagger and McCartney for stage limelight.
Paul and Keef are great mates I believe and they used to meet up together when they both stayed in the Caribbean
and probably have a few cups of tea and have a laugh and tell stories of the old days.
So they’re pretty tight, and Ringo is friendly with everyone and still drumming.
The Rolling Beatles
Message from Lio in Brazil
Remember the WISBOLEP competition? That was awesome.
From Lio from Brasil who didn’t make it to the last 16.
Lio appears at about 2:24:00 in the Wisbolep 1 video.
The point is – there were so many people who sent really great recordings and who didn’t get through to the last 16.
I want to share this because it is a very real example of someone who has connected the learning of English to their personal life in a very human way – which means, making mistakes, acknowledging motivational issues and finally coming to terms with the fact they have to take responsibility for learning and the end result is great.
This is an excellently written email that obviously just came out of Lio without him planning it and rewriting it. He has done really well with his English, as have so many other LEPsters. This is what he wrote.
Lio from Brasil
I had so much fun during this competition, even though I didn’t pass the first round.
Let me tell you something, I’ve been meaning to write it for a long time..:)
You know, I need to be frank, I was sooo happy and keen to participate that, when I recorded my pitch, I wasn’t thinking about “what” I should have said, but only about “how” to say it, (very slowly and clearly).
My thought was: “I want everyone to understand me”, because I guess that there are different types of lepsters, people who just started and people who have been listening for years…
So I decided to speak that way..,I guess the result was that I made myself sound like a robot 😶
I don’t want to be too hard on myself but knowing that there is always room for progress, helps me on the journey, it tells me that I could be working even harder on my English, while at the same time having fun.
I love this language and when I was younger, it was so frustrating and tiring. You know the vibe because you’re learning French and you need it in one way or another.
As a non native speaker I knew as a child that I HAD to learn English, sooner or later.
It was only 9 years ago that I started to want to learn it…and did I start then? Of course not!!! naaa, too easy!! Let’s just procrastinate for other 5 or 6 years 😜
And so, as the story goes, in 2016 (November, I swear 😂) I started googling “learn English” online, Youtube and other websites…but I wasn’t satisfied, I was looking for something that wasn’t boring or “slow-paced”.
I desired something interesting and alive, that could help me defeat my tendency to quit learning the language.
Why? Because English represented this scary monster in my head and I had more worries than solutions at the time. So I felt the need to challenge myself and, as a beginner your podcast seemed quite advanced and not doable, I thought I couldn’t possibly succeed in understanding everything that was being said, episode after episode.
And then, at a certain point, I don’t know when or how, it just “clicked”…I think around episode 60 or 70…I suddenly realized I was understanding everything on the podcast.
At that point, after years of procrastination, failures and half attempts at learning the language, I felt like: “that’s it! I got it! Finally!”
Now, let me just tell you that I was aware of how much work I still needed (and need now)..but believe me…I cracked the code, I finally unlocked this thing, I got this! That’s how I felt…
But I need to add that, although I had finally found the resource I was looking for, I wasn’t disciplined enough for self studying and I already knew very good books (Raymond Murphy’s and collegues), but as you said so many times that I couldn’t possibly remember, you need to take responsibility for the learning process.
I really liked episode 686, you and Christian from Canguro English said a very important thing.
Sometimes people think that when one wants to learn a language, he/she simply needs to take lessons from a teacher saying: “Ok, I’m here, just fill me up with English”, so to speak..but if that was the case, how much easier things would be?
There is that film with Keanu Reeves, what was its name? Oh Yeah “Johnny Mnemonic” (1995) in which they put data inside his brain and he has to carry it, as a courier I believe.
Anyway the point is, it doesn’t work like that, us, learners, we are the ones that need to do the hard work, guided by our teachers, in the lepsters case, by you of course, 😁you’re the one who unlocks all of this.
I followed a lot of advice you gave and let me tell you… thank you, it worked wonders!
So yeah, 80% of what I know comes from here! LEP!
But there is also something I love doing as much as possible, and that’s creating my own learning bubble where I’m immersed in the language, as much as possible. Your podcast is a great way to do that ! You definitely revolutionized my English comprehension, aquisition and assimilation and I’m so thankful for that! Not only the language, but your culture too!
I remember episode 100 of Lep: “Going to the pub”, (wow, so many years ago), that’s how it felt in this journey, sitting in a pub with a friend, chatting about so many things, that was the classroom. And episode 99:” The Rotary Sushi Bar of English”, where you pick up all the different portions of English.
Let’s wrap this up, shall we? :)
Thank you for all of this! I had and I’m having so much fun with Lep and knowing that so many people are part of this community is a strong reminder that in the end we’re all from Lepland, we all share this passion for the language and, as our teacher said many times, it’s all about connection, not perfection!
P.S. Let me do it at least once …I’m certainly rushing to get to next episode…hehe ;)
Until then…bye bye byee bye bye
All the best,
HAMAD – STOP LISTENING TO LEP IN THE BATHROOM!
Hope you are doing great in these Covid-19 times.
One of your very dedicated listeners is Hamad, my husband, who annoyingly keeps listening to your podcasts in the bathroom, while showering, even when he is changing his clothes!
He keeps waking me up from my sleep during his morning “rituals”, or anytime he goes to the bathroom to do ANYTHING.
Please let him know i sent you this message, and tell him to PLEASE stop listening to your podcasts in the BATHROOM.
Sincerely, a concerned yet disturbed wife, Aysha
Sent from my iPhone
That’s all folks!!!
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