Tag Archives: learn

852. How does it feel to be blind? (Article & Vocabulary)

How does it feel to have a visual impairment? How do blind people navigate the world? How do other people treat you, if you are blind? And, how do we talk about blindness and other forms of disability in English? This episode is inspired by a listener called Hafid, who contacted me recently. I talk about the subject of blindness and disability in general, read an article written by a partially sighted person, and explain a list of words and phrases we should use when describing different forms of disability. Also includes various medical vocabulary such as the different parts of the eye and other related topics.

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Get the PDF 👇

Click here to read the article by Christina Hartmann on Slate.com

851. Rambling about The Beatles “Now and Then” 🎸

A listener left a comment on my website asking for my thoughts on the new Beatles song which was released last week, and I was happy to ramble about it for 45 mins. Listen to hear me give my thoughts and tell several stories related to what is being described as “the last Beatles song”. First I talk for about 10 minutes about burning down my apartment and my thoughts on the content I make for this podcast, and then I start talking about The Beatles until the end of the episode. To skip straight to the Beatles bit, go forward to about 12 minutes into the episode.

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850. Any Language You Want 📖 with Fabio Cerpelloni

Fabio has written a book about language learning, based on his own personal experiences of learning English. Each chapter ends with the same sentence: “This is how to learn a language”. But each chapter disagrees with the next. There are many ways to learn a language, and none of them is the only right way to do it. In this episode, we talk all about this and Fabio shares some of his stories. Fabio is the host of “Stolariod Stories” a self-development podcast which includes lots of lessons about learning English, and learning about life in general.

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☝️ The audio version has 20+ extra minutes of rambling from Luke ☝️

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK3zmdowd_A&ab_channel=Luke%27sEnglishPodcast

👉 Get Fabio’s book “Any Language You Want” https://fabiocerpelloni.com/any-language-you-want/

👉 Listen to Fabio interview Luke about stand-up comedy on Stolaroid Stories https://pod.link/1588409467/episode/5a1f614be55bdffa8513091565ef4985

👇 Video version of “The Art of Making People Laugh” on Stolaroid Stories


Also, listen to Luke’s funny story on Bree Aesie’s podcast recently 👇

849. STORIES OF INSECTS, BUGS & CREEPY CRAWLIES with Zdenek Lukas

Bed bugs in Paris & London, Mosquito hunting in the middle of the night, a home invasion by fleas and the terrors of cockroaches – listen to some anecdotes about encounters with insects with Zdenek who has recently relocated to Vietnam. Also watch out for various insect idioms which appear during the conversation.

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Insect Idioms

Here are the idioms which popped up during this conversation.

1. **To have a Bee in Your Bonnet** This idiom means that someone has an idea or a thought that’s constantly on their mind, often an obsession.

2. **To have Ants in Your Pants** If someone has “ants in their pants,” it means they are restless or fidgety, unable to sit still.

3. **To be as Busy as a Bee** This idiom describes someone who is extremely busy and productive, like a hardworking bee in a hive.

4. **To have Butterflies in Your Stomach** When you’re nervous or anxious, you might say you have “butterflies in your stomach.”

5. **To be The Bee’s Knees** This expression is used to describe something excellent or outstanding.

6. **To Make a Beeline for** If you “make a beeline for” something or someone, you head directly towards it, just like a bee flying straight to a flower.

7. **Like a Moth to a Flame** If someone is drawn to something or someone despite the potential dangers, they are said to be like a moth to a flame.

8. **To bug someone** To annoy someone

Also, to bug a place means to hide recording equipment in a place in order to spy on the people living there. Zdenek believes his apartment is not bugged, thankfully.


🏆LEP Premium series P53 available now! Click here to sign up to LEP Premium🏆


Luke on Other People’s Podcasts recently 🎧👇

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

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

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


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

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


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

Hello folks, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

847. RANDOM TOPIC GENERATOR (A 1-Hour Rambling Episode)

Join me for an unplanned rambling episode about various things including: hump day, bed bugs in Paris 🐞, fashion trends I followed when I was younger 👟👖, CDs 💿 vs cassettes 📼 vs vinyl 🎵, the most relaxing place in the world 🛏, Japanese zen gardens ⛩, Hunter S Thompson 🚬, the most disgusting job I ever had 🤮, and more…

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Random Topic Generator 👉 https://capitalizemytitle.com/random-topic-generator/

846. Topic Tombola with James

“The Glib Brothers” reunite on the podcast to discuss more music, films, books, scary AI and UFO sightings. James is my older brother and he’s probably been on this podcast more than any other guest. Listen for another deep and humorous conversation with lots of cultural reference points.

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Some of the things we talked about in this episode 👇

  • Blow Up (1966 mystery thriller film set in London, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni)
  • The Bee Gees (Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb – The Gibb Brothers)
  • Diary of a CEO (Stephen Bartlett’s podcast)
  • Record Play Pause by Stephen Morris (a book about Joy Division / New Order)
  • ChatGPT & AI (you know)
  • 1984 by George Orwell (a famous book about living under a totalitarian regime)
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (another famous book about living under a different kind of totalitarian regime)
  • This Is Spinal Tap (a cult classic comedy film about a fictional rock band)
  • Alan Partridge (a comedy character played by actor/comedian Steve Coogan)
  • Three Amigos (comedy film directed by John Landis, written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin and Randy Newman, starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short – a Thompson family favourite)
  • Green Street (an unintentionally hilarious drama film about football hooligans in the UK, starring Elijah Wood)

James’ Music – Glytek Audio

A TOMBOLA :)

845. Using ChatGPT as a Language Teaching Tool 🤖 with JOE DALE, EdTech Guru, ChatGPT Enthusiast

TECH TALK! A conversation with Joe Dale (modern foreign language teaching consultant, EdTech guru) about the use of ChatGPT in English teaching and learning. Lots of recommendations, tips and tricks for saving time and combining ChatGPT with other software including Google Chrome extensions.

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Links, etc

Online Communities that Joe mentioned

Google Chrome Extentions

  • Magical – a tool which helps you to write text without having to write it out each time. Useful if you tend to write the same thing a lot, over and over. 
  • Canned Replies – similar to Magical 
  • Voice Control for ChatGPT – Speech to text, text to speech. This basically adds a microphone input option for ChatGPT and also converts ChatGPT’s responses into spoken word.
  • Use Immersive Reader on Websites – this can read out a text for you in spoken word
  • YouTube Summary with ChatGPT & Claude – summarises YouTube videos (but I question its ability to do this well enough – it doesn’t always realise which things are part of an introduction, which things are side points, and which things are the main points)
  • EdPuzzle – quickly turn YouTube videos into comprehension exercises (convenient for teachers)

Other useful software

  • ClozeIt – a Google Docs extension which creates gap-fills from texts
  • Wheel of Names – wheelofnames.com – a spinning wheel which randomly chooses items from a list
  • Microsoft Lens (part of Microsoft Tools) – allows you to scan text from a photo, and then export the text to other software
  • Reading Coach (in Immersive Reader in Microsoft Tools in Microsoft Office 365) – reads (out loud) to text you have scanned, listens to you speaking and then gives you feedback on your pronunciation/speaking and you can compare your speaking with the model speech
  • AudioPen.ai – allows you to record quick voice notes, which it then transcribes and neatly summarises for you

My previous episodes about ChatGPT

844. Improve Your Pronunciation with Luke Nicholson – Accent Coach

A conversation with accent coach Luke Nicholson, including lots of insights, advice and conclusions about improving your pronunciation in English.

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☝️The audio version contains 20+ extra minutes

Questions to consider before listening

  1. In your language learning, how important is pronunciation for you?
  2. How much time do you put into practising it or researching it, compared to other things like grammar or vocabulary?
  3. How much do you know about the physical ways that we make sounds, and also the ways that we express pronunciation in writing – the phonetic alphabet?
  4. Think about your mouth, throat, tongue, teeth, nose or other parts. Do you know which parts are responsible for making different sounds in English?
  5. Try saying different vowel and consonant sounds, and see which parts are involved. Perhaps try counting to 20 and just notice the different parts of your mouth and areas near your mouth that you use, the shape of your lips and so on.
  6. Does English use sounds that you don’t use in your language? Which ones?
  7. Are there certain words which always seem to cause you trouble when you speak English? Which specific parts of those words cause the problem?
  8. How many different accents can you identify in English? Which one do you want to sound like? Why?
  9. Which accent would you like to have in English? What is that accent called? Why do you want that accent?
  10. Does it matter if, when you speak, people can tell which part of the world you are from, or that they can tell English isn’t your first language? To what extent does that matter to you, and why?
  11. What do you think is more important in pronunciation – intelligibility (being clear), or identity (expressing a certain identity with the way you speak).
  12. How can you actually go about improving your pronunciation? What steps can you take, and what resources can you use?
  13. What does it mean to have “good pronunciation” or a “good accent”?
  14. If you are an English teacher, how do you teach pronunciation? What place does it have in your lessons? What are your experiences of teaching it?

Summary of the main conclusions in the conversation

  • Improving your pronunciation. According to Luke, it all boils down to these things.
  • English is diverse in its pronunciation and accents, and the written word doesn’t always match how it sounds.
  • You just have to accept things that seem inconsistent, irregular or complex in English pronunciation, and move forward. Those ‘irregularities’ will seem relatively normal when you get familiar with the language.
  • Study pronunciation, but don’t look for “one rule to explain it all”. Instead find little patterns and other ways to help you remember English pronunciation bit by bit.
  • Determine your pronunciation priorities and choose a target accent which you can aim for.
  • Balance intelligibility (being clear) with expressing your identity through your accent.
  • Familiarise yourself with the vocal tract and the sounds of English.
  • Learn the phonemic chart and explore stress and intonation patterns.
  • Don’t be put off by the phonemic chart. You probably have most of those sounds in your language. Look out for the ones which you don’t have.
  • Identify which sounds in English you find difficult, or which cause people to misunderstand you, and focus on them.
  • Practice making different sounds and think outside the box to find approaches that work for you.

Luke Nicholson’s Websites

www.improveyouraccent.co.uk

www.funetics.com

843. The Birth of Our Son

Talking to my wife (and daughter) about the birth of our son, who came into the world just a few weeks ago. We describe what happened, and explain how it feels to become parents for the second time. This is a very personal, first-hand account of childbirth and the experience of bringing a child into the world. Watch out for the language of childbirth and children which has previously been explained in episodes 162, 491, 492 and 814.

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Previous episodes on this subject, including specific vocabulary explanations:

161. She’s Having a Baby (with Amber Minogue) | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast 

162. Having Babies: Vocabulary / A Male Perspective | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast (Vocabulary Explanations included)

491. Becoming a Dad (with Andy & Ben) Part 1 (Vocabulary Explanations included)

492. Becoming a Dad (with Andy & Ben) Part 2 (Vocabulary Explanations included)

502. The Birth of My Daughter | Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast

515. Becoming “Maman” with Amber & Sarah – Bringing Up Children The French Way

597. Growing Up / Getting Older / Becoming a Father (with Paul Taylor) 

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