Tag Archives: rap

258. Award Win / Thank you! / Poem

This is a very short podcast episode because I don’t have much time, but I just wanted to say a very sincere THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me in the 2014 Macmillan Love English Awards. I’m proud to say that I won my category: Best Blog 2014 for the 4th year in a row! I am absolutely delighted, and as a way of expressing my delight I’ve decided to write a poem (extremely quickly – it’s no masterpiece!) I hope you enjoy it, and thank you again! [Download]

Small Donate ButtonPlease write your own poems in the comments section. Just have fun and try to make the words rhyme. You can write a poem about anything, and it can be as short or as long as you like. Thank you! (If you can’t think of a topic – try writing something about LEP or learning English).

My Epic Masterpiece of a Poem – POEM OF THANKS!
I won the award
It’s thanks to y’all
I hope you’re not bored
by me talking about the award
All in all
It’s great to have you on board
You’re all from abroad
And you felt inclined
To take the time
To go online
And vote in kind
for the podcast that’s mine
It makes me feel fine
Like the sun that shines
Thank you to you
For doing what you did
And I hope you consid(er)
You’re the real winner
Because by voting for me you bring more attention to the site, raising the profile of the podcast, broadening the audience, and ultimately helping me to keep doing this with confidence, which then feeds into the way in which I record episodes, and encourages me to continue doing this project which I started 5 and a half years ago and which continues to amaze me in terms of how popular it is, how useful it is to many listeners, and how I could possibly turn this whole venture into a career.

The rhyming broke down, but I did say that I hadn’t prepared it, right?
It’s hardly a masterpiece, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just for fun.

Here’s the rejected part of my poem
And voting for who
You felt was more true
“I listen to you
when sitting on the loo”
Is a sentence that you
might use to describe
a side of your life
that involves listening to me
while you do a pee
because, you see
your time is quality
I mean you can see
That you have to multi task

Here’s the video of Eminem talking about rhyming

Why don’t you try to write a poem in the comments section?
You could try to continue my one (can you think of something that rhymes with ‘multi task’?) or you could create your own poem.
Remember: Just try to have fun and make the words rhyme. No pressure to be the next Eminem!

253. Rapping with Fluency MC!

Chatting and rapping with Jason R. Levine aka Fluency MC! [Download]

Small Donate ButtonI’m feeling pretty excited today because I’ve got a bit of a celebrity on the podcast. Jason R. Levine, also known as Fluency MC is something of a legend in the world of online English language teaching. He’s become pretty well known on YouTube in particular for his videos in which he uses hip hop to bring a fresh approach to teaching English. Jason raps his English lessons, and many of those raps have become YouTube sensations – for example “Stick stuck stuck” the past participle rap (over 2.5million views on Youtube), and the present perfect rap which is a full on explanation of the grammar rules for the present perfect tense, delivered in rhyme. But, Jason is not only a teacher who raps – a look at Jason’s CV shows that he is involved in a number of very interesting English teaching projects – he leads workshops, has published material and is an English specialist for the US department of State – which makes him sound like a government agent, and he has a very interesting academic and personal background which has led him to take this fresh new approach to language teaching. On the musical side, Jason raps but he also plays the drums like me, and he DJs and produces his own tunes. There’s so much to ask him and so much to talk about, and hopefully Jason will do some rapping on Luke’s English Podcast too, and who knows – I might even get involved in that as well. You can look forward to all of it in this episode. (In fact, if you listen to the whole episode you will hear both Jason and me rapping on some of my brother’s music)

I’ve never met Jason before, this is the first time I’ve spoken to him in fact. I always thought Jason lived in New York, but a while ago I was on Facebook and I saw a photo of him in Paris and I assumed he’d visited for work or for a holiday, so I sent him a message saying “next time you’re in Paris, how about an interview for LEP” and he wrote back saying “Actually, I live in Paris”. Needless to say I was pretty surprised. What are the chances of that!? So naturally, I thought I’d take the opportunity to hook up with him and interview him for the podcast, and he’s sitting right next to me now so let’s get started…

Click here for Jason’s YouTube Channel
Click here for colloandspark.com Jason’s website
This is FluencyMC’s Facebook page

Questions & Stuff
These are some questions that we covered in this episode of the podcast.
I’m really chuffed to have you on the podcast Jason, because as we heard in my introduction you’re sort of a living legend of English teaching. Are you famous?
What are you most known for?
What other projects are you involved in?
Where are you from?
What did you study at university?
How does psychology come into your teaching method?
How long have you been teaching?
How did you get into it?
When did you first start rapping in the classroom? Was there one particular time when you first did it? What happened?
You travel quite a lot, teaching in different locations. Do you always rap in class?
How would you describe your approach to teaching?
How is rapping a part of that?
What are the reactions of your students to your method?
What’s collo and spark? Can you explain that?
Is it related to mnemonics?

FluencyMC on YouTube
This is the original video of Jason rapping “Stick stuck stuck” – just about 3.5minutes of one of his lessons.

Luke’s Rapping (Lyrics Below)

Here are the lyrics of my rap at the end of this episode!

The Well-Spoken MC (Lyrics)
Microphone check one two one two
Let me introduce myself to you
My name’s Luke
I’m an ordinary dude
I like food, I wear shoes
I like to watch YouTube
I’m just like you,
or maybe Doctor Who
when I’m in a good suit
I’m feeling in the mood

from time to time
I like to unwind
I Drink a bit of wine
and try to write a rhyme
and when I combine
all of this all online
then surely it’s a sign
it’s my time to shine,
cos I like to feel fine
I do it all the time
and in my mind
I’m going to get mine

It’s just a natural fact
and I like it like that
so relax and sit back
and listen to this track
It’s just a natural fact
and I like it like that
so relax and sit back
and listen…

I get dizzy
with a bit of thin Lizzy,
while drinking some fizzy
getting busy with Queen Lizzy
I’m a gentleman
With a lesson plan
I’ll Help you understand it with a diagram
Of different tenses
and complex senses
or ways of saying sentences with different kinds of emphases
You could say I’m blessed
With a CELTA and a DELTA and my CV’s fresh!
I teach pronunciation
Throughout the nation
To stop alienation
Caused by poor articulation
It’s just a natural fact
and I like it like that
so relax and sit back
and listen to this track

Cos I speak like a native
and I’m here to get creative
and I have already stated
that I’m very qualificated
I’ve got a wide CV
an even wider TV
which I’d like you to see
in Confidentiality
Because between you and me
and the deep blue sea
One day I’m going to be
On the BBC

Because I’ve got that BBC style
The one that makes you think for a little while
about the way most newsreaders speak
It sounds as if they’re trying to repeat
Sentences of information But With crazy intonation
and weird enunciation that’s clearly fascinating
And at the end of every news report
There is a summary of sorts
Of all the main sports, and some afterthoughts
Where the main news anchor
Turns to the camera
And delivers an answer
in the form of a mantra
This is the voice of the BBC,
and while you’re sitting there drinking cups of tea
We’re working away inside your TV
And on the screen you will surely see
that I go by the name of the Well-Spoken MC

Good night

5. Joaquin Phoenix

An episode all about the mysterious story of Joaquin Phoenix, including an English lesson about modal verbs of deduction in the past and present.

Right click here to download.


Joaquin Phoenix is a famous Hollywood A List actor. He appeared in Gladiator and Walk The Line (the Johnny Cash story). Recently he announced that he wants to quit acting to become a rapper. Also, his appearance has become very strange! He looks more like a homeless person than a Hollywood star. His decision has become a Hollywood mystery. Is it real, or is it a joke? No one really knows.

In this episode of the podcast, Luke talks about Joaquin Phoenix with his friend and colleague Howard. You can listen to the conversation – some of the vocabulary is defined below. The language section of the podcast is about making speculations with modal verbs. See below for more information. Also, below you will see some pictures of Joaquin Phoenix, and some YouTube videos – one of him announcing his retirement from acting, and one of him rapping (badly) and then falling off the stage! For more strange Joaquin Phoenix videos, have a look on YouTube. We can’t wait to find out if it is real, or if it is all a big joke. We really hope that it is a joke, because if it isn’t, he could be in real trouble…

Some vocabulary that Luke & Howard used in their conversation + definitions

Howard: “He’s from a famous acting dynasty” – a dynasty means a large and powerful family
Howard: “He looks like a homeless (person), or a tramp or something” – ‘homeless’ and ‘tramp’ both mean someone who doesn’t have a home and has to live on the street. ‘homeless’ is also an adjective
Luke: “He’s making a fly-on-the-wall documentary” – a fly-on-the-wall documentary is a documentary film or programme which is filmed to look like the people in the film are not really aware of the cameras, so they act naturally and it is like the viewer is a ‘fly on the wall’ just watching what is happening. This is not a reality show like Big Brother. It’s a type of documentary.
Luke: “A comedy movie a bit like Borat” – Borat is a satirical comedy about a man called Borat, played by Sacha Baron Cohen
Luke: “The thing about rapping is that you have to have a flow” – a rapper’s ‘flow’ is his rhythmical style of rapping. E.g. Eminem has a fast flow. Joaquin Phoenix’s flow is slow, and elementary.
Howard: “He looks like a twat” – a twat is a slightly rude word which means ‘an idiot’
Luke: “He’s let himself go” – to ‘let yourself go’ means you stop looking after yourself and your appearance goes bad, e.g. you gain wait, your hair grows too long, etc.
Luke: “It sounds like he’s slurring his words” – to ‘slur’ your words means that you don’t pronounce your words properly, like when you are drunk.
Luke: “He’s famous for a method approach to acting” – a method approach is an acting style which involves the actor totally becoming the character he is performing. The actor lives as that character all the time, even at home. Famous method actors are Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. DeNiro famously put on a lot of weight to become Jake LaMotta in the film Raging Bull (an excellent film!)
Howard: “His family are very eccentric” – ‘eccentric’ means slightly crazy, odd, weird, bizarre, strange
Howard: “A lot of craziness” – craziness is the noun from ‘crazy’
Howard: “A lot of weird and wacky things happening” -wacky is another word for crazy, bizarre, weird, odd, etc
Luke: “I’m a bit sceptical” – ‘I’m sceptical’ means ‘I don’t really believe it is true’
Luke: “Someone in the crowd was heckling him” – to heckle someone means to shout criticisms from the crowd. Comedians are often heckled, by hecklers during stand-up comedy routines – e.g. “That’s not funny!!”
Luke: “It’s a piss take” – a ‘piss take’ is a joke. designed to fool everyone, to make fun of everyone.
Howard: “It sounds like he’s on the edge” – on the edge means ‘close to being crazy’ or ‘close to a nervous breakdown’
Luke: “I’m leaning towards ‘it’s all a joke'” – to be leaning towards something means that you are starting to take that opinion. You are favouring that opinion.
Howard: “I think it might be for real” – ‘for real’ means genuine, not fake.
Luke: “Finally, he’s cracked” – he’s ‘cracked’ means he’s ‘lost his mind’

Summary of Language Section – Modal Verbs:

Use might, must, could or can’t to speculate about things.

1. For present or future use modal + infinitive (without to)
e.g. He may have an emotional problem

or modal + be + -ing for the continuous form
e.g. He may be having emotional problems

2. For speculations about the past, use modal + have + past participle
e.g. He may have got tired of Hollywood

3. Use ‘must’ when you’re sure that something is true
e.g. It must be a joke! (or It has to be a joke!)

4. Use ‘may’ ‘might’ or ‘could’ when you’re less sure that something is true.
e.g. He might be serious, but I’m not sure to be honest.

5. Use ‘can’t’ when you’re sure that something isn’t true or didn’t happen.
e.g. He can’t be for real
e.g. He can’t have given up acting.