Tag Archives: speaker

591. London Native Speaker Interviews REVISITED (Part 1)

Revisiting a video I made for YouTube in 2009 and teaching you some descriptive and idiomatic vocabulary in the process. Transcripts and video available.



Hello, you’re listening to episode 591, which is called London Native Speaker Interviews Revisited Part 1.

The plan in this episode is to revisit some videos I recorded 10 years ago…

We’re going to listen to the audio from one of those videos and break it all down in order to help you understand everything word for word, teaching you some lovely, descriptive and idiomatic vocabulary in the process.

This episode is a bit of a flashback to 10 years ago when I first started doing the podcast.

What happened 10 years ago Luke, in 2009?
Ooh, all sorts of things happened, but one of them was that I went into central London armed with my video camera, an Oyster card and a question to ask some members of the public: What is London really like?

What is London like? = tell me about London, describe London

I interviewed people in the street and edited the footage into a series of 5 videos which I published on YouTube, and the videos actually did very well! Part 1 now has 1.6 million views. Part 2 has 1 million.

You might be thinking – are you rich because of those videos? Nope. Not at all. I didn’t monetise them until after they’d got most of their views, or I couldn’t monetise them because of some background music. Anyway, that’s another story for another time – how YouTubers make or don’t make money from their videos.

I also published the videos and their audio tracks as episodes of this podcast in 2009. Some of you will have heard them and seen those videos.

I thought that this time it would be interesting to revisit those videos on the podcast because there’s loads of English to learn from them. When I published them on the podcast in 2009 I just published them with no commentary from me. It was just the video/audio with transcripts on the website.

But this time I’m not just going to play them again. Instead I’m going to go through the audio from the first video and kind of break it down bit by bit, explaining bits of vocabulary and generally commenting on things as we go. This is going to be a bit like one of those director’s commentary tracks that you get on DVDs, but the focus is mainly going to be on highlighting certain items of vocabulary and bits of pronunciation/accent that come up in the videos.

*Luke mentions his Avengers Endgame Spoiler Review, which you can listen to in the LEP App (in the App-only episodes category).*

If you want to watch the original video that I’m talking about here, you’ll find it embedded on the page for this episode on my website (A script is also available), it’s also in the LEP App (with a script in the notes) which you can download free from the app store on your phone – just search for Luke’s English Podcast App and you can just find it on my YouTube channel, which is Luke’s English Podcast on YouTube. The video is called London Native Speaker Interviews Part 1, or maybe London Video Interviews Part 1 (website), London Interviews Part 1 in the app.

So, let’s now travel back in time to 2009 and revisit Native English Speaker Interviews Part 1.

The theme of the videos is London – what’s it really like to live there? What are the good and bad things about living there?

So there’s a lot of descriptive vocabulary for describing cities and life in cities.

Video script available here https://teacherluke.co.uk/2010/03/25/london-video-interviews-pt-1/

Definitions of some vocabulary and expressions

What’s London really like?
This question: “What is it like?” means “tell me about it” or “how is it?”. It does not mean: “What do you like about London?”
e.g. What is London like? – it’s busy
What do you like about it? – I like the theatres

It’s gone to the dogs = everything is much worse now than it was before

grimy = dirty

to recharge your batteries = to give yourself some energy, by doing something pleasant and stimulating

to shout someone down = to disagree with someone loudly in order to stop them talking

to take advantage of something = to use something good which is available to you

commuting = travelling from home to work every day

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

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

The podcast has been nominated in the Macmillan Dictionary Award and the voting is now open here http://www.macmillandictionary.com/love-english-awards/voting-blog-2014.html

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When I get nominated for this competition, I usually have quite a lot of new visitors to the site by people who are checking out the podcast for the first time. So, let me take this opportunity to say hello to any new visitors and to give you an idea of what LEP is all about.

In this episode I’m going to tell you 16 things you need to know about LEP. After listening to this, you should have a better idea of what this podcast is all about!

16 Things You Should Know about Luke’s English Podcast
1. I’m a teacher from London, living in Paris, with about 14 years of experience and both a CELTA and DELTA qualification. I’ve lived in Japan too, and I have experience of teaching adults and children at all levels of English, for general, business or more specific purposes. Students I’ve had in the past include Brazilian world cup winners, Scandinavian heads of state, top business executives and even a porn star. I now teach at The British Council and at a top university in Paris.

2. I started LEP in 2009 after taking a course in podcasting with The Consultants E. At the time I just felt like I wanted to have my own radio show, and I discovered ways of creating podcasts on my new Apple Mac laptop, and realised I could publish them myself on iTunes, and then get the word out using social networking. I started to get really busy producing episodes of the podcast. The aim was always to mix up teaching with general entertainment. I wanted to produce episodes that were instructive but also fun to listen to for their own sake.

3. I’m also a stand-up comedian, and I do try to use those skills in my episodes too, from time to time! I do stand-up comedy regularly in Paris, in English. This may not be obvious from this episode, as I’m not adding any jokes to it! From time to time I share some videos of my comedy on this website, and some of my listeners have come to see me perform my comedy live, which is great!

4. The podcast now has over 250 episodes, and I have a really loyal following. In fact, my listeners have lots of names – the LEPpers (yes, LEP stands for Luke’s English Podcast), LEPsters, LEPaholics, LEP Ninjas, PLEPS (people of Luke’s English Podcast) and so on.

5. Some of my listeners have created podcasts of their own, after being inspired to do so by listening to LEP.

6. There are various types of episode that you can expect on the podcast. Some are about specific aspects of English, for example – episodes about idioms, grammar points, pronunciation, vocabulary, and slang. In some episodes I try to keep my listeners locked-in and entertained by making up improvised stories off the top of my head. In some episodes I feature interviews and conversations with friends, family and special guests. Some episodes involve me just talking directly to my audience about whatever comes into my head. Some episodes are about films, music or popular culture, and some episodes deal with specific aspects of British culture and lifestyle. So the podcast covers a broad range of topics. Ultimately, I love the freedom of being able to talk about anything I like! The main thing is that it creates engaging content that encourages learners of English to do more and more listening!

Here’s a quick list of some of the more popular episodes of this podcast:
1. Introduction – this is the first episode I did back in April 2009 and it outlines my basic approach to LEP.
28. Interview with a Native Speaker: The Weather – this one follows on from a vocabulary episode about British weather and features an authentic interview with a teenager called Chris, and his odd views about foreigners in the UK
29. Mystery Story / Narrative Tenses – this is one of the most visited of my episodes. It teaches you narrative tenses (past simple, past continuous, past perfect) via a short mystery story that features several of the UK’s most beloved popular culture icons. The story is continued in the next episode.
71. The Ice-Cream Episode – an unplanned rant on topics such as: Amazon Kindles, robots & technology in Hollywood films and why we should put down the weapons and pick up an ice-cream instead, man.
83. How to Swear in British English – an indispensable guide to all the rudest words in British English. It’s extremely offensive, but extremely useful.
100. Going to the Pub – the guide to everything you need to know before you step into a pub in the UK.
118. Sick In Japan – the true story of how I ended up sick in a Japanese hospital. It contains loads of medical and health related vocabulary, culture shock and a story which is engaging from start to finish!
125. The Pink Gorilla Story – one of the most popular ever, this is just an improvised story that regularly makes people laugh out loud, and which I really should convert into a one-man-show stage play!
140. Ghost Stories – just some scary true stories to keep you awake at night
167. Memory, Mnemonics and Learning English – revolutionise your learning techniques with these powerful memory devices.
174. How to Learn English with Luke’s English Podcast – this is your guide to improving your English using my podcast.
176. Grammar: Verb Tense Review – this is a very complete guide to all the main tenses in English
192. Culture Shock: Life in London – this episode deals with many of those strange aspects of the English lifestyle that foreigners find so hard to understand.
208. Travelling in Indonesia – one of many episodes about travelling experiences, this one has quite a dramatic beginning.

There are plenty more episodes which are popular with listeners, in fact everyone seems to have a different favourite. But that’s just a selection of some of the most visited pages on my website.

7. Yes, my episodes are quite long, but I always explain it like this: Firstly, all my favourite podcasts are long, and I think that it’s quite normal for podcasts to be about an hour long. Radio shows also tend to be at least an hour long too, so why not my podcast? It’s better for my listeners if they listen for an extended period. Why should listening only last 15 minutes? I can’t achieve very much in just 10-15 minutes, and I want my episodes to have some depth and rigour to them. Also, listeners can just pause the episode when they’ve had enough, and come back to it later!

8. I have a transcript collaboration project on my website, which allows listeners to transcribe sections of episodes and build a whole library of transcripts for other LEPsters to use. This is good for the transcribers because it is a big challenge and a good way to improve their English, and it’s good for the other listeners because we have an ever-growing library of transcripts which they can use to help them understand episodes. The collaboration is hosted on my website and is done using google documents.

9. I have won this award three times before and that is completely thanks to my devoted audience, who every year come out in force to vote for me. I hope to repeat the success this year, but I am up against stiff competition! Whatever the result, I’m just happy to have been nominated again.

10. The podcast has had 3 million listens in just over a year, since moving to a new audio host (audioboom.com) which is amazing!

11. I also have some videos on YouTube and they are pretty hot as well! My channel has had about 2.5 million views in total, but I haven’t uploaded anything for a while. The popular videos are ones I did in 2009 and feature me interviewing members of the public in the centre of London. There’s also a video called “16 Ways to Say I Like It”, which you may have seen too.

12. I launch competitions of my own from time to time, for listeners to take part in. The last one was called “Your English Podcast” and I invited listeners to send me short recordings of them doing their own versions of LEP. I received lots of entries and votes and the winner was interviewed on the podcast as a prize.

13. These days I record episodes of my podcast in a room at the top of my apartment, where I have great views of the rooftops of Paris from the windows. I call it the “SpacePod” or “SkyPod” and it’s the podcast HQ!

14. I have another podcast, called A Phrasal Verb a Day. It’s on iTunes and on my website. That is made up of short episodes devoted to individual phrasal verbs. I give definitions, examples and explanations. It’s a great way to pick up more of those tricky items of vocabulary – phrasal verbs. My goal was to record one a day in 2014. I didn’t reach my goal, but I haven’t given up and I still add episodes to the series when I can.

15. I love playing the drums, guitar, bass and ukulele (but not at the same time) and occasionally at the end of podcast episodes I play a song on the ukulele – but you have to listen all the way to the end of the episode to hear it.

16. I put my heart, soul, time, energy, humour, money and love into making episodes of LEP. It’s become quite a big thing in my life after having done it now for nearly 6 years. I enjoy a close and warm relationship with my listeners, I always welcome new additions to the LEP family, and in the future I plan to build my service more and more until I can perhaps do this for a living somehow. The future’s bright and I hope that many more people will join me on this journey to create authentic, entertaining and interesting content that helps you not only to improve your English but to enjoy yourself while doing it. So, I invite you to start listening today and like thousands of others get addicted to LEP – it’s good for your English!

If you haven’t already done it, I invite you to vote for LEP by clicking here. Thank you for your continuing support!
vote for us_love english2

163. Skype Chat with My Brother / British Films

The return of James Thompson + some British film recommendations.

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Sometimes my listeners ask me “Where’s your brother, James?” It seems, for some mad reason, that you like listening to him. Well, in this episode he’s back! And he has some British films to recommend to you.

This is what happens in this episode:
– I call James on Skype, and commence a ‘trans-channel broadcast’, improving ‘Anglo-French discourse’.
– We discuss a pointless plan to go back in time in order to assassinate Hitler.
– We talk about James’s new year’s eve and his new year’s resolutions.
– James recommends some of his favourite British movies of all time!
– His mate Will arrives with a nice bottle of French wine, and immediately becomes famous in Colombia.

Click here to help write a transcript for this episode on a Google document.

(Some of) James’ Favourite British Movies of All Time
Here are some links and trailers for the films James mentioned.
1. Withnail & I
The IMDB page.
Full movie on YouTube:
2. Dead Man’s Shoes
The IMDB page.
3. Shaun of the Dead
The IMDB page.
Full movie on YouTube:
4. Hot Fuzz
The IMDB page.
5. The World’s End
The IMDB page.
6. The Ipcress File
The IMDB page.
7. Performance
The IMDB page.

161. She’s Having a Baby (with Amber Minogue)

Baby on Board! 2aka “A Cup of Tea with Amber Minogue”

LISTENER: Who’s having a baby? Is it your girlfriend?! WOW!!! CONGRATU…
LUKE: Wait! It’s not my girlfriend. It’s my friend, Amber.
LISTENER: Ah, I see! Well, congratulations to Amber then!
LUKE: Yes, congratulations Amber!

Small Donate ButtonRight-click here to download this episode of the podcast.

Click here to help write a transcript of this episode using a Google Doc.

SO, my friend Amber is having a baby soon, and I thought it would be interesting to interview her for the podcast. I wanted to know; what is it really like to be a pregnant English girl, and what should we say or do when we meet a pregnant woman? Listen to the episode to find out the answers, and to hear plenty of vocabulary on the topic of pregnancy and having a baby. You’ll see notes and a vocabulary list below. Happy listening!


In this episode I’m going to talk to my friend Amber, who as well as being an interesting and lovely person, is also pregnant. In fact, she’s really pregnant because the baby is due in just a few weeks.

I’ve decided to interview Amber so that you can listen to her nice accent, but also so we can find out about what it’s really like to be a pregnant English girl, which I’m sure all of you have always wanted to know. I certainly have. The episode is going to go a bit like this:

First, we’ll get to know Amber a little bit. I’ll ask the usual questions like where she’s from and all that.

Then we’ll talk about being pregnant, and what that’s really like. Amber can tell us her experiences.

The episode is going to feature lots of vocabulary on the topic of having babies – not making babies (you’ll have to check the podcasts about slang, or swear words for that kind of fruity language) but the language of having a baby – being pregnant and giving birth. Hopefully we’ll keep it nice and clean and not too messy.

Lots of phrases and vocabulary will come up naturally in our conversation, but I have also made a list of vocabulary and expressions associated with pregnancy and having a baby.

So, finally we’ll go through that list of vocab and just explain it for you.

This could be a long episode, so I suggest you download it, & listen to it in stages, or just listen to it while you’re doing something else like travelling, doing the housework or just sitting on the sofa and staring into space. OK? So, let’s go!


Congratulations again!

How are you?

Where are you from?

What do you do?

How do we know each other?


How did it happen? Hahaha etc (actually that’s a question that kids ask sometimes – where do babies come from?)

I can hardly imagine what it’s like, as a man, but if I imagine pretty hard… I still can’t picture how it feels. I have no idea really. It’s probably different for each woman.

What’s it like for you? (physically, but also mentally too)

What about people’s reactions? Do people give you their seat on the train? Anything else?

Have you taken advantage of your pregnancy in any way?

What advantages have you experienced?

Have you had any cravings?

Any morning sickness?

Is it a boy or a girl?

What are you looking forward to?


Things you shouldn’t say or do…

Anything that makes her feel unattractive

“You look like you’re ready to burst!”

“Have you considered taking some exercise?”

Anything that makes her feel scared

“Get all the sleep you can now…” (because later you will get no sleep at all and it will be a nightmare)

“Enjoy ____ now while you can” (because afterwards you won’t be able to enjoy anything)

Questions about breastfeeding and nappies

Commenting on how much she ate – women are still women when they’re pregnant, and this is always a slightly offensive thing to talk about

“Oh wow, look at how much you ate! I guess you’re eating for 2 now…”

Anything that implies a mistake…

“Was that planned?”

Touching the woman’s belly – is this okay?

Things you should say or do when you meet a pregnant person

You look great

You’ll make a great mother (only if you know the person well)

This is going to be one lucky kid

It’s amazing news

Would you like to sit down? Please take my seat.

Let me get that for you.

Hey sit down, I’ll do that.

From the point of view of a man, meeting a pregnant woman

You’re supposed to say “congratulations” as soon as possible, but getting that wrong – misjudging when someone is pregnant or not – can be the worst social faux pas – so sometimes we’re a little bit ‘slow on the uptake’.

Similarly, giving your seat can be a little tricky. It’s the worst thing when you offer your seat to someone who turns out not to be pregnant. It should be obvious though – it really should. That might explain why guys don’t always jump up to let you sit down.

Some women in London actually wear a badge that says “baby on board” to make it completely clear, although I understand why some women might not want to wear one of them.

Not touching the woman’s belly. Women often get very tactile and touchy-feely when meeting another pregnant woman. Men are less likely to do it- perhaps because we’ve learned that you shouldn’t just dive in and put your hands on a woman without getting her okay first. Anyway, we’re probably not that interested in a baby unless it’s ours (and even then it’s no guarantee for some men – wow, some men are right bastards)

From the point of view of a man who’s girlfriend/wife is pregnant

I imagine it’s a complex feeling of pride & joy, protectiveness towards the woman, and total panic.

There’s some freaking out to be done. This is a very big deal because a whole new responsibility has arrived, and we want to do it properly. So, it’s a change. We feel we are the providers, and so we want to make sure everything is provided for – money, security and so on. Men will often get a bit serious and look for more job security.

Sometimes it takes a while for the news to sink in.

Women immediately face the reality of pregnancy (although some deny it). For men, it takes more time – for example, it doesn’t sink in until they hear the heartbeat or see the sonogram of the baby, or even until birth in some cases!

In the end though, although it is frightening, it is also great because you get to see your child grow through all these important stages in their life (first words, first steps etc) and you get to re-live your childhood a little bit too.


Transcript [Unfinished, work in progress]

EPISODE 161 [2:14] – [6.20]

[BEGINS FROM 00:01:43]

and in the end you will be totally clued up about all of the English that you need to know about this subject, which, I think you will agree, is a brilliant thing.

So finally, we will go through this list and that will be that.

This could be quite a long episode so, I would suggest that you download it. Listen to it in stages or listen to it while doing something else, like: travelling, doing housework or just sitting on a sofa and staring into space.

Let’s go!

Luke – Hello, Amber!

Amber – Hello, Luke!

Luke – Congratulations, again.

Amber – Thank you.

Luke – I don’t know if it is appropriate for me to say “Congratulation, again” at this stage.

Amber – You can.

Luke – Really?

Amber – Yep.

Luke – Is there a time limit on, you know, when you can say “congratulations” to a pregnant person?

Amber – I don’t think there is a time, really. I think, there is an appropriate number of congratulations.

Luke – …and do you know what that number is?

Amber – I think, one or two congratulations is fair enough and then, it is obvious you have forgotten. And then it just becomes rude.

Luke – I think, actually, the first time that I realised that you were pregnant, I didn’t say congratulations early enough. Did you realise? Did you notice that? You probably did.

Amber – Em, noooooooo.

Luke – No? Because, em, we will come to this in a minute. This is the subject knowing when to say “Congratulations” to someone who is pregnant. Anyway, so, it’s very nice to be here. I mean in your flat. You have given me a cup of tea, which is lovely. Thank you for that.

Amber – You’re welcome.

Luke – Now, first of all, so, how many months pregnant are you now, in fact?

Amber – I’m eight and half months pregnant.

Luke – Okay, alright. So, it is nearly due I suppose.

Amber – Very soon.

Luke – Okay, we will come to the pregnancy in a minute, but first of all, let’s talk about you. Amber? Yeah. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, in fact?

Amber – I’m from London.

Luke – Okay, which part?

Amber – North-West London. Edgware

Luke – Oh, yeah. I know it. Well I know Edgware Road.

Amber – It’s not the same. It’s much further away.

Luke – Alright.

Amber – zone six

Luke – That’s quite far.

Amber – Technically London. It’s hanging on. Clinging, to the edge of London

Luke – Is there a Tube station for Edgware

Amber – Edgware

Luke – Okay.

Amber – It’s at the end of the Northern line.

Luke – I see. Okay.

Amber – at the very end.

Luke – Alright. There’s Edgware Road, and then there’s Edgware, and I expect people get them mixed up.

Amber – They do, but I don’t mind, because Edgware Road is actually, quite a lot nicer than Edgware

Luke – It’s quite posh, isn’t? Edgware Road

Amber – Yeah.

Luke – So, Edgware Road at the top of the Northern line.

Amber – Yeah.

Luke – … and you are living here in Paris now, how long have you been living here?

Amber – I’ve lived here 12 years.

Luke – Okay, alright. So,  you speak good French, I imagine?

160. The A to Z of Christmas

In this extra-special Christmas episode of the podcast I am joined by my good friend Raphael Miller. Together we go through an A to Z list of words associated with Christmas in England.

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255631_10150209021106947_6709581_nRaphael is an English teacher, a scouser (from Liverpool) and a graduate of Oxford University. He has appeared on Luke’s English Podcast before (in the Notting Hill Carnival video – click here to see it).

Below you can see the list of Christmas words that we refer to during this episode. As you can see it is extra Christmassy, and extra long! I hope listening to this puts you in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy!

The A to Z of Christmas
A – advent calenders, angels
B – bells, Bethlehem, Boxing Day, brandy butter, bread sauce
C – cards, carols, chimney, chocolate, Christians, Christ, church, cranberry sauce, crackers, charades, candles, Chrimbo, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding
D – dinner, decorations, Doctor Who
E – Ebeneezer Scrooge, elves
F – Father Christmas, frankincense, friends, football, fireplace
G – gifts, gold, gravy
H – holy, holidays, holly, hymns, hangovers
I – icicles, ivy
J – jingle bells, Jesus, Joseph
K – Kings (the three wise men)
L – list
M – manger, Merry Christmas, mistletoe, myrrh, mulled wine, mine pies
N – nativity, new year, Noel
O – office party
P – presents, put off doing your Christmas shopping until the last minute (hello Raph!)
Q – the Queen’s speech (not the Queen’s peach)
R – receipt, reindeers, robins
S – sales, Santa Claus, shopping, sleigh, sledge, star, snowman, stockings, stress, stuffing, songs, shepherds, secret santa
T – toys, tradition, turkey, tinsel, tree
U – unwrap
V – virgin Mary
W – wise men, wrapping, white Christmas
X – Xmas
Y – Yuletide
Z – zest, zesty

Merry Christmas, seasons greetings, all the best for the Christmas season and have a happy new year too. Cheers! Bye!


10. Extra Podcast – Quick Hello 2

Just a quick “hello” from me and a chance to practise your listening skills with a funny comedy sketch. Full transcript available below.

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Full transcript to this episode
10 Extra Podcast – Quick Hello 2

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.podomatic.com.

Hello, you are listening to Luke’s English podcast. This is not a full episode today.

This is just a quick message to say “hello” to everyone and to let you know that I am going on holiday for about five days. I am going to Spain, Alicante in the South of Spain to go rock climbing with some friends. So, I’ll be on holiday for a few days which means that I won’t be uploading another full podcast for about another week. I’ve got one prepared. It’s half finished but it’s not ready to be uploaded onto the internet, yet. So I’ll load that up when I get back from my holiday. It was my birthday yesterday and I had a little celebration down next to the river in a pub which is close to my house and some of my friends came and joined me and we had a few drinks and stuff and that was really great fun. I am on holiday from work for two weeks, now. So five or so of these days we’ll spend in Spain rock climbing. I’m looking forward to it very much. It’s gonna be great.
So this podcast is just a little extra message, just to kind of let you know that a new full podcast will be uploaded soon. So don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about everyone and I haven’t forgotten to upload one. It’s just that I am busy having fun on holiday. Now I thought that just to give you something to listen to and to enjoy and to study while you wait for the next podcast, I would play you a little comedy clip. The comedy clip that I am gonna play you is by a comedy group from the UK called: Monty Python’s Flying Circus. – Now you might have heard of them. Let’s see – probably the most famous member of the group is John Cleese. And John Cleese is an actor who – he was in some James Bond movies as Q, the guy who gives James Bond all these machines and weapons and things and he is also in a very successful comedy called Fawlty Towers which is probably the most famous thing he’s ever done. But Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a group of comedians who came out of Oxford and Cambridge universities joined together to make one of the best and one of the most influential comedy programmes on television here in the UK. Everyone knows Monty Python and everyone loves them here and they are very, very popular. So I am going to play you a little comedy scene that they did. They performed it live at the Drury Lane theatre and I think 1974 – the title of this sketch is called The Four Yorkshire Men. Now a Yorkshire man is just a man who comes from Yorkshire.
Yorkshire is an area in the north of England, okay?
And basically the kind of comedy or the funny part of this sketch is….well, the fact that these four Yorkshire men basically are sitting together – if you can imagine – they are sitting together, drinking some very expensive wine because now, they are rich. They are old and rich, now. But they didn’t use to be rich. When they were children, and when they were growing up, they all had very, very difficult lives and they all were working-class-men who had to work very, very hard in a difficult life in order to get rich.
So, one of the things about this is that, when old men like that get together, they always talk about how hard their lives were in the past and how it’s really easy for young people, nowadays. And typically men like that will say things like, you know: The kids today don’t know they are born. Life is much easier for them than it was for us. They just don’t know, they are born. Or for example if they told a younger person how difficult their lives were, they might say things like: You tell the kids of today that and they won’t believe you, right? So it’s kind of typical things that old men say when they’re complaining about how their lives were very hard in the past and how young people’s lives now were easy in comparison.
And the conversation that they have is, they talk about how, when they were younger in their lives were so hard and they describe the difficult conditions that they had to live in when they were growing up.
But as they all talk about it, it becomes like a competition because they all have to describe a much harder life. So, if one says that he had to….for example, you know …when he drank tea..because they had no electricity he had to drink cold tea. And the other one would say: You were lucky, cold tea, you were lucky. We used to have to drink old water out of a rolled up newspaper.
So, they were kind of trying to explain they had much harder lives. And it is like a competition. Anyway, I think it’s very funny and you can listen to it here on the webpage. I’ll post a script of the sketch, so you can read that and understand it and hopefully enjoy it. And I will upload another podcast for you very soon and you can look forward to that.
So, thank you very much and I will speak to you again, soon.
Thank you!
Bye, bye, bye, bye!

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – The Four Yorkshiremen – Live at Drury Lane 1974 (buy the CD here)

Aye, very passable, that, very passable bit of risotto.
Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?
You’re right there, Obadiah.
Who’d have thought thirty year ago we’d all be sittin’ here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh?
In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o’ tea.
A cup o’ cold tea.
Without milk or sugar.
Or tea.
In a cracked cup, and all.
Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, son”.
Aye, he was right.
Aye, he was.
I was happier then and I had nothin’. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof.
House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, half the floor was missing, and we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of falling.
Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in the corridor!
Oh, we used to dream of livin’ in a corridor! Would have been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woke up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House? Huh.
Well, when I say ‘house’ it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.
We were evicted from our hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake.
You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in a shoebox in the middle of road.
Cardboard box?
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down the mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt.
Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence (two pence) a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!
Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean with tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two with bread knife.
Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
And you try and tell the young people of today that ….. they won’t believe you.
They won’t!

Okay, I hope you understood that. I am sure that they will be things that you didn’t understand and in that case, you should go to the webpage. You can read a script of everything they are saying and if there are words that you don’t understand, you can check those words in the dictionary and that will help you. Another thing about that sketch is .because they are all Yorkshire men, they are speaking in a Yorkshire accent. So, you know all sorts of speaking are a bit like this.

In those days we were happy even though we were poor
So, that’s the sort of typical Yorkshire accent, I suppose.
If you are actually listening to this and you are from Yorkshire, I apologize if my Yorkshire accent wasn’t very good.
So, anyway, right! So, check the webpage. You can read this script there and it’ll help you to understand it. That’s the end of this short podcast and I will speak to you again soon.
Take care! Bye, bye, bye, bye